Dorade wins the Transpacific

“They said we’d never make it and if we did it would take four weeks,” said Dorade skipper and co-owner Matt Brooks. “Skeptics said it was like taking a fine piece of antique furniture and dropping it in the ocean, and she shouldn’t be sailed hard in blue waters.”

Photography & Boats

The two go hand and hand, really.  The golden light, the movement of the water, the texture of the lines and wooden planks, the colors of canvas and the ever changing sky, reflections on a calm sea, and the simple shape of a well crafted vessel.

Don't forget to bring your camera on your next boating adventure!

*Photos discovered on Pinterest. To view more photos, follow FHY on Pinterest

Forbes Horton Yachts & Crabs

The fourth of July brings many things to the Chesapeake bay maritime industry.  Visitors flock to Annapolis to enjoy the sights and to eat blue crabs at exorbitant prices.  Wayward yachters often take the opportunity to casually inspect a few boats while in town and in the right hands can become owners by the 5th (they should have gone for the crabs).  With crabs at $100/dozen it is hard not to justify paying for the 50.00 fishing license and to try and  fill the steam pot.  If you ever see a Fleming 55 running a trot line or an Eastbay 49 hauling traps you can bet a bushel that it's a savvy FHY client enjoying natures bounty.

A Laser from the 1800's

If Nat Herreshoff had designed the Laser this is what it would have looked like. The Melonseed is one of the most handsome day sailors and they sail as good as they look. The boat’s sheer line is subtly springy and her low freeboard and deck camber contribute to the elusiveness of her lines. Her work boat origins dictated her low profile, wide side decks and shallow draft. Her stem profile and transom shape are purely aesthetic and in my opinion works of art. The boats beam and full stern sections make her amazingly stiff and can be sailed from the leeward side without any hesitation. This is a photo of the boats builder Roger Crawford at the tiller of one of his little masterpieces. Good Sailing!

Two Shirt Day

Showing boats in January is about as much fun as doing it in August.  When the humidity peaks and the thermometer hits 90 you can only imagine what it is like on inside of a boat that has been baking on the hard.  The same holds true for midwinter. Icy decks and ladders buried in snow are just two of the perks.  When the Mid-Atlantic summer is in full swing and those languid SW breezes lazily turn the anemometer, we pull out the spare shirt that all FHY brokers keep close at hand.  Nothing says professionalism quite like going from a showing to closing looking like you fell off the Eastport Bridge.  If you have had the pleasure of closing a boat on an August afternoon and wondered how the FHY boys stay so crisp, it is all in the starch.  This photo of “DORA” was taken last winter while showing a boat on Tilghman Island. This was a two shirt day for exactly the opposite reason. Could I have worn two shirts without looking homeless, I would have.

The Way Life Should Be

When I was growing up the Maine license plates all used to say“Vacationland”.  Those of us that lived there knew the truth and that for 6 weeks of the year that statement was absolutely correct.  Sometime in my early adolescence, the slogan changed to “the way life should be”.   For six fleeting weeks, life along the coast of Maine exemplifies these sentiments.  The York toll on a Friday night does not.  This photo shows an idyllic summer day, which I assume to be a Sunday, along the coast. Any other day the moorings would be empty.  If you have the opportunity get your boat up to Maine this summer, you should take it in order to truly experience the way life should be.

- Forbes Horton

Welcome to the Dark Side

The FHY team had a great time at the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show last weekend.  We had a strong presence and some might say we are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to selling powerful, capable, blue water sailboats.  For those of you interested in selling your sailboat and moving into a powerboat, we are well versed in helping sailors to the “Dark Side”.


A caption from "The Golden Century" by Ross MacTaggart about Gem, a 164 ft motor yacht built in 1913,
After a very difficult week, you're lying in a chaise on the aft deck of you 50-foot yacht. The stress you've felt all week is slowly draining from your face. Suddenly, a shadow blocks the warm, invigorating sun from your face. Opening your eyes, you see your wife blocking the sun; she asks you a question. Before answering, you note sudden and dramatic change in her face. Gone is the casual and familiar look, its replacement one of wonder, even apprehension, as her eyes stare, seemingly riveted, as something off the stern. Worried, you get up and... gasp. Coming toward you is an apparition both elegant and dangerous looking. As it glides by, you stare openmouthed at the vessel, long and low to the water, with her 18-foot beam an extraordinary contrast to the 164-foot length - like a huge pencil, you think. The twin stacks puff a greeting while the captain waves from the raised pilot station. Dumbly, you wave back as the plumb bow before you knifes through the waves. your eyes wander up to the long, carve scrollwork, and as the apparition cruises by, your stare remains fixed - like watching a long train go by - as foot after foot of Gem finally appears, only to slowly disappear. A few moments pass before your wife pinches you and asks, "Was that real?"

