WGBH Openvault

Under Sail; Spinnakers


License Clip

More material is available from this program at the WGBH Archive. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

Undigitized item: Request Digitization

Untranscribed item: Request Transcription

Under Sail
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

Spinnakers- their theory, practice, care and handling- form the focus of this program, as host Robbie Doyle takes us out on a larger boat with two students. As the spinnaker gear is rigged, viewers make a careful inspection of the boat and its safety accouterments before taking off. At the end of a sail around the bay, we learn how to dry the spinnaker and repack it for later use. This show also features some discussion of weight distribution.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Harney, Greg (Series Producer)
Piens (Series Producer)
Chicago: “Under Sail; Spinnakers,” 04/21/1983, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed June 17, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A986FF006CE24D52AA8EB53CDB9EDBCE.
MLA: “Under Sail; Spinnakers.” 04/21/1983. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. June 17, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A986FF006CE24D52AA8EB53CDB9EDBCE>.
APA: Under Sail; Spinnakers. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_A986FF006CE24D52AA8EB53CDB9EDBCE
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.