JO BETH was ordered to be built in 1984 by the Pacific Seacraft Corporation, in Costa Mesa, California. She was the 16th of her type built, and was christened “PUFFIN” by her original owners. For the next 19 years or so, she sailed the waters between the United States and the Caribbean Islands, and was based in St. Croix, the US Virgin Islands.
We bought her in 2003, after a multi-year search for our ‘dream-boat.’ JO BETH is literally just that. Lisa and I had admired the Pacific Seacraft boats for years, since we decided to make our cruising dreams a reality. We found her for sale in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and traveled to see her.
It was ‘love at first sight.’ After the marine surveys and sea-trials were done, and the fund transfers completed, she was ours. We renamed her JO BETH, after Jo Beth Luttrell, a dear and much loved family friend. We completed a few maintenance projects, and sailed her back to Georgia. Lisa and I are only her second owners. It is quite unusual in this day and age for a 34 year old boat to have had so few.
Pacific Seacraft boats are designed and built to cross oceans. They are true modern voyagers. Many have circled the globe. Pacific Seacraft, among a few other builders of ocean sailing yachts, was featured in Ferenc Mate’s excellent 1986 book, “The World’s Best Sailboats,” and are recognized as boats that can take competent crew anywhere in safety and comfort. Pacific Seacraft is now headquartered in the quaint small town of Washington, NC, up the Pamlico River from the famous Outer Banks.
JO BETH is a beauty to behold with her classic lines, canoe stern, graceful curves, and bronze deck hardware and ports. She is ‘sea-kindly’ and sails well with her easily driven hull shape. The hull is constructed of solid, hand-laid fiberglass. Her interior is teak, and her cabin sole is teak and holly.
JO BETH is 34’ from bow to stern; her length on the waterline is 26’. She is 10’ on the beam and needs at least 5’ of water in which to float. The top of the mast is 55’ above the waterline. She is configured as a cutter, with a total sail area of 650 square feet, and consists of a mainsail, a headsail, and a staysail which also serves as a stormsail. She is also fitted with a storm trysail for very severe weather conditions. She carries a combined 70 gallons of freshwater in two tanks, and 35 gallon of diesel fuel in one tank. Spare water and fuel jugs are stowed on deck and hold 20 gallons of water in four five gallon jugs, 15 gallons of diesel fuel in three five gallon jugs, and 5 gallons of gasoline, (for the dinghy outboard motor) in one five gallon jug. Cooking fuel is LPG (propane) stored in two 12 pound tanks. When fully loaded, provisioned, and ready to go, JO BETH displaces approximately 8 tons.
In 2013, we began a full refit of JO BETH at the Hinckley Yacht Services yard, Savannah, GA, with an eye toward making her our home and beginning our cruising life. Her hull was painted above the waterline and years of old anti-fouling bottom paint were blasted away from below the waterline. Long needed repairs were made to the rudder and her tiller replaced. Her mast, boom, rigging and sails were all replaced. The electrical systems, plumbing systems, and navigational electronics were updated as well.
We also modified the interior to improve the efficiency of available storage spaces. She is fitted with hot and cold pressure water, a refrigerator/freezer, and three burner propane stove and oven. She is more than just our boat, she is, in every way, our home.