|My image of the Annalee is on the cover of the March issue|
The Electric Launch Company, later shortened to Elco yachts, was in operation from 1893 to 1949 building classic wooden boats. They are known for their handsome interior woodwork and handsome lines. Stepping onto an Elco does provide a tangible connection to boating’s history and makes for a head-turning boat ride too.
Vintage Voyages is a boutique business in Beaufort, S.C. using the Elco for sunset cruises, wedding occasions and more. “We specialize in intimate cruising experiences with between two and six people,” said Mare Deckard. “We used to live on Lake Norman near Charlotte, N.C. and loved to sail and powerboat. Then we moved to Beaufort in 1999 so that my husband could run a charter fishing business.”
Captain Tim Deckard pilots the Elco when she is chartered and Mare rides along for each cruise as well. “In order for the Captain to remain focused while at the helm, I will take care of all the service duties while underway,” said Mare Deckard. “This includes photography, cleaning afterwards or perhaps decorating the boat for a special occasion. I especially love to dress up the yacht with wedding bells and white lace when we are providing one of our bridal deliveries.”
|A couple enjoys the Elco Cruisette at sunset|
With a max speed of 10-knots after repowering with an electric motor, the Annalee is willing to travel around Beaufort to provide dock-to-dock custom cruises, but they are not suited for long trips. “This is a unique vessel and we are very hands on with her,” said Captain Tim. “She has had only five owners in her history and we only found a handful of companies that offer any insurance for this type of craft.”
So what type of experiences can one order up while in Beaufort? How about a sunset cruise under the Dock and Dine model, where the Annalee goes to a restaurant that brings the food to the boat. A small table on the aft is the perfect place to enjoy a meal or maybe even a sunset cocktail. The Annalee does not serve alcohol, but spirits can be brought aboard by approved caterers and restaurants, or customers may bring their own bottle. The Annalee is open-air so dress accordingly for the temperature on the water.