I may have been silent over the last few weeks, but I truly wanted to put my sailing foot where my mouth was.... so to speak. Few weeks ago, I finally decided it was time for me to act on my intense trimaran passion. As I was scouring the internet at night for trimaran news as I do daily (yes it is an addiction) I encountered a used ad for one of the smallest trimaran available on the market. The WETA.
But don't be fooled. That little thing has almost 20 m2 of sail total, in short, it is a sailing rocket. The plus, it is also very easy to sail in low winds, making it perfect in easy conditions to take my wife with me :) (and my daughter, when she is old enough!)
This was not a decision I took lightly, as I had already done in depth research on that thing. For the novice out there, New Zealand, has one of the most amazing and passionate sailing community, so it is without surprise, that they would come up with such a nifty design. If you look at the Americas Cup crews, a big part of the sailors where from down under. They breathe and love sailing, a little bit the same goes where I grew up, in France, where sailing is truly considered as one of the most exciting sport, especially multihull sailing (more than one hull).
Designing a sailboat, whatever the size, is not small feat. That is probably why there are so few "classics" on the water. I call a classic, a boat that has a great following for very specific reasons, whether it is it's "sportiness" like the Laser, or it's ease of setup and use, like the Optimist. The weta, arrives in a market, where the economy is harsh in 2010, and people want easy setups and tons of speed (but safe!). The boat is not cheap (but still very affordable for a multihull), but used (like the one I found) you can find great deals too.
Since I can not really windsurf in L.A (winds are too low), and I now have a family, I thought this was probably the best way for me to fulfill my passion. Not enough wind for windsurf? Ok, let's get more sail area!
When I saw the price of Hull#352 online, I had a mixed feeling of excitement and uneasiness. Great price, but can it still sail? I knew that the picture would not be pretty, but after discussing with my wife, we thought it was worth the trip down the coast to go look at it.
My uneasiness was partly proven...
My wife, Amy checking that the hull is still sound....
That poor Hull#352 had been left rotting in the sun, partly protected, and mostly covered with a serious layer of guano (bird poop). Nevertheless, despite the superficial disastrous situation, the hull was sound and the deck fitting too, just a tad rusty, and the carbon coating gone. A neglected beauty, that Amy and I were not going to abandon there. Even the rudder which had been left in the water by mistake (or abandon) had grown a beautiful family of seashells which was reproducing at a "rabbit under viagra and redbull" rate.
Now the other scary part was the sails, the bag was there, laying outside, and my hart was beating as I reluctantly opened the quiver and unrolled them. To my surprise and joy, the sails were almost mint! Not much outing it seemed. I have owned many many sails over the year during my windsurfing times, and I have seen my fair share of used sails (and created a lot of them too!), but this was not it, these sails had been out maybe 10 times at most! Just a little bit of aging on the main sail luff, and knowing gaastra well, I knew that such a brand would not disappoint.
After a few discussions with the Yacht broker, we agreed on a price, and after a week of back and forth and a very nice broker who built the trailer to carry it (Paul Leake) at Breakwater Yachts in Oceanside, off I went with my friend Tim Noyes to go pick it up! Tim almost lost a foot as we were latching the hull on the trailer, but ended up with just a scratch, thanks for helping!
The boat waiting for us at the dock, and as we are dismantling it.
I had a few minute of sailing it to bring it to the ramp. It was short, but already amazing, and the jib was not even up :)
The road back home to Marina went great (despite the amazing 405 traffic being even more nightmarish than usual). I left the hull at the Boat Yard in Marina after a night spent at local multihull guru Mike Leneman (thanks for giving #352 a place to sleep!). Going for waxing and carbon recoating.
Will keep you posted next on naming the boat, and hopefully, some more sailing!!