Category

Boats & Gear

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

June 23/2021:  I’ve always loved the feel and ambiance of a traditional plank-on-frame wooden boat, but I’ve never been too crazy about the idea of actually owning and maintaining one. So this was a very fine opportunity, getting to take someone else’s 41-foot Aage Nielsen sloop on a short jaunt down the New England coast....
April 19/2021:  When developing a concept vessel there’s really no reason to think small. Take this plastic-eating beast, for example. The Manta, a concept developed by the Sea Cleaners, a non-profit founded by Franco-Swiss sailor/adventurer Yvan Bourgnon, is projected to weigh in at 1,800 tons, with an overall length of 184 feet. Beam is 150...
March 30/2021:  So… this is what I did last Friday. Instead of writing the next installment of my Waterlines column for SAIL Magazine, as planned, I got in my car on a whim and drove two and a half hours to Belfast, Maine, and bought this boat, a 1969 Tripp 29 named Teal. A very cool...
Jan. 29/2021:  I swear, I really did. Some 20 years ago, after I bought a Celesticomp nav calculator to save me from the misery of pawing through sight reduction tables when I used my sextant, I had a really cool idea. Why not install a celestial nav calculator and an accurate quartz clock in the...
March 3/2020: This is such a cool boat! I have seen and admired her for many years, crossing paths with her both in Bermuda and in Nevis, and last spring at last had a chance to spend some quality time with her owners, Steve and Irene Macek. Now comes word that the famous schooner Star...
Feb. 14/2020:  Here’s an unlikely tidbit from the Where Are They Now Department. The old maxi racing cat known variously since its 1983 launch as Formula TAG, Enza New Zealand, and Daedulus (among others) has more recently been transformed into a unique high-tech hydrogen-powered vessel that looks to push the envelope on carbon-free marine transport....
Dec. 2/2019:  Accept no substitutes. This is the ultimate low-budget high-latitudes expedition yacht right here. Tried and tested! Believed to be the only boat anywhere to have spent unsupported winters frozen into ice in both the Arctic and Antarctic. A Wylo II cutter, 35 feet on deck, designed by Nick Skeates (who we have discussed...
Oct. 12/2019: Just back from Phase One of my annual boat show dive in Nap Town. The most interesting new boat I saw there by far is the Eagle Class 53 (see image up top), a foiling (there’s that word again) all-carbon catamaran with a “hybrid” wing-sail rig. Coincidentally, I saw this very same boat...
Seen at Maine Yacht Services in Portland while fixing stuff on my boat: Vendée Globe two-timer Rich Wilson’s new ride from France. A step down from an Open 60 perhaps, but still a very interesting boat. I’ve seen a number of these RM boats in France; they seem to be quite popular there. Never seen...
This is the most interesting new cruising sailboat design I’ve seen in a long time. Currently in build at Berkeley Marine Center, as conceived by a notable client, Barry Spanier, and drawn by a notable designer, Jim Antrim. It is significant, I think, that Spanier, a lifelong sailmaker who in his heyday designed and built...
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