Argosy charters primarily in the bay now, but she has proven her seaworthiness through thousands of miles of ocean sailing.  “ We have logs and charts that show it’s been to Alaska three or four times, Mexico forever, back and forth through the Canal, and all over the Caribbean.” says Belmont.  The three former owners were avid sport-fishermen who utilized design features such as a crows nest perched 50’ up the main-mast, a remote autopilot (so the captain could steer from the aft cockpit) and full outriggers rigged to the mizzen which swung out for trolling.
Belmont’s interests are a bit different.  A longtime sailor, he was first contracted to deliver Argosy back from Italy.  One thing led to another and he ended up buying her with the help of some investors.  
Raised in Mexico, Belmont's first sail was on an engineers traditional schooner.  He liked life on the sea so much that he joined the U.S. Navy.  A few ears later, in the early 60’s, he found himself sailing from Hawaii to Singapore with a gang of kids on a big yawl.  He remembers arriving at Tahiti to find exactly two boats in the harbor.
Belmont has also had an amazing career in the music industry.  When you get beyond his bashful front, names like the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead begin to creep into the conversation.  
Designer R.O. Davis was certainly no rock star.  In fact he received little notoriety in his day for his work.  But nautical researchers now seem to agree that this unsung draftsman did a great deal of profound design work which others, such as William Hand, Jr. and Philip L. Rhodes took credit for.  Argosy Venture (originally Holiday)) is the largest of the three yachts that actually bear Davis’ name.  Her sister ships are 50’ Burma (now in New England) and 66’ Seer (now chartering in Tahiti).  
“In a sense,” says Belmont, “we are forced to be caretakers of this historic item, since it really is the logical development of he Hand motorsailer, and the prototype for almost all the Rhodes motorsailers of the ‘50’s, ‘60’s, and onwards.”
The Nevins yard spared no expense effort on Argosy; she is double-planked with 1 1/2” mahogany laid over 3/4” cedar and attached to steam-bent frames.  Much of he hardware is cast from costly Monel allow.
For a vessel of her girth and tonnage, Argosy sails extremely well - especially since Belmont and others have refined her rig for windward work.  Trimmed out properly on weather legs, she plows through chop like a freight train slicing morning fog.  Her 3,000 feet of working sail includes main, mizzen, staysail and a genoa which flies from a (non-original) 20’ bowsprit.   With a decent wind (abaft of abeam) she sails comfortably at 11-14 knots.
Argosy’s brawny wheel spins 14 revolutions from pin to pin.  But with a balanced sail plan she handles like a dream.  Her smooth tracking ability is due to substantial waterline length, in addition to her beefy ‘full-figured’ underbelly.
Every motorsailer has its motor, and this one is well equipped with two 671 Detroit diesels which drive a single prop.  With 2,500 gallons of fuel storage, Argosy could motor from the Bay to Hawaii at 9 knots.  Other systems include full air conditioning and heating, both saltwater and freshwater pressure systems and enormous freezer and refrigeration units.  
Although the soul of the venerable lady probably longs for blue water, for now she’s is quite at home gliding along the city-front or skating up the Delta.  And she’s available for charter for discriminating clients.
--Reprint courtesy of Latitude 38 Publishing--
Designed by R.O. Davis, and built at the Henry B. Nevins yard in 1947, Argosy Venture holds a special place in the evolution of yacht design.  At 1101 feet overall, she is San Francisco's largest commercial sailing yacht equipped for overnight luxury charters.
This stately lady reveals a distinctive profile from across the water.  The ten curtained windows (which roll open may I add) of her broad varnished cabin peer out across a gracefully tapered shear line.  Just forward of her mizzen mast is her expansive covered pilothouse, which shelters steering gear, communications equipment and engine controls.  Sunken within the classic elliptical shape of Argosy’s stern, is a wonderful cockpit which was originally designed for sport-fishing.  For the current owners, however, it is ideally suited for lounging and dining.  On a downwind run, the stern rises and falls over moderate swells as smoothly as a cradle swings on a well-greased hinges.  
From the cockpit, a companionway leads down into the spacious master stateroom, which features a large double bed, an elongated settee and original teak cabinets, two additional cabins can accommodate up to four more guests; there are two guest heads.  The crew cabin is isolated forward.  Belmont and his predecessors have taken great pains to keep the ship’s systems and her aesthetic detailing as original as possible.  Interior appointments are tasteful and subtly elegant, but certainly not ostentatious.  Argosy’s main saloon is big enough to dance in , so naturally, it functions as the hub of socializing and dining.
As a charter yacht, Argosy is licensed to carry only twelve passengers.  Her ideal clients would be a family group or up to 6 couples who want to spend two or three days exploring the Bay and Delta in style.  But she is also well suited for corporate luncheon sails, sunset cocktail sails or laid-back on-the-water sightseeing.  Local yacht charter brokers supply Argosy with occasional bookings, while word of mouth and corporate referrals supply the rest.  
Capton Belmont, whose real job is in the international music publishing, is probably more down to earth than some former captains - he’s more at home in blue jeans than in white epaulettes.  But he and his crew know how to supply first class service when called upon (one of several local chefs is recruited for extended charters).