Profiles

These 11 small-boat sailors share their stories to prove that bigger isn't always better, especially when it comes to sailing
When Justin Scott wrote The Shipkiller in 1978, it made the New York Times Book Review list and earned a spot on the International Thriller Writers list, Thrillers: 100 Best Reads, alongside The Odyssey, The Bourne Identity and The Hunt for Red October. TIME magazine wrote, “The saga…is as heady as Francis Chichester’s narrative, with a draught of Melville and a slosh of Josh Slocum.”
Chris White, when I first meet him, doesn’t seem like a guy who maybe, just maybe, is on the verge of revolutionizing multihull rig design. I’ve met a lot of yacht designers over the years, and I know that’s what many of them would be telling me right now, flat out, without any maybes. But not Chris.
Gus Hancock, 73, of Chicago, began sailing with his father in an Old Town canoe in 1950. A deserted beach, a tarp and a campfire were their accommodations during early cruises on Barnegat Bay before they garage-built a 16-foot wooden daysailer. Offshore adventures followed, including Newport-Bermuda races and cruises to the Bay of Fundy in the 1960s. In 1970, Gus crewed on a Cal 37 in the Los Angeles to Tahiti Transpac Race and spent the summer cruising Tahiti, the Tuamotus, the Marquesas and Hawaii.
Ronnie Simpson sold all that he had, and he went. But it was no cakewalk. After I had known him a while, he told me, “I have less than I’ve ever had, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.”
Rare is the sailing resume that boasts 217,928 miles, three circumnavigations, multiple voyages through the Arctic and Antarctic and the first east-west crossing of the Northwest Passage by an American-flagged sailboat.
At 74 years old, Sven Yrvind wants to save the world. When I ask him how he plans to do it, his answer is simple: circumnavigate in a ten-foot sailboat. If—or rather, according to Sven, when—he accomplishes this, he will have skippered the smallest boat to circle the world.
“Help! I can’t see land anywhere. My kids were right, I’m going to die!” This was the panic-stricken thought that jumped into my head that first night as I left Mexico and headed toward Hawaii alone.

In Search of an Iceberg

by Maura Flaherty, Posted February 20, 2013
Teresa Carey and her husband, Ben, plan to release their documentary film, One Simple Question, to film festivals this summer. The film follows the couple as they move aboard their Bristol Channel Cutter 28 Elizabeth and set sail in search of a mammoth iceberg adrift in the North Atlantic. 
Liz Clark, 32, longtime sailor and surfer, spent the last six years fulfilling her lifelong dream of sailing around the world, or just about. While Clark didn’t make it all the way around, she navigated most of the South Pacific Ocean solo on board her Cal 40 Swell.
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