by David Schmidt

David Schmidt, a SAIL editor-at-large, is a recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest from SAIL's Boston offices

Frequent Flyers

by David Schmidt, Posted April 8, 2009
Unless you're twisted in the head and enjoy the dizzying heights that are achieved through rock climbing or going aloft (such as myself), most sailors don't relish the idea of taking a trip up the stick, even when the boat is snugly hanging from her mooring pennants. Regardless of your ilk, the Spinlock Mast-Pro Harness should be a serious consideration for your "must-have" gear. Spinlock
Sherpas call Mount Everest Sagarmatha, “the mountain so high that no bird can fly over it”. Western sailors know the Vende Globe—a non-stop, solo, around-the-world race sailed on wildly powerful, lightweight 60-footers—as sailing’s Mount Everest. Study the attrition rate in this year’s race—19 of the original 30 boats dropped out, many in the stormy waters of the Southern Ocean—and you realize

Hometown high

by David Schmidt, Posted April 3, 2009
When the Volvo Ocean Race calls on Boston Harbor in May, every weekend sailor in the region will have a chance to sniff the air around a grand prix circus. So how did Boston "steal" the US stopover? We turned to the instigator, Bill Lynn of Marblehead, Massachusetts, an unassuming ace Etchells sailor and co-operator of Atlantis Weather Gear. He also has a background in
US Sailing recently announced the names of the 2009 US Sailing Team Alphagrapics (USSTAG). This selection was based on the results of the 2009 Rolex Miami OCR. “We’re excited about the new team because we’ve never had this many Olympic and Paralympics sailors return this early in the quad, which is a sign we’re delivering more support to the sailors,” said Olympic Sailing Chairman Dean Brenner

Hats off to Mr. Wilson

by David Schmidt, Posted March 13, 2009
Rich Wilson, 58, of Marblehead, Massachusetts, became the second American to have completed the Vende Globe, an unassisted, non-stop, around the world race that’s fought out in wildly powerful IMOCA 60 monohulls — when he crossed the finishing line in ninth place aboard his trusty stead, Great American III on March 9, 2009. While Wilson finished weeks behind the overall winner, Michel

Chess master

by David Schmidt, Posted March 12, 2009
In Grand Prix circles, few jobs titles exert more pressure on their bearers than that of tactician. In 2007, Terry Hutchinson, then-tactician for Team New Zealand, felt just how heavy of a burden that title can be when his team lost a final America's Cup battle to Alinghi by a mere 1 second.Flash forward to 2008 and Mr. Hutchinson was back in force, first winning Key West Race Week about

Trim On!

by David Schmidt, Posted March 10, 2009
As with many Harken products, the secret to the outstanding performance behind the SpeedGrip handles are ball bearings. As with blocks, the ball bearings inside the SpeedGrip handles allow for virtually frictionless movement, which is a sure-fire recipe for translating as much of your brawn into sheeting action as possible. Harken SpeedGrip winches feature ball bearings for both the vertical
Energy-conscious sailors worldwide are exchanging their incandescent bulbs for LED lights. LEDs work well in many applications, but some sailors find the beam they cast is too diffused to clearly spot distant objects. Pelican’s Stealthlite Rechargeable 2460 uses a rechargeable NiMH battery pack to power its strong, focused LED beam. It should allow you to spot buoys or
Many marine fittings are made from stainless steel, and many tools are made with carbon steel. Problems can arise when carbon-steel screwdrivers interact with stainless screw heads; tiny bits of stainless from the screw head can lead to pitting or corrosion of the tool. Wera Tools’s line of ergonomic, vacuum ice-hardened stainless-steel screwdrivers are just the thing for

Wrino Wrestling

by David Schmidt, Posted March 10, 2009
There’s nothing new about a boat hook—unless it’s so innovative that it makes docking or mooring a boat easier and safer. At least that’s what the judges at the 2008 Marine Accessories Aftermarket Trade Show (MAATS) in Las Vegas thought of the new telescoping Wrino Boat Mooring Hook. With its second, smaller hook and a splice-gripping clip opposite the hooks, you can hitch
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