A CATAMARAN CAPTAIN'S CHRONICLES - "Introduction"

My friend and mentor, your publisher; John Sykes, has asked me to attempt to write a column to you catamaran owners and future owners on topics of interest to all of us. First I feel I should tell you a little bit about myself I have been sailing catamarans since 1974 in Chicago, when I helped a friend complete and launch a back-yard built Spindrift 38 designed by Lock Crowther and modified to 40 feet. We taught ourselves how to sail on Lake Michigan. having never sailed so much as a sunfish. Within six weeks, being the seasoned sailors we now were, we took the boat down the river system to the Gulf Of Mexico, and then proceeded to explore the islands of the Caribbean. During the next two and a half years I learned a lot about sailing and about catamarans I made most of my serious mistakes such as almost getting run over by a super tanker in the Gulf of Mexico, losing steering in Government Cut, Miami and chafing through two anchor rodes to tear out the bottoms of both hulls on. a reef during a storm in Gun Cay, Bahamas. This period of learning turned out to be fortunate for my future employers as I have been sailing -professionally ever since. Certainly things still go wrong and I still make mistakes but they are tempered by experience and preventative maintenance.

In the years that followed., I have made a living delivering yachts; both sail and power. I have spent a brief stint as a charter boat captain in the Virgin Islands. The boat that I chartered was not a multihull nor were the majority of the deliveries. Multis were not on the scene then as they are now, but cats have always remained my preference. I have worked for the same individual for the past fourteen years. He is a Texas oilman with a passion for sailing. He has owned three boats at different times which I have captained. He began with a beautiful Finnish racer/crulser. For the last ten years we have had large catamarans. The first was a French designed and built custom one-off aluminum cat, sixty by twenty-six feet. The owner's son and I designed and engineered most of the systems and amenities We currently have a Lagoon 57.

This brief history is meant as an introduction. Although I am not Phillipe Poupon nor Kevin Costner WATERWORLD), I do have an extensive background in sailing, building, repairing, and refitting catamarans. In future issues I hope to share some of my insights -and -experience to address questions, needs and problems that all catamaran enthusiasts have had or will have. See ya then.

Capt. Bill

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