In January of this year, 1999, we purchased a 1989 70' Hatteras motor yacht by the name of AM-FM, and renamed it after our first trawler, Interlude. The boat is to be both our home and our transportation. The basics are as follows: length overall is 70 feet on deck, but from bowsprit to swim platform the length is about 84 feet, its beam (width) is 18 1/2 feet, it draws about six feet of water. We carry nearly 2000 gallons of diesel fuel to power the two 1000+ horsepower Detroit Diesel 12V92 engines. We can cruise at displacement hull speed (about 10 knots), or at planing hull speed (about 20 knots). At planing speed, we are burning fuel at the rate of 90 gallons an hour. At 10 knots our burn rate is 20 - 25 gallons an hour, so we will likely spend most of our travel time at 10 knots!
Interlude has three staterooms (bedrooms), four heads (bathrooms), a mail salon (living and dining room), a dinette, a full galley (kitchen), an office, a pilot house (from where we run the boat), a cockpit (to enter and leave the water and board the dinghy), two engine rooms (one on either side with a hallway between which connects the master stateroom with the guest stateroom), a generator room, and a bridge deck (on top) where we can operate the boat from outside rather than from inside in the pilot house.
Each stateroom has its own head with shower or tub. There is a hanging locker (closet) and drawers in each room for adequate storage.
The galley is very complete and will allow us to cook and live pretty much a normal life. We have a double-door refrigerator with ice maker, a four burner stove, a convection oven as well as a separate microwave over. We even have a trash compactor and a disposal, so it's like a modern kitchen in almost every way. Across from the galley is a dinette which seats four.
The office which we're having built will contain standard office equipment including fax and copy machines, printers, a computer, and phones.
The main salon is as comfortable as any living room with sofas, lamps, comfortable chairs, a wet bar, an entertainment center with radio, TV, VCR and DVD players. We also have a formal dining room table with four chairs.
Interlude has two large diesel generators which are capable of producing 40,000+ watts of electricity. We have radar capable of seeing 70 or more miles and watching weather as well as other ships. We have differential global positioning system (DGPS) capable of locating us to within about 3 feet of our exact location on the globe, while we are moving! The DGPS is connected to a computerized navigation system which charts and tracks our exact location on a moving map on the computer screen. We can connect both the computer and the DGPS to our autopilot to handle routine piloting with a minimum of fuss and muss.
Interlude weighs about 60 tons with a half-loan of fuel, so it's a big job to move the boat around--to help that situation, we have a 16' Novurania dinghy which we carry on board as a tender, and we launch it to visit shallow locations, run between the anchored Interlude and the shore, or to visit other boats. If we have the urge we can even water ski behind it, or use it for a diving platform. The dinghy is well equipped with a 70 hp Yahama outboard, depth sounder, GPS, bilge pump, and all necessary safety equipment.
The two of us can handle the boat without problems because it has good powered systems which assist us. In addition to docking and undocking each day, we will have more than 100 locks to maneuver during the trip. We have equipped the Interlude with a folding radar arch since with the arch up, we stick up 27' above the water. On the Great Circle Route there are two fixed bridges, one in the Erie Canal and one in the Calumet Sanitary Bypass at Chicago that have only 19' of clearance. With our radar arch folded, we are about 18 1/2 feet high, just low enough to fit under these two critical bridges.
We communicate with the world via VHF radio, cell phone, and Intelsat uplink. We can send and receive telephone calls, e-mail and faxes. Interlude has regular television, satellite TV, VCR and DVD, as well as CDs and AM/FM radio, so we're always in touch with the world.