Paul Exner // Surviving Irma & Sailing to Hawaii

16 Jan

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#223: Paul Exner is one of our best friends, and easily the best sailor I’ve ever sailed with. Paul is Isbjorn’s Racing skipper, and is the only person – besides mad dad – who I’ve trusted to sail Isbjorn offshore without me being aboard. He’s been a regular on the podcast, so if you don’t know his backstory – how he grew up as a Gringo living in Puerto Rico, went on to coach the racing team at the University of Wisconsin, had his own mapping business, built his Cape George 31 Solstice from a bare hull and eventually sailed ...

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Seakeeper install… 7,000 miles later

15 Jan

Written by Ben Stein on Jan 15, 2018 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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As I sat down to write this article I flashed back to an eye-opening technology experience at the 2015 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. My wife and I found ourselves on the Seakeeper roll stabilization demo boat in the mouth of the Port Everglades inlet with a Viking 60-foot sportfish doing circles around us throwing as big a wake as possible. Our demo ride led to a major install on our Carver motor yacht, which I can recall in vivid detail, but which also significantly improved ...

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A False Start and a Real Start

15 Jan

Day 62 (days at sea, not counting days in Ushuaia)

Noon POS: 53 23S 59 46W, under the Falklands

Course and Speed: NE7

Wind: W25

BAR: 996

Sea: W6

Sky: Clear

Temp: cabin, 56; Water, 47

A blog for Jan 11 and 12…

At the office of the Prefectura (Coast Guard), the captain waggled his finger when I showed him my exit papers, completed and signed in advance so as to expedite the process. I was breathless from the three flights of stairs and clearly in a hurry, and there is nothing bureaucracy hates more than hurry.

“The man for ...

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Mo is Away

14 Jan

Day 61

Noon Position: 55 58S 62 52W (roughly 200 miles E of Ushuaia)

Course Speed: NE 8+

Wind: WNW 20 – 25

Bar: 992

Sea: W4

Sky: Overcast

Temp: 53, cabin; 43 water

Mo and Randall have made their escape from Ushuaia, Argentina, and are now thoroughly at sea. In the late morning, the last sight of land, sharp ink spots on a horizon layered in gray, the sinking of Isla de Los Estados.

After entering the South Atlantic via Canal Beagle in the afternoon of yesterday, I ran all night due east on a west wind so as ...

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“As Nelson said…”

10 Jan

“…ships and men rot in port,” wrote Tony Gooch last week. And then, “I hope you have rested well and are recuperated. But do recall, you have an appointment with Cape Horn three months hence.”

A brief note bordering on terse but well-timed and written from the experience of one who’s made, and forced himself to leave, many a beautiful foreign port. For nothing is easier to adapt to than comfort nor easier to forget than future trials, even if they are of one’s own choosing.

From her berth in Ushuaia, Mo’s interior is dry and warm and mostly motionless. ...

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New life for an old boat

10 Jan
 
I often wonder what happens to old boats. There must be thousands of yachts that were once commissioned, designed, built and raced hard, and then pretty much forgotten. I was sure that this was what had happened to a boat I used to race on in the early 80s. The boat was designed by German Frers, built by Palmer Johnson in Wisconsin, and owned by Chuck Kirsh and Jack Batts. Chuck Kirsh made his money as founder of Kirsh Curtain Rods (one in every home) and Batts pioneered injection-molding coat hangers. There’s money in coat hangers I guess. The boat ...
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Isbjorn’s Big Refit in Sweden: First Look Since September

10 Jan

Inside the main workshop at Vindö.

Inside the main workshop at Vindö.

On Sunday Mia & I made the pilgrimage to the west coast of Sweden to check in on Isbjörn for the first time since September. That was the last time we had seen the boat. Back then, she was still afloat, her rig standing, but stripped bare of sails and gear, on deck and down below. We’d emptied nearly everything off the boat in anticipation of the big winter refit. Sometime in late September, after we’d gone back to the USA for boat show in Annapolis, the gang at Vindö Marin pulled the rig ...

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Rebuilding the Compression Post Part One

10 Jan

Below is how I removed and rebuilt the compression post on Satori, the most comical part of this project was cutting expensive and important parts of the boat apart with a sawsall…

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I looked at the compression post, wondering how I was going to grind out and remove something that was almost exactly the height of the cabin top. I figured if I cut the post in the middle I could easily remove the top half and have some leverage on the bottom half when I’m grinding out the epoxy encapsulated plate holding the post to the keel.

compression post top plateNext, I ...

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Ode to hydronic boat heating, and Sure Marine Service

9 Jan

Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 9, 2018 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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It seems appropiate to kick off 2018 with a discussion of heating technology, specifically the diesel-fired hydronic system I installed on Gizmo last year. It was a significant purchase and a major install, but the 66 degree pilothouse temperature seen above certainly made my early December ICW trip a lot more pleasant. I’ll explain why I chose hydronic, detail how the system went together, and profusely praise Sure Marine Service, a marine heating equipment distributor par excellence…

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This Weather Underground history graphic is annotated with Gizmo’s...

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222: Carlton Goldthwaite // Broadreach Adventure Travel

9 Jan

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#222. Carlton Goldthwaite is the visionary founder & owner of Broadreach, a North Carolina-based company that offers offers skill-building and educational adventures worldwide, a company very close to my heart – my first official captain’s job was in 2008, as a Broadreach skipper based out of French St Martin and co-leading three-week sailing & diving trips around the Leeward Islands. Carlton & I spoke in-person at the Broadreach HQ in Raleigh about his seaside childhood on the coast of New Jersey, his vagabonding experiences as a young adult, his stint on Wall Street as a junk bond trader, and ...

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