by David Schmidt

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

You’ll have to go pretty far to find better sailing conditions or a more pleasant Caribbean destination than Antigua. The tradewinds here typically blow out of the east at 15 knots, and the island’s high coastline provides a spectacular backdrop. On shore you’ll find great restaurants, sailor-friendly bars, quaint villages and an abundance of great anchorages.“The four main places that I
Few designs pack as much fun into 18 feet as the Hobie Mirage Tandem Island, a two-person pedal-or-paddle kayak that converts to a sail-powered trimaran by attaching a pair of akas and amas, and stepping a carbon-fiber mast. The roller-reefing loose-footed mainsail carries a generous amount of sailcloth up high and is supported by vertical battens. The boat’s robust rotomolded hull encourages

The Other Pacific

by David Schmidt, Posted November 10, 2010
Simply put, sailing in Hawaii is a dream. Bountiful winds, gorgeous islands, friendly people, unbelievable marine life and crystal-clear water make this place a paradise, as I found out last winter while sailing from Ala Wai Harbor in Honolulu to the coastal town of Lahaina on Maui’s northwest coast. Along the way I experienced enough of Hawaii’s magic to realize that it’s one of the world’s most

Uphill Both Ways

by David Schmidt, Posted September 23, 2010
“Orcas! Two-o’clock!” The call from the on-deck watch filters into the thin, relative warmth of the cabin on JAM, John McPhail’s J/160. I look through the cold, spitting rain at the sea’s tumultuous surface. It takes a few moments to spot the orcas’ distinctive white spots amid a sea of whitecaps. Then three majestic mammals appear, obviously interested in the parade of raceboats

You Want to Go Where?

by David Schmidt, Posted September 21, 2010
Need a sponsor to make your sailing dreams a reality? If so, You Want to Go Where?: How to Get Someone to Pay for the Trip of Your Dreams should definitely be on your must-read list. Author Jeff Blumenfeld, a lifelong sailor and public relations expert, distills a number of sophisticated ways of wooing prospective sponsors into digestible nuggets in this well-written look at what it

Antiguan Traditions

by David Schmidt, Posted August 9, 2010
“The British attitude toward Antigua was ‘defend at all costs,’” says Randy, our tour guide to Antigua’s legendary English Harbour, a portion of which is now protected as Nelson’s Dockyard National Park. “This especially applied to English Harbour.”Standing in the center of the park, I take in the naturally protected harbor that the British used as their base of operations in the Caribbean
Like many international sailing events, this spring’s Antigua Sailing Week found itself having to cope with the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajkull volcano, the bareboat fleet in particular taking a serious hit.“The Icelandic volcano probably lost us 15 to 20 boats,” said regatta director Neil Forrester. “Flights out of Europe were closed just at a time when a lot of charter guests were
Few sailors are as genetically predisposed to sailing as Andrew Campbell, 26, of San Diego. Both sets of grandparents were E-scow sailors, and his parents—both active J/105 sailors—are highly encouraging of their son’s Olympic dreams. Andrew’s father, Bill Campbell, has sailed in three America’s Cups (1983 with Courageous, 1992 with America3 and 1995 with Nippon

Riders on the Storm

by David Schmidt, Posted May 24, 2010
To sail to windward in heavy weather, you need a flat-cut headsail. A heavily reefed roller genoa typically is anything but flat. The draft in the sail migrates aft as the sail is reefed, and you end up with a baggy sail that presses the boat down and won’t allow it to point.One solution is to drop your genoa and hoist a storm jib. Another is to set a storm jib on a detachable inner

Landing School 30

by David Schmidt, Posted April 28, 2010
Most production boats are conceived with a design brief from a builder who has a targeted market in mind. Not so the Landing School 30 (LS-30). It’s built by students at a non-profit boatbuilding and design college. The Landing School and its resident designer, Steve Dalzell, design and build boats as part of the curriculum: selling them is an afterthought. As a result, only two or three LS30s
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