CARIBBEAN 1500 RALLY: Imminent Departure

7 Nov

Katahdin ready to 1aunch

I should mention that I’m in Virginia right now, and will depart today (maybe) in this year’s Caribbean 1500 cruising rally to Tortola, BVI. I’m crewing on a Cambria 44, Katahdin, which you see here, as of yesterday evening, all ready to go. Sort of.

We launch this a.m. at 0900 and will be praying that the new rudder bearing packing gland does not leak.

Larry and Cathy Clough, Katahdin‘s owners, have been running around all over Chesapeake Bay like the proverbial headless chickens trying to cope with this rudder problem for a couple of weeks now. As ...

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ULTRASONIC ANTIFOULING: Full Season Test Results

6 Nov

Antifouling test

Lunacy was hauled for the winter on Friday, which means at last I have answers and evidence to share with the several people who’ve been asking me about the Ultrasonic Antifouling system I installed toward the end of the season last year. When Lunacy was hauled last year, after two months with the Ultrasonic unit running, there wasn’t a speck of growth on her anywhere. This year, after a full five months in the water, the results are decidedly different.

I couldn’t attend the haul-out, but once again, Jeff Stack, the service manager at Maine Yacht Center, was ...

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The World’s Largest Yacht Design Office aka WLYDO

6 Nov
bob in office.jpg

It’s quiet up here at the beach. Really quiet. My wife goes off to school each morning and I sit here at the keyboard pretty much all day except for when I walk the dogs or make a run to the grocery store. The fact is that not counting my two dogs I pretty much have no social life. My exchanges with other beach residents is usually confined to “How’s the crabbing” , “What lure were you using?”or “Don’t worry I have a plastic sack. I’ll pick it up.” It’s a stimulating environment. For entertainment I go to the SAILING ANARCHY

...
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MARTEN 65: Canting-Keel Cruiser by Owen Clarke

4 Nov

Marten 65 under sail

That’s right–this is a dedicated cruising boat with a canting keel. Not only that, the keel lifts, too. Not only that–this puppy’s for sale right now. All yours for just a tad over $2 million.

It is, needless to say, a quite sophisticated one-off job. The commissioning owner, a big fan of Ellen MacArthur and IMOCA Open 60 racing, initially sought to acquire an existing Open 60 and convert it to a cruising boat, but then turned to Owen Clarke Design, which had designed MacArthur’s Kingfisher, to create a new purpose-built vessel. Constructed by New Zealand-based Marten Yachts...

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Luna Rossa Changes the Equation

2 Nov

So, having observed this much, Patrizio Bertelli decides that he wants to play in America’s Cup 34, after all. This could almost be read as a vote of confidence, eh?

Especially if you recall a time when the absence of Bertelli’s team was considered evidence, by some, that AC34 was going the wrong direction.

And the design-sharing agreement announced today along with the announcement of the challenge itself—Luna Rossa joins the game and gains access to Emirates Team New Zealand’s design process, and a training partner—accomplishes important goals for both teams. ETNZ has been needing an infusion of cash, and ...

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Can America

31 Oct

What a fright. Imagine if all the landfill planned for San Francisco Bay circa 1961 had been carried out.

(ooo, creepy)

(and I hope you “had” a HAPPY HALLOWEEN)

In 1961, Cadillacs had tailfins. . .

. . . bigger was better, and the city of Berkeley, for example, was planning to expand via landfill into a huge chunk of what San Francisco Bay sailors now know as the Olympic Circle, Berkeley Circle, or just “the Circle.” A body of water where, in the fifty years since 1961, legendary figures have sailed, and legends have been born.

Fifty years after ...

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PIRATE BAIT: Laura Dekker v. Johansen Family

31 Oct

Laura Dekker map Indian Ocean

I haven’t mentioned teen sailor Laura Dekker in quite some time, because, as I expected, her voyage–a standard westabout milk-run circumnavigation–has so far been largely uneventful. But now she’s in the Indian Ocean. She left Darwin, Australia, headed west over a month ago and soon should be arriving at her destination.

Only thing is… we don’t know where that is.

On leaving Darwin, Laura refused to say where she was going, and since leaving has not posted position updates on her website. She has maintained a written blog, but publication of her posts has been intentionally delayed by ...

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Friends and a Fan

29 Oct

Gatekeeper 2.jpgwalt1.jpgI’m lucky. I have made a lot of friends in this business. Of course there was the builder from Florida that did not like his review in SAILING. He called and said he was coming to Seattle to “Cut your head off!” He didn’t come to Seattle and his boat was still a dog.

Then there is Dr. Walter Berdon. We have been corresponding for years. We met through my reviews in SAILING and Dr. Walter started writing me letters with ideas and comments on the boats I had reviewed. Dr. Walter is 81 years old and lives in Mamaroneck, ...

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CRASH TEST BOAT: Onboard Propane Explosion

28 Oct

In case you had’t noticed, the staff at the British sailing comic Yachting Monthly have been having some fun over the past year torturing a 40-foot Jeanneau Sun Fizz to death. The denouement, featured in this BBC news report, came earlier this month when they blew the boat up with propane gas.

Previous adventures included setting the boat on fire:

onboard boat fire

And intentionally dismasting it:

dismasting a sailboat

As well as holing it, capsizing it, disabling the steering, and running it aground.

This has all been the brainchild of Yachting Monthly‘s editor-in-chief, Paul Gelder, who is due to retire early next year. ...

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