SailGP coming to a city near you

14 Feb
SailGP. Ever heard of it?  I didn’t think so but get ready to hear a lot more about it in the next few months. In my opinion it’s the most exciting sailing event to come around in decades. If you enjoyed the last America’s Cup in Bermuda then you are going to love SailGP.  It’s the America’s Cup on steroids and the first race ...
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ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 3 // Rut or Groove?

14 Feb

19.02.04_Andy Midnight Writing.jpg

NOTE from Andy, Feb 14, 2019: I’m hesitant to publish this, for risk of it being too personal, causing too much interference with the public persona I’ve created about myself and of the business. But you know what – f&%k it. If I don’t publish this, anything I do publish would just feel like propaganda. Yes, there are certain things I’ll never publish – to this day there doesn’t exist an online photo from our wedding, for example, and while I talk all the time about the decision to have kids or not, you can safely bet that if the ...

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Adrift between The Snares and The Traps

13 Feb

February 12, 2019Day 130

Noon Position: 47 52S  167 08E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): —

Miles since departure: 17,941

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

The Snares lie 20 miles to the SW; The Traps, 35 miles to the NE. In between is Mo, adrift.

I doused sail when the wind died in the early morning and went right back to bed. It had been a long night, crossing that northerly stream of wind and rain. But sleep was not to be had. At 5am, the AIS alarm sounded for the first time since Cape Horn. It told that a small expedition cruise ship out ...

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ISBJORN Trans-Atlantic p. 2 // Morning Coffee Offshore

13 Feb

19.01.22_Dawn Breaking.jpg

0936 Tuesday morning. Fiery sunrise this morning, just for those few moments when the sun appeared above the horizon but below the layer of gray clouds. The ocean was colored a dark, steel blue with flecks of whitecaps on each wavetop. Beautiful colors.

I’m tired this morning, a little weary. I didn’t sleep well last night, despite being in my bunk for about 12 hours. Not uninterrupted. The night was strange. Just before dinner we gybed the chute (flawlessly I might add) and rocketed off to the south while Mia served a chicken quinoa dish. ISBJORN was loving the big ...

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Winter boat, with help from Victron, Maretron, and FloatHub

13 Feb


Ben Stein is already in Miami working as an Innovations Award judge and I look forward to his reporting as I man the news desk here in Maine. Today, though, I’ll discuss some of the monitoring tools helping to keep Gizmo safe in winter conditions like the easterly gale that blew about ten inches of snow onto Camden last night.

Victron remote control on Android phone 2-13-19

The newest monitoring equipment being tested on Gizmo is a Victron Venus connected to their latest BMV 712 Smart and the MultiPlus inverter/charger I installed in 2012. Victron loaned me the ...

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Crossing the Stream

12 Feb

February 10, 2019/Day 129

Noon Position: 47 33S  164 57E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 6

Wind(t/tws): NNE 23 – 29

Miles since departure: 17,851

Avg. Miles/Day: 138

Overnight I “hove to” with main only just to slow down. The forecast called for heavy N winds right off New Zealand’s south coast to extend out another day, and I was suddenly way ahead of schedule. In the morning, the time seemed right. I made sail and began to drive Mo through the stream.

From my notes to a friend afterwards…

Well, that was a rough go.

Some of the steepest, maddest seas ...

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Final Approach

9 Feb

February 7, 2019/Day 126

Noon Position: 47 11S  156 47E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ExS 6

Miles since departure: 17,514

Avg. Miles/Day: 139


We’re are on final approach for passage under New Zealand’s South Island. Distance to a waypoint between Stewart Island and The Snares Islands, 400 miles.

Mo is pounding upwind since the high receded early yesterday. Thus, this final approach is a creepily slow one. And it’s just the beginning of what portends to be a difficult run of days, including both strong winds from not quite the right direction and a number of dynamic wind changes.

Tonight a locally-developed ...

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Chafe Discovery, More Detail

8 Feb

February 6, 2019/Day 125

Noon Position: 46 38S  153 55E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): SExE 4

Miles since departure: 17,392

Avg. Miles/Day: 139


First off, thank you to Robin Sodaro at HOOD in Sausalito for quick responses to my I-need-repair-ideas email. I came to the table with some bodges that would likely have worked fine, but Robin’s solutions were much cleaner. More on which in a moment.

There are only two crew members who work harder than the skipper. One is Monte, who plies his trade 24/7. The other is the #2 genoa, which is almost always flying. Exceptions are very ...

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E-Tech electric boat motors, used and distributed by Maine Cat

8 Feb


When I wrote enthusiastically about the then-new Maine Cat MC 38 in 2016, my only reservation was the gasoline outboards (though MC has used them on other sailing cat models for years). But then again, the lightweight, low drag 38 design seemed perfect for ever-improving electric propulsion and twin drives should give it reliable and excellent maneuverability around docks.

So I’ve followed closely as builder/designer Dick Vermeulen pursued an electric solution, and while that’s been a somewhat bumpy road, there are now two interesting stories in progress:  Maine Cat recently became the E-Tech distributor for North America and several ...

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Chafe Discovery

7 Feb

February 5, 2019/Day 124

Noon Position: 46 30S  151 33E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): E 5

Miles since departure: 17,294

Avg. Miles/Day: 139

Long day. Was on the foredeck (now don’t recall why) when I noted on the #2 genoa unusual chafe to the webbing that secures the clew ring to the clew of the sail. Closer inspection showed that of the four straps around the ring, the top two had worn through and the bottom one was a third gone.

Spent the remainder of the day switching that sail out for the spare in the anchor locker. The webbing is monstrously strong ...

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