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Different strokes…

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-WorldCruising.com 10 Apr 22:00 UTC
The change in profile by adding the new gunwale to the quarters of the Seawind 1260 has really freshened it up. © John Curnow

Was a time when sailing was something you started at when young, and kept on doing all the way through. Now the ways it all happened changed as the circumstances of your life unfolded, and many a racer turned to cruising when a family was being brought up, or got to partake in it all later on in life. Whilst not a prescribed pattern as such, it was probably best described as more like a good overlay that could encompass the scenario nicely, thank you very much.

So then, in the last little while I have watched two completely different groups go about things that will eventually see them doing very similar activates, yet the journeys to get there, and the craft selected to perform the tasks are so different, as to have you thinking there could be no correlation whatsoever.

The first were a couple that you would describe as middle aged, not of retirement age. They had been born on opposite sides of the Pacific, but married, had two children and then worked very hard over the ensuing three decades to build a business, a family, and along the way take the whole lot far and wide as they pursued their sporting endeavours.

He had been introduced to boating by his father as a young lad, and her waterborne experience was far less, but she was certainly amenable to it all. Once the children had gone off to university, they sold the business, moved onto the boat, and started to cruise further and further afield as they got used to sailing once more in his case, and got her up to speed on all the nuances of not just boating, but cat sailing at that. Speaking with them recently you could see that it was a plan that was working out well. He actually was interested to talk about how cruising had changed over time, given his recollections of it all from a time long gone. Their intention is to go further afield into the Pacific over time, and then after that, who knows. Good on them.

The next soul is a racer par excellence, and a helmer with great touch, especially uphill. He has done regattas all over the wider Pacific region, and into Asia since the late 70s, and gone from IOR heavyweights to carbon planing machines. Drawing in towards retirement time, he started to develop a plan for the great beyond. Would it be Fiji first, then Noumea and Tahiti? He had a smaller craft initially. She was a good design, well built, and light for her age and size. She was not what was going to take him further afield, but was designed to keep him in the game, whilst the larger match was unfolding.

Recently, the little boat gave way to a bigger craft. One that could easily achieve high 6s on the nose, make 10 on a reach, and loved a kite from say 110 back. A grand old dame had been found that had been well look after and maintained, and given his background, came from the pen of a very reputable naval architect, and in its time was a bit of bluewater speedster, and constructed accordingly.

She is a monohull, for he has no issue with heel, and does not require apartment-like amounts of accommodation when he starts his grand tour in a few years time. His grown up children may join him at some point, but he won't require more than a few bunks, and anyway, they will be able to remember their own childhood when the whole family crammed into trailer-sailers. Until then, he has a capable club racer, has already added to the wardrobe (as if that wasn't going to happen), and it would seem that there may be some more rags to come soon enough.

So in all of that we get to see that very different paths will ultimately have very similar aspects. Will they ever meet in an anchorage somewhere? Who knows? Would be crazy if they did, but stranger things have happened, especially when boats are concerned. Ultimately, whilst it all may have been very different to get there, and the experience curves are almost dichotomous, it is quite ironic how the similarities are there to be found.

Today you will find that we have information for you about: no such thing as a healthy tan, Multihull Solutions to show the Fountaine Pajot Astréa 42 at Pittwater on 27/28 April, we look at Hinnerk Bodendieck who created the magnificent art series for Pantanenius Sail and Motor Yacht Insurance, Multihull Central settle into their new home at Royal Queensland, Southern Hemisphere readers will note that we have the Wooden Boat Raft Up at Blairgowrie coming up on April 19, as well as the famous Pittwater Beneteau Pittwater Regatta on May 11, there's the World ARC in the Pacific, going from a 420 to a Brigantine, the Suzie Too Rally in the Caribbean, using kinder cleaning products, saving dolphins in Florida, antifouling, Cowes Harbour, Greek Cruising tax, as well as much more.

So you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other Hemisphere, go to the top of the Sail-WorldCruising home page and the drag down menu on the right, select the other half of the globe and, voila, it's all there for you.

In the meantime, do you love being on the ocean? Well remember to love them back too. They need our help. Now more than ever! Until next time...

John Curnow
Editor, Sail-WorldCruising.com

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