Sailfeed
January 19th

Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 19, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Torqeedo_TorqTrac_Module_cPanbo.jpg

I declared my love for the Torqeedo 1003 electric outboard in 2011 and the feeling only deepened after two seasons of long testing, despite a glitch or two. Well, wow, the same motor has run like a top ever since, and as of a few days ago, it has a very cool accessory. The TorqTrac Bluetooth module and apps were announced some time ago, but apparently the $149 kit is only becoming available now. The version 1.0 app does not look like what was originally announced, or even what’s shown at Torqeedo USA right now, but my first underway tests suggest that TorqTrac is going to add some nice spice and utility to my Torqeedo 1003 relationship…

Torqeedo_TorqTrac_Module_test_cPanbo.jpg

First I did a dry run in Gizmo’s salon.…

Read More
January 17th
DSC01138

The net is just buzzing with talk about Cuba since the release yesterday (Jan 16, 2015) of the new US regulations regarding the embargo. Everyone wants to go to Cuba – nothing new there – but just what do the new regulations actually say? That’s the real question, and it’s not being properly answered by most of the people discussing it.
For those of a legal bent, I’m going to include links to the new regs at the end of this article, so you can nitpick to your heart’s content. For the rest of us, it’ll be a bit more ad hoc.…

Read More
January 16th

2016 Bermuda Race to go All-ORR

Posted by // January 16, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

AND it will be the 50th Newport Bermuda Race. The word —

By John Rousmaniere

When the Newport Bermuda Race is next sailed in 2016, it will be scored by one handicapping system, the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR). The ORR calculates each boat’s speed potential based on its dimensions, using a Velocity Prediction Program (VPP). The ORR has been used in the Newport Bermuda Race since 2006, following many years of handicapping under other VPP systems.

The announcement was made by Race Chairman A. J. Evans (Red Bank, NJ). He noted that the 2016 race will be a double anniversary year for the Newport Bermuda Race.…

Read More
January 16th

Garmin GNX 120/130, 7- and 10-inch NMEA 2000 instrument displays

Posted by // January 16, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

,

Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 16, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Garmin_GNX130_showing_green_BSP_aPanbo.jpgThis morning Garmin announced the $900 7-inch GNX 120 and the $1,500 10-inch GNX 130 (above) with planned delivery in February and May respectively. They use what’s called “high-precision glass-bonded monochrome ultra-glow LCD displays” and the data backlighting can be switched to most any color. Set up is done with those onscreen touch buttons or with a new GNX Keypad . Over 50 NMEA 2000 data types will be recognized and there will be five display configurations including “single, dual and triple functions, plus Gauge and Graph mode”…

Garmin_GNX130_showing_yellow_DPT_aPanbo.jpgI can picture these displays becoming popular on high-end motor yachts — much as B&G instruments have earned space on many megayacht bridges — but obviously the focus is performance sailing.…

Read More
January 15th

A handful of epoxy hints

Posted by // January 15, 2015 // COMMENT (2 Comments)

, , ,

I’ve been doing a lot of epoxy work this last week and it has got me thinking how much easier this stuff is than when I first started. Sure, I’m more skilled now than I was but much of it has to do with simple habits which allow me to move quickly and surely when working with the stuff. With that in mind, here are a handful of tricks that have helped me this week. I’ll try to update this as I think of them.

Having a good set of mixing buckets will save you time and materials. Yoghurt containers work great in a pinch but they’re really not the right shape.…

Read More
January 15th

By Kimball Livingston Posted January 14, 2015

wanderbirdThe screening of a rough-cut documentary doesn’t always draw a crowd, but apparently there’s something about the Cape Horn rounding of the schooner, Wander Bird, and black and white footage that, for once, does not shrink the waves. They look really big. Or maybe the camera did shrink the waves, and they were really, really, really big.

(There’s this saying, How do you flatten an angry sea? Take a picture of it.)

Director Oleg Harencar and producer Don Zimmer embarked a while back upon documenting some of the great characters of the Marin waterfront.…

Read More
January 14th

Icom M424G & 324G VHF with GPS, and DSC embarrassment

Posted by // January 14, 2015 // COMMENT (1 Comment)

Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 14, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

ICOM_IC-M423G_GPS_VHF_aPanbo.jpgI’m visiting Gizmo in less chilly North Carolina for a week (before TrawlerFest) and was reminded that just before leaving in November, I experienced the first DSC Urgency message I’d ever seen. My reaction was slightly embarassing, but the U.S. Coast Guard response was impressive, as will be detailed below. For now, let’s just say that DSC is a potentially excellent but underused safety tool and thus, it’s good news that Icom has upgraded two of its fixed VHF radio models to include internal GPS sensors, so they will be ready to make DSC distress calls almost the moment power and antenna are attached.…

Read More
January 14th
North channel

I’m a new face here on Sailfeed, but certainly not a new face to SAIL Magazine readers, as I’ve been writing for SAIL for nearly ten years. Nonetheless, I’m very excited about being able to speak with you here on Sailfeed, and I look forward to many conversations with you. First though, a bit of an introduction, to me, and to what to expect from me here.

I’m a full time cruiser living the dream, (and let’s be honest, occasionally it’s a nightmare!), out of Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay – truly some of the world’s best cruising grounds along with the North Channel of Lake Huron.…

Read More
January 13th

RIO GUADIANA CRUISE: Between Time and Portugal

Posted by // January 13, 2015 // COMMENT (1 Comment)

Guadiana aerial

I was sitting in the cockpit of Crazy Horse, my old Alberg 35 yawl, toes contracted in the thin film of cold dew that clung to the boat, cup of hot coffee in hand, watching the sun struggle to emerge from behind the distant hills and fill the river with light. Instinctively, I groped for my watch, a habit remembered from my life ashore, and wondered: what time could it be now? And at once I was struck by the absurdity of the question.

It said something of the nature of cruising under sail, I realized, that it was only the previous day, after having spent nearly a week on the river, that we finally discovered that the clocks on the west bank (in Portugal) were an hour behind those on the east bank (in Spain).…

Read More
January 13th

Webb Chiles

Posted by // January 13, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Listen Now.

Webb Chiles is a sailing legend.  Andy and he spoke about his sailing philiosophy, what it’s like to survive for 26-hours floating in the ocean, rounding the Horn and whether or not there is a god (yep, it’s deep). 

You may not have heard too much about Webb, and that’s kind of by design. Webb is an artist as much as he is a sailor (read his work at inthepresentsea.com), and he’s about as pure as they come in the sailing world. He’s been around the world a full five times, and set a myriad of records, including first American to sail solo around Cape Horn, and fastest aorund the world alone, beating Sir Francis Chichester’s record in the 1970s (which has of course since been demolished). 

In his 70s now, Webb is about to embark on his sixth circumnaviagation, this time in a 24-foot light-displacement day-racer, which he’s been sailing for a while (luxurious compared to his lap of the globe in an 18-foot open yawl).…

Read More