Offshore Sailing

Respecting Paradise

Author’s note: I first started to write this story at the request of one of my Marquesan friends who hoped to make the cruising community more aware of the issues I outline here. But I want to make it…

Two dismastings dodged

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from J.R. Williams’ upcoming book on his sailing adventures, Tales of A Blue Water Cruiser. In the first few days of January 1999, I was busy getting my 59-foot steel ketch Havaiki…

A steel ketch built for sea

Our boat Havaiki was a 35-ton steel ketch. She was 48 feet on deck and 59 feet overall with the bowsprit and a six-foot…

Special Section: Marine Electronics

If you are planning an offshore cruise under sail, you need access to as much vessel data as possible in one single place. A multifunction chartplotter display is the nerve center of the modern offshore cruising vessel, bringing together chart…

Protecting your boat from overcharging

Earlier this year, I finally upgraded from lead acid batteries to lithium iron phosphate (LiFePo4) batteries on my Valiant 40, Brick House. I’d researched for at least a year and South Africa, with its great tech base and good exchange…

Logbook 2021

2020 Husick Award Winner After consideration by our panel of judges (see below) the 2020 Chuck Husick Marine Technology Award goes to…

Cult of Celestial Navigation

There was a time not too long ago when I was a head magician of the local branch of the cult of celestial navigation; a…

Sailor to attempt NY to San Francisco record in proa 

Starting in January 2021, New Orleans sailor Ryan Finn will attempt to break the New York to San Francisco sailing record sailing a 36-foot proa-style sailboat. The passage is expected to take roughly 60 days and cover 14,000 nautical…

The Magic of Landfall

So many of our words and expressions come from the world of ships and sailing: taken aback, by and large, hand over fist, a wide berth, a loose cannon, chock-a-block, and landfall. Landfall, to a seafarer, is the moment…

Optimizing Alternative Energy

A successful ocean voyage depends largely on the way we manage energy on our vessels, be it from the wind, the sun, the ocean, the auxiliary engine or a separate generator. As offshore sailors, our goal is to gain…

Drama in the Vendee Globe solo world race

After a start delayed by fog, the 33-boat fleet of Vendee Globe solo racers began the nonstop race around the world on November 8, 2020, from Les Sables-d’Olonne in France. The fleet was the largest yet for the race,…

Snagged anchors and empty gas bottles

Every corner of the world’s oceans has their own peculiarities. The roving squalls of the equatorial Pacific, the steep winter seas of the stormy northern Atlantic, the dreaded gales of the Gulf of Tehuantepec and the magically flat waters…

Light in a pinch

Routes from Florida to the Bahamas are as short as 50 miles, but they all involve crossing the Gulf Stream and hopefully arriving during daylight hours and early enough to clear Customs. For most sailors, this means an evening or…

It’s not easy being green

How can it be that something you love to do makes you sick? The ocean is a fickle host, at times benevolent and mild, then obstreperous and cruel — often within moments of each other. One minute you’re in…

Scopolamine patches: strong medicine

The scopolamine transdermal patch is a prescription medicine and very effective in the prevention of nausea associated with seasickness and postoperative nausea. By 2017, worldwide sales of the drug surpassed $370 million and have grown since. As with most medications,…

Into the Denmark Strait

The crew of the Arctic expedition sloop Aurora from left, Corinne Prevot, Ilka Hadlock, Keree Smith, Mary McIntyre (author), Camilla Edwards, Florence Gross, Marie Charpentier, Not pictured: Julia Olsen. Photobomb: Voychek, one of Aurora’s deckhands.

Battery survey

What type of battery setup might make sense for your voyaging needs? We reached out to a selection of active liveaboard voyagers to get a sense of what they are using to power their vessels. Here are their answers to…

Seamanship & Navigation, September 2020

Preparing a sailing rig for going offshore For the voyaging sailboat, your rig is your primary propulsion when offshore and should be given top priority when preparing to go offshore. The rig you have been using on weekends may have…

A cultural and visual spectacle

For those in search of fair winds, an umbrella-laden beverage and an increased sense of adventure, Cuba provides. U.S.-Cuba relations easing in December of 2014 provided an opportunity for voyagers to sail the island. One year later, we arrived to our charter in the southern Cuba port of Cienfuegos to begin a 600-nm voyage to Havana.