Introducing Chris Rundlett, ASA sailing instructor and all-around cool guy
Regular readers of our blog may already be familiar with the name Chris Rundlett, as we’ve certainly mentioned it enough on this blog. Chris, and his parter Chrystal, are good friends of ours from Grenada, and we’ve spent a considerable amount of time with them, both on and off the water. After at least a year of prodding, Chris has consented to take some time out of his already-full schedule to share some of his experience with our readers, and along with that, some of the goings-on of their sailing school, and Caribbean life in general. Hopefully this will help to satiate some of our more nautically-interested readers while we’re off climbing mountains. – Mike
Hi – Chris Rundlett from LTD Sailing “Living the Dream!” here. Mike has been encouraging me to contribute to the ZTC blog for quite a while now. I have been really excited about the opportunity, but just not able to find the time to sit down and write. I know, lame excuse #1. Well, enough of that, it’s time to make the time! Besides, I have some really exciting news that I’d like to share.
First, a little bit about LTD Sailing – what is it, and why has Mike been bugging me to write something? LTD Sailing is an American Sailing Association affiliate sailing school. Together with my partner, Chrystal Young, we started the school about four years ago here in Grenada. While LTD Sailing is relatively new, we have been working hard to make it THE premier sailing school in the Caribbean.
About a year into our adventures with LTD Sailing, we were invited to represent The Multihull Company in Grenada. We had noticed that about half of our students were interested in purchasing a boat in the two years following their lessons, so this seemed like a great fit. Now, along with trying to run the premier sailing school in the Caribbean, we are also trying our best to be the premier yacht brokers in Grenada!
We first met Mike & Rebecca while Hashing in Grenada, and had the opportunity to get to know them fairly well. Their boat was docked right in front of our office in the Port Louis Marina. We have always enjoyed our time spent with them, and love their adventurous spirit!
So, what’s the big news? LTD Sailing started out using charter boats from Sunsail and The Moorings as our school fleet. That worked out great as whenever we needed a boat, we would charter one from them. When we were done, we would just return the boat, and give them a list of what needed to be fixed. Walk away, that was it.
This arrangement was perfect when we were just getting started, and we still use a lot of their boats in our program. But, we soon found that boats were not always available when we needed them, and there is almost nothing as frustrating as having to tell a potential student that you can’t book their trip because you can’t get your hands on a boat!
Two years ago, at the Annapolis Boat Show, Phil Berman (owner of The Multihull Company) was selling a 2014 Helia 44 to a buyer who wasn’t going to be ready to use the boat for about 8 months. Phil suggested that we use the boat in our sailing school during that time. We immediately said no, as that wasn’t our business plan. We didn’t want the responsibility of dealing with a boat of our own. Chrystal and I slept on it though, and by morning had come to our senses. We were being offered a great boat, which would be ours to schedule as needed. This was an awesome opportunity, and one that has now led to us managing a fleet of four boats.
The newest boat to join our fleet is a 2017 Balance 451. Phil Berman is also the founder of Balance Catamarans. So, when they had a boat which they didn’t know what to do with, Phil suggested that the builder send the boat down to Grenada to join LTD Sailing. Can you imagine someone handing over a brand-new boat? We are super excited to add this boat to our fleet. Not only is it fresh from the factory, it is a really fun-to-sail, performance catamaran.
The philosophy behind Balance Catamarans is to “balance” performance with comfort. This is not your typical charter cat, as this review by Sail Magazine describes. We know that this boat is going to present some challenges, but we are really looking forward to working them out, and giving our students the unique experience of sailing on this exciting cat.
All that said, the idea Mike and I have been working on is for me to contribute a blog post to ‘Zero To Cruising’ every week or so. I will be sharing sailing tips, and a little bit about our life in the Caribbean. Today, I am flying up to St. Lucia to meet the new owner of a 2015 Fountain Pajot Helia 44, and to sail with him over-night back down to Grenada. Night watch should be a great time to come up with next week’s contribution!
Balance catamaran on the LTD Sailing dock, Mt. Hartman Bay, Grenada