A birthday boat ride fit for a columnist princess

Sexy Beast




For my birthday, I was wishing for both a sexy beast and a sunset boat ride. My manifestation was a two-in-one special. The lesson: if you are going to dream, dream big. After all, those are a hell of a lot of birthday candles to blow out.

I have always been more of a classic sailboat sort of gal, but when I had the chance to do a sea-trial for the new Pershing 9X, the answer was, after only the briefest of pauses, “Yes.”

Part of the Ferretti Group of fine yachts, the Pershing is the panther, known for its sleekness and speed. And of course, the Italians do chic design better than anyone, and its luxurious interior and four cabins are polished modern. I’m in. Ready to leave the dock, you walk up to the huge top deck and arrange yourself, lounging on cushions, waving down at the mere mortals in the marina below as you ease out into the harbor. It’s kind of like walking down Main Street with Brad Pitt. My inner princess felt completely acknowledged.

A gentle cruise past the breakwater was just the precursor to the pedal to the metal when the captain gave a heads up to hold onto your tiara because we were going to experience the full power of this watercraft. I can only describe the sensation as going from a Big Wheels to a Ferrari. The Pershing reaches top speed of 42 knots — think Nantucket in four hours. I thought about the rich history of Sag Harbor in the whaling era where it would take so long for the boats to venture out and return that often a sailor would come home to find his wife gave up on him and remarried. No such problem with this yacht, where you arrived at Sunset Beach before you can say “Aperol Spritz” — not even enough time for that wife to flirt with the butcher.

Water represents emotion, and leaving the grounding of land to be immersed on the sea taps into a reservoir normally trapped by work, anxiety, limiting beliefs, and “Game of Thrones” withdrawal. Each care, disappointment, loss, and poor past decision can be tossed to the wind and absorbed into the deep blue depths. If you are thinking anything other than “how lucky am I?,” you are missing the experience or need to seriously put away your phone.

When I went back down to the cockpit, the captain offered to show me the signature Pershing rooster tail. (I like roosters, unless they insist on waking you up in the morning.) You think for a moment about wanting to water ski on this frothy wake until it rises up like a gorgeous geyser. The fountain of youth.

At first, I thought of this Pershing as very masculine, but when I observed the cabin coffee table book “Ultimate Toys for Men,” I thought, Hey, boats are “she,” right? Why can’t this powerful creature be feminine? More cougar than panther? It is designed with stabilizers for smooth sailing and ease of docking, perfect for entertaining or escape (handsome captain not included). And for a woman whose prerogative it is to change her mind, she can move her floating palace from port to port depending on her mood. She can be a sexy beast too.

The only problem with this sort of a ride is when it ends. I asked the captain his stowaway policy and would gladly walk the plank if I could just find a place to hide and go on one more trip. Seriously, I only left my purse behind by mistake . . . Ahoy!

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