Columns

Over the course of the past 56 issues, we’ve brought you “Windshifts,” a reflective collection of pieces written by a host of different sailors on sailing, sailboats and life lived among them. However, in 2014, we’ll be taking a slightly different tack with “Waterlines,” a column in which Amy Schaefer and Paul VanDevelder take turns using this last-page space to fill you in on their unique whereabouts and reflections.
It all began when I was eight. The bilge pump on our wooden skiff was running nonstop, and my mother had been pointing this out for some time before my father finally peeked under the hatch and saw water slopping around just inches below the battery.
Last October, NOAA announced it was abandoning the chart-printing business. The last lithographic charts will roll off government presses on April 13. NOAA will continue to provide updated accurate “print on demand” (POD) charts, as well as PDF files, which users can print or download themselves, and will work with businesses that wish to print charts for resale.

Voice of Experience: Halyard Jam

by Ben Markhart, Posted November 21, 2013
With the wind gusting into the low 20s and some very ominous-looking clouds on the horizon, I knew it was time to get back to dry land. I was out sailing with my two good friends, John and Jack, and we had crossed most of Great Bear Lake in no time.

Voice of Experience: Communication Breakdown

by Carl Hunt, Posted October 31, 2013
“What we have here is a failure to communicate.” This famous line from the classic movie Cool Hand Luke is also a phrase that neatly summarizes a bareboat charter my wife, Nancy, and I recently enjoyed with friends in Corsica.
They didn’t hoist the Jolly Roger or fire a shot across my bow, but their intentions were worrisome.
In a rare unguarded moment this summer, while discussing the cost of boat ownership, I recounted aloud the full cost of keeping a 34-foot sailboat on the water in my part of New England. My position in this debate was that boat ownership was more affordable than most people think, and I still reckon it can be.
It was a beautiful afternoon for sailing out on the Chesapeake, and our non-sailing friends seemed delighted to be taking an active part.

Windshifts: A Semi-Pirate Story

by Ray Jason, Posted September 19, 2013
They didn’t hoist the Jolly Roger or fire a shot across my bow, but their intentions were worrisome. I was 80 miles off the coast of Nicaragua, on a rhumb line course from Panama to Key West. The seas were sloppy and felt more like Mother Maytag than Mother Ocean. My Spanish is bueno, and I had been trying to raise my visitors on the radio for 20 minutes. Surely the four hombres aboard the 70-foot rust museum weren’t blasting through these dreadful seas just to sell me a fish.
After reading “The Essence of Seamanship” (July 2013) by Tom Cunliffe, as well as the online banter that followed, it became apparent that the topic of “seamanship” is a hot one, especially in today’s ever-changing world of on-water and systems technology. Here’s my take: 
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