Other than the fact that they both started sailing at the ripe old age of 4, in some ways the two sailors couldn’t be more different. One cut his teeth aboard Turnabouts on a Maine lake before discovering the joys of cruising during family charters on Long Island Sound, off Rhode Island, and along the coast of Florida. Far away, on the opposite side of the Atlantic, the other sailor’s seagoing fire was stoked by adventures on his dad’s lateen-rigged inflatable and 27-foot homebuilt catamaran, on which his family ventured into the Adriatic and roamed among the Kornati islands between the old-world ports of Venice and Dubrovnik, enjoying the magic of traveling under sail.
Their subsequent journeys took equally divergent paths, but David W. Shaw and Dieter Loibner, the Yank and the Austrian, have now found common ground as the newest associate editors to join the staff of Cruising World. With their shared love of boats, words, and water, we’re very pleased they’re here.
Though David earned a degree in magazine journalism from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, for much of his professional life his journey as a writer has been devoted to the art and craft of authoring books, and a prolific trip it’s been. Among his several works of narrative nonfiction are Flying Cloud, whose protagonist is the female navigator of America’s most famous clipper ship; The Sea Shall Embrace Them, which recounts the sinking of the steamship Arctic in 1854; America’s Victory, a stirring onboard account of the first America’s Cup race in 1851; and Sea Wolf of the Confederacy, the Civil War tale of a historic Confederate raid on New England in 1863.
Working as a writer from his base in New Jersey also gave David time to pursue his passion for sailing, which he did with relish after purchasing his first boat, the Bristol 24 Elizabeth, in the early 1990s. For the next several years, he spent summers rambling about the major waterways of the Northeast: from Jersey’s Manasquan Inlet to Mount Desert, Maine, and to Lake Ontario and the Thousand Islands via the Hudson River-Erie Canal link. These days, David skippers Sonata, a “classic plastic” 1981 Pearson 36 cutter that he delivered from Maine to her new home on Rhode Island’s Sakonnet River soon after taking his post with CW.
Dieter’s educational background is decidedly continental: He holds a Ph.D. in political science and journalism from Austria’s University of Vienna. Fittingly, it’s his talent and versatility as a journalist that originally caught our eye. For nearly two decades, Dieter has written for sailing publications all over the world covering nearly ever facet of the yachting scene: cruising, racing, boat tests, restoration, the America’s Cup, and the Olympic Games. He, too, is a book author, having recently written The Folkboat Story, the definitive study of one of his favorite all-time designs. And just prior to joining our team, he worked at West Marine, where he wrote the West Advisors for the company’s ubiquitous catalogs.
Like most of us here, when Dieter’s not writing about sailing, he’s generally out doing it. He’s an accomplished racing sailor who’s competed internationally aboard Finns and Star boats, with plenty of additional experience on dinghies, beach catamarans, and small keelboats. His cruising resume includes stints in the Mediterranean and down the trades through the Leeward Islands. With an eclectic sailing background, an eye for detail, and plenty of hands-on technical expertise, he brings a new dimension to our masthead.
I’m biased, of course, but I sincerely believe I have the honor of working with the best staff of any magazine in the marine field. With the addition of David and Dieter, we’re pleased to have added two more outstanding sailors, writers, and journalists. Come to think of it, maybe they aren’t so different after all. In fact, you could say our newest editors are cut from the same cloth. Sailcloth, that is.