Mission Statement & Disclaimer
The ultimate purpose of this site will evolve. Of course, I want clients to be able to reach myself and my colleagues. Hopefully there is practical material here of interest to anyone who wants to voyage across the bay or around the world, just as the books by sailors like Robert Manry, Eric Hiscock, Bernard Moitessier, William Willis, and many others aided me, particularly in those early years when I first discovered that a life of adventure and personal fulfillment is open to anyone.
No one needs to be rich or unusually talented to experience the magic and mystery of the offshore world directly. Yes, people have crossed oceans on ocean liners and megayachts, but they've also explored and traversed this wilderness by kayak, dugout canoe, beach catamaran, even a modified barrel. I've often reached into this world with simple, small craft. This site also can serve as a minimalist's guide to what is possible.
At the same time, I feel particularly lucky that the subjects I've explored in my writings and images have not been relegated only to sailors. Hopefully, those on terra firma as well as afloat who seek inward voyagespsychological, emotional, philosophical, and/or spiritualwhich give any physical journey meaning, will find things of interest here. Messing about in boats and around the water over the last half century certainly has defined and fulfilled my life, but the boats themselves are simply the tools that I've used to reach something else, usually challenging, even incredibly difficult and painful at times. Like any boat bum at the yacht club bar after a difficult race, I've always been able to appreciate the mistakes, near-misses, and injuries, at least in hindsight. Just as Dodge Morgan would tell people that he sought to become the first American to sail around the world nonstop singlehanded because, "it is different and difficult," I have found that fulfillment from tackling challenges trumps fun. It lasts. But of course, a bit of pleasure is no sin in my book either.
Let's get one thing straight: I've been lucky enough to rub shoulders with some of the most talented sailors, boat designers, and boatbuilders in the world, and I make no claim to be one of them. I remain a generalist, probably one of the last. I have love for the way in which my related but disparate interests and activities have cross-fertilized one another. I believe that this has aided clients in coordinating multiple aspects of their goals and kept the theoretical in line with the practical and workable in the real world. I believe that I have created some good boats, acceptable writings and images, and successful passages, often while working in somewhat unexplored territory.
That said, I have a deep respect for others in the marine trades with more specialized talents. I hope to continue to celebrate their contributions through my writings, photos, and art as well as to work with many of them.
Bear in mind that only a few of my colleagues are highlighted as associates here. I have drawn on the services of many more not yet shown. I hope to expand the list and the services that they offer through this site as time goes on, but whether you see them here or not, if I am managing a project for you, I will reach out to whomever I feel will serve your interests best.
In short, I suppose that my most fundamental goal is to provide people with multiple platforms with which to share in the world's greatest wilderness, the sea.
I make no claim to expert status at anything. Like most I've known, I have my limitations of knowledge and experience. I also have difficulties with blanket generalizations. Although I have sailed, literally, hundreds of craft over the years, the only thing I can definitively conclude is that each vessel has its own personality and that rules of thumb are useful only generally. When looking at a particular design problem, for example, one must seek the specific qualities and compromises regarding the boat, its equipment, and the conditions in which both are being used. Someone who issues rules on things like "the only effective technique to handle heavy-weather," misses critical questions about how far away land may be; how the weather system is situated and moving; what the currents are doing; and how well the boat heaves to, sails downwind, or drifts to a sea anchor. Context and time also matter as developments and knowledge evolve. What might have been a problem in years past may have been solved. Alternatively, what appeared to be promising in theory may have been proved to be seriously flawed when manufactured and used in the real world. Also, truth, like beauty, often is in the eye of the beholder. One of my primary goals is to inform clients of general compromises inherent in particular solutions, but some compromises are never revealed until a project is complete. Even boats that look very much alike to a practiced eye can handle quite differently. What works for one type of person can be a disaster for another.
The bottom line: I offer no guarantees or warranties of any kind. Users of our services and this site are well advised to always seek second opinions, and in the end, they must take responsibility for their own choices. If you can't do that, you certainly have no business going to sea where there is no breakdown lane and few tow trucks. If you can, however, I wish you fair winds on your own voyages over water or land, and may you always find a snug harbor.
Copyright © 2011 Steven Callahan