Dream BoatsA Dream Come True

What's Yours?

by Sandra Martin, Mark Burns and Kim Cammarata

Dream on at the 1998 United States Sailboat Show

Phil and Terry Hertzog - by land of Chesapeake Beach; by water of Godspeed, moored at a buoy off Hartge's yacht Yard in Galesville - knew their dreamboat would be a multihull.

"We started sailing on an 18-foot Hobie Cat out of necessity because of the shallow beach outside our house in Chesapeake Beach," says Phil.

"When we were ready to graduate to a larger boat," chimes in Terry, "we wanted to stay with a multihull for stability (there's no heeling over), faster sailing, shallower draft and more deck space."

They didn't know just how big it would be. Nor that they'd turn their lives around for it.

"It's too big." That, remembers Terry, was her first thought when they traveled down to Chocowinity, North Carolina, to take a look at the Searunner 37 trimaran designed by Jim Brown and built as a backyard project by Bill Ermer in Kingston, New York.

When the Hertzogs started shopping for their dream boat nearly a decade ago, there weren't so many trimarans to choose from. "As little as 10 years ago, you couldn't [readily] buy one," Phil remembers. "From being designed by designers who sold the plans to back-yard builders, they've become one of hottest tickets of the '90s."

The Hertzogs had done their trimaran homework.

First, they chartered one of the first production boats, an F 27 folding trimaran, off the coast of North Carolina. "It sailed like a dream. We loved it. But they wanted $65,000," says Phil. "And that was out of our budget.

Shopping for a trimaran they could afford, they religiously read the classifieds in Multihull Magazine. They "looked and looked and looked" in a shopping area that spanned Seattle to Florida.

"We found one in Seattle that could have been trucked if it was sawed in three pieces," Phil recalls. Closer to home, they found Jim Brown boats in Rock Hall and St. Mary's County, but those, too, were priced too dear.

They'd already come to North Carolina, so they decided to take the big boat out.

Soon as they were on the water, Terry remembers, "we fell in love with it. It was fast, stable and very easy to handle."

A "very favorable survey" clinched the deal.

As well as the big boat, the Hertzogs fell in love with its builder and his wife. Working side by side, the younger couple heard the story of how Bill Ermer built a boat to take him around the world. Mrs. Ermer, the Hertzogs surmised, "didn't think she'd ever have to do it."

But 12 years later, in 1988, the Ermers launched their boat and sailed as far as the Keys and around Florida. When they came back north, they found the town of Chocowinity, decided they liked it and never set foot back on the boat.

There the big trimaran sat, waiting to knock the socks off Terry and Phil Hertzog. Off even their daughter Erin, now 18.

"Mr. Ermer thought of everything," approves Erin. "Like the way the attachment for the kerosene lamp hangs on your drawer or the table slides out of the way into the engine area."

Her mother agrees: "It's so well built that when we hit a rock jetty one time, the boat did not sink. The large center cockpit is our summer living room. The cabin is aft, with lots of light from big windows across the stern of the boat. There's more storage space than we really should use; we'd be weighing the boat down. And there are solar panels so we make our own electric out on the mooring."

Jim Brown, explains Phil, was a "designer of the simpler-is-better philosophy, who thought cruising more likely to be successful without lots of gadgetry to break down."

To the original hand pumps, the Hertzogs have added electric. they've also added a personal waste-treatment facility.

They brought the big boat home to be their getaway, but that didn't work.

They found it so hard to go home on the weekend that their two-decade deferred dream - living aboard - revived.

"We worked hard 18 years, but deep down over the years we'd thought about living on a boat," Phil recalls, dreamily. "Every year when October rolled around, we'd go to the U. S. Sailboat Show and window shop, thinking what we'd enjoy and might afford five years down the road when it came on the used market. It was kind of like seeing the previews in a movie theater."

You can probably guess the rest of the story.

In a nutshell, they quit high-paying, high-stress jobs in town and are selling their 20-year, Bay-front home to go sailing in the Caribbean and South America.

Their goal, says Terry, "is to work six months and sail six months."

After the Caribbean, says Phil, "we're going to talk about the rest of the world."

How does Godspeed hold up as their dreamboat?Terry Hertzog

Erin, who won't go cruising with her family, misses the comforts of home, from sitting down in a bathtub to cleaning her own room. Ozzie the dog, on the other hand, thinks he's in heaven.

For the grown-up humans,"it's close to ideal for living and cruising, but not perfect for dockside condo living while you're working a 40 hour-week."

