What a long strange trip it’s been. Today as we clambered down off our last yacht on the eastern seaboard, the broker showing us this “long shot” boat asked if we had a lot of experience sailing cruising catamarans. I said no, we’ve always sailed monohulls, in fact our last boat was a Bill Luders-designed 42′ Clipper. He looked at us in amazement. His brokerage just moved from the site of the Luders boat yard a few miles from Norwalk and he personally knew Bill Luders and is still saddened by his untimely death at 90! The Luders Yard had just burned down forcing the move of his brokerage. I had probably the last correspondence, in his shaky hand, telling me that while he could answer any question about the Clipper because he’d designed the yacht, he was dying of cancer and he wasn’t going to use what little time he had left answering questions.
I showed him photos of Spellbound. He smiled and said what everyone says, “Beautiful.” This connection to one of the masters of yacht design still thrills me to this day. Our country has had so many brilliant navel architects, it’s probably why we don’t sing God Save the Queen. Herreshoff to Stephens, Luders is one of the greats and it was a privilege to fair out that hull.
As we circle the eastern seaboard again and head back down to Florida from Connecticut, I can only smile at the connections we’ve made. I can’t wait to see what happens next, as Hammer Time approaches. Stay tuned!