The Life of Boats

By John C. Harris
February 2016

I had an opportunity recently to visit sail numbers 3 and 6 of CLC's 31-foot Pacific proa design.  Both were launched recently in the Los Angeles area.

Patrick built Madness Hull #3 in his garage, but the glittering finish is 100% professional. (Extra points for his Eastport Pram tender.)

An end-on view of Madness reveals why this is a 20-knot sailboat.

Crew bench

Eric Baxter designed this lovely crew bench for his boat (Hull #5), and Patrick added it to his boat as well.

Several Madness builders have devised sliding companionway hatches to replace the hinged hatch in the plans. I think this is an improvement.

The happy designer in the cockpit. It's great to see such thoughtful and careful execution of details! 

Patrick's tidy interior. The galley shelf sides back to reveal the head. One of the bunks is in the "pod" to the left.

Patrick added opening ports in the pod, doubtless appreciated in hot weather. Just remember to seal them under sail!

Norm and colleagues built Madness #6 near LA. Photos don't do justice to the patience and care with which this boat was assembled. It's a concours yacht, no question.

Madness #6

Carbon fiber companionway slider. Red line is the boom vang---something deceptively tricky to rig on a Pacific proa!

Beautiful bespoke stainless steel work supporting the crew bench.

Typical of the craftsmanship on #6 are the tillers, machined from a solid block of G10. The rudder shafts have custom stainless limiters.

So far, all of the completed Madness proas except Hull #1 have used synthetic rigging instead of wire.

The trampoline is laced to slides in a fiberglass track bonded to the crossbeams, another brilliant little touch. The spray skirts also slide into tracks bonded ot the hull. 

The owner is delighted by the boat's handling and speed. Light air precluded my enjoying a ride, alas. I will make every effort to get back out for a ride on these boats!