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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The high cost of mid-ocean rescues

16 Jun
Locomotion – now at the bottom of the ocean
The sinking of the yacht Locomotion and the subsequent rescue of the crew has me thinking about the cost of mid-ocean rescues and who should pay for them. Earlier this week  Locomotion, an Andrews 45, was enroute from Hawaii to California when the boat struck something and started to take on water. According to the crew they were unable to keep up with the flooding and so they took to the liferaft and activated their EPIRB. Because they were relatively close to land a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter was
...
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Useful Tech to Plan & Organize Ocean Sailing Passages

15 Jun

A screenshot of the Master Planning Calendar for #isbjornsailing passages!

A screenshot of the Master Planning Calendar for #isbjornsailing passages!

If you listened to the business update podcast yesterday, you’ll know I’ve been spending a lot of the time doing ‘behind-the-scenes’ work on the business for the past week or so while here in Sweden. I love doing this kind of stuff. Figuring out financials, making crew organization easier, planning future passages, all that stuff. 

I also love finding ways to make all that work easier and more automated. I’ll admit I’m a bit of a start-up junkie, and listen to Tim Ferriss’ podcast and Alex Bloomberg’s ‘Startup’ podcasts all ...

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Gone Sailing

15 Jun

As far as I’m concerned, June is the best month of the season—with the usual caveats, familiar to all who sail in the Northeast. First, the boat must have been launched on time, which presupposes a mild winter; all it takes is the usual January/February freeze followed by a couple of late snowstorms to throw everything into disarray. Watching your launch date come and go when there is still a couple of feet of snow in the boatyard is a mortifying, but sadly not uncommon, scenario. Worse still is the knowledge that you’ve not even had a chance to paint ...

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RACING SCHOONERS: Sterling Hayden Versus Bluenose

14 Jun

Bluenose and Thebaud

Back in the 1930s the next most important match-racing event after the America’s Cup didn’t involve yachts but fishing vessels. The Sir Thomas Lipton International Fishing Challenge Cup had only a brief tenure in the annals of competitive sailing, but it commanded major media attention at the time. Effectively a grudge match sailed between Canadian and American Grand Banks fishermen, the event was run was just three times, and each time featured the same two competitors, the famed Canadian schooner Bluenose (on the right in the image up top) and the American schooner Gertrude L. Thebaud (on the left).

Bluenose...

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Chapter 4 – A Primer on Panel Layouts – Part 1

14 Jun


Aerodynamic shape and engineering
There are two equally important aspects to sail design: aerodynamic shape and engineering. Aerodynamic shape refers to the curved foil that the sail will present when it is flying under certain conditions. Engineering refers to the various fabrics and fibers that will be used in building this foil and the precise manner in which they will be put together. In fact, these two aspects of sail design go hand in hand since a perfect shape is useless if it distorts when a load comes on the sail. Similarly, an over-engineered sail is equally useless if its ...
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On the Brink

13 Jun

It’s been a while since I did an in-depth essay podcast about the business. Episode 132 was tangentially related – the Money one – but before that, it was back in episode 113 that I talked about the first voyage of Isbjorn. That happened nearly a year ago now! Obviously lots has happened since.

I feel like the business is ‘on the brink’ – either we finally get to enjoy all we’ve worked for over the past ten years, living out what I’d only dreamed about. Or, it doesn’t work out, we don’t sell enough bunks to make a ...

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Reflections on my life as a professional sailor. by Paul Exner.

13 Jun

“Only in the self control of our thoughts are we free.”

Paul Exner’s idea of the Modern Geographic Expedition…

To separate our attention from non-original ideas has become more and more difficult in this hyper-connected age of internet as changed by social media and it’s influence. More than ever before in my lifetime, at age 50 do I see, feel, and experience how we as individuals have been enabled to market ourselves using our vanity through imagery and words of accompanying summary; but in what way have we improved the true connectivity between us?

At this very moment, I am ...

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Matt Rutherford is back in the Arctic

11 Jun

Sisimiut, Greenland, above the Arctic Circle.

Sisimiut, Greenland, above the Arctic Circle.

Matt Rutherford continues to defy the odds and follow his dreams to the ends of the earth. He made a name for himself during his audacious ‘Around the Americas‘ voyage in ‘St. Brendan,’ a 27-foot Albin Vega. That drew a LOT of attention, and rightly so – it had never been done before.

Lately, Matt’s scientific research – far less ‘sexy’ than his solo stunts – have earned much less attention, but are undoubtedly more important to him – and to sailors as a whole – than anything he did by himself. ...

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Isbjorn back in the boatyard in Annapolis

11 Jun

I realize I never wrote a final blog post on our Florida-Annapolis passage. The last one was titled ‘Hove-to!’ So here goes.

After three very tiring days of upwind, close-reaching in 20+ knots of breeze, we finally got a respite. We ended up only spending 6 hours hove-to – by 0300 the next morning, the wind had eased off into the teens and backed enough to the WSW so that we could set sail and ease the sheets. The Hatteras rounding, ironically, was the best sailing and most pleasant part of the trip. Made even better because of the challenging ...

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