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
By Kimball Livingston Posted January 14, 2015
The screening of a rough-cut documentary doesn’t always draw a crowd, but apparently there’s something about the Cape Horn rounding of the schooner, Wander Bird, and black and white footage that, for once, does not shrink the waves. They look really big. Or maybe the camera did shrink the waves, and they were really, really, really big.
(There’s this saying, How do you flatten an angry sea? Take a picture of it.)
Director Oleg Harencar and producer Don Zimmer embarked a while back upon documenting some of the great characters of the Marin waterfront.… Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 14, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
I’m visiting Gizmo in less chilly North Carolina for a week (before TrawlerFest) and was reminded that just before leaving in November, I experienced the first DSC Urgency message I’d ever seen. My reaction was slightly embarassing, but the U.S. Coast Guard response was impressive, as will be detailed below. For now, let’s just say that DSC is a potentially excellent but underused safety tool and thus, it’s good news that Icom has upgraded two of its fixed VHF radio models to include internal GPS sensors, so they will be ready to make DSC distress calls almost the moment power and antenna are attached.… Read More
Posted by Wally Moran // January 14, 2015 // COMMENT (67 Comments)
Boats and Gear, Cruising, Miscellany, People, Uncategorized, bahamas, boats, Cruising, Cuba, day sailor, great lakes, ICW, Intracoastal Waterway, sail, sailing, ship
I’m a new face here on Sailfeed, but certainly not a new face to SAIL Magazine readers, as I’ve been writing for SAIL for nearly ten years. Nonetheless, I’m very excited about being able to speak with you here on Sailfeed, and I look forward to many conversations with you. First though, a bit of an introduction, to me, and to what to expect from me here.
I’m a full time cruiser living the dream, (and let’s be honest, occasionally it’s a nightmare!), out of Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay – truly some of the world’s best cruising grounds along with the North Channel of Lake Huron.… Read More
I was sitting in the cockpit of Crazy Horse, my old Alberg 35 yawl, toes contracted in the thin film of cold dew that clung to the boat, cup of hot coffee in hand, watching the sun struggle to emerge from behind the distant hills and fill the river with light. Instinctively, I groped for my watch, a habit remembered from my life ashore, and wondered: what time could it be now? And at once I was struck by the absurdity of the question.
It said something of the nature of cruising under sail, I realized, that it was only the previous day, after having spent nearly a week on the river, that we finally discovered that the clocks on the west bank (in Portugal) were an hour behind those on the east bank (in Spain).… Read More