41 Years in the Saddle

And there it is, the December issue of SAIL, the first issue in the history of the magazine that does not bear the name Charles E. Mason III on the masthead. “Chip” as his oldest friends call him, was a founding editor. Issue number one hit the stands in February, 1970 and I do mean hit. There is a whole generation of sailors
Author:
Publish date:
Charles-Mason.int

And there it is, the December issue of SAIL, the first issue in the history of the magazine that does not bear the name Charles E. Mason III on the masthead. “Chip” as his oldest friends call him, was a founding editor. Issue number one hit the stands in February, 1970 and I do mean hit. There is a whole generation of sailors now that can’t be expected to know what a revelation was SAIL. The industry standard was Yachting Magazine, fusty and narrow and set in its ways. The name comparison alone tells you something, and long before the decade was out, SAIL led the industry.

Via email, Charles E. “Chip” Mason III, former Executive Editor of SAIL, declined to be interviewed here, judging that he preferred to leave his recollections “in the drawer.” In typical fashion, however, he did divest himself of a few suggestions as to stories he thinks I really ought to be writing. Once an editor, always an editor.

(Note for that generation that can’t be expected to know: At the time SAIL was launched, One Design magazine had recently morphed into One Design & Offshore Yachtsman, a niche player, and had not yet blossomed into Sailing World.)

Absent an interview, we shall say nothing of Mason’s formative experiences in the Navy, serving on a destroyer-minesweeper, his escape from a banking career to the world of sail and voyaging, his ready embrace of every new technology, his encyclopedic knowledge of the industry, his America’s Cup coverage, his transatlantic trips, his daily walk to work from Beacon Hill to SAIL’s Boston office whatever the weather, his gentleman-journalist, buttoned-down, impeccable New England manner occasionally accented with a bow tie, or his youthful reputation as the right guy to have on the bow of your boat.

I’ve never worked inside the office at SAIL. I’ve always been off riding the range somewhere, and my encounters with Charles E. “Chip” Mason III have been warm but usually too brief. So it gave me a grin to hear from David (my fellow editor-at-large) Schmidt, about spending time in the office as the new kid. “My marching orders were to work with Charles,” he says, “but Charles didn’t want to give me the time of day. At least, not until he saw that I was going to work as hard as he did. After that, I couldn’t have had a finer role model for editing, for life.”

Related

shutterstock_1158262783

A Catamaran Takes on the American Great Loop

After completing the European Great Loop on our 1987 40ft Catalac catamaran, Angel Louise, my wife, Sue, and I sailed home to the States and spent two years sailing up and down East coast between Maine and Florida, like migratory waterfowl. Eventually, though, we decided to ...read more

01-LEAD_Alex_Irwin

Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Competition

The Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image competition once again captures the excitement that is sailing from around the world An impressive 109 photographers from 25 countries took part in last year’s Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image 2018 competition. And while Portuguese photographer Ricarado ...read more

judges2-1024x319-0219-600x

2019 Pittman Innovation Awards

For the past couple of decades, the digital side of sailing has become increasingly important, to the point where it’s now almost inconceivable going offshore, even aboard a daysailer, without at least a modicum of electronics onboard—a trend that has been very much in evidence ...read more

Nathan-Bates-San-Diego,-CA

SAIL 2018: Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.com And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter. Check back for updates! I took this shot from Cooper Island Beach Club as my ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Fall in line In the days before GPS, the best trick outside the book for finding a harbor in dense fog went like this: if it’s surrounded by rocks, forget it; if not, in you go, but never try to hit it ...read more

190115-Mark-Slats-Golden-Globe-Race2048x

Photo-Finish in the Golden Globe Race 2018

With less than 1,700 miles to go to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, second-place Mark Slats of the Netherlands has cut another 393 miles out of the lead held by French sailor Jean-Luc Van Den Heede in the Golden Globe 2018 race.  Jean-Luc aboard the Rustler 36 Matmut ...read more

06-Heineken-1-R2018_1March_©LaurensMorel_LMA5965_p

Post-Irma Heineken Regatta

Even more than a year and half later, the scars from Hurricane Irma are still all too visible on the island of St. Maarten. But if Irma couldn’t prevent the famed Heineken from taking place in the winter of 2017-18, you can bet it’s not going to put a crimp in either the racing ...read more