ARC DelMarVa: Understanding Frontal Weather & Planning a Passage

21 Jun

“Based on the forecast, the best window for vessels to depart will be to leave in the early morning hours, near 0300-0400 EDT on the 22nd. This will allow for the best timing between fronts, and to arrive in Cape May on the 23rd before the next front. It will be important for vessels to motor (if needed) to maintain speed in order to arrive in Cape May by midday or so on the 23rd, as the next front with more showers/squalls moves through in the evening.”

That was the advice from our weather forecasters WRI late yesterday afternoon, and ...

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Jeremy Davis, Weather Routing Inc.

20 Jun

Click here for the direct download link.

“We’ve talked to clients that have been in those Category 3 Hurricanes coming across the Yucatan and, you know, we’re constantly calling them, making sure they’re okay. It does get tough emotionally. A lot of these clients have used us for years. Of course we want them safe, we know them, sometimes on a personal level. You’ve got to take the emotion out of it, try to not get too caught up.” 

-Jeremy Davis, Forecaster at WRI Inc.

Episode #152 is a fascinating and technical conversation with Jeremy Davis, a senior forecaster 7 ...

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SAILING ON FOILS: Will the Latest Racing Technology Divide Our Sport?

20 Jun

Foiling cats

I was just stoking the antique coal-fired bunkers in my brain getting ready to write something about foiling sailboats, when I got a query from a Red Bull flack asking if I could help get the word out about their Red Bull Foiling Generation competition. Which actually is a very cool program: they are inviting young racing sailors born between 1996-99 to apply for special training with Olympic gold medalists to learn how to sail and compete in foiling 18-foot Flying Phantom catamarans (see image up top) in two Red Bull events to be held in Newport from October ...

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ARC DelMarVa Leg 2 (Offshore) Delayed ‘Til Wednesday

20 Jun

With a series of cold fronts marching across the US midwest, Rally Control has decided to delay the start of Leg 2, the offshore leg from Portsmouth, VA to Cape May, NJ until the wee hours of Wednesday morning June 22. Rally forecasters WRI had this to say about the forecast:

“Due to the fronts, expect periods of gusty SW’ly winds for all zones the next few days. For Grid B, expect enhanced SW’ly winds for the 21st, veering on the morning of the 22nd before briefly backing later in the day, and continuing from the SW later in the ...

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New Bermuda Race record

20 Jun
The mighty Comanche heading for Bermuda and a new race record
I had been tempted to take another jab at Comanche, the 100-foot sloop owned by Jim and Kristy Clark, as they led the Newport-Bermuda fleet toward Bermuda. I was waiting for the jubilant press release about how they had beaten all the other boats in the race without mentioning that second largest boat in the race is just under 30 feet shorter than them. But there was no press release and instead they set a new race record so instead of a jab here is my heartfelt congratulation ...
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Sublime Start to 2016 ARC DelMarVa

20 Jun

The starting gun fired at exactly 10:00 Eastern Time Sunday morning, the eve of the Summer Solstice, and 19 rally yachts took the start of ARC DelMarVa 2016. With light westerly winds, it was a mellow and easy start for the fleet of boats, many of whom had never sailed overnight before. Slice of Life, a Beneteau 45, was officially first over the starting line, with Su Ching, the big Tayana 55 – the largest boat in the fleet – over a few seconds early.

See photos from the start on the DelMarVa Facebook page by clicking here.

Follow ...

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Waiting On The Weather

20 Jun

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 1.05.40 PM

Every boat and crew has different thresholds for what they are willing to put up with. In my limited experience using GRIB files to plan voyages, I hope for the predicted winds and hedge against higher than predicted winds and seas. Even though I’m positive our boat can take just about anything, we voyage for the enjoyment of sailing. We don’t have to be anywhere at anytime. Its just not as fun to deal with 30kts and a large sea, we’ve done it – but I’d rather sit in port and drink cheap Panamanian beer. It’s important that I keep ...

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Back in Central America

18 Jun

rachel_hammock

Above all else, Panama has redefined the word “hot” for both Rachel and I. I’m not totally sure why I’m surprised though – it is Central America, its supposed to be sauna like! After a pretty decent flight (free booze on the plane), we touched down and caught a taxi to a hotel in downtown Panama City. The next morning we met our driver for the day outside the hotel. Rogelio worked for the Panama Canal Yacht Club for 20 some odd years before its sudden closure at the hands of the Port Authority. He now provides taxi and local ...

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Passage notes: Bermuda to Connecticut

17 Jun

1 sunset at sea“This is turning into an expensive passage.” Those were Jamie’s words to me after the latest breakdown on our third day at sea. A large block, used for the genoa sheet, had permanently parted ways with the track on deck.

The passage started benignly enough, once we got going. Although the weather watch to depart began the day we arrived in Bermuda, there were people to see and boat parts to fix, and a week felt sufficient. Plenty of time all around, really: there were three weeks before we needed to be in  Connecticut and our passage time, in good ...

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New Cooling System on Perkins 4.236

16 Jun

IMG_0150
This upgrade is common to all older Perkins diesels (the Perkins 4.108 is probably the most common Perkins found on boats). Bowman, the company that made the marinizing equipment for Perkins, has re-engineered things over the years, so that instead of having a combination header tank and heat exchanger on one part of the engine, and a water jacketed exhaust on another, they combine it all into a combination header tank/heat exchanger/exhaust manifold.

These engines were originally fitted with oil coolers. Now in some cases they say you can do away with the oil cooler unless your engine is run ...

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