RIP Terry Kohler

22 Sep
Terry Kohler bathroom fixture magnate and owner of North Sails
I am sad to hear that Terry Kohler has moved on to wherever good people go after they have left this planet. I only met him once although I see his name numerous times on my morning ablutions. Yup he was Mr Bathroom Fixture, but he was also a very decent guy. So here is my one and only Terry 
Kohler story.
Quite a few years ago I did the Chicago Mackinac race on the boat owned by the then editor of Sailing Magazine – great magazine by the way. Micca ...
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Isbjorn is Northbound & Headed for the Arctic!

22 Sep


Isbjorn is heading NORTH in 2018. After wintering in Sweden & preparing Isbjorn for the Arctic, we’ll set sail for Scotland, Norway and the far north. After exploring the Lofoten Islands in Norway, we’ll stage in Tromso for the 500-mile passage to Svalbard, that mythical land of polar bears, walrus and icebergs. From there, it’s 1,200 miles to Reykjavik, Iceland, then back across the Atlantic to Ireland. Don’t miss this opportunity of a lifetime to join us and visit one of the last great wildernesses on Earth – before it’s gone.

Are you in?

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Iconic interviews & some cool new boats in Southampton.

22 Sep

Frers-designed Swan 54.

Frers-designed Swan 54.


Mia & I flew down to England for a few days and are back at the Southampton Boat Show. I’m writing this from the RYA Member’s Lounge area in the Holiday Inn lobby and am shocked at how fast the boat show free wifi is.

The mission of our journey was to record, in person, some legends in the sailing world for my ‘On the Wind’ podcast. Two out of three of them are in the bag – Rick Tomlinson & Bob Shepton – and the biggest one yet is happening in a few hours (that one’s ...

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Shops That Float: Power Tools for Cruising.

20 Sep

tools-three

Like everyone, we found deciding what to leave behind and what to bring on our cruise difficult. I put myself in charge of power tool selection and feel like you can get by with 5 power tools for a 1 year cruise. With these tools I’ve milled down rough lumber and built a rear seat, fabricated a new aft chainplate, and cut custom teak pieces for various  projects around the boat. You can certainly get by with out these tools, but having them aboard will enable you to pretty much build and fabricate whatever you need aboard out of almost ...

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161: John & Amanda Neal in Sweden

19 Sep



John & Amanda Neal have run sail-training expeditions on their Hallberg-Rassy 46 Mahina Tiare for over 20 years. They’ve sailed 220,000 miles on the boat, taking her quite literally to the ends of the earth. We chatted in-person at the Hallberg-Rassy boatyard in Sweden about their recent summer in the Arctic.

In case you missed it, in last week’s newsletter Mia and I officially published our 2018 offshore passage calendar. Isbjorn is headed north! That’s right, we’re Arctic bound in summer 2018, with passages to Scotland, Norway, Spitsbergen & Iceland. Visit 59-north.com/arctic for details & to register. As a nod ...

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2016 NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW: The Resurrection of Gunboat and Other Developments

18 Sep

Xavier Desmarest

I can say without doubt the most interesting conversation I had while cruising the docks at Newport on Thursday was with this man, Xavier Desmarest, one of the principals of Grand Large Yachting, seen here closing his eyes and tapping his toes and wishing perhaps he were back in Kansas, or France, as the case may be. Grand Large, you’ll recall, is the French firm that recently purchased the bankrupted remains of Gunboat at auction. And to give you an idea of what a quirky guy Xavier can be: immediately after I snapped this shot he popped open ...

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Tether of not? That’s the question

16 Sep


It has been a while since I wrote that piece about lifejackets and whether or not they should be worn at all times. It certainly caused a stir and I even got my very first death threat. I am not sure if the person would have actually gone through with it but he seemed pretty riled up. He was for wearing lifejackets at all times in case you were wondering. So, since it has been a while I thought that I would stir things up once more. This time it’s about the use of life harnesses. Yup as you might ...
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Chapter 6 – Where Art and Science Meet – Part 1

15 Sep
Chapter 6 is an in-depth look at the sailmaking process from how sails used to be made to how they are made these days in a modern sail loft. There is a lot to cover from basic design elements like sail geometry and engineering to a look at the manufacturing process. There will be three parts to Chapter 6 starting with this one that covers some of the elements of sail design.

You can download this chapter as a pdf here



The basic tools of sailmaking are no longer the stuff of charm and tradition. Where bolts of sailcloth, spools ...
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CATANA 58: A Luxury Cruising Cat With Speed Potential

14 Sep

Catana 58

This is a high-end performance cruising catamaran from France that tries to split the difference between high-speed sailing and posh liveaboard comfort. The design by Christophe Barreau includes all the important features that keep cats sailing their best–narrow hulls, high bridgedeck clearance, very little solid structure forward of the mast, plus high-aspect daggerboards instead of low-aspect keels.

The boat’s construction is also pretty high-tech, with an emphasis on lightweight strength. The hull and deck are fiberglass laminate set in vinylester resin vacuum-bagged over a Divinycell PVC foam core. The hull has an inner skin of Twaron aramid fabric laminated over ...

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Cruising or Racing?

14 Sep
DieterP626119

We’ve all heard the old saw that all it takes to turn a cruiser into a racer is the sight of another boat catching up to us. Sometimes true, sometimes not. Casting a critical eye up the sails to check the trim is hardly racing, it’s sailing your boat well. In fact, the very mention of the R-word leaves many sailors cold, which is a shame because you can have an awful lot of fun getting out on the water in the company of like-minded souls.
Plus, not all races are created equal. More and more clubs are responding to ...

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