Wednesday, February 8, 2023


I'm Bob, aka the Aged Mariner. (I am old but not yet quite ancient and so far I don't have an albatross hanging around.)

Simple sailing, with the jib sail left behind. With my son on a Canadian lake.

Almost 50 years ago friends took me sailing in a boat like the one above and I got hooked. I bought an inexpensive 12 foot 'mini-scow' and sailed it for years, but then got the bug for a bigger boat and began a extensive series of buying, sailing, then selling ever larger boats, up to the mid-20 foot range. Work, family, and other obligations kept me from buying anything I couldn't tow, but I did crew for friends with larger cruising boats.

I have gradually come to my senses and realized that, for me, smaller and simple boats provide much more pleasure. I can take a small boat or sailing canoe to water, unpack it and have it ready to sail in about 10 minutes. I can then sail on modest bodies of water for an hour or two, pack it for the road, and be on my way with little fuss. And these smaller craft tend to be modestly priced.

The boat in the picture is a version of the classic 16'9" O'Day Daysailer. While I love those boats, rigging it is rather a chore. I have now moved downscale, very happily.

There is an old saying: 'Old sailors never die, they just get a little dinghy.' Or maybe it should be 'old sailors get smarter.'

This blog will be about the pleasures and possibilities of simple boats, simple sails, and simple sailing, including how to create one's own sail rigs, make sails, transport them, and love them.

I am creating a parallel blog, called 'Sew Big, Sew Heavy,' that deals with the mechanics of crafting large or dense sewn objects, including sails. Find it at

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