Tom Lochhaas has sailed all kinds of sailboats in all kinds of waters for three decades. He is passionate about both cruising and racing and has written widely about many different aspects of the sailing life.
Tom has sailed in boats ranging from a 14-foot Sunfish to a 50-foot ocean cruiser. Currently, his home waters stretch from Long Island to Nova Scotia, but he’s also sailed both coasts and the Gulf of Mexico. His offshore passages include several voyages to the Caribbean and Bermuda. He has raced boats of various sizes in both yacht club round-the-buoys races and ocean races. He outfitted and has maintained by himself his latest boat, a 38-foot sloop.
Tom’s articles and columns about sailing and the sailing life have appeared in national and regional boating periodicals, including SAIL and Good Old Boat magazines. He is the editor of two books of sailing stories, Treacherous Waters and Intrepid Voyagers. His newest book, Suddenly Overboard: True Stories of Sailors in Fatal Trouble, is based on years of studying sailing incidents leading to either rescue or fatality, but rather than describing the dry facts, this book tells the stories with dramatic realism so that readers feel they are there and realize how, in their own boating, they can take steps to stay safer. Tom has also worked with the American Red Cross and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary writing boating safety books. He enjoys teaching others to sail.
I had the good fortune to learn how to sail on a well-rigged boat in the Bahamas. We snorkeled in warm water and ate fresh conch while learning to trim sails, set the anchor, and navigate through coral heads. I learned sailing is one of life’s greatest joys, and 30 years later I’m still thrilled each time I raise the main and feel the wind’s promise—even on blustery days in colder waters.