Powering the Washing Machine

Powering the Washing Machine
By Eileen Mansfield

If you know Annapolis, you know the best way to see it is by boat. And even though many consider it the sailing capital of the world, things just got friendlier for powerboaters, too.

Christopher Murphy

Sunsail, known for its sailboat vacations, introduced a bareboat charter program this summer in Annapolis—for us stinkpotters! The company now has a fleet of three PDQ Passagemaker MV/34 power cats and hopes to increase that number as the program becomes more popular.

And if the weekend I spent aboard is any indication, the chances of that happening are pretty good.

First off, the power cats are a perfect fit for the choppy waters of Chesapeake Bay. Cats are easy to drive, and the twin hulls reduce roll, which I found especially helpful in the entrance to Annapolis harbor, nicknamed “the washing machine.”

Second, these charters are affordable. A weeklong cruise runs about $3200; a weekend rate is half that. The boat sleeps six, although I’d recommend sticking the kids on the convertible u-shape settee in the saloon while the adults take the two staterooms.

Christopher Murphy

Finally, there is such a myriad of things to do and see on the Chesapeake. You can cross over to St. Michaels like I did and spend the day shopping or watching the sailboat races, head up to Baltimore and watch the Yanks beat the Orioles, or cruise on down and pick up the Potomac for a nice ride up to D.C.

But alas, the boating season doesn’t last all year on the Chesapeake, so by the time you read this the cats will have headed down to Florida’s Gulf Coast for the winter. But it’s not too soon to start planning for next year. Or you charter a cat in Florida and go watch the Giants crush the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?

Sunsail Phone: (800) 327-2276. www.sunsail.com.

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

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