January 19th

Kees’ cool sloop Merrimac, home of CANboat and more

Posted by // January 19, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)


Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 19, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Kees_Stadtship_Merrimac_cPanbo.jpgA memorable moment of 2015 was waking up in Kees Verruijt’s attic guestroom in Harlingen, Netherlands. If my lens were wider, you’d see the thick thatch capping his sturdy brick home. And if I’d waited a bit, the photo might include one of the family-owned-and-operated cargo vessels that often motor by enroute to or from the Wadden Sea. What you can see clearly, though, is Kees’s own dream boat Merrimac, which I would soon tour. I’d been following this boat project for years, knew that it motivated Kees’s valuable CANboat work, and given that CANboat helped birth Signal K, I figure that Merrimac may earn a special spot in marine electronics history…


Before the electronics, though, let’s have a look at an impressive cruising vessel.…

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January 19th

Rick & Julie Palm

Posted by // January 19, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Episode #136 is Rick & Julie Palm, live from Cruiser’s University in Annapolis way back in October. Rick & Julie Palm have been mentors of sorts for Mia and I. They had the role of event managers for World Cruising Club before we took over and have been active in the Caribbean 1500 basically since its inception under Steve Black, who was a dear friend of theirs. And they are consummate ocean sailors. If you want to follow the lead of a successful and humble ocean sailing couple, you can’t beat these two. They started cruising on a Tayana 37 and then upgraded to a Tayana 52 and completed a circumnavigation.…

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January 17th

SEA GYPSY: Early Adventures of Peter Tangvald

Posted by // January 17, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Sea Gypsy cover

I continue to be fascinated by the Tangvald family: young Thomas, who sailed with his young son and pregnant wife from Puerto Rico to Brazil aboard an engineless 34-foot nativo racing sloop and was subsequently lost at sea off the South American coast sailing the same vessel singlehanded in 2014; and his father Peter, who lost two wives at sea and was himself killed along with a 7-year-old daughter after he piled up on a reef off Bonaire in 1991. So I have purchased and recently finished reading Peter Tangvald’s first book, Sea Gypsy, which was published in 1966 and has long been out of print.…

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January 16th

Canning meat on board

Posted by // January 16, 2016 // COMMENT (1 Comment)

Cruising, , , , , , ,

canning chicken jars bowl

At some point, canning food makes sense for a lot of long-distance cruisers. Totem is a boat full of omnivores, and with five people on board, canning meat has been a useful skill to acquire. For those times we need to boost our provisions with canned food, doing it yourself is cheaper and tastier than commercially canned meat.

I’ve been water-bath canning for years before cruising, but meat requires pressure canning. This process intimidated me for a long time, but I got over the hurdle when we anticipated about three months in Papua New Guinea without access to stores. Now, ticking down the days we have left in South Africa, We have a lot (LOT) of ocean miles ahead of us; the longest leg will probably be from Ascension Island to Grenada, about 3500 miles.…

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January 15th

The Sixth Annual Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Award

Posted by // January 15, 2016 // COMMENT (7 Comments)


And The Winner Is …

The sixth annual Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image awards were given out last December. Here is a look at the top five photos from the competition as chosen by the public.


Photographer: Jesus Renedo

Number 5




Photographer: Martina Orsini

Number 4



Photographer: Stefan Coppers

Number 3



Photographer: Brian Carlin

Number 2


Winner: Rick Tomlinson


Photographer Rick Tomlinson took home the Public Award for this shot of Team Brunel sailing past Cape Horn during the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race.


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January 15th

Chapter 2 – Nylon

Posted by // January 15, 2016 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

In this chapter we will look at the very basis of sails, the individual yarns that go into making sailcloth. At the end of this blog is a link to subscribe so that you get all posts and can educate yourself on the subject of sails and sailmaking. There is also a great free gift when you subscribe. Thanks for reading.

Have you ever wondered where the word Nylon came from?
The word Nylon has become as ubiquitous as the word Coke in modern lexicon, but few people know where it came from.
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January 15th

Call of the Sea

Posted by // January 15, 2016 // COMMENT (2 Comments)



Do you remember how old you were when you first dreamed about running away to sea? Me neither, though I expect it was after some parental discipline regarding tormenting younger siblings or eating all the cake. What I do recall is gazing out to sea during beachside camping vacations, watching ships and sailboats disappear over the horizon, wondering where they were bound and wishing I was going there too.

It seems to me that the call of the sea is heard more strongly by some than others. Had I grown up in a Midwest farm town, with the wind blowing ripples across boundless yellow cornfields rather than a blue ocean, would the lure of open water and nameless places over the horizon be as strong?…

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January 14th

Female Record Setters

Posted by // January 14, 2016 // COMMENT (1 Comment)

Krystyna Chojnowska-Liskiewicz was the first woman to sail solo around the world 

Claiming to be the first person to do something in sailing can be a tricky business. Like the first person to sail around the world non-stop or the first to sail around the world the wrong way with one hand tied behind their back. I recently made an apparent mistake when I wrote that Naomi James was the first woman to sail around the world single-handed. Not surprisingly I was roundly corrected with an inbox full of derision. Turns out that the first woman to sail around the world solo was a Polish lady by the name of Krystyna Chojnowska-Liskiewicz.

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January 14th

sunset underway

We strive to be a green boat, and supply our power through sun and wind as much as possible. But the wants of five people can outstrip what our solar panels and wind turbine provide- especially during a time of grey skies or equatorial calms. Unfortunately, we had periods of cloudy skies and not much wind while we were in Southeast Asia, so our green power struggled to keep up.

sailboat sunset generatorBatteries like to be kept above a minimum charge (amount depends on battery voltage and type) and to get a full recharge now and again instead of routine partial charges. Our first battery bank (12 volt AGM) started failing after a solid service life, and we found ourselves running Totem’s engine more often to charge up.…

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January 11th

Dangers of Crevice Corrosion

Posted by // January 11, 2016 // COMMENT (1 Comment)

Most sailors are familiar with the phenomenon of crevice corrosion in chainplates and rigging hardware and we all know it is good practice to make a thorough visual inspection of this gear at least once a year. That said, many of us are also on a budget and pinching pennies can sometimes lead to questionable decisions about the working life of hardware. That’s precisely the problem with crevice corrosion. It is difficult to detect and warning signs are often fairly minor; a severely compromised fitting may exhibit just a touch of rust staining or a very minor surface pitting and it is tempting to think that the damage cannot be much worse than it looks.…

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