Proa File is an online magazine and forum devoted to multihulled sailboats and especially the proa, that unique and fascinating invention of the seafaring peoples of Oceania. We are interested in all aspects of multihull vessels, including research, history, design, building, sailing, racing and cruising.
Proafile.com was launched back in 1999 by Seattle-based (now Port Townsend-based) designer Michael Schacht, as a website to talk about proas and meet others who shared the addiction.
Why proas? Because I’ve always been fascinated by getting more from less. More speed, more utility, more fun, more of what I love about sailing, and the Pacific Islander’s invention is hard to beat in the bang-for-the-buck category. Proas are also notoriously difficult to design well, which lends them a Quixotic quality that I find nigh irresistible.
In 2011 a forum was added, and in 2014 Proa File broadened its scope to include catamarans and trimarans.
Michael was born in 1959 and shortly thereafter began drawing boats. He grew up in the Seattle area, spending summers water-skiing, crabbing, fishing and sailing beach cats.
He graduated from the University of Washington with a BFA industrial design in 1983, and in 1985 was hired by Bayliner Marine Corp., just before its meteoric rise to become the largest boatbuilder on earth. As a staff designer and later, a consultant, he was responsible for the styling, features integration and layouts of product lines including Capri, Maxum and Arriva runabouts, Ciera and Maxum stern-drive cruisers, Avanti express cruisers, and Bayliner Motoryachts.
Since then, he has contributed to the success of a wide range of marine manufacturers and architects, including Aspen Power Cats, Bell Design Group, Cutwater Yachts, Glacier Bay Cats, Kingfisher Boats, Kurt Hughes Sailing Designs, McGowan Marine Design, Ranger Tugs and Wellcraft Marine. See his portfolio for more.
Michael lives in Port Townsend, WA with his partner of 15 years, where he pursues his interests in smallcraft, voyaging, multihulls and publishing.