Best Sailing Movies Ever

24 Sep

Sailors are always moaning about how the rest of America doesn't really care about their sport. And they don't. So it is no surprise that sailing and sailboats are not exactly a preoccupation in Hollywood, or regular fodder for big screen blockbusters.

But in a world where even animal crush videos have a fan base, the odd sailing movie sometimes makes its way to the movie theater. And sailors naturally like to obsess over which ones are worthy.

The latest effort to celebrate the small archive of decent sailing movies (it's like the joke about the Thinnest Book, featuring ...

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Cheaper Teak?

23 Sep

If you've been following world events, you know that the evil military junta in Myanmar, AKA Burma, is finally easing its grip. They've held free elections, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi met with Obama a few days ago, and is urging the US to further ease sanctions. This is great for the cause of freedom and the long-suffering Burmese people, but what does it mean for us sailors?

If you've ever priced teak, it's enough to give you night sweats. Once I went to my local hardwoods dealer and gave him a list of teak ...

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The Realities of Yacht Delivery, Part 2

22 Sep

Click here for Part 1

I had originally planned to post this immediately following the 'Realities of Yacht Delivery, Part 1,' which I published on April 29 on My mom died April 30. So there.

So, what happened to the Farr? the Vagabond? my mom and dad's Sojourner?

I called my dad in Delware City when it was apparent that the new prop we ordered for the Farr would be several days in the mail before it got to us. There was no point in Mia and I wasting our time – and the owner's money to ...

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The Realities of Yacht Delivery, Part 1

22 Sep

A couple of months back, Mia and I had a boon of sorts with the boat delivery gig. Two promising phone calls in a row had us set up to for a delivery of a Vagabond 47 from Annapolis to Albany, NY, up the Hudson river, and another on a Farr 395 from Annapolis to Maine. The Vagabond was a week or two in the making until we sorted out an arrangement with the owner. The Farr, on the other hand, was last-minute, a phone call taken in the parking lot of the farmer's market in Pennsylvania. Mia was inside ...

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Lessons from two (very different) Atlantic crossings…

21 Sep

Okay, quick intro. First, happy to be on SAILfeed! Mia and I are writing from Las Palmas, after just arriving this morning. We delivered the Saga 43, Kinship, down from Lagos, Portugal, the same boat we earlier sailed across the Atlantic with ARC Europe. I (Andy) initially wrote this article for my own website ( a while back, and am re-printing it here, as I think it's fairly relevant. The two Atlantic crossings reference this recent trip on the Saga (BVI-Bermuda-Azores-Portugal), and our own crossing in 2011 on Arcturus (Annapolis-Nova Scotia-St. Pierre and on to Ireland). We completed ...

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How to repair damaged teak rubrails (or toerails)

20 Sep
Even the experts should put in a bit of manual labor once in a while, right?

As part of my ongoing scattershot of DIY articles, here’s an easy repair that I suspect a few of you have been planning on getting to ‘sometime soon’ (as in, within the next three years). Repairing rubrails is one of those mainly cosmetic repairs that can so easily remain uncompleted indefinitely but it turns out to actually be quite simple. Really, I promise.

This was a job we did when my father was in town helping on the boat. With him around cracking the ...

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An Ode to the Overbuilt

14 Sep
I got ninety-nine problems but this ain’t one…

As a bicycle mechanic and now a sailboat owner, I’ll let you in on a little secret – lightweight is a scam. ‘Weighs only XX grams’ ‘Engineered for performance’ ‘Excellent strength-to-weight ratio’ ‘Super-light, all-composite design’ – these are the buzzwords used by a marketing industry so effective that against all evidence it has us convinced that these high-intensity phrases will equate to a real-world improvement for the average consumer. Take, for instance, this item selected at random from West Marine:

‘The ultimate, next-generation, high-performance [item] incorporate unique innovations including radically new ...

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Shark Lovers

13 Sep

We may be killing tens of millions of sharks every year so their fins can be tossed into a soup pot, but for all the humans who exploit sharks (and our fascination with them–I'm talking to you Discovery Channel!) it's nice to know that sharks have some passionate human advocates.

Here's one human who wants to learn and demystify, rather than kill and scarify:

And I also want to introduce you to a friend of mine, one of the most adventurous and compassionate

defendes of the oceans, and especially sharks. His name is Scott Cassell, and he is a former ...

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Glossary for the Cold Country

13 Sep

Sailing to the deep south means learning a new language. They say the Eskimos have a hundred words  for snow. In the deep south you don't need that many, but if you call a growler an iceberg you'll be laughed right out of the Drake Passage. Many of these are the same in the far north and far south, but some are unique to   Patagonia/Tierra del Fuego and have Spanish names, then the names get carried over to the Antarctic Peninsula. Some of these aren’t easy to get correct definitions for…it took picking some expert brains:


Spanish word ...

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George Griffith: 1921-2012

11 Sep


George Griffith rocked my world. The man had a vision for a next boat, and he didn’t care about the doubters. The result was the Cal 40, arguably the most influential raceboat of the second half of the 20th century, and I have it on good authority that George, on his last day of sharing our Blue Planet, had a view of some very fine Cal 40s, moored at Catalina Island, gleaming as brightly as when they rolled off Jensen Marine’s production line in the 1960s.

George Griffith died this morning at ...

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