Contents

LEAVING THE LAND TO SET SAIL ..................................................... 3
Taking to the water ................................................................................................. 4 Adding sails .......................................................................................................... 4 Building better boats ............................................................................................. 5
Rafts ...................................................................................................................... 6 Canoes .................................................................................................................. 7 Planked boats ........................................................................................................ 8

Rigging the sails ................................................................................................... 9

THE EVOLUTION OF SAILING .......................................................... 11

A Dutch treat ....................................................................................................... 12 Royal yachting .................................................................................................... 12 A genteel sport .................................................................................................... 13 Getting organized ................................................................................................. 13 Getting steamed up .............................................................................................. 14 Still cruising along .............................................................................................. 15 Sailing past 1900 ................................................................................................ 15
The Sloop Elia 11

Modern sailing .................................................................................................... 17

The 1920s ........................................................................................................... 16 The 1930s ........................................................................................................... 16 The 1940s ........................................................................................................... 17

SAILING & RACING THE WIND TODAY ........................................... 19
Boat basics ......................................................................................................... 20
The hull ............................................................................................................... 20 The centerboard or keel ........................................................................................ 21 Steering mechanisms ........................................................................................... 21 The mast and sails ............................................................................................... 21

Sailing basics ..................................................................................................... 23 Continuing tradition ............................................................................................ 24
The rules of the sea .............................................................................................. 25 The great races .................................................................................................... 27

Masts and sails

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Key West Race Week

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LEAVING THE LAND TO SET SAIL
Cleopatra sailing down the Nile, Greek and Roman ships exploring the ancient Mediterranean, Viking explorers menacing the seas of northern Europe, Christopher Columbus’ attempt to sail around the world, Britain’s epoch of naval superiority—from truths to legends, from courageous captains to one-eyed pirates singing “yo ho ho and a bottle of rum,” stories of the sailing and the seas permeate the history and cultures of the world. Millions of boats crafted thousands of ways have carried people afloat the earth’s waters. Starting from the simplest of floating logs, boat design has evolved over the centuries to complexly rigged, multiple-mast sailing ships. For years, those elegant sailing ships reigned over the oceans until the Industrial Age introduced steam and other power sources to propel water craft. But even with those faster alternatives, the wind still lures sailors around the world.

VOLUMINOUS SAILS MADE THIS 18TH-CENTURY WARSHIP EASY TO MANEUVER IN ALL WIND CONDITIONS

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Taking to the water

Salt and fresh water cover more than two-thirds of the earth’s surface. Water surrounds and sluices across countries and continents, leaving some moist with abundant water and others arid. Oceans and seas spray salty waves that relentlessly nibble coastlines, slowly eroding the edges of land masses. Streams, creeks, and brooks—some flowing fast, others lazily drifting—beckon anglers equipped with poles and lures, as well as motley fleets of inner tubes, flat-bottomed boats, canoes, and kayaks. The barely moving waters of ponds and bogs offer rich food stores and refuge to indigenous wildlife and migrating waterfowl. Waves ripple across freshwater lakes fed by underground springs or replenished by rivers and other surface waters. Sometimes narrow, sometimes wide, rivers sinuously carve a wandering path that might run for hundreds or thousands of miles. Living with water meant learning how to navigate it. Until then, prehistoric peoples would remain geographically isolated by water and at the mercy of the natural elements. Whether anxious to retreat from danger or to look for new territory and a bigger food supply, these ancestors studied the water for a way to get across waters too deep for wading. Eventually, they recognized the phenomenon of buoyancy. Heavy objects felt lighter in water, and some even floated. A fallen tree that could only be lifted by many strong bodies on land would not sink to the bottom of the lake. Instead, seemingly mysterious forces kept the massive tree bobbing at the top of the water. A person could even cautiously straddle the tree and stay on top of the water, too. So floating logs became the first boats, supplementing the unreliable swimming skills of primitive peoples whose arms and legs didn’t instinctively splash in synchronized style. But logs themselves were wet and uncomfortable. Bark and branch stubs chaffed the rider’s skin, but offered more friction for staying aboard than debarked logs whose smooth surface proved slippery when wet. The logs rolled easily, too. Whether riding the log or swimming alongside using the log as a buoy, a person could not easily stow hunting equipment or other gear on the log. The bigger the load, whether from more people or more gear, the more precarious and soggy the ride became.

Adding sails

Imagine floating on a log or maybe a primitive raft of several logs lashed together. To keep yourself warm in the crisp breezes of a latefall morning, you’re wearing a bear pelt draped over your shoulders. By watching others in your tribe, you’ve learned that pushing a branch against the sandy river bottom can help you move the craft

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in a particular direction. That’s how you pushed the raft into the river, leaving your tribe behind on the shore. Now the water is deeper than the branch. From previous excursions, you know that the river itself will determine which direction you go and how fast. As the craft catches the current, you stand to look back at the huts and people dotting the shore. A gust of wind catches your bear pelt, spreading it open to the wind. You grab the edges, eager to wrap its warmth around you again. But for a few moments, your extended arms brace the pelt against the wind. In those moments, you fear the tugging wind will lift you into the sky like a bird—and you feel your craft glide even faster through the sluggish water. As you pull the pelt to your body, you notice that the craft slows. So you extend your arms deliberately, feeling the speed increase as you open the pelt to the wind again. Intrigued by the speed, you face into the wind, watching the shore speed past. But you’re getting cold, and the pelt’s weight is tiring your arms. Finally, you sit down, a furry bundle pondering this discovery. How can you harness the wind to produce the same results without getting cold and tired? Nobody knows exactly when or how prehistoric ingenuity figured out how to rig the first sail. Maybe the explorer fastened the pelt to a stick and held that combination aloft on the next trip. But since sailing’s origins thousands of years ago, ancient and modern civilizations have exploited the wind to power boats of all kinds— from logs, rafts, and canoes to planked boats—for travel, commerce, and exploration.

