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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.

MAIB Report Falls Short

Late last month, the United Kingdoms Marine Accident Investigation Board released its investigation report on the death of Simon Speirs, the 60-year-old sailor who drowned after falling overboard during the 2017-2018 Clipper Ventures Around the World Race. The biennial race, organized by legendary offshore sailor Sir Robin Knox Johnston, invites sailors to pay about $60,000 to compete in a nearly year-long race around the world on custom 70-foot offshore racing sloops. The race is also an advertising vehicle for corporate sponsors. The next race is set to begin in about two months.

The Sailing Skiff that Fits in a Locker

Sailing a cruising boat is many things-rewarding, sometimes adventurous, and often relaxing-but seldom viscerally fun, not in the way that a beach cat or performance dinghy saturates the senses and puts you in touch with the wind and waves. It doesnt communicate every ripple and puff, it doesnt thrill, and it doesnt allow you to push the edge. Its the difference between driving a Winnebago and riding a bicycle. For many of us, our love of sailing began with something fast and volatile, and by-and-by, we miss it dearly. And yet as much as wed like to strap a Laser or Hobie to the foredeck, thats not happening.

In Search of the Perfect Portable Boarding Ladder

Last year, we ran a review of a Union 36, and the opening photo of the boat featured a unique folding ladder that I hadnt seen before. The ladder, instead of hanging vertically, folded out at a comfortable angle in a way that seemed-at least in the photo-pretty practical for routine boarding. One problem: the maker-the American Ladder Corp., based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., appears to be out of business.