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Finding a Better Powerboat to Suit Your Needs

arawak0302

Arawak, a 1996 Grand Banks 42, makes way in the Gulf of Mexico off Southwest Florida.

As often as I get to try out all different boats in my job, it’s funny how little time I invest a bit of myself in the work of boat ownership. You may not realize it, since you or your friends and family probably own the boats where you spend most of your time, and you all care about them. This week, I actually am doing a bit of that myself that I have been able to realize that the feeling is missing so often.

That’s what has happened to me this week. I’m writing this blog from the saloon settee of Arawak, a 1996 Grand Banks 42 Motoryacht, as we make a healthy 8 knots from Islamorada, through Florida Bay and along the southwestern coastline of Florida. We’re hoping to find a suitable anchorage for the night for this boat, which has been a bit of a work in progress for quite a while, and very much an open book where you can learn about her, from where she came and how she got there. You see, Arawak is a the project boat for the MyBoatWorks team, and you can see the whole project at www.betterpowerboat.com. As you will see, she has been repowered with new Yanmars diesel engines in St. Thomas, the helm is outfitted with a complete Simrad display, and an Intellian satellite television system. She’s got a new Northern Lights genset, new Vetus hatches, a new Vetus bow thruster, a Maxwell windlass, joystick and binnacle controls from Glendinning, new Awlgrip hull paint, and much more.

The author writing diligently in the saloon of Arawak.

The author writing diligently in the saloon of Arawak.

But like any work in progress that has shifted from service location to location, including American Custom Yachts in Stuart, Florida, and Yacht Services Ltd. in Amityville, New York, and others, the boat has been used by various masters in the capacity of both delivery and enjoyment: Everyone wants to see what she can do.

Well I wasn’t immune. My trusty Power & Motoryacht colleagues Senior Managing Editor Dan Harding Jr. and Digital Editor John Turner have managed to drag all sorts of gear and electronics aboard in an attempt to put some of the equipment through its paces and see how it functions in the real nautical environment. We’re doing that by bringing the equipment—and the boat—on a cruise for a few days.

But something else happened. Harding, Turner, and I got stuck in, and we got invested. So instead of looking at a boat and spotting what’s wrong and turning to our notebooks as we do when we’re looking at other boats, we spot something that needs attention and turn instead to fixing it as best we can, or bringing the boat’s skipper, Capt. Tommy McCoy, into the discussion. It’s been a great way to learn about the boat’s systems and how they work, but a side effect has been that caring. Which is often something you don’t know you do until one day you find you don’t anymore.

After all, with classic boats such as Arawak, a boat that may very well outlive us all, and many others that are available on BoatQuest.com, the caring is what makes the difference between a boat you want to own and a boat you don’t. There’s a lesson in here somewhere, but we’re turning into the anchorage soon and I don’t want to miss the approach. If you care, you know what I mean.

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