IRON BARK FOR SALE: Award-Winning Wylo II Gaff Cutter Available in W’Indies

2 Dec

Dec. 2/2019:  Accept no substitutes. This is the ultimate low-budget high-latitudes expedition yacht right here. Tried and tested! Believed to be the only boat anywhere to have spent unsupported winters frozen into ice in both the Arctic and Antarctic. A Wylo II cutter, 35 feet on deck, designed by Nick Skeates (who we have discussed before), built in steel and launched by her current owner, Trevor Robertson, in 1997 in Queensland, Australia. Asking price is $45K US.

Trevor has cruised Iron Bark all over the world for the past 22 years, including extended sojourns in high latitudes, and has ...

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Dometic E-Actuator steering promises better outboard steering with no hydraulics

2 Dec

A sample transom showing off the clean rigging of Dometic’s E-actuator

Dometic’s Optimus Electric Steering Actuator has had quite a successful show season since its early 2019 introduction. It’s won major awards at IBEX, METS Trade and from Boating Industry Magazine. But what captured the attention of those award committees? It’s the promise of more precise handling, reduced weight, easier installations, and reduced maintenance. A few minutes spent with Dometic Marine representatives makes clear the engineering and innovation required to make this system possible.

Brian Dudra and Eric Fetchko of Dometic Marine with the E-Actuator and the demo helm at
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Return Link Service, a major PLB & EPIRB improvement

26 Nov

 

Many of us carry an EPIRB or PLB satellite distress beacon for worst-case emergencies at sea, and while they’ve earned an excellent success record, they also have a nerve-racking drawback. The rare boater who actually activates one will not know if the distress message was received until the search and rescue heroes actually show up. Or don’t show up! But that intensely tense uncertainty is about to change thanks to a newly revealed technology called the Return Link Service (RLS).

Orolia introduced Return Link Service at METS with a big blinking blue light to suggest how the small blue ...

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#280: Stories from the Arctic // SV DELOS & 59 North

26 Nov

Arctic Delos 280 Art.jpg

#280. Back in 2018, the crew of SV DELOS joined Mia, James & I onboard ISBJORN for a 3-week adventure in the High Arctic. Needless to say, it was life-changing. Earlier this fall, we got to relive the adventure with Brian & Brady, who flew out to the Annapolis Sailboat Show to give a presentation on our trip, and show the first-ever screening of their ’80 NORTH’ film project to a USA audience. What follows is the audio of that presentation, which I hope you’ll enjoy.


Show Notes:

 

 

 

’80º North’ // Arctic Photos & Stories Book – ...

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Thirty years of the Vendée Globe

26 Nov
Titouan Lamazou, winner of the first Vendée Globe aboard Ecureuil d’Aquitaine II

 

This past week marks 30 years since the start of the very first Vendée Globe. It’s also less than a year until the start of the next Vendée Globe, which gets underway from Les Sables-d’Olonne on the west coast of France on November 8, 2020. The Vendée was founded as “The ...
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BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE: Sailing La Vagabonde and the Greta Thunberg Effect

21 Nov

Nov. 21/2019: Here’s a bit of synchronicity. I was only vaguely aware of the La Vagabonde YouTube phenomenon, then became much more interested after I saw how rabid their fans are at the Annapolis show last month. And, of course, like everyone else I’ve been hearing and seeing a lot about Greta Thunberg, the teen climate activist from Sweden who has been touring the U.S. scolding adults for trashing the planet. So you can imagine that my attennae perked up a bit when I learned that Greta is now sailing transatlantic aboard La Vagabonde in a desperate bid to ...

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Is a Non-Stop Figure 8 Possible?

21 Nov

When imagining early on the two poleward legs required to complete a Figure 8–the long Southern Ocean loop and the Northwest Passage–it was the latter that gave me fits. The maze of remote waterways, some without soundings, all with the likelihood of pack ice, was enough to freeze my courage.

So, when it arose, I took an opportunity to explore the high north as crew before making my own solo attempt. In 2014, I joined Les an Ali Parsons on their 43-foot steel cutter, Arctic Tern, for what turned out to be a 65-day passage from Nuuk, Greenland to ...

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#279: Dee Caffari // 6x Round the World

21 Nov

Dee 279 Art.jpg

#279. Dee Caffari is perhaps the most accomplished sailor I’ve ever had on the show, and she’s easily the most inspiring. Dee has sailed around the world a full 6 times, 3 of them solo and nonstop, and most recently as skipper of the Turn the Tide on Plastic Volvo campaign. There isn’t much she hasn’t done in racing, whether solo or crewed, as skipper or in another role, but I took away much deeper insights from our conversation on things like leadership, psychology and inspiration. Mia & I met Dee in England to hear her story.


Show Notes:

Facebook: ...

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Update from ISBJORN: Friday Nov. 15

16 Nov

Photo by: James Austrums

Photo by: James Austrums

Skipper August
November 15, UTC 02:15 // 25˚47’ N, 65˚51’ W

An eerie, absolute stillness disturbs me at the nav station, and I look up from the charts. Not a sound is to be heard onboard. No melancholy tunes from Ben’s guitar, the galley is deserted, and even the trusty snoring from the off-watch is nowhere to be heard. And every bunk seems to be empty. Only the slightest whisper of water along Isbjørn’s hull, as she glides fast through the night with the warm breeze well abaft her beam.

Even the usual banter from the ...

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NOAA will sunset traditional nautical charts, sad but inevitable

16 Nov

 

NOAA will stop updating charts that look like this, paper and electronic, by 2025 or sooner
NOAA will no longer update charts that look like this, paper and electronic, by 2025 or sooner

Things are just things, right, and they don’t really die. But during a recent conference call with Capt Chris van Westendorp, Marine Chart Chief John Nyberg and several their colleagues at NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, a genuine feeling of grief bubbled up within me. And since I can’t keep my mouth shut, I learned that some of our “Nation’s Nautical Chartmakers” are also feeling it. The demise of the traditional chart is going to be sad for many of us, no ...

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