The Montauk Catamaran Company Chronicles: An Introduction

(The Montauk Catamaran Company Chronicles is an ongoing series of posts detailing the construction of Mon Tiki Largo, a James Wharram Designs Pahi 63 MkII. The author’s current boat is the catamaran Mon Tiki, a JWD Tiki 38, which he built in 2012 and currently operates as a daysailing charter in Montauk NY. You can see all the posts in this series by clicking here.)

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I don’t much care for meta. I don’t like writing about writing, or films about making films — or even worse — writing about why you can’t make films.

I am also suspicious of any sort of writing about making things – motorcycles, canoes, catamarans — that supposes to reveal deeper truths about what is real or valuable.

And yet here I am, about to do the first, and at risk of appearing to do the second. So let me take a moment to speak plainly to my objectives.

Firstly, as a method for providing for my family by doing work I do not hate, Mon Tiki seems to be a success. I like taking people sailing very much, and for now at least, it makes enough money that we can tend to today’s needs and save against the opportunities and hazards that tomorrow will surely bring.

Secondly, promoting Mon Tiki has renewed my love affair with my first real mistress and profession — photography. I’ve posted some of the fruits of that affair here, and many many more on Mon Tiki’s Facebook page. Photography, the art and craft of shaping an image, satisfies something in me in a way that building and sailing cannot. It’s not better or worse, it’s just different in a way I enjoy.

But as photography is not sailing, neither is it filmmaking or writing, the essential difference for me is that it is not story telling. And I miss telling stories.

Also, if I have a regret about the Mon Tiki build, it’s that it was not as well documented as it might have been. We were under some considerable pressure to get her finished and earning, so whenever faced with the choice of documenting or doing, doing won out; and what I’ve found is there are things I’m relearning because too long has passed since I last did them, and I didn’t writing them down or photograph them the first time through.

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So then, my aim is for each day I work on the Pahi 63MkII  to also make a post about work that was done. I will ask your forgiveness in advance for any posts that suppose to offer life-lessons (we all know this inevitable.) But mostly I would like to emerge with a mostly complete chronicle of this build. To what end, I’m not sure. I’m considering it etudes for story-telling, a practice I wish to continue.

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