But even with near perfection, dreams don't end.

When the 82-foot luxury catamaran Nemo Sualigua sailed into Herrington Harbour North for a week south before heading to the Annapolis Sailboat Show, all Hertzog heads turned.

"That's our dreamboat," they agreed.

Terry Hertzog and husband Phil make their dreamboat Searunner 37 their home.


The Stuff Dreams Are Made of

Whatever your dreams, they'll soar this weekend in Annapolis at the 29th United States Sailboat Show, where hundreds of new sailboats are on display in the water and ashore. Among the latest 1999 designs and models, many of them making their premier appearance, you'll find 'round-the-world cruising yachts, racing boats, performance cruisers, motorsailers and the largest fleet of new multihulls ever assembled. On shore, you'll find dozens of smaller boats, including trailerable cruisers, one-design racers, dinghies, yacht tenders and inflatables.

From all these dreamboats, we've sampled a half dozen of the best of their class. Stoke your imagination here; then see with your own eyes.


Big Dreams

With Dufour's 82-foot, twin-hulled sailing yacht, you can island-hop through the endless island chains studding the azure blue waters of the Caribbean and South Pacific.Nemo Sualigua

"It's like a cruise boat with a catamaran hull," offers Bruce Wilson, owner of Wingfield Yachts, who's bringing this dream boat to the Sailboat Show after keeping it for a week around his offices at Herrington Harbour North in Tracey's Landing.

This particular dreamboat, Nemo Sualigua, at right, is the flagship of nine sleek and well-appointed French-made, custom-crafted twin-hulled yachts made by Dufour for VPM Yacht Charter's cruises in the aforementioned archipelagos. This ocean-going cat departed the warmer climes of the Caribbean isles to headline the United States Sailboat Show at Annapolis.

Dubious though it is that you'd be able to pull off the same sailing stunts on this big bubba as you would on its smaller cat cousins, Nemo compensates with an impressive array of amenities once unheard of for a double hull.

Private cabins within the hulls house cozy quarters for 18, each cabin with its own shower, head and hull-top hatch. One single crew and four double passenger cabins fill either side, with the crew cabins at the bow and the roomier passenger cabins to stern.

The galley, small yet substantially stocked with culinary accouterments, is a fine floating kitchen. An awning-shaded cockpit makes for scenic seaside dining at the stern. The netting on the bow end is a refreshing reminder of the yacht's catamaran roots and is rivaled only by the sun deck atop the saloon as the prime spot to catch a few rays.

Want one? You may want to keep dreaming.

Dufour doesn't build any production cat yachts this big; it would take about $2.2 million to get one of the same for your very own. Production versions are up for grabs, ranging from 39 to 47 feet and costing between $268,000 and $446,000 (fully equipped). Or you can ride somebody else's, island hopping across ze deep bleu sea with VPM over the space of one to two weeks from $1,200 per person (including all, even table wines).

But if you want big-big, be patient. Dufour's new 98-foot version is coming soon.

See Nemo Sualigua at the corner of N and G docks.


Cruising Dreams

With Beneteau's Oceanis 321, at right, you can cruise the oceans wide.Beneteau's Oceanis 321

Is cruising your dream? Here's the boat to measure dreams by, a generously up-scale version of the basics. "What sets it apart from other boats in this class is that it's a Beneteau, which means superior quality in both materials and method of construction," says John Burgreen of Annapolis Yacht Sales and Charters, who's bringing her to the Sailboat Show.

"Robust and reliable, they sail on all the seas of the world," reports the manufacturer. Individualizing all that water, a Oceanis 321 sold in Annapolis was skippered by a single sailor to Nova Scotia, to France, to the Mediterranean and back. "No problems," reports Burgreen.

That means Oceanis 321 is stable (the 'winged' keel is a lead bulb drawing four feet, three inches), swift and, with roller furling, easy to sail.

Designed as a "generous boat," she fits a lot into her 32 plus change-foot length and 11'-3" beam. On deck, that means plenty of room in the open cockpit to handle the boat and to lounge, to walk along the gunwales and to maneuver on the coach roof. There's even a deep swim and sun platform, with a swim ladder, gated transom and shower.inside Beneteau

Inside, she'll spoil you, living up to Burgreen's praise: "luxurious for the price." Hop down the companionway and you'll find big airy berth-cabins fore and especially aft, both with storage space and hanging lockers. In the salon, to starboard, the U-shaped settee seats six and can be transformed into a double berth. To port is another settee and chart table. Headroom in the galley, with its icebox, and double stove and sink, is 6'-3" There's hot and cold water in both galley and head. Throughout, there's lots of cherry-stained mahogany.

