Cruising France's Charente Maritime
The French love sailing, but the big and expensive racing and cruising yachts often get all of the attention. A group of friends got together and organized a new event, called Sailing Light Challenge, an unsupported, 100-mile tour along the Bay of Biscay coast in small boats under sail and oar. This year's participants arrived at the Corps de Garde harbor near Charron, and waited with gear-laden boats for the ebb to provide a favorable current down the Sevre River to its mouth at Aiguillon Bay.
A classy addition to a classic rig
Barry Long has always liked sailing in light air—ghosting along close to shore on a quiet evening feels like magic, especially in a small boat. But light-air sailing, though relaxing, is surprisingly challenging. In moderate winds, any boat competently handled can attain hull speed, but light wind requires sharp skills and careful attention to detail to get the most out of what’s available. Sail shape and trim make a big difference. Beyond skills, having a little extra canvas adds a sharp arrow to the quiver.
Reader Built Boat
A kit-built Savo 650
Tim Murfitt of Norwich, England, has been puttering with small boats, mostly power boats, for more than 40 years and grew weary of their speed and noise. He thought taking to the water with a pair of oars would be a good change of direction for his boating, and although his only experience with rowing was on dry ground with a rowing machine, he felt confident that he’d enjoy rowing. He wasn’t so sure that his wife would.
Exped's versatile shelter garment
The BivyBag creates not only an instant shelter but also the peace and presence of mind that comes along with that measure of comfort, allowing for the thoughtful decision making that is essential to any successful outing.
Meteorology in your pocket
This compact and inexpensive device provides data that leads to a more objective observation and better understanding of weather conditions and patterns.
News and Curiosities
Video: The Pirogue Maker, 1949
This 14-minute piece of vintage film shows Cajun craftsman making a pirogue the "old way": Hewn of a cyprus log by hand; probably the last pirogue made this fashion.
Amazing Resource: Nick Schade’s How-To Videos
Nick Schade is producing beautiful videos that are helpful and chockablock full of information. Right now he's working on a strip-planed microBootlegger, but he's got other playlists and builds: A skin-on-frame microBootlegger Sport and a Petrel Play.
Wes Modes, Hazel the Dog, and Shanty Boat Living
Through video, photography, written stories, an art installation, and more he’s conveyed his experiences building the boat and living aboard it on a few different rivers over the past few years. In June 2018, they’ll be exploring and documenting the people and places of the Hudson River.
2018 Small Boats Annual on Newsstands
From 2017's articles here on the site, we've got the Coot dinghy on the cover, a nice selection of sail, motor, paddle, and oar articles, a guide to kits and boatbuilders, and an inspiring collection of Reader-Built Boats and their stories.