Practical Sailor Test Boat for Sale

I was a fresh-faced associate editor at Yacht Racing (later Sailing World) in 1978, and I was assigned to drive up to Marblehead to...

Valiant 40: Reshaping the Cruising Hull

The Valiant 40 has a long history. In 1972 Nathan Rothman decided to start a boatbuilding business...

Measuring Performance

All sailors are performance oriented. It’s only when we delve into the details that differences arise. One-design...

Dealing with a Broken Idler Pulley on the High Seas

When I started cruising aboard a 26 foot, tiller steered sloop. I learned the value of simplicity. Fewer components meant that there was less...

Resources for Boat Buyers

It seems many of us are always “shopping” for the next boat, or our forever boat. Some of us are simply window-shoppers, content with...

Consequential Damage Coverage

Years ago, we had a near sinking on one of our test boats due to a failed 0-ring on the speed sensor through-hull installed by a previous owner. The sinking would be attributed to the failure of an O-ring, and because the sinking was consequential to the failure of a maintenance item and we did not have consequential loss coverage, the insurance would not have paid the claim. In fact, most boats sink at the dock due to failure of some minor item, and most policies don't cover the damage consequential to the failure of that item. In other words, we are sailing bare, without insurance coverage for our most serious exposure.

A Deck Level View of the Pearson Commander

Freeboard on the Commander is somewhat low (top), which sometimes makes for a wet, but exciting ride in bumpy conditions.The generous cockpit featured on the Commander realistically seats six while under sail, but will accommodate more while at anchor with the tiller folded up. The cockpit is self-draining, but could use larger drains. Anyone with offshore aspirations will want to better seal the main hatch and lazarette.If you need to move forward quickly in a…

Carl Alberg’s Ageless Commander

In the early 1960s, building boats designed by Carl Alberg, Philip Rhodes and Bill Tripp, Pearson Yachts was on a roll. The Alberg-designed Triton had been the catalyst; its debut at the 1959 New York Boat Show had been a runaway hit, and by 1964 it was all hands on deck at the former textile mill in Bristol, R.I. Beyond filling many orders for the 28-foot Triton, the Pearson factory was producing-often at the rate…

Eight Bells for Mac McGeary

This summer we said goodbye to Jeremy McGeary. For four years, Mac and I shared a corner of the editorial office at Cruising World, and when I joined Practical Sailor in 2005, he was a key contributor during Practical Sailors transition to color. Even after he became senior editor at Good Old Boat, he remained on board as a contributing editor until his death in July after a long battle with cancer. He was 71.

Heartbeat of the Dying Sea

The pygmy sperm whale rolled and flapped its tail as it struggled at the swash line. It was about the size of a big porpoise, clearly weakened by the ordeal. Police had cordoned off the beach and were waiting for a wildlife expert to arrive.

Plug that Chain-pipe

I was always amazed at how much water could seep through the chain-pipe and into Toscas anchor locker when a sea was up, or we were punching into a headsea-although punching would hardly describe the ungainly motion of a gaff-rigged ketch to weather. Wallowing? Submarining? Regardless, the chain-pipe was like a water main in those conditions …