When Herman Coombs decided he needed to upgrade from his 35-footer, he took a trip down to Point Judith, R.I., to take a look at a 40-foot boat for sale. He left at 4 a.m., driving four hours from Orr’s Island, Maine, to meet up with the owner.
After taking a look at the boat and discussing the cost, Coombs asked if he could walk around the docks a bit. He wasn’t looking to buy right away and didn’t want to jump right back into the long drive home. But then he spotted another boat for sale that was in better shape and 5 feet longer. He called the phone number on the for-sale sign and became a buyer.
“It was about four or five slips down from the boat I had come to see. The owner of the other boat asked if he got a commission on the sale,” he said with a laugh.
After the details of the sale had been worked out, he traveled back down to Rhode Island to take the boat home. Coombs’ carefully planned travel day turned into an 18-hour trip up the East Coast in a bad storm. “It wasn’t the best situation, but at least I got to see what she could do.”
He decided to name the boat Jocelyne K, after his daughter.
In the 13 years since the purchase, he’s done plenty of work on the boat. He’s repowered it twice; rebuilt the deck when it started to go soft; put in new fuel tanks, lobster tanks and a fish hold; and done extensive work to the cabin. But somehow the boat is still recognized from its past.
“I posted some photos of ice-covered windows on the boat to Facebook one day,” he explained. “And then we got a message asking ‘Hey, do you know Ed McCaffrey?’”
It was Ted McCaffrey, son of the original owner, and they’ve been good friends ever since.
“It’s great because he can get to see that the boat his father helped build from scratch is being well taken care of,” said Coombs.
Ed McCaffrey has passed away since, but a piece of him still lives on in the Jocelyne K. In the wheelhouse, there’s a small part of the wall with Ed’s signature on it.
Coombs has painted around the signature twice.
“It’s like Ed is still here, like I’ve got someone out there sailing around with me,” said Coombs.
Home port: Bailey Island, Maine
Owner: Herman Coombs
Builder: Young Brothers, Corea, Maine
Year built: 1982
Fisheries: Lobster and tuna
Hull material: Fiberglass
Length: 45 feet
Beam: 15 feet
Draft: 5 feet
Tonnage: 23 tons gross,
19 tons net
Crew capacity: 4
Main propulsion: John Deere 6135, 650-hp at 2100
Gearbox: Twin Disc 5114 2.49:1
Propeller: 36:40 bronze, four-blade
Speed: 21 knots wide open
Fuel consumption: 32 gph
Fuel capacity: 828 gallons
Hold capacity: 4,000 pounds in three tanks
Electronics: Hondex plotter, Hondex sounder, Sitex plotter, JRC 6-kW radar, Raymarine autopilot, Durabrite lights, 6-kW Northern Lights generator