Expert Advice

Sailing Schools

by Sail Staff, Posted April 22, 2003
There are courses to help racers move up in the standings, courses that teach the skills needed for chartering or overnight passages, and even courses where students learn celestial navigation and passagemaking while sailing offshore with an instructor.Most sailing schools are affiliated with an umbrella organization that issues certification. The web sites of these umbrella groups have

XX Games

by Sail Staff, Posted January 22, 2008
Betsy waves me over as I jump off the stern of La Mouette, our chartered Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 453, into the warm waters of Cooper Island’s Manchioneel Bay. My mask and fins are already on. Betsy has found an octopus hiding against a rock shelf; it pulls an empty conch shell over itself when I get too close. I follow a couple of stingrays over to a reef where I spy a school of sergeant majors,

Reading the Clouds

by Charles Mason, Posted August 21, 2008
If you really want to know what kind of weather is coming your way, skip the radio and TV broadcasts and look up at the clouds. Even though forecasts are a lot more reliable than they used to be, this old-fashioned way is still valuable.With today's sophisticated devices, including satellite imagery and Doppler radar, an international network of weather experts can keep an eye on

The Future of NMEA 2000

by Sail Staff, Posted August 27, 2008
This really is an excellent “new” marine-electronics network protocol. So why isn’t the industry getting behind it? It was almost two years ago that I first got out on the water with an NMEA 2000 navigation network and, though the trial rig looked a bit funky (see above), I became a believer. I was bowled over by how easy it was to screw together a multi-manufacturer system of

Old Boat Nightmares #1

by Peter Nielsen, Posted January 27, 2010
A few years ago I was seriously interested in a Pearson 10M that was on the market for a very reasonable asking price. I had looked it over pretty closely—or so I thought—and I had picked up on a number of faults, none of which were serious enough to put me off.Luckily, I had engaged surveyor Norm LeBlanc to check the boat over, and he found plenty more flaws. The biggest one can be seen
Dear SAIL, Your charter stories in the March issue had my mind traveling afar, and I’d like to be a bareboat captain. How does a charter company know that someone is sufficiently qualified or experienced to charter its craft? Some sailors are extremely capable, but have no specific schooling or credentials.  Charles Hammond, Kingston, MA
Community sailing programs are going strong all across the U.S. This young man is learning about the quirks of installing rudders at a sailing camp in Sausalito, California. And did you know that there is an annual gathering for people who want to see more of this kind of outreach? The 2004 National Sailing Programs Symposium was impressive for the energy and enthusiasm of the participants and

The Perils of Towing

by Sail Staff, Posted November 14, 2003
Bill Springer discussed the difference between towing and salvage in the July 2003 SAIL. For more information log on to the following sites.SeatowMembership provides:24-hour/7 day-a-week dispatch, Unlimited service area towing, Soft ungrounding assistance, Fuel drops, Jump starts, Prop disentanglements, Reimbursed world-wide/out of service area coverage, Optional trailer assistance.

Rogue waves

by Kimball Livingston, Posted October 6, 2003
When SAIL decided to print something on rogue waves (October, 2003), the first question that came up among the editors was—what IS a rogue wave? Soon it became clear that "rogue wave" means different things to different people. Faced with the job of making sense, or a bit of sense, of the jumble, I eventually decided that a rogue is any wave that is bigger, steeper, moving faster, or coming

Piracy Against Yachts

by Sail Staff, Posted June 26, 2003
Piracy is a problem that inflicts huge expenses and losses, billions of dollars a year. Most of the targets are commercial shipping, but the threat to yachts is real, and there are regions where the threat to commerce and yacht traffic overlap. Reported incidents have increased in the last year.The Maritime Global Net, which operates a web site for
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