by David Schmidt

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

Crucial Equipment

by David Schmidt, Posted February 11, 2010
Chandleries are rife with good folding sailing knives. Selecting the right one often comes down to utility and taste. While the latter quality is subjective, utility is easy to quantify. I’ve been using the Gerber Crucial Tool for several months and I’ve been impressed with its clever design, fantastic utility, and small size and minimal weight (just 5 ounces). While a sharp, locking blade is

The Wunderkind

by David Schmidt, Posted January 26, 2010
For most sailors, just competing in the Olympic Games is a dream come true, but for Anna Tunnicliffe, 27, getting to the Games was only the start. The real dream was winning a gold medal, a lofty goal Anna set for herself at the tender age of 12 after immigrating to the U.S. from England with her parents. Anna’s gold in the Laser Radial class in the 2008 Olympic Games at Qingdao, China, was the
Sailors today live in an era replete with new equipment and innovation. Looking back on the state-of-the-art in February of 1970—when SAIL’s first issue was unveiled—you’d find aluminum was still considered a pretty high-tech material. Wooden spars were still relatively common. Electronics were primitive: LORAN was top dog, and plenty of cruisers used radio direction finders when navigating out

Boxing Day Bash

by David Schmidt, Posted December 21, 2009
For Australia’s hard-core sailors, the question isn’t whether you’re going, but how many you’ve sailed (so far). Even among the most hardcore of this decidedly hardcore country, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, or “The Hobart” as it’s known, represents a serious challenge. The brochure goes something like this: start on Boxing Day (December 26) on one of the world’s most brilliant starting

The Tradition

by David Schmidt, Posted December 15, 2009
A Look at the 2009 Sydney-Hobart RaceAmongst Australia’s hard-core sailors, the question isn’t whether you’re going. It’s a question of how many you’ve sailed (so far). Indeed, amongst the most hardcore of this decidedly hardcore country, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, or “The Hobart” as it’s known, represents a serious challenge. The brochure goes something like this: Start on

The Wonderkind

by David Schmidt, Posted December 7, 2009
For most sailors, winning the right to compete in the Olympic Games is a dream come true, but for Anna Tunnicliffe-Funk, 27, getting to the games was only the start: the real bull's eye was winning a gold medal, a goal that she set for herself at the tender age of 12 just after immigrating to the U.S. with her parents from England. But in the 2008 Olympic Games in Qingdao, China,

2009 Holiday Gift Guide

by David Schmidt, Posted December 1, 2009
Finding the perfect gift for the sailor who’s got it all can be as tricky as trimming a mainsail in an oscillating breeze while sailing through sharp square waves. Get it right and your “skipper” will be happy; bugger it even a little bit and the old salt with a careful eye might subtly let you know that your efforts need to be stepped up a bit. To help avoid this dilemma, SAIL searches

FLIR, Hall Spars Win Awards

by David Schmidt, Posted November 19, 2009
Few honors have more prestige in the marine equipment field than the DAME Awards, which are decided at the METS trade show in Amsterdam in mid-November. The entries represent some of the most forward-thinking advances in marine aftermarket equipment. They are also a litmus test for the health of the industry: the more innovative products on show, the more effort is being put into R&D and product

Volvo Ocean Race Update

by David Schmidt, Posted November 19, 2009
While the next Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) doesn’t kick off until 2011, gears are spinning rapidly to get the various pieces in place so that teams can design boats, build boats and start test sailing their craft. As the past two editions have made completely clear, VOR teams that start early, train hard and are the most prepared are certain to be strong contenders, if not outright winners. It was no

Custom Cut

by David Schmidt, Posted November 19, 2009
Synthetic rigging has come of age. Colligo Marine is now taking orders for made-to-order twelve-strand Dynex Dux (pre-stretched Dyneema SK-75) shrouds, backstays, and forestays (and other standing rigging), which are compatible with either lashing or turnbuckle-style tensioning systems. Colligo claims that the synthetic rigging is roughly the same cost as stainless-steel wire shrouds but is only
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