Why We Cover So Much Territory – Because We Can

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Recently someone commented to us on the amount of territory we cover with Wind Horse, and asked why we approach cruising in this manner.


The answer is relatively simple: because we can. Wind Horse is so comfortable underway, 95% of the time we pay no penalty compared to being at anchor, that the distance required to travel to a somewhat exotic destinations is not a psychological impediment. We enjoy being under way, especially on longer passages. The ability to maintain a high average rate of speed, typically eleven knots or 265 miles a day, extends our options in terms of seasonal weather patterns .

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This allows a wide variety of destinations in a single cruising season. Take 2008 as an example:

  • California to Panama direct
  • Bahamas
  • Nova Scotia
  • Newfoundland
  • Labrador
  • Greenland
  • Ireland
  • Great Britain

This cruise took place between April and September. We experienced a wide array of environments, met interesting locals from a several different cultures, and saw an amazing display of nature’s wonders.

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When we designed Wind Horse our original concept was to visit a few places a season and hang out. But the first summer in Southeast Alaska opened our eyes to what Wind Horse made possible. It was so easy to move her, there were no weather issues, and the views from the great room so enthralling, that we spent the summer of 2006 on the go. We experienced more in that one summer than had been the case in three or four cruising seasons in the past.

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This set a pattern we have followed since. We enjoy the tropics, and warm, clear water like in Fiji.

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And love the higher latitudes. Greenland (above), and

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Norway being two favorites.

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The villages of Newfoundland and Labrador have a unique appeal.

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As does London.

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And if you are in the British Isles you have to share an anchorage with a haunted castle.

We have been cruising most of our lives. In the  30 years prior to Wind Horse we had circumnavigated, made the Capetown, South Africa to West Indies run twice (5800 NM each), been back and forth through the Panama Canal a bunch of times, not to mention four jaunts through the South Pacific. And we’d just scratched the surface of what there is to see and do.  Being “mature” we are much more aware of the limits nature is trying to place on us, our biological clocks are ticking, and we want to make the most of what is left. With her speed and comfort, Wind Horse enhances our opportunities, and never having been known to waste a good thing, we have been putting those abilities to work.

Coming back now to the original question, why we are putting so many miles under our keel? It is because we love being at sea as long as it is comfortable, enjoy meeting people, and are drawn to new experiences. And because we can.

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If you haven’t kept up to date, here are a few articles on this subject that might be of interest:

Time Machine, a detailed look at our 2008 cruising season is here.

A Different Perspective looks at FPB cruising from a woman’s viewpoint here.

Wind Horse 50,000 Miles Later – A Few Thoughts is here.

Finally, there are a series of videos of our travels with Wind Horse here.

And slide shows here.



Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 25, 2011)

8 Responses to “Why We Cover So Much Territory – Because We Can”

  1. Sigmund Krøvel-Velle Says:

    And where are you going this season? And the next?
    Wish you a good voyage!
    Sigmund Krøvel-Velle.

  2. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Sigmund:
    No firm plans yet. This season we will probably spend in the Bahamas and East Coast of the US. We have a lot going on which requires us closer to home base. Next year – we are thinking of back to the South Pacific.

  3. John Says:

    Maybe you’ve got to do some sailing before you can really appreciate the Windhorse approach to powerboating? Or am I just saying that the Windhorse is the sailing sailor’s powerboat?

  4. William B. Kelleher Says:

    Thank you for writing about your outlook and feelings of cruising on Windhorse.

    Bill Kelleher

  5. John Says:

    I wish you both many years of cruising!

    Yet, I am concerned who will carry on your work.

    Is there a younger generation of designers/cruisers, both for sail and power, building on what you have done?

    Who are they?

  6. Steve Dashew Says:

    Thanks for the kind words, John:
    As to young designers, those who follow our path will probably be cruisers and seamen first, designers second. The experience of living with the seas will help to educate them on how to make choices (at least choices which we consider appropriate).

  7. ray Says:

    so occasionally i find it useful to approach a situation from an uncomfortable point of view – perhaps you cruise as much as you do because you have become uncomfortable on the grid… – your comments on this site about the utility of the boat if the s^&t really hit the fan points to this in my view –it’s aesthetics etc… – also i really continually wonder whether the waterline of the 80 something footer is that much easier on the body than the 60 something footer – Have you all cruised on the smaller model at all? Would you cover the same ground? thanks – prospective customer Ray

  8. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Ray:
    We have not yet done a passage on the FPB 64, but we have done sea trials and know she acts as expected. Compared to Wind Horse she is about 24 miles a day slower (i.e. a knot). Motion is comparable except going to weather where there are two differences: the FPB 64 has a softer landing when she drops into a trough, and she has a bit more amplitude to the pitch angle. The first is positive, the second negative, and on balance they offset each other.