by David Schmidt

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

The WOW factor

by David Schmidt, Posted June 17, 2009
Let’s face it: moving a wind-powered vehicle straight into the wind is no easy feat. Sailors have grappled with this problem for as long as sails and boats have been used in tandem, usually with limited results. Given enough tweaking, millions of dollars, and the best sails on Planet Earth, America’s Cup Class boats can sail tight, close-winded angles, but they still can’t sail dead to

J/95

by David Schmidt, Posted June 17, 2009
It’s no secret that J/Boats is an industry leader when it comes to fast, innovative sailboats; the retractable sprit pole introduced with the J/105 gave new life to the asymmetric spinnaker, and the company practically invented the sport-boat genre. Now the Rhode Island-based company has done it again, this time with the sporty J/95, a 31-footer with twin rudders, a

Done and Done

by David Schmidt, Posted June 16, 2009
Ken Read went to bed last “night” (if there is such a thing in Sweden during the solstice) with a smile on his face. It wasn’t because he won the Volvo Ocean Race — that explained the smile on Torben Grael’s face — but because Puma Ocean Racing finally won their first leg of the 2008/2009 Volvo Ocean Race (VOR). And what a leg it was! Leaving the docks in Gteborg,

E4 wins again

by David Schmidt, Posted June 12, 2009
The Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) is rapidly in the process of winding down, with just two offshore legs and a single in-port race still left on the docket. But to think that the action has ended would be a massive misconception. True, Ericsson 4 has now built up a virtually unassailable top spot on the leader board, but now the real game is between Puma Ocean Racing and
Some sailors are born with saltwater rushing through their veins and an ironclad stomach that can weather the worst of blows. I, however, am not one of those sailors. While I like to think that my blood has more than its fair share of salinity, I’m a frequent visitor to the leeward rail in lumpy conditions. Until now, that is. While everybody’s body reacts differently to various medications – and

Boston Bash

by David Schmidt, Posted May 18, 2009
The Volvo Ocean Race has been in Boston since the leg winner, Ericsson 4 crossed the finishing line off of Fan Pier on Sunday, April 26. On Saturday, May 9, seven Volvo Open 70s lined up for the in-port racing, held in the waters between Boston and Marblehead, MA. Sadly for the home team, Puma Ocean Racing, Telefonica Blue, a Spanish-flagged entry, walked away with the

Cruise in Comfort

by David Schmidt, Posted May 15, 2009
If you can’t run air conditioning on your boat there’s no reason to get overheated. Meet the new Bora 12- and 24-volt fans from Caframo Marine. The three-speed fans, available in either white or black, have a locking cam mount and are easy to install. Best yet, the fans move a lot of air but are quiet, unobtrusive, and lightweight. The compact units can be mounted sideways, upright, or upside

Mess-Be-Gone

by David Schmidt, Posted May 15, 2009
One of the worst onboard messes I ever had to contend with was on a lumpy delivery from Stamford, Connecticut, to Marblehead, Massachusetts, when our engine blew an oil gasket, spray-painting the engine compartment and filling the bilge with petrochemical filth. Oil Dri could be the ideal solution for such nasty predicaments. These hydrophobic, oil-absorbing pads and bilge socks are ideal for

Swiss seats

by David Schmidt, Posted May 14, 2009
Need to get up your mast in a hurry, but don’t have a rock-climbing harness or bosun’s chair handy? Luckily, a Swiss Seat, a jury-rigged harness, is your solution. You’ll only need about 15–20 feet of stout rope (sail ties work in a pinch, but you’ll need to sister a couple together to achieve the proper length).Start by folding the rope in half. Pass this bight in between your legs (from

Auxiliary telltales

by David Schmidt, Posted May 14, 2009
Most modern sailboat races are run on windward-leeward courses designed to give racers the maximum number of chances to pass each other and to create lanes. While there’s little doubt that these “new” courses (until the mid-1990’s, most racecourses were triangular and featured more reaching) make for exciting racing, they do create a problem for drivers and trimmers, namely that it can be tiring
  • facebook
  • twitter