Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Furled Sails Podcast On the Road

In the past few months I've been spending a lot of time on the road, including several 14-hour one way trips to south Florida to work in the Boatsmith shop with my friend David Halladay. I like time on the road to think, and often drive with no music or other distractions, but there's no doubt that the time can pass faster when you have something interesting to listen to. Last summer I purchased my first Ipod and uploaded all of my music library, clearing up space in my small truck by eliminating the need for carrying all those CDs around. But even though I love music, I get tired of it after a few hours and want to hear something else.

What could be better for a sailor, boatbuilder, and kayaker than a series of interesting podcasts featuring interviews with some of the leading small boat adventurers and designers in the world? When I discovered Furled Sails, billed as "the world's first sailng podcast," I knew I had found something to help those long hours on the road fly by.

Furled Sails is hosted by Noel and Christy Davis, who are based in the Florida panhandle and are active small boat sailors and adventurers themselves. They had the excellent idea of creating this podcast by conducting telephone interviews with noteworthy individuals in the world of small boat sailing, building and design, and now the site contains well over 100 archived interviews that you can download and listen to for free. Noel and Christy have managed to land interviews with some of the biggest names in boating, and their list of guests includes the likes of John Guzzwell, Lin and Larry Pardey, Webb Chiles, Ted Brewer, George Buehler, Jimmy Cornell, and Reese Palley, to name just a few. Their boating interests seem to lie closely in line with my own, in that most of the designers and adventurers profiled are proponents of small, simple vessels, both wind-driven and human powered with paddles or oars.

It was really interesting to hear some of my favorite boating authors describing the adventures they wrote about in their books that I had read many years previously. I especially enjoyed the two-part series featuring John Guzzwell as he shared many interesting tidbits about his solo circumnavigation in a 20-foot homebuilt boat that were not included in his book:Trekka Round the World The Webb Chiles series was great as well; hearing him describing his ocean crossings in an 18-foot open boat (Chidiock Tichborne) and the intentional sinking of his perfectly seaworthy cruising boat: Resurgam.

If you are a sailor, boatbuilder, kayaker, canoeist or just an armchair adventurer, you are certain to find something of interest among the archived podcasts on Furled Sails. Here are are some of the most recent shows, in chronological order:

Serge Testa

Floating Fox

Fine Tolerance 1

Fine Tolerance 2

Mississippi voyage

Lugnut 1

Lugnut 2

Robby Smith 1

Robby Smith 2

Sailing Grace

Jimmy Cornell

Webb Chiles 1

Webb Chiles 2

John Wellsford 1

John Wellsford 2


Shane St. Clair 1

Shane St. Clair 2

You can download and listen to these and all the other podcasts directly on the Furled Sails website, or if you have iTunes installed in your computer you can go to the iTunes store and search under the "podcasts" category for "Furled Sails." You can then upload as many of the individual shows as you like for free into your iTunes library and sync it to your iPod. This is what I do each time I am anticipating a road trip and I look forward to hearing four or five new interviews each time I head to Florida. Since most of the interviews are more than 45 minutes long, the miles slip away as I get inspired by the words of people doing the things I am most interested in. This is way better than anything I could find on the radio - and best of all - there are no commercials. Christy and Noel are providing a great service and it's obviously a labor of love. Check it out. You won't regret it.


  1. JustPassingThroughJuly 7, 2009 at 8:21 AM

    The link at the start of this paragraph:
    "Furled Sails is hosted by Noel and Christy Davis, who are based in the Florida panhandle and are active small boat sailors and adventurers themselves."
    points to "" rather than "" I tried one of the other links in the article "just in case" and it worked, so anyone who tries to follow the link and fails, just try another one (or add the S in instead).

    Alternatively, to the blog author, you could change it if you wanted.

    Thanks for the link - I'm about to start listening to the podcasts too - it should give a bit of extra motivation for my current mission of saving up for a small boat of my own.


  2. Thanks for the comment, and thanks for pointing out the bad link. I've corrected it and it's now working as it should.


"A boat is freedom, not just a way to reach a goal."
Bernard Moitessier - A Sea Vagabond's World


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