How Aldebaran was on front cover of a magazine in 1979

Magazine articleTo subscribe to this blog by email, click here.  In a scraggly photocopy in a binder with the boat’s documentation, I saw an article from the previous owner, Bob McMahan, about flying the spinnaker on a trimaran.

“Wow.” I thought, “He was really into it!” I searched for Bob, to no avail.



Fast forward to our Santa Barbara Yacht Club talk, early this January.

Guess who shows up at the talk?  Bob and wife Jackie, the previous owners of Aldebaran, who had received the notice from the club, and recognized the ship in the photos: “that’s our old boat!”

IMG_4054Not only did they surprise us with their appearance at the Yacht Club, they also brought us our own copy of the magazine with the article about flying the spinnaker.  Best of all, it was the cover story of that issue, March of 1979!  A full two years before I was even born! With the exact same sail we use at present, our colorful assymetrical spinnaker. Incredible!

Bob and Jackie had the boat for 20 years, their sons grew up aboard doing trips to the Channel Islands. They were thrilled that the boat was up to good use now, not sitting at a dock in Southern California.

They told us about the original owner, who sailed from Hawaii to Tahiti and back…  how Julia Child’s mentor was aboard the boat for Jackie’s cooking column (the culinary tradition is strong on this boat!)… and how the boat ended up in California.

The depth and history of the boat became so evident.  So many dreams have been wrapped up in its 42 foot long curves. The boat has touched so many lives!

Dreams, sweat, tears — the magic of the sea captured in three generations of boat owners.  The universe was kind in bringing us together, and showing us glimpses of this magic.

The unlikely meeting ground of the Yacht Club was our chance encounter. Better yet — on March 14th we’ll return to do a joint talk (past and present boat owners, and those who have played a key role in the boat’s restoration, including Bob, Jackie, Ed France, and us).

Stay posted for more about our upcoming talk!

The (almost) 50 year story of a trimaran: how multiple owners kept the dream alive.  March 14th, 2016. 

ps. How was Aldebaran on the front cover of the magazine, after all?  Bob was a photographer, hence the cover shot of the boat. But how did he know so much about sailing the spinnaker, to write an article about it?  I still don’t know exactly!  I hope to learn during our upcoming talk 😉