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Jim Stubbs brings the art of and science of sailing together.

Jim Stubbs photographs taken on the Schooner Welcome. Courtesy new owners Jeremy & Marissa McArdlee.It’s hard to imagine a more exotic trade than the sail maker. He designs and builds a defining archetype, the very thing that gives the sailboat its name. The sailing vessel itself extends back in time through the millennia, carrying fishermen, cargo, explorers and settlers throughout the known and unknown parts of the world. And the vast majority of these ships depended upon their sails and the wind to get them to where they were going.

Whether it was a simple fishing boat sailing the ancient Nile, captain James Cook’s square riggers slowly wending their way through the islands of Polynesia, or a sleek, new America’s Cup yacht plying a race course, every sailing ship requires a designer to develop an effective sail plan and a craftsman to build an efficient sail. In the last century, the craft of sail-making has evolved into a thoroughly modern art and science. Nowadays sail makers tend to be few and far between, but it’s worth noting that Hilton Head Island has one to call its very own.

Fair weather and mild winters bring yachts to the waters of Hilton Head Island.

Fair weather and mild winters bring yachts to the waters of Hilton Head Island.It’s a rite of passage that occurs each spring and fall, those times of transition in weather highlighted by the slow, stately approach of yachts to the waters of Hilton Head Island.

“It’s a natural place to take a break,” said George Barr, captain of Camaraderie, a sleek 52-foot Tayana cutter-rigged ketch. “After sailing on the open ocean for eight or ten hours, you really want to get off the boat for a while and have dinner at a good restaurant.”

A few years ago, Barr retired as an IT specialist for a national electronics firm. Shortly after his last day at work, he and his wife Janet finally realized their dream of living and traveling aboard their sailboat, which they had painstakingly refitted. On their first extended passage, they set sail from their home port in North Carolina and headed south along the Eastern Seaboard for the Caribbean. Hurricane season had run its course, and it was finally safe to untie the dock lines.

Local fishing family shares its passion for water sports with the Lowcountry.

Charles and Sheri Getsinger, the owners and co-captains of the Hilton Head Boating Center.Charles Getsinger, a licensed charter boat captain and owner of the Hilton Head Boating Center, can’t remember the first fish he ever caught, or even the biggest. But that’s because as an avid fisherman and boater, he’s caught many big fish over the years, including sharks, blue marlin, cobia, and several other Lowcountry favorites.

“We’ve caught everything there is to catch around here at one time or another,” said Getsinger, who regularly fishes with his wife and business partner, Sheri Getsinger. They have been fishing in the Hilton Head Island and Beaufort area all their lives. Charles grew up in Ridgeland, was a charter captain off of Hilton Head Island for 12 years, and guided hundreds of novice and experienced fishermen on excursions around the area’s numerous waterways.