Sailfeed
June 24th

To the Arctic!

Posted by // June 24, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

, , ,

They say the hardest part of winning a race is getting to the start line.  The only thing we are racing is the melting pack ice but damn it was difficult to get this expedition off the ground.  For starters we have an older steel boat, abused by previous owners, rotten, rusty, and in need of some serious attention. The vessel’s condition was unavoidable as I was broke when I bought her.

I had just returned from my circumnavigation of the Americas and starting an ocean research organization was my first priority.  The paperwork involved with becoming a 501 c 3 (a non-profit) was an expedition in bureaucracy, my least favorite type of expedition.…

Read More
June 23rd

No Stick in the Mud

Posted by // June 23, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Gear & Gadgets

BEACH_1(no-HotBoat)

For those sailors with a shallow enough draft to get close to the shore, finding a good spot to tie up is a great addition to peace of mind when you want to tie up the boat and enjoy a day at the beach or a hike through the woods. But what if you can’t find a good spot on land to tie the boat to, and your anchor isn’t sufficient enough for holding ground onshore? Enter the Slide Anchor Shore Spoke. This little beauty provides you with a secure place to tie up the boat no matter where you are.…

Read More
June 22nd

Douglas MacDonald

Posted by // June 22, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Episode 108 is a followup to the very popular blog post I wrote last week about our too-close encounter with a Navy ship en route from Bermuda to NYC. Douglas MacDonald, owner of the HR43 we were sailing, comes on the show to discuss what happened from his perspective. He’s very humble about the experience, and wants to provide his insight on how you can avoid this kind of thing yourself. If you haven’t read the article, click here.

Read More
June 22nd

A Tender Spot

Posted by // June 22, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

, , , ,

By Kimball Livingston Posted June 22, 2015

Care to crack a guess at what resides at 33.698825 – 118.291682 ?

If you said Point Fermin Lighted Whistle Buoy 6PF you’d be spot on, and you’d be right in tune with the folks from Transpac Yacht Club who set up a station today, ashore, at the Point Fermin Lighthouse planning to draw a bead on the buoy and thereby establish a starting line for Hydroptere’s run at the course record, Los Angeles to Honolulu, Point Fermin to Diamond Head.

Imasgine their surprise when –

Out of the breakwater and past Angel’s Gate comes Hydroptere, and down the coast from the opposite direction comes a Coast Guard buoy tender which proceeds to deploy its crane and lift Point Fermin Lighted Whistle Buoy 6PF right out of the water and onto the deck.…

Read More
June 22nd

Peter and Carly

I think everybody who sails has vividly imagined some variation of this nightmare: you leave a crew member alone on deck for a while to catch some sleep below, and when you come back on deck you find your crew is missing. Disappeared, with no clue what happened to them. So it was in reality for poor Pete Hill, who departed Durban, South Africa, bound for Madagascar on Thursday with his wife Carly aboard their 33-foot junk-rigged wood-epoxy catamaran Oryx. Hill reportedly went below for a nap at some point on Friday afternoon, while the boat was still just 6 miles off the South African coast, and when he awoke Carly was gone.…

Read More
June 19th

The Nav Station That wasn’t Meant To Be

Posted by // June 19, 2015 // COMMENT (9 Comments)

A typical helmsman’s nav setup. The only similarity with my boat is the cupholder.
On my first long trip as a boat owner, from New Orleans to Maine, we primarily navigated with a handheld GPS and a few old sets of paper chart kits that I had scrounged online. Funds were tight and plotting on paper is good practice, keeps you sharp (at least that’s what I told myself and the crew). This worked well enough and we didn’t have any major mishaps but there were a few nervous moments entering some of the ever-changing sandy harbors of the Gulf south.…
Read More
June 18th

Fastnet Force 10

Posted by // June 18, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

                        Just one of the awful images from the ’79 Fastnet Race


While those of us (in the Northern Hemisphere at least) are enjoying some summer sailing (rather than snow shoveling) I am going to take a break from writing my blog on sails and sailmaking and do a series of TBT (Throw back Thursday) blogs looking back at some of the amazing sailing experiences I have enjoyed over the last few decades. This blog goes back to the Fastnet Race in 1979.



It’s almost 36 years since I raced the disastrous Fastnet Race.
Read More
June 17th

Rainmaker 1

All these pix come courtesy of Gunboat’s CEO, Peter Johnstone, who posted them today to his Facebook page. Johnstone, much to his credit, has not been shy about sharing information on the boat and what happened to it. And no, this is not the first time Rainmaker has been sighted since she was dismasted and abandoned five months ago. But it is the first time, as far as I know, that photos of her adrift have been released to the public.

According to Johnstone’s post, the hull was sighted yesterday at 35°36.28′ North, 062°17.18′ West by Capt. Reinhard Peer aboard the container ship Chicago Express.…

Read More
June 17th

CRUISING SAILBOAT RIGS: Sloops, Cutters, and Solent Rigs

Posted by // June 17, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Big sloop

In our previous episode in this series we discussed what I like to call split rigs–ketches, yawls, and schooners–where a sailplan is divided among two or more masts. Cruising sailors once upon a time preferred such rigs, at least on larger cruising boats, because each separate sail requiring handling was smaller and thus more manageable. These days, however, by far the most popular rig for both racing and cruising sailboats is the simple sloop rig. This has a single mast supporting a single Marconi mainsail with a single headsail supported by a single headstay flying forward of it.

Its advantages are manifest: there are only two sails for the crew to handle, each of which can be hoisted with a single halyard and trimmed with a single sheet.…

Read More
June 17th

Paul Exner & Brian Duff

Posted by // June 17, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Paul Exner sits down with Brian Duff in Tortola. Brian’s old friends with both Paul & Andy. Brian started Southbound Rigging in Annapolis, MD a few years back, where Andy first started working as a rigger in 2009. Brian sold the shop to Mike Meer (who’s been on the podcast!) and sailed his Westsail 32 south to the BVI to start a new life as a boat broker. Paul of course lives in the BVI, and soon became friends with Brian. They chat on this episode about Brian’s work as a boat broker, his life as a rigger, how he moved south from Annapolis and his new venture as a restaurant owner at The Island Last Resort in Trellis Bay.…

Read More