CRASH TEST BOAT: Eight Simulated Emergencies All in One Book!

2 Jun

Propane explosion

Those of you who don’t follow the British sailing comics may have missed the Crash Test Boat series of articles that ran in Yachting Monthly a few years back. It was a brilliant premise, cooked up by then-editor Paul Gelder: lay hands on an average plain-vanilla cruising boat and test it to death, carefully documenting everything that does and does not work when coping with various simulated emergencies. Over a period of eight months, YM systematically “tested to destruction” a 1982 Jeanneau Sun Fizz ketch and created an extremely useful series of articles and videos. All that material is now available in one book, appropriately titled The Crash Test Boat, published by Adlard Coles.…

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CRASH TEST BOAT: Eight Simulated Emergencies All in One Book!

2 Jun

Propane explosion

Those of you who don’t follow the British sailing comics may have missed the Crash Test Boat series of articles that ran in Yachting Monthly a few years back. It was a brilliant premise, cooked up by then-editor Paul Gelder: lay hands on an average plain-vanilla cruising boat and test it to death, carefully documenting everything that does and does not work when coping with various simulated emergencies. Over a period of eight months, YM systematically “tested to destruction” a 1982 Jeanneau Sun Fizz ketch and created an extremely useful series of articles and videos. All that material is now available in one book, appropriately titled The Crash Test Boat, published by Adlard Coles.…

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Inmarsat Fleet One, affordable FleetBroadband for real?

2 Jun

Written by Ben Ellison on Jun 2, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Sailor_Inmarsat_Fleet_One_system_aPanbo.jpgBoaters looking for a reliable, moderately fast satellite Internet connection for light and/or occasional use have learned to be leery of Inmarsat. When FleetBroadband came out in 2009 — particularly the FB150 model with its easily installed 13.5-inch stabilized antenna — it seemed like a reasonably affordable option for bluewater cruising. This promise was confirmed in a terriffic Panbo review series conducted by Gram Schweikert as his family sailed from Maine to New Zealand with both KVH FB150 and Iridium OpenPort antennas mounted on the spreaders.…

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Enter to win a flag- just two days left!

1 Jun
Niall waves the flag

I’m looking forward to picking a name out of the virtual hat (OK, so actually, it’s randomized event executed with a mouse click…), and going through pictures of flags. If you haven’t entered to win yet, you’ve got two days left- that’s two more chances to enter! Well, as long as you have a US or Canadian mailing address. I think the world needs more smiles in it: so please, share this with your friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Flying our pretty ensign

How much do I love flags?

Here’s Totem, anchored in Sydney Harbour for New Years Eve a few year back, we made a string of all the courtesy flags we had on board.…

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Dongfeng’s Volvo 60 goes Transatlantic

30 May

From our friends at the Volvo Ocean Race—

Newport, USA – From Rhode Island to Lorient, France, for the Chinese Sailors onboard Dongfeng this will be their biggest offshore test to date and will bring skipper Charles Caudrelier one step closer to choosing his final race crew for the Volvo Ocean Race.

After weeks of preparation and training the team finally left the dock at Newport Shipyard today at 3pm local time. The air was filled with apprehension and anticipation at what lays ahead and the final hurdle for these novice Chinese offshore sailors.

In only five months Jin Hao Chen (Horace), Jiru Yang (Wolf) and Kong Chen Cheng (Kong) have sailed over 3,500 nautical miles and have endured months of tough physical training, which has brought them to this point.…

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24 hours under martial law

30 May

On May 22, a military coup displaced the elected government in Thailand. They enacted martial law, put a curfew in place, dispersed protests, and quelled media. On May 24, we entered Thailand for a tourist visit.

Did we have to go? Well, Malaysian visas for the kids and I were about to expire (Jamie had a month left, because he’d flown to Singapore for rigging work in March). We had expected head south on Totem several weeks before, but ongoing delays on our engine service made it impossible. We could have applied for a ‘hardship’ extension of 30 days, or… we could go to Thailand for a short visit, and with new visas issued upon return.…

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Navionics Boating app, now with free U.S. charts!

29 May

Written by Ben Ellison on May 29, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Navionics_Boating_app_v7_w_US_Gov_chart_cPanbo.jpgThis is a significant surprise. Version 7.0 of the free Navionics Boating app released today for iPad and iPhone includes the ability to download and use NOAA vector charts, as seen above. Meanwhile, if you already own a Navionics Marine app for iOS, there’s a 7.0 update available which adds “Gov Charts” and the same feature will soon come to Android versions of both the Boating and Marine apps. Navigators who already use Navionics charts on a tablet or phone may find it useful to have NOAA data for comparison, but the big news is that any U.S.…

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Little Freda, Mighty Kelpie: Back from the Edge

29 May

By Kimball Livingston Posted May 29, 2014

Many a 21st century boatman who would never own a woodie will nevertheless spend hours admiring their beauty. I was a younger man when I wrote, “A wooden boat has an aura, and perhaps a soul, that cannot be created on the production line.” I stand by that. And so it is a pleasure to see the renewals, right now, of two great wooden sailing yachts, one from the 19th century, one from the 20th.

FREDA

Freda-salon300w

She launches Saturday without a rig, but Freda will be back

She re-launches Saturday without a rig, but Freda will be back

Built on the shores of San Francisco Bay in 1885, Freda is 32 feet long and the oldest active sailing yacht on the West Coast.…

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Battle of the Pests

28 May

Friends, I am doing something very exciting: for the first time in four years, I am going on vacation. “Amy,” you say, “you live on vacation.”  Well, yes.  But even when I am supposed to be lolling about on a beach somewhere, I am thinking of you, dear reader, and the stories I want to tell you.

But right now, I’m heading home to see my family.  And to mark this momentous occasion, I am going to leave my blog behind for a little while.  Now, don’t start weeping into your hankies just yet.  I’ve dusted off some golden oldies for you to enjoy while I’m gone.  

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The Clipper Race: A Mobile Village

28 May
The elated crew of Derry~Londonderry~Doire finishes second in Race 7 of the Clipper Race in Brisbane, Australia

The elated crew of Derry~Londonderry~Doire finishes second in Race 7 of the Clipper Race in Brisbane, Australia

By Kimball Livingston Posted May 28, 2014

The Clipper Round the World Race has 55 “back office” people to manage every aspect of getting 12 boats and 260 sailors at a time around the world. And it keeps all 55 busy. There is a race office team of 4, with 5 maintenance specialists waiting at every stop. Two containers leapfrog each other, stop to stop. Communications are managed 24 X 7. Customs needs are researched and anticipated, and the word for that is “huge.”

Race Director Justin Taylor says, “Each yacht, I liken to a business.…

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