People have been falling in love with the sailing lifestyle since the first sailor stuck a piece of cloth on a stick and discovered it would move a raft across the water without paddling. For most, coastal cruising satisfies the thirst for adventure, but for some, there needs to be more of a challenge. Patrick Waring is one of those sailors.
The 55-year old native of New Orleans was exposed to sailing at an early age in summer camp like a lot of us. When he grew up, his life always included a boat of some kind — he’s owned more than five already!
But he was looking for more, and he found it in 2008 when he purchased his first Beneteau. She was an Oceans 31 which he christened ‘Flying Lady.’ She introduced him to the exciting world of offshore cruising with her blue water handling characteristics and build quality. More importantly, he found she loved to be raced. Competition turned out to be that missing piece of the puzzle for Patrick.
‘Flying Lady’ served him well, but he had his sights set on even bigger adventures and sterner competition. In 2012, he upgraded to ‘Pursuit’ (as in Pursuit of Happiness), an Oceanis 45 designed and built to be easily sailed by two, but spacious enough to comfortably accommodate eight crew for offshore racing.
With ‘Pursuit,’ the Gulf of Mexico has become Patrick’s backyard. He’s sailed all along Florida’s west coast including a trip to Key West for Mardi Gras. He’s also sailed to Mexico twice plus a crossing to beautiful Isla Mujeres, 13 kilometers off the coast from Cancún.
Sound like a lifestyle you’d be interested in? Patrick has plenty of good advice for those seeking to follow his course. “ASA classes and crewing aboard other boats will give you the confidence and competence needed for when you buy your own.” For competition, Patrick highly recommends performance sails with three different size spinnakers when reaching. For cruising, a dinghy equipped with a torqeedo electric engine comes in handy while anchored out plus condensation sumps for air conditioning and electric winches will all help to make your journey more of a joy than a chore.
Patrick also advocates going through a reputable dealer. He developed a relationship with Murray Yacht Sales, the Authorized Beneteau Platinum Dealer for New Orleans, Pensacola and St. Petersburg. “The people at Murray Yacht Sales were my advisors throughout the buying process. They listened to my needs, were sensitive to my budget and pointed me in the right direction. That relationship didn’t end after the sale either. They’ve been available whenever I have a question, need advice or maintenance.”