Foulfree from Propspeed, clean transducers without biocide

13 Nov

Boats that spend a lot of time in the water typically have bottom paint applied to reduce fouling growth. Transducers are in the same water as the rest of the boat, but most bottom paint can’t be used on transducers. Unfortunately, the paints compatible with transducers aren’t as effective. Propspeed, the New Zealand based company that makes coatings for props, shafts, and underwater lights, has introduced Foulfree for transducers. Foulfree is a foul-release product, not a biocide and it’s the first product certified by Airmar for use on their transducers.

Transducers are made from materials that can be harmed by ...

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There’s No Such Thing as a One-Year Cruise

13 Nov
My first solo ocean crossing in Murre.

This week I am reminded of the observation, “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” this courtesy of my wife.  

“I have a challenge for you,” said Joanna over Sunday morning coffee. “Do you remember when I wrote the following remark to friends?”

And he’s off… Randall sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge this morning at 8:56am. Now I start the countdown to his return 365-ish days from now.

That I could recall, I had provided but one occasion for such a note, that being the first Figure 8 Voyage ...

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Update from ISBJORN, Tuesday Nov. 12

12 Nov


SV Isbjörn
UTC 2020
33˚28’N, 67˚18’W

A drop of sweat forms on my frowning brow as the temperature onboard Isbjörn surpasses 30 degrees. I have no more layers to shed without my dignity decency going with it, and there are still many degrees of latitude until we reach our tropical destination.

There are numerous reasons for these horrendous temperatures. One is the gulf stream, bringing up hot water from the Gulf of Mexico all the way to my distant homeland of Norway. There are also these winds out of the south that we’re currently trying to beat around. They bring ...

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What’s in the water over there?

12 Nov
Jann Elies and Charlie Dalin win the Transat Jacques Vabre aboard Apiva

Right now there are three major ocean races taking place in the Northern Hemisphere, the Transat Jacques Vabre, the Mini Transat and the Brest Atlantiques and they all have one thing in common; they all started from France. Either there is something in the water over there or their love for racing sailboats has seeped into their blood but the French people can’t seem to get enough of it. The lead boats in the Transat Jacques Vabre finished in Bahia, Brazil over the weekend, the Mini Transat fleet ...
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A few valuable boating apps, and what’s your favorite?

11 Nov


Most boaters carry around an impressively powerful and easy to use computer in their pockets: their smartphone. Smartphones have enough processing power, sensors and capabilities to augment or possibly even replace dedicated navigation equipment onboard your boat. Mobile phone and tablet apps for boating have steadily improved and today offer a compelling set of functionalities that can make boating both safer and easier.

To me, one of the key benefits of mobile apps at the helm is the ability to use multiple brands of charts. Using different chart providers helps avoid falling victim to any issue with your charts. ...

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Update from the sea: Sunday 8 am

10 Nov


Update from the sea, Sunday 09.00!

Hi everyone, Mia here! I am getting emails via the sat phone from Andy & August and will post some fun updates here on the blog for you all! They departed already on Friday, the window was too good not to catch it and they had a fast ride down the bay and past over the Bay Bridge tunnel and entered the ocean yesterday morning.

“We just got done eating dinner – Lee made my favorite, the pesto chicken broccoli. We’re motor-sailing now with just the jib. The wind started dying at around 1200 ...

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SOUTHBOUND LUNACY 2019: Coast-Hopping and Further Maintenance Adventures

9 Nov

Nov. 9/2019: During the early summer, you’ll recall, we dealt with two big maintenance items: Lunacy’s wobbly rudder and her “ovalized” autopilot/steering quadrant connection. Another adventure, not previously mentioned, was replacing the turbocharger on my 55hp Nanni diesel, as it had seized up solid through lack of proper exercise. There were two lessons learned in this last instance: a) I need to run the engine at 2,400 or higher rpm much more frequently; and b) Nanni is positively evil when it comes to replacement parts. One reason I wanted a Nanni is that they are simply marinized Kubota ...

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VIDEO: Passage South // Weather Routing to the Caribbean

7 Nov

As ICEBEAR & ISBJORN prepare to depart Annapolis on the Chesapeake Bay, bound for Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, Andy and August brief the passage route and the weather they expect to encounter en route.

(August Sandberg is ISBJORN’s new skipper going forward).

The 1500-mile passage starts in Annapolis, and both boats will sail down the Bay, where at Norfolk we’ll go offshore, aiming for a waypoint about 120 miles south of Bermuda, then we’ll hang a right turn and sail due south, bound for the Virgin Islands.

This is one of the toughest passages we do at 59 ...

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Course and Speed: Uncertain

6 Nov

November 5, 2019

Days since return: 15

Noon Position: 37 46N 122 08W

Miles Since Last Noon: 5 (a walk in the Oakland Hills)

Course and Speed: uncertain

I thought I had re-entry figured out.

After a longish cruise for home, I anchor awhile in Drakes Bay before proceeding on to civilization. From here the city is close but still at arm’s length. On a clear day, I can see Twin Peaks and the Richmond District; at night the glow of San Francisco fills the southern sky, obliterating even the constellations. 

But my near view remains dominated by the more ...

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Snagging lobster pots & a DIY hookah solution

5 Nov


With winter setting in fast, it’s nice to remember summer, even a cruising hassle like snarling lobster trap gear around Gizmo’s running gear. During my 48 years in Maine waters, the catch has increased from 20 to 120 million pounds and the pot buoy systems have gotten significantly tougher; so snagging one has become much more of a hazard. But the grin above is not just because I’d finally cut away this particular mess; I think I’ve found a reliable snarl solution that will even work out in the remote Maine islands that lobsters, lobstermen, and cruisers all appreciate....

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