- Category: Boats & Gear
- Created: Monday, 11 January 2010 17:40
- Written by Charles Doane
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Though not well known here in the U.S., the Golden Hind 31 is an iconic boat in Great Britain. I bought one in Maine over 10 years ago, cruised it on the coast there for several seasons, and developed great respect for it. Conceived as a shoal-draft bilge-keel cruiser for gunkholing the tidal creeks and swatchways of East Anglia, it is also a proven bluewater boat. For many years it was said to hold the record for most transatlantic crossings by a production sailboat and at least one has been around Cape Horn.
Though it does have its quirks, the Golden Hind is extremely versatile. With less than four feet of draft it can sail into all kinds of nooks and crannies where other boats dare not venture, a feature I found very useful when exploring Penobscot Bay and environs. Thanks to its bilge keels, it stands up straight when aground and can be anchored with impunity in areas that dry out at low tide, which is very helpful when you're looking for a parking place in a crowded harbor. Add to this the ability to cross oceans, and the Golden Hind makes for a unique package, particularly for a small boat exhibiting a great deal of traditional charm and character.