Pirate Steve lives in obscene comfort (well, for a poor pirate that is) aboard the catamaran "Spanky", presently docked in Indian Harbor Beach, Florida. Spanky is a Gemini 3000 catamaran. She is 31' long, 14' wide and the most luxurious 31' boat ever built. She has an amazing amount of accommodation; a queen stateroom forward, two double sataterooms aft, a full navagation station, a full galley, head with hot water shower, and a grand salon for entertaining.

She has needed a lot of fitting out - notably a complete rewiring, a redesign of the steering and rudder system, and removal of the awful stern dual motor platform designed and installed (obviously) by someone who was using the boat as a powerboat instead of as a sailboat. There are a bunch of other defects of course, but the boat is almost 20 years old so one expects such things.

Despite all this, she has many of the things I have wanted in a boat for many years, and I got a pretty good deal on her. I swore after my frostbitten trip from Norfolk in the winter of 1999 that I would never own a boat without a pilot house - and Spanky has one. She can fit in regular marina slips (the bane of Maru, and most multihulls, was that I always had to sit on a T-head - usually way the heck away from everything fun). She has glorious amounts of space for all my junk, so living aboard is a pleasure. And she has a very large, protected cockpit so I can sail comfortably.

There is enough room behind the cockpit to carry my Ninja 500 motorcycle, so I can take my land transportation with me. She is a clorox bottle for certain (for you lubbers, that is a boat built of fiberglass). I miss the feel, smell and sounds of my wood trimaran Maru. Because she is built of plastic, Spanky has no soul either. Maru was alive, she was a living creature of the sea that enjoyed dancing on the waves with me as much as I myself did. Spanky is just a boat, a tool to take me to sea. I was never lonely or alone aboard Maru - no matter how far offshore I was. It will be interesting to see how that works aboard Spanky.

Still, Spanky is just about the perfect boat for me at this stage. One day, time and money permitting, perhaps I will build THE perfect boat (of wood of course). But frankly, such a boat would look a whole lot like Spanky does - so the drive to re-invent the wheel is pretty low. For now Spanky will do just fine. Now, if I can only get the refit done and get to sailing...

Spanky Pictures