The Jackye III1/2 - Craftsmanship Extraordinaire
story & photos by Ellis Anderson
- This month- The Jackye III1/2 is a Beneteau 42" Swift Trawler, owned by Jimmy and Sharon Crane. Come aboard!
They contacted friend Stanton Murray, whose family has been in the yacht brokerage business since the 1970s. The company has offices in New Orleans, Pensacola and St. Petersburg, Florida. The Cranes gave Murray their wish list, and he began the match-making process. One of the main points on their list was dual engines: one memorable trip on their old single engine trawler had convinced the Cranes that two was always better than one, at least as far as motors go.
While shopping, the Cranes day-tripped as far east along the panhandle as Destin. They even flew down to South Florida, where they looked at boats from Miami to Key West to St. Petersburg. Nothing quite fit the bill, although one came close. Murray invited the Cranes to stop by his St. Petersburg office before they flew home and as Jimmy says, “they reeled us in.” The Cranes were given a tour of a 42’ Beneteau Swift Trawler. Everything they’d looked at before paled by comparison.
Beneteau is a French company founded in 1884. Their name is synonymous with fine craftsmanship and exceptional design. Most Beneteaus in the world are sailboats however, since the company just began making trawlers in 2005. But the quest to be best made the trawlers instantly sought-after by discriminating buyers.
The Cranes were hooked on everything but the price tag. Murray searched and found an exceptional deal on a 2005 Swift 42’ in League City, Texas. The boat was in pristine condition and the twin engines only had a few hundred hours on them. The deal was struck then Jimmy and crew brought the Swift back from Texas.
The boat’s unusual name stems from a family joke. Sharon’s mother’s was Jackye I and Sharon’s sister is Jackye II and their daughter is number three. The Crane’s first trawler was named Jackye III after their daughter. Since there’s no Jackye IV, the new Beneteau became Jackye III1/2.
The family has owned the boat for five years now and enjoys taking summer “adventure” trips to Florida, shorter trips to the islands and according to Sharon, “just dropping a hook in the Bay and having dinner aboard.” They frequently entertain on the boat and spend nights there frequently. It’s easy to see why the Cranes take such pleasure in the boat. Anywhere the eye comes to rest on the boat, it will find another cleverly designed and finely crafted feature.
For instance, the handsome wood cabinetry and trim throughout has been sanded and finished to a satiny texture that invites the touch. The attention to design is showcased in details like the gently curving steps leading to the forward cabins or the sleek wood-backed captain’s chair. The galley is cunningly incorporated into the main salon, so the cook has plenty of elbow room, yet isn’t isolated from guests while preparing a meal. The bathroom could be transported from the future, perhaps from a space ship with luxury suites.
The boat sleeps five with two cabins. It also has two heads and one shower. There’s an Onan generator, three smaller zoned A/C systems, a refrigerator, microwave, oven and BBQ “pit.” The Cranes, who work with house plans for a living, are especially appreciative of the efficient layout.
The boat’s performance is another factor in the Cranes' satisfaction level. Both Sharon and Jimmy love the way it handles in rough weather. Two steering areas – one above and the other in the main salon, make handling easy in all types of weather. A bow thruster makes docking a cinch, even in difficult conditions.
With two 365 HP diesels, the boat has plenty of power, in fact, it has the capability to cruise at an astonishing 22 knots. While it’s great for lazily cruising out to the islands, the Beneteau is a “fully-planing” boat.
“It actually gets out of the water when it’s going fast, so it’s very economical fuel-wise, even when it's going fast,” says Jimmy.
While the Cranes love traveling aboard the boat, they make full use of it as an Old Town “camp” many times a month, especially during festivals or the monthly Second Saturday Artwalks. Their black Lab Lola comes along and seems to have developed a love for boating.
“In most of the harbors along the coast, you need a car to get anywhere,” says Jimmie. “In Bay St. Louis, you’re able to walk to anything. I love just sitting and watching the activity and the lights of the city.
Sharon points out that they’ve made several new friends in the harbor. “Everyone’s so friendly,” she says. “It’s a nice feeling, like I’m on vacation whenever I’m here.”