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.

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
A rose is a rose, it is said, and smells just as sweet by any other name. Would that it were true of boats. In fact, it seems many boats these days have perfectly horrible names. Glancing around at transoms in marinas and mooring fields, I must blush and/or wince at half the names I see.   I realize this is a subjective topic and that one mariner’s bon mot is another’s bad word.

The Hunter 18

by Charles J. Doane, Posted July 13, 2011
the new Hunter 18 replaces the Hunter 170, which for several years was a mainstay in Hunter’s line of small daysailers. Like the 170, the 18 can serve as both an easy-to-manage family daysailer and as a lively performance boat for those with more experience.   At a glance the two boats look quite similar, sporting open transoms, centerboards and small sprayhoods forward. On closer inspection,
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