When I was a teenager, I
dreamed of circumnavigating, of
visiting far-flung lands in a stout-built sailboat that would weather
whatever the oceans threw at it.
It was a highly romantic notion,
without any practical foundation.
As I matured, I followed
closely the cruising exploits of
John Guzwell aboard Trekka, of
Steve and Linda Dashew aboard
Intermezzo, of Lin and Larry
Pardey aboard Seraffyn, and I
gained an appreciation for the
resources and commitment
required to make cruising dreams
into reality. It never occurred to
me that there was a powerboat
And then I met Larry Briggs,
who turned around my notion
that bluewater cruising required
Larry Briggs dropped anchor
in Newport Beach in late 1979
or early 1980, on his three-year
aboard a Bill Lapworth-designed
trawler yacht called Champion.
Lapworth, the most formidable
West Coast naval architect of
his time, was best known for
his competitive sailboat designs.
But he must have taken special
delight in designing the 52-foot
Champion for Briggs, who would
become the first person to take
a yacht without sails—a trawler
yacht—around the world.
I accepted an invitation to
tour the boat, to soak up her
salty interior, to marvel at her
large, stand-up engine room and
even larger fuel tanks, located
where staterooms might
otherwise have been found.
Briggs’ photo albums contained a
dazzling array of snapshots from
anchorages and waterfronts all
over the world, as well as some
interesting pictures of a dozen or
so large warps Champion towed
behind to slow her when
traveling down the face of
towering waves during a storm at
sea. I was converted.