FYI: September 2004 Page 2

FYI — September 2004
By Brad Dunn
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Instant Karma, Things We Like, and more
• Part 2: A Word With... Chuck Paine, and more

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• News/FYI Index

A Word With... Chuck Paine
Founder of one of the country’s top custom-yacht design companies, Chuck Paine has designed and engineered more than 1,000 powerboats and sailboats in his 35-year career. The Maine native not only brings art to his work, he also brings his work to art. Six years ago he took up oil painting, and today his coastal and marine scenes are sold in galleries across New England. PMY recently talked to Paine about his life as both artist and artisan.

Q: After so many decades of designing boats, what part of the process have you come to enjoy the most?
A: I really love seeing them launched. Building a boat is a lengthy process—longer than the gestation period of a human being, most of the time. And, like a pregnancy, you have to contend with a lot of pain along the way. But watching that birth, it’s just a wonderful result of all your hard work.

Q: Is there any part of the business that you’ve grown to dislike?
A: Well, just that: the entire business side of it. I hate collecting bills, keeping accounts, all the logistical aspects. Thankfully, I have a wonderful partner who takes care of those things for me: my wife.

Q: Your reputation as a naval architect speaks for itself, but now you’re also gaining a name as a painter. How do the two jobs compare?
A: Painting is by far the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. After 35 years, designing a boat is easy. Painting is the great challenge now.

Q: How did the artistic drive devleop?
A: I started painting as a kid, but quit when I was 14 when my parents made me realize I had to do something to earn a living at some point. I didn’t pick up a brush again for 40 years. On my 54th birthday, my wife said to me, “All you talk about is yachts. Get a life!” She was absolutely right. She gave me some paints and canvases and said, “Go paint.”

Q: Looking through your recent work, it’s clear that you’re attracted to boats, coastlines, and seascapes. What do you look for the most in your subjects?
A: I really enjoy learning how to paint water. Landscapes, waves crashing on the shore, those scenes are easier to do. Marine art—open oceans, storms at sea, yachts far offshore—is much harder, and much more desirable to me.

Q: Like seeing one of your boats launched, do you most enjoy seeing a painting completed?
A: No, it’s entirely different. Building a boat is a long, often tedious, process with many people helping. Of course, I love designing boats. But with painting, the joy is entirely personal. When you’re painting—say, a wave at sea—sometimes you have to stare at the canvas for 30 minutes before the vision, the Zen, inspires you to make a single stroke. You feel so much joy in those moments when you know you’ve pulled it off.

Stray Cat Struggle
When you’re three miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, you might expect to see in the distance the profile of a sanguine Sealine—not a frantic feline.

In July boaters cruising around Homosassa Bay, Florida, spotted a ten-week-old kitten paddling feverishly to stay afloat, according to the St. Petersburg Times.

Maggie Rogers and her fellow boaters heard the tiny, orange kitten screaming furiously as they drew closer in their 17-footer. They managed to rescue the stranded cat in time.

“We scooped him up, and he sat on the boat with me for eight hours,” Rogers was quoted as saying. “He was exhausted and stressed.”

How the kitten got there remains a mystery. The rescuers said about 40 boats were cruising in the area that day, but no one ever came forward to claim a lost pet.

Rogers gave the sea cat to her sister-in-law, who aptly named him Nemo.

Previous page > Instant Karma, and more > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the August 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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