Before the Tourists Came

This book is an excellent example of why I decided to include a section on the literature of sailing (Lit Bits, get it?) here on WaveTrain.  One of the big reasons I got interested in sailing when I was young, besides having been exposed to boats in general at an early age, was that I fell in love with books about sailing.  More than most sports, sailing has an incredibly rich literature and it will be a shame if it atrophies because of the Internet.

This fascinating, well written biography of Morris Nicholson, one of the pioneering skippers in the West Indian charter industry, would likely have had no problem finding a publisher just a few years ago.  But author Richard Dey had no luck with the big boys in today's increasingly constrained book market, so he took a plunge on producing it himself and has released it online via Xlibris.  If you've ever sailed in the W'Indies, particularly if you've ever chartered there, and you've wondered what it was like before the tourist hordes descended, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

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Introducing Lunacy (Tanton 39)

My current floating home of choice is a one-off aluminum cutter I purchased in the summer of 2006 from an active cruising couple, Bob and Carol Petterson, who commissioned the boat’s construction and launched her in 1985 .  They cruised her extensively on the U.S. East Coast and in the Bahamas and also completed a circumnavigation.  The bare hull was built by Kingston Aluminum Yachts in Ontario, Canada, and was finished in Rhode Island.  The design is by Yves-Marie Tanton, a French emigrant who slaved with Bob Perry and Chuck Paine in Dick Carter’s office in Boston during the ‘70s before making a name for himself designing several successful custom IOR race boats.

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Licensed To Kill

I encountered this little weapon of a boat, the K650, at the Newport show, hunkered down on a trailer. A sport boat I guess i s what you'd call it, though what it looks like is a miniaturized Volvo Open 70. Which makes sense, since its designer, Juan Kouyoumdjian (a.k.a. Johnny Unpronounceable), has a portfolio filled with top Volvo boats, America's Cup boats, you name it. Brendan Kavanaugh, North American rep for the builder, Yum Boats, told me the K650's top speed under sail so far is 21 knots, but they think it'll go 25.

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Storm Porn

Don't you love it???

Not the storms themselves, of course.  I'm talking about the images, the luscious satellite photography that lets us view glorious atmospheric blemishes like hurricanes from the ultimate POV.

The most attractive North Atlantic storm of 2009 (so far), IMHO, was Hurricane Bill, seen here on August 18 far from land just one day before before he maximized to Category 4 status.  Subsequently he brushed past the Eastern seaboard before degenerating into a warm wet blob that moseyed on east to molest northern Europe for a bit.

Thankfully, at least as far as us sailors are concerned, the North Atlantic hurricane season has been a dud this year (knock on wood). Seems like the first in a long time.

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  • Boats & Gear

    Evaluations of both new and older sailboats (primarily cruising sailboats) and of boat gear.

  • The Lunacy Report

    Updates on what’s going on aboard my own sailboat Lunacy: breakdowns, maintenance jobs, upgrades, cruises and passages undertaken, etc.

  • News & Views

    Updates on what’s going on in the sport of sailing generally (most usually, but not always, relating to cruising under sail) and in the sailing industry, plus news nuggets and personal views on all manner of nautical subjects.

  • Lit Bits

    Longer articles by me that treat sailing and the sea in a more literary manner, short reviews of nautical books I think readers might enjoy reading, plus occasional excerpts from nautical books that I’d like to share with readers.

  • Techniques & Tactics

    Tips and diatribes regarding boathandling, sailhandling, seamanship, navigation, and other realms of nautical expertise.



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