by David Schmidt

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

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

Charged: Battery Bug

by David Schmidt, Posted March 10, 2009
Few things are as annoying as stepping aboard your boat and finding that its batteries are dead. The Battery Bug from Argus Analyzers shows how much juice is left in a deep-cycle or dual-purpose battery and how much capacity has been lost; it has a replace-battery indicator and a low-battery alarm. It compensates for ambient temperature and is self-calibrating. Argus Analyzers

Gunboat 66

by David Schmidt, Posted January 15, 2009
Some boat builders are responding to these unsettling economic times by launching smaller, more affordable boats, but the folks at Gunboat are charging full steam ahead. Maybe that's because these guys are one of only a few companies that build all carbon cruising cats and the only ones with fully enclosed bridge deck saloons---and crazy speed potential. 

Command Decisions

by David Schmidt, Posted January 9, 2009
As we transition from the Bush administration to the Obama administration, let us tip our hats to the old guard for the passage of the Vessel Hull Design Protection Act Amendments of 2008, which addresses problems related to intellectual-property rights that were not resolved by the VHDPA of 1998. The new act, which the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) heavily advocated for six

Offshore Comfort

by David Schmidt, Posted January 8, 2009
Offshore ComfortIf you sail regularly offshore, you know the absolute importance of a good, warm, dry pair of seaboots. There are plenty on the market, most of which are very good, and -- like ski boots -- a lot comes down to individual fit, but if your foot is a fairly common size, you'll go far to find a better pair than the Dubarry Ultimas. These Gore-Tex-lined leather

Slippery Stuff

by David Schmidt, Posted January 7, 2009
When I raced Lasers as a kid, our team used to apply liquid dish detergent to our hulls to make them faster. This worked great for a little while before the soap washed off (usually measured in boatlengths from the dock). Team McLube’s Hullkote, a high-performance speed polish, takes this same concept many steps forward, delivering an ultra-smooth, bonded finish, when applied correctly. Hullkote

Blast Reaching

by David Schmidt, Posted December 19, 2008
I admit that I was skeptical about racing on a big catamaran for a day at Antigua Sailing Week. My previous cat experience was limited, and I wasn’t expecting much. I’d seen the fleet of exotic-looking Gunboats—three GB48s and three GB62s—dockside on day one of this annual regatta. With their synthetic-fiber halyards strung from Marstrom carbon-fiber rigs and their chisel-like bows practically

Leveled

by David Schmidt, Posted December 11, 2008
LeveledAre you a racer looking for ways to hone your crew’s sail-handling skills, or are you a cruiser interested in creating a home video documenting of your latest adventure? Either way, Horizon True can get you sorted with one of their high-quality, self-leveling video camera mounts (they also accept still cameras). The mounts utilize either a pendulum or a counterweight to keep

Alternative Rigs

by David Schmidt, Posted December 8, 2008
Sailors are a conservative lot. The sea takes no prisoners, and most people don’t care to experiment when the cost of failure is potentially great. That’s why both futuristic and some older traditional sailing rigs struggle for acceptance and often receive little more than patronizing smiles from so-called modern mariners.Ironically, the conventional marconi rig that now dominates sailing

Save the Whales!

by David Schmidt, Posted December 5, 2008
While everybody loves charismatic megafauna, whales occupy a special spot in the heart and imagination, especially amongst sailors. Watching these graceful creatures breach, swim, and dive is one of the true magic shows of offshore sailing, so it comes as little surprise that saving whales is popular everywhere from Washington D.C., to myriad yacht clubs worldwide, to even Team Russia’s
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