Mark S. Blackburn, M.B.A.
Toys I'd Like:
I really enjoy traveling. Clearly my ability to travel easily and swiftly is one of the greatest differences between me and my, say, Great Grandfather. One hundred years ago people could not walk along the ocean in the morning, ski in the mountains at noon, and enjoy dinner in a desert. Today, an airconditioned car allows one to drive from Las Vegas to Yosemite right through Death Valley in 7 hours...something I did in great comfort in July 2005. 100 years ago such a trip would have been weeks of hardship in intolerable conditions. The toys that I am most interested in are ones that would allow me (if I could but afford them) to travel even further & faster...
With the inception of the new "Light Sport Aircraft" classification created by FAA decree in 2004, several interesting planes have emerged to take advantage of certain benefits of aircraft within this classification. My favorite is the CT2K made in Europe and imported By Flight Design USA. The carbon fiber and Kevlar composite airframe allows for a very strong, light and aerodynamically clean design. The unique fuselage design of the CT minimizes drag and maximizes interior room for you and your luggage. The attention to detail and the cleanliness of the airframe allows for previously unheard of cruising speeds and range in this category of aircraft.
The following boat is rather similar in layout & concept to my last boat. But, this one can go the distance--it can easily cross oceans due to being a motor-sailor, not just a catamaran trawler. The size is small enough to manage by 1 person or a couple. This design is made to sail or motor at 15kts, double what other similar-sized vessels are capable of. It is designed by Derick Reynolds of the UK and is in design development. My only concern for this design is the low bridgedeck clearance (if you know what that is...).
Since the above boat which is easy enough to "gunkhole" with is also a capable world cruiser, and since it is not yet in production that I am aware of, I am also intrigued with another sailing catamaran that is more of a day-sailer, the Reynolds 33. Catalina Island is clearly in the background above the boat's crew in the below photo. This boat is capable of sailing at close to double the speed of the wind.
A clean diesel compact SUV scheduled for release as a 2008 model. Click photo for info.
Mark S. Blackburn, MBA
1310 E Street Victorian
Sacramento, CA 95814
Last Updated: February 14, 2010