Columns

They say every cruiser turns into a racer when there’s another boat in the vicinity. I’m not so sure that’s true.
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.
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 started with losing my job. Like many people in recent years, I found myself unemployed, and the lack of activity made for restless hands. I figured since I couldn’t find work, I might as well build a boat.
“We’ll only be out for an hour,” he promised, and I decided to believe him. The wind out on Lake Ontario was light, the seas were calm, and despite there being some dark clouds in the distance, it looked like a great afternoon for a sail.

A Terrible Sinking Feeling

by Allen F. Murphy, Posted June 28, 2013
My running diesel made a clunking sound, followed by silence. Next came the sound of rushing water, as if from a large hose. I quickly pulled the companionway steps off the engine compartment and saw tannin-darkened river water gushing in around the propeller shaft, a shocking confirmation of my worst fear. If the flooding water couldn’t be stopped, Kelly IV, my 1979 Endeavour 32, would be lost.
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.
  Hobie was one of those true pioneers who brought sailing to the masses. Rest easy, dude.
For dreamers of all ages, the idea of cruising has an inescapable allure. But the question always remains: “When should I go? When can I realistically trade my current life for the freedom of cruising?”
“Would you like to sail one?” asked Dale Denning one Saturday back in 1980, as Peg and I stood admiring some gorgeous little sailing dinghies sitting by the side of the road.
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