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Under Sail; Rules of the Sea


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Under Sail
Rules of the Sea
Program Number


Series Description

Broadcast in 1983 Batten down the hatches, because WGBH Boston is taking to the water with Under Sail, public television’s unprecedented ”how-to” series on the art of sailing. The eight-part series will take viewers from the very basics of the sport right through to the more advanced aspects, employing a range of vessels and experts along the way in on-the-water instruction. The series was shot primarily at the Longboat Key Club in Sarasota, Florida, with Caribbean side trips to St. Croix and Tortola.

The series host was Robbie Doyle, former US Olympic sailing team member and member of the 1977 America’s Cup winning team. Series regulars included Mr. Knot (Brion Toss), The Commodore (Warwick Tompkins), Harry the Loser (Tom O’Brien) and sailboard expert Kay Robberson.

Produced in association with Sail Magazine.

Series release date: 1983

Program Description

“Rule of the Road” the guidelines by which sea persons conduct themselves and their vessels safely- play a central role in this segment. Also, viewers join host Robbie Doyle on a slightly larger, more stable boat than he’s used in earlier episodes, to examine how the shape of the sails and tools for sail-shaping affect the balance of forces at work on the water. The program employs historical vessels and racing boats to help explain sail shape and “Rules of the Road,” respectively.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Harney, Greg (Series Producer)
Piens (Series Producer)
Chicago: “Under Sail; Rules of the Sea,” 04/01/1983, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed November 13, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_430AB013EC834C8ABA371C814B2DA1AE.
MLA: “Under Sail; Rules of the Sea.” 04/01/1983. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. November 13, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_430AB013EC834C8ABA371C814B2DA1AE>.
APA: Under Sail; Rules of the Sea. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_430AB013EC834C8ABA371C814B2DA1AE
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