As the seasons begin to slide towards fall, there is no better time to cruise on the Columbia River where spectacular foliage vies for your attention with the nearby wineries of the Willamette Valley, challenging hikes up the 800-foot Beacon Rock and enchanting cascades like the 611-foot tall Multnomah Falls. To see everything that this unique part of the world has to offer, your best option is a sporty, comfortable cruiser like the new Velasco 37F from Jeanneau. Here Nick from Sundance Yachts based in Seattle and Portland explains why this gem of a boat is the perfect choice for relaxed family cruising on the Columbia.
Built with open-air living in mind and perfectly-suited to family cruising, the Velasco 37F is the ideal base for exploring every hidden bay and secluded harbor dotted along the immense Columbia River. I recommend spending time soaking up the sun on her foredeck sunpads, dip your toes in the clear river water on her swim platform, or head up to the flybridge for stunning 360 degree views of your breathtaking surroundings while you enjoy a bottle of fine Pinot Noir from one of Oregon or Washington State’s remarkable local wineries.
Inside you’ll find a well-proportioned kitchen ideal for preparing light meals with locally-sourced produce from Sauvie Island Farms which is set on America’s largest river island. I love to gather round the table with family and friends, savoring the bounty of this wild yet fertile landscape in the dining area that is filled with natural light thanks to the large windows. Below decks there are two cabins, a spacious master cabin and a generous double cabin which is ideal for accommodating children. To make life onboard a little easier, Jeanneau Boats have also incorporated a roomy head with separate shower conveniently located on the lower deck next to the two cabins.
After a sound night’s rest lulled by the soft lapping waters of the Columbia River, there’s no better feeling than putting the Velasco 37F and her twin 260hp Volvo Penta engines through her paces on the calm waters around Cascade Locks. This glorious stretch of river played a key role in America’s history, with Lewis and Clark battling through the once-impassable rapids that ran here in 1805 on their great voyage of exploration. Today a very different sight greets travelers who pass this way and it is known locally as a sailor’s paradise due to the excellent sailing conditions and smooth waters, making this an ideal spot to end your voyage up the Columbia River before heading home.
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