Morehead City and New Bern, NC

(Not old Bern, Switzerland)

May 14 – 16

Left Southport, NC Wednesday morning for Morehead City where we planned to anchor out. Winds were really picking up so we decided to pull up anchor and tuck into the Morehead City marina.

At Southport we attended a briefing on the waterway from there to Norfolk, Va. In the handout was a warning about a section of the river where it intersected with the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway(AICW). In the image below you can see red where there is shoaling (shallow area). The author of this handout indicated waypoints that would steer the boat away from these areas. If you look closely along the top of the river you can see a light red line. That is known as the magenta line on chartplotters. It is the line you would follow when traversing the A/ICW. In this particular instance it was wise to use the supplied waypoints to avoid the shallow areas.

Hmmm, when I entered the waypoints into my chartplotter they were all over the place and no where near where they were indicated in the previous photo. I am getting to be on a first name basis with Garmin tech support. Called em up and they instructed me to go to a menu that had 6 different methods of entering waypoints. Huh, didn’t know that. In the image below the waypoints I entered are indicated by a “sawgrass” icon and a 3 digit number. Close to the bottom center you can see waypoint 126. That should have been on the dotted line to the left.

While I was waiting for the call from tech support, I called my pal Steve Kuchma in Chicago who had installed navigation equipment in the past. He sent me this Nav Alert regarding this area. Where it refers to R76 and R74 it is refering to the red numbered channel markers which line the left side of the channel when traveling north. With this version of the warning we were able to traverse this area safely.

Thanks Steve!!!

Thought I should steer clear of this channel marker.

Remnants of Hurricane Florence that went through here in September.

Family enjoying their own private beach.

So much different scenery in the last couple of days.

See the dark red “pie slices” pointing at one another?

The one on the right is a car and pasenger ferry 150 feet long moving 10 MPH and crossing my path .6 of a mile away. My AIS identifies that boat this way.

That spot on the right side of the ferry is a 44 foot boat.

We slowed down to let him pass. The “pie slice” on the left is the tug KINNAKEET although AIS identifies it as a passenger ship.

You can see the 2 vessels in this photo.

The other boat Kinnakeet’s AIS signature.

First time in a long time we have seen sailboats using their sails in lieu of their engines.

Look closely at this homemade contraption. A small barge with a backhoe being pushed by a powerboat. Gotta be a bunch of duct tape on this thing.

John and Debbie on Saltaire have a couple of these Coleman butane little stoves to cook outside so the saloon doesn’t smell like bacon for a week (not a bad thing). Stuck that sucker in the wet bar to see if it would fit.


When we run at 1600 RPM’s or higher for an extended period the transom gets covered in diesel soot. You’ve seen old diesel Mercedes with the back of the car covered in black soot. Really hard to clean off and usually involves solvents that wreak havoc on the environment. Tried Simple Green full strength today and mixed with a little elbow grease and a soft brush, worked great. No Spotted Owls were harmed in the cleaning of the transom.

Let the jokes begin. Put my Little Debbie Honey Bun in a skillet with butter, carmelized all that sugar, and YES MAAM!

Visit to the Hatterass Yacht factory

Looking at brand new boat prices will make your heart skip a beat. The prices are astronomical for a new boat which can take up to a year to build. Every single step in building a boat is done by hand. There are no shortcuts, especially when building a quality yacht. They start with a material called Divinycell, a sort of foam board material.

These are Divinycell pieces waiting to be infused with resin.

The craftsmen wrap each piece in plastic and begin vacuuming out the air which sucks in the resin which infuses the foam with the resin. This is done with every single piece of fiberglass on the entire boat including the hull and superstructure. You can see the resin being vacuumed into the piece.

A finished bulkhead. See that rectangular shaped hole in the middle with the rounded top? Doorway through the bulkhead in the middle of a 70 footer.

These are 2 hull molds. The one on the right is for a 70 foot hull. One on the left, 100 foot long hull mold.

Inside of the 100 foot mold looking forward from the back of the mold.

These guys are vacuum infusing the hull of what is to be a 70 foot sport fisherman. See the guy in the white helmet and red shirt? He is standing in front of a bulkhead that transverses the boat to give it structural integrity.

Debbie doing her best Vana White demonstrating a recently formed superstructure (part of the boat from the deck up). Those aren’t the latest iteration of Ray Bans. We had to wear safety glasses while on our private tour.

Superstructures lined up for mounting on hulls.

Fiberglass fuel tanks being fabricated by hand.

70 foot superstructure for a sport fisherman.

Love those power tools! Bunch of Binford 9000’s!

I really like this photo. It shows a great perspective to how big these boats are.

These are hand made fiberglass mufflers for a 70 foot boat that only has twin 1800 horsepower diesel engines.

Handmade bulkheads and stringers that make the boat very rigid and able to withstand big seas.

Oh baby, twin V-16 cylinder 2800 horsepower MTU diesel engines. At about 40 MPH, these babies will drink 100 gallons of diesel fuel EACH every hour! See the wall in front of them that has a door going through it? That “wall” is actually 2 supplemental fuel tanks. This boat has 4 fuel tanks. Cost of these engines? $300,000 EACH!!!

Putting together the rooms that will make up this luxury monster fishing machine.

Molds sitting outside waiting for an order to build a boat. Hatteras only makes boats to order.

Now I know where Bill got all of his money! Private joke, sort of…ya had to know him.

Left of me in the photo is a propeller shaft. Must be 5 inches thick stainless steel.

Better shot of shaft and strut.

That “wing” that Debbie is standing next to is a stabilizer. These underwater wings will keep the boat level if large waves are hitting the boat from either side. Won’t help if the waves are in front or back.

Great perspective on how big this boat is. Look closely, see the rack that the boat is resting on? Look at the floor and you can make out the tracks built into the floor that this rack rides on.

Those tracks go straight out of this building to this launching pad where the boat is lowered into the water.

The photograph below are of the 2 types of boats we have seen today. The boat in the top of the photo is the “sport fisherman” I had referred to earlier. The other boat is a 100 foot motor yacht.

Inside a almost complete 75 foot motor yacht floating on it’s own bottom.

One of a bunch of control pads on this boat.

Entrance to the taller than stand up engine room.

Check out this flybridge helm. 3, count ’em, 3 sixteen inch chartplotter screens!

Finally, we find a cup holder on this $6,000,000 yacht.

This pod of controls is located on the back of the boat on the port (left) side. There is another one just like it on the other side of the boat. Fabulous for docking the boat. As great as this stuff is, when this boat is 10-15 years old, man I don’t even want to think about it. This great company is hampered by lack of a skilled labor force. They cannot get skilled employees. In it’s heyday Hatteras employed 1400 people. Now it’s more like 350.

Great tour of a cutting edge boat factory.

In closing, look closely at the steel piling Debbie is standing next to. During Hurricane Florence last September you can see how high the floating docks got in this marina. Had the water been a foot higher the docks and all of the boats tied up in this marina would have ended up in downtown New Bern, NC.

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