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The Beginning Of The New End
A mid the widespread devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria when they swept across the northern Caribbean in September 2017, the destruction of the iconic Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands was particularly k
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The Face Of A Squall
There’s a fabulous line from an old Paul Simon song that I often sing to myself while sailing: I can gather all the news I need from the weather report. It is part of the magic of sailing, this ancient process by which we propel our vehicles through
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Cruising Tips
This is my stern with the engine running slowly in gear against the lines. We all know that when we’re charging batteries this lets the engine warm up thoroughly. However, I have a different reason: I just changed the fuel tanks and return feeds. I o
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Pacific Gem
Looking at the photos of previous Tahiti Pearl Regattas, I thought there was no way this place could be real, that it was the visual equivalent of “Fake News.” It’s just not possible for anywhere to have water that clear, skies that blue, settings so
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Ausome Tackles the Fastnet//
Britain’s Rolex Fastnet race is an ambitious notch in any sailor’s belt, so when Lottie Harland decided to put together a team of nine autistic sailors, it was a major undertaking. Harland is the founder of Ausome, a charity that uses sailing to prom
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Night Moves
After sailing on Puget Sound and in British Columbia for over 30 years, my wife, Jeri, and I retired to Florida, bought a house on Punta Gorda and worked hard to get it straight. The walls had been painted, furniture bought and assembled, belongings
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Short Tacks
The recently announced Globe 40 will give Corinthian skippers a chance to compete against professionals in a full-on round-the-world race. Starting in 2021, the GLOBE40 will be raced by doublehanded crews sailing Class 40 boats. Starting in France, t
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Gear
Developed in conjunction with Dongfeng Race Team, winner of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, Zhik’s HydroMerina Superthermals base layers combine the natural anti-odor, comfort and warmth benefits of Merino wool with the ultra-high wicking and enhanced
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Hitting the Trail
There’s a lot to said for a trailer-sailer. Say good-bye to expensive boatyard haulout and storage fees. Forget about the laborious annual bottom scrub and paint. Park your pride and joy in your backyard so you can keep a fond eye on her over winter.
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Fast Track Trailering
There has been a long tradition, both in the United States and abroad, of sturdy trailerable cruisers carrying their crews hither and yon in search of adventure. In fact, so celebrated are the accomplishments of these little tough-as-nails boats—thin
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Islands In The Atlantic
There is something exciting about the extended anticipation of making landfall in a faraway place for the first time: the imminent meeting of expectations and reality, the inevitable differences from the mental pictures you’ve shaped. Through our dec
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Losing Sight of Shore
I arrived on the docks of Beaufort, North Carolina, in late April with two backpacks filled with new gear—everything I’d need for my first offshore passage. Though I’d been sailing for 16 years, graduating from dinghies to keelboats to a J/122, I’d s
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Going Aloft
If there’s one thing as certain as death and taxes, it’s that sooner or later every sailor who owns a boat bigger than a trailersailer will be faced with the unappealing chore of having to go up the mast. Murphy’s Law will make sure of that. Riggers
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Cook No Oven? No Worries
Many cruising boats, especially smaller ones, don’t have a conventional oven. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have all the baked foods you want, from bread to brownies to breakfast rolls to casseroles and even a roast chicken. All it takes is th
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Bugging Out
Like many of us, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with insects. I love the thought of them, diligently doing whatever it is they do while playing their important parts in the food chain and circle of life. I hate them on my boat, where they’r
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Switch Hitting
Fourteen years ago I wrote several articles extolling the virtues of digital switching systems (DSS) and explaining why this technology was going to soon dominate the world of boat wiring and electrical systems. I was right in one sense—the technolog
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Letters
Reading Charles J. Doane’s column Staying Aboard is Best (April 2019) made me rethink my experience of not staying on board. Four years ago I was catapulted off the bow of a boat in a collision at the start of a race. I had a life jacket on, but no t
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Ask Sail
Q: While inspecting behind the nav station for my spring cleaning, I discovered water behind my chartplotter and VHF radio stack. Freshwater to boot! Do electronics leak? I didn’t think so. —Everette Gracy, Norton Shores, MI Last winter your region w
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Is Cruising Still Safe
It is with great sadness that we read of the murder of New Zealand cruiser Alan Culverwell, and the attack on his family, by criminals who boarded their boat in Panama’s Guna Yala/San Blas Islands early in May. The San Blas were known as a “safe” are
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More Cultural Charters
In last month’s column I covered the amazing mix of cultures that have called the Dalmatian Coast home over the centuries. Croatia cruising is like a smorgasbord of intertwined centuries, and the islands are a movie set. A little farther south, thoug
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Short Tacks
The Transpac turns 50 this year, and more than 100 crews will be contesting the classic race that starts in Los Angeles and finishes 2,225 miles later in Hawaii. The 100ft Comanche is favored for line honors, but the win could go to any one of a scor
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The French Connection
If a boat show could be described as intimate, the annual Salon International du Multicoque in La Grande Motte, on France’s Mediterranean coast, is it. Held in the latter part of April, the multihulls-only in-water show is a boon for builders, becaus
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Hanse 348
This new 34ft cruiser from Germany’s Hanse serves as a replacement for a previous model, the Hanse 345, that was built from 2013 to 2017 and proved popular with cost-conscious cruisers. In updating the 345, Hanse has not only carefully preserved all
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Gear
A few years ago, North Sails made a big push into the apparel business with all kinds of sharp-looking button-down shirts, shorts and fleeces. That doesn’t mean, though, that the North Sails Collection isn’t still plenty practical, as is evident in i
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Bay Trippers
Way back in 1610, Henry Hudson, commissioned by the Dutch East India Company to find a northwest passage to China, was the first Western navigator to discover the bay that now bears his name. During his exploratory voyage (1610-1611), Hudson and his
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South Of The Cape
One of the most wonderful childhood vacations I can remember was back in 1971 when my best friend invited me to his family’s summer home on Nantucket Island. For a 10-year-old kid, this was a thrilling trip for many reasons, not the least of which wa
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Cool It
The dog days of summer are upon us, and while warm winds and brilliant sunshine are a sailor’s dream, there’s not so much to enjoy when you’re at anchor or on a mooring on a windless day with the sun beating down. The balmy night temperature that was
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Sailing Smarts
Even cheap smartphones pack thousands of times more computing power than the machine behind the Apollo 11 moon landing, so it’s hardly surprising that their use has crept into every corner of sailing. Many sailors use smartphones to get weather and t
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Rudder Roulette
While cruising the coast of Portugal last summer, I drove Nada, our Malo 46 sailboat, hard onto a sandspit in 3ft breaking seas. All Malos are exceptionally strongly built, so I was not immediately concerned about the hull. The rudder, however, was t
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Serpents in Paradise
Every so often you hear a piece of news that jolts you out of a preconception or two. For me, one such was the attack on a cruising family on the northeastern coast of Panama last May. A trawler yacht was boarded at night and when the skipper, New Ze
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