Jay (Jerome) Fitzgerald is the author of several books about sailing and the opportunity it affords us to change our lifestyle, our outlook and ultimately our world. He's an advocate of sailing without an engine, of making the sea our home, and of consciously leading lives that veer toward simplicity rather than consumption. He's an environmental consultant by trade, a sailor by vocation and as a writer and philosopher something of an iconoclast and visionary. He is currently homesteading in Hawaii, while preparing his next liveaboard. One of his blogs has a picture of a nice big Wharram cat slated as the next boat, but when I asked Jay what he's building he replied that in his front yard he's working on a 30' proa and that if he's satified with the results he plan's a 70' steel version.
Jay will be known to many of my readers for his seminal works on seasteading and engineless sailing. In reply to my query about the origin of the word seasteading Jay told me that it's first known usage was by legendary designer Uffa Fox. Been around a little while.
I also asked Jay for his opinion of the work of Patri Friedman et. al. to establish' micronations' at sea vis a vis some kind of very large structures which might resemble floating oil drilling rig/platforms. His response was succinct, decried the likely waste of grant money that could have been used more productively and voiced scepticism that these pursuits would ever come to fruition. I agree.
Jays books are "Sea-Steading", which you'll find in my bookstore, "Sailing With Purpose: The Pursuit of the Dream" and "Wind and Tide: An Introduction to Cruising in Pure Sailing Craft". He's got a website devoted to promoting sailing without mechanical means called The Oar Club, and two blogs, both recommended, Sensible Simplicity and CommonStrike and a website for his Sea-Steading Institute. His is a voice crying out for the wilderness and an approach to living with and within it in a manner that makes sense. Never more cogent and relevant than today! I'd like to leave you with Jay's words,
"The model of Sea-Stead I suggest is based upon a sailboat that has been built or modified to provide an individual or family a home on the sea. More than a cruising sailboat or a recreational vehicle, this vessel is designed and equipped to provide for both shelter and livelihood, allowing its residents to live perpetually,albeit semi nomadically, where fortune and safety might lead them. This is a very special kind of vessel and a new one—although many traditional lessons learned through vessels of other types might well be of use.
There has been, in the last ten years, a sort of movement within the idea of Sea-Steading that has attempted several different forms. Several sorts of modified oil-rig platforms and other very complicated structures have been posed. Without exception they have been expensive and ungainly. What has mystified me is why the obvious solution—the sailboat—hasn’t been much considered, although perfectly functional and non-experimental examples exist!"
top photo is of Jay's old boat "Macha" which has been sold and is blogged about here. She's a 38' Ingrid gaff cutter that is, of course, without engine.