“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do then by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
When I was five years old, my father took our family sailing on the Long Island Sound. It was my first experience with what was to become a life long passion. After a few years, my dad bought a beautiful Choy Lee 26, which we sailed and spent several Springs varnishing. Our next boat was a 1976 C & C 25, which my dad let me sail on my own. With college friends, we sailed to Martha’s Vineyard, Cuttyhunk, Block Island, Newport, Fishers Island, and Montauk. She was appropriately named “Swan”; she was white-hulled and gracefully sailed through New England waters. I learned how to cruise on “Swan”, use a Loran, navigate by chart, deal with weather and fog, and anchor. She was freedom.
As a teenager on Mecox Bay in Bridgehampton, I sailed a sunfish and a Hobie 14 and 16 (which I still enjoy) and windsurfers. A brackish bay next to the ocean, Mecox benefits from strong winds, lake-like protected waters, shallow enough to right a capsized Hobie or to beach-start a windsurfer.
For my first real blue-water sailing, I crewed on a Columbia 42 from Bermuda to Newport in 1986. After waiting out severe storms, we had great weather for the voyage. I loved the experience. I also crewed on a friend’s beautiful 37′ wood Cutter-rig from City Island, NY to Stuart, Florida. Friends and I chartered a few times in the BVI’s.
My first boat was a used 2001 Catalina 36; a nice coastal cruiser. I sailed “Severn Run” for a few years. However, I admired the layout of the boat docked next to me and I later traded my Catalina in for a new 2005 Beneteau 423. She’s called Davali, after my children and wife, and an ideal coastal cruiser; fast, easy to handle and maintain with furling main and jib, a beautiful red, white and blue gennaker, easy to single-hand, stable, a very well layed-out cabin, and nice lines. Davali sailed all over New England and the Long Island Sound with friends and family. She’s been a joy.
I have always dreamed of sailing around the world since reading Dove as a kid (recently enjoyed re-reading). Not sure if that will happen, but sailing across the Atlantic will be the fulfillment of a lifelong dream! To further prepare for an ocean voyage, I got my 50 Ton Captain’s license.
To cross the Atlantic with speed, stability, comfort and safety, I chose a catamaran. After considerable reading and attending many boat shows, the best fit for me is the Outremer 45. The Chris White Mast-Foil 47, built in Chile, is also a favorite of mine. But built in France, the Outremer enables me to cross an ocean on a proven, fast, well-built, and beautifully designed catamaran.