The Music of Wayfinder

Music and sailing are inextricably linked for me. When I think of sailing my first sailboat, Xerxes, around the Bahamas, I think of Miles Davis, Jimmy Buffett, Lauryn Hill, the Beatles, Jump Little Children, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Nirvana, and Pink Floyd. Those were the albums that got the most play in my little marine CD player. Heck, the only thing my 12V battery was really for on that boat was cranking the engine and cranking the jams.

On Voyager, a 100′ Azimut I captained for a year, I think of Diana Krall. I remember sitting in Hurricane Hole Marina in Nassau for night after night, sitting on the back deck with a Kalik after a long day, with Diana crooning through that boat’s fine audio system.

On Tieta, a 74′ Sunseeker I took to Barbados one summer, I think of Eminem and Bob Marley. This was the trip Amber joined me on, and we wore out some CDs, again in a really nice audio system.

But nothing compares to what I’m hearing on Wayfinder, and we aren’t even done yet. First, a look at something that shows you just how manically perfectionistic this boat builder is. Because of the location of the TV, one of the speakers in the salon was going to have to go to the left of the screen. With the speaker flat, the center of the cone of sound was going to bounce off the hard glass before reaching the audience. I suggested we tilt the speaker in a bit. This is what they came up with:

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And here it is installed:
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How gorgeous is that? It’s touches like this and going the extra mile that make these the finest cruising catamarans on the market. And yet less expensive than many of their competitors, because we aren’t doing carbon spars, rotating masts, and daggerboards to get an extra half knot of speed or degree of pointing. Keep in mind that these boats win regattas and knock out 200-mile days on crossings while fully loaded for cruising.

Some more examples of the handiwork with the audio/video system. Check out the stainless steel mounting bracket they made for the TV:

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And also the brilliant placement for the iPod docking station, which keeps the tray out of the way even when left open, so you can see the iPod:



Brilliant stuff. And with the system partly installed (the cockpit is still left to do), we decided to hook up a 12V battery and have some tunes for the last couple weeks of the build. Sorry for the lack of light. Better video coming soon. And the cell phone’s audio pickup does NOT do this system justice. It sounds amazing, and this is coming from a former high-end AV installer:

Also check out the subwoofer placement. This is going to be the best seat in the house on movie night:

The best change, though, has been to move two extra zones up into the staterooms. There are controls by each bed, so one can listen to music before falling asleep or tune in when they wake up in the morning. One speaker is in the shower, aimed at the overhead hatch. The other is over the bunk, aimed forward at another hatch. These four speakers (two on each side) positively FILL the forward deck with music, so you can hear while underway, up on the trampolines or bow seats. Not something you could do on these boats before, or on many catamarans at all.

Years from now, I’ll have memories of cruising this boat, and those memories will be paired to new albums and tunes that I discover along the way.

13 responses to “The Music of Wayfinder”

  1. Beautiful audio system! You’ll make many new amazing memories, and find new listens for a new tomorrow.

  2. As your boat draws nearer to completion, I am putting myself in the shoes of your immediate family. You may not be able to stay in touch with your legions of fans, but please reassure me that there is a reliable way of staying in touch with them. Just to be sure that you are okay.

    1. I’ll have phone and email from anywhere in the world.

  3. I’ve been curious, just because I’m i to this stuff, is all the lighting, including indicators, cabin lighting, nav , etc LED in order to reduce draw on the system? Seems like it would be really cool to start that from the ground up.

  4. One of the opening scenes in Mattin Caidin’s excellent book “Exit Earth” has a boat captain lashing himself to specially-designed supports while his 99% automated custom-built boat sails across the Pacific and powerful music blasts from speakers mounted everywhere. It’s a great scene and well worth a read, and this reminds me of that very much. Though I don’t see you lashing yourself to supports on deck and letting away finder sail itself. ;)

  5. William Jacques Avatar

    It is amazing the amount of bass you can get out of compact subs these days. Definitely gonna be terrific! (Although, sonehow I think the “sweetest” music you will hear will be that of the wind cascading gently over and around the sails, cruising….while watching a beautiful sunset.)

  6. Ah… Always reassuring to find some NIN on the sound system.

  7. PARTY! PARTY! :D Sounds GREAT!!!

  8. Awesome work ! now really few people use CD

  9. Am I the only one that hoped to find a playlist?
    Goddamn I love that boat more every time you share a tidbit!

  10. Please tell me that you plan to jam out to, at least once, Sailing by Christopher Cross!!! I think that should pretty much be a requirement :)

  11. Can’t wait for you to embark on this journey, excited to follow :)

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