The Small Craft Advisor magazine has been called the “successor to The Small Boat Journal.” Editors Craig Wagner and Joshua Colvin, “minimalist” outdoor adventurers, missed reading a magazine devoted to real sailors with really trailerable sailboats and launched their answer over 8 years ago. One of their regular features has been interviews with fearless adventurers and respected designers.
Regular readers of The Small Craft Advisor will read and remember each of these interviews with renewed interest. Newcomers will discover a reading pleasure they feared had ebbed with the tides of publication.
Craig and Joshua know small craft. They ask the right questions to satisfy our individual interests in sometimes heroes. Even if you consider some adventurers to be masochistic madmen, they may answer the very questions you pondered when you first heard of their escapades, or just about their future plans. The editors wisely let the subjects control the length of the interviews. Some were short and sweet, others long and detailed. Some will leave you thinking, “That’s about the way I did it” — or “I would have, if only &helipp;”
Sven Yrvind, the psychopathic Swede, had such startling innovations and adventures that the editors introduced him with the following: “Few, if any, have taught us more about truly small boats offshore.” Among his ideas were a rudder with twice the lateral area of the centerboard and covering the inside of the hull with carbon fiber for greater strength.
The temptation is strong, when you scan the contents, to go directly to the interview about your good old boat, whether it was your past love or current source of adventure. I found both going directly to page 64. The interview with Jerry Montgomery shed new light on the Montgomery 15 sloop I owned in the `80s and am sailing again.
Do you dog-ear some pages, then underline or highlight especially interesting items? You’ll find many, like you really don’t need GPS, a windvane, or autopilot to sail around the world in a small boat.
I did wish that they had headers on every page giving the interviewee’s name; good for short memories! I also wished for more dates: issue or month, as well as the given year of the interview. Specific dates, when possible, of some of the adventures would answer “What was I sailing, and where, when he was out sailing there?”
This is not a “couldn’t put it down until I finished it” kind of book, but a fine one to pick up and read at every spare moment, to carry along for an appointment.
Better yet, immerse in it, late in the eve when the TV has gone adrift. Your ensuing dreams will love it. Or perhaps you will just be left wondering: has Kristofer “Harley” Harlson started on his non-stop circumnavigation in the 8-foot Sea Biscuit he was building when interviewed back in 2006?
Small Boats Big Adventures, The Small Craft Advisor Interviews by Craig Wagner and Joshua Colvin (Small Craft Advisor, 2007; 167 pages)