photos: Scott Rocknak
Lessons in Sense
A moment experienced with ownership.
Just out of school, I went to look at a well-used and well-loved 1939 S&S designed Crosby-built racing sloop. I was considering it for myself. Being wood, it was not as familiar as the composite boats I had cared for and owned. On sage advice a well know local boat builder told me how to look at something like this.
He said; ”Close your eyes and run your hand over it”
The HH 55 is a boat that lends itself to being learned that way. Masculine angles intertwined with feminine curves. Finished to beyond seeing. It’s meant to be learned with all the senses. As with that 1939 creation, its the effort of very talented labor and design that draws in the human affection. It’s one of those rare things worthy of ownership.
You can “see“ any boat at a boat show. Or maybe, just maybe, be fortunate and take an example out for a demonstration sail. You get an impression. Yet, there is one experience that evades almost all. One that certainly is more elusive, perhaps even exclusive. That being:
There’s a diffused light entering at a low angles through the tinted windows. You’ll see the change in luminosity as it moves along the varnished trim. The cabin sole glows, still illuminated with courtesy lamps turned on before first light. The stainless on the stove and fridges come to life.
Your coffee comes outside with you as your feet leave tracks on the dew covered teak. Faint white-noise from cabin fans escape through open hatches. The scent of the island, palm, pine, or cedar. Your guests are still asleep. A good roast in your mug, a chamois cloth, and the morning light become some of your favorite things.
The brochures show how the boat would look to others. Now you know what it looks like to you. It the subtle things that your gaze enjoys.
Your sense is that you are part of something different. Something created. Something unique. Literally or figuratively, the boat has become your home.
Some will say they sleep better onboard. Others will say their best sleep is on the boat.
There’s a sense of satisfaction you have welcomed your crew. They imagine their return.
Every guest have their home aboard. There is place for their stuff and new found treasures. As the present becomes memory the recollections will be gratifying. Large, tall, shorter, or small are accommodated. The cabins are open to light and have passage to the outside for those that want and need for that to be.
Gentle under cove lighting, opening ports and hatches for natural air, quiet climate control when desired. a smooth touch everywhere.
A driving rain of a passing squall jostle your guests from slumber. Emerging from their cabins for breakfast, they will find their own space in the salon. A combination of choice awaits; four to six at the table; a couple on the forward sofa; one at the chart table; or, of course, the ubiquitous gaggle of characters that occupy the galley.
Your morning meal continues to conversation. Your hand rubs along the solid teak trim as you continue your thoughts.
When the torrent becomes a trickle, everything inside become outside. Slide all the door panels to port or starboard and the salon and the cockpit become one. The magic of the design and method offer space and room.
Clank, clank, clank, announces the anchor coming up. A new day begins.
the next chapter coming soon
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