By Kimball Livingston Posted January 22, 2015
What would you do if you were the fastest sailor on water?
If you were coming off eleven years of obsessed design/build/test/fail/win and when you finally were a winner it was not by a smidgen, no, a winner by a country mile, a winner by a revolution, you could go away and stare at the trees for a while. Wait for a butterfly to flutter by. Read a book about anything but boats, aerodynamics, hydraulic drag. Take a little hike in the Antarctic. Maybe even think, never again.
It was more or less like that for Paul Larsen, whose absolute speed record looks secure for a while to come.… Read More
This, apparently, is a current image of the gold funerary mask of King Tutankhamun:
|Source:Al Araby Al Jadeed
The story goes that a cleaner at the museum was spiffing up the mask when they managed to knock its beard off (or, in another version, the beard was intentionally removed because it was loose). Then, in a classic case of sidestepping, the head of the renovations team called her husband instead of the Ministry of Antiquities and asked him to fix it. Supposedly, he’s also a ‘renovator.’ Whatever that means. Unfortunately, it looks like he’s never read the West System Use Guides or my last post on Epoxy Hints.… Read More
Cruising is hard work. Really. Our punch list to have Totem ready for the Indian Ocean is shrinking but it’s constant daily effort to track towards an end of month departure. Even when we’re relaxing, like those lazy weeks up in Koh Phayam, we’re not on vacation. I made this list of things Jamie did over the course of a few days while we lingered in the bay there:
- - cut hole in deck for inner forestay
- - cut six inches of 3/8 inch 316 SS plate from an overbuilt/oversized backing plate
- - install backing plate with some exceptionally messy butyl tape
- - re-splice dyneema inner forestay
- - connect solar panels (offline since arch was rebuilt at the shipyard)
- - field install connector for NMEA 2000 network GPS (getting aaaalll the little wires into an end: finicky work)
- - replace burned-out Caframo fan in forepeak
Relaxing is not so much relaxing lately.… Read More
Eric Forsyth, legendary ocean voyager with over 300,000 sea miles and whose visited both Antarctica & Spitsbergen on his Westsail 42, joins the podcast! Andy and Eric chat about his days in the 1950s flying the first fighter jets with the Royal Air Force, how Eric got into sailing, navigating on Celestial only in the Newport-Bermuda Race in the 1970s and what it’s like to endure a 75-knot gale in the Southern Ocean.
Eric is a very humble man with extraordinary achievements beneath his keel, and bumps along the road in his life. “I have no regrets,” he says about it all.… Read More
That’s right, sports fans: it’s awards season! In the always hard-fought Cordage Utility category the ballots have been counted and the surprise winner this year is the mysterious halyard knot. Unknown to many sailors, the halyard knot is nonetheless an elegant compact knot that is particularly handy to know about if you need to bend a line on to some sort of shackle or clip (a halyard shackle being the eponymous example) on a more-or-less permanent basis, but are too lazy (or ignorant) to be bothered with actually splicing the line on to said bit of hardware.
The knot most people use in these situations is, of course, the perennial and ubiquitous bowline, which is not quite ideal in this application, as it is bulkier than it needs to be (a drawback, for instance, when you have to hoist a halyard shackle up close to masthead sheave) and involves a fixed bight or loop of line that necessarily must be larger than necessary.… Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 19, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
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…
First I did a dry run in Gizmo’s salon.… Read More
Posted by Wally Moran // January 17, 2015 // COMMENT (20 Comments)
Boats and Gear, Cruising, Miscellany, People, Racing, Uncategorized, boat, caribbean, Castro, Cruising, Cuba, embargo, Havana, Marina Hemingway, OFAC, sail, sailing, Treasury
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. Read More
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.…
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
Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 16, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
This 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”…
I 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
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