Building better boats

Dissatisfied minds quickly figured out ways to improve on the discovery of basic buoyancy. People started binding several logs together to make bigger, flatter surfaces. Others carved holes in the logs, making niches for sitting and storing gear. The results were rafts and dugout canoes—two basic types of craft still in use throughout the world, from still-primitive designs typical of early boats to modern designs that reflect the latest technological refinements. A good thing quickly became better as people figured out more and better ways to build water craft. Variations included log canoes, bark canoes, skin boats, basket boats, and eventually boats out of planks cut from trees. Propulsion improved, too, from poling and paddling to rowing with oars. But the big innovation came with the addition of sails. Eventually, sail power resulted in catamarans (rafts with sails) and outrigger canoes (with sails and wood floats attached parallel to the sides of the canoe) as precursors to more elaborate sailing boats.

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Then, for thousands of years, the basic materials and building techniques stayed the same. Until the invention of the engine and industrial materials, even the most elaborate boats relied on natural materials powered by the brute strength of the wind or people.

Rafts
Whether a raft is flat or edged by raised sides, it still can be unstable, wet, and uncomfortable. Compared to its precursor single log, however, a raft offers a deluxe ride that might be drier and certainly more spacious for carrying other people and goods. Traditionally, rafts have been assembled from indigenous trees: cedar, teak, bamboo, oak, mahogany, fir, or whatever is available. Proximity to the water also made a tree a candidate for being chopped, trimmed, and bound with companion trees. But early peoples also noticed that the lighter the wood, the more buoyant the raft, and the more easily it could be lifted in and out of the water or ported across land to another site. So raft builders learned to choose the lightest-weight wood available. Not all areas have forests, and not all tasks require the durability of a wooden raft. Primitive raft builders experimented with other buoyant materials, lashing together tight bundles of grass or reeds, tree bark, or inflated animal skins. Rafts of all kinds started bobbing on the world’s waters. Propulsion initially came from the current, soon supplemented by a person armed with a long pole. In calm, shallow waters, the person would easily push the pole against the bottom to propel the raft in a particular direction. Anyone who has gone “punting on the Cam” in Cambridge, England, has used this technique. Gondoliers in Venice use poles to quietly move their traditional craft, too. Poling worked well for shallow waters. Once the raft reached deeper waters, the current moved the raft in one direction: downstream. That was the easy way—as long as the riders wanted to go downstream. Some rafters added a mast with a sail, technically creating what’s called a catamaran, to capture the wind and supplement the speed of the current. Returning the raft to its starting point meant going against the current, which was no easy task. By moving to shallow waters, strong arms could pole the raft upstream. Attaching some sort of long rope to the raft meant that someone could walk along the shore, pulling the raft, too. Portaging, or carrying the raft back on the land, was possible if enough people were available or the raft was lightweight. Most rafts were square or rectangular. Variations included diamond-shaped rafts, with the longest logs in the center and the ad6

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jacent logs increasingly shorter towards the outside edges of the raft. Some materials were curved to bow the bottom of the raft slightly. Sometimes another row or two of logs (or other materials) edged the perimeter of the raft to protect and contain the passengers and contents. Even those rafts based on primitive designs can be quite large. For example, in the 19th century, large rafts were popular along the Ohio River and Mississippi River in the United States to haul commercial cargoes such as of cotton and food crops from northern cities to New Orleans and other shipping ports. Large rafts still are used along the coasts of Brazil, Peru, and other South American countries. Some Asian countries still use large rafts for fishing and sea transportation. Raft construction eventually incorporated manufactured materials. Modern rafts favor lightweight materials and might incorporate canvas, metal drums, wood frames, or rubber. Although rafts still have their utilitarian purposes, rafts also have become a popular vehicle for thrill-seeking adventurers who use rafts to “run” rivers barely navigable for their “white water” foaming with rapids and cataracts.

Canoes
The earliest canoes were “dug out” of a single tree trunk. Using stone blades and picks, people would chip out a hole. The process picked up speed once someone had the idea of setting a small fire inside the hole to burn away more of the surrounding wood. This saved both time and energy—as long as the fire didn’t get out of control and incinerate the entire tree. After burning a larger hole, the canoe builder could again use the tools to further hack at the charred wood to finish the hole. To finish the dugout canoe, the person might remove branch stubs and round off the outside and ends of the canoe. All this effort produced a craft that, even in its simplest form, proved superior to the floating log. The dugout canoe was more stable, although still susceptible to rolling over and spilling its contents into the water. A large hole could mean some room for cargo, and the recessed interior kept the rider(s) and cargo drier. Propulsion improved with the paddle, at first just a wide flat piece of wood affixed to one end of a slender pole. That broad blade’s resistance to the current propelled the canoe forward. Because the paddle didn’t have to touch the bottom, people sat or knelt as they paddled. Dugout canoes became even faster with the addition of sails. But sails made the dugout canoes unstable. To keep the canoes from tipping, innovators attached one or two “outriggers.” Early 7

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WITH A SPEAR TIP AT ONE END OF ITS SHAFT AND A BROAD BLADE AT THE OTHER, A PADDLE COULD DOUBLE AS TOOLS FOR PROPULSION AND HUNTING

outriggers consisted of wood floats parallel to and several feet from the canoe itself, held in place by spars lashed to both the dugout and the floats. Some sailors used the spars as beams to support small platforms between the dugout and the floats, making more room for people and cargo. The dugout canoe was the first of a wide variety of craft developed throughout the world. Related vessels include log and bark canoes, skin boats, and basket boats. Many variations of the dugout canoe and its relatives, constructed of both traditional and modern materials such as aluminum and fiberglass, remain in use throughout the world today.

