by Adam Cort

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

A capsize in the 103rd Chicago Mackinac Race that took the lives of Mark Morley and Suzanne Bickel highlighted the dangers inherent in offshore racing and brought out the best in the competitors who responded to the accident.Ironically, in this era of EPIRBs and other technological “miracles,” it was a simple whistle—required equipment for all Mackinac racers—and a half dozen rescue lights

A Quick Trip to Halifax

by Adam Cort, Posted July 28, 2011
The 89-strong fleet in this year’s Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race enjoyed near-perfect conditions, with three boats beating a race record that had stood for 22 years.First to finish was Jim Grundy’s 75-foot Bella Pita, designed by Bill Tripp, which completed the 363-mile course in 30 hours, 46 minutes and 52 seconds. Will Apold’s 78-foot Swan, Valkyrie, from Halifax,

Don't Forget-Me-Knots

by Adam Cort, Posted July 28, 2011
A knowledge of knots, bends and hatches is central to good seamanship, and while it’s true that in the vast majority of cases a limited number of them will suffice, we could all probably stand to know a few more. For me, the kicker is the anchor bend. It’s a great way to attach a line to a shackle, but I rarely use it and can never seem to retrieve it correctly from my cerebral database on those

Wheel Extension

by Adam Cort, Posted July 28, 2011
From the office of “Why didn’t I think of that?” comes Forespar’s new quick-release Steering Control Arm, which is basically a tiller extension for a wheel. The arm has a twist-lock extension, like those found on many boathooks, and a quick-release clamp, so it can be attached or detached from a wheel in seconds. As with a tiller extension, the Steering Control Arm allows you to steer from

The Marblehead 22

by Adam Cort, Posted July 28, 2011
In his book Wind, Sand and Stars, famed French pilot Antoine de Saint-Expry wrote, “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Fair enough. But while this may be true of airplanes, in the world of naval architecture, there are aesthetic considerations as well.

Water-Repellent Fleece

by Adam Cort, Posted July 6, 2011
The new Zephyr Softshell jacket from Atlantis WeatherGear combines the warmth of a fleece midlayer with a “Sheerline” softshell laminate that repels water like an outer layer, offering the best of both worlds without a lot of bulk. When the spray or rain really starts to fly, just pull over a conventional shell, the same as you would with any other fleece jacket. The Zephyr is available in both

Rub-A-Dub-Dub

by Adam Cort, Posted July 6, 2011
Here’s incontrovertible proof that today’s sailors have it easier than their forebears. The TugTub is a portable floating hot tub that takes just five minutes to deploy and an hour to heat to 104 degrees, providing even the lowliest weekend cruiser with an amenity worthy of a megayacht. Larry Ellison, eat your heart out! The tubs can be used in fresh and salt water, and employ an 88,000BTU LPG

Putting LEDs to the Test

by Adam Cort, Posted June 15, 2011
In recent years, LED lighting has gone from the fringe to mainstream in terms of marine applications. Today LEDs are replacing halogen and other incandescent bulbs both on deck and below, in uses ranging from masthead running lights to reading lights in the saloon.Despite their higher costs—about three times that of their halogen counterparts— LEDs have gained ground thanks to their

Going to Extremes

by Adam Cort, Posted June 13, 2011
The Extreme Sailing Series, a worldwide racing circuit starring high-powered Extreme 40 catamarans, is on its way to the United States.Now in its fifth season, the series features 11 teams loaded with veteran sailors whose resumes include everything from world championships to the Olympics to the America’s Cup. Among the nine scheduled stops this year are the Sultanate of Oman, England’s
Brad Van Liew has won the fifth and final stage of the Velux 5 Oceans Race, logging a perfect score for the round-the-world event aboard his Eco 60 Le Pingouin. The finish in La Rochelle, France, marks the end of Van Liew’s third solo circumnavigation and the second time he has swept the field in the Around Alone/Velux 5 Oceans series, solidifying his place as America’s
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