- Photography by Mr Matt Albiani
- Styling by Mr Dan May, Style Director, MR PORTER
- Words by Mr Tom M Ford, Features Writer, MR PORTER
Owning a yacht would be a dream for most of us, but despite it being simply part of everyday life for Mr Chad Hudnut, it still seems as if he's living a fantasy. "Even if you are just heading out for a quick sail around the harbour, the minute you step on a sailboat you get the feeling you can go anywhere." With a voice set constantly to "at ease", island life in Nantucket - where he divides half his year with New York - is something life-long sailor Mr Hudnut has enjoyed since 2000. Growing up in the Midwest, he cut his teeth as a youngster on the lakes of his hometown and, after honing his skill in Maine, never looked back. "There was a position on an 80ft schooner heading out to Florida, so I hopped on board. I spent several years sailing between New England and the Caribbean, and eventually landed here." He was soon snapped up to captain a new boat (Mustang - as seen in the pictures above - was designed by naval architect Mr Joel White) and manage a yacht programme, which includes Nantucket Race Week and the Opera House Cup - the largest and oldest wooden-boat sailing regatta on the East Coast.
Mr Hudnut spends his work days checking in with his crew, mending line and fixing sails. "There's always a project or two - even down to stocking some beers on board," he says. And, as you can imagine, downtime isn't too shabby either. "There are beaches all the way around the island - you can find yourself totally alone. I try and get up early and head out, take a coffee, go for a surf."
Various projects take him away from the water, too. He is currently working with sailing brand Atlantis Weather Gear on a collaboration with Maine shoemaker Rancourt & Co. Having given the green light to Mr Hudnut's designs for versatile yacht wear, pieces should be available mid-August. "Often you'll be sailing and have to go to dinner immediately after. All the shoes available look silly around town. I wanted to create something that bridged the gap." Indeed, for a man who likes to sail in "shorts and a button-down" as much as technical gear, it's clear that he takes style cues from some MR PORTER favourites. "I admire those classic shots of JFK on his boat. He made casual wear look very sophisticated. Another one would be Paul Newman. He wore that workwear style perfectly."
Click through the shots, above, to see Mr Hudnut's summer gear of choice, whether in sailing mode or enjoying some much-deserved shore leave.