In addition to her good looks, YOKA lives up to her North Carolina sea keeping abilities. More than once I've been out in 25-30kt winds with 8-10ft seas. In fact we fished one day off North Palm Beach when it was blowing 30 from the North, the seas were 10 plus. It was only when we got back to the dock and someone questioned 'You were out fishing? It's blowing over 30'. The boat handled so well we just never gave it a second thought. We did catch a couple of sail fish, why come in early?
My other memorable story about YOKA is a trip I took to Lucaya on Grand Bahama with my wife. This was in March when the weather is still a mixed bag. As usual, the weather was beautiful until we thought it was about time to think about heading back to North Palm Beach. The wind picked up to 25-30kts, that night we experienced the worst thunderstorm I've been in. It blew 50 with gusts to 70 for 4-5 hours, wild! The sky was lit up the entire time and the thunder was continuous. The next day the wind stayed up at 25 to 30kts, with the weather report saying it was going to drop out to 15 to 20 on Saturday then go North late in the day. As a double check I called NPB Marina for the US weather forecast, it was the same. We had to get back home on a Monday flight. It seemed this was the only shot. I wasn't the only one who was anxious to get back to Florida. As it turned out there were 4 boats that left the Marina within 15 minutes. The first was a 54' run-of-the-mill brand, 2nd, a 58' Searay, 3rd, YOKA and the last was a 58' Monterey. 'Brand X' didn't last very long. As I was headed out the Bell channel he was headed back, I got the report 'It's rough,' the wife said when she went airborne in the cabin she knew it was time to head back. At this point the 58' Searay was just behind me, he asked me what I was going to do. My reply, 'Give it a try, I can always turn around.' At that point seas were 5'-7". The Searay said that made sense to him also and we were plugging along about 20 kts, not a bad ride in a port quartering sea. A couple of miles behind us the Monterey is also plugging along.
In about 1/2 hour we were at the West end and things changed... it was like being in a washing machine, seas were now 8'-10' and coming from all directions, it was a good thing I applied another coat of seaview before we left. Moments later the Searay informed me he was going back to Lucaya, conditions were too bad for him to continue. Now my wife looked up at me and asked, 'Are we all right?' My response, 'We're not in any danger but it isn't going to be a nice ride.' She said ok and we continued now at 18kts. When we were back to the Lake Worth Inlet my wife said, 'I still can't get too excited about the looks of that Carolina Flare, but this is one heck of a seaboat.' She knows too, we've been caught leaving Nantucket in similar conditions and had to jog at 6-8kts in a Downeast Maine boat. We had fueled up and were back at our slip washing down when the Monterey showed up. We made the trip in about 4-1/2 hrs never pounded once. I needed to rub a little salt in the wounds of the guys that turned around so I call the dock master at Port Lucays to report we were back tied to the dock enjoying a cold beer. He told me they all bet we pulled into the West End."
Dave W. - Wakefield, RI