Getting in Touch with Reality
As part of my usual in-depth research for this column I decided to ask Google whether sailing was safe. “In fact, it can be deadly,” came the response, “A study from Rhode Island Hospital concluded sailing is more dangerous, and has a higher fatality rate, than skiing and snowboarding combined with NFL football.”
Five Days in the Turnbull Islands
I rowed out of the marina at Blind River, Ontario, and raised the sail just offComb Point. It had been a ten-hour drive from Wisconsin, followed by the usual scramble to launch and load the boat.
The Worst Sailor Still Alive
Upon retirement I decided to learn how to sail, so I bought a little dinghy and taught myself how to efficiently capsize, founder on rocks, and embarrass myself in front of large groups.
SMALL BOAT CRUISE: Tobyhanna Lake by Sunfish
Tobyhanna is a Native American word for “a stream whose banks are fringed with alder.”
PLAN STUDY: Kombi Sail and Paddle Canoe
The first boat I designed was the Beth Sailing Canoe, which, for better or worse, made me a marked man.
An 1881 Bowdish sailboat, abandoned in a northern Michigan junkyard, is rescued and restored to museum condition by John Parlin, wooden boat surgeon extraordinaire
AUSTRALIA THE HARD WAY
The David Pyle Interview
Amateur Boatbuilding: What if I Make a Mistake?
Everyone makes mistakes. If we try new things we will make mistakes, an essential part of the learning experience. It’s nice to learn from mistakes of others, but we learn more lessons and they stick better when they are our own. The more painful the mistake, the stronger the lesson learned.
Reader Boat: Precision 165
During my three years of ownership, here are just a few things I’ve observed about my P165. Most of these features have contributed to my joy of sailing this little boat.
Are Power Tools Corrupting Us?
“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” —First Baron Acton, 1904
Simple DIY Jam Cleats
Legend has it that Einstein once said “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” In truth, the quote isn’t actually Einstein’s, but he did agree with it. And so do I, especially when it comes to jam cleats.
The P7 Gig: Return of a Legend
My story begins in 2016, when I left for a westward crossing of the Atlantic aboard my self-made, 5-meter-long (16.4') plywood boat Still crazy. The three-month voyage to the Caribbean messed with my head and, to be honest, I still haven’t gotten over it.
Sailing with Colly
Sailing the bays of Texas is not exactly crystal clear water, gentle breezes and sugar-white beaches.
SMALL BOAT CRUISE: Nootka Sound
I designed and built my 18-foot sail and-oar boat, Fire-Drake, with a major adventure in mind—rowing and sailing British Columbia’s Inside Passage in 2016 and 2017.
Dancing on the Water
Exploring the Salish Sea by Oar and Paddle
SLOT CANYONS & STARRY SKIES
This adventure, like many good ones, began with a last-minute change of plans.
Dunlin: An Experimental Peapod
A brief row in a 13-foot peapod during one of our local small-boat gatherings inspired me to design and build a small cruiser.
READER BOAT: Sovereign 18 called Slowmotion
Sometimes the boat you get is one you’d never heard of.
Boat Review: Com-Pac 19 (Revisited)
Twenty years later we take another look at the still popular Com-Pac 19 sailboat
Alternative Rigs for Multihulls
I’ve posted some brief notes about multihull rigs on the “Useful Articles” pages of my website, www.sailingcatamarans. com. There, in the “Different Design Features” section, I explain why the sensible choice for multihulls is the single-mast Bermudian rig, either masthead or fractional rig.
SMALL BOAT CRUISE: Waldo Lake, Oregon
I decided to go to Waldo Lake, in the mountains east of Eugene, Oregon in mid-September, hoping to be on the water from Friday through the following Tuesday or Wednesday. Having been to Waldo five times in June and once in early August. I wanted to feel the nighttime chill announcing the coming winter, and be both grateful for it and fortified against it, in my winter sleeping bag. I wanted to watch the long and early shadows of Autumn seizing the forest in the afternoon.
XPL EXPLORE MORE
It is early May and, like many of you, we’re thinking about life in a challenging time—about gains, losses and what might come next.
SAFE AND SIMPLE
Changing rigs extended this sailor’s time on the water
Glenn Tripp on building a bunk
The true cost of bringing and old boat back to life
READER BOAT: A Drake 13 called Grebe
I have always wanted to build a sharpie. For me they are archetypal—like a boat from some dream. And mine is a very specific dream: sitting low in the cockpit on a sunny, breezy day, sailing on starboard tack, tiller and sheet in hand, just cruisin’ along in my beautiful little sharpie.
PLAN STUDY: Annabelle Skiff
Standing around after boating on the local pond, I suggested to my friend, the remarkable Paul Helbert, that I thought he would be better served by yet another boat—specifically, the “10' Rowing and Sailing Dinghy” designed by Howard Chapelle. I would modify Chapelle’s hull for skin-on-frame construction, and Paul would build the prototype. Paul could, for a minimal investment in both time and money, have a sailboat that would be lightweight enough to car-top, yet still had room for a passenger. More importantly, the boat promised jaunty performance as well.
Future Physics of the Birdwing Mast
An inventor’s perspective
Building a small, bike-trailerable boat for big water