Back in the 80's I owned and raced a Paper Tiger
14 ft cat for several years in Wellington, NZ. The one thing Wellington is famous for is lots of wind, which made for some very fast and exciting sailing in these little boats.
Around that time the windsurfing phenomenon was just getting going, and by the mid 80's the Paper Tiger had been replaced by my first windsurfer, a glorious 12ft long Superstar
Many different boards followed, and I moved on from triangle racing into slalom and wave sailing, until 10 years later I was living in Auckland and a mate was looking for a boat to buy...
I went to look at a few with him until one day over a cup of tea and a game of backgammon we ended up going shares in a Great Barrier Express
28ft catamaran. Now this was living! For the next five years we spent all our spare time sailing that boat all over the Hauraki Gulf (site of the last Americas Cup) and up and down the coast. It was big enough to enjoy living on for a week or two at a time, and fast enough to do a weekend trip to Great Barrier Island and back (100 miles round trip) and still be on time for work on Monday. Hence the name - Great Barrier Express.
We would travel light - living off the sea and camping on the trampoline under the huge boom tent
. There were 2 berths in each hull to use if the weather turned foul. Our shallow draft meant we could anchor in places that were impossible for keel boats to get to, so we found some spectacular and isolated places to stay. And finding suitable female company for a trip never seemed to be a problem when you own a boat like this [img]smile.gif[/img]
Comfortable cruising speed was around 10 knots, and we had 15 on the dial occasionally. This design held the NZ speed sailing record for a while at something like 27 knots.
These days my sailing consists of the occasional blast on a 9ft slalom windsurfer, but I will always remember the catamaran days as some of the best in my life. Thanks for the opportunity to reminisce a little.
grum[ August 07, 2003, 03:06 PM: Message edited by: grum ]