These are things that White knows from experience, because he's not only drawn his own boats but also built a few of them. In 1972, at the age of 18, he designed his first multihull, a 31-foot trimaran named Shadowfax, and built it himself-right there in his parents' driveway. For the next two years, White cruised his engineless tri in Caribbean and South American waters, all the while pondering how to design a trimaran that would be better suited to ocean sailing. Upon returning to the States, he began studying yacht design in earnest, first through mail-order courses, then by working for other designers. In 1981, he and his wife, Katie, put together Juniper, a 52-foot ketch-rigged, cedar/epoxy trimaran, and with their growing family sailed the boat from Nova Scotia to the Caribbean. More recently, White has cruised aboard Javelin, his Atlantic 55, from South Africa to Guatemala, then home to Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. Firsthand liveaboard and bluewater experience-when it starts to blow and it's just you and your wife and two boys crossing an ocean-has a way of bringing a dose of reality to the drawing board.