News from the builders

A Wonderful Nautitech Gateway - An Owners’ Meet Up in Martinique

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The rough weather encountered last year in Martinique on the windward side of the island was certainly still on the minds of the Nautitech shipyard and Neo Marine (a service provider based in Le Marin, including one of the brand’s dealers) when they came up with the idea for this 2024 edition. Unfortunately, this winter the trade winds have been rather irregular, and have often been absent during this current season. These particularly calm conditions encountered by the crews who had just made the transatlantic crossing were of course at the heart of the initial discussions. But, bring sailors together and the first thing they’ll talk about will be the weather! Beyond this cliché, the first success of this event is to enable Owners - above all sailors from all points on the horizon - to get to meet each other. It’s a chance to share some particularly rich discussions over three days. Only two of the ten boats were based in the Caribbean. The other catamarans had only just arrived, were about to leave, or were passing through for a stay of as yet undetermined duration. But none of the Nautitech crews would have missed this event for the world. Like Luc and Agnès on Breathe, who come from Guadeloupe every year to take part. While the French tricolour flag is in the majority, there was also a Swiss cross, a Canadian maple leaf and, of course, the Stars and Stripes. On board June, Peter and Nathalie’s young children are English-speaking, but it doesn’t take them more than five minutes on the beach in Saint-Pierre to make friends with their three French-speaking counterparts from Macoya. The children would be in charge of the proceedings over the three days, adopting Chico, the faithful basset hound of Bruno and Isabelle, owners of the Nautitech 40 Chico Blue, as their mascot.

Rendezvous at the foot of Mont Pelée

The dynamic Neo Marine team met up with all the participants on Wednesday evening in the bay of Saint-Pierre in the north-west of the island. For this first day of acclimatization, we’re boarding the 40 Open Croix du Sud. Given the weather forecast for the day, the catamaran’s owners Jean-Claude and Michèle suggested we meet early in the morning on the pontoon at the far end of Le Marin Bay. This extraordinary natural shelter, frequented by sailors from the world over for three centuries, is now the largest marina in the West Indies. The engines were running as the mooring buoy was released; we steered our way out of this refuge, taking care to watch out for the many boats at anchor, the heavy traffic and the shallows, while taking care to scrupulously respect the navigation marks. Yours truly had a brief moment of doubt when we appeared to pass on the wrong side of a red channel buoy. But I soon realized that we were in the “Americas” and that the green and red marks are reversed. Unfortunately, the 32 nautical miles that separated us from our destination would have to be covered under motor, in the absence of ...

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