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The Joy of Small Boat Sailing

By January 18, 2013

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For the last few days I've been sailing the Florida Keys on a 19-footer, a West Wight Potter, instead of my home-waters 38-footer. It may not be fun giving up the standing headroom and full galley, but what a joy to be tooling about in a smaller boat, especially in these clear, warm waters! On a larger cruiser you can forget the simple pleasure of a tiller to which the boat responds instantly. You're often not as aware of the intricate relationships of steering, sails, wind and waves. But on a small sailboat your senses become attuned again to all the nuance of sail, and five knots can be an exhilarating burst of speed. If you haven't been on a smaller boat lately, it may be time to return to basics for a bit. And if you've never been on a smaller sailboat, maybe it's time to learn!


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