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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.
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 April 1
 I'll admit to obsessing about why we sail. What drives us to be cold, wet and often bored, and yet still go sailing? Is it the camaraderie? The challenge? The adventure? The competition? Promoters and advocates will often boil it down to the premise that sailors sail because it is fun, and, by inference, don’t sail when it’s not.
2016 April 1
 Guys tell me they wish they had never sold their most-loved automobile, maybe a first-generation Pontiac GTO or a Mustang like Steve McQueen drove in the movie “Bullitt,” but instead stored it and pampered it so that today they would be able to show off a valuable classic.
2016 March 1
 A mental disease called prairie madness afflicted settlers living on the American Great Plains. It was caused by the wind. The incessant wind blowing over the endless expanse of flat land literally drove people nuts.I believe I was once on the brink of going crazy because of the wind. That was during the worst sailboat race I ever experienced. Unlike prairie madness, my nascent mental disorder was caused by wind that never blew. 
2016 January 1
 I’m going to tell you how cheap sailing can be. No mixed messages here. If you happen to have the wealth of a monarch (but lack self-control), you could easily spend your net worth on the sport of sailing. A valid counterpoint: Smart, eager and creative paupers also go sailing, and they spend almost nothing for the privilege.
2015 November 24
Don’t ask how many sailboat shows I’ve been to. I couldn’t tell you. There are so many of these rituals that command the attendance of people engaged in the business of sailing embedded in my memory that they’ve blurred into an uncountable mass.
2015 October 15
 Had we heeded the forecaster’s gloomy wind warnings, we would not have started the race, but 20 sailboats slipped over the line at 18:30 and inched up the 21-mile course. An hour—and two tedious miles—later, a red sun set leaving a starless sky. Two hours and barely four miles in, the fog came down like a black velour lining a coffin. Wet. Dark. Deadly.
2015 October 15
 One day when my mind was obviously a black hole utterly devoid of anything stimulating to think about, I wondered why so few presidents of the United States and aspirants for that office were sailboat owners.I think I found a partial answer when I came across an article in an online archive with a headline that read, “Boxer calls out Fiorina as a multiple yacht owner.” 
2015 September 18
 In 1995, in the quaint era when logo T-shirts (non-technical 100% cotton) were considered as important to business promotion as a Facebook page is today, SAILING created one that featured a portrait of Joshua Slocum and a drawing of his yawl Spray. It’s a classic. If you’re lucky enough to possess one, it might fetch a tidy sum on eBay, but better to preserve it as a tribute to a great sailing trendsetter.
2015 September 18
 I think I take disappointments fairly well. When I found there was no Santa Claus, I managed to pick up the shattered pieces of my life and move on. Same with the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. I was going to start this column by shouting, like the crazed newscaster Howard Beale played by Peter Finch in the movie “Network,” that “I’m mad as hell and not going to take this anymore.” But then I had an epiphany. I’m not mad at US Sailing, the U.S. Olympic Committee, the International Sailing Federation, or the International Olympic Committee. I’m just disillusioned. I thought they set a higher standard to protect sailors. I was wrong.
2015 August 17
 The shapes arrayed on the windward rail are rounded mounds. In the dark they look a bit like a row of igloos.The simile is apt. It’s a cold night. The 15-knot northeasterly wind is heavy with vapors rising from 48-degree water. The sailors are padded in layers of fleece or down under foul-weather suits and inflatable life vests, with boots on their feet, wool caps on their heads. Shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip, they ride high above the choppy water as the heeling boat close-reaches toward a distant waypoint.

Perry on Design

  • A fresh new look from a leading builder of offshore cruising yachts

  • Safe and sporty design for shorthanded cruising

  • Lots of features in this smaller cat from the design table of Morelli and Melvin

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