Home / Columns & Blogs / On the Wind
 
2018 May 1
We’re sailboat shopping. Replacing one beloved family boat with another is a big change, so we’ve spent a lot of time pondering the ideal design. Our wishlist asks that it be:1. Large en
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.” 
2017 October 1
OK, I admit it. I’ve been a harsh critic of helicopter parents for a long time. You know, the parents that hover around their children, never giving them a chance to think or do on their own. They rig their boats, follow them on the racecourse aboard mommy boats, hire coaches to video and critique them.
2017 September 1
America’s Cup foiling ranks among the top technical feats of this young century, on par with the booster rocket that lands itself or the pictures sent from the surface of a comet. Well-funded teams of great engineers make miracles.
2017 July 1
It seems a contradictory statement to make in a magazine issue dedicated to safety, but the fact is this: None of us are getting out of here alive. We all have a “sell-by” date, time and place unknown. It’s up to each of us to make it to that point where, in a grocery store, milk would be taken off the shelf, and perhaps a little longer if we’re careful. But it’s going to depend entirely on your own personal responsibility.
2017 June 1
These three facts may surprise you:
1. Today, there are more learn-to-sail programs than ever in U.S. history.2. There are more kids in those programs than ever.3. There are more adults trying sailing for the first time.
2017 April 1
Back when parents sent kids away to weeks-long all-outdoor excursion camps, one could choose to go to a sailing camp; if you could call it that. A half dozen kids between 10 and 15 years old would join a counselor (usually a college kid on break) to cruise from port-to-port aboard a sailboat just large enough to sleep them all. They would carry their own cash, watch their own weather, pick their own destinations, cook their own food, and generally care for themselves. They’d leave on a prescribed date and return in time for the fall semester, but in between, they were on their own.
2017 March 1
Just because I have spent most of my life sailing in warm climates doesn’t preclude me from having huge amounts of fitting out experience. Growing up racing dinghies in Southern California and now sailing toward retirement in Florida only gives me a longer sailing season than much of the country. It doesn’t mean never having to use the words “fitting out.” 
2017 February 22
 Just because I have spent most of my life sailing in warm climates doesn’t preclude me from having huge amounts of fitting out experience. Growing up racing dinghies in Southern California and now sailing toward retirement in Florida only gives me a longer sailing season than much of the country. It doesn’t mean never having to use the words “fitting out.”
2017 February 1
 A viral video of solo sailors in the Southern Ocean shot by a French warship and helicopter has landed on my Facebook page a hundred times. Sailor friends and friends who know I sail are sharing it. Parents and grandparents have texted dire warnings: “You’re not going to try this are you?” No, mom, I promise I won’t.
2016 November 1
At the port I call home on the shores of Lake Michigan many local sailors opt for a night crossing, since the conditions are predominantly light. Weather systems around here usually relax when the sun sets and the temperatures settle.
Schedule
2016 October 1
The story of Tess Lloyd, a 20-year-old Australian sailor with Olympic dreams, is a true fairytale. In 2012, she was in a regatta when she had a terrible collision with a windsurfer, leaving her unconscious in the water. Her crew held her head above water until rescuers arrived and rushed her to a hospital where doctors found she had a fractured skull and severe brain swelling.
2016 September 1
A sailor will often tell you that they sail to clear the mind.They don’t worry or fret, think about work, traffic or trouble when they are on the water. They just focus, like a laser, on sailing. How does it happen that a person who was road-raging minutes before can be a contributing member of a high-performing team as soon as he or she steps aboard?
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.

Perry on Design

  • This offshore cruiser meets the demands of the Pacific Northwest and its curmudgeonly owner

  • A way-out-of-the-box cruising catamaran has no speed limit

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

Advertisement