by David Schmidt

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

Anyone who follows high-end sailing will be familiar with Roy Disney’s long line of Pyewacket’s, boats that have defined state-of-the-art sailing for more than a decade. But few people know the true extent of Disney’s love affair with the Transpac Race, an event that he has been active in for the past four decades. In fact, Disney has held the Transpac record twice, first with his Santa Cruz 70,

Pipe Dreams

by David Schmidt, Posted September 23, 2009
When William "Scott" Piper III was a child his father laid a piece of advice on him that still resonates after 60-plus years: "There’s no reason to live in Florida if you don’t do what it has to offer." With this, a passion for sailing was born, and with it a legacy that Piper’s father, now passed, would be proud of: Four "near" circumnavigations, podium finishes in high-profile events such as
On 4 September, Alain Thbault’s hydrofoiling trimaran, L’Hydroptre, became the fastest sailboat on the planet, rifling off two impressive feats in the same day in France’s La Seyne sur Mer. First, the flying tri registered an average speed of 48.72 knots over a distance of one nautical mile; then it fired off an average pace of 51.36 knots over a distance of 500 meters. Even more

Marblehead Magic

by David Schmidt, Posted September 3, 2009
On the East Coast, West Coast, and Gulf Coast...on the Great Lakes and all the little lakes and rivers, too—most American sailors have been wooed at one point or another by the siren call of an occasional low-stress, mid-week race. (OK, perhaps it was the skipper’s promise of beer and burgers afterwards.) These informal “beer-can chases” are a great way to break up the

Hummus the hard way

by David Schmidt, Posted August 24, 2009
So there we were last Friday evening, sitting on the rail of Tom Hill’s magnificent new Reichel/Pugh 75 Titan XV during the 2009 Ida Lewis Distance Race off Newport, Rhode Island, happily munching on carrots and hummus, when a curious thing happened: a torrent of saltwater exploded over everybody seated at the back of the sled. It happened so suddenly that all I could

VOR changes announced

by David Schmidt, Posted August 18, 2009
In the current economic climate, it’s no surprise that that potential sponsors are balking at the prospect of ponying up the $50-60 million needed to fund a first-rate Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) campaign. The VOR itself has been working to reduce costs, as they recognize that sponsors only get their full value if there are plenty of boats competing.So far, changes include a

LED Lights

by David Schmidt, Posted August 18, 2009
LED lights have revolutionized onboard lighting in recent years due to the featherweight draw they impose on house batteries. Initially LEDs were several times costlier than their incandescent brethren. Thankfully, this has changed recently, and Hella Marine’s line of NaviLED PRO navigation lights are a great example of affordable performance. These lights use a scant 10% of the power consumed by
If you’ve ever anchored in a really muddy bottom, or amidst blocky granite seafloors, you know firsthand that pulling an anchor up by hand is neither fun nor fast. Quick Nautical Equipment recently unveiled two new vertical windlasses, the Aleph and the Dylan. Each model comes in three sizes. The Aleph is for boats between 22 and 49 feet; the Dylan is for boats from 38 to 64 feet. The windlasses

Atlantis Weather Gear

by David Schmidt, Posted August 18, 2009
Atlantis Weather Gear recently introduced two new items in its coastal sailing line, the Aegis Hybrid Bib and the Aegis Spraytop, as well as a re-tooled version of its flagship Aegis Jacket. The gear utilizes Atlantis’s triple-layer, highly breathable laminate Typhoon fabric. For years, Atlantis has held that sailing gear can be versatile and comfortable without the bulk of

Swan 90 FD

by David Schmidt, Posted August 18, 2009
When Nautor Swan built its first boat — the venerable Swan 36, Tarantella — in 1968, the Finnish builder used a revolutionary new hull material called fiberglass. Forty-some years later Swan is again pushing the envelope, this time with DSK, an all-carbon, flush-deck, 90-foot German Frers-designed rocketship.Compare the two boats and you quickly
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