Pedigree Sailboats

Pedigree is a word that, in my humble opinion, only a handful of sailboats and yachts can claim. Does the world make great sailboats in the 2000's? Sure! But there is something to be said of the "golden age" of fiberglass which ran from 1975-1985. I just made that up! Some people would argue it was the decade before, when oil was cheaper and hulls were thicker. Others would argue it was the decade after! For instance; Nautor AB was founded in 1966 in Finland to produce the legendary Swan brand that began with the Swan 36. Iconic designers Sparkman & Stephens created the Swan 38 and 47. Then, the Swan 65, Sayula II won the first ever, Whitbread Round the World Race in 1974. In the l​ate 70's, the company contracted Ron Holland to design five boats. Beginning in the 1980's through 1998, German Frers was the designer of many swift Swan's. The company continues to innovate and has just entered the motoryacht side of boating in 2021.

Not far from Finland in Sweden, the Swede boatbuilder, Fisksåtra Varv AB was a pioneer in fiberglass boatbuilding, in 1975. About thirty-three 55 foot models were built between 1975-84. The yacht, Swede 55, was designed by Knud Reimers, Inspired by the elegance of the traditional "square metre boat." That wasn't the end for this classic design, Several prestigious one-offs have come from the original 55.



This brings you up to speed for the context of the newest photo to enter my Performance Sailing Gallery! I photographed "Ohana" in San Diego Bay on a day when the fog was playing peek-a-boo with the sun. I got a nice photo of her working upwind but when she turned to go downwind with her big beautiful red/white spinnaker, i just had to have the shot! This boat and her owner are real winners having won the Newport to Ensenada Race for all PRHF classes in 2018 and again in 2019 in her own class. She finished 3rd out of 11 boats in her class in the 2019 Transpac. I cannot confirm, but i assume she was named "Temptress" prior and in that incarnation won the 2013 Pacific Cup? For some reason, research of privately held assets like "Ohana" become quite murky. So I expect I have missed many more of her titles. Maybe someone who knows will fill us all in here! I did not know of her pedigree when first shooting her. Only when she became a finalist from the thousands of sailing photos I've taken to be hung here did I begin to learn of her glory. 

Swan is probably one of the longest, continuously running. pedigree sailing brands of all. US Designer Al Mason launched Mason Yachts and partnered with Ta Shing from Taiwan who built many of the great sailboats of this age especially after the oil embargo in 1973-74. Little Harbor also emerged with designer Ted Hood producing some exceptional pedigree sailboats in the 80's and 90's. The company was combined with Hinkley, perhaps the top of the heap, so to speak, at the turn of the century and the two brands continue to produce semi custom sail and power yachts. The list goes on with Gulfstar out of Florida and Gozzard out of Canada. There's a few more I have omitted for brevity's sake and I'm American so probably missed even more. So, sorry. But interestingly, many of these yachts are now half a century old and their owners proudly take care of them like the classic they are and deserve. One thing is for sure, when you see one of these pedigree sailboats like Ohana you know immediately that you are witnessing a work of art as well as a technological beast!



Recently I crossed the 20 piece mark in my encaustic adventure. Interestingly more than a few do not incorporate photography! I have gotten brave with my own brush. I am trying to perfect a technique with my black and white version of "Crossed Swords" photograph. With 4 attempts down, I've learned a lot but am not happy with the results yet. Very close though. The photo above is of my first 12 pieces. The Star of India photos came out perfectly, Much like sailing is learning to work with the wind instead of against it, so it is with hot wax. One can prepare for what one believes may happen but can't be surprised when the opposite happens. Stay tuned!



I was introduced to jazz at an early age. My step Grandfather was Bud Freeman and so at age seven or so he gave me a set of brushes to work on the steps of a few stages back then :-) From the first time I heard Return to Forever, i was hooked on Chic Corea and anything and anybody he wanted to play with. I was fortunate to see him two times in fairly intimate settings. My favorite duo then would have to be him and the incomparable, Gary Burton, vibes maestro. This recording i share with you here is a special treat from my favorite internet studio, Tiny Desk at NPR. This is a nice immersive set of 20 minutes so grab a large screen to look at the beautiful Ohana and enjoy the tunes! If you cant watch it all fast forward to 11 minutes at at least take in Crystal Silence.