by Meredith Laitos

Meredith Laitos is SAIL’s Senior Editor. She sails in and around Boston and specializes in charter destinations.

On November 29, 2013, more than 100 Mexican officials, accompanied by armed marines, swooped down on 12 marinas in Mexico to conduct surprise compliance checks on 1,647 boats. The newly created General Audit of Foreign Trade Administration wanted to confirm that every boat was following protocol by carrying a Temporary Importation Permit (TIP).
Over the course of the past 56 issues, we’ve brought you “Windshifts,” a reflective collection of pieces written by a host of different sailors on sailing, sailboats and life lived among them. However, in 2014, we’ll be taking a slightly different tack with “Waterlines,” a column in which Amy Schaefer and Paul VanDevelder take turns using this last-page space to fill you in on their unique whereabouts and reflections.

Third Time’s the Charm

by Meredith Laitos, Posted December 20, 2013
Following two unsuccessful attempts to circumnavigate the globe non-stop under sail, 70-year-old British sailor Jeanne Socrates finally succeeded in July of this year, completing the journey in 259 days and becoming the oldest woman in history to do so.
The last time I went frostbiting it was February in Chicago, and it was freezing. Not far offshore, ice floes loomed and just inshore, a layer of frost covered the hardened beaches of Lake Michigan, which bordered the black ice on Lake Shore Drive.
If you want to know what’s happening in cruising catamaran design, just take a stroll down the docks of a charter company. Especially in those warm, shallow-water areas that appeal to big groups—and where catamarans abound—you’ll be sure to find a fleet that’s constantly evolving as it adapts to trends in customer preferences, whether it be boats that are bigger, faster, prettier, cooler or all of the above. Here are some of the current trends driving the market.  

Inaugural ARC+ a Success

by Meredith Laitos, Posted December 1, 2013
For the first time in its 27-year history, World Cruising Club (WCC) has expanded its storied Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) by adding a new, parallel route: the ARC+.
This November, nearly 200 boats sailed from the East Coast to the Caribbean in two rallies. One rally arrived on Tortola intact while the other had at least seven boats call the Coast Guard in distress. What do this mean for rallies, and which rally is right for you?
At least five boats in the Salty Dawg Rally were forced to withdraw in the space of 36 hours as a result of a number of rudder or rig failures.

If By Land

by Meredith Laitos, Posted October 22, 2013
I recently read that the average American walks 5,117 steps a day, or approximately 2.5 miles. I also read that to be a “healthy” walker you need to get in 10,000 steps per day, and if you take 5,000 steps per day or less, you are officially classified as “sedentary.”
 Hugh was an orthopedic surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he specialized in hip and knee replacements. He and Betsy took up sailing together on a boat called REEB (“beer” spelled backward).
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