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Lots of boats come to Oriental, some tie up at the Town Dock for a night or two, others drop anchor in the harbor for a while. If you've spent any time on the water you know that every boat has a story. The Shipping News on TownDock.net brings you the stories of the boats that have visited recently.

Audacity
Dream of the Fuel Efficient Cruiser
August 22, 2014
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Since launching, Jim hasn’t put much mileage on Audacity. To see how efficiently she moves through the water, he towed her with another vessel. The tow vessel was equipped with a 6 horsepower outboard motor. Jim calculates he was able to tow Audacity over 12 miles on a gallon of gas. He was moving at under 4 knots.

For a while, Audacity was moored behind Jim’s house. Later she was moved to Whitaker Pointe Marina.

xenocraft audacity jim coward whitaker pointe marina
Audacity at the Whitaker Pointe Marina dock.

The closest she has come to sea trials is heavy weather at the dock. Jim says, “I baby sat her during Hurricane Arthur. I’m confident she could get through a hurricane anchored in a creek. I observed how she did in the wave action. She did very well. The conditions are like what she might encounter at sea.”

At this point Jim can look back on the project with hindsight. He sees a mix of success and failure. “Operationally it’s a success. I’ve seen it floats. I see how it travels. The boat is vindicated.” he says. He plans to continue making improvements. A second outboard motor and an anchor well are planned.

“Commercially,” though, he says, “it’s a failure. “

Jim had hoped to put his boat in to production. So far, that’s proven difficult. He says the reason is largely economic. “People who can afford a boat of this dimension don’t care about the fuel cost. Even if gas is 8 or 10 dollars, they just go ahead and fill up.”

The boat’s long, narrow layout has also proven a hard sell. He says, “boaters these days expect bigger accommodations. They want a house to drive. They don’t want efficiency.”

Still, one man was very interested in Audacity.

He bought her.

Jim says he sold Audacity to, “a New Zealand national doing business in Egypt. He’s raising money in Egypt to buy two 25-horsepower outboards. When he gets back, he plans to take her to South America, possibly to do eco-tours in the Amazon.”

xenocraft audacity jim coward leaving whitaker pointe marina
Jim walks away from Audacity. She may soon leave Oriental – without him.

Jim says the new owner, “wants me to co-pilot for him.” Of jumping aboard and heading south he says, “I’m not sure I’ll take the trip.”

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Posted Friday August 22, 2014 by Bernie Harberts


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