Gulf of Panama, Panama 7°22'N 80°0'W Pho­to­graph by Steve Dashew

Power & Motor Yacht - - IN THIS ISSUE - —Si­mon Mur­ray

Things get elec­tric for boat­builder Steve Dashew on a shake­down cruise from Fiji to Ft. Laud­erdale.

Only Steve Dashew can make a per­func­tory stop in the Mar­que­sas to pick up some pam­ple­mousse—a dis­tant rel­a­tive of the grape­fruit— sound like a ca­sual jaunt to the gro­cery store. Dashew is de­scrib­ing a shake­down cruise that he re­cently un­der­took with his wife, Linda, aboard Cochise, the pro­to­type for his Dashew Off­shore FPB 781. Al­to­gether, the cou­ple would log close to 11,000 nau­ti­cal miles in three months, go­ing from Fiji to Ft. Laud­erdale to make it home in time for col­lege bas­ket­ball sea­son.

It was on the pas­sage from French Poly­ne­sia to the Panama Canal when things got elec­tric. “I’ve been shoot­ing light­ning as a hobby for a long time,” says Dashew. “The Gulf of Panama is one of the most ac­tive places on the planet in cer­tain con­di­tions. When this started, we could see the thun­der­storm build­ing and we were fol­low­ing it at a re­spect­ful dis­tance.”

By the time the yacht de­signer set up his Sony A7r2 cam­era with a 24mm lens and a Step­ping Stone light­ning trig­ger, his boat was en­veloped by light. Though this might look like a black and white photo, Dashew as­sures me he didn’t al­ter it in any way: That’s all storm. Cochise might be an 80-foot alu­minum ves­sel, but it’s a com­mon mis­con­cep­tion that metal al­loys are more prone to light­ning strikes. Says Dashew, “We’ve been through many storms with a metal boat; we’ve never been struck.”

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