Sailing Magazine - On the Wind Sat, 16 Oct 21 00:00:00 -0400 en hourly 1 The weather you get, not the weather you want Whenever a newcomer comes to town I usher him or her to our priceless waterfront and we talk sailing. If I see even a flicker of curiosity, I suggest sailing lessons. Our town benefits greatly from on...]]> Trust what your eyes tell you, and you will always know how the wind is blowing I was considering the 55th anniversary of SAILING, and I asked the question, “What is the one thing that binds all SAILING readers together aside, of course, from great photos and even greater ...]]> Sailors keep an even keel, crisis be damned If you’re a child of the 1960s or before, you may recall the first oil embargo when prices spiked and shortages had drivers wasting weekends in line at the gas pump, like we saw in May 2021 on the E...]]> Sailing affirmations can unlock your best self She Who Must Be Obeyed is a big believer in affirmations. Until she entered my life one spring vacation many moons ago, I freely admit that I didn’t know what an affirmation was. Or, at least, I did...]]> Hey racers: The cruisers are coming, tone it down Sailing can seem bicameral—like a 50/50 Senate—split between racers whose passion is intense competition, strategy and speed, and cruisers seeking fun-in-the-sun and vacations to exotic locales. ...]]> When America’s Cup sailors suit up for battle, they ditch the Topsiders and khaki shorts Last weekend, with a fine breeze blowing, I decided to take the Laser out. Me to She Who Must Be Obeyed: “Hey, honey, do you know where my oxygen tank and mouthpiece are?” SWMBO to me: “Where t...]]> Let’s hope a newfound kind of sailing sticks around Before Covid-19, sailing seemed stuck in place: it was the same boats moored in the same marina sailing to the same destination or starting on the same line and racing the same course against the sa...]]> The luxury of onboard showers can leave you all wet Full disclosure. I love showers. Hot showers. Long, hot showers. I have done some of my best thinking during a leisurely shower, and it reached the point where I installed my own waterproof notepad: a...]]> How to convince your teenagers to sail with you The question I’m asked about most often is about family sailing. The scenario differs only slightly: Usually a parent of teenagers aspires to sail in a family group, but can’t convince the kids to...]]> Paper charts hold secrets that modern GPS units can’t Didn’t you cut it a little close to Point Loma?” my friend Jon said on the phone the other day.   “What are you talking about?” I said. “I’m looking at the course you laid out to cl...]]> The time to sail is coming Memories of post-race parties run together, but one stands out, not just for the fun being had (fun was definitely had) but for the shocking dockside news that awaited the unknowing fleet. After thre...]]> Sailing is the ultimate and best method of social distancing It had never occurred to me, until this pandemic put everyone into self-imposed exile, that sailing is a magnificently and spectacularly solitary endeavor. I now realize that many of my best memories ...]]> On this we can agree: On a boat we’re all friends Sailing boasts unmatched power to make quick comrades from nemeses. For example, when climate change provocateur Greta Thunberg chose to sail across the Atlantic Ocean instead of flying, sailing soci...]]> A return to sailing by the seat of your pants Iwent sailing with an old friend recently on his 38-foot racer-cruiser that shall remain nameless because what I’m about to say has nothing to do with the boat, which was quite fun to sail.  B...]]> The last of the paper charts, and the memories that go with them It was a quarter of a century ago but it seems like yesterday. We were 50 miles into a 120-mile overnight passage bound north by northeast. Our homeport lights had fallen below the horizon  so o...]]> Nothing says you’re a sailor like a scruffy, well-worn duffel To be a real sailor is more than knowing your knots and how to trim sails for the conditions. It’s also looking the part. Just as Boy Scouts have merit badges, so too do sailors have their status sy...]]> When offshore sailboats fly sailing has entered sci-fi Footage of the foiling IMOCA 60s is sci-fi. And I’m not just talking about the sailing shots.  Watching the new Apivia emerge from its shed is like seeing a stealth fighter jet for the first t...]]> A $10 sailing outfit might be the key to getting more people into sailing I admit it: I belong to way too many yacht clubs. I realize this, but it seems to be a chronic issue, like keeping every copy of the New York Times for 30 years or creating huge balls of string. ...]]> Good boats have owners; great boats have stewards Last August a friend issued a challenge. John and his partner Pat were enjoying frequent summer weekends at a cottage on Flathead Lake in Montana, but their sailboat—a 15-foot centerboard trailer-sa...]]> Ornery Seagull outboards taught a generation never to get into a dinghy without oars I was skimming a boating blog when my eye was caught by a plaintive headline: “How do I stop a Seagull?” I thought for a moment and then I started laughing, to the point of tears running down...]]> How to know if you’re really a sailor Sailing friends who sail the Chesapeake endeavor each year to join a select group called the Century Club. To qualify, one must sail 100 days in a year. Of course, this is easier for folks who don’t...]]> Sailing prepares kids for adulthood if you take away the snowplow The college admissions scandal, aside from being distasteful and embarrassing, has taught me a new term. To all of you from nasty northern climates with very short sailing seasons, a snowplow is somet...]]> The gift my boat can’t get enough of In our family, every gift-giving opportunity—birthdays, Christmas and Hanukkah, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day—are less about thoughtful and creative generosity, and more about collecting what ...]]> Sailboat racing should be a simple game I really do understand that “it’s-all-about-me” seems to be pre-installed in today’s precious snowflakes at the factory before delivery, and snowflakes are apparently old enough to have t...]]> A sailing story in five chapters Sailors usually have more stories than their nonsailing friends have the patience to hear. Surround a sailor with sailing friends and liquid refreshments and colorful and unforgettable tales will flow...]]> There’s nothing more comforting or more useful at sea than a favorite watch cap As faithful (and even unfaithful) readers of this column know, I’ve teed off in the past about products that promise to take us sailing. No, not boats, but offerings such as a perfume that vowed to ...]]> Never underestimate an old guy in the Southern Ocean I’ve been captivated by the intentionally regressive singlehanded Golden Globe Race, which has knocked out more than half of its entrants and unleashed months of Southern Ocean drama with giant stor...]]> Be like Fred: Leave the beer can racing to the amateurs To quote Peter Finch as newscaster Howard Beale in the movie “Network,” “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” What led to this state of affairs was a phone call to an ...]]> Imagine a PHRF system that is actually fair Listening to racers talk about handicapping is like listening to patients explaining the health care market. In health care, nobody knows who is paying what, to whom and for what. In handicapping, nob...]]> Nuggets of advice from a charterholic Hello, my name is Chris. I’m a charterholic. It’s been four months and 12 days since my last bareboat charter.” Whoops, wrong meeting. Or maybe not. If you’re reading this, you might be a char...]]>