2016 July 1

The boat that brought families and friends together on the racecourse before anyone thought to call them sportboats

 Forty years ago Rod Johnstone built a boat in his garage. He did his own design work. It took Rod 17 months to finish the build and in May 1976 Ragtime was launched. That summer of racing saw Ragtime win 15 out of 17 races. People were paying attention to the fast, plain-looking 24-footer and asking “Can you build one for me?” 
2016 July 1

This folding sailboat reached a new class of sailors and continues to attract attention today

 I remember my first sail on a multihull. It was 1963 and the boat was a 17-foot Cougar Cat owned by some friends. At that time there were a few one-design cat classes starting up but none really caught on until Hobie started building his cats. But cruising multihulls would remain scarce for many more years. There were various designers promoting catamarans and trimarans but they were mostly aimed at selling plans to home builders. The multihull world was a bit “cultish” and most certainly far from mainstream.
2016 July 1

The first and second child of the ULDB movement and the wizard Bill Lee

 Now we come to the boat I chose as the most noteworthy racing boat of the last 50 years. This was a hard choice. I chose Bill Lee’s design Merlin. But Merlin was not designed to the IOR so Merlin was quickly followed by another Bill design, the Santa Cruz 70, essentially an IOR-friendly version of Merlin. Why are these boats so important? Four words: Ultra Light Displacement Boat or ULDB. 
2016 July 1

The performance cruiser that defined the category and sparked a career

 
 I chose the Valiant for the cruising category because it is generally considered the boat that began the move to “performance cruisers.” There were plenty of fast cruising boats before the Valiant but I think the Valiant is remembered for a couple of reasons. The term “performance cruiser” was attached to the V-40 early on and it became an easy way to identify the type. Also, the V-40 was a distinctive looking design that was very easy to recognize. People like what they know. And yes, I can’t deny it, I am the proud designer of the V-40. So with that in mind I will try to be objective.
2016 July 1
 Four decades ago, yacht designer Robert H. Perry challenged a review of one of his designs that had been published in SAILING Magazine, saying he could do a better job on design reviews. Then-editor Micca Hutchins took him up on his offer and his first design review—of an Allton Dunsford and Son-designed 26-footer called Carolina—was published in the April 1975 issue of SAILING.
2016 June 1
 Alas, what is to come of the symmetrical spinnaker and all its accoutrements: the pole, pole-cars, twings and guys? The venerable kite, our pennant, our moniker and the centerpiece of sailing’s visual attraction may be poised to go the way of the blooper. Gosh, I hope not. While the blooper was an unwieldy beast, rightly ridiculed into extinction, the spinnaker is an aesthetic, functional and team-creating masterpiece.
2016 May 3
 I’m the kind of person who likes to know how things work and a few systems on my boat have me stymied. A few years ago I installed a Frigoboat keel-cooled refrigerator. It works great, but I am trying to figure how many times per day it runs and for how long. It’s so quiet that I can hardly tell when it is running. 
2016 May 3
Readers, I’m going to introduce you to one of your mates, a fellow sailor whose story comes with a touch of serendipity while telling us something about the diversity of the sailing clan and the esteem that is held for sailing as a pursuit that offers character-building challenges. I think you’ll be glad he’s one of us.
2016 May 2
 It is 1966, and astronaut Buzz Aldrin is on the Gemini 12 mission into space when the electronics fail. He saves the mission and makes the rendezvous with another spacecraft by using an instrument that mariners have used for centuries.In 1970, Apollo 13 lost all power, calling “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” Commander Jim Lovell used that same instrument to navigate the stricken spacecraft back to Earth. What was it? 
A sextant.
2016 May 1

A quest for less friction changed the face of sailboat equipment and created one of the industry’s thriving businesse

Revolutions aren’t always noisy, colorful affairs. Sometimes they start with just a ripple, a whisper—or the sound of tiny plastic balls hitting the ground.
2016 May 1
 Istvan Kopar’s story of his 1990 solo circumnavigation is a mesmerizing tale. The overall plot line may be similar to other sailing adventures, but what makes this a remarkable read is the voice. This Hungarian-born sailor has a fresh perspective which results in fascinating, tangible details coming across the page. 
2016 May 1

Simple electric heads are better than they used to be and can easily replace a manual model

When a marine head goes bad there is usually a story to tell, and it’s never a good one. A clog or a leak can ruin a weekend. Even a properly working head can be awkward to explain to guests, “Well, you do your business, flip this lever, pump this lever and then don’t forget to flip that lever back or you can sink the boat!” Invariably, the guest has a problem. Often they ask for assistance that is neither fun to request or give. Or worse, they don’t ask. 
2016 May 1

Marketed as an alternative to the pricier Westsail 32, this compact cruiser is capable of offshore voyageing

 The 1975 sales brochure described the Westsail 28 as a world cruiser and the boat lived up to that promise. Although only 78 hulls were built, far fewer than the impressively popular Westsail 32, most of the small cruisers are still sailing the far-flung corners of the globe. 
2016 May 1

The country’s top sailing instructors share what makes a good teacher and how to get the most out of a sailing school

For many would-be sailors, their first sailing experience will come in a formal learning environment with an instructor guiding them through it. Sailing instructors are ambassadors of the sport and may be one of the most important factors in whether someone becomes a lifelong sailor or returns to their landlubber roots. It’s a tall order for instructors, who take the responsibility seriously. Every year, thousands of sailors take a class to learn new skills or improve and expand their sailing knowledge, but how do you know you’re getting the most out of a learning experience?
2016 May 1

Four 20-somethings entrusted with bringing a donated boat back to a stateside sailing program turned a delivery into a race of a lifetime and a quest to test their sailing mettle

 Come back alive, and bring the boat back alive.” Over and over those words played through Hobie Ponting’s head as he boarded a plane to England. He and his team had set off to Hamble, England, to take delivery of a Class 40 sailboat that had been donated to Oakcliff Sailing. The plan was to return to the States via the inaugural Royal Ocean Racing Club Transatlantic Race, departing from the Canary Islands and finishing in Grenada. None of them had ever sailed a Class 40. None of the crew had ever crossed an ocean.  None of them knew what awaited them other than 7,000 miles of ocean sailing.
2016 May 1

This one-design speedster is sporty and sleek, with lots of sail area for sizzle

The MC31 one-design, built by McConaghy Boats in Australia, looks to be a very fast boat. The design is most interesting but I really had to dig through the company’s material to find the designer’s name, Harry Dunning. 
2016 May 1

A dual-purpose design that doesn't sacrifice good looks

The Salona 35 is built in Croatia and was designed by the Slovenian design team J&J. This is a very nice looking boat in the genre of the true dual-purpose boat. You can race this boat or you can cruise this boat. It is designed to be well suited to both uses. Kind of the way Islanders, Pearsons and Ericsons were back in the 1970s. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
2016 May 1

Comfortable, shoal-water sailing is on the agenda for this family cruiser

 Here’s a handsome, raised saloon-type design from Marlow-Hunter. This general configuration has been gaining in popularity for many years. I can remember the first time my wife went below on one of my early raised-saloon boats. She looked around and said, “I don’t know why all boats aren’t like this.” Wives are so honest.

Perry on Design

Advertisement