Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Thoughts on Bowditch and Timberwind

In response to a few questions I've received, here are a few thoughts on these schooners.

I have sailed on both of these vessels. I will be sailing on both again this year. They are very different boat designs. What they have in common is that they are unique in the Maine fleet. There is no other boat like either one. Actually they have a few other features similar to each other.

Both Bowditch and Timberwind were designed as deep water vessels, unlike the coasting schooners. They are both keel boats with drafts around 10-11 feet. They were both designed for long term offshore running and they were both constructed in Maine. The jobs they were designed for are totally different. Bowditch is the only classic yacht in the fleet. Timberwind was the pilot boat for Portland.

Both vessels are being restored from rough condition by families of of four who are newer to the fleet.. Neither is in the "bristol" condition of the more established cruising boats. However, they are both in excellent sailing shape, have comfortable basic accomodations and very good captains and cooks. Sailing with either family is kind of like sailing on a friends giant sail boat as opposed to a cruise type feel.

Timberwind's Bob and Dawn Tassi sail as a team. He is the captain, she is their cook and does as well as any I've experienced.. Their two kids Will and Emily are on board a lot of the season. Capt. Owen and Cathie Dorr of Nathaniel Bowditch were not both sailing last season. They have two younger sons. Cathie is planning to be on board more this year. Owen's brother Paul Dorr, a fleet veteran, has been their cook and he is an excellent one.

Both boats offer very authentic sailing experiences. They have fewer comforts than some boats but their heads are below deck. Bowditch features an airy midship galley and very open "racing" style deck. It is an exciting boat to sail on and handles like a Ferrari. Timberwind is cozier and is more of a great performing pick up truck. There isn't much Capt. Tassi can't get her to do if he wants.

Timberwind sails from Rockport which is an enchanting experience. Bowditch has a great location in Rockland. She is tied up next to J&E Riggin right in the middle of town at the MBNA dock off the boardwalk.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information I think I'll be sailing on Timberwind the week I'll be up there > If possible I'll try to squeeze in a sail on Bowditch