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Yachting World Articles  Archive


April 2019

Rounding Cape Horn is an experience to cherish, but what really qualifies for the achievement? wonders Skip

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March 2019

Skip is on standby to welcome or assist his friend Fedor Konyukhov, one of the world’s most incredible, almost superhuman, adventurers

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February 2019

What should you do if you or any of your crew suffer from seasickness? Skip has plenty of experience of it to share…

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January 2019

The Golden Globe race is a simple concept but, like all recreations of events past, is also full of compromises by necessity

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December 2018

Failure to reach a planned goal is a strong likelihood in adventure sailing, so we might as well embrace the fact we may not get there..

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November 2018

The introduction of new Polar Codes for vessels visiting high latitudes could have profound implications for yachtsmen, suggests Skip

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October 2018

Instant communications mean plans are constantly being changed and modified. Skip hankers after the long-term commitments of past decades

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September 2018

The advent of self docking technology threatens to erode a vital and enjoyable sailing skills base, says Skip

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August 2018

It's time to get down to basics, says Skip.  How much do you think about your yacht's skin fittings, and how often?

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July 2018

How can you have an interior that's comfortable in port but also safe offshore?  Skip advocates simple materials and some creativity

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June 2018

Taking a yacht to the Falkland Islands, where marine facilities are primitive, is truly a frontier experience, says Skip

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May 2018

Expedition yacht designs have proliferated, but are they really fit for true expedition sailing, wonders Skip?

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April 2018

The prospect of foiling technology trickling down to cruising yachts is exciting, but it will have its downsides , says Skip

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March 2018

There is little comparison between the Whitbread Race of old and the Volvo Ocean Race of today.  These days it's for experts only...............

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February 2018

Is there a lack of oversight on the Clipper Round The World Race yachts? Skip thinks manning improvements could be in order.......

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January 2018

The retreat of glaciers on South Georgia points to climate change and a recent voyage there helped gather more compelling scientific evidence.......

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December 2017

The Volvo Ocean Race's system to encourage female crew is confusing. There is only one good solution , says Skip

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November 2017

The Northwest Passage is still a treacherous way to travel between the At lantic and the Pacific. A fallback plan is essential.......

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October 2017

The best part about being a boat owner is that every morning you get to choose whether you see something new and unknown or the old familiar.......

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September2017

A yacht with no stowage in the forepeak and beds instead of berths forward of the mast is only fit for day sailing between marinas.......

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August 2017

Does a paid skipper ever out-rank his or her yacht’s owner? Having played both roles in this play, I can see all sides of the question.......

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July 2017

I’m just going to come out and say it: too many yachtsmen are being rescued at sea from seaworthy hulls.......

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June 2017

Since 2011 the number of vessels visiting Antarctica has risen steadily and in 2016-17 exceeded the all-time high. If you are going to go, don’t leave it long!.......

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May 2017

We used a drone to find our way through ice this season.  Finding one safe anchorage would have been doubtful without it so they are here to stay.......

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April  2017

Not every charter guest wants to learn the ropes but becoming a useful member of the crew is a fulfilling goal for anyone .......

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March 2017

It doesn't matter how much or how little you use your yacht, it's a symbol of freedom - an escape from reality.......

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February  2017

Cape Town is an ocean away from my base in the Falklands, but it's worth the trip to get a proper refit done.  The scenery's nice too.......

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January  2017

Summer weather on South Georgia became so problematic that we decided to head South in winter instead, with some success......

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Decemberer  2016

Destinations that were once off the beaten track are now either controlled by permits or crwoded with other boats.......

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November  2016

Preparing for Summer in the Far South involves a supply run to Cape Town from the Falklands and a boat load of bureaucracy........

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October  2016

I was very pleased to see the new course for the next Volvo Ocean Race. Looking at the map graphic, the course line is once again more or less a logical circumnavigation.....

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September  2016

Thrilled though he was about the ACWS visiting his home town of Chicago, Skip is not a fan of big city racing........

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August  2016

Modern-day adventurers pale into insignificance when you consider the exploits of Shackleton 100 years ago..........

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July  2016

Feeling a little like a fish out of water, Skip tries the St Barth's Bucket superyacht regatta........

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June  2016

Ocean racing carries risks and great sailors have been lost overboard. It takes just a moment when your guard is down........

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May  2016

Should something be done about the number of rescues in high-profile events? and if so, what?

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April  2016

It can make sense to keep going for larger and larger yachts, but you lose something in the process

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March  2016

It is a measure of good seamanship that, should the rudder fail, you don’t immediately think of the rescue services.

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February 2016 

A catamaran is faster, safer and more comfortable than anything with a single hull – but you have to pay attention.

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January 2016

Remember when the maxi Drum capsized during the Fastnet Race? The crew do and a 30-year reunion brought it all back.

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December 2015

The new America’s Cup show is spectacular, but I have to admit to missing some of the shenanigans of the old-style game.

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November 2015 

Relying solely on electronic charts when you’re sailing in remote areas is a mug’s game. Keep your paper up to date and ‘navigate’.

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October 2015 

There is no activity more varied, with more opportunities to inspire young people to a lifetime’s interest, than sailing.

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September 2015

Pollution in Rio compromising the sailing Olympics? A clean-up is not going to happen. This is Brazil; just enjoy the carnival.

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August 2015 ‘Well used’ is surely a compliment for a yacht cruising off the beaten track, where keeping things ‘just-so’ is an exercise in futility.

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July 2015 Does the plan for a cruising guide to Antarctica represent another ‘paradise lost’, another remote area tidied and packaged?

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June 2015Taking a deep breath and donning a hard hat, Skip launches into the Volvo gender question: why do all-female crews do so badly?

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May 2015The wind-in-the-hair sailing bit is only the icing on the cake of this experience we call yachting. First, you’ve got to get down and dirty.

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April 2015Is there any point in learning celestial navigation these days, when nobody is ever likely to use it in anger?

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March 2015There’s nothing like a good debate around the saloon table on a stormy night, but computer access to facts is threatening the fun.

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February 2015‘The feel’ is what separates a good sailor from a so-so one, and you’ll never get it unless you’ve had a good soaking in a tippy dinghy.

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January 2015Racing and cruising are poles apart these days. While racing has become more extreme, cruising is now arguably too easy. Download pdf >>

December 2014Skip pitches into the Great Lifejacket Debate with his own views on when to don a personal flotation device.

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November 2014When it comes to sea trials for a new or refitted boat, it’s a case of don’t do what I do, do what I say.

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October 2014 In the first edition of his new column, Skip Novak takes a trip down the Hamble River and memory lane.

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