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, ...

Read More

LANGSKIP 55: A Viking Longship Yacht

4 Apr

Langskip 55

Wanna-be Viking voyagers (e.g., Jarle Andhoey) who are daunted at the prospect of having to plunder and pillage in open boats can heave a sigh of relief. At last someone has had the vision to both design and build a modern-day Norse longship with comfortable interior accommodations and contemporary amenities. The visionary in question is Sigurjon Jonsson of the Skipavik shipyard in Stykkisholmur, Iceland, which has been building fishing boats since 1928. This beautiful and extremely unusual Langskip 55, the first yacht ever built at Skipavik, was conceived by Sigurjon as a versatile world-class cruising boat that can ...

Read More

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

... Read More

The Volvo Ocean Race: How Did We Get Here?

3 Apr

The seas may be rough, and the boats may be breaking, but at least this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race appears, at the halfway point, as if it will go down to the wire, with Groupama and Telefonica dueling to the finish.

And if you want to know how it came to this, the media team at race HQ have put together a handy-dandy video summary of all the action to date:

 ...

Read More

JARLE ANDHOEY: Busted in Chile

2 Apr

Jarle Andhoey and Nilaya

The drama of the Wild Viking continues. Last we checked in on Norway’s Antarctic adventurer Jarle Andhoey, he and his crew aboard the 54-foot Nilaya had suffered a broken boom after leaving the Ross Sea and were bound to an unspecified Argentine base on the Antarctic peninsula to make repairs and take on fuel. It has not been widely remarked upon (nor has the helpful Argentine base ever been identified), but this evidently was successfully accomplished sometime around March 23.

Now comes word that Andhoey and company were detained on Saturday by the Chilean navy as they were passing through ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

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 ...

Read More

ANN DAVISON: Solo Transatlantic on Felicity Ann

29 Mar

Ann Davison on Felicity Ann

Cast into the past to find the founding figure of bluewater feminism, the first in the line that leads to such modern-day heroines as Isabelle Autissier, Ellen MacArthur, and Samantha Davies, and you bump up hard against a woman named Ann Davison. She is remembered today, when she is remembered at all, as the first woman to sail solo across the Atlantic. She is also something of an enigma, wrapped up in a few ironies. Chief among these being the fact that she probably never would have gone to sea in the first place had she not fallen in ...

Read More

La Cruz (rough) to Punta Mita (calm)

29 Mar

28-Mar-2012 punta mita, mexico.
Last night we talked about getting an early start today, heading to town for some leg stretching and breakfast, then straight back to the boat to get out of La Cruz before the wind picked up. So with an early start in mind it's no surprise that Lowe would sleep until eight-thirty. He's never slept late like that in his life.

So we rumbled in to town, went to YaYa's for chilaquiles, which for a non-egg eater like me is pretty much the greatest breakfast item ever invented, Ouest played with the dogs, fed the birds, ...

Read More

La Cruz Anchorage, She Looks Nice in the Morning

28 Mar

27-Mar-2012 la cruz de huanacaxtle, mexico.
This morning we took advantage of the calm to head in to town. La Cruz is a nice little place though at eleven o'clock in the morning there isn't a whole lot happening. We found a restaurant open and serving breakfast, got Ouest a heaping plate of french toast and spent an hour perusing the book exchange. It's getting harder and harder these days for us Luddites without a Kindle to find a book so any opportunity is greatly appreciated. We wandered around until about one, had a couple of beers and then headed ...

Read More

More from the AIM Marine Group