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HeadOffice: Oyster Marine Ltd Fox's Marina Ipswich Suffolk IP2 8SA England T +44 1473 695005 F: +44 (0) 1473 686861 E: [email protected] Oyster Marine Germany Saseler Str. 192a 22159 Hamburg Germany T: +49 40 64400880 F: +49 40 64400882 E: [email protected] Oyster Marine USA Newport Shipyard One Washington Street Newport Rl 02840 USA T: +401 B46 7400 F: +401 846 7483 E: [email protected] Oyste r Yachts Asia bart. klm [email protected] hk [email protected] Oyster Yachts Russia atexancteF.markarovSoystermarl ne. ru

The Silver Lining

I've had the good fortune to sail quite a few miles in wood boats that were built before World War II. One was a John Hanna-designed Tahiti ketch built in 19^6, on which I sailed across the Pacific; the boat was circumnavigated by her owner and returned home as solid as the day she left.

Another was a Fred Shcpard designed ketch built in England in 1938, on which I sailed halfway across the Pacific; that boat sailed from England to New Zealand and is still cruising in New Zealand's Bay of Islands.

A third was an L. Francis Herreshoff yawl, which I sailed several summers along the New England coastline; she was built in the rgjos and remains today a classic racer cruiser from the old school.

What all three of these boats have in common—other than the fact that they are now almost 80 years old—is that they have been well used at sea and have survived. Also, all were built during the Great Depression, when shipyards were reducing their staffs as times got tougher and tougher. These classics were built from the keel up by the senior boatwrights, the men who would be the last to be laid off, the guys who had the experience, knowledge and passion to build truly great boats...Depression be damned.

This year, as the Great Recession grinds on, we find ourselves in a very similar situation. Boat builders across the country have been forced by the economic downturn to trim their building crews and to forge ahead with teams made up of the most valued and experienced craftsmen—the core Learn that they can't afford to lose.

So, the boats that are coming off the production lines and out of the semi-custom and custom shops are as good as any boats built in America in many years; and I have been reviewing boats for more than three decades.

This fact has hit home with me as I sail aboard and review boats for BWS. The rigs and steering systems are better sel up and have fewer glitches and less awkward installations than in years past. The moldings of hatches and deck parts arc as crisp as i have ever seen. Hulls and decks rarely show "print through" in the fiberglass, and hulls that have been painted show as deep a shine as you can get. Down below, the system installations are neat and secure, while the joinery and gear installations are obviously the work of craftsmen with years and years of experience.

This recession has been worse than anything most of us have ever seen. But, if there is one silver lining, it lies in the new boats being built and launched last year and this year. They are the products of the best pros in the business, and if the past is any indication, they will be around and sailing the oceans for another 80 years. They might be the best built boats ever. If you are in the market, this may well be the time to buy a cruising boat that will become an heirloom.

Volume 15, Number 4

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Ward Lehardy
By Ward LeHardy

udy and I were dose to completing our five-year circumnavigation, with only the Med ■ and the Atlantic left to go. We ¥ had many challenges during those years, and as we approached the Greek island of Symi, another would present itself. They call it "Med-mooring."

"Why not just anchor out and dinghy ashore?" I asked myself. But new adventures are what the sailing life is all about, so into the crowded harbor we went. ! dropped the anchor, made sure it held, then paid out more rode as Judy slowly backed Cormorant towards the wall.

And there stood Mike, cigarette dangling Irom his mouth, clearly waiting for me to toss our stern lines. He wore no identification, never spoke a word, and with only nonchalant nods of his head, the "Mooring Man" of Symi responded to my calls and gestures.

We made it, tightly squeezed between two other sailboats, and thus began our long term relationship with Symi. It was 1994 and the first of three visits over the next several months, followed by a symbolic return visit 15 years later.

Nestled between the sheltering arms of two peninsulas along Turkey's western shore, Symi is 20 miles north of the island of Rhodes, It is part of the Dodecanese chain of 12 Greek islands stretching along the Turkish coast, from Kasteloriso in the south to Patmos in the north.

Oi all the harbors we visited in the Dodecanese Islands, Symi's was the most picturesque. Surrounded by neo-classical homes cascading down the hillsides, with a distinctive clock

SYMI...Then and l\low tower on the point, the harbor captured us with its stunning beauty.

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