Written by Kees Verruijt on Nov 18, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
This year’s annual Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) in Amsterdam seemed busier than ever. It’s good to see that the marine industry has largely recovered, although the sailboat business still seems to lag behind behind motorboats. The super yacht halls were very busy too. I saw some exciting new developments from Navico, who were showing the brand new NSS evo3 and B&G Zeus3 as well as their recently announced instrument displays. Fusion had a new high-end speaker, and Airmar showed me their brand new electromagnetic DX900+ ... Read More
Today and yesterday have blurred together in my mind. Partially this is inadequate sleep, and an inadequate routine. When one puts in a reef, or rolls out a reef, at 0300, it confuses the day and the distinction between work hours and non-work hours. On an Open 60 there are no non-work hours, especially solo.
We encountered the first part of the doldrums (which might have lots of wind) further north than was predicted. The ITCZ can wander north or south, mostly due to season, but also due to other variables. Now, when we have only this morning passed what ... Read More
The subject of sails and sailmaking can be quite complex but in this terrific revised edition of The Art and Science of Sails authors Tom Whidden and Michael Levitt have done a superb job distilling the complexities into a narrative that we can all understand. From the intricacies of how wind and water conspire to propel a boat forward to some of the more mundane aspects of sails, this book covers it all and in great detail. I cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone who wants to know more about that very important part of a sailboat, namely the Read More
Pirates aren’t usually a hazard for Vendée Globe skippers speeding along at 20-plus knots, hundreds and even thousands miles offshore. But on Monday, as we passed the Mauritania Exclusion Zone to our east, a curious thing happened.
I checked navigation software for any AIS (Automatic Identification System) targets – nobody around. Then I went to radar, as I do occasionally, and, aha, I spotted a target four miles off the port beam. But back on AIS – nothing. I turned off the radar and turned on the radar detector, and still nothing. The ship had no radar going. I looked ... Read More
Last night I was back at it trying to understand our downwind sails. We have a truly enormous masthead gennaker, about 370 square meters (3700 square feet). Yet somehow it doesn’t seem always effective. Finally I came up with a theory as to why.
The front 3 or 4 feet of the sail are very full (rounded). And so regardless of how much you pull in the sail, to try to correct the inevitable luffing, you can’t do it. The result therefore is that the rest of the huge sail is incorrectly trimmed. Last night, going downwind, I trimmed the ... Read More
Mia on watch while the crew is below sleeping!
The last trip of the year was south from Portsmouth, VA to the BVI with ARC Caribbean 1500 This was the first time for us to actually sail in the event that we have managed for many years now! The crew, Ed, Bruce, David and Tom, arrived during the week leading up to the start that was scheduled for Sunday November 6. Due to a favorable weather window, the start was scheduled for a day early and it as a bit running around on the docks to get everything ready for ... Read More
For a selection of photos from the entire passage, check out our Facebook page by clicking here.
Whelp, we’re here!
Isbjorn made landfall early Monday morning, the lights of Anegada, the north-easternmost of the BVI’s, visible shortly after midnight. The moon was so bright that you could see the silhouette of the flat island clearly on the horizon. We continued on a close reach towards the finish line between Scrub Island and the Dogs, crossing at just after 0400 and popping a morning bottle of bubbly to celebrate. We’d been at sea for 8 days & 13 hours, and ... Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Nov 15, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
Hey, those are all solid-state radomes showing on the 7-inch displays at Gizmo’s lower helm, and you’d see a fourth one running on the flybridge. Comparative testing is underway, but today I’m going to write about the rather amazing WilhelmSK app running on the iPad above. It is not only mirroring the Raymarine a77 screen, touch control included, but also neatly displaying lots of NMEA sensor data that’s been converted to the app-friendly Signal K protocol, thanks to Digital Yacht’s iKommunicate gateway. In my opinion, WilhelmSK ... Read More
Over the years I have written extensively about life harnesses and life jackets and whether or not they should be worn and I have definitely taken some heat for my opinions and perhaps deservedly so. I am not a big fan of either and believe that each individual should decide how they feel about wearing a harness or lifejacket. Having said that I was kind of shocked when I heard that the famous Chines sailor Guo Chuan, who was recently lost at sea on a solo Pacific crossing, was indeed wearing a harness when he fell overboard. Now that his ... Read More
The coconut telegraph, as the cruiser-to-cruiser communication is jokingly referenced, is good for a lot of things. The clearance process like in Vava’u, Tonga. A great deal on brie at the Carrefour in ‘Ārue. An unmarked shoal by the Santa Inez Islands. But don’t let the coconut telegraph shape your perception of a country or culture before you arrive: assess from your own experiences instead. Now flip that around. How often do we show up in another country and find ourselves judged based on our US nationality?
Identifying ourselves as Americans
Do you fly your US flag on Totem? We’ve ... Read More