Active Interest Media

Boating & Aviation

SAIL June/July 2020

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

3 min.
setting sail

Writing about Belize and the marked lack of nav aids there (p.24, Belize on Two Hulls) got me thinking about some of the nav aids I’ve encountered elsewhere and how the memory of those same marks and buoys has stuck with me over the years. In this I don’t think I’m alone. Consider the significance of the St. David’s lighthouse to competitors in the Newport Bermuda Race, or the Grays Reef lighthouse to competitors in the Chicago-Mac. That said, those marks that come to mind in my case tend to be of the more mundane variety. The first of these, I suppose, is the mast marking “Roaring Bull” reef to the south of Tinkers Island off Marblehead, Massachusetts, where we would visit my grandparents each summer. To this day I can…

2 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 This was shot on a spectacular day in December on the Neuse River near Oriental, North Carolina— Harris Welles, Oriental, NCSunrise on eastern Long Island Sound while bringing our just-purchased Pearson 303, Caelan Shae, from Northport to Noyac— Patrick and Ryan Gunn, Hampton Bays, NYThis photo is from Warderick Wells in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park in the Bahamas. David Slider and I co-own Sanook, a center-cockpit Gulfstar 44, shown here on a mooring. I love your magazine. Keep up the good work— John Haley, Little Rock, ARHad this view while relaxing on…

5 min.
less (loa) is more

The breeze kicks up. The boat digs in, and I tighten my grip on the mainsheet. It’s overcast but warm. The slate-blue water around me is patterned with whitecaps. Ahead, the low, tumbling hills of Old Mission Peninsula, a 17-mile long finger of land separating the east and west arms of Grand Traverse Bay, spreads out along the horizon. I have sailed in this corner of northern Michigan, where my grandparents built a house for themselves many years ago, since I was an 8-year-old boy. The peninsula has always helped me keep my bearings. As I steer toward a distant tree, the 20-year-old 11ft Laser Pico I’m sailing picks up speed. I live in Los Angeles now. Today is the last day before I head home. It was a long…

2 min.
summer sailstice is a go

As this issue went to press, there was still tremendous uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic and when life would begin returning to normal. One thing that was certain, though, was that the Summer Sailstice, currently marking its 20th anniversary, would still be taking place as scheduled—and that’s a good thing. “Nobody knows what the circumstances will be like on June 20th, but we are looking forward to connecting sailors and sailing friends at the start of summer,” event organizers said. “The Summer Sailstice event website is filling up with celebrations across the planet, and the event wants to see everyone post their sailing intentions.” In terms of the exact form these celebrations will take, organizers said: “As sailors have always done, adjust [your] sails and plans as the situation evolves. This means…

4 min.
raster man

Is the paper chart going the way of the dodo bird? NOAA is ready to scrap them. Costs too much they say. They no longer print them, although they do still create the necessary digital files. So, who is affected, and why? Electronic Navigational Charting (ENC) is king. ENC is based on a vector chart format accepted by commercial shipping worldwide, so that makes sense. Or does it? First, consider that there are thousands of commercial ship navigators, and shipping is a major industry. However, there are millions of recreational boaters. We should be supported, too. Some say almost everyone is using electronic chartplotting anyway, so paper isn’t really needed. Wrong! This belief draws its inspiration from the demise of the gas station road map. Cars, though, are different from boats. They…

3 min.
cruising tips

VENTS SUCK Ventilation is critical to the health of a wooden boat, particularly when she lives on a mooring, and while no GRP yacht ever sank through mildew, we still like to keep our vessels nice and fresh belowdecks. It’s therefore worth bearing in mind that a well-designed yacht vents from aft to forward, not the other way around, as you might expect. On my anchored yacht, the ventilator shown above has been deliberately turned toward the bow “against the grain,” so to speak, to ram some dry air into the shower compartment. However, it will be swiveled aft again when I dinghy ashore. Not only will it be less vulnerable to rain ingress, the low pressure on what is the downwind side most of the time will suck stale air…