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57' of Pure Fishing Joy!
In February of 2004, I was blessed with the opportunity to step in and take over the construction of the "Godspeed". Captain Leonard Rigsbee, fisherman, boat builder, and personal friend, had started the project, his seventh, and came to a point where the boat needed an owner. Believe it or not, the bank said "yes", and off I went to Otway, NC. What? Never heard of Otway? Well, it's a little village in "Down East" Carteret County, North Carolina, right next door to Harker's Island, and about a half hour east of Morehead City. Anyway, thanks to Leonard and his crew, we were able to complete the project, and be fishing by the first of June 2004.
The "Godspeed" is "cold molded", which is now the most common method of custom boat construction in North Carolina. Cold molding is simply the name given to the process in which layers of wood (typically plywood) is "tortured" into shape, laminated and sealed using epoxy resins. The "Godspeed" has been fiberglassed inside and out, to add strength and integrity to the hull. Why wood? Well, have you ever watched a tree bend in the wind? A tree's strength is in its flexibility. The ocean dishes out a beating to any boats on even the calmest days, and if a hull is too rigid, it will eventually crack. Wood / epoxy has been proven to be the strongest (strength vs. weight), and yet most flexible combination of materials used by custom boat builders. (To learn more about the cold molding process, go to "in the shop".)
Having the chance to build my boat to suit my specific needs was a once in a lifetime opportunity. A lot of careful consideration went in to every decision that I made. I was handling the mechanical department while Leonard's crew took care of most of the hull and cabin/bridge construction. I made decisions about window shape, bridge shape, cabin height, and such, but primarily kept focused on running gear (struts, rudders, shaft), engine installation and hook up, generator, fuel, steering, etc.
I decided to go with Detroit's "Series 60" for my main power plant. I couldn't be happier with my choice. It has proven to be quiet, and clean running, with all the power I need to cruise at a respectable speed, and top out at 29 knots. I installed a 5 kw Westerbeke generator, which does a fine job of covering all of my AC needs, including air conditioning and heat, a television with DVD and VCR players, and a microwave oven.
The cabin area is plenty spacious, with lots of room for your group to sit comfortably inside. If you want to be near the action, then you will be most impressed with the size of Godspeed's cockpit. I included three fighting chairs, one of which is an unlimited Pompanette, suitable for handling anything from a blue marlin to a bluefin tuna.
I have always been fascinated with marine electronics. I remember when my father got his first loran, and I thought that was the coolest thing, but now technology has advanced so far that lorans are obsolete, and GPS is our primary means of electronic navigational equipment. My boat is equipped with two Furuno GPS plotters, one of which is the NavNet system, including a color plotter, radar, and bottom machine/fish finder. I also have two VHF radios, and a cell phone, to help me keep in touch with the fleet.
In addition to life jackets, flares, and all of the other required safety equipment, we are equipped with a class 1 EPIRB, and life raft. It's stuff you hope you'll never need, but nice to know you have!
The Godspeed is equipped with an impressive arsenal of tackle. Our 30, 50 and 80 pound class reels are Shimano Tiagras, matched up with Fenwick trolling rods. Shimano TLDs make up our stand of lighter gear, as we are set up nicely with 20s and 25s for our White marlin and Sailfishing, as well as big dolphin and fall king fishing. We also have several Shimano reels, which we use for vertical jigging. These are complimented with Shimano Trevala rods. Finally, even though bottom fishing is not our specialty, we try to stay rigged up with plenty of gear to do some bottom dropping, if that's what you have in mind. We make a great effort to maintain our rods and reels properly, and I'm sure you will be satisfied with the quality of our tackle.
The color? As you could imagine, a million people have asked, "How did you come up with THAT color"?, or "Why purple"? Well there is no great story behind it, and, no, my daughter didn't pick it out. I just like purple.
It's easy to lose perspective a lot of times, but doing what I do makes it easy, for me, to get it all back in order. I look out at how vast the ocean is, and the sky, as far as I can see, and then realize how insignificant I am, my boat is, on this great Atlantic Ocean.
My prayer each morning is one for safety, and of course, a successful trip.
When I was inspired to name my boat "Godspeed", after years of having the "Wahoo", people said I was crazy to change the name that I had built my business on, but I did, and God has blessed it.
According to Webster's Dictionary, Godspeed means "a prosperous journey" or "success"
On December 20, 1606, three merchant ships, loaded with passengers and cargo, set sail from England on a voyage that would later set the course of American history. The Godspeed, commanded by Bartholomew Gosnold, along with flagship Susan Constant, and the pinnace Discovery, arrived at Virginia, April 26, 1607.
On May 14, their 104 passengers, all men and boys, began building on the banks of the James River, what would be America's first permanent colony -- Jamestown.
Gosnold, born 1572, graduated from the University of Cambridge and studied law at Middle Temple. In 1602, he obtained backing to attempt a colony in the New World and sailed east, with 32 on board. He is credited with the naming of Cape Cod, discovering Martha's Vineyard (naming it after his infant daughter) and helped popularize subsequent voyages of exploration and colonisation of the northeast seaboard of America. In 1606, he obtained an exclusive charter from King James I to settle Virginia and is credited by historians as being the reason America was settled by the English, verses becoming Spanish territory.