Edited by David Schmidt
By definition, sailors are gearheads. Whether it’s a new sail, new electronics, or even a new mainsheet, they’re eager to put their new gear through the paces. Few people recognized this love of gear and need for innovation more than the late Freeman K. Pittman, SAIL’s technical editor from 1982 to 1996. Freeman was widely regarded by members of the marine industry as a true expert in the field of technically advanced sailing. SAIL honors his memory with its annual FKP Awards, which recognize the finest and most innovative new products on the market—the very stuff that Freeman sought out during his tenure at the magazine. Editor Peter Nielsen (Cruising Gear), senior editor Kimball Livingston (Racing Gear), electronics editor Ben Ellison (Electronics), and technical consultant Jay E. Paris (Systems) scoured the fall boat shows for new products on the cutting edge. Here’s what caught their attention.