Sailboats are either built for comfort or for speed. The new Corsair Marine Pulse 600 Trimaran falls in the latter category. Longtime friends and Galveston Bay sailors Martin Hamilton and Bob Webbon recently purchased a Pulse 600. These guys have been racing catamarans for years so we thought it would be a good idea to ask them what they thought of the boat.
What is your idea of the perfect sailboat?
Martin: In two words stable and fast. For the last decade, I have been sailing a Condor 40 trimaran and an A-Class catamaran. The catamaran provided the opportunity to compete around the country in a single handed fast boat. The trimaran allowed me to entertain on a quick boat with plenty of stability (set a beverage down and come back later and finish it).
Bob: The perfect boat? For what? For sailing? For cruising? For having friends onboard, etc. If it’s a perfect day sailing boat then it must have a groove. It should give back what you put in. It should have a feel that is pleasurable, it should take you away from the mundane of life. It should be exciting. There are plenty of great boats that do that.
What do you like most about this boat?
MH: The Pulse 600 is the new standard. It has the speed and excitement of an A-Cat and at the same time is stable enough for my wife and I to handle even in winds of 20+ knots. And the boat easily accommodates 4 adults. Perfect for a family outing.
BW: The Pulse 600 is light weight so it is lively, responsive but forgiving. It’s quick in a breeze and remains fast with four people on board. It’s just downright fun. Get a little boom box on board with a nice cold beverage, sheets cleated doing high teens, what more do you need for a great afternoon.
What is it that you most dislike about this boat?
MH: Probably the difficulty pinning the mast base onto the pedestal in order to raise mast. Once pinned the mast is easily raised
BW: Yes, it takes a bit more work, but it gives back so much more.
Both of you guys are obsessed with speed, why can’t you cruise along like the rest of us?
MH: I understand the desire to cruise. It is always easy to ‘throttle back’ and enjoy a beverage and conversation. But, you can enjoy the beverage and conversation even at top speed.
BW: First of all I do have a cruising boat, but I’m just not obsessed with going slow. I can’t think of any other sport where slower is better. I think if more people knew they could set their beverage down on a boat without it spilling and they could actually sail much faster while doing that, they would figure it out.
If you could describe this boat in one word, what would it be?
These boats are pretty wide, are you having problems finding a slip?
MH: We actually keep the boat on a trailer. The boat can be launched and motored with the wings folded. Bob and I are storing the boat with the wings extended at the Houston Yacht Club and are set up to launch from the crane.
BW: Corsair Tris have been around for decades. Their folding systems are proven, so we can launch via crane, ramp or even wet sailed from a normal slip.
Are you guys still friends, now that you own a boat together?
MH: Bob and I actually owned a Tornado catamaran in the late 80s. We sold it after the Tornado Worlds. We continued spending a lot of time together sailboarding. Eventually in the early 2000s we both purchased A-Cats and have traveled the country together with our multi-boat trailer. Did I mention that it’s always been Bob’s idea?
BW: I’ve been partners on sailboats and power boats. It’s always been great. I think that realization is what’s driving a growing part of the boating industry right now. Look at all the new boat sharing programs and companies. We now even have a community sailing program in Galveston. It just makes sense. There’s just no reason to feel like ownership has to be expensive. Partnerships also bring folks closer together through their shared interests. We’re better friends because of the boats we’ve owned together.
You both grew up sailing on Galveston Bay, what is it about this place that you like most?
MH: It’s such a great sailing area. Lots of water and wind most of the time if you’re willing to wait for the shore breeze.
BW: Wind. Unlike a lot of other sailing venues we seem to have more wind. We also have great racing organizations on the bay.