Rambling To Bermuda

6 Jul

I wasn't on board George David's Rambler when it raced from Newport to Bermuda in just 39 hours and change two weeks ago, and I'm betting you weren't either. It was a record-breaking run, averaging more than 16 knots and destroying the old elapsed time record by more than 14 hours.

A pretty special run, no? And in case you are wondering what that might be like, I have a video for you. Watch and drool.



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The Most Important Boating Safety Tool: Judgement

5 Jul

This is both heartbreaking…and infuriating. Three children were killed last night when the 34-foot Silverton yacht they were on to watch fireworks capsized and sunk off Long Island (coverage here, here, and here).

An investigation will determine the full set of facts, but there is one simple one that stands out: the skipper had 27(!) people aboard. That is way, way, too many, and whatever the cause of the capsize and sinking (seems likely it was either a wak, a too-sharp turn, or bad weather), this fact alone is enough to make you think boating licences might ...

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BRISTOL CHANNEL CUTTER 28: A Salty Pocket Cruiser

4 Jul

Bristol Channel Cutter 28

THIS IS A VERY TRADITIONAL CRUISING BOAT that evokes a strong emotional response from most sailors, but is also surprisingly functional and performance-oriented for a vessel of its size and type. Conceived by Lyle Hess, the BCC 28 is based on earlier Hess designs built in wood–specifically Renegade, a small gaff-rigged cutter that won the Newport-Ensenada Race two years running back in the 1950s, and Seraffyn, the famous 24-foot Marconi-rigged cutter that Lin and Larry Pardey sailed around the world during the 1970s.

Built in fiberglass by Sam L. Morse Co. of Costa Mesa, California, the BCC ...

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Look, it’s a boat! And it’s in the water (sort of)

4 Jul

For the first time in months, it’s clean!

Well, relatively so.

I even spent 2+ hours sorting used SS fasteners, a surprisingly fun task      

I had a big clean-up day on Friday and then I was busy working at the bike shop for a few days. When I finally made it back to the boat today I found that all the mess had moved outside! Here’s what greeted me:
Let’s put that in a little perspective:
Yep, that’s a nice little body of water bubbling away underneath my boat. Naturally, I poked my head into the office ...
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American as Apple Pie

3 Jul

USA-17 still in shrink wrap; not a recent image. Photo © KL

American as apple pie, that’s USA-17, and now the big tri has passed her first Fourth of July at home as an America’s Cup winner.

But will she ever sail again? Probably not.

Which is not exactly a first, not in the America’s Cup. That’s as American as leaving no stone unturned.

Since race two of America’s Cup 33 (February 14, 2010) USA-17 has been sitting on the hard, either in Valencia or in San Francisco, at Pier 80, at the foot of Cezar Chavez Street. Its not ...

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Moving Off for Summer

3 Jul

puerto vallarta, mexico.
The past couple of days have been nothing but get ready to leave the boat days. Ali's always been the type to leave everything behind immaculately cleaned, straightened out, and ready for our eventual return. So she's shouldered most of the work of prepping the boat for a couple of months off.

Yesterday we were at a refrigerator shop picking up some special refrigerant to fix the fridge yet again when we noticed a nice dehumidifier in the box next to the register.

Before I knew it we'd dropped two hundred bucks on that thing as well. ...

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And Over On Channel 2: The Singlehanded Transpac

2 Jul

Of course, the other ocean race drama you should be watching online (in addition to the Volvo), is the venerable STP. That reality show is about a group of half-sane, sailing-addled, misanthropes who are flogging a very diverse group of sailboats from San Francisco to Hawaii.

Live tracking is here. Updates from the boats are here.

Wishing you were out there, too? Here's a recent update. You have to ask yourself one question: 'Am I tough enough?'

It was a cold wet night. Stayed out driving till early am. Had to do a mid night headsail

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If You Are Not Watching The Volvo Ocean Race Live….

2 Jul

…you should be (right here). Yes, Groupama has the thing wrapped up, barring a complete disaster, like running into a floating leprechaun, and sinking. But this leg to Galway (a sprint, if there ever was one), is showcasing the single most notable accomplishment of this edition of the VOR: unbelievably tight racing.

And PUMA is leading a pack of hard-charging chasers by just over a mile as they race up the west coast of Ireland, with 100 miles to the finish, after having rounded the Fastnet Rock. It's the final leg, so get your priorities straight, bub, ...

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TIDES OF TITAN: An Underground Liquid Ocean

2 Jul

Saturn's moon Titan

BIG NEWS HERE SPORTS FANS! NASA announced last week that its Cassini probe has established that Saturn’s moon Titan (seen in that sexy NASA/Cassini photo up top) experiences significant tidal bulging that must be caused by an ocean of liquid water trapped beneath the moon’s solid surface.

And you’re wondering: what has this to do with the sport of yachting???

Well… I’m hoping it means NASA will be at least a little more likely to fund construction of the very first extraterrestrial yacht, the Titan Mare Explorer (or TiME), first proposed in 2009, which would be blasted into space ...

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