The right sailboat can put wind into a marriage. Tim Pigula was on the water before kindergarten.
A member of the Knottingham Sailing Club in England, he also spent considerable time in Plymouth on the coast sailing RRS 800 and 29ers. In the summer of 2007, he was an instructor on the island of Minorca, Spain.
One of the students he instructed was Rebecca xx. Dating since then, they married in 2014.
When Rebecca’s job transferred her to Chicago, Il., they knew a boat would be required. Last January at the Chicago Boast Show, they inquired about the First 18. After a nights sleep, they went back and bought it.
Launching the First 18 at Montrose Harbor in early May and it’s been off to the undulating seas of Lake Michigan with a view of the Chicago skyline as a backdrop.
The First 18 has been an ideal marriage on several levels. “It’s easy to sail and it handles like a well-built dingy with a keel,” said Tim Pigula. “The twin rudders give the boat more grip and keep the boat flatter. – give similar to single rudder. The way the spinnaker it set up, it’s easy for two people and also very easy to use singlehanded. The cockpit is quite big. We’ve had four people, but it’s ideal with three. The lines are simple and easy to operate.
“Downwind, the boat takes off. The boat goes as fast as the wind speed. I’ve had 25 knots and the boat handles incredibly well. The keel gives it plenty of stability. If it’s blowing too strong, I’ll furl the jib. If you want to drop anchor, you can.”
As a freelancer, Tim Pigula’s schedule allows time to get out when he wants and the First 18 is easy to operate singlehanded. – Seth Schwartz