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On Sailboats with Dieter Loibner

Adrenaline rush: Cup cats and high altitude

The writer got a bird's eye view of sailing mecca Auckland, New Zealand, from this perch on the Sky Tower.The wind was tearing at my orange jumpsuit. It was short at the ankles, and I looked as if I were on the lam from prison, getting treed by a K-9 unit, except that this tree was Auckland’s Sky Tower, rising more than 1,000 feet into the air and I was standing outside on a 4-foot-wide steel grating 630 feet above ground.



A chandlery to satisfy classic-boat junkies

Toplicht can feed the jones of any classic-boat-junky - sorry, no electronics here.Ah, the intoxicating aroma of oakum, tar and hemp. Rays of light reflected by polished brass and gleaming varnish. Floorboards creaking underfoot. Stepping into the retail store of outfitter Toplicht is a symphony for the senses and a trip to the realm of nautical retro-culture.



A fastidious Frenchman and his return to the sea

Professional sailor Frederic Boursier is preparing a client and his yacht for a solo circumnavigation.Inch by inch, the long orange rudder moves toward the water. There’s no wind to speak of, which is rare in early March in the Antilles. But the slight ocean swell is enough to make this a delicate operation for the skipper perched on the stern.



A legendary boat and family heirloom

We’ve all heard it from inveterate romantics: Pretty boats do resemble pretty women. While this notion is false flattery for most floating objects that are stamped out by factories, it is the essence of the legendary racing dinghy Aera II.



Cat tales and the magic of ‘Made in the USA’

The Alpha 42 cruising catamaran is being built in Patchogue, N.Y.Whenever I chat with Gregor Tarjan, I’m caught in a time warp: I’m back in my formative years in Vienna, Austria. I moved to the world’s waltzing capital from the Alpine valleys to attend university half a lifetime ago, but he was born and raised there.



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