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Dreams are dangerous things.  Sometimes they take over your life.

I spent the past thirty years sailing on the ocean of my dreams.  For most of those years, my feet were on dry land, but in my mind, I was sailing the seven seas.  I've sailed around the world dozens of times in my mind with Joshua Slocum, Harry Pidgeon, and Bernard Moitessier at my side.  I've survived the savage seas of the high southern latitudes with  the crew of Tzu Hang as they were pitchpoled in the waters off Cape Horn.  I've been with the Pardeys and the Hiscocks as they sailed on their voyages of discovery.  I've deployed parachute sea anchors and trailed drogues hundreds of times in the storms of my mind. I've dropped my anchor in Paradise and snorkeled in enchanted atolls.  I've even escaped from pirates - buccaneers of the mind who tried to steal my dreams.

In my mind,  I practiced sailing around the world for more than twenty years before I actually cast off my dock lines and set sail on my eleven year circumnavigation.

So how did it feel to make my dreams come true?

First, I would have to admit it was a bit scary to drop the dock lines and set sail.  This was a voyage of exploration into our unknowns, and unknowns were in abundance.  During the trip around the world, we often ran out of wind, sometimes we ran low on diesel fuel, but we never ran out of unknowns.

I didn't know how much the trip  was going to cost.   Working for eleven years in Saudi Arabia paid for my boat and supplied me with enough freedom chips to weather any  financial storms that came our way.  I knew that the trip was going to cost a lot of money, especially with college coming up for my kids.  Some days, I wondered if I could really afford to make the trip, but on most days, I KNEW THAT I COULDN'T AFFORD TO NOT MAKE THE TRIP.  The currency of my youth was in short supply, and having an awesome adventure with my family was worth any price.  And how do you count the richness of your life anyway?  Dreams or dollars?  Which will it be.  I'll take my dreams any day. 

Second,  I had never made an ocean passage before I started the voyage.  I had only sailed my catamaran six times before I started out on the trip.  I was unproven and my yacht was unproven.

The biggest things I had going for me were that I had a positive attitude, a positive family, and I had already sailed around the world dozens of time in my mind.  I quickly learned that sailing a catamaran isn't rocket science, and if we can do it, anyone can.  A conservative amount of sail and a positive attitude will take a sailboat just about anywhere you want to go.

Third, in my mind, I was afraid of pirates, tsunamis, and hurricanes.  As it turned out, we never met a pirate, we survived one global  tsunami in Thailand totally unscathed, and there was nary a hurricane that threatened our eleven year voyage.  The worst thing that happened on the entire circumnavigation was a car accident in New Zealand that broke two legs, fractured five ribs, and punctured one lung.  It took me out of commission for nearly a year, but it didn't stop the voyage of Exit Only.  After the fractures healed and I learned to walk again, we set sail for Fiji and continued sailing for nine more years before we completed our trip around the world.

Dreams do come true, and making them happen is within the capability of ordinary folks who have extraordinary dreams.  A positive attitude and unstoppable persistence allows anyone to sail on the ocean of their dreams.  All they have to do is do it.  All you can do, is all you can do, but all you can do is enough.

It's a lot of work to live your dreams, but that doesn't matter, because when you live your dreams, your life is worth living.  Your life keeps getting better, and before long you realize that there is no limit to how good your life can become.

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My multihull dreams started when I was an intern at Gorgas Hospital in the Panama Canal Zone in 1974.  I watched the early multihull designs transit the Panama Canal and head out into the South Pacific.  They were homemade cats and tris constructed by their owners who literally built their dreams from the keel up.  Most of them spent four or more years creating their dream machine.

Those hardy sailors were multihull pioneers.  First, they thought their dreams, then they built their dreams with their own two hands, and finally they sailed their dreams.  After seeing those early multihulls, I remember telling one of my friends that someday I would sail around the world on a multihull. 

Over the years, I met a lot of naysayers and dream stealers who told me that only a foolish person would sail long voyages offshore on a multihull.  On one camping trip in a remote section of Saudi Arabia, I mentioned to a fellow camper that I was sailing around the world on a catamaran when I wasn't working in Riyadh.  The camper remarked that I was a very brave person to be sailing offshore on a cat.  I asked him why he felt that way.  He told me that catamarans were dangerous because they flip over at sea.  I wondered how he knew so much about the dangers of offshore sailing, and he informed me that he had sailed in a single-handed race across the Atlantic ocean in a monohull sailboat.

