This New England charter aboard Sovereign is a glimpse into America’s past—and what it means for our future.
Story and Photography by Kim Kavin — October 2004
Hope and freedom. Terror and justice. The American spirit.
These phrases are saturating our airwaves as the Presidential election draws near. They are meant to tug at something deep in our souls, something that reaches up and out to pull that ballot booth lever. An intelligent choice cannot be made without a reckoning of lessons past, and there is perhaps no better place for rumination than Massachusetts. It’s where the Pilgrims landed, where Paul Revere rode, where the independent spirit refuses to yield.
It also happens to be a lovely cruising area, especially in and around Boston. Within about 30 miles, you have the city’s waterfront skyline, Marblehead’s quaint cottages, and fleets of third-generation lobstermen on Massachusetts Bay. A week here on a boat means little fuel, lots of scenery, and plenty of history to capture your heart and mind.
Many charter guests forgo this part of New England in favor of the “milk run,” which may start in Boston but quickly veers to Martha’s Vineyard, Newport, and New York’s Sag Harbor. That’s a shame, I learned during a recent Boston-area charter aboard the Broward Sovereign. Her captain, Tom Hartman, is a native of the North Shore, and he introduced me to a vacation experience as much about learning as about lounging. Of course, Sovereign has all the watertoys and sunpads other yachts do, but in this part of America, she also offers the chance for reflection. As Hartman says, “It’s a little bit of history instead of just going to Nantucket because everybody else goes to Nantucket.”
In fact, it’s the perfect charter for families. Though she’s only 120 feet long, Sovereign takes 12 guests. The way she’s laid out, grandparents can have their own stateroom forward, parents can have queen staterooms amidships below, and grandchildren can follow separate stairs to twin cabins aft. After a visit to Plymouth, the generations can discuss how accommodations aboard Mayflower II look a lot less like Sovereign’s than they do like Russell Crowe’s in Master and Commander. A morning spent watching The Crucible can be followed by a tour of the witch trials memorial in Salem. As credits roll on The Perfect Storm, you can cruise into Gloucester and show your young ones how dedicated some Americans have to be to keep the rest of us fed.
All of it is terrific fodder for passionate political discussion, as was no doubt the case during Sovereign’s recent charters for the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in Boston and New York, respectively.
This article originally appeared in the September 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.