Quoddy’s Run is a 1976 Kelly-Peterson Cutter-rigged yacht. This means she was designed by Doug Peterson, famous for drawing racing yachts, and produced in Taiwan by Jack Kelly, a San Diego entrepreneur who contracted out the boat to shipyards in Taiwan in the 1970s. This particular boat is hull #13, a number we consider to be her good-luck number. She has seen us safely through some hard seas and difficult moments, and long before we owned her, she survived a fire in the engine room (someone left a wrench on a hot alternator terminal), so we know she’s a tough boat; we count on her to help keep us alive.
Quoddy is on her second engine (because of that fire)–happily a stout Isuzu QD 60, rated at 65 horsepower. As our mechanic-in-Nova Scotia, Kenny Knickle says, “them Isuzus are good for more than 20,000 hours if you look after them right.” With his help and long distance advice when we were far from qualified mechanics, we have tried, and, indeed, I-Suzie fired right up on the first try this year. She has logged some 6700 hours now. She’s parsimonious with diesel, and burns about 2/3 of a gallon an hour going full tilt. We carry 117 gallons of fuel–enough, with sails, to get us across any sea.
A cutter-rigged yacht carries three major sails–the mainsail, of course, and a large foresail–typically a Genoa or a Yankee, and then, a smaller sail closer to the mast and the deck, on a second forestay, the staysail. We also add other sails to this complement now and then–a spinnaker, for example–you can see a picture of that huge lightweight colourful sail here:
Kelly-Petersons are cult boats on the west coast. They are fast, capable, comfortable dry blue water (ie ocean-going) boats, exceedingly well-balanced and easy to helm. If you’re fighting the wheel, you have weatherhelm, which means you have too much mainsail out and need to reef. Many Kelly-Petersons have been around the world; perhaps someday this one will join their company. We’ve been partway around the world–that’s at least a start.
Quoddy is a 44-foot center cockpit vessel, with a 6.5 foot draft; she weighs in at 17 tons. Not a lightweight. Not a bit of tupperwear. Not a “yogurt boat.” Her attributes include an engine/furnace room with removable doors and a ceiling you can lift (if you don’t think this is an an attribute you’ve obviously not seen too many sailboat engine rooms–notoriously tiny awful places), a sail locker, a wet locker, two generous double berths, two marine heads and shower, a compact full galley with a beautiful Force 10 stainless steel propane stove and oven, a deep air-cooled refrigerator/freezer, a navigation station with an SSB radio, gps, radar, a VHF radio, and an FM/AM radio/cd player, a salon, and a dining table that seats four comfortably, and six very cosily.
We carry several anchors and 350 feet of chain on our primary anchor, a skookum (that’s west coast talk for super stout and strong, used in phrases like “we have a skookum mortgage after all of our repairs,”) Italian windlass, 600 feet of nylon line for tying up to canyon walls in deep inland waterways, and an always ready to deploy stern anchor, with 20 feet of chain and 150 feet of rode in a bag. (Don’t throw that overboard after the anchor; secure it please!)
We have a little woodstove onboard, a diesel furnace plumbed to hot water heat throughout the cabin, and an insulated hull, all of which makes the boat exceedingly warm and comfortable in cold climates. (We won’t talk now about the fans we installed in the south; they’re not really necessary right now. But they’re still there, for when we need them. Someday, again.)
We carry six large AGM house batteries and a starter engine battery, which are charged by a wind generator, a solar panel, a high-output alternator, and, if need be, a small portable Honda generator. Along with our desalinating watermaker, and 130 gallons of water tankage, this power supply enables Quoddy’s Run to be self-sufficient at sea for months at a time.
Early reviews of the Kelly-Peterson collaboration and new design described the vessel as “of special interest to the man who wants to take up serious cruising, or coasting, after acquiring the go-fast habits of the racing circuit….She’s a boat for experienced skippers who know what they want…
“The Peterson 44 is one of the new breed of cruising sailboats built to the philosophy that getting there quickly and efficiently is essential to seaworthiness, just as is the ability to withstand a blow” (Graeme Matheson, Pacific Yachting, n.d., 83).
Well….sure. We’re not quite sure that getting anywhere quickly is what a cruising sailboat does best, but we like how beautifully Quoddy’s Run performs, and we know that she can withstand a blow. We also know, we women, dropouts from a certain sort of racing circuit, that our Kelly Peterson, Quoddy’s Run, is the boat for us. She takes us places no other vessel could, and sets us to dreaming, for, as the advertising bumpf for the “Peterson Cutter” puts it, “No port untouched by the blue seas is beyond reach in safety and comfort with the Peterson 44.”
We hope Quoddy’s Run, and our adventures on her, set you to dreaming too–and making your own voyages and stories. We count on you to share them with us!