Planked boats
As people developed new construction skills, they began milling trees into planks and building planked boats. These boats featured frames constructed of multiple pieces of wood. In turn, many narrow planks of wood attached to the frame formed the “skin.” This versatile method of boat construction inspired builders to experiment with many designs of increasingly larger boats capable of hauling many people and sizable cargo. Well before the ancient Greeks and Romans took turns conquering the known world by land and sea, builders were developing galleys and other seaworthy ships. Relying on sail power and rowing for power, these early planked boats began venturing across the Mediterranean Sea for commerce and war. Eventually, boat designs evolved into the sail-equipped long ships that the Vikings used to traverse the Atlantic Ocean to North America around 1000 AD By the 1400s, ships with massive hulls and sails began carrying bands of explorers beyond the edge of the world, followed by shiploads of colonists looking for freedom, opportunities, and wealth.
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Ship builders eventually refined their designs to create many different ship designs. Soon, magnificent clipper ships featured multiple masts and many sails to maximize speed and agility.

Rigging the sails

For centuries, sailors remained at the mercy of the wind, taking advantage of the sails only when the wind was “sail-powered craft fair.” Without a fair wind blowing in the direction the navigators wanted to go, they were forced to drift or, if possible, to row, pole, or paddle. Over the centuries, navigators kept improving the sails, gear, and hulls so that the boats could sail windward, too. In fact, by the earliest Egyptian times, those early seafarers had developed rigs that could angle the sails slightly so the boats could actually move into the wind somewhat. Rigging became more sophisticated so that sailors had a range of control over direction and speed. Eventually, boats could hold a course at an angle less than 90 degrees off the wind direction. By tacking, the sailboat’s crew can switch the sails from one side of the boat to the other so the sailboat zigzags back and forth, going against the wind to eventually reach an upwind destination. Even without the directional control possible with tacking, sailing was valued to quickly move people and cargo over water. That extra control only reinforced sailing’s dominance as the preferred mode of commercial transportation until the steam engine and combustion engines freed sailors of their dependence on the wind.

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THE EVOLUTION OF SAILING
Until the onslaught of steam boats and railroads in the 19th century, getting people and goods from one place to
another usually involved sailing, rather than horses or any other mode of transportation. But sailing for pleasure enjoyed far less favor than sailing for commerce. In fact, the well-known and influential essayist Dr. Samuel Johnson supposedly expressed this harsh assessment of sailing in 1759, “No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned...”

1600S, EUROPEANS BEGAN SAILING SMALL SAIL-BOATS LIKE THIS SLOOP ON MAJOR RIVERS AND INLAND SEAS

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Not everyone agreed with Dr. Johnson, but his sentiment captured the popular attitude toward sailing—you did it to get to the other side, the same reason the chicken crossed the road. Only in the last 200 years or so have people—that is, the common people— turned to sailing for pleasure, rather than simply as a means of getting from one place to another.

A Dutch treat

Almost 500 years ago, the rich and the royal began sailing for pleasure. For example, Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603) had a small boat called the Rat of Wight. But leisure sailing didn’t pick up momentum until the end of the 16th century. By then, the Dutch were using the terms jaght (hunter) and jaght schip to describe a light and swift vessel used for war, commerce, or pleasure. After 1648, Netherlands reigned as one of the world’s maritime powers. In addition, a flourishing herring industry had made many residents rich enough to afford small sailboats. Their lives already dominated by the sea, this affluent group of Dutch fishing families enjoyed sailing the nation’s inland waters, which were sheltered from both bad weather and the pirates that threatened the rest of Europe until the 19th century. Those small boats also proved more comfortable transportation than carriage rides over rugged roads pocked with potholes.

Royal yachting

Inspired by the Dutch, the English royalty turned to sailing again. Living in the Netherlands after the execution of his father, Charles I, the Prince of Wales learned the Dutch custom of traveling by water. He liked it so much that he sailed a yacht for part of the journey back to England and his coronation as Charles II in 1660. In his honor, the Dutch East India Company gave Charles II a sloop named Mary featuring gilded cabins, beautiful paintings and sculptures, 10 cannon, and a crew of 20. Not to be outdone by the Dutch shipbuilders, the English quickly built two yachts: · Catherine, built for Charles II and named after his future wife Catherine of Braganza, weighed in at 94 tons and measured 55 feet long. · The slightly longer and heavier Anne was built for the king’s brother, the Duke of Windsor, and named after his wife. This inspired the first recorded yacht race done strictly for sport, with the King betting 100 pounds that his Catherine could beat Anne sailing on the Thames River. By 1683, England had crafted another 24 yachts, modifying the Dutch designs with fixed keels and other changes to better suit

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the deeper and less protected British waters. Streamlined contours, decorative finishes, and comfortable cabins definitely marked sailing as a pleasure sport.

A genteel sport

Others less royal but equally rich (the financial equivalent of a multimillionaire today) took up the sport. Cost was just one of the reasons why few people were yachting. Other factors were extended warfare between major European powers, the ongoing threat of pirates, and the less predictable nature of the ocean. A few people preferred smaller boats, such as the comparatively small 10-15 ton cutter that Roger North sailed on the Thames Estuary at the same time as Charles II. However, most yachts of these ardent and wealthy British sailors lost the sporty touches of Charles II. What had been streamlined sailing ships turned into what basically were floating houses with a sail or two. The yachts got heavier, too, increasing from the 50 tons or so of Charles II’s yachts to more than 300 tons. In the United States, sailing vessels along the East Coast carried cargo and passengers, but few people pursued leisure sailing. One of the earliest was Colonel Lewis Morris, who built a 35-foot sloop to sail around New York Harbor and other coastal waters. In 1801, merchant George Crowninshield of Salem, Massachusetts, added a 22-ton sloop—the first American yacht—to his fleet of ships both for his personal use and as a training ship for his business. By the latter part of the 18th century, extended pleasure cruises became popular. In Britain, the safe territorial waters off the Hebrides particularly drew many leisure-time sailors. Americans began sailing more, too. But as the sport grew in popularity, so did the boat size. Many pleasure boats were so large that they required professional crews and armaments for protection. For example, Crowninshield replaced his 22-foot sloop with a much bigger 191ton, 83-foot yacht, which he sailed to the Mediterranean in 1817. Big-boat cruising was definitely in. The day of the small sailboat was yet to come.

