A Healthy Obsession: A Floating B&B

A Healthy Obsession

By Benjamin Fordham


Whether it’s cruising around on a placid bay or braving the open ocean, sailing can be a wonderfully revelatory experience. With summer bathing us in golden light from above (wear sunscreen), there is no better time than now to enjoy our local waters in the S/V Obsession, Doby and Kim Class’ 38-foot Catalina sloop. The couple offers tours on their boat through their company, First Class Sailing Humboldt.
The Obsession also happens to be a floating B&B. “It’s a new business and there’s nothing like it on our North Coast,” said Kim. “We (recently) had our first couple from Germany stay overnight and sail the next day.”
The Obsession is a Catalina 38, a boat designed by the famous naval architecture firm Sparkman and Stevens, and is one of only 366 produced. The ‘38 was the official boat of the Congressional Cup, one of the top match-racing regattas in the world, from the late ‘70’s through the ‘80’s. The Class’ purchased the Obsession in July of 2012 and, naturally, raced her in the Catalina 38 Nationals in San Francisco on their way back up to Humboldt, placing 3rd.
Since then, the Class’ have put a lot of time and effort into “gentrifying” the racing boat into a comfortable six-berth cruiser. She sports six feet of headroom, an updated electrical system and galley, new counters and tables, and new cushions and fabric. The galley features a refrigerator, as well as microwave and conventional ovens. And she’s still fast, making up to 10 knots downwind.
“We love boating and meeting new people and sharing it,” says Doby, who has been sailing for over 36 years. He is a former instructor at Offshore Sailing School, as well as performing yacht deliveries in the Caribbean and acting as a charter boat sail-master in the US and British Virgin Islands. He currently serves as Commodore of the Humboldt Yacht Club.
First Class Sailing Humboldt offers a variety of rental packages, including in-bay, open ocean, and fishing tours. Take a casual, 90-minute cruise around the bay, or take your sweetie on a romantic night-sailing tour (and score MAJOR points). Host a private party, or spend a few nights in the Obsession’s comfy quarters.
“Obsession is a quiet, quaint, and cozy place to sit and read while you watch the birds and seals,” reads the company’s website. Anyone is also welcome to stop by the Woodley Island Marina’s G Dock and check out the Obsession for themselves. You too might find yourself becoming obsessed. But, really, drinks on a yacht at sunset? Could be worse, Humboldt.
For more information or to book a tour, visit the company’s website at firstclasssailinghumboldt.com or call (707) 826-9569.
Emerald contributor since March 2012


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