New York Angels founder Brian Cohen has made his mark on the business world by investing in over 200 disruptive start-up companies, though he is perhaps best known for being the original investor in Pinterest. So when it came time for Cohen to replace his Swan, the investment legend knew it was time for something a little more… disruptive. Even Anarchist. Very little in today’s sailing market intrigued Brian until he discovered Gunboat, and the excellent new Gunboat 55. We rarely publish gushing reports, but given the stature of this author and our love for all things Gunboat, we thought we’d share some glowing positive sentiments from a happy new boat owner. And to Brian: Keep disrupting, bro. And for you grommets who don’t know what we’re referring to in the title of this piece, get educated, and don’t forget to watch the video below Brian’s thoughts.
My life has always involved technology disrupters. Little wonder that meant my sailing life would also be disrupted by the extraordinary vision of Peter Johnstone and my new Gunboat family of 100 artisan boat builders in North Carolina. From the moment RAINMAKER left the dock in Wanchese, headed for NYC, I knew my life would never be the same. Being the honored owner of the very first GUNBOAT 55 comes with the great responsibility of sharing its luxury, speed and grace with whomever I could. The sailing world has forever changed!
On Father’s Day I took the first sail with my family on Long Island Sound and anchored in Huntington Harbor. If a sailing experience can be magical, this one was, and we all shared it together. We toasted the moment and then took turns at the wheel, sailing past every one, countless wide-eyed faces trying to figure out just exactly what it was that they were seeing.
On board we shared the exhilaration as RAINMAKER’s speed dramatically accelerated, 12 knots, 13 knots, 14 knots, and screamed in harmony as she hit her stride at 18 knots. Screams gave way to giggles, everyone thoroughly enjoying the rush of fear and excitement of such an unknown experience. The boat’s ease of use and power have created a new level of quality and performance expectation in the sailing universe.
My urge to sail RAINMAKER is very intense. I live in the West Village and have reserved a slip just 15 minutes away via the PATH train at the beautiful Newport Marina. Against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline, and amongst the many 100’+ motor yachts, RAINMAKER’s sailing power and luxury feel right at home.
We are fortunate to have the young but very experienced chief Gunboat skipper Chris Bailet onboard, who is quickly connecting with RAINMAKER’s mind, as I become its soul. This past weekend with winds nearing 25 knots, we seamlessly climbed through speeds in the high teens and into the twenties, eventually flying faster than the wind!
I’m looking forward to getting RAINMAKER out on the racing circuit as soon as possible, our first test being the ALIR in late July, a race I won in 2002 aboard my Swan 40. If our early experiences are an indication of our potential, RAINMAKER will become a regular sight on the race course.
In the meantime, we’ll be enjoying evening and weekend sails on the Hudson. If you happen to be in the New York Harbor, please come by and say hello.