Lessons from a dinghy crisis averted

25 Sep

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“STAY AWAY FROM THE PROPELLER!” From below deck I heard Jamie shout from the cockpit, and froze. It was our last day in Comoros; our sixteen year old son, Niall, had just left with the dinghy– those words could only mean one thing, and it terrified me. Niall was in the water, and the outboard prop was still dangerously spinning.

He had departed Totem moments earlier for a late afternoon meet-up with friends on a neighboring boat while we entertained a group of NGO workers on board. Wind coming down the hillside to the harbor gusted 25-35 knots, causing the ...

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Raymarine LightHouse 14 sailing features, as good as they look?

24 Sep

Written by Ben Ellison on Sep 24, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Raymarine_LH14_sailing_features_cPanbo_.jpgWhen pretending to sail, I go for high performance. That’s why the screen above seems to show Gizmo exceeding true wind speed while extremely close hauled. But pretending is also why I can’t truly review the new sailing features that came to all current Raymarine multifunction displays last May, thanks to a free LightHouse 14 operating system update. Additionally, most of the features described in the press release are about racing, which I did little of even when I was sailing a lot. But let’s walk ...

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Ellen in the house

24 Sep


I first met Ellen MacArthur in 1999. She was relatively unknown then, at least to the sailing community. She was a young British girl that had done a bit of sailing. I had heard of her because she had sailed the Mini-Transat and I was a big fan of the event. I got a call from my friend, the yacht designer Merf Owen. He told me his girlfriend wanted to charter my boat for the Route du Rhum race but had very little money. He said her name was Ellen MacArthur and she was hoping to do the Vendée Globe ...
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Offshore Safety Equipment for Sale

24 Sep

Anybody interested in some very good, almost new ocean sailing gear? I got the below email from David Hayes – he and his family completed an Atlantic Circuit with World Cruising Club rallies in May, and are now transitioning back to life ashore. All of the following equipment satisfies the rally requirements. Contact me on andy@59-north.com if you’re interested in anything:

Hello Andy,

I have safety equipment that could be useful for people you might know either in the rallies or friends of yours. Photos are below the descriptions of all items. thank for sharing this with people who might

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Isbjorn Refit Party!

23 Sep

We would like to give a big thank you to all of you who came out and helped out on the boat during our refit party! We are humbled to have so many awesome and fun-to-hang-out-with supporters & friends! The work could not have been done with out you! 

One thing that we learned during the week is that boat work is much more fun when you hang out with fun people! The project list is still growing but we have gotten tons of work accomplished already! Below are some photos of the refit and last weeks work, click on one ...

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Lost?

23 Sep
French sailor Laurent Bourgnon is missing

The Swiss sailor Laurent Bourgnon was reported missing on Thursday after failing to return from a diving trip in French Polynesia. Laurent who, you ask? Well let me clarify that. If you are a non-European you probably have never heard of him and wonder why this is big news. If you are Swiss or French he is a household name, a sailing superstar, someone small French kids aspire to be, someone to whom the French President awarded the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest honor, equivalent to America’s Presidential Medal of Freedom. So yes Bourgnon is ...
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Pearl of the Pacific

23 Sep

Story and Photos by Kimball Livingston

Published September 23, 2015

At our shoreside celebration on Huahine, one bright gazelle of a female child dashed to and fro, to and fro, leaping to the beat of the drums, infectious joy trailing in her wake. Was she a French local, in from Papeete for Tahiti’s annual gathering of the sailing tribes, the Pearl Regatta? Did she come by way of a long distance cruiser, with parents not satisfied to merely pass through but seizing the opportunity to play sailing games along the way? Did she come from one of the boats ...

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2015 NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW: More Euro Invaders and Some Cool American Boats As Well

22 Sep

Euphoria

Walking the docks at Newport last week I couldn’t help noticing that the seemingly never-ending invasion of Euro boats into the American market continues apace. Two new brands in evidence this year were Euphoria and Azuree, both of which are creatures of Sirena Marine, a Turkish builder that previously did contract work for others (most notably building powerboats for Azimut) and a few years ago struck out on its own. Yes, I know most of Turkey is not in Europe, but still, the Euphoria 54 (see photo up top), designed by German Frers, reads as a sleek luxury performance ...

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Party Boat Mishap

22 Sep

This video has been bouncing around Facebook, and the more times I watch it the more bizarre it gets. For example:

1. It appears that many of the people falling off the foredeck are naked, or at least the first guy is.
2. A man jumps from the bridge just after the people fall in, apparently to help people in the water. He appears to be wearing swim fins? Did he just happen to be wearing fins at the time?
3. There are screams and there is laughter and the footage is kind of grainy. It might be a “Funny ...

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Fastnet Force 10

22 Sep

Just one of the awful images from the ’79 Fastnet Race

It has been 36 years since I raced the disastrous ’79 Fastnet. For those that don’t recall what happened an intense low pressure system passed over the fleet decimating a large portion of it. The event was part of the Admiral’s Cup and attracted not only the best sailors in the world, but also many, many amateurs whose only offshore experience was the biennial race. It was a combination of a number of inexperienced sailors, shallow water in the Irish Sea, and an un-forecasted low that led to the ...
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