The River That Flows Both Ways

I’ve wanted to motor up the Hudson River for decades. So, when my brother Rik bought a 1989 Transworld 50 Fantail Pilothouse Trawler—the perfect mini-yacht to cruise the Hudson—I proposed a leaf-peeping tour for October.

My brother and his wife, Anne, were headed for Australia that month, but he directed me to their daughter Hannah—my niece—who lives aboard Consensus in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Rik had spotted the fantail in the Soundings classifieds the previous fall, decided he liked it and proposed a deal to Hannah. If she paid the docking fees and shared the maintenance costs, he would buy the boat to cruise and she could live aboard the rest of the time. Hannah’s Manhattan lease was ending, and she’d just been promoted to be the Port Authority’s Environmental Specialist for New Jersey’s seaports, which would put her office in Port Newark.

My niece grew up on small boats, canoeing, sailing Lightnings and WoodPussys, repairing small craft at her uncle Jimmy’s boat shop in the Adirondacks and test driving Rivas and Chris-Crafts. She’d never operated anything above 25 feet, but immediately embraced the idea of living aboard and learning how to operate a larger boat with more complex systems. My brother bought the boat, and Hannah purchased a share of it and moved aboard.

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