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.

The Rallying Kind

by Charles J. Doane, Posted October 31, 2011
I’ve been on both sides of the fence when it comes to cruising rallies. My very first transatlantic experiences, way back in 1992, were in two cruising rallies organized by Jimmy Cornell, the man who can rightfully lay claim to having invented the concept when he launched the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), from the Canaries to the West Indies, in 1986.

Star Collector

by Charles J. Doane, Posted September 27, 2011
Though sextants are no longer used by most bluewater navigators, they are still objects of fascination to a certain passionate sect of sailors. On the one hand they are merely precision measuring instruments. On the other they seem like magical tools employed by celestial priests and druids. For those who worship the very concept of the sextant, here is a book that should satiate even the most

Tripping the ARC Fantastic

by Charles J. Doane, Posted September 14, 2011
Editor’s Note: The 2011 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) is set to start on November 20 from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands and will conclude in the West Indies at Rodney Bay on St. Lucia. This year 254 boats have signed up to join. of 32 are multihulls, a record for the event. The World Cruising Club, which runs the ARC, claims this year’s rally will be the “largest

Bavaria Cruiser 45

by Charles J. Doane, Posted September 13, 2011
It wasn’t so long ago that German builder Bavaria Yachts was giving other mass-production sailboat builders a serious run for their money here in the United States. 
One of the things we liked most about the Outbound 52, which also wins the Best Flagship award this year, is its no-nonsense center-cockpit layout. Where most center-cockpit boats have wide, shallow cockpits that promote a nagging sense of vulnerability, the Outbound 52’s cockpit is deep, narrow, and secure. Relative to the helmsman, the primary winches are installed at waist height on the
Over the past several years, a slew of new systems technologies have been introduced to the marine marketplace. These have the potential to bring more change to both AC and DC systems on boats than we have seen at any time in the past three decades, but few of these technologies have found their way onto this year’s new-boat fleet. There were a few more LED lights than last year, especially
The concept of a lightweight, open-bridgedeck, high-performance cruising catamaran isn’t a new one, but we found that the new Moxie 37 Island Hopper, designed and built in South Africa by Uwe Jaspersen, takes the game up a notch. The boat has a unique appearance, with distinctive triangular windows in a full-width deck bulkhead that supports a hard-top bridgedeck enclosure. To maximize sailing
The boatbuilding industry is benefiting from a series of mini-revolutions. Real strides are being made with hybrid propulsion systems. Designers are working on automatic systems that will trim sails as easily and as effectively as an autopilot steers. Radically modern designs are redefining boat aesthetics. NMEA 2000 promises to expand electronic options, and distributed power systems offer a

A New Battery Monitor

by Charles J. Doane, Posted August 15, 2011
Back in the 1990s when I was cruising full time and living aboard a 1964 Pearson Alberg 35, my electrical system was dirt simple. I had two 100AH wet-cell batteries, a battery selector switch, a 30-watt flexible solar panel and a multimeter. When I wanted to know how the batteries were doing, I put the
The summer season is upon us and all manner of cruising sailors are wandering about trying to find interesting places to park their boats. Maybe you’re a novice eager to explore, but are daunted by the mysterious art of securing your boat to the bottom of the sea with a curiously shaped lump of metal weighing just a few pounds. Or maybe you’re a marina creature, flitting from
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