Sail8 min read
Fast Track Trailering
There has been a long tradition, both in the United States and abroad, of sturdy trailerable cruisers carrying their crews hither and yon in search of adventure. In fact, so celebrated are the accomplishments of these little tough-as-nails boats—thin
Sail9 min read
Islands In The Atlantic
There is something exciting about the extended anticipation of making landfall in a faraway place for the first time: the imminent meeting of expectations and reality, the inevitable differences from the mental pictures you’ve shaped. Through our dec
Sail10 min read
Losing Sight of Shore
I arrived on the docks of Beaufort, North Carolina, in late April with two backpacks filled with new gear—everything I’d need for my first offshore passage. Though I’d been sailing for 16 years, graduating from dinghies to keelboats to a J/122, I’d s
Sail5 min read
Going Aloft
If there’s one thing as certain as death and taxes, it’s that sooner or later every sailor who owns a boat bigger than a trailersailer will be faced with the unappealing chore of having to go up the mast. Murphy’s Law will make sure of that. Riggers
Sail6 min read
Cook No Oven? No Worries
Many cruising boats, especially smaller ones, don’t have a conventional oven. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have all the baked foods you want, from bread to brownies to breakfast rolls to casseroles and even a roast chicken. All it takes is th
Sail2 min read
Bugging Out
Like many of us, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with insects. I love the thought of them, diligently doing whatever it is they do while playing their important parts in the food chain and circle of life. I hate them on my boat, where they’r
Sail5 min read
Switch Hitting
Fourteen years ago I wrote several articles extolling the virtues of digital switching systems (DSS) and explaining why this technology was going to soon dominate the world of boat wiring and electrical systems. I was right in one sense—the technolog
Sail2 min read
Letters
Reading Charles J. Doane’s column Staying Aboard is Best (April 2019) made me rethink my experience of not staying on board. Four years ago I was catapulted off the bow of a boat in a collision at the start of a race. I had a life jacket on, but no t
Sail4 min read
Ask Sail
Q: While inspecting behind the nav station for my spring cleaning, I discovered water behind my chartplotter and VHF radio stack. Freshwater to boot! Do electronics leak? I didn’t think so. —Everette Gracy, Norton Shores, MI Last winter your region w
Sail5 min read
Is Cruising Still Safe
It is with great sadness that we read of the murder of New Zealand cruiser Alan Culverwell, and the attack on his family, by criminals who boarded their boat in Panama’s Guna Yala/San Blas Islands early in May. The San Blas were known as a “safe” are
Sail3 min read
More Cultural Charters
In last month’s column I covered the amazing mix of cultures that have called the Dalmatian Coast home over the centuries. Croatia cruising is like a smorgasbord of intertwined centuries, and the islands are a movie set. A little farther south, thoug
Sail1 min read
The Beginning Of The New End
A mid the widespread devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria when they swept across the northern Caribbean in September 2017, the destruction of the iconic Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands was particularly k
Sail3 min read
The Face Of A Squall
There’s a fabulous line from an old Paul Simon song that I often sing to myself while sailing: I can gather all the news I need from the weather report. It is part of the magic of sailing, this ancient process by which we propel our vehicles through
Sail3 min read
Cruising Tips
This is my stern with the engine running slowly in gear against the lines. We all know that when we’re charging batteries this lets the engine warm up thoroughly. However, I have a different reason: I just changed the fuel tanks and return feeds. I o
Sail3 min read
Pacific Gem
Looking at the photos of previous Tahiti Pearl Regattas, I thought there was no way this place could be real, that it was the visual equivalent of “Fake News.” It’s just not possible for anywhere to have water that clear, skies that blue, settings so
Sail2 min read
Ausome Tackles the Fastnet//
Britain’s Rolex Fastnet race is an ambitious notch in any sailor’s belt, so when Lottie Harland decided to put together a team of nine autistic sailors, it was a major undertaking. Harland is the founder of Ausome, a charity that uses sailing to prom
Sail7 min read
Night Moves
After sailing on Puget Sound and in British Columbia for over 30 years, my wife, Jeri, and I retired to Florida, bought a house on Punta Gorda and worked hard to get it straight. The walls had been painted, furniture bought and assembled, belongings
Sail2 min read
Short Tacks
The recently announced Globe 40 will give Corinthian skippers a chance to compete against professionals in a full-on round-the-world race. Starting in 2021, the GLOBE40 will be raced by doublehanded crews sailing Class 40 boats. Starting in France, t
Sail4 min read
Gear
Developed in conjunction with Dongfeng Race Team, winner of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, Zhik’s HydroMerina Superthermals base layers combine the natural anti-odor, comfort and warmth benefits of Merino wool with the ultra-high wicking and enhanced
Sail5 min read
Hitting the Trail
There’s a lot to said for a trailer-sailer. Say good-bye to expensive boatyard haulout and storage fees. Forget about the laborious annual bottom scrub and paint. Park your pride and joy in your backyard so you can keep a fond eye on her over winter.
