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News From The Village Updated Almost Daily
Lots of boats come to Oriental, some tie up at the Town Dock for a night or two, others drop anchor in the harbor for a while. If you've spent any time on the water you know that every boat has a story. The Shipping News on TownDock.net brings you the stories of the boats that have visited recently.
July 24, 2014
The sailing vessel “Jaz” appears part Star Wars, part aquatic insect. Wide and seemingly hovering on the water, she looks half X-Wing fighter, half water strider. But no, the 40-foot boat isn’t a craft from the future. She’s actually a trimaran from the past. Sailing aboard the Condor 40 is Chris Laletin. He recently visited Oriental’s Town Dock on his way south.Jaz at the Town Docks. She is 28 feet wide. This calls for careful close-quarters maneuvering, preferably with some crew aboard.Chris Laletin, wet from a recent rain shower. While in Oriental, he took some visitors for a day sail. Of the outing he says, “it rained harder than I’ve seen on the whole trip.”
Condor trimarans were built in Eastport, Maryland from the mid 1980s to the early 1990s. About 20 of the boats were built before they went out of production. Then one more was put together. Chris says Jaz was built in 1996. He says, “she is hull number 21, making her the newest and last Condor built.”
The ultra wide boats were built for the rigors of offshore racing. They have raced across the Atlantic Ocean – and won. They’ve also been used for pleasure sailing. Some wound up as day charter boats. Others are used for family outings.Jaz’s interior looking forward. The white structure ahead of the cooler is the dagger board case. The foil-shaped fiberglass board, which adds lateral stability, is raised and lowered in this compartment. Chris refers to it as, “the Taliban escape tunnel. You don’t want to go down there.”Jaz’s galley is on the port side, the nav station opposite.
Chris has always enjoyed multihulls. He’s owned plenty of them. There were the catamarans – a Hobie 14, 16, 18 and a Hobie Miracle 20. There were the trimarans – a Dick Newick “Tremolino” and a Norman Cross “Cross 28”.
There was even a Hobie TriFoiler. That was Chris’s fastest sailboat. On the advice of the man he got her from, he wore a helmet when he sailed her. The previous owner knocked out his front teeth when he wrecked the craft at high speed.
It was only a matter of time before Chris bought a Condor.A massive dagger board pierces Jaz’s deck, just forward of the mast. When lowered, this increases her draft to 9 feet. Chris refers to it as his “mechanical depth sounder”. Jaz drew plenty of onlookers during her Town Dock visit. Here, Chris visits with Anne Siddens, who later went sailing aboard Jaz.
Chris says he found the boat on the internet. A broker called him, saying the boat needed a new home – soon. Chris bought the boat, sight unseen. Chris has been married over 20 years. He describes his wife Margaret as, “a very patient woman.”
She did have one question. Chris says she jokingly asked him, “couldn’t you have bought a boat farther away?”
Chris lives in Honolulu, Hawaii. Jaz was located outside Boston.
Chris picked Jaz up in New Bedford, MA and has been cruising his way south in hops. The first season out, he made the Sassafras River on the Chesapeake Bay. There he overwintered the boat in a marina. He continued south this year.
Sailing Jaz is exhilarating. He says Jaz weighs under 9,000 pound, light for a 40-foot vessel. It doesn’t take much wind to maker her go fast. He shortens sail when the wind reaches 10 knots. At 15 knots, he puts in the second reef. Even short-canvased, he’s seen impressive speeds. Chris says, “I recently ran 22 miles under double reefed sail and it was double digit speeds the whole time. Twelve, 13, 11, knots. The whole way. What a blast!”Jaz sailing on a rainy Neuse River. Looking up her mast….…the strong rake in her rig is evident. Chris had reefed the main and…..…prepared for conditions that looked more Tierra del Fuego than Pamlico Sound. The squall blew over without incident.
Sailing such a high performance vessel can be crew intensive, though. While Condors have been raced singled-handed, Chris prefers to pick up crew under way. In Oriental, he dropped off Diego, a crewman he’d found on an online sailing site. At the same time, he picked up Drake Eder of Durham, NC. Together, he and Drake plan to head south.
From Oriental, Chris wants to sail to Savannah or Brunswick, Georgia. He hopes to continue to the Bahamas.