Brion’s back to chat with Andy about some more technical aspects of yacht rigging, specifically to how it relates to ocean sailing, in Part 2 of yesterday’s interview. They discuss proper preventers, rig tune, rig inspections, Dynex Dux and the advent of synthetics, and much more.…Read More
Master Rigger Brion Toss is on the show today for Part 1 of a very long and enlightening conversation with one of Andy’s heroes. Andy met Brion in 2009 at the Annapolis Sailboat Show, and their conversation was the deciding factor in outfitting Arcturus with synthetic rigging. Brion comes on the podcast to discuss his own history as a rigger and sailor. In Part 2, they discuss the more technical aspects of rigging.…Read More
We’ve been in Penang for a couple of days now, catching up on projects. This afternoon, after the sun disappeared behind the condos backing the marina and the air cooled, Jamie and I took a walk around and looked at the other boats. Primary takeaway: the sun, she is strong!
Many boats had some degree of the damage shown here: a protective cover worn thin from UV (see the tear?), with stitching so rotted it’s literally breaking apart in place. Is the UV strip material a low quality knockoff? Not sure. Was UV resistant PTFE thread used? Highly unlikely. Sailmakers don’t like this thread because it’s expensive and difficult to work with.…Read More
You probably won’t be too surprised to learn that I’ve been thinking about jury-steering systems ever since my little adventure back in January aboard the catamaran Be Good Too. One thing I’ve wondered is whether we might have managed to save the boat if we’d had a proper drogue onboard to try steering with. If we’d been able to neutralize the effect of the bent port rudder, which was constantly steering the boat to starboard, by either losing the rudder entirely (not really feasible) or by letting it swing freely (which would have been easy if we’d known the rudder was bent before we “fixed” it), I’m quite certain the boat could have been steered with a properly sized drogue.…Read More
Vang Sheeting is a term that describes a method, on windier days, of controlling the up and down movement of your boom (mainsail twist) by setting the boom vang and then controlling the in and out movement via the main sheet – big puff = ease the main sheet. The alternative, traveler sheeting, uses the mainsheet to control twist and the traveler to control in and out motion – big puff = lower the traveler. Which is better? As with most sail trim questions, the answer is “it depends”. Here are some questions about the boat you sail that need to be answered before you can decide:
How effective/powerful is your boom vang?…Read More
How do you get online as an active cruiser?
On one hand, the prospect of cruising means freedom from the always-on, always-connected world. Liberating, right? It can be. But if you’re like me, you might get kind of twitchy. I admit: the first year was hard. It was used to instant gratification for simple tasks. Before long, though, we became accustomed to going without access, and changing the way we consume media to minimizing our use when we could get online.
At the moment, we’ve lucked into a great internet connection. Scoring a login to wifi from the hotel fronting Totem’s marina berth means we have a window of unlimited data on a pretty good signal.…Read More
Flag etiquette rules aren’t required as a cruiser, but you should know the basics to avoid embarrassing yourself or offending others. Beyond that is up to you, but there’s a whole language to flags that is interesting to learn. As a fan of flag etiquette. I like to think I know a few things about flags, but I learned so much from this great infographic that reader John Tissot of the East Freemantle Yacht Club emailed!
Eleven years ago this month, we sailed with a group of fellow Seattle Yacht Club members on an organized cruise. It was our first time clearing into another country, and we were so excited to use our snappy new Canadian courtesy flag when we cleared in at Ganges.…Read More
Andy spoke with master rigger Brion Toss from Bermuda several years back about the art and science of a proper rope whipping. It was originally for an article in Yachting World, but we’ve repurposed it into another Essay Friday episode. Brion is set to come on the podcast soon for a full-on interview, but in the meantime, enjoy his philosophy on rope whippings and learn a thing or two this week!…Read More
What do you want to know about downwind sails? It turns out, more than we expected! Last month’s post on the best sails for downwind cruising was an answer for a friend, but it prompted other questions in responses- here on the blog and on Totem’s Facebook page. Jamie has many years of experience as a sailmaker, and is happy to help clarify or do Q&A.
This isn’t about light air sails, but downwind sails. Of course, that gets a little complicated because genoas, jibs, and Code Zero sails are upwind or downwind sails. The punchline, to spare rereading the old post: for cruisers, Jamie likes the “Cruising Code Zero” (CCZ) as the most versatile of downwind sails.…Read More
Garmin Hamble Winter Series #2 Report
(Hamble, England)- There might have been a mixed bag of weather conditions but the central Solent hosted some great, close racing for the second weekend of the 2014 Garmin Hamble Winter Series, this week comprising the first of two MDL Hamble Big Boats championship weekends. To say the weather was benign might be the understatement of the week- t-shirts, shorts and shades for many aboard the J/111s, J/109s, J/88s and J/97s!
For the second race of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series the forecast predicted a light Northeasterly wind that would build to around 17 knots as the day went on, and so it proved, with all classes fitting in two races from a start-line near Hill Head.…Read More
I do a fair amount of singlehanded coastal cruising during the summer, usually just going out for a quick overnight whenever an opportunity presents itself. When departing my mooring at Portland Yacht Services (or any mooring for that matter), it has long been my practice to raise the mainsail before dropping the mooring pennant. That way I can get sailing ASAP, usually immediately. When anchoring or picking up a mooring, however, my habit for many years has been to douse and stow the mainsail first, then secure the boat.
But when you’re sailing singlehanded this is often stressful, particularly on the Maine coast during the summer, when there are lobster pots everywhere waiting to catch a turning propeller.…Read More
Having decided that part of this summer’s cruising program on Lunacy will involve a two-week jaunt over to Nova Scotia and back, it dawned on me that I needed to make sure I actually have charts for Nova Scotia. In the previous century, which really wasn’t that long ago, this would have been a simple process. I would consult my ever-growing stack of paper charts, discover I had no relevant charts, and then call the Armchair Sailor in Newport. These people were personally known to me, and I was known to them. I would say: “Hi! Howzit going? I’m sailing to Nova Scotia.…Read More