Boats and Gear

GUNBOAT 66 PHAEDO: Shifting Into Cruising Mode

18 Dec

Paul Hand and Lloyd Thornburg

When I first stepped aboard the bright orange Gunboat 66 Phaedo while chatting up ARC sailors here in Rodney Bay, I had no idea at first who I was talking to. A soft-spoken not-quite-clean-shaven young man in a t-shirt invited me aboard after I hailed the boat from the dock, and I naturally assumed he must be crew. He eagerly pointed out the skipper (Paul Hand, on the left up top) and some of the other folks aboard, and it was only after I inquired directly as to his own identity that he admitted, a bit bashfully, that he was ...

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Vestas SailRocket: Foiled Again

14 Dec

A bad day for Paul Larsen and his intrepid speedsters. Their latest speed sailing session is over and they were plagued by the strange behavaior of every speed foil they plugged into their otherworldly craft. Here's a summary of the final day action (full report here):

We did 5 runs today. 3 slow, 1 grounding and 1 moderately fast run. I'm not happy. I can't believe we didn't even achieve a 50 knot average throughout this record attempt. I really can't believe it. Well it wasn't for lack of trying… or pushing.

I'll summarise the whole session in

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GUNDALOW LAUNCH: Piscataqua Goes For A Swim

11 Dec

Gundalow launch ceremony

I'd never actually seen this before–the christening and launching of a new vessel. This was on Saturday, here in Portsmouth, NH, just down the street from where I live. After a bit of speechifying by my good friend and neighbor Molly Bolster, a bottle was busted and the good ship Piscataqua, the first new gundalow launched in 30 years, was pushed with some ceremony into the briny.

Gundalows, as I've mentioned before, are the old sailing barges that once were the lifeblood of local commerce here in the Piscataqua watershed. The last one launched, the Edward Adams, ...

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The Cape Dory 28

24 Nov

Between the years of 1963 and 1991 Cape Dory Yachts built over 4,800 boats. Designed by Carl Alberg during a time when the newly booming fiberglass pleasureboat industry was churning out the beamy, lightweight cruiser/racers which so disastrously failed in the 1979 Fastnet race, the Cape Dory 28 really stands out. It is unequivocally a cruising boat, built with the conservative full keel and hefty displacement which gave Alberg a name as a designer of production boats which simply sailed well.
There are myriad benefits to the heavily ballasted full-keel designs which made Alberg famous, many of which are very ...

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Finding My Cape Dory 28

18 Nov

As the weather warmed up my first spring in New Orleans I began to realize how many derelict old sailboats were for sale in the area. It didn’t take long to revive longstanding dreams of finding an old boat to repair and take south. Once I started searching in earnest though I quickly found that despite this abundance it was no easy task to find a boat cheap enough yet within reasonable limits of decrepitude. With my experience largely contained to the well-maintained boats my family has lived on I was astounded by the sheer number of things that can ...

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