Conor Smith

Sailor. Marine Scientist. MacGyver.


What is your favorite water sport or sea-based activity, and how did you get into it?
Sailing. There was not much of a conscious decision with this, though. I was born into a sailing family and was first brought aboard our family sailboat when I was only 21 days old. I've been close to the water just about every day since that moment.
If you were alone on a sailboat for a year, what 3 personal items would you bring?
Plenty of tools and spare parts, something to access Wikipedia, and a camera.
What is it about the sea that draws you to it?
The ruggedness of it. The lack of rules. The remorselessness. On land, everything is strictly outlined by rules and clear markings. Roads have lanes, speed limits, crosswalks, and traffic signals all telling you where to go. Cars have anti-lock brakes, automatic transmissions, and computers warning you about cars ahead of you and objects behind you. It's easy. It's predefined.

On the ocean, it is challenging and undefined. There are perennially changing winds, currents, and patternless waves, not to mention boat breakdowns and distractions all around the boat. It is the captain and crew’s knowledge and actions that keep people safe, and this draws a clear line between a successful voyage and an unsuccessful voyage.

The sea forces you to partner experience, skills, knowledge with proper preparation, and this can culminate into creating a sailor's dream or work of art: an uneventful voyage.
If you could spend 1 hour with anyone in the entire world, alive or dead, who would it be?
Neil Armstrong
Would you rather read the book or see the movie?
I would rather read the book if I have time. But often I just have to settle with watching the movie. Luckily, the best sailing movie of all time, Captain Ron, does not have a corresponding book.

Conor Smith prepares the Waterlust crew for a sailing and kiteboarding adventure off the coast of Florida.

Name one thing you never leave home without.
A leatherman and a flashlight. I love being prepared and I feel quite naked without them. Having them with me, I feel like I can fix anything or overcome whatever is in my way.
What’s your connection to Sperry?
Clearly growing up in the sailing and boating world, Sperry is close to my heart as a well known brand and supplier of all things sailing gear related. In 2015 I had the opportunity to go on a sailing adventure with Sperry, where four other travelers and I went to the northeastern corner of the US, where we sailing in the Atlantic, then we later cruised in the Equatorial Pacific.

That experience was a ton of fun and really eye opening for me, plus it gave me the opportunity to become closely involved with a brand that I have been connected with since I was a kid.
Conor Smith Quote

“You can do whatever you want to do in your life, it just has to take priority over everything else.” -Anonymous


Scientists. Adventurers. Photographers. Lovers of all things water.
John Dunaway
Captain. Sailor. Waterman. Maritime photographer. Adventurer.
Emily Penn
Oceans advocate. Changemaker. Artist.