by Tom Cunliffe
Seventy years ago last June, 156,115 Allied troops under General Eisenhower, including 73,000 from the United States, stormed the beaches of Normandy to breach Hitler’s “Atlantic Wall.” 
The process of piloting in deep water is the same at night as in the daytime. Once clear of channels and buoys, it’s down to GPS fixes checked against estimates, distances and courses to steer. 
When most of us think about cruising in Sweden, we imagine a place that’s expensive and cold, with Volvos and Nordic beauties galore, and well-built boats with hefty price tags. The blondes are there, all right. So are the Volvos and the boats, but costly and chilly it is not.
We thought it would be interesting to poll a number of SAIL’s writers to see what marine electronics they actually own and use. Their boats should be bristling with the latest and fanciest gear, right? Well, yes—and no…
“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.

Water and the Prodigal Crew

by Tom Cunliffe, Posted February 18, 2013
Pressure water is always nice on a boat, but when a landlubbing crew comes aboard it only encourages them to waste a precious commodity.

Parbuckling Dock Lines

by Tom Cunliffe, Posted January 14, 2013
If ever you find yourself with a heavy boat tied to a dock or wall, blowing off so that no amount of heaving will bring her in, you can always use the simple principle of parbuckling on your docklines.
North America is as big as its waters are varied. Some sailors inhabit a tideless world where 0400 departures to catch the south-going stream through Hell Gate are as foreign as flying to the moon.
There aren’t many sinking sensations to compare with the one you get when your GPS decides to take an unscheduled break, especially if you’ve been relying on an electronic chartplotter. One minute you know exactly where you are. The next you’re surrounded by a trackless sea, feeling distinctly insecure. 

Judging Leeway

by Tom Cunliffe, Posted March 14, 2012
Any boat under way in a crosswind, whether it’s a rowboat crossing a lake or a powerful cruiser reaching along the coast, will be pushed sideways to some extent. The effect is called “leeway,” and even big ships are subject to it. Sometimes leeway is insignificant; often it is not.
  • facebook
  • twitter