Parts of The Whole: Understanding Sailboats and Sailing – The Sails

It’s safe to say a sailboat is only as good as its sails when you consider that capturing the wind’s energy is the premise behind what sailors do to propel their boats in a forward direction. A good captain will trim those said sails to be as efficient as possible and the proper heading will help with overall performance, but the sail is the driving force of the boat.
Continue reading

algae and sustainability

Could Algae Save the World?

Traditionally the boating community associates algae with one word: nuisance. It covers hulls, jams propellers, slimes up fishing poles, and can even make the water unswimmable. Algae is a gigantically diverse group of marine organisms, ranging from tiny single-celled plankton, to kelp that stretches hundreds of feet toward the surface, to the wrapper of your favorite sushi roll.
Continue reading

Women Sailors

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we would like to introduce you to a few women sailors who each, in their own right, has made a difference within the sailing community and beyond. Before we begin, we know we have missed more than we have mentioned so if you have a suggestion for future women of sailing pieces please share your suggestions in the comments below.
Continue reading

sealife tangled in plastic

Ask Lauren: What Do I Do If I See an Animal Tangled in Plastic?

It is always exciting to encounter marine animals in their natural habitat- the vast diversity of creatures in the ocean both pull at our heartstrings and inspires a sense of wonder. We’ve all seen heartwarming videos of sailors, divers, and surfers having amicable run-ins with favorite marine animals like dolphins, turtles, seals… even sharks!

The new trend in viral animal videos is much different: more and more we are encountering marine life entangled in fishing nets or plastic debris, choking on plastic pieces, or stranded onshore from a variety of illnesses and environmental causes. These videos often end with a person coming to the rescue and sending the animal on its way… but was this just a matter of luck? Was the rescuer in any danger? Was the animal placed in even greater danger by this interaction?
Continue reading

plastic free food

Plastic-Free Provisioning

ASA’s Plastic Pollution Purge campaign asked our fellow sailors to “bring back more plastic than you take to your boat”, and to have fun practicing your crew overboard drills as you recover trash on the water. But to break the vicious cycle of plastic pollution in the water we must prevent it from getting to the ocean in the first place. An analysis of our results from the Landfill Challenge showed us that most of the plastic waste we create in our day-to-day lives comes from the way we eat and drink. Since we usually do this 3 times daily, it’s a great place to start when tackling the reduction of our plastic footprint.
Continue reading

Parts of The Whole: Understanding Sailboats and Sailing – The Keel

The keel is a fixed appendage on the bottom of the hull that provides the sideways resistance needed to counter the force of the wind on the sails. The keel also carries ballast, usually iron or lead, the weight of which counteracts the force of the wind that causes a sailboat to heel, or lean over. On a modern boat, the keel is shaped in the form of an airfoil wing to generate lift, which helps it sail closer to the wind. A keelboat is generally larger than 20 feet and can be as large as a megayacht at 200 … Continue reading Parts of The Whole: Understanding Sailboats and Sailing – The Keel

Continue Reading

How To Sail a Boat

There is a cloak of mystery that surrounds sailing. You might be on a picturesque beach and you see a sailboat off in the distance or you might be in a marina and you notice how the wind gently moves a schooner across the water. It makes you wonder, How To Sail A Boat?

Sailing a boat is part art and part skill but few activities offer such a variety of pleasures as sailing. Something special occurs when you cast off the lines and leave your cares at the dock. While technology dictates so much of our lives these days, sailing is still fundamentally the same as it always has been. You, the sailor, relying on your feel and mother nature helping you along with wind and water. Sailing a boat is easier than you think.
Continue reading

ASA's Inside Sailing

Inside Sailing – Tom Simmons, Director of ‘Coyote: The Mike Plant Story’

We’re proud to announce a new video series called “ASA’s Inside Sailing,” where we conduct on-camera interviews with prominent and/or interesting figures in the world of sailing.

In our inaugural episode, we spotlight Tom Simmons, Director of Coyote: The Mike Plant Story (trailer). In his feature length documentary Simmons delves deep into the life of American solo-sailor Mike Plant who was both an extremely daring sailor and a very compelling character. In our interview, we ask Simmons (also the nephew of Plant) what he learned about sailing, filmmaking and himself after the immersive process of directing this extraordinarily well-made and in-depth biography.

Continue reading