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My First Sail Aboard Catamaran Old Glory

When my wife surprised me for my 35th birthday in May, 2013, with a handwritten "ticket" for a sailing cruise, I was thrilled!

But in response, I told her: "We have to find a catamaran!"

She asked: "What's the difference?"

"Catamarans are a completely different sailing experience," I replied. "They're a lifestyle."

I'll try to explain.

I've been a catamaran fanatic since I was a teenager. I grew up sailing on a lake in Texas aboard my father's San Juan 24 (a traditional, monohull sailboat) on the weekends. These happy times created a love of sailing that I've had ever since.

But before I turned 12, dad sold the sailboat and packed us all into the family station wagon and moved to Florida, leaving the lake behind for the big, beautiful Gulf of Mexico. A few years later, while accompanying my parents to a big boat show, I discovered the large, luxurious, cruising catamaran.

I was amazed that any sailboat could be so spacious, both above and below decks.

Unfortunately we didn't get to go out for a test sail on any of the catamarans that day at the boat show, but I was hooked.

The big cats promised adventure at sea, unmatched comfort, and supreme relaxtion in tranquil tourquoise waters. And the dream of owning one of my own someday was born.

Years later, one of my first marketing jobs out of college was as a marketing assistant for the Catamaran Company (the largest dealer of French-made Lagoon catamarans in North America). There, I took on the role of Editor of MULTIHULLS MAGAZINE, a catamaran-focused publication that the company had recently acquired. This was a golden opportunity for a young catamaran fanatic like me to edge just a bit closer to my dream.

Between my work with the magazine and supporting the Catamaran Company's marketing efforts, it was all catamarans, all the time.

The more I learned about them, test sailing some, photographing many, talking to a few of the designers and salespeople, the more they seemed like the perfect way to relax and enjoy life on the water.

Catamarans are supremely spacious and stable while under sail, eliminating the heeling over I had always found so annoying on my dad's little San Jaun in Texas.

All the while, I marveled at the lifestyle of leisure they promised in the full-page print ads I always saw in my favorite magazines, Cruising World and SAIL, promoting catamaran charters and catamaran sailing vacations. The ads fueled the dream of the day when I'd get the chance to live like that.

After describing my experience with traditional sailboats and the magnificent cruising catamarans of The Catamaran Company, my wife was sold on the idea of finding a catamaran for my birthday cruise.

While relaxing on the beach on Sanibel Island, laying on a blanket in the sand next to the Sanibel Island Light, we queried Google for "sailing catamaran Fort Myers" and immediately found SAIL SWFL Catamaran Cruises, the Old Glory, and Skipper Bud.

We called up the captain and set a date for our first cruise...and what a great time we had!

And though it was by no means my first sail aboard a fine cruising catamaran, it was the by far the funnest.

We had an unforgettable sunset cruise and saw a splendid sunset later that evening on the way back to our berth...and began what would become a lasting, dear friendship with the boat's skipper.

I'm happy to share my experience and the pure joy that it gave me in an article I wrote for the magazine I used to be the editor of...please read it and share!

Read the article by Kristoffer Stewart published in MULTIHULLS Magazine!