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On Sailboats with Dieter Loibner

In praise of the proa: yellow, odd and fast

The author learns the ins and outs of proa sailing on the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay.When John Harris talks about purple cows he’s taking a detour to the French countryside, which is dotted by millions of indistinctive black-and-white bovines. What he’s really talking about is his yellow boat — not a submarine, like the one the Beatles sang about, although as a trained musician he’d dig that one, too.

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No quit and no limits for this solo sailor

“You can spend your entire life knocking on the front door to the world of sailing and Gary Jobson isn’t going to open it. Or you can kick the door down and say, ‘Here I am.’ “

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After a lifetime away, No. 5 Elbe is home

No. 5 Elbe takes guests for a spin on her namesake waters.The sun had chased the fog out to sea. The Golden Gate’s red spires propped up an azure sky as she spread her wings and heeled to the breeze. Her plumb stem forcefully shouldered aside the boiling ebb, delighting the gawkers ashore who never saw this display of grace and power by the schooner Wander Bird on San Francisco Bay.

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A schooner, a crowd and an epic moment

THE MAGIC MOMENT: Bonavista slides down the ways and into Marstal harbor, just as she did 98 years ago.Sapphire skies, juicy green meadows and sparkling water. Not a blade of grass out of whack. It was a day to remember in the town of Marstal, on the Danish island of Ærø. If this brings on vowel-anxiety, relax. This isn’t about phonetics but salty schooners, the people who built them and those who sailed them to faraway places.

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As a club turns 100, its sailboat turns 90

Tsana is one of the fiberglass Watch Hill 15s built by the Frank Hall Boat Yard in Avondale, R.I.Rhode Island. Little Rhody. The Ocean State. It’s small, but when it comes to boats, the place feels big. Not as big as in the glory days, before the “real” America’s Cup left Newport and before the recent economic turbulence. Still, the marine trades are “among the only growing sectors in manufacturing and blue-collar work,” according to Lisa DiRaimo, executive director at the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association. “And despite the recession, the industry has held its own.”

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