Hello everyone. My name is Ron and I’ve been posting under the name “Faster” since 2005. Now it seems I’ve been foolish enough to accept an invitation to join the moderating team here on Sailnet…. Actually I’m looking forward to taking a different role here – I think this forum provides a great service to the sailing community, in particular those just coming into the world of sailboats and sailing. I like the generally respectful attitude and helpfulness (and the fun-poking and camaraderie) that is part of the flavour of Sailnet. By the way I’m Canadian so get used to seeing some more words spelled properly from now on! I'm also almost pathologically camera shy so pictures are a bit hard to come by. But here's one from the spring, with our new favourite crew, our now-nearly two year old granddaughter.
Here I'm getting soaked by a tropical squall off Diamond Rock, Martinique
I grew up in a very remote, small company town on the BC coast (currently nearly a ghost town) and so lived on the water from a young age. While speedboats were the ticket as a teenager, I was introduced to sailing as a youngster in the 60s in a limited way but even so the seed took root.
It was nearly 20 years, though, before we took that first step and purchased our first sailboat in 1981, a Shark 24 after having moved to Squamish, BC., not far from Vancouver and Whistler. Within a year our son made his imminent arrival known, and we quickly moved to another rare-to-BC boat, the C&C designed Viking 28. She was a sweet boat and we held on to her for 10 years. In that time we also got into a partnership arrangement on a Martin 242, a locally designed day racer – a fun boat that was capable of planing at speeds of up to 12-14 knots. In 1992 together with our partners we moved up to a Choate 40, a partially ‘cruisified’ IOR two tonner. This was a great sailing platform and we kept that boat for 12 years before a career change and relocation forced us to dissolve the partnership. Thanks to many upgrades and improvements, we were able to sell that boat for very close to what we’d paid 12 years earlier.
Viking 28 "Ragtime"
Choate 40 "Phantom"
Today my wife Eleanor and I have a boat called FastForward, a boat built in Brazil by a company (now defunct) called Fast Yachts. It’s a rework of the Nicholson 345. A smallish 34 footer by todays standards, it has a remarkably comfortable interior and with her ¾ rig is easily handled by the two of us.
Fast 345 "FastForward"
I’m an instructor at BCIT, a major technical college here in BC, teaching a course in process control and industrial automation after having spent nearly 27 years in BC’s now-ailing pulp and paper industry. Eleanor is a long-time preschool instructor.
Over the years we’ve raced a fair bit, esp. on our Mtn 242 with some success locally, but now essentially just cruise and occasionally race on OPBs. We get between 65 and 85 days on the water each year, generally spending 50-70 nights on board. My schedule allows us to take a full 6-7 week cruise each summer. We live in one of the best areas of the world for that lifestyle.
Riding a Westerly in Juan de Fuca Strait
In 1986 I helped on my first major delivery, Victoria to Eureka California on a trip that proved less than perfect. Since then we’ve been fortunate enough to have cruised the Caribbean chain from St Maarten to Grenada with friends who winter there, and last year spent a week with other friends on Mexicos’ Gold coast, near Manzinillo. We plan another trip south this winter while Vancouver is obsessing on the Olympics.
We're looking for more of this!
Our son grew up sailing, and from age 11 raced with us on the Martin 242, and at 24 bought his first boat, a Ranger 29, weeks after getting married to a girl he met while racing locally. They presented us with the joy of our lives, our granddaughter, a couple of years later and have recently sold the Ranger and moved up into a Catalina 36. I guess our upbringing did him good. While we had been proud of having had him out on the boat at 18 days of age, they bested us by having our granddaughter out at 1 week old, for a local race in December!
If you’re still reading this, you maybe need to get a life
….. Anyhow go easy on me, at least for a while, OK?