You know you are in for a different kind of cruising experience when a) the guide book says: “Do not go ashore onto either of the Koh Liang islands. They are sites for the collection of swallow’s nests to make bird’s nest soup. They are patrolled by local Thais armed with automatic weapons;” and b) the charter base manager (ours was Andy Middleton, who runs the Sunsail base in Langkawi, Malaysia) FULL STORY
Multihulls have been around for a long time. The Chinese reportedly sailed double-hulled junks as early as 2700 BC, and ancient Polynesians used a variety of multi-hulled craft to colonize the South Pacific. The Englishman William Dampier was the first Westerner on record to use the word “catamaran” back in the 1690s during a trip through the Tamil region in Southern India. The word itself comes FULL STORY
I can’t say it was an easy passage. True, the weather was so benign we had to motor for four days to complete the 1,500-mile trip from the Chagos Archipelago to Cap d’Ambre, at the northern point of Madagascar. But Irene and I, aboard Moose, our 39-foot steel cutter, were tense the entire way. Somali pirates, forced south by international policing of the Red Sea route, were now striking shipping FULL STORY
It is a warm moonless night in northwest Florida. A whiff of late spring wisteria wafts across the lake. In the distance, cicadas drone their night music. Overhead, every star in the galaxy is shining. Their reflections on the black waters of northwest Florida’s Lake Seminole create the illusion that we are sailing through outer space. In truth we are ghosting along on my 16-foot Hobie Cat, soft FULL STORY
The business maxim that you have to innovate your way out of a recession seems to have been taken to heart by boatbuilders. After a comparatively small field of new boats in 2009, this year's boat shows were crammed with talent. There was genuine innovation, a great degree of variety, and a good many excellent examples of the art of boat design and building.