ICW Cruise: Charleston's Mega Dock Is a Showcase for World's Most Beautiful Yachts

ICW Cruise: Charleston's Mega Dock Is a Showcase for World's Most Beautiful Yachts


Editor's Note: The ICW series of blog entries details the April 2010 cruise down the ICW made by WaterViewHome Network Publisher David Lott. The purpose of the trip is twofold: to accompany Captain Steve Weisbrod who is delivering a 43-foot Lagoon PowerCat from Lewis, DE, to Key West, FL, where it will become part of a charter fleet, and to visit golf and waterview communities and report on them. You can read all other posts by clicking on the headlines on the list of entries at the end of this installment.

Charleston: Mile 469. After passing Fort Sumter we eased up to the MegaYacht marina at Charleston. Wow, what an experience! Big boat after big boat enchanted our vision.

#20 mega dock sign

The sign at Charleston Marina signals you're in for a visual treat.

The first beauty was the Belle Aventure out of London that was there for major brightwork work. A crew from Quality Boat Work in Newport arrived the next morning to wash down the decks and continue for what was to be months of pain-staking work. (Belle Aventure is an 84′6″ x 17′9″ ketch designed by William Fife III and built by William Fife & Sons, Fairlie, Scotland in 1929.)

#1 Belle aventure stern
Belle being primped for a ball--notice blue tape in prep for varnish.

As we tied up at the dock I heard the sounds of a harmonica and a blues band get closer and closer. I turned toward the water, lo and behold the sounds of a 'blues cruise' got louder and louder. The music sounded great as it eased on by.

#13 Blues boat
Blues cruise: the harp being blown on the stern reminded me of my days with Hat City Blues.

#3 Islandia stern better
Stern of the Islandia, a 136-foot Jongert 40 T--the largest sailboat in the Holland-based Jongert line-up.

Under a menacing sky we walked on to dinner down the long wharf and passed a number of big boats beginning with, the Islandia, a 136-foot (40 meters) Jongert 40 T. According to Nautica.com, "Islandia" was designed by Tony Castro and Peter Sijm and features a steel hull, aluminum upper works and bulbous 11 ft. keel. With a beam of nearly 26 feet, she packs in a lot of comfort.

All the interiors are in mahogany wood, matched with beige colour upholstery and furnishings. The large living room, at the centre of the boat, extremely bright thanks to the numerous glass surfaces, offers a spacious area with TV and dining table able to accommodate 10 persons.

#4 Islandia amidsh
In-mast and in-boom furling make getting under way a snap.

Astern of this room are the three guest staterooms, each with its own bathroom, and the boat owner's stateroom. This latter stateroom is a true suite, with two large twin beds and a smaller bed, a lounge with an L-shaped sofa, a desk and a wardrobe. Its bathroom has a separate shower compartment.

#7 Islandia bow use
Islandia is impressive from every angle.

At the bow there is a large on-board galley, almost professionally equipped, the crew dining area and their cabins, each with separate shower and bathroom. Next along the line was a smart looking Grand Banks trawler, usually the recipient of many admiring looks, but here she is outshone by debutantes of international stature.

#8 Grand Bank
Grand Banks trawler sitting with the big boys.

We continued on our way down this walk of fame and encountered Themis. At 156 ft. she was 10 feet longer than Islandia and sitting pretty with an aluminum hull and superstructure, she is clearly designed to go places and quickly.

She weighs in at 215 tons and can cruise at 1,500 miles going 20 knots. The distance jumps to 6,800 nautical miles when you drop the cruising speed in half to 10 knots. She has five staterooms, each with its own bath. And as a nice touch, the flybridge features a six-person hot tub, plus bar with sink, refrigerator and ice maker. Care to invite a few friends over?

#9 Themis stern
Themis has plenty of room for lounging around.

I had seen this boat before, in my home port of Vineyard Haven.

#10 Themis side
Themis comes from the drafting boards at Trinity Yachts, Inc.

#11 another beauty
Here's another beauty, complete with a center cockpit.

#12 Tamison George Town
Tamsen, from Perini Navi, now out of George Town.

The biggest girl on the dock, however, was Tamsen, a 171 ft luxury yacht that was completed by Perini Navi in 2007. The steel-hulled super yacht takes 12 guests on board along with a crew of five. With twin Catepillar engines, she cruises at 12 knots with a range of 3,400 miles.

#14 Tameson radar
You won't get lost on Tamsen.

#23 Tamsen
Ready for boarding.

#15 Tamsen life rings
Double rings.

#17 Tamsen bow
Tamsen's reflective glory.

#19 Tamsen shoes
Be prepared to walk softly on the Tamsen decks.

Marina restaurant

Marina restaurant.

We continued on to the marina restaurant which offered fresh caught seafood. Our waitress and her husband live on a boat, as does Captain Steve, Captain John who steered Avanti and me to Martha's Vineyard two years ago and many others whom I have met on this trip. It gets me thinking maybe I should give it a try.

The next morning I am to meet Julie Dombrowski who will take me to Daniel Island. As I prepare to leave our boat I see a familiar boat out in the harbor, the When and If, which makes its home in Vineyard Haven.

#16 When and if
When and If: built for General George Patton for him to sail 'when and if' World War II ended. The war ended, but Patton never sailed her, dying just weeks after the conclusion of hostilities.

On my down the dock I also spy a crew working on Belle Aventure.

#21 swab deck with cascade
Swabbing the deck with Cascade.

I notice they are sprinkling Cascade, the dish washing soap, into a bucket and swabbing the deck with it. I asked why and was told it was perfect for making the wood swell and lifting out the dirt.

#22 men on deck
The men look at what will be months of work.

I am happy to be going to a golf community to look at new homes and the golf course and leaving the men and their work behind. My morning is definitely going to be more fun.

Next Entry: Daniel Island and a new neighborhood.

Follow the Complete Trip Down the ICW by clicking on the headlines below.

**ICW Trip Announcement

DAY 1 - Havre de Grace, MD - Engine Trouble**

DAY 2 - Alligator River Marina, NC - River Forest, NC

DAY 2: A Visit to River Dunes, Oriental NC

DAY 3 - The Oriental Boat Show Is a Town-Wide Celebration

DAY 4 - Tiptoeing Past Firing Lines to North River Club & Brunswick Forest

DAY 5 - St. James Plantation Marina - New Home Construction

DAY 6: Charleston's Mega Dock Is a Showcase for the World's Most Beautiful Yachts

Day 6: Daniel Island's Mitchell Wharf Offers Deepwater Docks, River Views

Day 6: Harbour Town Yacht Club with All the Trimmings on Hilton Head Island

Day 7: Discovering Windmill Harbour's Elegance and Privacy on HHI, SC

Day 8: Going 'Outside' to Fernandina & The Peaceful Marshes at Oyster Bay Harbour'

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