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November 24, 2014

Give the Gift of Sailing

If you give the ‘gift of sailing’ to a friend or loved one, he or she will be happy as a toddler with a shiny new toy. 

Club Nautique
©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Foreign visitors observing the frenzy of manic shopping that will take place this Friday — ‘Black Friday’ — might think it is some sort of pagan ritual, perhaps to gather material possessions in advance of impending doom. Just the thought of those hordes of shoppers makes us want to run for cover — especially since half the stuff that’s purchased will probably be re-gifted or returned.

There’s a better way. Why not give ‘the gift of sailing’ instead? Whether you need a present for a diehard sailor or a non-sailor who’s curious about the sport, there are all sorts of great possibilities — none of which is likely to be re-gifted. Here are a few ideas:

  • A sailing course to learn the basics or upgrade skills
  • Personal safety devices such as a PFD or a personal transponder
  • The electronic navigational gadget that the sailor in your life has been lusting after
  • A new foul weather jacket to replace the stained and leaky one he or she uses now
  • A down payment on a sailing vacation in some dreamy tropical destination
  • A top-rated nautical adventure book to read this winter
  • or — perhaps best of all — some official Latitude 38 logowear from our online chandlery

Look for more ideas in Sightings, Max Ebb and World of Chartering in the December issue of Latitude 38, coming out on December 1. Good luck. We’ll see you out there — on the water, that is, not in the shopping malls.

The Frugal Cat Cruiser

Chris White believes in light, performance catamarans. Even so, his 57-footer was a little too heavy to lift.

©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Over the years we’ve seen a lot of things cruisers have done in order to save money to continue their pleasant lifestyle. But this is the first time we’ve ever seen the owner of a large catamaran attempt to singlehandedly lift his 57-ft cat and launch her without benefit of a Travelift. Sure, folks with monohulls up to 40 ft do it all the time, but at least they get help from friends — two guys on their hands and knees beneath the keel, one gal at the bow, and one gal lifting the rudder. Then heave-ho, into the water she goes! Unfortunately, some yards in the States don’t allow it anymore.

We’re kidding, of course, just as Chris White was kidding when he posed for this photo at the La Cruz Shipyard with his about-to-be-splashed Atlantic 57 cat. More than 80 larger multihulls have been built to White’s designs, and if we’re not mistaken, he’s the guy who came up with — or at least popularized — the forward-cockpit concept. He also wrote The Cruising Multihull, which had a major influence on the Wanderer in the design of Profligate. If we remember correctly, White explained that all things being equal, if you double the length of a cat, she will be 16 times more stable. If you’re looking for a multihull with maximum accommodation, White is not your guy. He believes in performance.

Chris had to head back to Dartmouth, Maine, for a month or two, after which time he plans to return to his boat, then head up into the Sea of Cortez. When he returns, we plan to take him up on his offer of a daysail and do a proper interview.