Sailfeed
April 4th

inReach SE, will the screen do it?

Posted by // April 4, 2013 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Boats and Gear,

Written by Ben Ellison on Apr 4, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

DeLorme_inReach_SE_collage_Panbo.jpg

I was so focused on finally heading north that I forgot the April 1 announcement of DeLorme's new inReach SE, even though one standard step in getting Gizmo underway these days is firing up the original inReach for tracking, messaging, and much more (as discussed here last fall). But my forgetfulness does not indicate a lack of appreciation for the new model (which I've already handled briefly in prototype form). To the contrary, I think the SE (Screen Edition)  will likely make a lot of boaters as enthusiastic about the whole inReach concept as I've already become…

Just putting the color screen on the inReach makes it a lot easier for people to understand all that the system can do.…

Read More
April 3rd

CRUISING VIEQUES: Visit to the Bay of Death

Posted by // April 3, 2013 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Cruising, ,

Warning sign Vieques

IT IS DIFFICULT when visiting Vieques by boat these days to get reliable information on where exactly you're allowed to go. During my exploration of the Spanish Virgin Islands this winter I've had three different set of charts aboard–all published after the U.S. Navy stopped using the island as a gunnery range–and they are maddeningly inaccurate and inconsistent about what areas are still restricted. Going ashore at Bahia Salina del Sur on Monday morning, however, Phil "Snake Wake" Cavanaugh and I were confronted with some very explicit signs (see photo up top) that suggested our presence might be prohibited.

We had arrived at the bay after sailing over from Culebrita the previous day through a series of squalls.…

Read More
April 3rd

War On Corrosion

Posted by // April 3, 2013 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

,

 
My can opener didn’t always have vice grips attached.  Once upon a time, it had a plastic handle.  And then one day last December, the handle simply fell off.  The plastic hadn’t broken – the metal underneath had rusted away.  And so, in fine cruiser fashion, I improvised.
Not to be cranky, but metal on a boat is a pain in the neck.  If it is metal, it will corrode.  Unless I build everything out of Platinum, the salt water is going to get to it eventually.
Our hull is made of Aluminum.  That’s great if you plan to ram into a tree trunk and not sink, but it has a downside: our hull wants to be a battery.  In the galvanic series for stagnant saltwater, Aluminum sits at position number 34 of 39.  That means that, in salt water at least, Aluminum is a giver.  Aluminum acts as a sacrificial anode for the 33 metals sitting above it on the list.  And guess what?  I don’t want my hull to be so generous.  Keep your electrons, I say!  Don’t accept that current!  Only Uranium, Cadmium, Beryllium, Zinc and Magnesium sit down below Aluminum.  And as I somehow don’t fancy bolting a bunch of Uranium to my hull, I guess we’ll just have to keep replacing our Zincs as they disappear into the salty blue.…
Read More
April 2nd

Skiff

Posted by // April 2, 2013 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Cruising,

Mar31 1

Kids are recuperating from this latest bout of whatever the hell it is. Bacteria-itis will be my new term for any illness that results in puking or pooping. I tell you what, a boat can feel like one heck of a small place with two sick kids onboard.

We did make it over to the beach today. There is a picture in our last post of a little fisherman’s skiff, well today we were playing with the kids when I turned around and noticed that a guy well into his sixties, and maybe half my size was having trouble dragging that skiff up onto the beach.…

Read More
April 1st

The America’s Cup Is Over

Posted by // April 1, 2013 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Racing, , , ,

Emirates Team New Zealand has been ahead of the pack with foiling, training, and overall preparation. So it's almost unfair that they have found yet another level of performance following a wildly creative design breakthrough.

I'd say all the other teams are toast and Larry could save a lot of money by simply shipping the Cup to Auckland right now:

Read More
April 1st

The End of Keels?

Posted by // April 1, 2013 // COMMENT (3 Comments)

Boats and Gear, , ,

http://sailfeed.com/sites/default/files/field/image/SteveBoat%20034.JPG

Multihull sailors have been saying it since the sixties: “If you want to sail fast, get the lead out!”

Now the monohull world has caught on, and lead keels are being ditched like old dishwater.

“I got rid of seven tons of lead in my keel, now replaced with foam, and hey, big surprise, my boat sails way faster, especially off the wind,” says Francis Scupper, a weekend racer from Tampa, Florida.

Ted Neary, owner of KKMI boatyard in San Francisco, says, “I haven’t seen anything like this since in-boom furling. Back then a whole wave of sailors replaced their conventional booms with in-boom furling, and we had this mounting stack of perfectly good booms headed for the scrap yard.

Read More
March 31st

Singing in the Rain

Posted by // March 31, 2013 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Cruising, ,

Rainy days are always a treat on board.  Well, okay.  Rainy days in the tropics are a treat,because it is warm outside.  Rainy days in, oh, I don’t know, New Zealand, when it’s Christmas and it’s freezing and your in-laws are visiting and a gale is blowing and the anchorage is too bumpy to take the dinghy to land and you’re all stuck below decks for five days and all you do is cook and peel excited children off the ceiling and cook and brew more tea and cook and cook… those days aren’t my number one choice.  But warm + rainy = fun.…

Read More
March 30th

CRUISING CULEBRA: Tsunamis & War Junk

Posted by // March 30, 2013 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Cruising, ,

Tsunami sign

One thing that has changed since the last time I cruised these waters in the late 1990s is that now everywhere you go in the Spanish Virgins and the east coast of Puerto Rico you see these tsunami warning signs. I wasn't aware that tsunamis are a serious threat in the Caribbean, so I'm wondering what the point of these is. Maybe it's the fruit of some kind of sweetheart deal between the sign manufacturer and the local government.

Of course, I did know that the U.S. military has been a major presence here until fairly recently, but still it kind of surprised me the other day when the current crew of Lunacy (i.e., me and SEMOSA's Treasurer and Minister of Mindless Enthusiasm, Phil "Snake Wake" Cavanaugh) anchored off the islet of Cayo de Luis Pena and went ashore to find the decayed concrete remnants of some sort of WWII installation.…

Read More
March 30th

Sick Boat

Posted by // March 30, 2013 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Cruising,

Mar29 1

Ouest started acting weird at breakfast and we could tell she was sick. “Me not sick, me not sick.” She insisted she felt okay and was adamant that she wanted to go to the playground as usual. So off we all went down the dock. About ten slips down she stopped short and projectile vomited. She then proceeded to cry all the way back to the boat. Not because she was sick, but because we wouldn’t let her go to the park. Telling a kid they should “take it easy” is like telling a crack addict they should take a day off the pipe.…

Read More