Messing about in Boats


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Nick Churton of Lila Delman Real Estate’s London, UK office arrives home and dry above the waves in Newport, Rhode Island.

Broker: Lila Delman Real Estate

Agent: Cynthia Moretti

“There is nothing – absolutely nothing,” said the Rat in Wind in the Willows – “half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” If that is how you feel then there is nowhere quite like Newport, Rhode Island to feed this passion. Newport is all about boats. It is the centre of operations. It is the start line.

But most don’t want to live on board their boats. For the most part they enjoy sleeping on terra firma. So without doubt the best place to be is in a property that has a boat’s view but never rocks – no matter how high the waves get.

I asked people who would know if another property existed in Newport that had as good an aspect as 19 Defenders Row, a duplex condominium overlooking the harbour from every window east, south and west. I was assured that there was not.

While I was looking round the property two sleek ex-America’s Cup boats passed by and a faithful replica of a 17th century naval frigate, plus several two- and three-masted schooners, not to mention a plethora of other craft large and small, wind-driven and motorised, old and new, wooden or otherwise.

This condo is in a brilliant position. The agent, Cynthia Moretti, describes this property as a ‘land yacht’ and she is not wrong. A cantilevered deck hangs out over the water and a beach provides a soundtrack to the property with water lapping on the sand as it would on a hull.

All this is situated on the 20-acre Goat Island accessed by bridge just a short walk from downtown Newport – or you could call the water taxi.

Special, rare, and lovely, this home offers the best of both land and sea. It is about as close to amphibious as you can get without ever being afloat.

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