James, born 1928 in Manchester, UK, is acknowledged by many as the pioneer of offshore catamaran cruising. In 1956, he made the first Atlantic crossing in a multihull, on the 23-foot cat “Tangaroa” which he had designed and built himself. This was a small and very simple boat, but it carried him and two young German ladies all the way from England to Trinidad. The return voyage was made with the 40-foot catamaran “Rongo” that the three built on the beach in Trinidad, with some help and advice from Bernard Moitessier, himself a bluewater legend. In 1959, James and his two girls sailed “Rongo” from New York to Wales and so became the first to cross the Atlantic West to East in a multihull. Ever since, he has devoted his life to the design of simple but capable catamarans for amateur builders. The basic principle that runs through all of his boats is his firm conviction that sailing need not be expensive and that less is often more. In his highly creative and productive working life, he has constantly developed his designs, always looking for ways to make things cheaper and easier to build, but also more effective in use.