Little boats with a big history

22 Sep
mini4
The start of the mini Transat from Douarnenez, France – photo credit Jacques Vapillon

This past Saturday the Mini Transat started from the tiny town of Douarnenez located in Brittany in the northwest region of France. There are 72, yes 72 boats competing, an enormous fleet of futuristic boats all headed for Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe with a stop along the way in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. It’s 1,250 nautical miles from France to the Canary Islands, and 2,770 miles from the Canaries to the Caribbean for a total course distance of just over 4,000 miles. The Mini Transat is raced in
...
Read More

Cameron Deyell

21 Sep

Cameron Deyell is a musician based in Brooklyn by way of Auckland, New Zealand. Note the new intro music this week, a song called ‘Hey Rose’ by his band ‘Streets of Laredo.’ The full song plays at th conclusion of the episode. Cameron’s also a sailor and traveler, and much of his solo music is informed by his sailing experience and sailing dreams. Cameron invited Andy to his Brooklyn studio to record this interview, where they discuss his music career and his sailing background.

Cameron also wrote and performed the new ad music for the podcast. Look for a bonus ...

Read More

All is well that ends well

20 Sep

After the quick turnaround at Falmouth, we made a relatively fast passage to the Thames Estuary where we caught the favourable tide for the remaining 40 miles to London.

Shortly after we had passed the Thames tidal barrier, we reached the former Royal Albert Docks. It was from here that I had left in 1974 on the first Aventura with Gwenda, Doina and Ivan on our six year long round the word voyage.

As we turned at a wide river bend, the sight of Greenwich came into view.

Up on the hill above the Royal Naval College is the Greenwich ...

Read More

Mast Step Repairs with the Telltales Sailing Collective (Part 2: What is the ‘correct’ repair?)

19 Sep
Mast step structure exposed

Well, we’ve got the mast step on the Telltales Sailing Collective’s first boat opened right up and now we’re deciding how to put it back together. Working on boats I often find this the hardest part of the repair- there are so many materials and approaches available that it can be overwhelming, especially in a case like this where there is no ‘standard approach.’

The fiberglass we cut away to expose the internal structure

Fortunately with a little critical thought we came up with the correct repair. In the first case, mild steel has no place ...

Read More

Mast Step Repairs with the Telltales Sailing Collective (Part 2: What is the ‘correct’ repair?)

19 Sep
Mast step structure exposed

Well, we’ve got the mast step on the Telltales Sailing Collective’s first boat opened right up and now we’re deciding how to put it back together. Working on boats I often find this the hardest part of the repair- there are so many materials and approaches available that it can be overwhelming, especially in a case like this where there is no ‘standard approach.’

The fiberglass we cut away to expose the internal structure

Fortunately with a little critical thought we came up with the correct repair. In the first case, mild steel has no place ...

Read More

Gearing Up

18 Sep

Having spent many years sailing in England, where there is no climate as such, just weather (as the Brits love to say, with just a touch of bitterness), transitioning to coastal sailing in the United States came as a pleasant surprise to me. It took a year or two before I stopped toting my ocean-grade foulweather gear around and became acclimated to sailing in shorts, T-shirt and (sometimes) a light jacket. I’ve so seldom worn long pants on the boat that when I sailed in jeans the other week it felt decidedly unnatural.

Of course, pride precedes an inevitable fall, ...

Read More

With a little bit of help from my friends

18 Sep

Before this voyage comes to a happy and successful end I wish to use this opportunity to give my grateful thanks to all those who have made this ambitious project possible, and who continued to support me throughout the long time it took to complete.

I must, of course, start with Aventura herself, and those who created her.

The creators – Photo: Jon Amtrup/explorenorth.no

On the right side in this photo taken shortly before Aventura left the boatyard in Cherbourg in May last year, is Stephan Constance, the CEO of Le Grand Large, a group that comprises not only ...

Read More

Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Race Retrospective

18 Sep
I was interested to read that Knut Frostad was stepping down as CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race. Curious as to why I went online to read the official statement and then something hit me. Knut was only six years old when the first edition of the race, known then as the Whitbread Round the World Race, took place. Last week the Whitbread/Volvo celebrated 42 years since the first race back in 1973 and how things have changed. On the VOR website there is a photo of the very dashing crew of a boat called Second Life. I know that ...
Read More

MFD engine alarming improves, but still needs more Maretron-ization

17 Sep

Written by Ben Ellison on Sep 17, 2015 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Garmin_741_engine_alarm.jpgOn Oct. 4th I’ll present a seminar titled “Electronic Engine Monitoring Comes of Age” at TrawlerFest Bay Bridge in Stevensville, Maryland. This Garmin 741 photo will be useful as it shows three new and different ways Gizmo’s old diesel engine can now indicate a low oil pressure problem. Thanks to the Actisense EMU-1 I installed in 2013, the simple low pressure alarm switch on the Volvo Penta can trigger an informative pop-up (and audio alarm) on all the networked Garmin screens regardless of what function(s) ...

Read More

Tesla’s Powerwall on a boat?

17 Sep

Tesla
This summer Tesla unveiled its Powerwall, a battery large enough to power an average home with a solar system, and give this home independence from the grid. Elon Musk’s announcement was met with giddy excitement, and the batteries are already sold out for the foreseeable future.

I wonder how long before a Powerwall finds its way onto a boat? Tick, tick, tick.

Crunching the numbers, it may not make economic sense yet, but the price may come down in a few years. The Powerwall, the 7 kWh version, sells for $3000. The slightly larger 10 kWh Powerpack sells for ...

Read More

More from the AIM Marine Group