Preview: The Three Boats I Lust After (and Why)

January 1, 2012

Kaci Cronkhite

I’m lucky. Boat lust led to some amazing adventures with nothing to hide from my mother. Naive to boats just two short decades ago, my love of Quarter Horse curves transferred to beamy double-enders and land winds that came sweeping down the plains led to sea winds blowing across on long ocean swells. Double-enders are the boats that first caught my eye, flamed a passion, and continue to hold my heart to this day. From a first sail on an Eric Jr. to a circumnavigation on an Orca 38, (think Colin Archer) to my first experience owning a boat, the Danish Spidsgatter Pax, lust turned to love for double-enders and still makes my world go ‘round.

 

 

Eric Junior, designed by William Atkin

It might have been my flexing knees on the dock that started the flashback, or maybe it was the shape of that beamy boat with the bow and stern cleated to a piling. Whatever it was, the first time I swung my leg ovr a lifeline, coiled a line and left a harbor, I was flooded with metaphors of my Oklahoma childhood on a ranch. Go figure. Boats resonated because I grew up on horses and in the wind. When this beamy Atkin double-ender pulled a little away from the dock as I started to get aboard, I reacted the same as with a horse that leans away as you step in the saddle. I knew that boat wasn’t going far, wouldn’t buck too hard, and once aboard would rock gently back to center, buoyant beneath me, responsive, an easy ride.  That proved true for a first sail and later, for a six month upwind passage from Australia to Hawaii. Crossing the terrible Tasman Sea, we were hove-to for 10 of 19 days, and having two pointy-ends is a mighty comfort with southern ocean swells smacking from any angle, day after day. Childhood bliss and a primal urge for survival were clearly mixed together, no doubt, in my “lust” for the Eric Jr. [Kaci, does this boat have a name, and if so, can we add it?] 

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