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Guided Discovery: Show Boating In Newport (Blog)

Hop aboard Guided Discovery, our October cover boat, with blogger/owner Les Shapiro and experience the Newport International Boat Show from the decks of the Outer Reef 630 LRMY.
Outer Reef 63 "Guided Discovery" running in Miami, FL

Editor's note: Head on over to Les and Diane's blog, and read more about their lives aboard as well as the lead up to the newport show. You can also see Billy Black's photo shoot of Guided Discovery here.

Getting Show Ready

The header here implies that I had more work to ready the boat for the show. Well, this was clearly not the case. Except for the installing the "formal" bedspread in the master stateroom, removing the canvas covers and putting a few item away, all of which are done in the morning before the show opens, the only big item was detailing the boat. Outer Reef contracted with All Class Detailing for that project.

As we arrived, the Newport show was just beginning to take shape.

As we arrived, the Newport show was just beginning to take shape.

All Class Detailing and especially its president, Paul Minnucci, are all class. They had team members on the boat from Tuesday morning to Wednesday evening. I can say with confidence that they cleaned every inch of the boat, inside and out. Talk about attention to detail.

Beyond a very thorough exterior cleaning, they restored the teak on the aft deck and swim platform (a two step process), cleaned the gas grill and detailed the tender. Paul closely supervised the project and made sure the finished product exceeded his expectations, which quite frankly were more demanding than mine.

The bottom line is that starting on Tuesday morning Kodi and I were free to explore and enjoy Newport and that is exactly what we did. Tuesday morning we walked west to the New York Yacht Club, a distance of 3 miles.

The crew at Outer Reef (L to R): Mike, Tracey, John, Jeff and Danny.

The crew at Outer Reef (L to R): Mike, Tracey, John, Jeff and Danny.

Wednesday we headed east, crossed the bridge and explored Goat Island, a distance of 4 miles. On the way we passed the Newport Shipyard, a yard with a 500 metric ton Travel Lift giving them the capability to haul mega yachts. At noon, Lesley and Amelia joined me for lunch at the Midtown Oyster Bar.

Thursday, Kodi and I headed east again this time walking all the way the Newport Naval Base, a distance of 4.4 miles. This route took us past an entire block of historic homes.

Before leaving on the walk I took a photo from the flybridge. It has been fun to watch the process of transforming a bunch of boats into a sparkling in-water boat show with manufacturer banners and perfectly detailed boats.

Post Show Celebration

The Newport Boat Show ended on Sunday, September 14 at 5:00 PM. My Outer Reef friends asked if they could blow our Kalenberg (read as very loud) air horn as is traditional at the show's end. We immediately evacuated Kodi knowing that she would be upset by the noise. The horns never blew. Apparently New Englanders are more civilized than other regions.

Kodi proudly displaying her boat show credentials.

Kodi proudly displaying her boat show credentials.

Blowing the horn would have been appropriate as we had much to celebrate. On Thursday at the start of the show Mike handed me a copy of PassageMaker's October issue with Guided Discovery on the cover (and me too if you look hard enough).

On Friday, we closed on our Chicago property making us official "liveaboards." And finally, on Sunday, we finished our boat show obligation.

Three Cheers: Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah!

Newport was great fun, which was not the case with the other three shows. Miami was consumed with resolving boat-problems as was Lake Park. We headed off to Sarasota during Palm Beach and did not return until it was over. At Newport I actually enjoyed the town, went on boats, including a 75 foot Molokai Straights being brokered by Outer Reef, and enjoyed the exhibitor displays.

Kodi also had a good time. She sat with me in the Outer Reef tent and entertained passers by. The conversations always seem to follow a pattern. Someone will walk by and say "that's a pretty dog" or ask if they can pet her. This is almost always followed by the question "how old is she?" My answer is always the same. "She can tell you."

The puzzled reaction is predictable. At that point I put her in a down settle and ask "how old are you?" She counts to six with her paw. A crowd usually gathers and we proceed to put on a show of our own. Kodi loves to perform. In retrospect I should have put out a hat. I bet we would have made a hundred dollars.

During the show I met a gentleman who follows my blog and who is a serious prospect. He spent considerable time on the boat both with John and myself.

A view of the show from Guided Discovery's flybridge.

A view of the show from Guided Discovery's flybridge.

Diana and Pam flew in from Chicago and joined me on Saturday afternoon after being picked up at the airport by Lesley and Amelia. We then had a dinner at the White Horse Tavern (established 1673) and celebrated our three major events (boat on cover, house closing and last show). Diana and Pam accompanied me on the return trip to Hingham.

The next major event took place on Monday morning and it went off without a hitch. We were slated to depart early and that is exactly what happened. They pulled the docks locking us in at 8:45 and we were on the road 8 minutes later.

The view of Fort Adams as we were departing Newport.

Fort Adams as we were departing Newport.

The 97.1 NM cruise to Hingham took just under 12 hours at an average speed of 8.7 Knots. We ran at 1400 RPM for most of the trip and burned a total of 93 gallons of fuel. Contributing to our speed and fuel economy was a favorable current through the Cape Cod Canal, The weather was perfect with clear skies and seas less than 1 foot.

The sun set at 7:00 PM as we passed Minot's Light off Cohasset. At that point we were still approximately 12 NM and 90 minutes from Hingham. Time for a run in the dark. Well not exactly.

Nautical twilight lasts another 38 minutes and provides some illumination. That got us to Boston Light, From there we were operating in the dark. We traversed Nantasket Roads, turned left at Hull Gut and ran southwest down the main channel to Hingham navigating with lighted buoys (great practice) and bread crumbs for security (chart plotter tracks from previous runs).

We arrived in Hingham at 8:30 PM. By 9:00 PM Pam and I were dining at Alma Nove and toasting a successful return trip.

The sunset as we approached Hingham was one for the books.

The sunset as we approached Hingham was one for the books.

Guided Discovery on the cover of PassageMaker's October issue.

Guided Discovery on the cover of PassageMaker's October issue.