By Phyllis Bicknell Carroll
It had been a stormy, windy October night but, as the sun rose, the winds lessened to a perfect sailing day, sunny and bright. A good breeze enabled us to move our 32-foot Pearson sailboat, Flyway, right along about two miles off the New Jersey coast. Because we were avid sailors who often spent months aboard our craft, we had added several additions to it for comfort. My husband Dave had designed and built a padded seat which fitted over the threshold of the hatchway at the top of the ladder leading to our cabin below. Then we wired the controls for the autopilot to the cabin ceiling in easy reach of anyone sitting on that seat. Thus, once the course was set, one could sit in comfort under the sprayhood (a shelter) out of the sun, rain or wind, watching through the windshield while steering with the autopilot. Later, when Dave’s Uncle Gene (who had loved our boat) died and left us a small inheritance, we decided to honor him by using it to add a major comfort. We had a custom-built enclosure fitted to Flyway’s cockpit, screens for summer and lightly tinted non- glare clear plastic panels for cooler or stormy weather. One other detail is needed to picture this story. When Dave sat in his command seat, to his left was a wide flat area where we placed the navigation charts in their plastic cases.
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