What’s Better than “Half Tide Rising” on the ICW?

19 Jan

Travel on the ICW is made simpler if you follow the mantra “half tide rising”.  If you are headed towards and planning to transit one of the infamous ICW “trouble spots,” the advice is: enter the area on a rising tide and exit the area before the tide starts to drop precipitously.  Often you will find that your daily route planning has you transiting several challenging sections with bridge schedules controlling your pace and limiting your travel to half tide rising is just not practical. It is important to have good charts and access to up to real time tide ...

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Panbo’s test fleet grows again with another fast outboard powered boat

19 Jan

 

I’m pleased to announce that, like Ben Ellison, I’ve added a smaller, faster, simpler boat to my test fleet. Last week I took delivery of a new-to-me 2016 22-foot Cobia 220CC center console powered by a Yamaha 150 engine. When Ben Ellison posted about his new boat last fall he teased that I was also in the market for a similar boat and though it took a while to find the right one, I’ve done it and I’m thrilled.

I’m like a kid with a new toy, disappointed when the days activities don’t include the opportunity to play with ...

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eToys: hydrofoil ebike versus efoil boards

17 Jan

 

Yes, there’s now a pedal-assisted hydrofoiling water bike. And it certainly deserves consideration as I contemplate new toys for the garage of my fantasy expedition megayacht. But while that research left me skeptical about how enjoyable the foiling ebike design really is, some related poking around the dynamic world of powered foiling boards — commonly called efoils — definitely perked up some deep winter hours.

The Manta5 Hydrofoiler XE-1 purports to “replicate the cycling experience on water” and it can now be preordered for spring delivery at the $7,490 introductory price. XE-1 demos were offered to the press at ...

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Bound Away Around Cape Horn // ICEBEAR in the Ocean Globe Race

15 Jan

ICEBEAR Swan 59_2.jpg

January 2020 // Stockholm, Sweden

Lives there a sailor who would not have made a Cape Horn passage in his own small vessel rather than any other voyage in the world?

— Vito Dumas // Legendary Solo Circumnavigator

ICEBEAR is headed around the world, and the hard way. Come fall 2023, 59 North’s Swan 59 will be at the starting line of the inaugural Ocean Globe Race, a fully crewed retro race in the spirit of the 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race to mark the 50th Anniversary of the original event, bound for the Southern Ocean and ...

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Digital Switching gets easier, cheaper, and more compelling

14 Jan

Until recently digital switching has only been seen on newly built, high-end boats. Now, Maretron and CZone both have digital switching products that can be retrofitted by a boat owner or pro installer and cost under $500. But, are these products easy to install and will the boat owner benefit from the installation? Read on to find out.

Digital switching is a complex topic and there are quite a few systems from several different manufacturers available today with more coming. This entry won’t be able to cover all the capabilities of the systems covered nor the specifics of installing each ...

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Reflections from Shore: Ben’s Story P.2

8 Jan

The view of the 2019 Annapolis Sailboat show as seen from ISBJORN’s mooring ball

Life on the Ball

By early October, I had been living on the boat for two months. Life on Mooring #22 was great. I loved showing my new home to friends and family, as well as getting to know the community of Downtown Annapolis. I went running through town often, exploring the Navel academy campus and the surrounding area. I tried as many different restaurants and bars as I could within budget, my favorite being $10 pizza Mondays at Foxes Den! The weather and leaves were starting to change; a sleeping bag was a must-have come bedtime. On the first cold ...

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ICEBEAR OFFSHORE // Towards Tobago Cays, Grenadines

6 Jan

ICEBEAR at rest in the Saintes.

ICEBEAR at rest in the Saintes.

We’re back at sea again after about 30 hours in Terre de Haut. New Year’s Day was lazy. The crew set off on a long, steep hike to the top of the island and the old abandoned fort that Mia, Lisa & I had explored back in February last time we were in the Saintes. The road to the top is steep and winding – at every switchback corner it feels like you must be at the top, but it just keeps on going.

Mia & I were less ambitious. We meandered across the ...

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ICEBEAR OFFSHORE // New Year’s Eve at Sea

6 Jan

Double rainbow as the crew joined ICEBEAR in Antigua! Good omen!

Double rainbow as the crew joined ICEBEAR in Antigua! Good omen!

ICEBEAR departed Falmouth, Antigua, right on time, at 1630, December 31, 2019. The last day of the decade, and the first time we’d ever spend New Year’s Eve at sea.

That was on purpose. I’ve never liked big parties regardless of the time of year, and I didn’t want to have any temptations for the crew to spend a (late) night ashore. So we sailed.

Andy nighttime navigatin’.

Andy nighttime navigatin’.

The sun set as we crossed the open-water pass between Antigua and Guadaloupe, a gentle easterly breeze propelling us south. In ...

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Cape to Rio Race

3 Jan
Part of the fleet with beautiful Table Mountain

 

 
The Cape to Rio race started this past weekend. It’s one of the world’s iconic sailing events first raced back in 1971. Perhaps it’s more iconic to me than other sailors because I grew up with the race. When I was a kid in South Africa the Rio Race was a big deal. Before the race started the local newspaper would have a supplement ...
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