I have a Windrider 17, you know, like Ryan’s. Mine came white, didn’t turn white like his did. Its plastic hull is indestructible (I hope). As a trimaran, it makes a nice platform for cruising, camping, and endless modifications. These beauties are a breeze to sail (see what I did there?) because you have the option to steer “hands free” with foot pedals controlling the rudder. This means that if a snotty Hobie sailor screams past you, you can salute him or her with a beer in one hand and a sandwich in the other.
So, picture this. It’s 2006, you’re about to turn 50, and you’re driving the wife and children from the Outer Banks to Norfolk, VA, through the driving rains of tropical storm Ernesto. You had to give up sailboarding because of the pounding on your knees, briefly owned a Catalina 22, but mostly sailed OPB’s (other people’s boats). As you are slowing down to a crawl on the highway with the wipers hopelessly overwhelmed, your mind drifts back to the sailboat you just rented, and fell in love with, in the Outer Banks. “Honey, we should get one of those boats.” You form the statement like a question, fully expecting the logical, practical response which includes the many, many valid reasons against boat ownership. Just then you pass into the eye of the storm: the wind dies, shafts of sunlight coalesce through the thinning clouds until, for a few brief moments, all is sunshine and calm. “Yes, dear, I think we should.” And with that, she was off the hook for my 50th birthday present. Since then I have been the proud owner of a Windrider 17. Subsequently there have been a few seminal events related to my dinghy adventure aspirations:
- I was captivated by The Dinghy Cruising Companion by Roger Barnes.
- Ryan Wegwitz, despite disparaging the Windrider’s (non) pointing abilities, completed the Race to Alaska in that very boat. (I hope we can chat sometime, Ryan.)
- I got the last kid through college, and could retire, thus freeing up time for Boat Love. I am hoping to get to meet you all on the water.