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Read Profiles of the Different Boat Types on Soundings Online

Holding Course - The small-boat builders of Chesapeake Bay

Your destination is on the right, the automated voice confidently announces. It is my third circle in the rental car, and my destination is on the right only if I am planning to drive through a ditch, past a patch of vine-covered trees and across a cove. But I can see a fleet of masts above the treetops, so I power off the useless GPS and wing it.

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Half & Half

Hybrid center consoles nicely combine inshore and offshore traits, as well as fishing and dayboating features

There’s an emerging subcategory of center consoles that function well inshore and offshore and as fishing or family boats. These hybrid center consoles of about 25 feet are powered with a single outboard and have the low freeboard and shallow draft of a bay boat but enough deadrise to venture offshore without beating you up.

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Alden 44

Illustration by Jim Ewing

John G. Alden stands as one of America’s great yacht designers and yachtsmen, with a long list of successful boats and racing accomplishments, including being the first three-time Bermuda Race winner. Between 1909 and the late ’50s, the New Englander produced a host of craft through his Boston office, from schooners and motorsailers to powerboats and one designs — some 900 boats in all — many of which are considered classics.

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Daysailors rejoice!

The hard part is the choosing

C.W. Hood 32How many of us learned to sail on a daysailer? I associate the term with the 17-foot O’Day DaySailer and with my family’s O’Day Mariner 2+2. These versatile centerboard trailer-sailers are just right for exploring rivers, bays, estuaries and the shoals of sandy barrier island environments such as North Carolina’s Outer Banks or Chatham, Massachusetts.

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Hinckley Picnic Boat

Illustration by Jim Ewing

It came out of a Maine boatyard known for its superb sailboats, and it rocked the boating world as few designs have ever done. Suddenly the terms picnic boat, lobster yacht and Down East were on everyone’s lips.

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