Meeting old friends for the first time

16 Oct


Three weeks in Chesapeake Bay so far. Three weeks with so much smiling and talking with friends that there are days my jaw aches. Old friends, new friends, old friends met for the first time. It started with the spectacular crab feed put on by a blog reader and newfound friend when we arrived in late September.


Bay crab, done right: outside, table covered with paper, no cutlery – just mallets. SO GOOD.

This came at the end of a sunny afternoon where we had a spontaneous open boat party on Totem, pinging folks who have been in touch here ...

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14 Oct

Galena under sail

The relevant thread at Cruisers Forum is titled Abandoned Westsail 32 Free For Taking, and it’s not just a salvage hyperbole. The gent who abandoned the boat, Galena (seen above), less than 200 miles northwest of Fiji, has declared he will make no claim on it if it is recovered. He just wants someone to get it. Which shouldn’t be too hard, as its position when abandoned is known, wasn’t too far from shore, and its AIS transceiver, as of three days ago, was still transmitting.

The gent in question is one Bill Shaw, now recovering from his ...

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2016 ANNAPOLIS SAILBOAT SHOW: Odds and Ends and Just Plain Odd

13 Oct

X5 catamaran

I knew this would be an amusing show when I quickly deduced that this unlikely looking vessel, the new Exquisite X5 catamaran from South Africa, would likely prove one of the more interesting vessels on site. Yes, yes. I know what you’re thinking. I have sometimes complained, in a condescending tone, of how many modern powerboats are designed to look like running shoes, and here we have a sailboat that clearly falls into that same category. But really, I swear, this is a very cool boat.

For one thing, the X5 has a very long standard-equipment list that includes such ...

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Standard Horizon GX6500: a loaded VHF radio also integrated with Class B AIS

11 Oct

Written by Ben Ellison on Oct 11, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


The wait is almost over. The Standard Horizon Quantum GX6500 combines Class B AIS and VHF transceivers into one device, an important first in critical marine communications that some boaters have long hoped for. It is not yet for sale pending FCC approval, but the expected price of $800 seems quite reasonable given the install efficiency, the integrated GPS/VHF/AIS features, and a lot more that Standard has designed in. The GX6500 would be an extraordinary radio even without the AIS…

Standard_Horizon_Quantum_GX6500_VHF_radio_and_Class_B_AIS_closeup_aPanbo.jpgI briefly got my fingers on ...

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More women in the VOR?

11 Oct

I have been a huge supporter of women in sailing since I read a book by Clare Francis titled Come Wind or Weather. The book recounts her experience as the first female skipper to participate in the Whitbread Round the World Race. Clare Francis was the skipper of ADC Accutrac, a Swan 65 that participated in the 77/78 Whitbread. She led a mixed crew that included both men and women and they did reasonably well considering that most of the crew were relatively inexperienced. It seemed to me, from Clare’s account at least, that the women on board ...
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164: Kari Finstad

10 Oct

Kari Finstad is a 30-something Norwegian sailor and yoga instructor. Kari recently purchased and refit a 32-foot Wauquiez Centurion – one of my favorite boats, and comparable to the legendary Contessa 32 – and spends most of her time above the Arctic Circle. We talked about her yoga travels to India & the east, her winter on BjornOya in the Arctic working at the meteorology station, refitting the Wauquiez, her cat companion, baking bread, making kombucha & much more.

Show Notes & Links


Topics Discussed on the Podcast

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Annapolis Boat Show 2016 Preview

6 Oct


It’s that time again! Today we got to wander around the show between helping out Andy and Mia on Isbjorn, their Swan 48. Come say hello (Dock H), We’ll be here all show! We saw some interesting new offerings that peaked my interest.

img_6916 img_6917

First off was the Bauer 8 Dingy. I’m a sucker for hard sailing dingy’s (currently building a sailing rig for my Eastport Pram) and this new offering from Bauteck Marine made me stop and stare. It’s 8’2 overall, has integral foam floatation, and some pretty seductive lines. The row boat is $1600 and the sailing version is ...

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Chapter 6 – Where Art and Science Meet – Part 2

6 Oct
Chapter 6 is an in-depth look at the sailmaking process from how sails used to be made to how they are made these days in a modern sail loft. There is a lot to cover from basic design elements like sail geometry and engineering to a look at the manufacturing process. There will be four parts to Chapter 6 starting with this one that covers some of the elements of sail design.

Chapter 6 is an in-depth look at the sailmaking process from how we used to make to how they
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NATHAN CARMAN: Suspicious Circumstances Surrounding His Week Adrift in a Liferaft

4 Oct

Carman in raft

Not a sailing story this one, but it does involve boats, and it’s a fascinating breaking news item. The question raised: could a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome possibly have contrived to kill his mother by 1) luring her out on a fishing trip 100 miles offshore in a 32-foot open boat, 2) scuttling the boat, and 3) taking to a liferaft without said mother (or an EPIRB) to await rescue??? Such was the noxious cloud of skepticism that followed Nathan Carman ashore after the aptly named freighter Orient Lucky last week plucked him from the raft (see image up ...

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NMEA 2000 realities, the pro installer view

4 Oct

Written by Ben Ellison on Oct 4, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


The day after the annual National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) Conference ended, the Association ran its new Advanced NMEA 2000 Installer Certification course in the same Naples, Florida, hotel and let me sit in. I learned about numerous N2K subtleties and also about how NMEA trainings have evolved, but let’s start with a fact that says a lot about who the overall organization is: The course trainer Mike Spyros (seen twice above) is not only an exceptionally knowledgeable and seasoned electronics installer, he’s also the incoming ...

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