Chasing The Sunrise

If you want to see what it takes to build a big Wharram catamaran and sail her across an ocean you’ll not find a better video than this one.

It’s the story of how in 2011 my friend and fellow builder Jacques Pierret and crew sailed his Tiki 38 ‘Pilgrim’ from New York to the South of France.

But before you watch here’s a little back story.

Jacques was one of my ‘mentors’ when I built ‘Gleda’. He was always there with help and encouragement when I needed it.

Neil Helming Pilgrim

Me helming ‘Pilgrim’ & yes I’m drinking wine

In September 2012 he invited me to L’Estaque and I was finally able to meet him in person and see ‘Pilgrim’ for myself. It was the first time I’d set foot on a Tiki 38. We talked, we drank wine, we sailed in the Bay of Marseilles. I slept aboard and listened to the water lapping the hull next to my ear.

I spent hours crawling all over ‘Pilgrim’ taking photos, making notes, quizzing Jacques.

One afternoon I was sitting on deck in the warm Mediterranean sunshine when my mobile rang. It was Gail calling to see how I was getting on. I started to tell her how amazing the boat was and then suddenly I couldn’t talk anymore. My eyes filled with tears and I choked up. They were tears of joy. Suddenly it hit me. Jacques and ‘Pilgrim had shown me that my dream was real, that I was on the right path, that I could succeed. I’ll be forever indebted to Jacques.

A couple of ‘asides’.

I loved ‘Pilgrim’ but her ‘as plan’ steering pod didn’t do it for me. I changed the pod on ‘Gleda’ to give more protection from sun, wind and rain. You’ll see in the video that it was a good move.

The other Tiki 38 they met in the Azores (24min) is ‘Tinto’. She was built and then owned by Tom Haver. She’s since been sold and is now moored in the Guadiana river. I met the new owner Ray O’Neill when we were there in 2016. I’ve been on board, she’s a beautiful boat.

Watch till the end. You’ll see just what a Tiki 38 can do when pushed 🙂

Now pour yourself a beverage, sit back and enjoy.