Please select your home edition

Sea Me - A Hinckley 35 makes an indelible Nor'easter debut

by Hinckley Yachts 11 Feb 15:56 UTC
Sea Me - A Hinckley 35 © Onne van der Wal

When co-captains Jamie Everitt and Bob Ellis received delivery of Kings Landing in New Jersey and embarked on her maiden voyage, they imagined a somewhat smooth, 1,500-mile journey down the Atlantic coast.

Lifelong friends who met in grade school and grew up on the New Jersey shore, the two have been sailing and yachting together for years, and Ellis has captained boats down the eastern U.S. coast five times. Yet from day one of their journey, mother nature had her own plans, flexing her muscle with a nor'easter and four- to 10-foot waves. The predicted five days to make it to Florida turned to seven, with plenty of adrenaline-fueled moments along the way. At each day's end, exhausted and humbled by the sea, cocktail convos were fueled with tales of respect for the sea, and for Kings Landing — Everitt's new Hinckley 35.

"On the first day, we were super impressed when we got in the ocean, even though the swell height was between four and six feet," Everitt says. "Despite extremely challenging conditions, a 40-knot sustained wind, and a hard, consistent chop in the Delaware Bay, the boat was able to power through. We even considered not going forward that day, but the boat was just cranking. It was a surprise to both of us. We just couldn't believe how well she handled."

"The storm manifested and chased us down," adds Ellis. "We were just ahead of it, but it would get us by the end of each day. We dealt with some very challenging conditions, but the boat performed beyond our expectation."

The seasoned co-captains are quick to add they never took risks they couldn't handle, assessing conditions in the pre-dawn hours before heading back to sea. They also communicated daily with the Hinckley service team, who helped track the storm, suggested marinas for dockage, and arranged for a bed and breakfast in New Smyrna, Florida, to give the two a break from staying aboard. "As our trip progressed, there were additional questions we had," Everitt says. "The Hinckley team answered the phone every single time and were texting us late at night. They went way beyond what was expected." In tandem, the service team eagerly awaited updates to ensure Kings Landing was handling well and its captains were safe.

Prior to his first adventure down the eastern coast, Everitt received four days training on Kings Landing in Bay Head, NJ with the Hinckley team. Additionally, given his decades-long experience boating, Ellis' seasoned captain skills, and how Kings Landing handled from the get-go, his confidence to finish the journey rarely waned. Admitted adventure lovers — both are avid skiers and Everitt has raced sailboats — while they weren't foolish in continuing, each day brought new excitement. "Every day we were up at dawn, raring to go, and to see what we could take on next. We're not adrenaline junkies, but we like to get after it."

Given his sailing background, when asked why he decided to purchase a Hinckley 35, Everitt explains he desired a sport boat for trophy fishing. With that in mind, Kings Landing was customized to catch sailfish. "I really wanted a durable boat I could entertain on, and that I could fish off of," says Everitt. "I never did a sea trial before I purchased the 35, but I just fell in love with it instantly." If successful in reeling in an elusive sailfish, the boat will make history as the first Hinckley 35 to do so. In the meantime, the duo recently claimed a 72-pound king mackerel. "It was definitely a trophy fish," adds Ellis. "When we pulled into the dock all the captains went wild." And when Kings Landing docks, her allure also draws attention. "The 35 has that beautiful Hinckley look and feel — it's super posh," says Ellis. "But when you get down to brass tax, when it comes to stability, security, and speed, the boat is fast and stable, which is mission critical. It's a great marriage — a cross section of looks and beauty, but it's a real lion on the water."