On the other side of this same question, what is your favorite thing about Gray Matter?
We love the look, and so many people ask us about the boat - wherever we go. We also love the efficiency - with the Caterpillar 3306 - and rather conservative power / speed requirements - we just hum along at 8.3 knots 5.5gph. We usually adjust the power to hold the 8.3k - which puts us right on 200 mile passage days.
If you ever decide to upgrade to another boat, what would be your first choice and why?
Everyone that has a boat always contemplates the next boat. I think we'd give serious consideration to a newer N62. We'd never use the space in the N76 and we'd complain about the fuel burn. The N63 is nice - we've been on one and there are some nice improvements, but I think we'll be hard pressed to give up Gray Matter anytime soon.
Do you have a favorite destination you've been with Gray Matter? What made it special for you?
We have many special moments; Desolation Sounds, Sea of Cortez, Tuamotos, but if we were to go back to somewhere we've been - it would be Fiji. Best diving, friendly people, nice infrastructure - hard to beat Fiji.
What is the longest single voyage you have undertaken? Did you do anything special to prepare for this particular voyage? If so, what did you do and why?
We spent 9 months cruising from San Francisco to Brisbane Australia. We didn't have as much time as most to prepare, so we spent 3 months in Sea of Cortez before crossing the ocean, to make sure we knew the boat and we were comfortable with the systems. When we met Ken Williams in Cabo San Lucas, while we felt ready, we knew we'd never know as much as Ken when we left for French Polynesia. We were confident we had a good boat and we would learn as we went, and the trip was spectacular.
What is your biggest worry when you are at sea?
That's an easy one - main engine failure. Second - stabilizer failure. In our boat without the main engine we do not have the Naiad stabilizers operating from the wing engine - so it would a long passage without them. Third - lightning strike.
What about when you are at anchor?
On our first time away from the dock, we met James and Jennifer Hamilton on Dirona in the San Juan Islands. James always says - scope and more scope, and we usually anchor with plenty of swing room and 5:1+ of scope. Obviously - wind shifting to a lee shore and anchor dragging is everyone's worry. For us we have a bunk room in the pilothouse, and I'll just sleep up there where I can see the instruments and out all the pilothouse windows from the bunk.