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Com-Pac 23

Richard Summers

The Cruise of the "Harriet II"

Having read about the circumnavigation of the eastern United States in a 14 ft. open boat, I thought, why not do it myself.

A 16 ft. sailboat was purchased and I learned to sail. I also joined the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and learned navigation, coastal piloting, communications, seamanship, rules of the road and boat handling skills. I achieved the Coxswain rating.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary (CGAUX) is the civilian volunteer arm of the United States Coast Guard - 35,000 men and women who donate their time and expertise to support the Coast Guard and improve boating safety.

As I was 78, the next step was a physical to assure that I was physically capable. I was.

The route would be the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) System from New Bern, though Chesapeake Bay C&D canal, Delaware Bay, Cape May Canal, ICW to Manasquan Inlet, Atlantic, New York Harbor, Hudson River, Erie Barge Canal, Lake Ontario, Murray Canal, Trent-Severn Canal, Georgian Bay, Lakes Huron and Michigan, Illinois Waterway, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Tennessee-Tombigbee, Tombigbee and Mobile Rivers, ICW, Gulf of Mexico, across Florida via Lake Okeechobee and St. Lucie canal, than the ICW back to New Bern.

Charts, Coast Pilots, Light Lists, Tide Tables, Tide Currents, pertinent regulations, etc. were obtained from the government sources, United States and Canada.

From these a detailed sailing plan was developed, noting minimum depths and maximum bridge clearance.

The next step was the selection of a boat. It had to be shoal draft, Diesel powered for economy, have galley, marine toilet, water and permit me to cruise single-hand.

A Com-Pac 23D was selected. It met all the above requirements, including a lazy jack system to lower and raise the mast. I ordered the boat with a 8-HP Yamnar Diesel. The basic specifications for the boat are as follows.

Length Overall (LOA) 23' 11"
Length at Waterline (LWL) 20' 2"
Beam 7' 10"
Draft 2' 3"
Displacement 3000 lbs
Ballast 1340 lbs
Sail Area 250 sq. ft.
Mast Height above Waterline 30'

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