Getting organized

Historians trace the world’s first yacht club to Cork, Ireland, where the Water Club of Cork started holding sailing rallies about 1720. These rallies continued for about 50 years, when the organization may have ceased. (Today, the organization continues as the Royal Cork Yacht Club.) Back in Britain, the Prince of Wales (later George III) sponsored yacht races as early as 1749. That same year, an open regatta for commoners established sailing as a sport for all, not just royalty. 13

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From 1775 until 1782, George III’s brother sponsored an annual race for smaller yachts, from two to five tons. Contestants eventually formed the Cumberland Sailing Society, the first yacht club in England. The end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 meant better conditions for leisure sailing, more like the earlier opportunities in the Netherlands. The open seas were free of pirates and safe for offshore sailing, the industrial revolution increased prosperity, and boat designs continued evolving. In 1815, Britain formed The Yacht Club at Cowes, the first organization to actually use “yacht” in its official name. Members had to be interested in salt water sailing and had to own vessels weighing at least 10 tons. In 1817 when the Prince Regent decided to join, the organization upgraded its membership. In 1820 when the Prince Regent became King George IV, it became the Royal Yacht Club and made membership more exclusive by doubling the minimum weight for members’ boats to 20 tons (though still not as heavy as Charles II’s original yachts, they were a far cry from today’s sleek designs). That same year, 1820, British shipbuilders launched Royal George, the last royal yacht equipped with sails. An era was ending even as sailing became more popular with the masses. Yacht clubs began proliferating in Britain and then spread around the world: Sweden (the first yacht club outside the British Empire in 1830), France and Australia (1838), United States and Bermuda (1844), India (1846), Netherlands (1846), Belgium (1847), Belgium (1851), Canada (1852), and others.

Getting steamed up

Bulk had left 18th-century yachts sluggish and barely capable of sailing. Yearning for speed, a wealthy British sailboat owner decided to switch from wind to steam in 1829, building a 400-ton yacht powered by a steam engine. He followed that yacht with seven others, as did other innovators. But steam-powered yachts didn’t really catch on until 1843 when Queen Victoria, tired of seeing steam-powered yachts pass her sailing barge, ordered one for herself and Prince Albert. A more elaborate yacht in 1855—300 feet long and weighing 2,342 tons— bestowed further glamour on steam-powered yachts. Wealthy people all over the world, particularly the United States, began building bigger and better luxury yachts, usually powered by steam. These steam yachts became status symbols, the places to see and be seen. Once freed from the fickleness of the wind, commerce moved away from sail power, too. The glamorous clippers went into dry

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dock, resurrected decades later as maritime museums, novelty accommodations, restaurants, or tour sites.

Still cruising along

While the royal, the ultra-rich, and their followers became fascinated with steam yachts and conspicuous lifestyles on ship, a few people persisted in their love of sailboats. Compared to the impossible expense of the steam-powered yachts, small sailboats offered an affordable escape for many people. Between 1850 and 1857, Richard Turrell McMullen sailed a 3-ton, 20-foot cutter 8,222 miles between the Thames and Land’s End with only one other crew member. In 1863, he sailed a 32foot gaff cutter completely around Britain. In 1865, John Macgregor sailed a 15-foot sailboat in Europe’s inland waters, then headed to Scandinavia in 1866. In 1869, Edward Empsom Middleton sailed a 23-foot yawl around England, cutting through the Clyde-Forth Canal in Scotland. That same year, McMullen described his sailing experiences in Down Channel, a book that has become a classic book about cruising. Crossing the Atlantic become a popular challenge for smaller boats. In 1857, C. R. Webb sailed a 43-foot ketch from west to east across the Atlantic. A 26-foot boat made the same trip in 1866 with William Hudson and Frank Fitch as the crew. The next year, John C. Buckley and Nicolas Primoraz sailed a 20-foot converted lifeboat from Ireland to Massachusetts, the first east-west crossing of the Atlantic. But the first single-handed crossing didn’t happen until 1876 when Alfred Johnson sailed from Massachusetts to Wales in a 20-foot sailing dory. In 1898, Captain Joshua Slocum became the first person to sail solo around the world in a small 36-foot sailboat. He set sail in 1895 from Boston, Massachusetts and completed the trip in 1898. Reported by the press each time he reached a new destination, Slocum became an instant celebrity. His account of the journal, Sailing Alone Around the World, has become classic, still inspiring sailing fans today.

Sailing past 1900

By the turn of the century, sailing was popular enough to become a sport in the Olympic Games. Sailors from around the world first competed in the Olympic Games held in Paris in 1900. The 1904 Games in St. Louis, Missouri, did not include sailing because the location was too far inland and the U.S. and Europe needed to develop common classes and rules for sailing. The International Yacht Racing Union, formed in 1906, marked the start of standardized sailing guidelines. As a result, sailing has been an Olym15

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pic sport ever since the 1908 games in London. Sailing also welcomed the masses in Britain with the formation of two sailing organizations still active today: · In 1908, the Cruising Association opened its membership to anyone, unlike the Royal Cruising Club, and began providing useful reference materials and activities for members. · One year later, the Clyde Cruising Club in Scotland was founded “to encourage cruising and foster the social side of sailing.” It also sponsors sailing activities and produces reference materials, including detailed sailing directions for the west coast of Scotland. Claude Worth, who spent years converting and sailing both commercial vessels and leisure sailboats, distilled his experience in Yacht Cruising. That book because the first manual of seamanship for the increasing numbers of men and women who were taking up sailing.

