Dispatches

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Couple cruises far afield with help from a yacht transporter

First-time powerboaters Mary and Larry Mason accelerated their learning curve to world cruising by having their Nordhavn 57, No Plans, delivered to the various ports where Dockwise Yacht Transport offers float-on/float-off service.
The retired Sacramento, Calif., couple spent four seasons cruising the Mediterranean.

"We navigated through the Montenegro Fjord to the Bay of Kotor on the Adriatic Sea, transited the Corinth Canal and Straits of Messina, and then cruised the French and Italian Rivieras before entering the Grand Harbour at Valletta, Malta," Larry Mason said after returning last fall from their Mediterranean adventure.
They weren't home for long. By February, the Masons were in Costa Rica, having taken No Plans on its own bottom with two experienced cruising friends.

In Our Wake
This sonar image taken about 75 feet below the surface of Newfoundland's Conception Bay shows the wreck of the 400-foot ore carrier known as PLM-27, sunk Nov. 2, 1942, by a German U-boat. The acoustic shadows cast by the sonar outline the ship's bridge and mast. The image was captured with a $3,000 side-scan sonar system, the StarFish 450F, from British company Tritech International (www.tritech.co.uk). PLM-27 is one of four wrecks off Bell Island, all sunk by German torpedoes. Bell Island is noted as the only community in North America to have been subjected to direct German attack during World War II.

Cruising with express-type speed

For several years, Reuben Trane has wanted to build a fast cruising yacht in the 50-foot range with a huge master stateroom and a VIP stateroom worthy of master status. The Island Pilot 535 is that yacht.
"Essentially, we're putting the accommodations of a full-displacement trawler in this very fast package," says Trane, president of Island Pilot, which also builds the IP435 and the DSe Hybrid 12m (with diesel-solar-electric propulsion).
A full galley and dinette separate the 11-by-16-foot amidships master stateroom and the forward VIP stateroom, "providing the privacy of an aft-cabin boat," says Trane, who with naval architect George Petrie designed the yacht. "The only time at night that owners are likely to even remember that guests are on board is if they all choose at the same time to raid the fridge."
Targeting retiring baby boomers who want long-term cruising capability and express-type speed, the IP535 will be powered with twin Volvo Penta IPS II 900s (700 hp each). The skipper will have joystick helm control at three stations: in the deckhouse and cockpit and on the flybridge.
The builder expects the first boat to be on display at the 2011 Miami International Boat Show in February. (Trane says he has an order for a second IP535.) Speed calculations have the boat cruising 18 to 28 knots and with a top end of 34 knots. At cruise, the boat is expected to get just over 0.5 nmpg.
The hull, decks and superstructure are being built with composite coring material, except in through-hull areas, where solid lamination is being used, says Trane. The 535's core is bonded to the biaxial fabric in a vacuum-bagging process, he says.
The diesels will be housed in a walk-in, stand-up engine room accessed through a weather-tight door in the cockpit. There will be easy access to all sides of the engines and generator, with room for a workbench and tool storage. The IP535 comes with an impressive list of standard equipment, including a Seakeeper gyroscopic stabilizer, tender and electronics. The introductory price is $1.5 million.
Contact: Island Pilot, (888) 443-2965. www.islandpilot.com
- Chris Landry

This article originally appeared in the July 2010 issue.