USED BOAT Dan and Bar­bie Jack­son have owned a num­ber of boats dur­ing their mar­ried lives, but their cur­rent boat, a Grand Banks 45 East­bay SX, is their fa­vorite.

Soundings - - Contents - BY STEVE KNAUTH

When a cou­ple has logged a life­time’s worth of boat­ing, they know what they want out of the life­style; they know how to be com­fort­able in, and on, the boat of their choice. And when they’re ready to move up or down into an­other boat, they know what they’re look­ing for in terms of per­for­mance, style and com­fort.

Dan and Bar­bie Jack­son of River­side, Con­necti­cut, have been boat­ing to­gether all of their mar­ried lives, start­ing when they were in the Air Force at Flor­ida’s Naval Air Sta­tion Jack­sonville. “We got sail­rac­ing in Rhodes Ban­tams,” says Bar­bie, who works in real es­tate. “When we got out of the ser­vice, we moved to River­side, and Dan started sail­ing En­signs. Then we bought one. It was our first boat to­gether.”

Power­boats fol­lowed. The Jack­sons be­gan with a se­ries of SeaCrafts, then moved to Fortiers, in­clud­ing a 33 they had built. Then came a cou­ple of East­bays, the Down East- style cruis­ers from Grand Banks. The Jack­sons had a 38 and a 43.

Their big­gest boat was a Det­tling 51. “We wanted a boat we could go to Flor­ida with,” says Dan, who’s in chem­i­cals sales. “We had it re­done and owned it for seven years, tak­ing it up and down the in­land wa­ter­way sev­eral times.” (The cou­ple spent five days on the Det­tling at a North Car­olina hur­ri­cane hole dur­ing Hur­ri­cane Sandy.)

Af­ter seven years of own­er­ship, the cou­ple, now in their early 70s, be­gan think­ing se­ri­ously of an­other boat. Based on their years of cruis­ing, they had a good vision of what they wanted. “I was look­ing for a some­what smaller boat, and a newer boat,” Dan says. “The Det­tling was a 1997, and I wanted more up­dated sys­tems, a more mod­ern boat.”

Bar­bie was even more spe­cific: “I wanted an East­bay, as new as we could go.”

Work­ing with Diana McCabe, who’d sold them the pre­vi­ous East­bays, the Jack­sons bought a 2009 45 East­bay SX through Pet­zold’s Marine Cen­ter ( pet­zolds. com) in Port­land, Con­necti­cut. “We love buy­ing boats from Diana,” Bar­bie says. The price was around $675,000, and the boat was in near-per­fect con­di­tion.

The lay­out was just what they wanted. “The boat comes in two ver­sions,” Dan says. “With the gal­ley-down, there’s room for a com­pan­ion helm chair, which we’ve al­ways had on our boats. So hav­ing the gal­ley-down gave us that.”

The gal­ley-down lay­out also al­lowed for a full set of nav in­stru­ments on “my side” of the helm area, Bar­bie says, adding that the lay­out adds saloon space and al­lows for an ex­tra state­room that can be used as an of­fice.

Power comes from a pair of Cum­mins QSC8.3 diesels, about 600 hp each. “A good cruise speed is around 20 to 22 knots,” Dan says. “Most ex- sailors like to do about 18 to 20 knots, and that’s it.” The 45- footer

SPEC­I­FI­CA­TIONS

LOA: 45 feet, 9 inches BEAM: 14 feet, 7 inches DRAFT: 3 feet, 11 inches WEIGHT: 42,000 pounds HULL TYPE: mod­i­fied-vee PROPUL­SION: twin diesels TANKAGE: 512 gal­lons fuel, 145 gal­lons wa­ter BUILDER: Grand Banks Yachts, Hol­land, Michi­gan, (616) 499-2519. grand­banks.com

topped out around 29 knots on its Con­necti­cut River sea trial.

“I like the en­gine room setup,” Dan adds. “It’s very well laid out.”

Last sea­son was the Jack­sons’ first with the boat. They did a cruise with the River­side Yacht Club, then took what Bar­bie calls a “Long Is­land Sound river cruise” with a smaller group of boaters. “We went up the Con­necti­cut River, the Thames and the Mys­tic,” she says. “Nor­wich [on the Thames] was an in­ter­est­ing place; I’d never been up that river. Mat­ti­tuck, on Long Is­land’s north shore, is nice — a quirky place.”

The Jack­sons like the stay-aboard life when they cruise, and the East­bay has all the com­forts they need: a big state­room for­ward, a gal­ley and room for their two York­shire ter­ri­ers, El­lie and Sam. “I don’t think we’ve ever stayed on shore on any of the boats we’ve had,” Dan says. “We cook aboard or eat on shore.”

The East­bay will be in New­port, Rhode Is­land, this sum­mer, car­ry­ing on a Jack­son tra­di­tion: race-com­mit­tee work with the New York Yacht Club. “We’ve been do­ing that for the last 16 years, and this will be the first time with the East­bay,” Dan says. “It’s a neat thing, but you have to be able to an­chor in 100 feet of wa­ter, so I’m go­ing to have to get a lit­tle more chain.”

Bar­bie says she’s also look­ing for­ward to tak­ing the boat to Flor­ida. “It takes us a year to set­tle into a new boat,” she says, “so we are hop­ing that this a great year.”

WALK­THROUGH

The Power­Boat Guide calls the Grand Banks 45 East­bay SX a “time­less yacht that will likely re­main in style decades into the fu­ture.” The look is Down East-in­spired, de­fined by the trunk cabin and eye­brow trim; the husky, work­boat- in­flu­enced hull; and the ele­gant sheer. The teak-sole cock­pit has built-in stowage and room for en­ter­tain­ing or fish­ing.

Steps lead up to the side decks, which have stain­less steel rails that ex­tend to the bow. A door in the aft bulk­head leads to the saloon, with its lower helm sta­tion, seat­ing and gal­ley-up with a glass cook­top, oven and stain­less-steel sink. (There is also a gal­ley-down lay­out.) The helm sta­tion is to star­board with a teak dash and wheel, and a Stidd com­mand seat. Large win­dows pro­vide good vis­i­bil­ity. To port is a U-shaped lounge with a ta­ble.

The mas­ter state­room is for­ward with an is­land berth, and stowage in­cludes a hanging locker. The amid­ships guest state­room has twin berths. The head com­part­ment has a glass-en­closed stall shower. The boat has teak through­out, and op­tions in­clude a power sun­roof and re­tractable aft saloon win­dow. Power is twin 550-hp Cum­mins or 567-hp Cater­pil­lar diesels.

Bar­bie and Dan Jack­son.

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