First cruise in a ComPac 19
Amalia and I just got back from our first cruise in Restless (II). We put in near Gananoque in the heart of the Thousand Islands (St. Lawrence River), and spent two nights out anchoring among some of the most breathtaking fresh water vistas in the world. Winds never got up much above 10 knots, but even so, we were delighted with our boat's handling characteristics. She ghosted along dreamily in the wakening mid-morning breeze, a perfect conveyance for placid drifting through a stunning landscape of granite-bound islands crowned by windswept pines, and some of the most beautiful old world cottages you'll ever see. With her board down she easily tacked through 90 degrees (ours is a rare model fitted with a stainless steel centerboard), and when the wind perked up she clipped along at a very satisfying pace, even to windward. When pressed into service the smooth-running old 6 HP Merc (which started on the first pull each time!) just purred along, pushing us smartly through narrow channels snaking betwixt picturesque islands. Shallow draft (a mere two feet!) emboldens the skipper to try for passes that are strictly off limits to her larger sisters.
We were most impressed by the rock solid stability of this boat, providing a perfect platform for lounging at anchor as well as under a press of wind making for the next anchorage (though she does roll when catching wakes from passing motor cruisers broadside-on). She is every bit the keelboat - and I've owned a succession of them – proffering a hope of many new cruising venues on the horizon. She trails easily behind a six-cylinder pickup truck, and while she does need a decent ramp for launching and retrieval, this is not so difficult to achieve as one might imagine for such a burdensome little keeler, though four-wheel drive definitely helps on those greasy concrete slopes.
And how pretty she is to behold, whether from a swimmer's vantage while she swings to her anchor, or tied to the visitor's dock when in port for a cold one. No oh-so-forgettable space age euro-wedge form here, just timeless proportions that are very easy on the eyes. At night her diminutive cabin offers comfortable berths for two, inviting cozy bedside reading to close the venturesome day. Of course, there can be little progress through the pages of even the most gripping tome under such circumstances, and the heaviness in one’s eyelids soon wins out in the gently rocking cradle.
Berths are kept made up throughout the duration of the cruise. Cooking is done in the cockpit, with all the accoutrements being kept in a varnished galley box which is stowed in a convenient vee berth notch. And would you believe she even has a space for a portable toilet under the companionway step, ever ready to meet the inevitable necessity? This approach to small craft cruising sure beats the onerous daily routine of unloading gear, making camp, breaking camp and re-stowing it all, stemming the urgency of making the next landfall under waning daylight.