it’s a god-damn catamaran

Reader Rant

I see this SA front-page famousness again applied to a big fast catamaran. But from the dim and distant past, we remember that Nathanael Herreshoff began to build catamaran boats of his own design in 1877 such as Amaryllis (US Pat. No. 189,459). Both his design and his vision were roundly and permanently rejected by the mighty establishment.

Yet today, here on SA, we see a paean to the modern catamaran, labeled a Gunboat 55 no less, sailed by Brian Cohen, certainly a member of the establishment. Seeing this, perhaps a newly reincarnated Nathan H. could smile, and say “Shucks, fellas, ya just gotta believe in your vision”.

Even 10 years ago I would have been a bit surprised at such a sentiment.

I once met such a properly dressed sailorman at the famous Jones IceCream store on US 131 in Baldwin, Michigan. This is a required stop when driving south to Chicago just after the Chi-Mac race.  Being friendly, I asked him about the most recent results, and was regaled with stories of the huge monohulls which had taken only a record 32 hours to win the 330 mile contest.  I responded that Stars and Stripes had done it in 22 hours and change several years before, but I got the famed Hawaiian “stink eye” from my new friend. “That’s not a sailboat”, growled he. “It’s a God-damned catamaran”. – Anarchist Dave.