Active Interest Media

Boating & Aviation

SAIL October 2019

Editorial content covers the total sailing experience, featuring articles on coastal and blue-water cruising, trailer-sailing, racing, multihulls and monohulls, daysailing, one-design racing, and much more.

United States
Active Interest Media
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
finding the way

Those of us who are grizzled enough to remember the pre-GPS days will know what Jerry Richter (p.12) means when he recalls old-school position-fixing as an “act of faith.” As much depended on knowing where you weren’t as where you were. Before I bought my first boat, and long after I’d started sailing, I sat through a full weekend of instruction to learn the intricacies of set and drift, weather forecasting, passage planning and all the other things that go with getting a sailing boat from Point A to (hopefully) Point B. I even learned how to use a sextant, though mine has never left its box in anger, its acquisition having coincided with the arrival in the office of a then-revolutionary Magellan handheld GPS unit. I am not embarrassed to…

1 min.
the sailing scene

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? Share your experiences with other readers. Send your photos to And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter, Under Sail, via our website An evening sail on Gardiner’s Bay, looking at our Code 0. So peaceful…—David Nelson, Montauk, NYWe woke up to this early morning rainbow in English Harbour, Antigua before departing for the U.S.A.—Gib Seese, Glen Allen, VAThere is no sunset like an African sunset. This photo was taken in Kilifi Creek, Kenya, of the Elf 26 catamaran, Cassandraville.—Bill Kosar, Watamu, KenyaThis sunset photo was taken in October 2018 from the tall ship Hawaiian Chieftain, looking at the Astoria-Megler bridge near the mouth of the Columbia River.—Robert & Melanie Heacock, Liberty Lake, WACruising the Choptank with my first…

2 min.

CURIOUS CLOUD While traveling from Halifax to Southwest Harbor last week on a Blue Jacket 40 named Bailiwick, we came across this unusual weather experience. I’m not sure what this is called, but it rolled over us in a matter of minutes. The wind went from near zero to about 20 knots and then back to zero in about five minutes. This cloud line then continued to roll to the east. We were about 25 miles southeast of Mount Desert Island, and it was later in the afternoon. This picture is looking to the Southwest (off the port side of Bailiwick). —Steve Burton, Sherborn, MA That is an Arcus, or roll cloud, an unusual type of tube-shaped cloud that often appears on its own (a “soliton”) and is caused by warm air stacking…

7 min.
it’s in the stars

Technologies are adopted because they make some part of life easier, safer or more efficient. Socrates argued almost 2,400 years ago that the new technology of writing would displace teachers, memory and wisdom. Since then other technologies have often led to the loss of the human physical, intellectual or intuitive skills they replace. In recent years technology has evolved so quickly it is hard to recognize the changes it imposes on our innate, learned abilities, our talents and our very image of the world around us. The rapid growth of GPS technology is probably the best example of this change. Drivers used to plan trips by studying maps and choosing a route. They now simply enter departure and arrival addresses in an electronic device and take directions from an automated voice…

6 min.
boatsitting 101

Many cruising sailors find themselves having to leave their boat unattended for an extended period from time to time, and that’s where people like me come in. For some reason, people trust me. My home, Brunswick, Georgia, hosts hundreds of cruising boats every hurricane season, and some of these folks end up asking me to “boatsit” while they travel. After a few seasons, I’ve learned a little about how to work with a boatsitter—and what you shouldn’t do. Communicate clearly, in writing. Leave a clear and well-organized list of expectations, and ask your boatsitter to document visits. For one client who had a long weekly “to-do” list, I created an online spreadsheet, allowing him to assess battery charge, bilge pump counts and other details from afar. For some clients, I send…

3 min.
cruising for deals

Last weekend I went to a boating swap meet. There were at least 50 sellers trying to get rid of everything nautical, from bent outboard props to darling ceramic figurines of baby elephants on Noah’s ark. Who buys all this junk, anyway? Well, probably you do, so I’m here to tell you how to get the best of those slippery swap-meet salespeople who are just itching to fleece you for every one of those five-dollar bills hanging out of your pockets. First of all, you have to understand one thing: these people are all selling junk. If it weren’t for the fact that you are there thinking about actually buying it, they would have had to hire a dumptruck to haul it all away. This would cost them at least $50, so…