Home / Columns & Blogs
 
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.
2017 February 1
 I’d like to set up a meeting between James Harrison and Rich Wilson. Rich could give James some tips about competing in sports.Harrison is a star linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers whose winning-is-everything attitude earned him $100,000 in fines for illegal hits in a single season. Wilson is a scholarly 66-year-old sailor.
2017 January 1
I’m going to introduce you to a man who has learned, refined and perfected the art of finding the simple joy of sailing. For an activity that humans figured out eons ago, sailing can be complicated. Besides keeping up with advancing technology, it often demands serious planning. Cruises and races require organizing personnel and logistics. Even daysails with friends need arrangements to find dates and times that coincide with suitable weather.
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 November 1
While the First Mate (that would be my wife) leaned over the lifelines in a game struggle to hold the boat off the dock, I gunned the diesel to blast out of the slip through a strong sideways breeze and nasty ferry wake. As the boat cleared the last piling (cleared on the second bounce, that is), I heard a commotion behind me, looked back and saw the First Mate hanging from the dock by her fingertips shouting some words that I couldn’t make out but I assume were unprintable.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 October 1
One acquaintance said he spent the better part of a weekend binge-watching the drama unfolding on his computer screen. Another told me he lost sleep, unable to resist getting up in the night to check the latest developments. A number of people I hardly knew regaled me with arcane details of a sports competition they barely understood but followed avidly on the internet.
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 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 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 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
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.

Perry on Design

  • This carbon fiber cruiser contains a bevy of performance features

  • The king of the trimarans serves up 3 versions of a new model

  • Customize this beauty to make a personal dream yacht

Advertisement