Give a Kid a Paddle and Watch them Fly

Coming home from school one day at age 16, my mom threw me a set of car keys and said, “It’s a stick shift. You have to be at practice in the morning, so I guess you had better take her around the block a few times.” The…

Wooden Boat Festival 2022: A River of Stories

I’ve always thought of the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend as a broad, winding river full of stories and adventures. Each time I attend, I jump in with a destination in mind, but once in the current, I’m pulled along…

Close to the Water: Gone Sewing

The author works on a sewing project for his fleet of boats. When I got over the jaw-dropping price of a bolt of Sunbrella fabric, I set aside my habitual thriftiness and pulled out my credit card. After all, I reasoned,…

Editorial: Beautiful British Columbia

On a sunny, early spring day we motored out of Roche Harbor, set our sails and shaped a westerly course toward Vancouver Island. A dramatic sunset over Coal Harbour in Vancouver, British Columbia. Bounding out into open…

Casting Off: Remember the Main!

From the June 2022 issue of 48° North. “Sailing is 90% boredom and routine punctuated by 10% heart-pumping adrenaline.” Hearing this adage from our sailing mentor had the effect of both assuaging and alarming me and my wife,…

Close to the Water: A Sailor Makes Peace with Engines

A small boat, engineless sailor reminisces on his experiences with motors and makes peace with their useful purpose aboard. My first experiences on the water were all about velocity. Riding in the fiberglass ski boat my…

Working on Boats: A Space Odyssey

I’ll just come right out and say it — I’m one of those weirdos who actually enjoys working on boat projects nearly as much as I enjoy being out on the boat.  Of all the upgrades and repairs we’ve made to our 1984 Passport 40…

Eight Bells: Steve Ward

Remembering and honoring the life and influence of a beloved sailor, writer, friend, and father. When Steve started contributing to 48° North in 1988, he kept pages turning with the fictional series "Adventures of Boomer…

Close to the Water: One More Foot

This article was originally published in the April 2022 issue of 48° North. It’s a rare sailor who is unfamiliar with the illness dubbed “one-foot-itis,” a malady which infects its hosts with the inexorable yearning for…

Artist’s View: Pickleweed

Salt-tolerant pickleweed is a unique bit of flora to look for near some Pacific Northwest anchorages. The Artist's View column for March is exclusively available right here at 48north.com. Most good anchorages in the…