Later, he told me that during his attempted solo voyage across the Atlantic, his yacht had been struck by a freighter, and he had to abandon ship because his sailboat sunk in the middle of the Atlantic.  It struck me odd that this self proclaimed expert on the dangers of sailing catamarans had his own monohull sink out from underneath him.

Although this person had never sailed on a catamaran offshore, he taught me a valuable lesson.  I learned that it's unwise to pontificate about things in which you lack experience and have no first-hand knowledge.

I do a fair amount of talking about catamaran dreams these days, but I have a right to, because I have sailed around the world on a cat.  I'll tell you up front that catamarans not only make excellent offshore yachts, they also are SAFE.  They are so safe that I loaded my family on board and took them on an eleven year voyage.  They are so safe that we never felt fear at anytime during our entire trip around the world , even during storms.

The only person qualified to tell you that you should not sail around the world in a catamaran is another person who has already done it.  Anyone else is simply uninformed and is spouting their prejudices about offshore sailing.

The corollary to this point is that if you want to live a dream, the only person who is qualified to advise you about your dream is someone who has already done it.

Don't listen to the naysayers and dream stealers who live in Nowhere Land and who have done nothing with their life.  Instead, talk to the Unstoppable, Consistently Positive, Endlessly Persistent, Doers of Dreams, and take their advice.  They know what they are talking about, and if you follow their lead, it won't be long before you are sailing on the ocean of your dreams.



Captain Dave and his family spent eleven years sailing around the world on their Privilege 39 catamaran, Exit Only. During the trip, the crew of Exit Only shot 200 hours of video with professional cameras to show people what it's like to sail on a small boat around the world.

The Red Sea Chronicles is a one hour and twenty-two minute feature film showing their adventures as Exit Only sails through Pirate Alley in the Gulf of Aden and up the Red Sea.  The professional footage documents their experiences in Oman, Yemen, Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt, and the Suez Canal.  It chronicles the rigors of traveling in a remote section of the world rarely visited by cruisers.  Exit Only dodges Yemeni pirates, fights a gale and sand storms in the Bab al Mandeb at the southern entrance to the Red Sea.  The crew explores deserted islands on the western shores of the Red Sea, and learns to check the cruising guides for land mines before venturing ashore.

The Red Sea Chronicles also has outstanding Special Features including an Instructional Video on Storm Management that tells sailors how to deal with storms at sea.

And don't forget the two Music Videos: "The Red Sea Blues", and "Captain - Save Our Souls".

The Red Sea Chronicles is a first class adventure that stokes the sailing dreams of both experienced and wannabe sailors alike.  Order your copy of the Red Sea Chronicles and experience the adventures of Exit Only as they sail around the world and up the Red Sea.

Meet The Crew

Dave Abbott - Captain

Captain Dave always dreamed of sailing around the world on his own sailboat, and his eleven year circumnavigation with his family made his dream come true.

Donna Abbott - First Mate

Donna earned her stripes the REALLY old fashioned enduring the rigors of passage making for the thrill of exploring exotic ports across the globe.


Sarah Abbott - Deck Swab

Sarah is the newest member of the family and crew. Despite her limited sailing experience, she jumped right in to life on the high seas. Her fresh and enthusiastic perspective on cruising help make the Red Sea Chronicles so special.


David Abbott - Cameraman/Director/Editor/Narrator/Composer

David shot over 170 hours of footage on the voyage from Australia to Florida. He then spent a year and a half on dry land editing and producing the Red Sea Chronicles DVD. In addition to the narrating the film, David also scored, performed, and recorded the entire soundtrack for the project.


