by Adam Cort

Adam Cort is SAIL’s executive editor. He lives and sails in the Boston area.

A new monohull record, a giant-killing performance by a cruising catamaran and a straight-out-of-the-box victory for the new Puma Volvo 70: those were some of the high points of last summer’s dramatic Transatlantic Race 2011.George David’s super-maxi Rambler 100 blasted across the 2,975-mile course from Newport, Rhode Island to Lizard Point off Cornwall, England, in just over 6 days, 22

X-Treme 25

by Adam Cort, Posted August 23, 2011
With its almost predatory lines, plumb bow and short fixed bowsprit, the X-Treme 25 is a sport boat that attracts a crowd just sitting on its trailer. The boat seems like a cutting-edge maxi in miniature—ICAP Leopard back in grade school.The resin-infused hull laminate, set in epoxy, is glass with a foam core. To increase stiffness, the boat has five structural bulkheads and a beefy

Up-close

by Adam Cort, Posted August 23, 2011
Broadband 3G radar employs a marine Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) radome to provide greater transmit power and better range and target clarity. This enables operators to make out smaller contacts at a greater distance without compromising close-range performance. The 19in radome weighs 16lb, and the system can mark objects within 6ft of the boat. Other 3G features include advanced

Stay Dry and Cool

by Adam Cort, Posted August 23, 2011
The Hatch Hoodie, a combination wind scoop and awning that keeps the forepeak dry while funneling fresh air belowdecks, resolves the frequent summer conundrum of whether and when you should leave a hatch open. Constructed from 8oz. waterproof WeatherMax material, the Hatch Hoodie has a three-point attachment system that allows it to be raised or lowered to keep out the rain by simply sliding it

Super Cool Shoes

by Adam Cort, Posted August 23, 2011
These are definitely not your grandfather’s boat shoes. With a proprietary “water evacuation channeling” in the midsole, a hydrophobic textile lining and a “lace garage” to keep laces from catching cleats, the SPS Force 8 shoe includes the kind of technology previously found only aboard an America’s Cup boat. The result is a pair of incredibly comfortable shoes with traction on steeply canted

Unbreakable "Class"

by Adam Cort, Posted August 23, 2011
Newly arrived from Australia, the Palm line of unbreakable polycarbonate “glasses” makes it possible to enjoy a drink aboard with a touch of class—and no worries about something breaking. Each glass—whether it’s a champagne flute or a high ball—has a soft, sticky nonskid base, which also helps lower the center of gravity. Stems are available in white or blue, and the glasses are both stackable

A VHF for a Man Overboard

by Adam Cort, Posted August 23, 2011
The featherweight Icom M-24 VHF is an affordable, no-frills non-DSC handheld radio with a nifty “float and flash” feature that causes a red LED to start flashing as soon as it hits the water—even when it’s turned off. In addition to making the radio easier to recover, this can help draw attention to a person who has fallen overboard. In fact, the unit’s light weight and small size make it a

Night-Watch Cap

by Adam Cort, Posted August 23, 2011
For racers and cruisers who like wearing baseball caps offshore, the Sailors Night Vision Cap may be just the thing after the sun goes down. Each cap comes equipped with a pair of red LEDs and either three or four white LEDs, depending on the model, to provide hands-free illumination on the darkest night. In the words of our tester, Boston-area sailor Bill Jacobson: “I was trimming main (on an

Trim Like a Megayacht

by Adam Cort, Posted August 23, 2011
Cruisers with boats in the 50-60ft range can now enjoy push-button mainsheet trimming, thanks to this Touch Trim system from Harken. With Touch Trim, the mainsheet is no longer in the cockpit, but is self-contained in the boom, where it is controlled by an electric motor turning a ball screw.Two different models are available to accommodate in-mast reefing or a standard mainsail. The
Inflatable life jackets are effective, reliable and comfortable. However, unlike traditional foam-filled life jackets, they must be properly maintained if they are to function correctly. This goes double for a life jacket with an integral safety harness and/or automatic inflation. Inflatable life jackets include a number of parts that must all work properly if the life jacket is to function at
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