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Author Articles

by Capt. Grant Rafter

Destinations To Die For: Plymouth Harbor, Dominica

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted November 2007 | Add a Comment

This English-speaking island is often mistaken for the Dominican Republic. Without exaggeration, the best fruit I've ever had was in Dominica. It was piled onto our deck, within minutes of anchoring, by a Rastafarian...

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Destinations To Die For: Penobscot Bay, Maine

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted November 2007 | Add a Comment

Stonington Harbor on Deer Isle is one of many fine overnight spots in Penobscot Bay. You can't even say "August on the coast of Maine" without getting a little dreamy. When cruising up to Penobscot Bay from the southwest, Tenants Harbor, home to boatbuilder Lyman Morse, should...

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Aicon 75 Fly

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted November 2007 | Add a Comment

Aicon 75 FlyA Slice of Sicilian Fly Built in Aicon's Giammoro factory in Messina on the Island of Sicily, the 75 Fly has styling that is distinctly Italian, from her lines to her leather. But her most prominent feature is an extended radar arch overhang that shades her flying bridge. With the push of a button, the canvas

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Horizon Vision 68

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted November 2007 | Add a Comment

Taiwanese builder Horizon recently delivered Hull No. 1 of its Vision 68 series to Seattle. Greg Marshall Designs—the same firm that styled Westport's 130—gave this 68-footer a more-than-20-foot beam, allowing her to accommodate four large staterooms (one aft that can be enlisted as a separate crew quarters) and an open main saloon. The 68 offers the

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Engineering Tradition

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted October 2007 | Add a Comment

At the Sparkman & Stephens offices in midtown Manhattan, Bruce Johnson, executive vice president and chief designer, greeted me with a firm handshake and led me past the drawing tables to the conference room where Greg Matzat, chief naval architect and newly named president of the design firm, was waiting. I opened with my thesis question for my story, "As a firm who predominately designs

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Sea Ray 47 Sedan Bridge

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted October 2007 | Add a Comment

Sea Ray 47 Sedan BridgeAlthough the Sea Ray 47 Sedan Bridge has a pair of 578-hp Cummins QSC-600 diesels tucked inside for thrills, the boat appears more dedicated to enclaves for relaxing.Beginning on the sedan bridge, the place to sit is forward of the wheel, in a four-person, diner-style booth that offers a great locale

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Shark Attack

By Capt. Grant Rafter | Posted September 2007 | Add a Comment

Riviera M470If Riviera's new M470 anchored near the hamlet of Amity, you can be sure a mob of frantic swimmers would soon be on the beach. With lines like Jaws, her aspect is aggressive—even the radar arch, with a canvas fold-back bimini, sticks up like a dorsal fin. The cockpit, however, is softer. A rounded wet

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