The 1920s
After World War I, many more people set out to sail around the world or to the South Seas and other exotic shores far from the war scene. Unlike the long-distance sails of the 19th century, these trips were deliberately more leisurely. For example, in 1919, Ralph Stock, his sister, and a friend sailed from England to the Tonga Islands. George Mulhauser and his crew spent three years (19201923) sailing around the world in a 62-foot yawl. Alain Gerbault of France took even longer (1923-1929) to circumnavigate the globe in a 36-foot cutter. Sailors were still striving for around-the-world “firsts,” too. For example, between 1923 and 1925, Conor O’Brien and crew sailed a 42-foot gall ketch around the world, the first to go south of the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn. Between 1928 and 1931, William Albert Robinson and a single crew member became the first two-person crew to sail around the world. In the United States, William Washburn “Typhoon Bill” Nutting popularized cruising in small sailboats. In 1922, he helped establish the Cruising Club of America (CCA), which still sponsors the annual Blue Water Medal “for the year’s most meritorious example of seamanship” among amateur sailors of the world.

The 1930s
When the Great Depression economically sunk the world, many young people literally took to the seas. This increased interest in sailing prompted several single-handed “firsts”: · In 1931, Vita Dumas of Argentina sailed solo from France to Buenos Aires in a 25-foot racing boat. · In 1933, Marin-Marie of France sailed alone from France to New York, with a solo return in 1936.
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DURING THE 1930S, MANY PEOPLE FOUND ECONOMICAL LIVING ON A SAILBOAT MORE APPEALING THAN LAND-LOCKED POVERTY

In 1934, R. D. Graham sailed solo across the North Atlantic. Four years later, he sailed alone from England to the Caribbean without auxiliary power.

The 1940s
Off-shore leisure sailing declined throughout much of the world during World War II. However, in 1942, Vita Dumas of Argentina headed back to sea alone in a 32-foot ketch. Starting at Buenos Aires, he headed east to Cape Town, avoiding war zones. Despite daunting sailing conditions, Dumas became the first person to sail solo around the world south of the great capes, almost 20 years after Conor O’Brien made the same trip with a crew.

Modern sailing

Since World War II, sailing’s popularity has continued to grow. At any given moment, more than 1,000 boats are probably sailing in deep water on extended voyages that take them far away from their own countries. 17

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Modern instruments have made what used to be challenges, such as criss-crossing an ocean or sailing around the world, into achievable goals for today’s sailors. Since the end of World War II, more than 1,300 sailors have sailed solo across the Atlantic, and almost 1,000 sailors have made the solo journey across the Pacific. Some of these trips have been in extremely small sailboats, including one less than 6 feet long and several others less than 12 feet long, and some used no outboard motors to cover miles on windless days. By 1966, avid sailor and author Bill Robinson wrote, “Certain routes have become so popular for small-boat passages that they are even called milk runs, and an arrival of a small boat after such a passage creates about as much stir as the docking of the Staten Island Ferry.” In 1970, Robin Lee Graham of the United States became the youngest person to circumnavigate the world by himself, ending a journey that started in 1965 when he was 16. Other sailors have challenged themselves by making do with less. For example, between 1982 and 1984, Marvin Creamer of the United States crossed the Atlantic Ocean twice and sailed around the world using no instruments, not even a compass. By 1988, 14 sailors, including one woman, had sailed around the world both solo and non-stop (no outside assistance and no harbor moorings). And in 1988, Jonathan W. Sanders of Australia completed a solo journey in which he circled the world three times without stopping. Adventurers seeking new frontiers have headed towards chilly waters, tackling the inclement weather and the icebergs with a variety of craft in the Arctic, Antarctic, Canada, and Greenland. For new technical challenges, the next frontier may be the Northeast Passage north of what was the USSR.

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SAILING & RACING THE WIND TODAY
Sailboat design has changed only slightly
from ancient times to the 1800s. If a sailor from the 19th century could travel back in time to an ancient Roman ship, for example, he would recognize enough of the rigging and gear to pitch in and pass as part of the crew. With the number of people sailing for pleasure burgeoning, boat designers changed their focus from building on tradition to developing better designs, methods, and materials. Even so, the early pleasure boats remained heavy because the primary construction material still was teak and other wood. Only in the last 50 years have modern materials produced lighter boats that require less maintenance. That means more time spent sailing, which has increased the sport’s appeal to both leisure sailors and racers. Today, sailboats are fast and sleek, built primarily of fiberglass, polyethylene, aluminum alloy, polyurethane, and other durable, yet lightweight materials. Contradictory though it seems, a few sailboats are made of concrete. Most recreational sailboats are sloops or cutters. Although some experts use the terms inter19

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changeably, a sloop technically has one mast and one headsail, whereas a cutter has one mast but two or more headsails. Even a single-sailed sloop might use other sails according to wind conditions. For example, in strong winds, the headsail might be replaced with a smaller jib sail (its three corners connect to the mast, the bow, and a sheet secured by the crew). On an offwind course, a large, lightweight spinnaker will be raised to balloon opposite the headsail and catch any puff of breeze.

Boat basics

Modern boats are available in a wide range of sizes. The smallest are only around six feet and the largest are 45 feet or longer. The tiny flat-bottomed racers have cabins barely large enough for sitting, while at the other end of the scale are those equipped with ample sleeping accommodations and room for various forms of leisure recreation, fully-equipped kitchens, and heads (bathrooms). Despite this diversity in design and sails, sailboats have many common components.

