A Sailboat Turned Into A Powerboat: A Dream Come True
Great Loop cruisers are treated to many inspiring views, including the sunrise over the Tennessee River. Claudette Chaisson and Rob Vincent
"Quality time remaining" has been our mantra for almost two decades. In our minds, QTR does not mean we will live to be 100 years old; rather, it reminds us how much time we have left to enjoy our favorite activities. Every day should be lived as if it was our last.
Many years ago, my husband and I met while boating in San Diego. As a commercial airline captain, he was a former naval aviator and longtime boater. During this time, I sold advertising into national boating publications, and sailed and raced on other people's boats as crew.
After getting married, we joined the San Diego Yacht Club and bought Sunshine, a 1985 Brewer 42-foot pilothouse cutter, with friends. That boat was great. Having a swing on the hook was one of our favorite things, and being on board made us happy.
Jervis Inlet is traversed by the Grand QTR. Claudette Chaisson and Rob Vincent
In addition to sailing Sunshine along the Southern California coastline, we also charter bareboats in the Channel Islands and Mexico. Three trips to the Pacific Northwest were made, as well as charters in the Caribbean, Bahamas, Tahiti, Greece, Croatia and Sardinia. We always enjoyed our amazing adventures with friends on these trips, which made them surprisingly inexpensive. Our favorite vacation has always been exploring a new place by boat.
As part of NW Explorations' annual Mother Goose Cruise to Alaska in Bellingham, Washington, we took our first bareboat charter in the Pacific Northwest in 2005 on a Grand Banks 36. The only marine park in British Columbia, Desolation Sound, is the largest marine park in the province. Our time was limited and we were both still working. After that, we fell in love with the area and were eager to discover more about it. In the Pacific Northwest, they say you can cruise for a lifetime and never see everything, and we agree. We knew we wanted more after the seed was planted.
A sailboat charter in 2013 and a Grand Banks 42 charter in 2016 were our other bareboat charters in the region. On that cruise in 2016, we decided to sell our partnership in Sunshine and buy a powerboat for cruising since we were both retired. Despite our hearts' desires to sail, we both agreed that a Grand Banks would be the right boat for us. In the Pacific Northwest, where the wind is sporadic, it's also easier to do than sailing for folks our age. Taking in the views is as easy as staying warm, dry, and comfortable.
A cruise lifestyle introduction for the grandkids. Claudette Chaisson and Rob Vincent
We fulfilled our dream in December 2016 by purchasing a 1990 Grand Banks 46 Classic in Seattle. Grand QTR is what we named it, and that's exactly what it has been. I'm having the time of my life with my friends.
Just 17 miles north of Victoria on Vancouver Island, we found a slip in Sidney, British Columbia, a charming town with everything we need. By early morning, we can fly from San Diego to Seattle, then on to Victoria, and be on board Grand QTR by lunchtime. In addition to being conveniently located, it is easy to access both the Canadian Gulf Islands and the U.S. The San Juan Islands are also easily accessible. There is a beautiful view of Mount Baker from Sidney. All of these harbors are nearby, and there is so much to choose from. I am always on "log watch" (and whale watch) when underway, while Bob loves navigating the waters and checking the tides, currents, and weather.