Four adults or families up to six fit generously and a few more comfortably on this boat.

For a weekending or cruising boat, this one about as good as a single, a couple or a family can do. Measure your cruising dreams to Beneteau's standard. You can sail away for $86,000.


Customized Cruising Dreams

With a Royal Passport 41, you can live your dream.Royal Passport 41

At 41 feet (with 12'-8" beam), you've dreamed your way to a boat you can live comfortably aboard in the style you're likely accustomed to if you can afford the $315,000 a "relatively well equipped" craft of this pedigree costs. And if you can't? Dreams are free, and at the U.S. Sailboat Show you can come aboard for only your $12 ticket.

Designed by Robert H. Perry, Passports are finished to each buyer's taste. "You get intimately involved," says Thomas Wagner, president of President of Wagner Stevens Yachts in Eastport.

Intimately involved means you choose fabrics, doorknobs, lighting fixtures - even the placement of head and berth. There's lots of louvered and beveled teak, and it's all applied in five coats, then hand-rubbed to a satin varnish. Standard are two staterooms; a single head with sink and shower; "huge" galley with "lots of counter space, three burners, microwave, two sinks, fridge and even freezer. Hot and cold water run in head and galley. "Many consider this to be the ultimate layout for the live-aboard couple," says designer Perry.

Were this not a sailboat, you might never leave such cabins. But come up the companionway, and you rise from comfort to adventure. For this boat is made to sail. Its ancestors a couple of decades back were racers, and in the '80s, Wagner-Stevens sponsored, with Lands End, an entry in the Carlsburg Race, a single-handed run from England to Rhode Island. Local captain Dr. Robert Scott and local sailor Francis Stokes took the Passport over; Scott brought it back alone.

Which says something for the speed, endurance and handling ease of the sea-worthy yacht. "Very fast, stiff and comfortable," says Wagner, "it's also safe, easily handled and well mannered. It's altogether a fun boat to sail." As far or as long as your dream takes you.

If you sail this one away, you become, according to Wagner, "part of the Passport family." If a third of a million dollars seems a lot, consider that it's a cheaper way to become a family than having a kid. And likely lots more fun. Find it on dock B at the U.S. Sailboat Show.


Million-Dollar Cruising Dreams

With Trintella 47, you can circle the globe, calling on port after port while basking in lavish living.

Hand built by Dutch craftsmen, this 47-foot luxury cruiser, at left,"takes perfection to a new standard," says Nancy Cann of Crusader Yacht Sales, who's bringing this beauty to the Sailboat Show.Trintella 46

"Ease of short-handed sailing and performance cruising are what you can expect from a yacht of this pedigree," boasts the manufacturer. Big as this boat is, the deck is so designed and sail plan balanced that two people can manage it. A self-tacking jib and control lines all leading aft to the pilot house give the helmsman total control.

Yes, pilot house. It's hard topped for sailing in bad weather as well as good.

Computer-aided design provides superior stability and speed while composite construction ensures a strong and lightweight craft, according to the manufacturer. The Trintella 47 on display at the Sailboat Show has already circumnavigated the world twice, proving this yacht's safety and cruising ability.

A veritable floating castle, the Trintella 47 is sumptuously appointed and not ashamed to admit it. This maritime mansion accommodates four handsomely in two large cabins fore and aft (each with an in-suite WC and separate shower compartments). As an option, space set aside for a work shop can be fitted with bunk beds, making room for six passengers. Each cabin features a cedar-lined locker and an entertainment center with a TV/Video and CD player. The lucky owner of this boat can also opt for a steam room.

The salon seats six comfortably, and the spacious galley is designed for safety in rough seas. Fine wood and fabrics throughout complete the luxurious surroundings.

Other more practical options include a work bench and vice, a generator, water maker and hydraulic systems.

Cruising World magazine deemed this dreamboat 1998's Best Luxury Cruiser - if money was no object. At a base price of $795,000 (it climbs to over a million), that's a big if. But what fun to dream.


Speed Dreams

With J/125, you can race like a gold-medalist in the Bay, off-shore or ocean.

This brand-new 41-foot speedster, shown at right, is a racer's dreamboat straight out of high-tech heaven. What makes it different from all the other classes of racing boats - different even from the boats in its own family - is its cleverly engineered combination of the best of several worlds.