The hull
The hull provides the basic shell, or frame, for the boat. Today’s hulls are made from many natural and synthetic materials, singly or in combination: fiberglass, resin, composites, wood, polyurethane, acrylics, and others. Most of the hull’s surface is smooth to minimize water resistance. The deck (top) surface and other areas where the crew sit, stand, or walk are molded with small ridges or non-slip patterns that increase traction. Most hulls are molded to provide room for airtight tanks, blocks of polyurethane foam, or other buoyant materials. Should the boat capsize so the cabin fills with water, the craft itself will still remain afloat. A skilled crew should be able to right the lightweight boat and resume sailing. The front of any boat is the bow, and its rear is the stern. Between the bow and stern is the cabin. Its size and amenities depend on the size of the boat. The smallest boats have no under-deck room, making them more suitable for shorter or daytime sailing jaunts. Slightly larger boats might have what’s called a cutty cabin, below-deck space that is too short for standing, but handy for sleeping, storage, and protection from the weather. Large boats have a full-size under-deck cabin, with standingheight room for one or more sleeping areas, a fully equipped kitchen, a head, and more. The outdoor seating area outside an indoor cabin is the cockpit.
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From the cabin (small boat) or cockpit (large boat), the captain and crew do most of the work of sailing, manipulating the centerboard, the tiller, and the boom with the sail.

The centerboard or keel
Depending on the boat design and size, either a centerboard or keel hangs below the hull to make the boat more stable and to prevent the boat from drifting sideways. On a small, flat-bottomed sailboat, the crew pushes a removable centerboard through a slot in the boat’s floor. By moving the centerboard up and down, the crew can influence direction, speed, and other sailing operations. Removing the centerboard leaves the hull bottom unobstructed so that the crew can deliberately sail the boat onto the shore. However, larger boats have a keel, not a centerboard. The keel is a permanent part of the boat that extends below the boat like a fin. The depth of the keel determines how deep the water must be for the sailboat to not run aground. Sometimes a keel will be hinged so the crew can shorten it temporarily to take the boat into shallower waters. Large boats have a fixed, inoperable keel.

Steering mechanisms
The tiller is the long handle connected to the rudder, which is a large, flat piece of wood or metal. Hinged vertically, the rudder hangs in the water from the transom (or back edge) of the boat. Moving the tiller moves the rudder from left to right on its hinge, creating resistance to the water. The direction of the rudder determines the direction of the boat. Larger boats sometimes have a steering wheel, too, giving the captain another way of controlling the rudder. Turning the wheel has the same effect as moving the tiller back and forth.

The mast and sails
At the front of the cabin stands a tall mast of either wood or aluminum alloy. So the mast can withstand the incredible forces of sails buffeted in strong winds, special metal fixtures secure it to the deck. Additional support comes from three wires that form a T, what’s called standing rigging, that connect the mast to the deck: a forestay wire to the bow, and two shrouds to the sides. To further distribute the load from the pulling sails and to position the shrouds for good alignment, the mast has one or more spreaders. These horizontal bars are bolted along mast’s height. A single spreader will be in the middle of the mast. Special rigging between the mast and spreaders takes pressure off the mast itself. The larger the sailboat, the taller the mast it can support. However, some sailboats will have more than one mast to split up the sail 21

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A HORIZONTAL SPREADER AND NUMEROUS SHROUDS EXTEND FROM THE MAST TO DISTRIBUTE THE WIND FORCE FROM THE SAIL

area. For example, handling two sails on an 80-foot boat is easier than managing one enormous sail. A free-moving boom, also of aluminum alloy or wood, extends perpendicularly from the bottom of the mast. Lines (ropes) attach the bottom (and two corners) of the usually triangular sail to the boom so that the hoisted sail keeps its correct shape. Secured lines keep the boom from swinging wildly and give the crew the control needed to adjust the angle of the boom, which determines the angle of the sail. The sails themselves used to be made of canvas, flax, cotton, or silk. In 1937, the America’s Cup defender, Ranger, was the first boat to use sails with an artificial material. Since the 1950s, a succession of artificial materials such as polyester and ripstop nylon have replaced the traditional natural materials.
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Ropes, or lines, have special names and uses. For example, pulling a line called the halyard hoists the third corner of the sail up the mast, unfurling the sail from the boom. Pulling other lines, called sheets, adjusts (or trims) the sails. Releasing the halyard drops the sail, which the crew wraps around the boom and secures with other lines. Because lines can easily become tangled and dysfunctional, the crew routinely coils or bundles any length of line that collects in the cabin as a result of pulling in lines.

Sailing basics

So how does a sailboat work? The principle is easy: hoist the sail, and the sail catches the wind. The wind can’t blow through the sail, and that resistance is what propels the boat. The captain uses the tiller to determine the direction of the boat. Many sailboats have a pennant-like burgee or other wind indicator, at the top of the mast. Otherwise, you can determine wind direction by looking for ripples on the water or smoke from an onshore chimney. The side of the boat closest to the wind is “windward,” and the other side is “leeward.” Ideally, the wind drives the boat forward. In strong winds with full sails, however, the wind could drag the boat sideways (the keel minimizes this) or possibly tip the boat. To maximize the forward drive and minimize the sideways drag, the crew adjusts the angle of the sail, the rudder, and—particularly in small boats—sometimes their own bodies (which shifts their weight) each time the boat changes direction. Sailing directly into the wind is impossible. At best, a boat can sail at an angle about 45 degrees either side of the wind direction. With respect to the wind, the crew makes the sailboat move ahead by any of three tactics: running, reaching, or beating. These are called the points of sailing: • Running means sailing before the wind—that is, away from the wind. With the wind directly behind the sailboat, or astern, the sails catch all the wind, and boat moves straight ahead. If the wind is a little to either side of the stern, the sailboat runs in an almost straight line. • Reaching involves sailing across the wind, which can be faster than running. On a broad reach, the boat sails obliquely away from the wind. On a beam reach, the boat sails directly across the wind, which is blowing at a right angle to the direction the boat is sailing. On a close reach, the boat sails obliquely towards the wind (the opposite of a broad reach). A close reach can give the crew both the most control over the boat and the most speed (theoretically even faster than wind speed!). • Beating happens when keeping the course means going in such a direction that the sails, even trimmed flat so they are almost paral23

