Captain, 57-foot sailing catamaran Pride
Date interviewed: June 2007
How did you realize you wanted to become a captain?
I was a sailor, have been for 50 or 60 years. I’d been going to the Virgin Islands with my parents since I was a young guy, and I always wanted to go back. I had a career on Wall Street, but it was a means to an end so I could go single-handed racing.
What training did you undergo to become a captain?
I did the transatlantic in 1984 on a 54 footer called Tuesday’s Child, one of the first purpose-built transatlantic racing boats. We shortened her to 50 feet and did the France-to-Caribbean race. I did three more transatlantic before 1990. That’s when I sold my company, took the boat, and left to sail in the BOC Challenge, the around-the-world-alone race.
It started here in Goat Island, Rhode Island, some 27,000 miles of racing. The first leg was 46 days at sea, to Cape Town, South Africa. I was 47 years old. We were racing through ice fields. I came in second place.
If you love the sea, you want to spend time on the sea. I was always jealous of people who earned their living on the sea, so in April 2006 my wife Susan and I bought a Lagoon 58 sailing catamaran. Our first season in the Caribbean, we did six charters, me as captain and Susan as chef and stewardess. Our second season is just starting in New England.
What do you think makes your yacht’s crew unique or special?
We have a place in Maine, so we’re interested in developing Maine with our catamaran for charter.
We also have incredible visibility onboard, 360 degrees even from inside the saloon. We want people to see the beauty of Maine, and they can do that from onboard Pride.
And we are here by choice. My wife, Susan, is a registered nurse who dabbles in architecture. I’m a retired businessman. We are here by choice, owner-operated. So for many guests, we are their contemporaries.
How do you determine what itinerary you will set for a given charter?
It depends on the guests. We try to just give them what they want, even if it’s much different than true sailing.
One of our charterers was 83 years old, one of the richest guys in America, friends with the Bushes, all of that. He just wanted to sit in the cockpit with his wife, holding hands. It was wonderful. We loved it.
How flexible are you about changing the itinerary on a day-to-day basis?
The greatest thing about the ocean is that it’s a highway to everywhere.
What are some of your favorite cruising destinations, and why?
The islands up in Penobscot Bay, in Maine, that’s just spectacular. All the lobster boats are there, and they’re great to watch. It’s more than the place. It’s the lifestyle there of the Maine lobstermen.
I also love the Cranberries in Maine. Little Cranberry, there’s no cars allowed. You walk around and it’s just great independence. The kind of people there don’t talk much, but with a look, they can just kill you. They’re terrific.
The island people of Maine, they’re just the best.
What features onboard your yacht do you particularly enjoy sharing with guests?
The memory-foam mattresses are always a favorite. And our saloon opens right up into the cockpit outside, so the area is something like 22 feet long in total. Nobody onboard Pride feels claustrophobic.
We also have a kayak with a glass bottom that’s great, especially for people who are older or who can’t snorkel. It has two seats, and people can go together or I can take one person right over the reefs. They just love it.
We also have the trampolines up forward where people can relax and have privacy. That’s one of the great things about catamarans, all the room to spread out.
Describe a typical guest’s day onboard your yacht.
We try to plan out the itinerary the night before. We don’t travel at night for safety reasons, and we want to get to our destination in time to get a good anchoring spot. So we get under way as required, and we make a stop somewhere for lunch along the way. So we’re usually sailing a little bit in the morning plus a little bit in the afternoon.
Pride motors at 8 and a half or 9 knots, and when the sails are up, we can do 20 knots. So we can move to keep away from the crowds.
What kind of charter guests are your favorites?
I like mature couples. I love kids, too, but we love to sit down and listen to people’s stories and their life experiences.
The people who come out with us, they’re like living novels.
What else should CharterWave readers know about you and your yacht?
We want a chance. It’s hard to get people to come to New England and try a catamaran, but I know people will love it.
The 58-foot sailing yacht Pride is part of the Flagship fleet. She takes six guests with two crew at a weekly base rate of $15,900, or about $3,300 per person with typical 25-percent expenses factored in. Contact any reputable charter broker for more information.