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'As Long as it's Fun' - the tale of Lin and Larry Pardey

by Lee Mylchreest on 12 Feb 2014
One of the Pardey boats Taleisin SW
They've written 11 books on sailing and they are gurus in the world of the cruising sailor. However, now the tables have been turned on the stars of our featured book this week, with the amazing tale of the Pardeys - Lin and Larry - told by someone else, who doesn't have to be as modest as they generally are.

As world-girdling sailors who roamed the planet on a pair of small, engineless boats that they built themselves, the Pardeys established their hard-earned reputations by eloquently (and sometimes controversially) telling their stories through their series of best-selling books and manuals, and countless seminars and boat shows.

They have been called the first couple of cruising and have remained true to their mantra: Go simple, go small, go now.

And after 200,000 miles of cruising under sail, they've demonstrated that the dream of voyaging over the horizon is not only attainable, it's affordable.

The children of modest, middle-class families, their message of accessibility into the world of cruising of taking your own floating home anywhere has proved irresistible to tens of thousands of sailors.

Lin and Larry Pardey became cruising royalty not solely due to their impressive deeds but also through their rare ability to share what they d learned across multiple media.

Together the two have received many awards for their contributions to the sport of sailing. They have also helped raise funds for different groups of Sailors with Disabilities, in Norway, USA, UK and New Zealand, including CRAB (Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating) and Sailability Auckland.

Boatbuilding and repair work provided their main means of financing their voyaging until recently. They have restored three truly classic yachts, two of which were more than 100 years old when they found them in need of attention. The most recent, a New Zealand cutter, Thelma was built in 1885. Survey's found over 95 percent of her original hull in good condition.

The Pardeys' repaired the rest and raced her during southern summers in New Zealand while cruising northern Climates the rest of the year on board their cutter Taleisin. They have recently completed another circumnavigation, bringing them and Taleisin back to their homebase in New Zealand's Hauraki Gulf. Soon after their return, Thelma was adopted by a boatbuilder in Wellington where she can still be seen out racing 117 years after she was launched.

Seemingly every offshore cruiser knows who they are and what they represent.

Or do they?

In 'As Long as It's Fun', the biography of Lin and Larry Pardey, Herb McCormick recounts their remarkable sailing career from their early days in Southern California to their two circumnavigations to their current life in a quiet cove in New Zealand.

Through interviews with their families, friends, and critics, McCormick delves deeply into the couple's often-controversial opinions, sometimes-tenuous marriage, and amazing list of accomplishments.

'As Long as It's Fun' is as much a love story as it is a sea yarn, and, like all such stories, it s not without complications - which makes it not only a sailing tale but also a human one.

If you can't find the book in your local marine book store, you will be able to find it online by clicking here.

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