Sailfeed
July 23rd

canned food

Yes, I have done this, and that is me in that photo up there, eating cold ravioli straight out of a can. That’s my old buddy and shipmate Dave Lankshear (he got shipwrecked in Spain with me many moons ago) spoon-feeding me; this during a small gale we sailed through on a 15-day passage from Bermuda to the Azores on my old Alberg 35 yawl Crazy Horse. But no, I have not done this very often, because usually, even on a boat as primitive as Crazy Horse, it is possible, and not too hard, to eat pretty well while cruising.…

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July 10th

CRUISING SAILBOAT RIGS: Converting a Sloop to a Slutter

Posted by // July 10, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Sophie as cutter

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.…

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July 6th

FOURTH OF JULY CRUISE: The Father-Daughter Variation

Posted by // July 6, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Lucy navigating

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.…

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July 3rd

GREEN 37: New Centerboard Yawl Design by Jay Paris

Posted by // July 3, 2015 // COMMENT (1 Comment)

Profile and sailplane

Just heard recently from Jay Paris, N.A., who has been SAIL magazine’s technical advisor since before time began. He sent drawings and details of an intriguing upscaled version of the 32-foot centerboard yawl he designed and built for himself. (For details on that boat be sure to check this post here.) He calls this new design the Green 37, as he claims it “reduc[es] the environmental impact of construction and operation in terms of accommodation, payload and performance.” I’m scratching my head over that a bit, but in all other respects I find this a fascinating concept and would love to see one of these built someday.…

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July 1st

HOOLIGAN NAVY: Sailing Yachts On Sub Patrol During WWII

Posted by // July 1, 2015 // COMMENT (6 Comments)

Corsair bow image

When I was boy during summers spent on the Maine coast at the mouth of Kennebec River my mother used to tell us a story from when she was a girl growing up on the river, of how once during the war a Nazi submarine was spotted near the river’s entrance. To me this always sounded crazy, until I got older and read more about the war and learned how badly German U-boats had ravaged shipping all along the East Coast right after the U.S. entered the war in December 1941. My mom’s story might well have been apocryphal, but it was not at all improbable, for in those days U-boats did indeed operate with impunity quite close to our shores.…

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June 26th

Shaft seal

I have previously mentioned the problem I was having over the fall and winter with my engine being badly out of alignment. How I’d just run the engine anyway and eventually the prop shaft would whip it right back in line, and how this seemed to culminate in a shaft-seal leak that plagued me on the last leg of Lunacy‘s journey home from the W’Indies leaving Provincetown bound for Portland.

Given the impressive amount of water spraying all over the place as we left P-town, all of it spewing forth right from the mechanical face of the seal itself, I reckoned there was a good chance the whole unit would need replacing once I delivered the boat to the tender mercies of Maine Yacht Center.…

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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.…

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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.…

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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.…

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June 14th

MIMI ON THE BLOCK: 15-foot 1977 Drascombe Dabber For Sale

Posted by // June 14, 2015 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Mimi 1

I should have mentioned this earlier. I’m looking to find a good home for Mimi, my 15-foot Drascombe Dabber, as the sad truth is she hasn’t been used much in the past few years. This is a seaworthy open boat with positive flotation (Webb Chiles, you may recall, took a larger 18-foot sister vessel much of the way around the world) that has two rowing stations, a 5hp two-stroke outboard motor in a well, and a versatile gunter yawl rig. A great boat for Swallows-and-Amazons adventures, daysailing, camp-cruising, etc.

She comes complete with a trailer, two sets of oars, life-jackets, fog horn, fire extinguisher, and an anchor.…

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