Then and Now
Oh what a difference a few years can make.
Then: Viking 41 Convertible, May 1987: This popular battlewagon was available with GM-671 STI diesels for a base price of $296,000.
Now: Viking’s been around for 50 years and offers boats ranging from 42 to 92 feet. For comparison, today’s Viking 42 ST is available with Zeus pod drives for a base price of $995,000.
Then: Queenship 102, March 1995: Queenship Yachts owner Dan Fritz and naval architect Gregory C. Marshall were building the most advanced Queenship to date in British Columbia.
Now: Queenship Yachts didn’t make it through the financial crisis, but Fritz can’t get boatbuilding out of his blood. Capt. Bill Pike recently visited him at his yard in Vietnam where he’s currently building the Cape Scott line of expedition boats.
Then: August 1996: For the third year in a row we report the 408-foot Savarona, built in 1931, as the world’s largest yacht.
Now: Today, the world largest yacht is 182 feet (count ’em) bigger. That’s right, the 590-foot Lürssen, Azzam, holds the top spot (for now).
Then:: Mainship 430 Trawler, February 2001: George L. Petrie writes: “Before stepping aboard the new Mainship 430 Trawler I asked marketing director Chip Shea if he would like me to remove my deck shoes. ‘No don’t worry about it. If you need to take off your shoes, you’re on the wrong boat!’” In retrospect, I realize that simple remark captured the essence of Mainship’s new 43-foot down east cruiser. Comfortable and attractive without being fussy, she was built to be used and enjoyed, not simply admired at dockside. No shirt, no shoes, no problem.
Now: Although the 430 is temporarily out of production, the word on the street is that Mainship’s new owner David Marlow is beginning to develop the next generation of the 430. The recently launched Marlow Mainship 37 and 32 (at right) are creating a steady buzz.
Then: September 2005: Capt. Bill Pike visits the Gulf Coast a couple of days after powerful Hurricane Katrina ravaged the area. In addition to other places, he and photographer Jim Raycroft spend a good bit of time in Long Beach, Mississippi, where the damage to the town and its marina was shocking. Bill writes, “What we saw when we got there was what we would later see at other marinas and boatyards on the coast, from Long Beach to Biloxi: devastation beyond belief. ‘Everything’s just gone—gone!’ said Long Beach mayor William Skellie, shaking his head at a stubble of pilings sticking out of a broad, utterly desolate and empty bay—all that remained of a 250-slip, full-service marina.”
Now: We’re happy to report that both the marina and the town are now thriving again, and Mayor Skellie’s still in office.