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It's no secret that the popularity of recreational sailing in America is ebbing and, sadly, has been for decades.  According to the US Coast Guard, since 1999 sailboat registrations have dropped by more than 25% , a trend that began back in the early '80s, and now barely 2% of all registered boats are powered by the wind.
America’s Cup. Controversy. One goes with the other. For as long as the Auld Mug has been in existence, it has been surrounded by various degrees of skullduggery, brinkmanship, double-dealing, scandal and just plain nastiness.

Viewpoint: Boarded and Belittled

by Paul Calder, Posted June 17, 2013
On the first morning of our trip from Miami to Bimini we were “pulled over” by a speedboat full of heavily armed Customs and Border Protection agents. At the time, three friends and I were sailing away from the United States at a stately two-and-a-half knots and were still within 10 miles of Miami.
“Send me an article on the essence of seamanship,” was the editor’s brief. I wonder what you would have included in this article if he had asked you. I can tell you, it isn’t easy.
One reason I like sailing is that it is one of the few endeavors in which the concept of individual responsibility still has meaning. It is much easier to blame someone or something else for the consequences of your decisions than to admit any fault on your own part—it goes back as far as Eve and the serpent—but on a small boat you soon run out of things to point your finger at. 
There is a popular notion, heralded by most modern sailors, that leading all lines aft to the cockpit will simplify your life. I’m here to disagree. 
I first went to New Zealand in 2006. I was 20 years old and setting off on my first long journey away from home, bound for Brisbane, Australia, for a semester of college at the University of Queensland.
One beautiful August evening last summer we were sailing to meet friends in the Canadian Gulf Islands when the wind died. The tidal current just happened to be at peak ebb on Boundary Pass, so we furled the sails and fired up the engine.
In the Northeast the arrival of spring brings much anticipated preparations for the start of the sailing season. In my case, this includes trailering Windseeker south to Island Heights in New Jersey where I have a yard commission the boat.
Like most sailors, I have accumulated a wide range of boat-related clothing over the years. And also—like most sailors, I suspect—I still possess almost all of it.
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