2016 September 1
Mark Twain famously described Bermuda as paradise you have to go through hell to reach. A chronic seasickness sufferer, he served his time in hell on the dependably bumpy rides to his island getaway. Twain was no seaman, but even experienced ocean sailors are wary of the 600-plus-nautical-mile passage from the East Coast to Bermuda that features sea conditions energized by a hot Gulf Stream flowing fast through a North Atlantic that is often a speedway for weather systems.
2016 August 3

A wild Chicago-Mackinac race leads to a dramatic rescue moments before the 1D48 WhoDo sinks in the Manitou Passage

On the second afternoon of a Chicago-Mackinac race that would be remembered as one of the fastest in years, most of the 326-boat fleet was charging up Lake Michigan in a 20- to 25-knot southerly breeze with chutes full and a building sea pushing down waves. The 10 sailors on the 1D48 WhoDo were enjoying their own rollicking ride as they entered the Manitou Passage about two-thirds of the way up the course when a gust buried the boat’s bow knocking it down and causing it to round up only to get knocked down on the other side. 
2016 July 1

Friendship and camaraderie rule in a competitive fleet of the first one-designs in which a gathering on the green requires sailing up an overgrown bay

Have you ever used a scythe, Nic?” asked Cathy Mac Aleavey when I met her at Jimmy Furey’s house on the banks of the River Shannon in Ireland last summer. Now, I’ve been to dozens of sailing events around the world, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never been asked that question before.  
2016 July 1

Looking back at a lifetime of sailing, Contributing Editor John Kretschmer has found himself unwittingly following in the seafaring footsteps of the sailors closest to him

 You can’t escape history when sailing in the Mediterranean, not even your own. We were off the Lycian coast of Turkey. My wife Tadji was at the helm, searching for zephyrs as Quetzal ghosted over a shimmering sea. I was below, rummaging through the nav station looking for a detailed chart for the approach to Kekova Roads. I am a luddite, I still use paper charts and I knew it was in there somewhere.
2016 July 1
 My Tayana 48 came with wire and rope halyards and as part of my refitting efforts I replaced them with high-quality Dyneema double braid last summer. After wintering in the Caribbean on the boat and bringing the boat back this spring, I found that the cover on a couple halyards and the topping lift has worn through. I bought what I thought was good cordage, so why did this happen? I also broke the block on the mainsheet. It was an older block, but appears to have been made of plastic with metal strapping. I’d like to replace it with an all-metal block so I don’t risk breaking it again, but I’m not sure what kind I should look for.
2016 July 1

Knowing when and how to use your last means of survival is paramount to good seamanship

 There’s an old saying, “Step up into the life raft,” implying that you should not launch your life raft prematurely in an emergency. And while many old sayings are often just that, old and out of date, there’s merit to this wise advice. 
2016 July 1
The view through my office window this morning tantalizes with a cerulean sky and green maple tree leaves aflutter in a fresh northwest breeze. The urge to escape to the red sailboat docked a block away is as compelling as the urge to wax nostalgic in this column I am writing for SAILING’s 50th anniversary issue. Alas, I’m going to resist both.
2016 July 1

Beneteau’s newest 41-footer redefines the cruiser-racer concept with a harmony of elegant styling, bold hull design and an easy-to-sail rig

Beneteau introduced its latest model at the Strictly Sail Miami boat show in February, and while the sleek Oceanis 41.1 had a steady stream of admirers, dreamers and serious buyers, I confess it left me feeling just a bit nostalgic. Don’t get me wrong, the 41.1 is undeniably modern. Silky smooth lines with a full-length chine, a low-slung cabintop gracefully disguising generous freeboard, wide beam carried aft and long ends leave no doubt that the Finot-Conq 41.1 hull design will look fresh a decade from now. What intrigued me was the multifaceted aspect of the design. 
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.

Perry on Design

  • New Morrelli and Melvin trimaran promises a speedy offshore adventure

  • Impressive design balances comfort, performance and quality in this offshore cat

  • Production catamaran with customizable interior options should appeal to many

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