|The welcome sign at Robinhood Marine Center on the coast of Maine|
In the previous post, Don and I got a little side tracked with all the shiny at the Annapolis boat show. We thought about abandoning our plan to find a trusty Cape Dory, and instead we'd get a new boat, because Don loved the light, the styling and the features in the newer layouts, and I was pretty excited about how many more family members we could accommodate with all the beds (smart boat designers). After Annapolis, I went directly to visit my family in Connecticut, and Don left for a business trip. We reconvened at home, and compared notes, and luckily, we both came to separate but matching conclusions that a new boat just wasn't us. It didn't fit our plan. So, we spent the next few weeks getting our Cape Dory search back on track.
|Robinhood Marine Center in December; all the boats are put away for the winter|
In late November, Don found three boats that looked great; two Cape Dory's and a Robinhood - and all of them were at the Robinhood Marine Center in Maine. We already established that we were willing to go to the East Coast to look at a good boat, but Maine was about as far from California as you could go. But, in addition, we would get to visit Cape Dory history. The company was founded in Massachusetts in 1963 by Andy Vavolotis. In 1991, the Cape Dory name and their powerboat designs were sold to a (now closed) New York Shipyard, and parts of the Cape Dory boat building operation, including some of Carl Alberg-designed hull molds, and the marine hardware division of the company - Spartan Marine - were moved to Robinhood, Maine. The Robinhood 36 and 40 are still being manufactured from the Cape Dory 36 and 40 molds, and many of the original Cape Dory staff, including Andy Vavolotis and Dave Perry, are still making and selling great boats at Robinhood.
We booked a quick red-eye trip to Maine for the first weekend in December, and truth be told, I sort of braced myself for disappointment, even though I was excited to see and meet some of the history of the Cape Dory sailing community. We stayed in Historic Bath, and even though we froze our tails off, we were both utterly charmed by the maritime history of Portland, Bath and the surrounding areas. It was a good sign.
|Don standing in Dave Perry's office, taking in the view of the marina|
|One of the Cape Dory molds in the yard. I think Dave said this was from a CD28.|
|Don and Dave back at Robinhood to look at the second |
boat of three we were interested in.
|The lovely, curved swell of a Robinhood hull, made with a Cape Dory mold.|
|Don and Dave talking about the engine (Yanmar) on the Robinhood 36|
|Dave Perry answering Don's questions about the Robinhood 36, |
on the hard, under wraps for the winter.
|I am so cold in this photo (I feel it all over again just looking at the image), |
but inside, I was already singing love songs to this boat.
|Our surveyor took this photo in late afternoon sun, |
and I like the geometry of light, shadow and wood slats.