by Charles J. Doane

Charles Doane is SAIL’s Executive Editor. He has raced, cruised and lived aboard a variety of boats in harbors around the world.

For many, the denouement of the 2011 Caribbean 1500 rally took place in a crowded conference room in Hampton, Virginia, on Wednesday, November 9, two days after the rally’s original start date. The atmosphere in the room, as skippers gathered for what was expected to be the final weather briefing, was taut with expectation.

Beneteau Sense 43

by Charles J. Doane, Posted January 24, 2012
This 43-foot offering doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as its big sister, the new Sense 50, but it does demonstrate that the Sense design concept can translate successfully into a significantly smaller hull.

2012 Pittman Innovation Awards

by Adam Cort, Posted January 11, 2012
Each year SAIL presents the Pittman Innovation Awards, recognizing the most innovative and interesting new products on the market. Our team of judges went through the fall boat shows looking for the latest and greatest in new gear. Here’s what they came up with.
The ARC, which starts each November in the Canary Islands, is very much a European event and the Americans who run it are often a bit out of the ordinary. Without doubt, the least ordinary American boat in this last edition of the rally was the Gunboat 66 Phaedo.

Furl it Up

by Charles J. Doane, Posted January 6, 2012
After cruisers tested and perfected furler systems about 30 years ago,  they were widely adopted on certain types of raceboats. Since then, however, there’s been an interesting reverb effect, in which offshore racers have created ever more refined and versatile furling technologies that are now trickling back into the cruising community.
It used to be that sailors looking to keep their boats moving in light air had fairly limited options. A big overlapping genoa flown from a fixed headstay was the weapon of choice when trying to get upwind in a zephyr. Turning downwind, it was a question of setting a balky hard-to-handle symmetric spinnaker on a pole.
This quick cruiser from France was entered in last year’s Best Boats but never made it to the shows. It’s a handsome cat with twin wheels and a number of layout options to suit everyone from charter operators to world cruisers.
The twin rudders on this beamy cruiser ensure excellent helm control even when hard on the wind at an aggressive angle of heel. The wide transom incorporates an enormous flip-down swim platform that is raised and lowered with an electric motor and will undoubtedly make you the envy of the anchorage.

Figure-Eight Rope Coils

by Charles J. Doane, Posted November 15, 2011
Perfect O-shaped coils of rope look mighty nice when done up properly, and in many cases this is a fine way to make up and stow an idle line on a sailboat. But in some instances lines trained to coil down in ovals develop problems when working. This happens most often with lines that run through a multi-part tackle. If you coil the tail of a line that runs through a tackle in perfect ovals, you’ll soon find the line twists up in the tackle when you’re using it. Eventually you must unreeve the line from the tackle, untwist it so it runs fair again and then re-reeve it. To avoid this, you should coil the line in a figure-eight pattern when stowing it.
Near the end of the 2010 boating season I noticed that the old Profurl roller-furling unit on my Tanton 39 cutter Lunacy was no longer working properly. The furler, which probably dates back to the early 1990s, was getting increasingly difficult to use.
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