Southbound to Chesapeake Bay

24 Sep

We still didn’t get to do all the rounds of goodbyes we wanted in Connecticut. We didn’t even just to see everyone we hoped to see. Our summer was full to overflowing in all the best ways, but if one word had to describe it, it’s “BUSY.” Seasonal change and a nip in the air turned us south.

Dinner on Totem in Noank with the well-salted Van Zandt and Bohlen families

Dinner on Totem in Noank with the well-salted Van Zandt and Bohlen families

Getting underway again, starting the transit toward lower latitudes, resuming our cruiser rhythm… it feels good. In the bustle of our summer, we lost some of the time we ...

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Testing Raymarine Quantum Q24 radar, solid on many levels

22 Sep

Written by Ben Ellison on Sep 22, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Raymarine_Quantum_Q24_displayed_on_eS128_cPanbo.jpgThat’s very good radar imagery in my experience, especially given that it’s the fully automated output of a relatively small and affordable radome which can be super easy to install. Note, for instance, how well it’s separating the moored boats in Camden’s recently discussed Outer Harbor and thus usefully revealing the channel into the Inner Harbor (that many visiting boats have trouble finding even in clear daylight). I also got to see how well Raymarine navigation networks can handle dual radar scanners and how sophisticated their ...

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RIP Terry Kohler

22 Sep
Terry Kohler bathroom fixture magnate and owner of North Sails
I am sad to hear that Terry Kohler has moved on to wherever good people go after they have left this planet. I only met him once although I see his name numerous times on my morning ablutions. Yup he was Mr Bathroom Fixture, but he was also a very decent guy. So here is my one and only Terry 
Kohler story.
Quite a few years ago I did the Chicago Mackinac race on the boat owned by the then editor of Sailing Magazine – great magazine by the way. Micca ...
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Shops That Float: Power Tools for Cruising.

20 Sep

tools-three

Like everyone, we found deciding what to leave behind and what to bring on our cruise difficult. I put myself in charge of power tool selection and feel like you can get by with 5 power tools for a 1 year cruise. With these tools I’ve milled down rough lumber and built a rear seat, fabricated a new aft chainplate, and cut custom teak pieces for various  projects around the boat. You can certainly get by with out these tools, but having them aboard will enable you to pretty much build and fabricate whatever you need aboard out of almost ...

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2016 NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW: The Resurrection of Gunboat and Other Developments

18 Sep

Xavier Desmarest

I can say without doubt the most interesting conversation I had while cruising the docks at Newport on Thursday was with this man, Xavier Desmarest, one of the principals of Grand Large Yachting, seen here closing his eyes and tapping his toes and wishing perhaps he were back in Kansas, or France, as the case may be. Grand Large, you’ll recall, is the French firm that recently purchased the bankrupted remains of Gunboat at auction. And to give you an idea of what a quirky guy Xavier can be: immediately after I snapped this shot he popped open ...

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Tether of not? That’s the question

16 Sep


It has been a while since I wrote that piece about lifejackets and whether or not they should be worn at all times. It certainly caused a stir and I even got my very first death threat. I am not sure if the person would have actually gone through with it but he seemed pretty riled up. He was for wearing lifejackets at all times in case you were wondering. So, since it has been a while I thought that I would stir things up once more. This time it’s about the use of life harnesses. Yup as you might ...
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Chapter 6 – Where Art and Science Meet – Part 1

15 Sep
Chapter 6 is an in-depth look at the sailmaking process from how sails used to be made to how they are made these days in a modern sail loft. There is a lot to cover from basic design elements like sail geometry and engineering to a look at the manufacturing process. There will be three parts to Chapter 6 starting with this one that covers some of the elements of sail design.

You can download this chapter as a pdf here



The basic tools of sailmaking are no longer the stuff of charm and tradition. Where bolts of sailcloth, spools ...
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CATANA 58: A Luxury Cruising Cat With Speed Potential

14 Sep

Catana 58

This is a high-end performance cruising catamaran from France that tries to split the difference between high-speed sailing and posh liveaboard comfort. The design by Christophe Barreau includes all the important features that keep cats sailing their best–narrow hulls, high bridgedeck clearance, very little solid structure forward of the mast, plus high-aspect daggerboards instead of low-aspect keels.

The boat’s construction is also pretty high-tech, with an emphasis on lightweight strength. The hull and deck are fiberglass laminate set in vinylester resin vacuum-bagged over a Divinycell PVC foam core. The hull has an inner skin of Twaron aramid fabric laminated over ...

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Cruising or Racing?

14 Sep
DieterP626119

We’ve all heard the old saw that all it takes to turn a cruiser into a racer is the sight of another boat catching up to us. Sometimes true, sometimes not. Casting a critical eye up the sails to check the trim is hardly racing, it’s sailing your boat well. In fact, the very mention of the R-word leaves many sailors cold, which is a shame because you can have an awful lot of fun getting out on the water in the company of like-minded souls.
Plus, not all races are created equal. More and more clubs are responding to ...

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Navico NASA moves tech support to the cloud

10 Sep

Written by Bill Bishop on Sep 10, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

navico_nasa_logo_aPanbo.jpgMarine electronics tech support is a ritual I’m all too familiar with. Dial the phone, wade through the metaphorical press one for yes, two for no and wait until the tech picks up. For the average boater this can quickly turn into a button pushing slog with unsatisfactory results. Tech: “What version of software are you running?” Boater: I don’t know, where do I find it?” Tech: “Go to the System tab.” Boater: “Where’s the system tab?” Tech: “It’s in Settings.” Boater: “Where’s Settings?” I won’t ...

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