What’s In a Name? “Slow Dance”


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What’s in a name, especially a boat name?  Late last summer, in the YachtWorld.com listing, the name Irish Rover stood out … but not nearly as much as her picture. And the more that I read about her, the more attracted I was to her.

The name, Irish Rover fit her owner to a tee.  Afterall, he had every reason to take pride in his Irish heritage. And boats were made to rove or to roam.

But we saw “her” from a different perspective.  She was a trawler. Trawlers are known to be slow cruisers, especially when compared to testosterone-fueled sport fishing boats. Trawlers are for a slow, steady pace. Exploring. Enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. Cruising … whether the world, the Great Loop, or your favorite waterfront destinations.  Trawlers are for romancing the journey. If you’re in a hurry to get there, check with JetBlue.

We knew her name would not to continue to be Irish Rover.  But what?  CT suggested “Write Boat,” after one of my blogs, knowing she would contribute to this wannabe’s desire to write. I shot that one down, and suggested “Summerchase,” after our old Sullivan’s Island beach house. CT shot that one down.  We spent a few days reflecting on our lives and dreams, and whatever else might inspire a name. We each wrote down numerous possible names, but none seemed to fit the little 34T.

And then one evening I looked at Kate, our Brittany/Boykin rescue, and the words of our veterinarian came back to me.  Before I drove to Winston-Salem to choose which of the Brittany/Boykin litter would come home with me, I sought the advise of Scott Senf, our vet. He said to choose a puppy that seem to most reflect my personality. He said, “You’re like me, pretty laid back. You don’t need to choose a hyper dog.” Kate … as she was named by her foster mom, seemed to fit the “laid back” bill. Playing with her siblings, she had plenty of energy, but then she would run back over and lay in my lap as I sat on the ground in the play enclosure.  Today, four years later, she runs like the wind when playing with friends, but the minute she comes into the house, she’s a couch potato.

Why not apply that same logic to naming our boat. We wanted to spend our retirement years cruising. CT loves to sit on the sundeck and sip coffee or wine while she reads. I enjoy sitting at the helm enjoying the beauty of God’s coastal creation as I run the boat and reflect on life. We both prefer the company of family and friends, vs nightlife and a loud scene.  We both prefer holding each other in a quiet, warm embrace and slow dancing vs a loud environment and fast dancing. Trawlers, by design, are slow, steady boats. All things considered, “Slow Dance” seemed the perfect name for our “girl.” She a pleasure to cruise slowly while enjoying the scenery, but when time is of the essence, she can just as easily cruise as much as 17 knots, depending on tide and wind.  Perfect, from our perspective!

“Slow Dance.” A sweet little 2006 Mainship 34T.  It’s a shame they’re no longer built. Considering the attention she gets in every marina we’ve visited, there’s still a demand for traditional trawlers that bring back sweet memories and reflections on life.



Thinking Outside the Boat


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Thank you for visiting CruisingTheICW, your “Thinking Outside the Boat” blog.

As a career destination marketer, cruising has been an eye-opening experience. Many ICW destinations publicly give lip service to the importance of the cruising and leisure market, while privately saying it has little economic impact.  When asked for research to back up the assertion, they admit it’s non-existent.  Other destinations like Charleston, SC, Wilmington and Elizabeth City, NC and Brunswick, GA have recognized the market for years.  For many small coastal communities without interstate access, the Intracoastal waterways of America have become or could be their “interstate.”


Over the years, the lack of knowledge of the leisure cruising market and its impact may have well contributed to the lack of Federal funding for dredging our intracoastal waterways – funding that is mandated by law.  But, the fact that the Federal funding formula is based on commercial traffic on the ICW and does not include leisure cruising is no doubt the biggest factor.  Without dredging, the waterway and especially inlets silt in, making many areas impossible for tugs, barges, and small intracoastal cruise ships  to navigate except on high tide, thereby negatively impacting commercial traffic.


Most leisure boating is local or within a day trip of a boater’s homeport. We hope this blog with encourage readers that haven’t cruised the ICW to try it.  My wife and I found it addictive.  As a result, our son and his new bride cruised our old boat on a honeymoon trip from Charleston to Beaufort, NC.  Our daughter and her family and friends enjoy cruising their center console boats to ports within a day trip from Charleston.  They often have multiple boats cruising together and stay in bed and breakfast inns at their destination.  Besides the beautiful scenery and relaxation of being on the water, our family has discovered the comradery of the cruising community, regardless of boat size.

If you’re reading this and  haven’t tried cruising, do your research and plan an overnight cruise.  I’m guessing it’s a safe bet you’ll find it as addictive as the rest of the cruising community has.

Fair winds and following seas.