Introducing the Mon Tiki Catamaran Concept
In the comment thread of a previous post I wrote that my objectives blogging at the League were three-fold:
- To give voice to, and have a forum for and what is (apparently) an irrepresible impulse towards self-expression.
- To gently promote our next endevour upon which my family’s livelihood depends.
- To sup at the trough of encouragement I hope these posts elicit.
On #2, we have reached the point were there is something in the shop that looks like a boat. In fact, it looks something like two boats. What could it be? A catamaran!
The fact that we have something to show, something that reads in photographs means that it is time to start our marketing and promotion campaign in earnest. That means sending out email to all our customers from last Summer, sending out press releases to the local news outlets, and of course, working the internet.
So consider the below as: shameless self-promotion; or alpha-testing; or another link in a chain that Burt is shrewd enough to apprehend; or all three!
The words sustainable, low-impact, eco, and community involvement have become buzz-phrases in the tourism industry. They conjure up images of sophisticated, adventure-minded travelers jetting off to far flung corners of the world to kayak or surf or trek, dining on regional delicacies purchased from local farmers and fishermen, and then sleeping in hammocks in open-air palapas.
The Mon Tiki Catamaran Project believes that sustainable, community-oriented, values-defined tourism is just as important to the place where we make our lives and raise our children as it is on an atoll in the Indian Ocean or an Andean mountain top. We believe ethical business begins at home, and our home is Montauk, New York.
The backbone of the Mon Tiki project is the James Wharram designed Tiki 38. Our boat, the Mon Tiki is, is locally built, from the keel up, using low-impact construction methods.
Mon Tiki is also a low-emmissions vessel.
Primary propulsion is provide by her powerful schooner sailplan, giving her a comfortable cruising speed of 6-8 knots, and a top speed of up to 16 kts. In normal service her engines will only be used for docking.
Because safety is our first concern, the Mon Tiki is being built under US Coast Guard supervision, in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs) as an Inspected Passenger Vessel.
The Mon Tiki Eco Catamaran Project is not a charity. It is not a 501c nonprofit corporation.
The Mon Tiki Eco Catamaran Project is a self-sustaining, for profit business serving the Summer visitors to Montauk, and proud to take it’s place in the business community of the greater East End.
Our business model is simple: during the Summer months we provide a beautiful day on the water on a spacious, locally-built sailboat, in safety and comfort, with a friendly, professional crew. We take pride in doing a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay, and we take pleasure in sharing the beauty of where we live and how we live with our guests.
But we also recognize that our community is not simply a collection of businesses serving the Summer tourist trade. We recognize that life offers rewards and responsibilities that go beyond what can be tallied on a spread sheet. We know that a healthy bottomline is but one measure of a healthy and worthwhile life.
In the months of May, June, September, and October Mon Tiki will serve as a floating science classroom, hosting day-trips for school groups and other youth groups so that children can learn hands on about physics, marine science, low-impact and sustainable technology, and teamwork.
These outings are scheduled to put the boat in service during the unused weekdays of the “shoulder season”, days that would otherwise see the boat laying idle. They will be offered at cost, and are our way of building ongoing community service into our business-model.
The name Mon Tiki is lovingly appropriated from Thor Heyerdahl’s famous 1947 voyage from South America to Polynesia and the hand-hewn balsa wood raft Kon Tiki that carried him and his crew on their 5,000 mile, 101 day adventure in safety and comfort.
Heyerdahl, his crew, and the Kon Tiki serve as our inspiration to dream big, question assumptions intelligently, and have the courage to follow your own path. Our fondest hope is that our passengers — whether Summer guests or students — will be similarly inspired by their time aboard Mon Tiki!