The Cruiser Archetypes

3 Aug


Every cruiser is different, but over the years certain archetypes have emerged in my mind:

The Crusty Cruiser (or Grotty Yachtie): Seafaring life a thin disguise for alcoholism. Doesn’t really ever sail anywhere, but settles into haunts like Marina La Paz, Phuket, or certain Caribbean islands where rum is cheap. Boats are likely to have cockroaches and lots of dog hair. If male, Moses beard. If female, hairy legs and arm pits. Personal hygiene neglected due to water shortage aboard. Favorite part of cruising: cocktail hour.

The Yacht Club Officer on Tour: Yacht Club Burgee flown at all times ...

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SAIL V. CRUISING WORLD: Secret Bilateral Talks

1 Aug

Elaine & Charlie

BACK IN THE LATE NINETIES when I quit my job as an associate editor at Cruising World, Elaine Lembo was hired to take my place. We’ve been good friends ever since. We usually have furtive encounters in vans running between BWI Airport and Annapolis in October and swap all kinds of juicy gossip about sailing magazines, particularly the ones we work for. This year for the first time we had our furtive encounter in the proper way, aboard a boat, in a fabulous anchorage in Maine (Ridley Cove, just south of Cundy’s Harbor), in company with Elaine’s partner-in-crime, paramour, ...

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Ever wonder what happened to PlayStation?

4 Jun

PlayStation, adventurer Steve Fossett's 125-foot catamaran, smashed many records just 8-11 years ago, including the 24-hour speed record, the trans-Atlantic record, and the Jules Verne Trophy, circumnavigating in 58 days, 9 hours.

How fast things happen–and how fast boats sail–in this crazy sailing life. I think all of those record have since been broken again, and in the case of the Jules Verne, twice broken, now down to 45 days, 13 hours.

Steve Fossett died when his plane crashed in the Nevada desert in 2007. One of the many record-breaking projects he left behind was his submersisble, designed to take ...

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Hans Klaar Will Sail The Seas Again

16 May

Hans Klaar is an extraordinary sailor, a modern-day Moitessier, who has built and cruised a series of Polynesian-style catamarans over vast swathes of the world's oceans. Early last year his life took a dramatic and tragic turn when he was jailed in South Africa for rape, as my SAILFeed buddy Charlie Doane chronicled. After fighting the charge, Klaar was released in July and began the fight to rebuild his name and rebuild his life.

Naturally,one of the ways for him to do that was to go build a new boat, and set out for the distant horizons. So ...

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GROOTE BEER: Hermann Goering’s Botter Jacht (Not)

7 May

Groote Beer

My association with this vessel dates back to 1992, when I sailed across the Atlantic with Cliff and Ruth Ann Fremstad aboard their Alden schooner Constellation. After we unfortunately lost Constellation in a river in Spain that summer, I was a bit surprised when Cliff and Ruth Ann, who had been living aboard the schooner for several years, announced they would have to move back aboard their other boat. My surprise morphed into amazement when they described it to me and showed me some pix. It was a 52-foot Dutch botter jacht named Groote Beer (or “Great Bear”), which ...

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Matt Rutherford’s Epic Voyage

24 Apr

There are very few voyages these days that truly earn the superlative "epic." Matt Rutherford, an Annapolis sailor, just delivered one. Non-stop, and solo, around the Americas, via the Northwest Passage and Cape Horn. More than 27,000 miles in 310 days. Incredible.

Rutherford arrived in Annapolis over the weekend, and received a hero's welcome:

“Long time, no see,” Rutherford, 31, said into the mike, with the same familiar combination of awkwardness and comedic timing that those who know him best had missed these last 309 days. He was still barefoot, his toenails brown and gnarled, and thick shocks of

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Remembering Loss Living with Sacrifice

22 Apr

Does it say something about sailing or does it say something about journalism that even the New York Times had to look for an Americas Cup tie-in when it reported the tragic deaths of five amateur sailors aboard a keelboat rounding an island at the edge of the Continental Shelf, 27 miles from the nearest point of the planned 2013 Americas Cup course inside San Francisco Bay?

In the last week I have not had a single sailor-conversation that has not turned to the tragedy of losing five souls in the 2012 Farallons Race. For that matter, it came up ...

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How To Raise A Family The Anasazi Way

18 Apr

If you ever find yourself dazed in a Mall, stewing in traffic, or listening to your kid scream about playing more Wii, and wonder what the hell you are doing, then think about James Burwick, who is circumnavigating the globe with his wife and two (very_ young kids on an Open 40 called Anasazi Girl.

He's crossing oceans at high rates of speed and giving his family an experience that is unlike most any other in this harried, technified, 21st Century (course the Bumfuzzles know a thing or two about this, as well).

Anasazi Girl is currently in ...

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Must Reads: Merf Owen On Designing VO70s

5 Apr

Only one out of six of the VO70s on the current leg of the Volvo Ocean Race has managed (or been lucky ebough) to avoid a major breakdown. Nice, PUMA.

First, a quick video summary (and full details of Groupama's breakdown and options are here):

The chaos and catastrophe have been sufficient to induce VOR CEO Knut Frostad to issue a statement of concern. And, naturally, all the breakages have set off the usual armchair designer critics, who have taken to sailing forums across the globe.

To sort it all out, and explain things from the design side, ...

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Inside Artemis

16 Mar

What's up with Artemis? Don't they know that when you play the America's Cup game you are supposed to be paranoid, secretive, and hostile to media efforts to learn anything about your plans and designs? And that you need lots of security goons to shoo inquisitive, photo-snapping journalists away?

Apparently not. Yesterday they distributed pictures of their new AC72 wing. And now we see that they've also allowed CNN Mainsail's Shirley Robertson behind the scenes for a pretty extensive look at their team and progress. The result is three sweet video reports.

For that, they win the inaugural Mariner ...

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