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THE ANNUAL EGGEHMOGGIN RANCH RACE IN MAINE EVERY AUGUST ATTRACTS CLASSIC BOATS, SOME 100 YEARS OLD

lel with the length of the boat, can’t stay full of wind. To keep moving ahead, the crew must tack, sailing in a zigzag path rather than a straight line to the destination. So what initially sounds simple, hoisting a sail to catch the wind, quickly becomes a complex set of operations for getting the sailboat from point A to point B. Even if you’re sailing a steady course, you have to adjust the sails constantly to keep them wrinkle-free and to keep the luff, or leading edge, of each sail just taut enough that it doesn’t shake or flap. Although many books describe how to sail, the best way to learn is by doing. An experienced sailor who has a boat and patience can be an excellent teacher. The park systems of many cities that have public lakes not only rent small sailboats, but also offer short courses in their use. Other inexpensive options include adult education classes at community colleges and classes offered through boat dealers. Anyone willing to spend more money for the thrill of sailing on a larger boat can ask a travel agent to locate an adventure outfitter who will provide the boat and either individual or group training while cruising the outfitter’s home waters.

Continuing tradition

Yacht racing began in the Netherlands during the 16th century, and Charles II brought the sport back to England when he successfully bet his Katherine would beat the Duke of York’s Anne. A

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few years later, Sir William Perry won the first recorded open-sea race, reaching Dublin from Holyoke in 15 hours. By the1720s, the early yacht clubs began arranging races for its members. These and other early races were boat-to-boat competitions, based on wagers between the owners. Even the first recorded yacht race in the United States in 1835 was a boat-to-boat race. However, racing enthusiasts wanted more, so they began developing ways to match groups of boats for racing. In 1854, racing enthusiasts adopted the Thames Tonnage rule, the first of a succession of rating systems to minimize inequality in racing. The Thames measurement calculated tonnage based on the beam length, and boats with similar tonnage raced each other. By the 1870s, the competitions had developed into regattas between fleets of boats sailing for prizes. Sailing enthusiasts realized that the Thames Tonnage rule penalized beam and favored narrow boats. Boat designers quickly narrowed their craft, giving their boats a competitive advantage. Many designs, however, became so narrow that they were unstable. To discourage poor boat design, the racing community switched rating systems in 1886, adopting a method developed by Dixon Kemp based on length and sail area. Unfortunately, that system eventually led to wide, shallow boat designs. To keep racing sailboats from becoming unseaworthy, the newly formed International Yacht Racing Union introduced an international rating system in 1906 that classified boats by meters. This international standard encouraged the design of full-bodied sailing yachts. The next standard was the International Offshore rule adopted in 1969. In turn, this yielded in the mid-1990s to the more complex International Measurement System, which encourages faster but still seaworthy boats.

The rules of the sea
A casual sailor can manage a small sailboat and have fun without perfecting the techniques of sailing, but leisure sailors who want to enjoy the thrill of competing will want to hone their skills and get familiar with rules, conventions, and strategy of racing. Although a local race might have its own subset of rules, all sailing races follow basic rules as set by the International Yacht Racing Union and applied on the open seas. Anyone serious about racing needs to locate a sailing club, class association, or other group that sponsors sailing races. Then they need to get familiar with both the international rules and the rules of the individual race. Most races are limited to a particular design or class of boat. In a handicap race, competition is open to a mix of boats from different classes, and the finishing time of each boat is 25

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adjusted according to yardstick numbers determined for each class of boats. All sailing races start from a line either set up between two moored buoys or marked by signs on the shore. Usually the course is triangular with several laps. However, the courses vary because sailing clubs set their own courses according to the local waters and wind conditions. Buoys or permanent navigation markers identify the course, which is posted before the race. The goal is to test the competitors’ sailing skills, requiring some markers to be rounded to port and others to starboard. Any boat that fails to follow the course is automatically disqualified. Any boat that hits a marker has to go around the marker again, although some races may require the boat to retire from the competition. Sailing races don’t have referees to enforce the rules. Instead, the competitors enforce the rules themselves. If a boat commits a foul, such as a collision, the guilty party should volunteer to take the applicable penalty. Similarly, if one boat thinks another is at fault or has committed an infraction, the boat can raise a flag signaling a protest that will be resolved after the race by an independent committee. To encourage self-policing actions, a boat that withdraws from the race always scores higher than one that is disqualified, although still lower than the last boat that actually finished the race.

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The great races
Today, racing clubs, sailing magazines, and other sponsors organize and conduct hundreds of sailboat races throughout the world. Some are local, others national, and a few attract racers from around the world. Several of the international races have gained professional stature, requiring the best skills and equipment to win. The oldest of these is the America’s Cup, which evolved from a letter written in 1850 from Britain to George Schuyler, one of the founders of the New York Yacht Club. That letter invited an American schooner between 80 and 100 feet to participate in a race celebrating the first “world fair” to be held in London in 1851. Schuyler and his cronies commissioned a new boat, America, to take on the challenge. America participated in the fair, but the actual race that became the America’s Cup took place almost a month later around the Isle of Wight. More than 10 hours later, the America won, usurping Britain’s racing supremacy on the seas. Today, the competition continues in what has become the most prestigious and most expensive racing event in the world. In 1906, T. Fleming Day organized a sailing race from New York to Bermuda (635 miles). As editor of Rudder magazine, Day promoted the seaworthiness of small sailboats, and this race proved his point. The race repeated annually until 1910, then stopped until 1923 when the newly formed Cruising Club of America (CCA) began sponsoring the race. Since 1964, the race has been the last in a series of other springtime ocean races called the Onion Patch, which is named after Bermuda where the last race ends. The unpredictability of the weather and the strength of the Gulf Stream make the Onion Patch races a challenge where winning depends on sailing skill as much as boat speed. The Southern Ocean Racing Conference (SORC) began in 1930 with a race between St. Petersburg, Florida, and Havana, Cuba. Today, the SORC features a series of races in southern Florida and the Bahamas. Like the Onion Patch races, the SORC series is influenced by the Gulf Stream, which can reach speeds of six knots. In the southern hemisphere, the Southern Cross Series has dominated the ocean racing scene since it was launched by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in 1945. The series consists of three short in-shore races marked by buoys, an intermediate 200-mile race, and a long race from Sydney, Australia, to Hobart, Tasmania. The unpredictability and variability of the weather conditions, coupled with grueling winds, force many boats to retire during this rigorous series.

