More than six months ago our battery bank ticked past the five year mark. That’s a pretty good life for marine AGMs, so we’ve been thinking for a while about where and how it would be replaced. You can’t always count on easy access to boat bits in the islands of Southeast Asia, so the big concern is that the bank would nosedive in an inconvenient location with complicated and costly results. We wanted to wait as long as possible, but expected it to become necessary at any moment, making it the top priority in a string of power projects on Totem but one that hung in the air for several months.…Read More
Split Rigs According to Perry, by Bob Perry
the term “split rig” to describe any boat with more than one mast.
Written by Ben Ellison on Apr 10, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
The press release for the new Garmin instruments doesn’t mention it — and I didn’t notice it at first myself — but can you see what’s quite unusual about these monochrome displays? The GNX 20 at left and its inverted GNX 21 sibling have LCD screens that are partly segmented and partly dot matrix. I didn’t even know that was possible, but I think it makes sense in terms of maximum power efficiency without completely surrendering to the readability limitations of large segments…
The GNX 21 true wind speed/angle screen above illustrates the segment/dot matrix mix pretty well, especially if you click to make it bigger, and the inset depth/depth graph does it even better, though I don’t have a high resolution version.…Read More
Speaking of catamarans, this is a new Maine Cat launch coming up this year that I’m looking forward to. I love cats like this–lean and mean and simple, with enough accommodations that you can really go somewhere in them, but not so much that the boat gets fat and slow. This is an open bridgedeck design, similar to the Scape 39 Sport Cruiser I sailed across the South Atlantic a few years ago, but not quite as severe, with some serious hardtop shelter on deck. Basically it looks to be an open-air saloon. Or a huge pilothouse. Take your pick.…Read More
Anchoring involves a set of skills and knowledge that is often overlooked. Too often the ability to anchor properly is taken for granted. The feeling that all you have to do is “toss the anchor into the water and tie it to the boat” is far from the truth and can be dangerous. Here are a few suggestions that may help you to anchor successfully:
1) Select a location with a good holding ground. Remember, most anchors work by digging into the bottom. If you do not take steps to make sure this happens then your anchor will not hold regardless of how big it is.…Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Apr 8, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
I wish that track was on the water, but testing WaveTrax auto boat logging over the road is impressive, nonetheless. Running on my iPad mini, the app not only collects a track point every minute, but automatically creates log entries marking my Lat/Long, COG, and SOG on the hour (and at user selectable distances). It’s fairly easy to add notes, captioned photos, engine/fuel status, and weather observations as desired, and when a trip is done, I even get to touch scribble a signature. But that’s hardly half of it…
WaveTrax is both an app and a synchronized personal website, and in my view, that’s the way to go for tasks like this.…Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Apr 5, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
There are still patches of icy snow left from a memorable March in Maine, but I enjoyed a recent afternoon wandering around the boatyard checking out shaft cutters. Pictured above is the Shaft Razor that’s been protecting Gizmo from line wraps since the spring of 2010. Like my stainless rudder it picked up a lot of barnacles last fall, but that double set of super-sharp serrated teeth were still quite effective. The Shaft Razor is also a good value that has required zero maintenance, and while I saw some interesting competition around the yard, I wouldn’t trade it…
First, here’s a closer look at the Shaft Razor that better shows its simple one-piece design and diabolical teeth.…Read More
I had a very weird dream last night that all my photos of Frankie were dissapearing from my computer and only visible on my iphone. So I thought I had better post this view of Frankie before it sails away into my iphone forever.
Kim motyored Frankie over to Shilshole Marina this morning. It was choppy and blowing 15 to 20. He hit a big tugboat wake and a freighter wake. He was very impressed at the boats’s lack of reaction to the waves. He said it was “rock steady”. I questioned him about slamming going into the steep head sea chop we get so often around here.…Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Apr 3, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
The goal is to direct your focus wherever it’s needed on or beyond the boat while still having critical data in sight. Brand spanking new today is the Afterguard heads-up display (HUD) for racing sailors. Yes, recent America’s Cup skippers apparently used HUD sunglasses, though you’re a better researcher than I if you can find detail about how they worked and what data they provided. Afterguard intends to bring this technology down at least a few levels, and that means we get a better look at what it can do.…Read More
(Warsash, England)- It was a busy time for Warsash Sailing Club on 12th/13th April with racing on both days for the opening of the Brooks Macdonald Warsash Spring Championship and the fifth Sunday of the Spring Series. As the weather became warmer, entry numbers have increased so that some 140 boats were out to enjoy the full schedule of racing. During the two days, the race officers ran over 50 separate races – a challenging but rewarding weekend all round.
Saturday– Day One
For Black Group, the south-westerly breeze started light but built by the end of the afternoon to a brisk 17 knots.…
Here are some photos of FRANCIS LEE on her first sail. It was a wonderful day, with no rain and just a light breeze. Maybe we saw 8 knots of wind at one time. There was a race starting so we sort of tagged along without getting on anyone’s air. Frankie is very fast, well balanced and very close winded. As far as I can tell in less than 8 knots of wind anyway.…Read More