July/August Issue Preview: Offshore Cruising

In the current issue, we tackle the challenges of offshore cruising, strategies to improve your foul-weather IQ, and more.
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Letter From the Editor About the July/August Issue

Know Your Limits

We’re an adventure-oriented species by nature. And as boat people, we’re generally inclined to point a little higher, go a little farther, cruise a little longer.

Spend enough time puttering around close to shore and you might ultimately find yourself yearning to take your cruising to the next level with a long-distance offshore voyage. The seagoing stories you’ll find in this issue are intended to make your mind wander and wonder about pushing your boat—and yourself—to that next tier.

I’m all for it, but with one caveat: Know your limits.

You might feel invincible aboard your 34-foot aft-cabin warhorse, which has handled a decent squall or two without busting apart at the bulkheads. But is she really up to the challenges of the wild blue yonder? Are her systems in good repair? Are you carrying the right spares and tools to address the things that might (will) go bump in the night? On page 56, offshore cruising veteran Bob Arrington offers a detailed lesson on what it takes to succeed in such an endeavor.

Heading offshore for the first time can be daunting, and all the book smarts in the world can’t fully prepare someone for the mental and physical demands that await beyond the reef. Lots of people might be thrilled at the idea of a cruise to Bermuda, but I guarantee you, far fewer will be of much use when a gale stirs up sediment in the fuel line and kills an engine halfway there.

We all have our limitations. On any given day, your zest for adventure may be constrained by your knowledge and skill set, and the experience of your crew, their mental acuity and physical ability. You’ll have to be the judge of that. Be honest with yourself and with them. Not all of us are physically or mentally equipped to do an extended passage hundreds of miles from land. There are no rest stops along the transoceanic highway.

Remember that you, your boat and your crew are one. Your limits are the collective limits. The key is to identify those shortcomings and work within them, or take the appropriate action to overcome them before setting out.

For our cover story, we took the all-new Nordhavn N41 on a sea trial and found her to be a solidly built, thoughtfully designed ocean-goer (outfitted by people who have actually crossed oceans). Find out why we say she's a must-see for anyone thinking about going cruising, looking for a liveaboard or just wanting a really great yacht.

spread shot promo N41

Then, head "off the charts" with Passagemaker pro and boat handling expert Bob Arrington to learn what it really takes to prepare for a long-distance offshore cruise.

web_spread opener OFFSHORE

Also, join Pacific Northwest-based contributor and veteran cruiser Douglas Wartelle on a roller coaster ride through Washington's Deception Pass, where riotous whirlpools have tossed kayakers and weakened the knees of experienced skippers. Fear not—we'll will show you the way. 


Also in the July/August issue, we take a look at the Vicem 50 Classic, an all-new fiberglass coastal cruiser from the Turkish builder that recently made its first landfall in the United States; you'll meet the newest member of Passagemaker's Classic Cruising Club, Bill Nieman, who owns a gorgeous 1984 Kadey-Krogen 42, which he's been living aboard with his wife since they became empty nesters; and award-winning "A Dash of Salt" columnist Chris Caswell reflects on how a car's license plate brought him back to a wonderful place full of fantastic boats and mariners—and inspiration to last a lifetime. 

Our Passagemaker Pro special technical section is chock full of ideas, best practices and technical expertise. Boat handling instructor Bob Arrington presents the ultimate guide to big-boat docking; DIY guru Peter Frederiksen shows you 10 expert techniques for brilliant brightwork; and technical experts Steve Zimmerman and Max Parker reveal how to employ smarter power distribution to add more gear.

The July/August issue is available on newsstands as we speak! If you don't have one, grab one. If you’d like to subscribe, please consider doing so. 

On behalf of the Passagemaker team, thanks for reading. We hope you enjoy.  


Andrew Parkinson