Wendy Abbott - Voice of Ninja Crab

Wendy is the daughter of Capt Dave and Donna. She sailed on Exit Only from Florida to New Zealand. Wendy guest stars as the voice of a Ninja Hermit Crab in the Red Sea



10. The Red Sea Chronicles is an affordable CHRISTMAS gift for the sailor in my life.  Where else can I get a totally awesome gift for only twenty bucks?  
 9. I work hard for a living, and I deserve to reward myself with the Red Sea Chronicles.  
 8. My Dream Machine could use a shot in the arm, and the Red Sea Chronicles will give it the boost that it needs.  
 7. Every minute spent watching The Red Sea Chronicles extends my life by a full year.  
 6. I want to see what it's like to cruise on a catamaran before I spend a bazillion dollars purchasing one.  
 5. I want to see how a catamaran handles in heavy weather.  
 4. I want to see the Storm Management video so I understand what I need to do when I get in a storm at sea.  
 3. If I buy The Red Sea Chronicles, then Maxing Out Media will start production on two new DVD's - Australia to the Red Sea, and Med Sea to the Caribbean.  
 2. I like the Maxing Out web site, and I would like to support the website by purchasing their DVD.  
 1. After watching the Red Sea Chronicles, I can finally see myself sailing on the ocean of my dreams.


"Story, quality, music, people, boat... Just excellent."

e got the DVD yesterday and watched it last night (we had no problem with the different format at all), what a great adventure and well put together DVD it was entertaining as well as informative and funny at times, a great combination. Well done you guys are natural movie stars, Laura and I watched the DVD twice and I am sure we will watch it many more times in the future."

I hope you guys are going to make more DVDís of your previous sailing trips for us to enjoy."

"Amazing...Just watched your dvd The Red Sea Chronicles for the third time today...I called my boss at home and turned in my notice...I'm going sailing!"

"The best cruising video to date from any source and should be on the shelf of every one who shares the cruising spirit even if only in dreams."

"...a great video that transported me from a damp, cold day in Wales to cruising aboard Maxing Out in the Red Sea - pure nectar."

"The only "problem" is that this has left me wanting more of the same stuff, just from some of the other places Maxing Out has visited!"

"Thumbs up. I also wish the entire circumnavigation was documented, but this small portion in the Red Sea is excellent. Well done."

I just watched the Red Sea Chronicles and second what all the others have said. I'd love to see a whole series of Maxing Out DVDs...Good job!"

Red Sea Chronicles DVD Previews


The Red Sea Chronicles is now available!

    We are attacked by flying fish as we cross the Indian Ocean on our way to Salalah, Oman. When we make landfall, the local suq (market) helps us regain our land legs.


  The riskier side of world cruising. In this episode we prepare to sail through "Pirate Alley" in the Gulf of Aden


We arrive in Aden with a damaged alternator and are delighted to find a superb local machine shop. As we prepare to leave, fellow cruisers are attacked by pirates.

  We must sail through the notorious Bab el Mandeb (Gate of Sorrows) to enter the Red Sea. 50 knot winds and relentless sandstorms are ready and waiting on the other side




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Blue Water





Storm Management Offshore
Parachute Sea Anchor Chainplates
When To Deploy Chutes and Drogues

The Almost Never Fail Catamaran Anchoring System
How Big Should Your Anchor Be?
Far Horizons
Tsunami Damage - The Starboard Bow Takes A Licking
Everywhere, Everything
Go West Young Man - Seasteading
Beam Me Up Scotty

Ten Reasons Why Night Sailing Rocks
When Are You Coming Home?

Sailing to Borneo to See Wild Orangutans
Double Headsail Downwind Sailing
Grand Schemes And Other Important Things
Rigging Emergency Prevented - Listening To Your Boat

Dreams Do Come True
I Have A Dream

I Am Wandering, But Not Lost
Missing Out
The Facts of Life

Red Sea Rigors and Rumors
Never Surrender Your Dreams
Red Sea Sunsets

Exit Only Survives the Global Tsunami
The Sea Is So Big and My Ship Is So Small

34 Things I Learned in 33,000 Miles
Space Travel

Ten Disasters I Was Afraid Of That Never Happened
Kissing Cobras

Pirates of The Malacca Straits
The Tree That Wanted To Eat My Boat

Offshore Dream Machine for Circumnavigation
The Facts of Life Rafts

Surviving the Savage Seas
Abbott Drogue - Adjustable Medium Pull Drogue
You Must Know The Sea

Listen to the Sound of Your Dreams
Clouds Are a Sailor's Friend

Exit Only
Life Is Good
Getting Connected

First You Think It, And Then You Do It
My Addiction
Cook's Look at Lizard Island

I've Got Trade Wind Dreams
Storms Come and Go
Go Ahead.  Live Your Dreams.
The Next Step

Take Care of Your Autopilot So It Takes Care of You
Danger Zones On Board Exit Only

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