The Marvelous Moto-Cruise

The Marvelous Moto-Cruise
Want to sweeten up your next cruise or charter? Try taking along a 1935 Plymouth Convertible.

By Capt. Bill Pike — February 2001

 More of this Feature
• Part 1: The Marvelous Moto-Cruise
• Part 2: The Marvelous Moto-Cruise continued
• Dutch Treat
• Photo Gallery

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• Mallory Line

I’m nuts about boats. My wife’s nuts about cars. Does surf-versus-turf cause problems? Heck no, except when it comes time to plan the next vacation. Then the saucy little subtleties start to fly. For example:

Little Ol’ Me: “Road trips? Road trips? Sure, I love road trips. Carsickness...back allergies to B&B potpourri! But hey, me complain?”

My wife, B.J. Vickers: “Right, Bill. Like I'm not allergic to smelling dead fish and diesel fumes for two weeks?”

Well, compromise is the essence of a good relationship, so last September B.J. and I decided to spend a week’s vacation doing something new: moto-cruising, a hybrid enterprise designed to appeal to the boat-lover in me and the car-lover in her. The moto-cruise concept is mine, by the way. I invented it one night last summer during a visit to a supermarket that was supposedly near a marina I was docked at. Near? The visit turned into a veritable odyssey, what with having to hitch two pickup-truck rides in the rain, one enlivened by a giant, slobbering hound, the other by fumes from a fresh load of fertilizer. Returning to the boat at midnight, I had soggy feet and two questions. First, wouldn’t a land-based support vehicle, one that could loosely accompany a cruising boat along rivers and coasts, make light work of such obnoxious situations? And second, why not make it a vehicle with a little pizzazz?

True genius engenders serendipity. Just weeks later I happened to run into Charles Mallory, a guy from Greenwich, Connecticut, who has two passions in life: the high seas and the open road. In addition to being a supertanker broker, with a New England maritime heritage, as well as the importer of gorgeous motorcruisers designed by W. De Vries Lentsch and built by Linssen Yachts of Maasbracht, Holland, he is also a total car nut with a sizable stable of classic automobiles at his disposal. Mallory loved my moto-cruise idea from the first and suggested I test it on the Hudson River, a cherished venue where he offers Linssens for charter. I suggested the vacation B.J. and I were planning for September, adding that for the sake of both fun and efficiency, two couples go, one to tour the verdant countryside, the other to navigate the Hudson. Mallory immediately signed on, adding that he had the perfect boat for the water portion of the trip, a 41-foot Linssen Grand Sturdy, as well as the perfect car, a 1935 burgundy Plymouth convertible with a rumble seat, three speeds on the floor, and aerodynamic Art Deco styling.

“B.J. will love it,” he promised.

She did. Within half an hour of our late-afternoon arrival at the Waterford, New York, municipal dock, our rendezvous for the start of “The Marvelous Hudson Moto-Cruise,” she was behind the Plymouth’s wheel with Mallory in the co-pilot's seat, the two of them tooling Waterford’s shady streets. Gotham-based school teacher Sally Imbimbo remained with me, helping to ready the Linssen for a morning departure. Ours was a fetching craft, with a single 145-hp Volvo Penta TAMD 41H commercial-type diesel, two staterooms, two heads, bow and stern thrusters, and a solidity underfoot that only steel construction imparts (see “Dutch Treat,” this story). To familiarize ourselves with the boat, once the groceries were aboard, I cranked the engine, did a few open-water pirouettes, and followed up with some docking practice. It went smoothly enough, thanks to the Linssen’s wind- and current-resistant heft and Sally's quick grasp of linehandling fundamentals. The Plymouth pulled in just as we finished.

Next page > Moto-Cruise continued > Page 1, 2, 3, 4

This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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