The Music of Wayfinder
Music and sailing are inextricably linked for me. When I think of sailing my first sailboat, Xerxes, around the Bahamas, I think of Miles Davis, Jimmy Buffett, Lauryn Hill, the Beatles, Jump Little Children, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Nirvana, and Pink Floyd. Those were the albums that got the most play in my little marine CD player. Heck, the only thing my 12V battery was really for on that boat was cranking the engine and cranking the jams.
On Voyager, a 100′ Azimut I captained for a year, I think of Diana Krall. I remember sitting in Hurricane Hole Marina in Nassau for night after night, sitting on the back deck with a Kalik after a long day, with Diana crooning through that boat’s fine audio system.
On Tieta, a 74′ Sunseeker I took to Barbados one summer, I think of Eminem and Bob Marley. This was the trip Amber joined me on, and we wore out some CDs, again in a really nice audio system.
But nothing compares to what I’m hearing on Wayfinder, and we aren’t even done yet. First, a look at something that shows you just how manically perfectionistic this boat builder is. Because of the location of the TV, one of the speakers in the salon was going to have to go to the left of the screen. With the speaker flat, the center of the cone of sound was going to bounce off the hard glass before reaching the audience. I suggested we tilt the speaker in a bit. This is what they came up with:
How gorgeous is that? It’s touches like this and going the extra mile that make these the finest cruising catamarans on the market. And yet less expensive than many of their competitors, because we aren’t doing carbon spars, rotating masts, and daggerboards to get an extra half knot of speed or degree of pointing. Keep in mind that these boats win regattas and knock out 200-mile days on crossings while fully loaded for cruising.
Some more examples of the handiwork with the audio/video system. Check out the stainless steel mounting bracket they made for the TV:
And also the brilliant placement for the iPod docking station, which keeps the tray out of the way even when left open, so you can see the iPod:
Brilliant stuff. And with the system partly installed (the cockpit is still left to do), we decided to hook up a 12V battery and have some tunes for the last couple weeks of the build. Sorry for the lack of light. Better video coming soon. And the cell phone’s audio pickup does NOT do this system justice. It sounds amazing, and this is coming from a former high-end AV installer:
Also check out the subwoofer placement. This is going to be the best seat in the house on movie night:
The best change, though, has been to move two extra zones up into the staterooms. There are controls by each bed, so one can listen to music before falling asleep or tune in when they wake up in the morning. One speaker is in the shower, aimed at the overhead hatch. The other is over the bunk, aimed forward at another hatch. These four speakers (two on each side) positively FILL the forward deck with music, so you can hear while underway, up on the trampolines or bow seats. Not something you could do on these boats before, or on many catamarans at all.
Years from now, I’ll have memories of cruising this boat, and those memories will be paired to new albums and tunes that I discover along the way.