There’s cruising and then there’s a delivery. They may sound similar, and deliveries do technically involve cruising, but I would be reminded that they’re very different animals.

Thanks to a mattress shipping mix-up, the crew of the Summit 54 was in for a fitful night’s sleep on day one. The promise of a 14-hour day ahead and sporty conditions offshore hung over me like a hangover. Thankfully the 54 was up for the challenge.

Sloppy confused swells met us in the ocean. Capt. Gregg Gandy got the boat situated and on course to Titusville, Florida. A couple taps on the autopilot and we were on our way—this is where the delivery portion began. At a steady 20-knot clip we marched up and over the swells. We settled into a two-hours-on, two-hours-off watch schedule.

Capt. Gregg Gandy

Capt. Gregg Gandy

During the off-watch I wish I could say those hours at sea elicited some deep thinking, that with just miles of open ocean in front of us I could contemplate my place in this great big world. Nope, mostly I just contemplated the best spot for my second nap of the day.

Being on watch was a bit of a different story. I prefer having a purpose and something to keep my mind occupied. Far beyond cellphone range your mind can wander freely; it’s always interesting to see where it goes.

I cracked my notebook open only once because of the conditions but here are the few notes about the boat I jotted down:

  • The construction on this boat is exceptionally solid. There are no creaks or moans (except from the crew) in these conditions.
  • Visibility from the lower helm forward is excellent, among the best I’ve seen on a motoryacht in this size range. Aft visibility isn’t as good; when up on plane the bridge deck blocks some of your view beyond the wake—but that’s where the upper helm comes in anyway.
  • The side decks are the perfect size. Even when carrying lines and fenders there’s plenty of room to walk and work.
  • The flow between social spaces works well, we’re rarely bumping into one another.
  • I really need to test the built-in blender in the cockpit. Maybe tomorrow!

A nighttime arrival tested the skill of my crew members and the maneuverability dockside of the 54. Both, thankfully, were more than up for the challenge.

Read part I “Freeing the Summit 54 from a Container Ship” here ▶

summit-sunset

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