8 Little-Known Ways to Sail

8 Little-Known Ways to Sail

I get asked, “Are there different ways to sail?” Yes, here are eight ways. 1. Caribbean Day Sail—The common expectation for a trip on a yacht rental in St. Thomas or St. John is to fly in and take a bareboat out for a week with another couple or two. That’s fine, but pricey and […]

Ice Sailing Has Storied Past

Ice Sailing Has a Storied Past

People sometimes ask, “Is there a faster way to sail?” Oh yes, on ice! Before global warming, people used to sail on ice. It’s long forgotten, but our kin from the 1800s convey that ice sailing has a storied past. Americans live for speed and always have. Beginning with horse racing in 17th century New […]

Dolphin Cruise

Dolphin Cruise

A Richmond family celebrated Dad’s 50th birthday with an exciting sail on the York River that included up to a dozen dolphins. Kathleen Kirschman brought her daughters along, and Michael Kirschman brought his high-powered camera which came in handy. Everyone shot numerous pics as we picked up the dolphins outside Sarah Creek. They ran behind […]

Why Boats Sink


UPDATE – York River Yacht Haven moved quickly to remove the boat before any oil or fuel could leak into the water. Fellows at the marina yard think the bow went under in high winds and the bowrail got caught at low tide under a finger pier on G Dock. That drove the bow down […]

Sailing on Megatankers

Sailing on Megatankers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEhCvR43nh8 Here is the ultimate boat rental: Hundreds of millions of tons of cargo shipped by a mega-tanker under sail. Massive sails.  It’s part of a long-term effort to improve “rigid wing wind” transportation by ship. An earlier blog showed that in terms of fuel consumed per ton-mile, a tugboat moving a barge is 2.5 […]

Santa Maria at Yorktown

Santa Maria to Yorktown

People ask, “Do you ever see tall ships?” A replica ship of Christopher Columbus’s fleet pulled into Yorktown for Memorial Day Weekend. The Nao Santa Maria set sail in 2017 to mark the 525th anniversary of the original discovery of America in 1492. The 200-ton, three-masted ship blew in this week from Wilmington NC. Skip […]



People ask, “Do you ever see submarines?” Kathy and Dan Clodfelter of Newburgh IN went sailing on a bright sunny day along the York River, where they got to see a US Navy sub up close. Kathy had taken sailing lessons in college years ago and wondered if she could still do it. She got […]

Sailing Fast in Big Wind

Sailing Fast in a Big Wind

  After a weather front passes, we get a day or two of brisk winds blowing 12-18 mph and gusting to 25 on the York River. The operating procedure is to reduce the sail space by reefing, in my case rolling the sails out only halfway. The boat can run on one sail half reefed, […]

Extreme Sailing

Three days of rain on the York drove nearly everyone off the river. On the other side of the world, eight international teams raced in St. Petersburg, Russia for the sixth stop on the 2015 Extreme Sailing Series™ eight Act global tour. After four days of racing in the heart of St. Petersburg, it was […]

America’s Cup 2013

The fastest sailing on Earth took place during the 2013 America’s Cup in San Francisco Bay. These $100 million catamarans rose up out of the water on hydrofoils, which can be seen in this video. They touched an astonishing 55 mph. America was down 8-1 and roared back to win 8 straigt to win 9-8. […]