Sail9 min read
Rudder Roulette
While cruising the coast of Portugal last summer, I drove Nada, our Malo 46 sailboat, hard onto a sandspit in 3ft breaking seas. All Malos are exceptionally strongly built, so I was not immediately concerned about the hull. The rudder, however, was t
Sail2 min read
Serpents in Paradise
Every so often you hear a piece of news that jolts you out of a preconception or two. For me, one such was the attack on a cruising family on the northeastern coast of Panama last May. A trawler yacht was boarded at night and when the skipper, New Ze
Sail6 min read
Salt to Fresh
Both of the heads on Britannia, my Downeast 45 schooner, are Raritan Elegance electric models that I installed nearly four years ago. They have performed flawlessly, and one of the reasons for that is that for about 90 percent of the time, they are f
Sail2 min read
Letters
So now, our secret is out! Thousands of cruising gringo sailors hit the Sea of Cortez every winter to escape the northern weather. Thank you, Suzy, for sharing your experiences (Cruising in the Sea of Cortez, April 2019). I just want to add that she
Sail4 min read
Ask Sail
GORDON WEST IS AN ELECTRONICS EXPERT WHO SPECIALIZES IN RADIO COMMUNICATIONS DON CASEY HAS WRITTEN MANY BOOKS AND ARTICLES ON MARINE MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS NIGEL CALDER IS AN AUTHOR AND EXPERT ON BOAT SYSTEMS AND DIESEL ENGINES BRIAN HANCOCK IS A SA
Sail5 min read
Riding With The Wind
It all started with YouTube. Last year, when my wife, Marjorie, and I began planning to include the Exumas in our upcoming three-month cruise through the Bahamas, I searched the internet for information on what we might find there. As I was doing so
Sail3 min read
Cultural Charters: Part I
If you’re seeking a dose of culture on your next charter, the Med is your best bet. Not far from one of the cradles of civilization (there are now thought to be six), the Eastern Med is chock full of history, as the old Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Cyp
Sail2 min read
Home Is The Sailor/In Brief
On April 29, veteran circumnavigator Webb Chiles closed the loop on his sixth solo circumnavigation. Chiles and his Moore 24, Gannet, sailed into San Diego to complete the 29,989-mile epic five years after setting out. It was a leisurely circumnaviga
Sail3 min read
The Eyes Have It
Back when I first started ocean sailing, the most routinely challenging part of standing a watch was just keeping track of vessel traffic. If you didn’t have radar or couldn’t run it 24/7—as was and still is the case on most modest cruising sailboats
Sail4 min read
We Need a Boat
We need a boat. Like, really need a boat. Not just, “Oh a boat would be fun.” But an aching, core-wrenching desire for a piece of water. We don’t find sailing just a pastime or a boat a status symbol. A boat is a part of the family; without one, we’r
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