Editor's note: The following was originally
posted on Dave Perillo's website.
Thank you, Dave, for allowing us to share your thoughts
Why have I created this website?
That question has been asked way too often as
the days have passed since these pages initial launch just a
little over three weeks ago.
The reason is simple.
In a world filled with with jet skis, windsurfers,
kitesurfers and various hi-tech wonders of which I have owned
a few I am lucky to have rediscovered the joy of cruising on
an open dinghy and I want to give others the opportunity to
see the light as I have.
As a youngster and right up until quite recently,
my personal belief was that a better boat was a faster, bigger
and more expensive vessel.
Obsessed with multihulls from an early age, I
owned many of them in various forms of one sort or another culminating
in the worst possible investment of my nautical career, a third
share in a Ketterman Trifoiler thinking that sailing at 40 knots
would some how satisfy my aquatic yearnings.
Of course it was good fun if your idea of fun is scaring the
proverbial out ones self, hurtling along so fast that the spray
is literally injected into your eyeball sockets necessitating
the wearing of motocross goggles, and a helmet to protect ones
skull should the spindly over stressed biplane rig come crashing
down on top of you as did happen on more than one occasion with
Ahh, those were the days, yet I was still unsatisfied and I
The final pre-openboat rediscovery purchase was
a magnificent 10 meter catamaran. A cruiser/racer from the pen
of Malcolm Tennant capable of speeds well into the 20 knot arena.
That boat admittedly had a lot more going for
it than the Trifoiler however it was a HUGE expense to buy,
own and operate and the monies spent on maintaining that gulf
rocket could have easily built me the luxury length version
of John Welsfords awesome new Pathfinder,
a boat that had I built instead of squandering thousands on
new sails, insurance, moorings and the like on other lesser
craft I would no doubt still own and enjoy the enormous benefits
Of course the Pathfinder was not around around
in those days yet there were plenty of similar on the market
and one which I new about and had even considered was the famous
So what happened I hear you ask, what was the
catalyst of change. Well one day I was at work flicking through
a recently purchased Boat Trader magazine, I still had the 10
meter catamaran but I just knew I needed something else, and
there was a small ad complete with a grainy black and white
photo of a Navigator for sale in Wanganui.
Three days later that boat was mine and I'm cruising down the
harbour here in Auckland having a ball. Three weeks later the
cat was sold and I was cruising Fiji; shattering the typical
offshore cruisers image as to which is the perfect boat for
I know for a fact that many offshore cruisers
who I met in Fiji were really envious of my carefree ability
to up anchor at a moments notice and sail from beach to beach,
across reefs and into mangrove forests when ever the mood took
me while the unfortunate skippers of larger craft looked on
knowing full well that I'd be at my next destination before
they could even raise there anchor, let alone a sail (or three).
But lets forget about Fiji for the moment, sure
its all white sand beaches, coconut palms and warm weather over
there but I have been having as much fun, if not more, here
in Auckland, New Zealand during this past winter with my new
Just this last Monday, a beautiful day here in
the city of sails, I left work early and towed my boat down
to Okahu Bay and headed out to find the source of the Tamaki
Estuary. As I sailed in on the flood I passed hundreds, no,
thousands of boats sitting there looking quite lonely waiting
for their owners to turn up for a sail. Many of these craft
were totally neglected and needed thousands spent to get them
into some sort of sailable condition.
What a waste.
Sure there were a few keen punters and I do mean
a few out enjoying the beautiful evening as was I and good on
them. They were people who obviously have their priorities right.
Stay home and watch another episode of Coro St, or go out and
live the dream. I know which offer I'll always choose. Sailing,
TV, internet, playstation.
Of course its sailing.
So back to the point of my website.
It is to get you people out there motivated,
sell that bloody twenty thousand dollar jetski ( I hate those
things) or that almost totally unnecessarily large boat and
buy a small yacht like mine. You don't have to have a Navigator
or a Pathfinder or a Drascombe (though it does help). I spent
many happy days cruising the gulf on a 12 ft Sunburst which
was perfect for a youngster as I was then and I'm sure in NZ
there must be plenty of similar such craft sitting in garages
or gardens around the country no doubt going cheap that would
be perfect for starters and consider the benefits.
1. Comfort. Yes incredible as it sounds I feel
very comfy reclining back in my Navigator, gliding down the
harbour with my family/friends aboard as we gaze across at the
many poor unfortunate souls forced to endure the high speed
antics of their partners desire to go full blast out to their
favorite fishing spot in their glass or aluminum speed boats,
their hulls slamming the engine screaming the fuel burning.
oh lovely. You can't even talk on those machines let alone pour
yourself a wine and prepare food and coffee as I like to do
I have many friends with fizzboats whose kids
have grown to hate boating and quite frankly I'm not in the
least bit surprised. Yet when these same kids see my Navigator
they are begging for an opportunity to sail on her. To me that
says it all.
2. Almost no fuel requirements, or even none
at all if you like. My Navigator has a 4hp O/B but a 2hp is
plenty for most craft around this size and 10 dollars gas goes
a very, very long way should the motor be needed at all.
3.Trailability. This is where big boats owners
could learn a thing or two. My Navigator sits at home undercover
in the garage when she's not in use. I love to see her there
every morning when I go to work, get the paper or put the rubbish
out. Quite often I'll stare at her planning what might be needed
for the next cruise and if I think of something needed its just
a matter of popping into the garage and placing whatever it
is aboard. And of course when friends or acquaintances come
to visit she is truly a magical conversation piece. And when
I'm ready to go I just hitch her to the car and I'm off. Very
4. Affordability. When one considers how much
many fishing/speedboats cost a boat like John
Welsford's Pathfinder looks positively cheap. When
comparing the price against a new thirty or forty footer, well
you could buy everyone in your family a Pathfinder each. And
if you did your summers would be the most memorable ever, you
would be the envy of everyone and you and your kids would learn
some fantastic new skills and you'd also be saving a fortune
in marina fees.
5. Adventure. You can pretty much go anywhere
a big boat can and many, many places a big boat can not including
small boats with big engines. My Navigator will sail in just
over a foot of water off the wind. I can explore rocky coasts
at unbelievably close quarters. She surfs well and carries a
fair load. I am a keen fisho and I have caught many great fish
from her whether trolling lures or bottom fishing she's a perfect
platform. And at the end of the day when you end up miles from
home as happens often I can set the boom tent in a jiffy. From
the dry storage area under the foredeck I'll grab a foam mattress,
a sleeping bag and a big feather pillow I stole from home and
sleep in total comfort. Sleeping on any boat is usually pretty
comfy but on the Navigator it takes on a whole new ambience.
So close to the water, usually pond still as you've found your
way into into a little nook or cranny of the bay or estuary
no other type of craft would even lightly consider and be woken
by the sun or the birds.
If that does not sound like heaven to you then you're at the
wrong website (try personalwatercraft.com) if it does then get
out there tomorrow cause you are missing out on some of the
the finest entertainment available.
Theres plenty more reasons and I may add to the
list as I remember them. In the mean time.
GET OUT THERE and LIVE.