Messing About In Boats

August 31, 2011

There is a distinct playful, childlike pleasure to be found in sailing a small boat. Sailing a bigger boat is blissful, calming, empowering, but it requires serious prep, planning, and attention too.

When Miles woke up on Monday morning and exclaimed “Today looks like a GREAT day for sailing,” I immediately petitioned the Interwebs for local friends with boats. You can imagine my elation when, a few hours later, a Facebook friend (Diana Roberts) offered up Liliana, a Herreshoff 12.5 (aka, Buzzard’s Bay Boys Boat) for our pleasure.





We made our plan for Tuesday and got up and out early enough to catch the 10am ferry to Islesboro. Unfortunately that ferry was over capacity and we had to wait for the next one. Diana’s son Ben met us near the ferry terminal on the island and escorted us to the Tarratine Yacht Club. A curious aside, Ben was a fellow Malrlboro student. This is especially noteworthy since Marlboro College is a school of roughly 350 students.


I was delighted by how quickly Liliana was brought from rest to sail. From the moment that we boarded to the moment the wind filled her sails couldn’t have been more than a half hour. That included the stowing of gear, hoisting and backing of sails and paddling out to the wind line.

Another thing I forgot about small boats is their relative range. In looking at charts I naively expected to circumnavigate one of the smaller islands. We sailed for a little over two hours and never left Dark Harbor. This was, as it turns out, not at all disappointing. The kids both had a turn at the tiller and Ruby had an immediate affinity with the small craft. Just seconds after taking the tiller she notified us that she was going to “head up a bit” (the perfect response to our sail trim and position from the wind) and pushed the tiller to lee. My heart swelled with pride.

After our sail we headed over to Pendleton Yacht Yard for a visit (Diana’s husband Stan owns the yard) and then followed Stan back to their house to hang for a while with the whole family. It was without qualification a fantastic day. A scenic drive, two ferry rides, messing about in boats, trip to a yacht yard, and visiting with warm interesting people is just about all a vacationing soul could ask for.



  1. Comment by Cidnie

    Cidnie September 1, 2011 at 4:03 am

    Liliana is such a gorgeous little boat! Exactly the boat I’ve been daydreaming about for a few years now. So glad Miles got to go knock around the bay with Team Conviva. Ruby looks perfect with the tiller in hand- I think she might have found the right “boat of her own”.tell her to get cracking on selling those “arts’!

    • Comment by Tucker Bradford

      Tucker Bradford September 1, 2011 at 5:57 am

      Ru would have to sell 20,000 arts (at the going rate) to afford that 1937 beauty. My grandfather sold a modern 12.5 for a lot less a few years ago, kinda sad that I didn’t know about it before he put it up for sale. 🙁

  2. Comment by Cidnie

    Cidnie September 1, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    I would be sick if it were my grand dad selling such a gorgeous boat! 🙁

  3. Comment by Livia

    Livia September 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Liliana is beautiful.

    Did I see 21 days??!

    • Comment by Tucker Bradford

      Tucker Bradford September 3, 2011 at 11:27 am

      I think you did. Try not to remind Vick of that little factoid though. 😉

  4. Comment by George

    George October 5, 2011 at 9:56 am

    This looks like Maine and has confirmed that the parents of this lovely family in Lat 38 are my old students, and friends for a minute, from way back.

    Would love to catch up. Don’t worry, I am no longer in an insane relationship and my behavior has improved a bit.

    George Hughes

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