Like any other vehicle, it could be said that a yacht’s primary purpose is to get its occupants from point A to point B. However for anyone who has spent time cruising or sailing, they’ve likely discovered that it’s not so much about the destination at times, as it is the journey along the way. The breeze in your hair… The gentle lapping of waves against the hull… Sometimes taking your time is well worth the wait. As such, when this young Navy boy and sailor girl met, their mutual appreciation for cruising quite naturally married into a lifelong hobby, occupation, sport and lifestyle. This is the story of Nick and Christine Worth, partners in all things boating, with decades of wonderful stories and experiences stretching far beyond the scope of this article.
A Winding Road
Nick Worth joined the U.S. Navy straight out of high school, where he spent the majority of his service stationed at sea in the South Pacific. He gained a great deal of knowledge and expertise in electronics, systems and communications while serving our country in the nineteen sixties. Christine grew up on the Chesapeake in a family of sailors. Together, they first fulfilled their thirst for bluewater by spending summers running sailing charters in the West Indies while their children were out of school for summer break.
A succession of Hinckley sailing yachts were their boats of choice for these summertime charter operations, but they eventually decided to sell their beautiful Hinckley 51 for a change of pace, and transitioned into racing. Owning several competitive race designs through the nineties and into the turn of the century including a J-120 and One Design 35, the Worth’s enjoyed sailing overnight distance races such as those from Annapolis to Newport and Fort Lauderdale to Key West. Some of their broader expeditions included excursions to San Francisco and the Great Lakes. However, once they entered their fifties they made the decision to slow down, pull the plug on their racing careers and return to cruising—but this time without the wind assistance.
The couple started their powerboating adventures with a Dyer 29 and Duffy 35 before buying a 2011 Sabre 42 Express, which they still enjoy cruising aboard today. A love for sailing and affinity for superior craftsmanship drew the Worth’s to Sabre, a company that like Hinckley, traces their Maine roots to traditional and very highly regarded sailing sloop designs. The Worths’ Sabre 42 is now their fourth boat to bear the name Christine. Mr. Worth jokes, “I had to name the first boat in honor of my wife since she let me buy it.” But he admits that he and his wife have always made mutual decisions over all of their boats, both sailing and power. Since owning their Sabre 42, they have cruised her extensively throughout the Chesapeake and as far south as Charleston, South Carolina on occasion.
When quizzed on the boat’s defining qualities, Mr. Worth explained, “The Sabre is well constructed, has great systems reliability, a great use of components and materials, and the performance is pretty darn good too.” For any sailor turned powerboater, gaining speed and ease-of-use can come at a cost though, and the increased fuel spend may take some getting used to. Nick speaks fondly of the “sweet spot” he’s carefully honed in on, with Christine humming along on her twin Yanmars, returning a very reasonable fuel burn at 22 knots. While he admits the twin shafts and small rudders may make for a larger turning radius than one might want at times, he says, “the handling is good and solid, and the running angles excellent with great sight lines.” He notes how most sportfishing boats he sees are pointed at the sky in full throttle and everyone on board crowds to the flybridge just so they can catch a glimpse of the horizon. Suffice it to say, he is very pleased with the stability and straight-as-an-arrow tracking the 42 has demonstrated under helm.
The name Christine will soon emblazon a fifth transom, that of a shiny new Sabre 48, which the Worths have on order from Bluewater and is set for delivery in the first month of 2016. This latest purchase could arguably be the easiest boat decision they have made together, as their love for the Sabre 42 left little question as to what brand their next boat would come from. Sticking with Sabre also meant sticking with Bluewater Yacht Sales—a relationship that Mr. Worth cherishes—stating, “I greatly admire Big Chris [Hall, Sr.] and would do anything to help his company out.” The couple are steadfast in their belief that Sabre builds a superior downeast style cruising boat and Mr. Worth has even balked and laughed while reading advertisements from competing builders who state their greatness or superiority in the segment. “Clearly they forgot about Sabre Yachts and their superior craftsmanship and build quality,” Worth exclaims.
Eager with Anticipation
With several months left before they take delivery of their Sabre 48, the Worth’s do not intend to just sit around in anticipation. In fact, they have a full cruising schedule planned aboard their 42 to kick start the summer. Aside from the Bluewater Summer Cruise in July at St. Michaels, they plan to cruise with another couple to some of their favorite Chesapeake and Eastern Shore destinations such as Solomon’s Island, Annapolis, Kent Narrows and Oxford. They also are looking forward to time with their granddaughter during the summer in planning a cruise with her to Tide’s Inn.
Mr. Worth has also planned a mens-only trip aimed at hitting as many watering holes as possible along the Chesapeake Bay. Their full summer agenda aboard the 42 will act as a precursor to next year’s full cruising schedule aboard their 48. They look forward to long weekend stays in Charleston and a return to some of their favorite New England destinations. Their new Sabre 48 is being built with a pair of Cummins QSC8.3 engines delivering 550 horsepower each. Mated to Zeus Pod drives, they’ll help tighten the turning radius while maintaining and even improving on the great handling and stability dynamics that the couple loves about their 42. The new Christine will afford more space above and below with an additional stateroom that is just as well-finished as the master, so that the Worths may comfortably bring other couples along for their cruising escapades.
Just as a sailing heritage remains apparent in the boats that Sabre builds today, the Worths’ seasoned sailing pedigree lives on in their continued appreciation for destination cruising—and most importantly—enjoying the ride along the way.