"The J/125 is a rocket ship that normal mortals can manage even a 60-something with wife with the chute up," says J/Boat designer Robert Johnstone.

How fast? Eight knots upwind is in a breeze; downwind it flies. Not "scary fast," say racers who've tried her, "but just plain fun." The kind of speed she produces is usually coupled with twitchy instability.

Not J/125. This boat is stable, balanced and easy to handle by as few as two people.

And, though stripped down, J/125 is adaptable to daysailing and cruising.

Just what the sailor called for. For J/125 is a creature of popular demand, designed to satisfy the wants of J-boaters still seeking their dream boat.

Here's how it works. First, hull and deck are molded from a laminate so strong that it has been adapted to airplane wings.

Second, a big, heavy bulb-shaped keel - eight feet deep, amounting to 60 percent of the boat's total weight - gives J/125 a low center of gravity. Gaining stability from its keel, J/125 is cut narrow with a 10.6-foot beam. Its big keel also substitutes for the weight of extra sailors, so it's sailable by a couple.

Even a couple of amateurs. In J/125, J/Boats takes pride in having designed from what other boats aren't to create a family boat.

But don't expect J/125 to be luxurious: speed is first and foremost. Accommodations are spartan: four pipe berths, a head, a two-burner stove and an Igloo cooler. If you want to live easier aboard, look at the companion J/120. And remember that J/Boats, like all one-design boats, are all wrong for sailors who want to modify their boat to their own design. Tinker much with a J/Boat, and you're expelled from the class racing competition you buy such a boat to enjoy.

One more thing: to make J/125 your dreamboat will cost about a quarter of a million dollars. If that's a bit high, take a look at J/105, J/Boat's most popular model, advises Paul Mikulski of J/Boats Chesapeake.

See J/125 only at the U.S. Sailboat Show; J/105 is on view at J/Boats Chesapeake any day.


Fast, Affordable Dreams

Very nice, you say, but your dream is simpler: to race like the wind itself over the water feeling not the boat but the elements.

You, lucky dreamer, can achieve your desires for pocket change. Your boat is the Sunfish. First built in Connecticut in wood, Sunfish changed to fiberglass in the 1960s, becoming the first mass-produced boat of its kind. Today they're the most popular in the nation, and for good reason. You can strap your Sunfish on your car and take it anywhere. At 14 feet, it can sail a pond, a river, a lake or Chesapeake Bay.

Wherever you sail a Sunfish, it's loads of fun. Since you sit on the deck instead of inside a cockpit, you're barely above the water as you scoot along. At $2,695, Sunfish ownership is as affordable as it is exhilarating.

You can see a Sunfish anytime at Backyard Boats, 222 Severn Ave., in Eastport. At the U.S. Sailboat show, you can take a free trial ride. Dress to get wet; you'll find Sunfish at a booth near the Annapolis Waterfront Marriott.

pKathy Flaherty contributed to this story.

What's Up at the U.S. Sailboat Show

There may be some tricks, technologies and things you won't learn about sailing at this massive, show of 350 exhibitors and over 200 boats. If so, you write and tell us. Until then, we're content with what is there.

· Boats from all over the world. Sixteen nations - Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan, Mauritius, South Africa, Sweden and Taiwan (plus the United States) - show you the state of the international art of sailing.

· Many, many multihulls: More than 30 new ones, the largest fleet of these racing and cruising catamarans and trimarans ever assembled, show up for this show.

· Miles of nautical mall. OK, 350 booths are not miles. Still, you'll find in them virtually everything you need to commission a new boat or upgrade your current one. You can outfit yourself, too.

· Sailboat rides and races. Sailmakers vie for the DuPont Sailmaker prize for the fastest sails. Big-boat lovers can cruise the Chesapeake on the 74-foot stay-sail schooner Woodwind , while little-boat lovers can try out Sunfish. Kids try sailing aboard a fleet of Optimist dinghies by Vanguard Sailboats.

· Sailing seminars. Learn from the experts about boats, boating systems and cruising at 10:30, noon, 2 and 4 daily.

10-7 (except 6 the 8th and 12th) from Oct. 8-12 for $12 w/ kid discounts except $25 on VIP Thursday. And if sailing's not your thing, your turn comes next week when the United States Powerboat Show comes to Annapolis. Spreading over permanent and floating piers brought in for the show to City Dock: 410/268-8828.

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VolumeVI Number 40
October 8-14, 1998
New Bay Times