The Interview(s): Luc McSweeney Mahue

In this month’s issue of Latitude 38, we interviewed a local sailor with lots of color, experience and heritage. Luc McSweeney Mahue is a licensed merchant marine who has worked on “big ships overseas,” but the bulk of his career has been in offshore towing — though that’s not even half the story. Mahue also spent years on the “tall-ship circuit.”

The always-colorful Luc McSweeney Mahue onboard Tiger.
© 2019 Luc McSweeney Mahue

“When I put my head down, it’s my passion,” Mahue said of traditional sailing. He says he’s not a historian, but his knowledge is based on “maritime historical evidence, my time at sea, and what works and what doesn’t.” Mahue owns the 60-ft pinky schooner Tiger, and also runs Tiller and Gaff, a supplier of handmade tools and crafts for traditional sailors.

“I was looking for something to do with the other six months of my life,” Mahue said of his business. “When you ship out, you go to Alaska, you go to Hawaii, and then you come home and it’s like, ‘I kind of just want to hang out.’ And for me, that was working with my hands and making sure that Tiger was alive and in use, but also, expressing myself in an artistic and functional way. I’ve had a lot of fun putting my artistic twist on my grandfather’s ditty bag. These are real heritage tools for me, but I’m putting them out there to the world.”

Out The Gate Sailing also recently interviewed Mr. Mahue. In Luc Maheu, Traditions, Tattoos & Tiger, Ben Shaw deepens the conversation about being a master mariner, merchant marine, charter captain and artisan. We cannot recommend Out The Gate enough for “sailing and adventure,” and an in-depth look at some of the Bay Area’s most colorful mariners.

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Small Boat Launch Ramps
Over the past decades, there has been a great increase and improvement of the trails around the Bay, but our favorite 'Bay trails' always end in the Bay. The Bay is ringed with numerous launch ramps where Lasers, Hobies, Day Sailers, Thistles, West Wight Potters and many other small boats are launched to explore the Bay.