C'est la Vie is a 1966 Charlie Morgan 34.

Her home port is Everglades City, FL. Our typical cruising area is Southwest Florida, the Florida Keys, the Southeastern Atlantic Seaboard, and the Bahamas. We are C'est la Vie's third owners and purchased her in 2005. We continue to maintain and update this classic vessel. Please post any questions or comments about C'est la Vie or our travels via the comment links below.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cape Lookout day sail on SV Blue Goose

A few weeks ago I introduced you all to SV Blue Goose, a 1920's wood cat boat here in Beaufort, NC.  This week my parents are in town along with some wonderful fall weather including fresh NNE winds.   Sounds like the perfect recipe for a day sail out to Cape Lookout.
Blue Goose motoring windward to raise sails in Taylors Creek - photo credit: S Lovett
The Blue Goose has no winches so raising the sail is a 3 person job.  Once under way she is easy to handle, with a person on the helm and a second person to tend the sheet.

North winds and a slack tide served us an easy passage out Beaufort Inlet.  We transited the inlet on a reach with myself on the helm and Bud tending the sheet.
Jeff at the helm and Bud on the sheet - photo credit: M Lovett
Once offshore of Shackleford Banks Bud took the helm.  He held a course close hauled toward the Cape as   the winds increased to 17+ knots. Blue Goose's windward performance proved better than we anticipated. Our initial port tack took us from the inlet to the rock jetty along the southern shore of the cape.  The following starboard tack took us along Power Squadron Spit and over to the beach along Shackleford Banks.  On the next tack we entered the bight.

Blue Goose entering Cape Lookout Bight with lighthouse off our starboard bow. - photo credit: J Lovett
After a "sail by"  and shouted greeting to our friends on SV Pearl anchored in the bight, we turned back west towards Beaufort Inlet.  With the winds now over our shoulder Blue Goose sprinted the 7NM offshore along Shackleford Banks.  A flooding tide ushered us through Beaufort Inlet and onward to town.

Thanks to the Lovett's for joining us on a wonderful day sail...


  1. Looks lovely! That cat boat looks like it may have been the predecessor to the nonsuch boats.

    So how do you tighten the sail with no winches??

    This weather is great, and even though it's still not cool yet, I can feel it right around the corner.

  2. Dani - the Hinterholer / Nonsuch designs are very similar to Cat boats. I'm unsure if a Nonsuch would be considered a Cat Boat. While they do share unstayed masts and a similar sail plan, I think traditional Cat boats are more shallow draft with a great deal of beam.

    All the lines that require a mechanical advantage are rigged with a system of blocks. The main sail sheet has a five to one block system. I'm guessing this is similar to Sundowner or do you use a winch for the main sheet?

    For the past week we have had highs in the upper 70's pushing 80 and lows in the 60's. The A/C has been off for nearly a week. Yeah

  3. Hello Blue Goose fans: My father owned the Blue Goose in the '50's in Chatham MA and I sailed on her in Cape Cod and Buzzards Bay waters, long before she was fixed up as you see her now. I have some photos of her in those days if you are interested, showing the pipe berths and a chest of drawers up against the mast, among others. If anyone is interested, contact me at selenejk@earthlink.net . John Kimball.

  4. John,

    Thanks for the comment. The Blue Goose's home port is now Beaufort, NC. A retired navy captain has owned her for the last 15+ years. He contracted out the restoration and then trucked her down to NC. She now serves primarily as a day sailer. Last I new the owner had her on the market. I will pass your message and contact information on to the current owner.