- Lloyd Cooper

Sugar Scoop

The New England winters play tricks on the mind and cause residents to hatch and execute ideas that the less vernalized folks of the Mid – Atlantic would only dream of.  My father decided one winter that SKATER, his beloved Norseman 400, would look and sail better if she had a sugar scoop.  Sounds simple right?  It is not.   After  calling West Marine to confirm that  they did not have one in stock, the decision was made to build one from scratch.   It would take pages to explain the design process and the hours of head scratching that went into the plan so I will only attempt to explain my favorite part.

These photos show the finished scoop being installed by yours truly and my father, CF Horton Sr., one early spring day circa 1999.  After prepping the transom and dry fitting the scoop, it was commitment time.  We buttered up SKATER's after sections with west system epoxy, said a few prayers under our breath and mushed the scoop into place.  After we had positioned and bolted the scoop and cleaned the oozing epoxy from the joint, I remember saying  “well dad, I hope you like it”.  I don’t remember a time now or since of ever seeing my father so nervous.  Epoxy is forever.  I don’t think the yachts designer could have done a better job and she sails faster and looks better than ever.  Maybe those winters aren't so bad after all.

- Forbes Horton

Thomas Gillmer ~ March Designer of the Month

Our March designer of the month is Thomas Gillmer, Maryland’s adoptive son. The following biography was taken from
“Thomas Gillmer was born in 1911 in Warren, Ohio and became interested in ships at an early age. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1935 he served on light cruisers in the Pacific and Mediterranean. He became an instructor in naval construction, damage control, and marine engineering at the Naval Academy during World War II and eventually became chairman of the naval engineering department.

In 1967 he retired from active teaching at the Academy and began to devote full time to the design of yachts and ship replicas. Some of his most noted yacht designs include Blue Moon in 1946 followed by the Southern Cross. In the early 1960s, he produced the design of what was to be of the first fiberglass yacht to circumnavigate the earth: the 30 foot Allied Seawind. The 32 foot Seawind II was his extension of the original design based on thousands of successful oceangoing Seawind miles. His design of the Privateer 26 and 35 revealed his love for traditional lines, clipper bows, extended sprits, and counter transoms.

In 1976-77 he designed the 'Pride of Baltimore I' and, in 1979, the schooner 'Lady Maryland'. In 1986 the 'Pride of Baltimore I' was struck and sunk by a violent squall off the coast of Puerto Rico. Gillmer extended and modified his original design for additional seaworthiness and produced the 'Pride of Baltimore II'. Most recently, the overhaul of the 'USS Constitution' was carried out based on Gillmer's prepared studies.”
Examples of all of Gillmer’s designs can be seen at

A Gillmer design that is close to our hearts at FHY is the Southern Cross 35, Prudence. Prudence has passed through many hands with FHY brokers Bill Day and Scott Taylor handling the sales. Bill has sold Prudence 3 times and Scott has sold her once. With her canoe stern, sensible sail plan and honest construction, Prudence is the epitome of an ocean cruiser. She has crossed the Atlantic twice and has sailed the East Coast and the Caribbean countless times. She is now cruising the Bahamas with her current owners and at least one photo of their trip has already been featured on our blog, the manatee encounter.

Welcoming Spring?

We can be sure that warm weather is heading our way soon, though it may not feel like it. We woke up to piles of snow yesterday morning all across Maryland.

A client of FHY found this lovely scene on the way to his Bowman 48 in Oxford.

However, just a few hundred miles south, the flowers are blooming.

Scott Taylor spent the weekend in Oriental, NC, where he took this photo, on a survey for a Najad 370.

Hopefully, we will all thaw out with the 60 degree weather coming next week!

Bad Hair Day in Paradise

This shot was taken by my wife, Jamie, on Shinbone Alley while we were waiting for a weather window for the next leg of our journey south.  One of things I like most about the photo is the way our shadows were cast against the pink building on the right.  You can clearly see by the giant lopsided silhouette of my head that I was overdue for a trim.  If you can you guess where Malcolm’s Barbershop is located submit your answer on a completed central agency agreement and I will not only sell your boat but I will buy you a dark and stormy at the Annapolis Boat show.

