Sailfeed
April 3rd

Written by Ben Ellison on Apr 3, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Afterguard_HUD_in_action_aPanbo.jpgThe goal is to direct your focus wherever it’s needed on or beyond the boat while still having critical data in sight.  Brand spanking new today is the Afterguard heads-up display (HUD) for racing sailors. Yes, recent America’s Cup skippers apparently used HUD sunglasses, though you’re a better researcher than I if you can find detail about how they worked and what data they provided. Afterguard intends to bring this technology down at least a few levels, and that means we get a better look at what it can do.…

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April 3rd

Rounding Cape Hatteras

Posted by // April 3, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Cruising, ,

It’s 0823 on Thursday morning. Sojourner is in position 35 09 N, 75 19 W. Plot that on the chart – it’s as close to Cape Hatteras as you’d ever want to be.

We made it here this morning, the outer edge of Diamond Shoals, a full three hours ahead of my most optimistic prediction of a day or so ago. That was based on six knots of boat speed, and assuming we’d be motoring to keep that, as the weather was calm and likewise the forecast. Shortly after my little math project to see if we’d have enough fuel, the SW breeze filled in and we’ve been sailing wing on wing ever since, the big genoa poled out to starboard and the main squared off to port.…

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April 2nd

Knox-Johnston Entering Route du Rhum

Posted by // April 2, 2014 // COMMENT (19 Comments)

People, Racing, ,

April 2, 2014

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, 75, will return to his solo ocean racing roots this November when he takes part in French single-handed classic, the Route de Rhum on his Open 60 entry, Grey Power.

RKJ winching (OnEdition) (2)

The British founder of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and first ever man to sail solo, non-stop around the world in 1968/69, will compete in the tenth anniversary edition of the 3,500 mile Transatlantic race from St Malo, France to Guadeloupe, which starts on 2 November 2014. Knox-Johnston last did this race in 1982 in his 70-foot catamaran Olympus, better known as Sea Falcon.…

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April 2nd

A few words on rigs

Posted by // April 2, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Boats and Gear, ,

I wrote this for my buddies blog.
I have done several entries for him and he lets me use them here.
Rigs are always fun to discuss. Everyone is an expert. I think I am an expert too. Like any discussion of yacht design elements I engage in, my first piece of advice is not to generalize. There are good sloops and bad sloops. There are good cutters and bad cutters. You get the picture. We can discuss efficiency and we can discuss personal preferences. The two can be at odds and often are. We can talk about evolution of rigs and why they became popular in the first place, i.e.…
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April 2nd

I’m trying something new today

Posted by // April 2, 2014 // COMMENT (3 Comments)

Boats and Gear,

sails 12m.JPGThese wonderful; photos of FRANKIE were taken by our pal Boomer Dep. He and his lovely daughter spent the day on a chase boat covering every angle of FRANKIE. Thanks Boomer. Thanks Boomer’s daughter.

sail me.jpg

sails at dock.jpgHere are some photos of FRANCIS LEE on her first sail. It was a wonderful day, with no rain and just a light breeze. Maybe we saw 8 knots of wind at one time. There was a race starting so we sort of tagged along without getting on anyone’s air. Frankie is very fast, well balanced and very close winded. As far as I can tell in less than 8 knots of wind anyway.…

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April 2nd

Take the Long Way Home

Posted by // April 2, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Cruising, ,

It’s 0600 on Wednesday morning. April 2nd. Sojourner is in position 33 28 N, 77 53 W, motor sailing ENE and headed straight for Cape Hatteras, which lays about 100 miles over the horizon ahead. Venus, now the morning star, is about ten degrees above the horizon off the starboard now, to our east. A glimmer of sunlight, the new day dawning, is visible just below. But to me, in the dark cockpit, it’s still night, and I’ll savor it’s last death throes while all remains quiet on board. While my dad and Tom sleep, this is my time. The time at sea I treasure the most.…

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April 1st

Illustration © Kiteboat Project

By Kimball Livingston Posted April 1, but we’re not joking

Four hundred sixty square miles on the surface at high tide, two trillion gallons in volume, more or less, twice a day, on the exchange of tides, that is San Francisco Bay. And a why-not ethos. As in, why not use kites to power boats? At the Kiteboat Project, the answer is, why not, indeed?

Going far beyond theory from its skunkworks on Alameda Island, on the eastern reach of San Francisco Bay, the Kiteboat Project has dazzled everyone who caught a glimpse of the results. The thing looks fast just sitting still, but it doesn’t have a mast and .…

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April 1st
paddling home, racing the sun

Living off the grid, providing your own power, is a tremendous feeling. On Totem, it’s one of the compelling aspects of life afloat, hand in hand with a more simple life and a lighter carbon footprint. Relying on our solar panels and wind turbine to supply power needs instead of plugging in is liberating.

That good juice from the sun and the wind is stored in our house battery bank. Currently, that bank has 660 amps total from six 220aH 6v AGM batteries.  When we have steady trade winds, and sunny days, these meet our needs pretty well. For a long stretch, that’s been enough.…

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March 31st

RIP Hobie Alter and Bob Billingham

Posted by // March 31, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

People, ,

By Kimball Livingston Posted March 31, 2014

The news hit me when I was living life to the full and feeling every minute of it.

Somehow, that seems right.

The last time I saw Bob Billingham, he was setting up to do America’s Cup commentary in a setting that, as Project Manager, he had orchestrated. He showed no sign of the cancer or the treatments that had been in his foreground for years, and I never heard a word out of his own mouth about them. Nothing slowed Bob down until he hit the wall, and he hit the wall fast forward.…

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