Inside l

2 Aug

Photo © Kimball Livingston

When she’s flying, the most prominent features of the French trifoiler, l’Hydroptere, are the angled foils that lift her clear of the water surface. When you get close, you see massive cylinders braced between foils and hulls and you might wonder, are those for adjusting angle? Nope, those are shock absorbers.

Port shock absorber. Photo © Kimball Livingston

And the boat doesn’t look like other boats, under the water, so you’d expect some differences in maneuvering. Still, you might be surprised when it turns out that standard tacking procedure is to roll the headsail, put ...

Read More

AUTOPILOT BACK-UP: She’s Gotta Have It

2 Aug

Aries windvane in action

WHEN IT COMES TO AUTOPILOTS it is always best to divide your affections. No sense in being monogamously faithful to just one unit, giving it names and all, only to have it crap out on you in some less than sanguine circumstance. One reason I fell for Lunacy was because she came equipped with three different self-steering systems, each quite a bit different from the other two.

First, there is the Aries windvane in pure windvane mode (see photo up top), its air blade waving above its head, seeking the direction of the wind.

Second, there is the body ...

Read More

SAIL V. CRUISING WORLD: Secret Bilateral Talks

1 Aug

Elaine & Charlie

BACK IN THE LATE NINETIES when I quit my job as an associate editor at Cruising World, Elaine Lembo was hired to take my place. We’ve been good friends ever since. We usually have furtive encounters in vans running between BWI Airport and Annapolis in October and swap all kinds of juicy gossip about sailing magazines, particularly the ones we work for. This year for the first time we had our furtive encounter in the proper way, aboard a boat, in a fabulous anchorage in Maine (Ridley Cove, just south of Cundy’s Harbor), in company with Elaine’s partner-in-crime, paramour, ...

Read More

No AC72 for France

1 Aug

Extended deadlines be hanged, Energy Team has sniffed the dust and called off plans to build an AC72 for the 34th America’s Cup in 2013.

To avoid biting the dust, they say.

Bruno and Loick Peyron, two great figures in the pantheon of French sailors, lead the charge at Energy Team. They will continue to play the game on the circuit of the America’s Cup World Series, but —having reportedly come up short by about a third of the amount needed for a competitive challenge—they will bide their time and aim for a shot a at the 35th America’s Cup, ...

Read More

The Water Wing, aka l

31 Jul

Photo © Kimball Livingston

When we slowed to 22 knots, it felt like sailing into molasses.

That is the addiction of speed.

And I appreciate it, Jimmy Spithill, that you once showed me 28 knots on an AC45, but the boys on l’Hydroptere let me drive at a boatspeed of 34 knots. Top number for the day, 38 knots in winds in the teens.

To go faster, l’Hydroptere wants more wind and less sail. Too much sail, and the world’s most famous foiling trimaran fights foil with foil for no gain.

A late afternoon round trip to Catalina? Just cruisin’....

Read More

A Week in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

31 Jul

With 32 islands and cays to choose from, visitors can see as much or as little of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as they like. While individualized itineraries can be designed beforehand, a typical 1-week itinerary will cover approximately 90 miles of cruising with distances between islands ranging from two to five hours. While breakfast and lunch are typically taken on board, sandbars that appear with changing tides makes the perfect spot for a picnic. Anchorages on the nine inhabited islands (St. Vincent, Mustique, Bequia, Canouan, Mayreau, Union Island, Palm Island, Young Island, and Petit St. Vincent) offer charming towns, remote ...

Read More

How to Paint a Boat

31 Jul

A few years back Antonia Murphy and her husband sailed from the West Coast to Mexico and eventually beyond to New Zealand. Along the way she blogged some pretty hilarious stuff. She's whip smart and funny. Two things in short supply in the often stuffy and pandering world of cruising writing.

Along the way they decided to paint their boat, a 36' Mariner Ketch. But they did so in what has to be, even six years later, the most unique paint scheme ever.

 

But even better than the beautiful Moroccan inspired paint job is the video of them doing ...

Read More

Lauch Day and Maiden Voyage

30 Jul

Well after maybe the most frenetic two days of my life I launched my boat on Thursday the 26th. It was a rather rushed launch and I was still scrambling about even when they rolled up with the travel hoist – “Wait, give me ten more minutes!”… Still, it went well in the end and I had the boat in the water for my birthday on Saturday. What better way to celebrate than sailing on my own boat!

By the time it got too dark to see on Wednesday things were more or less set for launch with just some ...

Read More

My Favorite Cruising Injuries

30 Jul

Injuries never happened on my boat during my circumnavigation, because on the boat we were always careful and conservative. It’s off the boat that we did stupid things and got hurt.

In the photo above you’ll see my friend Philippe getting stitches in my cockpit. Like all good Frenchmen, he’s having a smoke too.

This was in Thailand on Ko Phi Phi, the Island of a Thousand Delights, when we were on our way to Malaysia to compete in the Royal Langkawi International Regatta. We went out on the town, heard some live music, had more than a few drinks, ...

Read More

Watching Olympics Sailing

30 Jul

You wouldn't know that there is a thing called Olympic sailing from NBC's network coverage–which seems to think ther eis an unlimited audience appetite for gymnastics and swimming. But that's no surprise. Sailing is pretty niche, and it's also pretty boring for anyone who doesn't sail themselves.

So if you are a sailor you have to find your way through the back alleys of the internet to watch your sport. And US Sailing is there to help you, with this guide to watching Olympic Sailing.

The most important tip they have is to follow the NBC Olympics Sailing page...

Read More

More from the AIM Marine Group