I mentioned the concept of a “slutter,” a sloop that is converted to a cutter by adding a removable inner forestay, in my last post on this subject and thought I should expound a bit on the process of the conversion. It is a popular upgrade, particularly on bluewater boats, and of course being able to hoist a staysail can also be handy on a coastal boat. My old Golden Hind 31 Sophie was a sloop when I bought her, and I converted her to a cutter rig with a removable inner forestay, although she became a true cutter, as I also increased the height of the mast and added a bowsprit to enlarge the foretriangle.… Read More
Read here for this story from this month’s Latitude 38. It relates to my endless squawking about Coast Guard Boardings, but in this case there’s not much to be said or done: Someone crossing an international border (or its maritime equivalent) has no rights and is open to search. Even on land, the 100-mile border zone is called a “constitution-free zone.” However, on land U.S. Customs and Border Protection, who operate under many of the same laws and exceptions as the Coast Guard, seem to fall under a higher standard of courtesy and accountability, and a delay of five hours, during which the detainees weren’t allowed to use the bathroom, would be considered out of line.… Read More
The wiring phase of this project started with re-terminating cables and adding big fuses, then moved into battery switches and distribution. Now we’re into the final leg, which is the main distribution panel.
In the photo above you’ll see what I went with. Most distribution panels in the marine world use breakers, like this:
That’s what I thought I was going to end up with, and the exact one above would have been just peachy, but I ended up going with glass fuses in fuse blocks for a few reasons. First, they’re way cheaper. Second, I’ve already got so many things aboard that take glass fuses that I’m pretty much stuck with them anyway.… Read More
“How do you earn money while you’re cruising?” is one of the top ten questions I think I get about this life, and my friend Sarah has by FAR the coolest answer: she’s a cartoonist and can work online from anywhere that has internet, keeping her family happily on the move in their nomadic life. I’m a big fan of Sarah’s ‘toons (if you haven’t seen 12 Reasons Why I Love Living On A Boat, and then 10 of The Most Annoying Things About Living On A Boat, just click here and go read them now. I’ll wait. tap tap tappity tap…).… Read More
Ahh, peaceful Baie Maa. A lovely little bay just north of Noumea, and a perfect place to stop when everything is going to hell around you. Soak in this lovely photo of the girls, because it took some major excitement to get to that point.
It was a misty moisty morning when we pulled out of Port Moselle for the last time. As we filled the diesel tanks at the nearby fuel dock, the winds howled louder and the rain came harder. I shielded the diesel inlet while Erik filled, trying desperately to avoid taking on a tankful of water, and we exchanged a grim look.… Read More
Episode #110 is Duncan Hood, a long-time sailor and technically an Annapolis resident for more than two decades, but who’s traveled the world teaching instructors how to teach sailing.
Duncan works ASA and years ago got asked to travel to China to help start a sailing school in the south, near the border with North Korea, and his story of that misadventure makes up a good chunk of the middle of this episode. It’s a riveting tale!… Read More
For reasons we need not go into this year’s father-daughter cruise fell on the July 4th weekend rather than on Father’s Day. Our big breakthrough this time out was that Lucy got interested in navigation, courtesy of the Navionics app on my iPad. This on day two of the cruise, when we were tediously motoring most of the way from Cliff Island in Casco Bay to Popham Beach at the mouth of the Kennebec River, our traditional July 4th destination.
After Lucy asked for the hundredth time, “How long until we get there?” I just handed her the iPad and said: “Here, you figure it out.”
After a quick two-minute tutorial from yours truly on the app’s basic features, Lucy was fully engrossed.… Read More
When Hanse Yachts founder Michael Schmidt sold his company a few years ago, it seemed the European boatbuilding community had lost one of its canniest operators. Not only did Schmidt build the company from a startup in a disused East German furniture factory to a multi-brand powerhouse at a time when many other builders were struggling, he is a true character and an innovator; witness how widely copied the trademark Hanse big mainsail/self-tacking jib combo has become. Read More
With a boatbuilding background going back to the 1970s it was unlikely that Schmidt would stay away from the scene for too long, and sure enough, he is back with something completely different—a new line of sleek carbon-fiber bluewater cruisers designed by Italians, styled by a Brit and built in Germany.…
Andy and the crew of Isbjörn have no email at sea so they won’t be posting blogs while offshore. However, the Yellowbrick tracker can post to Facebook, so check there for brief updates now and then. Also, Isbjörn’s position is updated every four hours at 59-north.com/tracking. – Rory… Read More
Aventura’s Parasailor spinnaker emblazoned with the logos of our partners in this adventure: UNESCO, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the World Meteorological Organisation
I always say that what I like best about sailing and being at sea are the long passages.
I was tempted to describe the current passage from Victoria, in British Columbia, to Dutch Harbor, in the Aleutian Islands, as the exception because of a frustratingly slow start when we had to contend with contrary winds and current and had to use the engine more than I would have liked.
However, after a few days, favourable winds set in and I am pleased to say that in the last 24 hours Aventura has sailed for the first time a total 191 miles in that span of time.… Read More