- Forbes Horton

Article from Chesapeake Bay Magazine - FHY Broker, Scott Taylor sailing with his daughter, Chandlee.

Several of our brokers enjoy sailing with their children. In the FHY office, we'll often see Forbes Horton sailing his Herreshoff 12.5 or, as in this photo, Scott Taylor aboard a Penguin dinghy.

We are all looking forward to getting on the water as Spring arrives and the weather warms up.

Last of the Mohegans (for now)

UNCAS named for the last sachem of the Mohegan tribe is a N. G. Herreshoff designed Buzzards Bay 18 and is the first one to be built since 1904!  There were 5 boats built originally during the winter of 1903/1904 and construction details are scant.  The wizards of wood at Artisan Boat Works in Rockport, Maine built UNCAS for her new owners in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.  This photo of her transom, taken at the Maine Boat Builders Show by C. F. Horton Sr., exemplifies captain Nat’s genius and Artisan Boat Works’ flawless execution.  Bravo.

- Forbes Horton

Well Protected

The new owner of this Pacific Seacraft 44 is working with Diversified Marine to put the boats bottom back to factory spec. The light grey material is the remnants (after sanding) of a factory installed barrier coat installed over the beige gel-coat.

The vinyl ester resins used by PS, have served extremely well to protect the boats laminate, even after (6) years in the tropics.

- Scott Taylor

The Energy 48

With modern yacht designers catering to the ever important trend of efficient powerboats the Energy 48 has to be one of my all-time favorites.  Her exquisite sheer and her brightly finished house would lead one to believe that she is descendant of the venerable Jonesport line of lobster boats made so popular by the great Will Frost.  For the oarsmen out there who have had any time aboard an Alden Ocean shell the lines may be familiar.  The Barnacle as she, in my opinion, is so inappropriately named, a barnacle being a sedentary creature, is an enlarged Alden Ocean shell built by the late Arthur Martin, the designer and builder of the famed rowing shells.  I remember, as a young boy, seeing her running smartly out of Portsmouth harbor at an easy 14 kts with her 100 hp Westerbeke barley ticking over.

This photo was taken while Barnacle was at rest a few summers ago on one of my family moorings in Kittery Maine.  Before you write a check for an expensive and overly complicated hybrid solar powered motor boat it would be worth looking to the past for efficiency.   Yankees hate fuel bills more than anyone on the planet and if you want an efficient hull, look for a boat designed north of the Piscataqua.

- Forbes Horton

Manatee Encounter

A client of Scott Taylor, cruising off the coast of the Bahamas, took this beautiful shot from a paddle board.

Some Feedback About a Great Boat

FHY broker, Bill Day recently heard back from some very happy and well traveled clients to whom he sold this 1985 Wauquiez 42.

The buyers report they…
"...have traveled over 7,000 miles since we last saw you.  We spent the winter of 2011-2012 in the Caribbean and went as far south as Dominica.  The following spring we crossed the Atlantic with stops in Bermuda and the Azores and after exploring some of Atlantic Europe we have spent the winter in Morocco.  Our plans for the rest of 2013 are to tour the Atlantic Islands (Canaries, Madeiras, more of the Azores) and make our way to Ireland and the English Channel.  Our winter plans are still up in the air as it is still a fair way off."

Experienced Broker

Forbes' son, Hendrix, hard at work.

"At FHY we pride ourselves as being  innovative and forward thinking with an eye towards harnessing new talent.  Our brokers are of the highest caliber and make excellence a habit."

- FHY Owner, Forbes Horton


The Golden Age of Yachting

"One of the things I remember about the large steam yachts was their characteristic and delightful odor. If you passed under the stern or close to leeward of one of them you smelled the combined odor of the new varnish, linseed oil, brass polish, Havana cigars and champagne, all mingled with engine room smells and the slight odor of teak and other exotic woods, to say nothing of the burned gasses of the naphtha launches. To a sailor this combination was delightful." - L. Francis Herreshoff
Electra of 1884 was 174 ft and weighed 316 tons. She was the flagship of the New York Yacht Club from 1886 to 1892. Electra came out at the beginning of the electric era and she was completely illuminated with incandescent lights.

- Lloyd Cooper