swan song?

Out in the Dink this past Saturday, former RBVIYC Commodore James Bridgewater called out to ask if i cared to go sailing the next day. Go sailing in the harbour and get invited sailing? Not bad!
A few Loyal West Endians refer to James as “Bilgewater”; rich, british, and a touch snobbish. Still, he knows a good hand when he sees one, eh? Not for the company but for the boat did i go. The boat, Tikitas, is a beautiful classic S&S-designed Nautor’s Swan 43. i had done a little work on the boat, interior woodwork and some deck hardware, so i knew the layout, but i was still itching for a sail.
Well, as it turns out, James had invited along some work friends and some girls he’d met on the beach; not a sailor among them. Everyone else sprawled out, drinks in hand, while i settled myself to sailing the beautiful beast. James claims the boat is “a bit much to single-hand”, but it didn’t seem too much of a bother for me while he went about serving drinks and chatting up ladies. Certianly, to get it really hustling along in racing trim, you’d need a bunch of folks, but i just couldn’t agree with his complaints for cruising.
The Swan 43 looks and sails like a much smaller boat. The visibility over the diminutive deckhouse in incredible, belieing an incredibly roomy interior with full standing headroom all the way forward, even under the long flush deck forward. Tikitas has long been one of my favourite local boats in the harbour, and snobbishness aside, it was a great day of sailing!


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