MOB: A Whistle in the Wind

The Boys in the Boat: The Meridian X crew after the CYC Race to Mackinac in 2018, the year after Wheeler’s man-overboard incident. L-R: Sledd Shelhorse (owner), Max Plarr, Patrick Everhart, Graham Garrenton, David Flynn, Harold “Beau” Warren, Ron McLean, Mark Wheeler, Jeremiah Dull. Courtesy photo.Mark Wheeler went overboard a few minutes before midnight. He was in the middle of Lake Michigan, 30 miles offshore in 40 knots of wind. As he fumbled for the lanyard to inflate his...

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CGear Sand-Free Beach Towel

Sand Be Gone!Read more...The summer is hot and full of terrors—not the least of which is the sand that sticks in your beach towel in the hopes of a free ride back to your car or boat. Fortunately, there's now the CGear Sand-Free Beach Towel, engineered in polyester to not only dry quickly after each use, but both filter through any sand or grime that lands on top of it and shed any sand that collects underneath. Measuring 31in...

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Gear: Tiwal Inflatable Sailing Dinghy

Blow-up BoatingA few years ago, the French company Tiwal arrived on U.S. shores with that most improbable of products, an inflatable sailing dinghy that actually sails the way a boat is supposed to. Now, nearly 1,000 Tiwal 3’s later, the company is back with its Tiwal 2, an even smaller 9ft 2in inflatable that weighs in at a mere 88lb and makes the perfect excursion craft, either for beach launching or carrying aboard a larger cruiser. Transported or stored...

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Gear: Tilley Polaris Hat

A True Blue TilleySailing is all about fun in the sun, but it sometimes doesn’t take long to get too much of a good thing, especially when on a prolonged cruise or offshore passage. Enter the Tilley Polaris, the latest lid developed by iconic Canadian hat-maker Tilley. Constructed in lightweight, navy-blue polyester with a PFC-free 3XDRY Bio finish, each full-brimmed hat is both water-repellent and quick-drying for sailing in either rain or just “spirited” conditions. Other features include front...

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Gear: 22 Below Koozie

Killer KoozieFor all that sailors love the warmth of this time of year, that same warmth can also wreak havoc on their otherwise icy-cold beers. (Unless, of course, you drink them very, very fast. But we won’t go there.) To help deal with this terrible hardship, North Carolina-based 22 Below has come up with a new state-of-the-art koozie featuring what it calls its patented "Cryo-Lock System" to block out as much heat as possible, thereby making those old-school foam...

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Gear: Gill’s Race Fusion Sunglasses

Wicked Cool SpecsIs there anything in the world of sailing more fun than a cool pair of shades? Heck, no! And it would hard to find a cooler pair than these new Race Fusion specs from longtime weather-gear manufacture Gill. In addition to looking great, they include a number of practical features, like excellent ventilation to prevent fogging; 100 percent UV-blocking polarized lenses; nose and temple grips to ensure a snug fit; and what Gill calls its “air chamber...

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Gear: North Sails Waterproof Pack

Read more...A few years ago, North Sails made a big push into the apparel business with all kinds of sharp-looking button-down shirts, shorts and fleeces. That doesn’t mean, though, that the North Sails Collection isn’t still plenty practical, as is evident in its new roll-over waterproof backpack. Constructed in PVC, the pack has fully padded heavy-duty straps and a convenient carrying handle. In a nice touch, the folks at North have also included a handy zippered pocket to one...

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Gear: Solbian’s Flexible PV Panels

Sun SeekerItalian solar panel manufacturer Solbian has earned a good reputation for its flexible PV panels. Its latest innovation is the Guardian SX series, which addresses the problem of shading on individual cells. A single shaded cell on a typical PV panel can decrease the entire panel’s output by up to 50 percent. However, with the new Day4 cells used on the Guardian series, output will only be reduced by a ninth. Of course, panels that are less vulnerable...

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Veteran Circumnavigator Closed the Loop on Sixth Solo Circumnavigation

A happy Webb Chiles at the end of his sixth lap of the globeOn April 29, veteran circumnavigator Webb Chiles closed the loop on his sixth solo circumnavigation.Chiles and his Moore 24, Gannet, sailed into San Diego to complete the 29,989-mile epic five years after setting out. It was a leisurely circumnavigation by Chiles’s standards, with lengthy stopovers along the way. In 2014, his route took him across the Pacific to Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand, where he...

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Cruising: Boat Wanted

We need a boat. Like, really need a boat. Not just, “Oh a boat would be fun.” But an aching, core-wrenching desire for a piece of water. We don’t find sailing just a pastime or a boat a status symbol. A boat is a part of the family; without one, we’re incomplete.We have always been drawn to the water. I met my husband, Danny, in Santa Monica, California. I was renting a converted basement, steps from the sand. It...

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