To his left, floated a low-slung, angular 32-foot trimaran. It, too, was out of place amongst the slab-sided, luxury cruising catamarans nearby. His boat's gel coat was blinding white and its raked carbon rig sparkled as if it were buffed with the morning dew itself. Only devout multihull sailors were giving it any real attention. For anyone with an appreciation for speed, it was the sexiest boat in the show. It belonged to Mike Secrest, a retired cattle and poultry farmer from North Carolina. A souring economy be damned, he was a richer man, indeed.
Mike's not exactly the guy that you'd expect to be standing next to an arrestingly beautiful, custom-built, carbon-fiber sailboat. But there he was, the proud and humble owner of a Corsair 32RX. As I peppered him with questions for nearly an hour, he willingly engaged with any inquisitive passerby. But he was uncomfortable when anyone asked the question most often heard at a boatshow: "How much?"