by Ralph Naranjo

Ralph Naranjo, SAIL's electronics editor, is based in Annapolis, Maryland

Beneteau Sense 46

by Ralph Naranjo, Posted October 29, 2013
Last fall I had the opportunity to watch yacht broker Garth Hichens drive a new Beneteau Sense sideways and then spin the boat 360 degrees within the tight confines of the City Dock in Annapolis.
Not every sailor wants or needs a large-screen chartplotter mounted on a binnacle or bulkhead, and for these sailors there is now a wide range of smaller, much less expensive digital charting alternatives.

Aquila RP45

by Ralph Naranjo, Posted August 28, 2012
At first I couldn’t help asking myself whether the sailboat market really needs another high-strung IRC racer-cruiser like the Aquila RP45. But one look at this carefully engineered, well-built racer was all it took to answer that question with an emphatic yes. 

Dufour 445

by Ralph Naranjo, Posted June 14, 2012
Often it’s an evenhanded blend of design attributes rather than extreme features that make for a good sailboat. The Dufour 445 Grand Large offers just such a combination of moderate draft, displacement, sail area and freeboard.

Beneteau Oceanis 41

by Ralph Naranjo, Posted June 14, 2012
Beneteau’s new Oceanis 41 delivers more than a just a change in hull form and an uptick in Euro styling. This new entry in the long-lived Oceanis line is fun to sail, easy to dock and makes a comfortable home afloat.
Some might say that seamanship has been sidelined by technology, with safety and security more dependent on button pushing than sail changing. There may be some truth to this. But at the same time, there’s no question that today’s technology does fill some very real needs. 

Make Your Wi-Fi Float

by Ralph Naranjo, Posted June 12, 2012
When it comes to Wi-Fi’s role in shuttling navigation and performance data around a boat, there are two schools of thought. One approach lashes a wireless router to a proven digital charting system; the other links Wi-Fi capability to an iPad or some other tablet packed with navigation apps.

2012 Pittman Innovation Awards

by Adam Cort, Posted January 11, 2012
Each year SAIL presents the Pittman Innovation Awards, recognizing the most innovative and interesting new products on the market. Our team of judges went through the fall boat shows looking for the latest and greatest in new gear. Here’s what they came up with.
The new Farr 400 is all predator, a no-holds-barred one design that can ghost through 5-knot holes and still stand tall in 25-knot gusts. As the heir apparent to the Farr 40, this all-carbon lightweight speedster reveals an up-tick in commitment to performance and an upgrade in the commitment to technology.

Power from the Sun

by Ralph Naranjo, Posted August 24, 2011
In 1982, I mounted four ARCO Solar M-55 monocrystalline panels to a stainless steel frame above the dodger on my Ericson 41 sloop, Wind Shadow. On sunny days during the hours closest to noon, my amp meter indicated an 8 to 10 amp charge. Before and after the midday feast, the flow tapered to 2 to 6 amps.
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