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Held every odd-numbered year since 1957, the fiercely competitive international Admiral’s Cup Series takes place in British waters, open to three boats from every country. The six-race series features four inshore races, a 230-mile race in the English Channel, and a 605-mile offshore race between from Cowes, England, to Fastnet Rock (off the coast of Ireland) and then back to Plymouth, England. Other well-known races include: • OSTAR (the Observer Single-handed Transatlantic Race) was started in 1960 by a sailing enthusiast who sailed alone to avoid the problems of finding crew. Sponsored by a British newspaper, The Observer, and held every four years, the race gives hundreds of solo sailors a chance to a follow routes between Plymouth, England, and Newport, Rhode Island. • The Round Britain and Ireland Race, open to any boat with a two-person crew, began in 1966 under the sponsorship of The Observer and the Royal Western Yacht Club. Boats race almost 2,000 miles with four mandatory two-day stops while circling all of Great Britain, subject to variable winds, fickle weather, strong tides, and a rugged coastline. • The Round the World Race, started in 1973 by the Whitbread brewing company, challenges fully-crewed boats with a 32,000mile route circumnavigating the globe. Solo sailors who want to compete in a round-the-world race enter the Vendee Globe Challenge, launched in 1990.

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INDEX
A
artificial materials. See synthetic materials

J
Johnson, Alfred 15 Johnson, Dr. Samuel 11

B
boats early designs 5, 6 propulsion of 5 British as shipbuilders 12 British royalty as early sailors 12, 12–18 Buckley, John C. 15 buoyancy 5 importance of 4 in raft construction 6

K
Kemp, Dixon 25

L
logs as boats disadvantages 4 early improvements 5 origins of 4

M
Macgregor, John 15 Marin-Marie 16 McMullen, Richard Turrell 15 Middleton, Edward Empsom 15 Morris, Lewis 13 Mulhauser, George 16

C
canoes 7–9 advantages of 7 construction of 7 dugout canoes 7 evolution of 8 origins of 5 outrigger canoes 5, 7 propulsion of 7–8 Charles I 12 Charles II 12, 24 clubs 25, 26, 27, 28 Clyde Cruising Club 16 Creamer, Marvin 18 Crowninshield, George 13 Cruising Association 16 Cruising Club of America 16 Cumberland Sailing Society 14

N
navigation need for 4 North, Roger 13 Nutting, William Washburn “Typhoon Bill” 16

O
O’Brien, Conor 16 Olympic Games 15 organizations. See clubs

P
Perry, Sir William 25 planked boats 8–9 design of 8, 9 propulsion of 8 Primoraz, Nicolas 15 propulsion paddling 5, 7 planked boats 8 poling 5, 6 rowing 5, 8

D
Dumas, Vita 16, 17 Dutch as early sailors 12 as shipbuilders 12

F
Fitch, Frank 15

G
George III 13 George IV 14 Gerbault, Alain 16 Graham, R. D. 17 Graham, Robin Lee 18

Q
Queen Elizabeth I 12 Queen Victoria 14

R
rafts 6–9 advantages of 6 catamarans 5, 6 construction of 6 design of 6 disadvantages of 6 origins of 5

H
Hudson, William 15

I
International Yacht Racing Union 25 formation of 15

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propulsion of 6 uses of 7 rating system Thames Tonnage rule 25 Robinson, William Albert 16 Royal Cork Yacht Club 13 Royal Yacht Club 14

Y
yacht clubs Cumberland Sailing Society 14 first 13 first in England 14 proliferation of 14 Royal Cork Yacht Club 13 Royal Yacht Club 14 The Yacht Club at Cowes 14 Water Club of Cork 13 yacht racing early races 13–14 first recorded 12 racing boat to boat 25 yachting as sport of wealthy 13 yachts early designs 12, 13 first American 13 large 13 last royal yacht 14 steam-powered 14

S
sailboats, small appeal of 15, 16 circumnavigation 16 cruising 16 early trips 13, 15 solo circumnavigation 15, 18 solo "firsts" 16–18, 18 trans-Atlantic crossings 15 sailing appeal of 3 as Olympic sport 15 dependence on wind 9 modern popularity 17–18 reasons for 12 sailing books Down Channel 15 Sailing Alone Around the World 15 Yacht Cruising 16 sailing, commercial 9, 13 decline of 14 popularity of 11 sailing, leisure 16 growth of 14 in Britain 12–18, 13 in Netherlands 12–18 in the U.S.A. 13 in U.S.A. 13 sailors 28 sails introduction of 5 on canoes 7 on planked boats 8 on rafts 6 origins of 4–9 rigging of 9 Sanders, Jonathan W. 18 Slocum, Captain Joshua 15 steam power 14–18 introduction of 3 success of 9 Stock, Ralph 16 synthetic materials 20

T
tacking 9 The Yacht Club at Cowes 14

W
Water Club of Cork 13 Webb, C. R. 15 Worth, Claude 16

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