From “Outrageous” to En Pointe
“You’re going to New Zealand in that?” asked the nice cruiser lady gesturing towards “En Pointe” as we lay tied up in the Yacht Club de Tahiti mooring field.
“Well, it’s what got us here” was my cheerful response.
I wasn’t really shocked or offended as the boat she and her husband and son travel with is a very smart and strong aluminum design. The difference between it and my plywood trimaran couldn’t be more striking but, after almost 50-years, trimarans like En Pointe have proven themselves worthy voyagers.
En Pointe is a Jim Brown designed Searunner 31. Originally named “Outrageous,” En Pointe was launched in Alviso back in 1982 and lived on San Francisco Bay until I bought it sight-unseen in 2008. I’d been living in Chicago for three winters and I was determined to return to California. En Pointe would be my landing spot.
After a year and a-half rebuild in Moss Landing, near Monterey and Santa Cruz, En Pointe was relaunched with very piece of equipment, every screw, nut bolt, each piece of hardware removed, replaced or renewed. Under the direction of naval architect John Marples, the entire boat was gone over, bad wood removed and re-engineered. I ended up using more epoxy resin to repair En Pointe than was called for to build it originally.
Fast forward to 2013 where En Pointe lies anchored in Bora Bora. En Pointe has performed very well and when other cruisers ask how it sails, we say the hardest thing is keeping enough reading material aboard to occupy ourselves while the autopilot steers.
But the reality is that most boats that have come this far need some attention and En Pointe is no exception. En Pointe spent eight days out of the water at a nearby island boatyard repairing and repainting the bottom and the rig was removed for inspection and repair of the mast step. We also added a towing generator, a new and more efficient battery charger and obtained a Honda portable gasoline generator.
Newly refit and reinvigorated, En Pointe is ready to shove off once more, this time for New Zealand via some downwind islands in between.