by David Schmidt

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

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
Given the harsh marine environment, balancing the need for strength against the bulimic tendencies of go-fast racing gear has never been easy. As this year’s fully crewed Volvo Ocean and the solo Vende Globe races have made clear, the old clich about the sea exploiting weaknesses is most relevant when you start racing high-strung thoroughbreds all the way around the

Pole Up, Ge'nny Out

by David Schmidt, Posted May 11, 2009
Spinnakers and asymmetricals are great for ticking off miles when sailing downwind, but they can be a chore to handle shorthanded. They require constant trimming, and there’s always the possibility of a crash gybe or a knockdown. For a fully crewed raceboat this isn’t a concern, but for cruisers it can be daunting enough that many simply roll out their headsail instead and call
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 70's 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
Knowing is believingNobody likes the idea of breaking out the EPIRB, but if calamity strikes and you need the cavalry, wouldn’t you want to know that it’s working correctly? While most EPIRBs have a simple on/off button, ACR’s new Gobalfix iPro 406 GPS EPIRB (both Cat I or Cat II units are available) features a small digital screen that not only displays the unit’s GPS
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