Gizmo deal for real, thanks to the A team


It was a bit anticlimatic, but I’m told that on Friday the funds moved, bills of sale were signed, and — good golly, miss molly — the Duffy Atlantic 37 formerly known as Rain Dog III is mine!  It was a learning process, for sure.  I may know a fair bit about boats (Lord knows I should), but hardly beans about the intricacies of buying a real yacht.  I’m very grateful for the help of two professionals who also happen to be friends: surveyor Steve Bunnell (above) and broker Dave Perry.  If I ever need a yacht-buying A team again, I’m calling these guys.

I also benefited from the deep knowledge of DePaul Diesel founder Denny Klodner, who surveyed the boat’s Volvo Penta.  Not that there were problems; the two day survey and sea trial process we all went through a few weeks ago went well. The pros couldn’t find much wrong, the boat looked as good in the water as I’d hoped, and she handles as well as she looks!  I tamped down my enthusiasm during the final negotiations — didn’t want to jinx the deal (though the owner and his broker were gentlemen throughout) — but it’s bubbling up now.  I’ve got magazine and other chores early this week, but Friday morning I hope to be en route to Connecticut in a rental car with a sleeping bag, tools, and a box of electronics in the trunk.

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

38 Responses

  1. Dan Corcoran (b393capt) says:

    Congratulations Ben !!

  2. Dan Corcoran (b393capt) says:

    There are a lot of zincs in this picture, is that normal, or an indication the prior owner is overprotective ?

  3. Lookout Sailors says:

    Congrats! I hope the prop came in the deal as well. Hard to get home without one.

  4. John says:


  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Five bladed even, and made of nibral. She’s a yacht I’m tellin ya.

  6. Congrats Ben! She’ll be a perfect Maine gal!

  7. flee says:

    Well chosen, Ben.
    It looks like you have waterline to spare for more batteries and cabling!

  8. Yarrrhhh…. congratulations! She looks hearty.

  9. Congratulations. A great looking boat!
    And many thanks for a blog that’s high on my daily reading list.

  10. norse says:


  11. mark fordice says:

    Congrats, Ben! That’s great news.

  12. SanderO says:

    Congrats Ben! This blog is going to get interestinger and interestinger. Way kewl dude!

  13. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks, SanderO (and all).
    One thing I’m rapidly realizing is that after years of trying stuff in my lab and on small boats — but then trying to imagine them in use on a serious size vessel — the new Gizmo is going to be a testing dream. Panbo is going to the next level!

  14. Sandy Daugherty says:

    WARNING: The Surgeon General advises all owners of big boats on moorings to buy a second complete set of tools else the one you want will be in that other box.

  15. Richard Cassano says:

    Even though there are no sails, I forgive you, congratulations and wish you the best. And, while I’m at it, thanks for all the great information on Panbo. You’ve saved me from many mistakes.
    S/V Gray Eagle
    Northport NY

  16. Roger B says:

    Wow, Ben, she’s a beauty.
    Wish we had boats like that at similar prices on this side of the pond.

  17. Ethan says:

    Congrats Ben! Beautiful boat. Need any help bringing it up the coast? Honk as you pass through Cape Cod Bay.

  18. Mike Martus says:

    May you have fair winds and following seas.
    Mike Martus.

  19. MaineFog says:

    Congratulations Ben! Looking forward to seeing lots of test gear on the mast and an AIS blip on the screen. You will appreciate the big rudder.

  20. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Richard (and other sailing Panbots), note that the new Gizmo could carry a fairly substantial riding sail on her existing mast and boom (though I’m not sure how effective it would be).
    Better yet, she could carry a decent small sailing craft on her boat deck, with the working tender (row/electric) swung up on the swim platform. Any suggestions for a super light, maybe 12′ max, sailboat (could be a multihull if it folds or dissembles easily).
    PS While I have a zillion ideas, I won’t be buying any more boats for a while πŸ˜‰

  21. John K says:

    Congratulations! As far as lightweight sailing dinghies go I’ve always admired the Gig Harbor line. They have kevlar/composite versionsat 75# for 10′ and 130# for their 12′ models at reasonable prices.

  22. Jon says:

    Good for you, Ben. And we’ll all have to cut you a little slack as boat work gets in the way.

  23. Peter says:

    Congratulations – while she is out you may want to repaint the waterline @ 4″ higher for the gear you are going to put on the boat πŸ˜‰

  24. Bob Austin says:

    Congratulations–on the purchase of a very beautiful boat. She will give you many years of good voyaging!
    Bob Austin

  25. Mike says:

    Good to see a ‘real’ boat for once. From the pics inside it seems comfy and well-fitted.
    Front pics is dejavΓΊ from the shark movie πŸ™‚

  26. Eliboat says:

    Congratulations Ben, that looks like a very sweet ride.

  27. Larry/Knotty Dog says:

    You will LOVE this boat. I have that hull but finished by Campbell Custom Yachts
    Here is a link to our search for the perfect boat

  28. Mike says:

    Duffy’s are well-found boats. Nice catch! And being a single-screw, you get to display your chest hair when docking in snotty conditions! (grin)

  29. Reed Erskine says:

    Looks like a gorgeous weekend for a trip Down East from CT. and a real beauty to carry you home. We’ll try not to be jealous as you leave us all in your wake.

  30. Tim Hasson says:

    Kudos Ben! Enjoy!
    And great going on the new writing gig!
    -Tim Hasson

  31. Dan Corcoran (b393capt) says:

    Did Ben take his SPOT ?

  32. Kees says:

    Didn’t he give/lend his Spot to Russ? Shame, as he could use it himself now, but I bet he didn’t expect to buy this boat a year ago

  33. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I gave Spot #1 to Tom Amory (Flash of Beauty) just before he set sail for Finland last June. He should be coming back across soon, and we’ll see how coverage is at lower latitudes.
    Then Spot kindly send another sample, which I gave to Russ. I’m hoping he’ll test the coverage fringes out in the Pacific, but so far he seems to be short hopping from one Caribbean rum hole to another. I like getting his position e-mails though.
    So, hey, I’m on the boat, lovely evening down here in Groton, CT. And damned if there wasn’t a well shipped bottle of good bubbly waiting for me right at the salon door. From the ex owner? No, it was Dan who apparently did a little detective work and made it happen!
    Thanks so much, Dan, and thanks all of you for the good Gizmo vibes. I love Panbo.

  34. Sandy Daugherty says:

    Hmmm; a 12 foot folding cat. I’m on it.

  35. BillP says:

    Congrats, Ben. Welcome to the dark side. There is nothing like a real lobster boat running at speed through any kind of seas. Assuming the hull is from Spencer Lincoln, so she’ll be way more seaworthy than any of the crew. Lobster boats are the Tahiti Ketch of powerboats…the real deal.

  36. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Just exited Cape Cod canal.

  37. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    The new Gizmo and I are back in Camden, after a 32 hour steam from CT. A few issues, but no real problems. The boat is a keeper! More soon.

  38. Bill Lentz says:

    Ben, great looking boat I am envious. Perhaps someday I will be able to convert from my Sedan Bridge to a Trawler similar to what you bought. May you enjoy many days and nights on this beautiful boat. Regards Bill Lentz

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *