2018 April 1

A charter through the Greek islands reveals ancient history and Mediterranean beauty

I was sprawled in our cockpit in a quiet cove among the Greek Islands one evening, gazing at the brilliant stars dotting the black sky. Suddenly I wondered if a Greek sailor, perhaps on the verge
2018 March 27

The crew of a Volvo Ocean Race boat suspended a 10-hour unsuccessful search for crewmember John Fisher, who went overboard in the Southern Ocean March 26. Fisher was declared “lost at sea” by race officials, but other nearby ships continue the search.

In gale-force conditions, Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag crewmember John Fisher fell overboard in the Southern Ocean approximately 1,400 miles west of Cape Horn on Day 9 of the 7,600-mile Leg 7 from Auckland, New Zealand, to Itajaí, Brazil. According to race officials, the Scallywag crew immediately turned the boat around and began to sail upwind in a search pattern coordinated by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre. After a 10-hour search, the team was  unable to locate Fisher and with conditions worsening and daylight fading, they stopped the search and turned back downwind toward safe harbor on the Chilean coast, the nearest safe landfall approximately 1,200 nautical miles away.
2018 March 26

This new rocket is sure to catch fire in Canada’s Cup and one-design fleets

My friend Mark Mills designed the new IC37 by Melges and it has been chosen as the boat for the next Canada’s Cup. That’s a good way to focus a lot of attention on a new race boat. Mark seems to be having his way with race boats these days. He’s been quite successful over a wide size range. His designs are very fast and very good looking. At 37 feet LOA, this is a boat most of us can relate to racing on. When I was in high school I raced on a Buchan 37 but it would be a bit difficult to draw a continuous line from that boat to this Mill’s design.
2018 March 1

With walk-around decks and an innovative interior this new cruiser has started a comfort revolution

Here is a new model for the Sun Odyssey line by Jeanneau. By now the look should be familiar to you. There are minimal overhangs, high freeboard, flat sheer, a chine aft and an artfully contoured, sleek, low-windage deck.  But there is one significant departure, the side decks extend aft to the transom so you can easily walk from stem to stern.
2018 March 1

Fazisi, a boat unlike any the Whitbread race had ever seen, has always faced challenges. Designer Vlad Murnikov reflects on the life of the legend and how, even battered by a hurricane and plundered by thieves, you can never count the old girl out.

As it often happens these days, the news came through Facebook. The striking hull of a maxi yacht, massive yet graceful, laying on top of the salvage barge, looking very sad with all the deck gear stripped, hatches torn apart, stanchions and pulpits bent, yet looking hauntingly beautiful even in this distressed state. 
2018 March 1

This lightweight trimaran has speed in a pocket-cruising package

Astus Boats out of France has a niche market. It has been very successful building a series of small, collapsible, very lightweight trimarans. These are the kinds of boats you could easily tow behind a small car like my Subaru. 
2018 March 1

This well-appointed offshore cruiser is made to cross oceans in style

Kevin Dibley, the designer of the new Kraken 50, is an old mate of mine and always provides me with enough “meat” to the design to allow me to do an accurate review. For that I  am grateful. This new luxury cruising boat is built in China by Hansheng Yachts and is designed to combine comfort and performance. We hear that all the time but in this case, with Kevin as the designer, I think we can actually believe it.
2018 March 1

A family raised on the water preaches that life is short; go sailing

As we age, we’re able to look back and see the little twists of fate that had massive reverberations in our lives. Mary Orme Ellis knows this better than most. When she was a 19-year-old college student in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she started dating a young man with a sailboat, and her life was forever changed.
2018 March 1
We live in a 9-to-5 world, our calendars, computers and appointment books jammed with scribbled must-dos and don’t-forgets, and we have very little time that isn’t scheduled. The very concept of “spare time” has disappeared from our vocabularies. Kids scurry from soccer practice to dance lessons without pause for either kid or parent.
2018 March 1
A popular one-design dinghy class association recently announced that its rules committee had approved new class-legal digital compasses. I was curious to learn more about the breakthrough, wondering if the committee had finally given in to data. Cruisers and handicap racers find that data can simplify sailing: inexpensive computers tie routing to actual weather, a start can be precisely timed with clocks that account for speed and distance, and tactics can be determined based on actual fleet and global positioning. Instead, I learned that the committee had barely budged: Finally allowing its sailors to pick from two 20-year-old digital compass designs, in addition to the analog kind, but only “provided that the devices do not have the capacity for information other than heading.” 
2018 March 1

Over the course of two years, the Alden 44 Tioga sailed an Atlantic loop, with 33 friends and family taking turns crewing

It began with a dream of sailing bluewater. In 2008, Philip Kersten, owner of the 1978 Alden 44 sloop Tioga, assembled a rookie crew to sail from Nahant, Massachusetts, just north of Boston, to Bermud
2018 March 1

A diesel engine expert shares a list of jobs to get the iron genny in gear for sailing season

Engine maintenance is rarely at the top of anyone’s list of favorite fitting out chores, but skipping it is hardly a wise option. With luck, major jobs were done before the boat was laid up, so the list of spring jobs is short enough that most DIYers should be able to get through them relatively quickly. And then you can sit back and enjoy the sailing season, knowing that you’ve done what you can to avoid engine problems. 
2018 January 1

Buying a boat for charter offers owners a chance to skip the maintenance and finance their charter vacations

Most sailors aspire to own a brand-new boat, but the rising cost of boat ownership can make that dream seem out of reach. The good news is that the charter business has also ballooned in the last deca
2018 January 1

Modern design capitalizes on a bright and airy layout

This very nice looking sloop was designed by Berret-Racoupeau and is built by Wauquiez. Here we see the design pendulum swing hard to the comfort side of the scale. I would call this a raised saloon configuration with an aft cockpit. If you are tired of dark and gloomy interiors, this is the boat for you.
2018 January 1

Moderately sized racer-cruiser is a reinvention of a classic design

This new Grand Soleil model is an attempt to produce a boat with the same impact that the previous Finot-designed GS34 had. More than 300 of the early 34s were built. But to replicate that success takes more than good design and build. It takes good timing and an element of good fortune. The new 34 is designed by a team with Skyron doing the naval architecture and the builder Cantiere del Pardo collaborating with Skyron on the interior and styling. Where the X49 put the emphasis on comfort in the racer-cruiser blend, the GS34 puts the emphasis on performance while not ignoring comfort. This is my first review of a Skyron design.
2018 January 1

A contemporary-styled cruiser with a focus on performance

The X-Yachts have long been one of my favorite European production boatbuilders. Given the trends of today, i.e. modern Euro-type styling, comfort and convenience mixed with some performance, I see X-Yachts as always one step ahead of its competition. The design work is in-house and led by Nils Jepsesen. The new X49 is a 49-foot 6-inch performance cruiser. I like that term and I reflect on how much that category has changed since the Valiant 40 introduced it in 1974. In 1974 it was considered by many to be a radical approach to cruising. The words “cruising” and “performance” were seldom used to describe the same boat. But the world of yachting learned that those were not mutually exclusive at all. Today you can have maximum comfort with maximum performance and it’s considered “normal.”
2018 January 1

Hurricane-ravaged schools and charter companies are getting back on their feet, with a little help from friends

As the worst hurricane season in decades ravaged the Caribbean, Texas and Florida,  marine businesses immediately sprung to action to assess the damage and get back on their feet in hopes of still being able to capitalize on the lucrative high season just months away. 
2018 January 1

Upgrading your boat’s power grid is a good investment in time, money

Some upgrades and repairs on a sailboat are no-brainers. It’s not difficult know when you need new sails or the paint job and brightwork need attention. But figuring out if a battery upgrade is necessary and how to do it is at times less obvious. Odds are, though, that if the house batteries are more than five years old, you are going to want to think about replacing them. Wet-cell lead acid batteries have a life span of about five years. Some can be coaxed to perform longer, but their performance will degrade over time. If you’ve found that you are constantly charging the batteries or can’t run many of the systems you’d like to for long periods, it may be worth considering a battery upgrade as well. 

Perry on Design

  • New flagship for the Oceanis line has speed and comfort in a stylish package

  • This new Swedish cruiser has a lot packed into 40 feet

  • A weekender with a surprisingly roomy interior

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