Volvo Ocean Race: Argh!

4 Apr

Ok, that is definitely not what you want your leaderboard to look like. 

Groupama, leading the leg and threatening for the overall lead of the race, just lost the rig. Here are the details:


When the incident happened, Groupama 4 was sailing upwind on port tack in a northerly wind of around twenty knots.

The mast broke level with the first spreader (around ten metres above the deck).

When the spar fell, bowman Brad Marsh suffered a slight injury to his forearm.

Franck Cammas indicated that he wasn't requesting assistance and that he'd temporarily suspended racing.

Two options

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The Clever Clevis

1 Apr

With the Clever Clevis™, you’ll be the hit of any sailboat!!!

Simply wait for an appropriate moment, toss the Clever Clevis™ onto the cabin top, and let the mirth unfold!!!

Note: Nobody must see you toss the Clever Clevis™. It must seem like it just “fell from the sky.”

Watch your shipmates scramble around, looking aloft! See how long it takes before someone looks at the rig through binoculars! See if you can get every single shipmate to look aloft at the same time!

For added fun, deploy the Clever Clevis during a race!

For maximum enjoyment, deploy the Clever Clevis ...

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How some barnacles saved my boat: Galvanic corrosion in the real world

30 Mar

Every now and then trying to fix the boat degenerates into rushing around in circles between the boat and  my workshop and I begin to feel like some sort of frenetic, freshly-decapitated chicken. It does not help when the whole yard loses power just as I’ve finally assembled the correct piles of detritus for the task at hand. That happened twice this week. On the bright side, I (re)found the bolt that could easily have sunk my boat:

I wrote about this in my last post but when noticed the offending fastener in a pile of bits it reminded me ...

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Clipperton Island Still Uninhabited

26 Mar

I’ve just returned from Clipperton Island, a French atoll lying 800 miles off the Mexican coast. I went as part of the Clipperton Project, an art/science/environmental/documentary expedition, but I was involved more with boats, landings, and communications. They tasked me with a survey of sea turtle nesting sites, but I walked around that whole island (about seven miles) and there didn’t seem to be any nesting sites, or I’ve got really bad eyes.

Masked Boobie with chick

I left La Paz on the mother ship, the Lucia Celeste, a 48-foot expedition dive boat. I returned to Baja on a Downeast ...

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DIY Disasters -or- Crazy things people do below the waterline!

23 Mar

Being nearly finished with a bunch of big boat projects I’m at a bit of a lull with the blog at the moment.  I have plenty keeping me busy but little to write about until I’ve actually completed some of them. In the meantime I dug up some photos of failed hardware and the scariest DIY ‘repairs’ I found on my boat. I’m all for fudging things a little when I think I can get away with it, but this stuff is crazy!

Exhibit A: The Through-hulls
After buying my boat in Florida my original plan to sail her back ...

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The Oceans = Great Video

21 Mar

Sometimes the best way to understand the incredible wealth of experience offered by the watery realms is to watch….some great video.

Here are five good ones that I threw into the vault over the past few weeks.

1) Gone Sailing (Backstory)

2) Gone Sailing, Part 2

3) Gone Sailing, Part 3

4) Day At The Beach

5) Foot In Mouth (Backstory)

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Questions for Cruisers

18 Mar

A while back I asked my blog readers to submit any questions they might have so that I could answer them here on SAILfeed. One reader sent us a list so long and detailed that I thought I'd just go ahead and attack a few of them in one go. So here goes.

How do you get weather information, and how often? What information do you use and why?


I answered this question during our first cruise and the online cruisers forums got all in a huff about it. Some called me a liar, some just claimed it as ...

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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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The Unveiling Of An AC72 Wing

15 Mar

It's a slow, painful creep toward the actual sailing of the next America's Cup competition. But it is nice to actually see (finally) a major component of the AC72, speed kills, catamaran design. So thanks to Artemis for daring to take their spanking new AC72 wing out into the open air and stand it up.

Here's what it looks like in action:

Here is what it looks like compared to the puny AC45 wing:

And here is what Artemis is saying about it:

The culmination of more than 35,000 man hours and a tremendous amount of hard work on

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“Sharks Are Honest”

14 Mar

Is big-wave surfer, and shark-riding freediver Mark Healey crazy? Or does he know something the rest of us don't?

A little of both, I think, as this video of Healey diving with bull sharks attests. He goes on from the title quote above to say: "People have ulterior motives. I think people are way more dangerous than sharks." Hard to argue with that.

This guy, however, seems more than a little crazy.

This guy, too.

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