by Adam Cort

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

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,

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
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