by Adam Cort

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

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

Ensign

by Adam Cort, Posted August 10, 2011
On August 14-18 the Canandaigua Yacht Club in upstate New York will be hosting a truly special regatta, the 50th National Ensign Championship. Around 45 boats are expected to attend; not bad for a full-keel racer-daysailer in this age of carbon fiber and bowsprits. Gary Jobson, president of US Sailing, will be a keynote speaker at the event.Designed by Carl Alberg, the Ensign was inducted
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,
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