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On Sailboats with Dieter Loibner

Nobody is perfect but this guy comes close

The yawl Artemis cuts a fine figure in the Danish islands during her first season after a long restoration.

If saving and restoring old boats were like football, Joachim Kaiser would be the second coming of Vince Lombardi. Like the legendary NFL coach, Kaiser has won many battles, often snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, drawing on his knowledge of the game and an ability to adjust as necessary. He knows the tricks, and he knows the blunders, many from firsthand experience. Paraphrasing Lombardi: To achieve success, there is a price to pay. Kaiser paid his dues in the restoration business, which requires research, intuition and the ability to shake the money tree.

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Less is more in this quest for ultimate sailing

With her narrow beam and double-ender hull shape, the 62-foot Francis Lee dosen't follow the production-boat trend that favors a lot of beam aft.The morning fog was lifting off Puget Sound as Blakely Rock slipped by to starboard, our bow turned north in search of wind. Soon a light, unsteady breeze sprang up. Nice, but on most boats it wouldn’t be nearly enough to unship the iron oar. Luckily, Francis Lee is not like most boats.

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In remembrance of two ancient mariners

The author scatters his parents' ashes in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.The Strait of Juan de Fuca separates the United States from Canada around the 49th parallel north. Water can move through it like an avalanche, and seas can be treacherous, especially when they run counter to the current. But on this day it was flat calm, nary a cat’s paw on the placid surface.

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Personal satisfaction follows independence

Wolfgang HasunerThe sun had dipped behind the hills to the west, but the soldiers of the spandex army kept pouring in from the road. Sweaty, dirty, tired and parched but smiling with contentment, they returned from a battle they had won — against the road and against themselves.

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A relic’s lasting impact on ocean voyaging

Winslow Homer's 1886 oil painting Eight Bells depicts two sailors using sextants, the modern navigation instrument of the day.I recently caught myself swinging the cat-o’-nine-tails. Hard and fast I brought it down on my own back — virtually, of course — punishing myself for doing stuff that was fun when I should have applied myself to serious matters, such as weeding the yard or contributing to the bottom line. The culprit was David Barrie’s new book Sextant, which is subtitled A Young Man’s Daring Sea Voyage and the Men Who Mapped the World’s Oceans (HarperCollins).

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