The Lafitte Story

27 Dec

Lafitte 44 under power.jpgLafitte on beam reach.jpg

When I tell these “histories” of my projects I am working mostly from memory. So from time to time I may get some facts and dates wrong but I will do my best to convey accurately the character of the project and the personalities of those involved.

Obviously I am still struggling with the image management part of the blogging process. Some of these old hand drawing make huge files when digitized.

Lafitte Oria from port bow  2.jpg

The Lafitte project began in mid 1976. I was just 30 years old but my yacht design business was going great guns and I was feeling pretty good ...

Read More

SUNDEER 60: An Ideal Bluewater Cruising Boat

26 Dec

Sundeer 60 under sail

This innovative bluewater performance cruiser was one of a series of designs developed by offshore sailing guru Steve Dashew starting in 1978. Dashew’s basic concept of a long, narrow, fast boat designed to be sailed long distances by a couple first saw fruition in his Deerfoot line, which he built in fiberglass and in aluminum on a sporadic basis at several locations. The Sundeer line was more refined and focused and consisted of three boats–the Sundeer 64, 60, and 56. These were the only Dashew designs ever built on a true production basis.

The ketch-rigged Sundeer 64 boasted three double ...

Read More

A Very Calder Christmas

26 Dec
Esteemed author and boat-systems guru Nigel Calder 
mucks out my bilges. On Christmas Eve.
 

Happy holidays everyone! I haven’t managed a post in few days because I’ve been very busy with my family. My mom and dad are down here in New Orleans for two weeks and we’ve been spending the holidays in true Calder style, which is to say hard at work. We did manage to spend Christmas day at my Grandmother’s but still got in an overhaul of the boat’s head (toilet) which we hauled out to her house in the trunk of a rental car!

And ...

Read More

Jessica Watson Sails Again

25 Dec

You just can't keep her ashore (or separate her from a slick, high-profile, marketing strategy). Already the youngest ever to circumnvigate the globe solo and non-stop, Jessica Watson, now 18 and eligible for the Sydney-Hobart Race, has put together the youngest-ever crew (average age 19) in a sponsored Sydney 38  called "Ella Bache' Another Challenge."

The early weather report looks a lot more forgiving than the brutal 1998 year, which sank five yachts and killed six sailors. But it won't be a milk run. After an initial northerly serves up an easy downwind run, the ...

Read More

A Christmas Story: The Gratitude Of A Humpback Whale

24 Dec

Christmas is the season of giving. So imagine how you would feel if you gave freedom (and likely life) to one of the ocean's grandest creatures: a humpback whale. And imagine if there was a spectacular gift given in return. And imagine if your child was also there to experience it. Well, that all happened earlier this year, and I can't…(cont.)

think of a better way to convey the joy of the season than to share this. 

 

Be generous, be compassionate, and take care of the oceans, and the creatures within, which give you so much meaning and pleasure ...

Read More

Merry Christmas To You All!

23 Dec

Spike Sub 2010.jpgAnd thanks very much for visiting my blog.

Here is a little sketch I did for 7 year old Orlando Yen in Australia for Christmas.
Orlando Xmas 2011 smaller.JPG
Here is a sketch that Orlando did for me this Christmas!
ChristmasCutterbyOrlando.jpg
...

Read More

REID STOWE: Rudderless in the North Atlantic

23 Dec

Rudder repair on schooner Anne

Well, I was wrong about one thing. I wrote earlier I expected there would be little news of marathon sailor Reid Stowe as he and his crew made their way down to South America aboard the schooner Anne. But lo, reports have regularly appeared both at Reid’s site and at a blog maintained by crew member Andy Cronin (via his girlfriend Paulina). This has resulted in mega-traffic at the Reid-hating thread at Sailing Anarchy. Indeed, rumor now has it that SA founder Scot Tempesta secretly sponsored the voyage so as to titillate his thralls and boost the site’s metrics....

Read More

A Sailor Turns Two

23 Dec

Big birthday today! So we started the morning off with some boat work. Because no day, birthdays included, is complete without a couple hours of bloody knuckles in the engine compartment.

 
But soon enough the engine work was put on the back burner and the celebration kicked off. We blew up fifty balloons and threw them around the house. The girl loves her balloons. Then Mama went to work on the cake. There is a first for everything, and as we stood there with Ouest helping us stir the batter, we prayed the cake would actually work out.
 ...
Read More

Running and Broaching Video

22 Dec

This video is a great illustration of the mechanics of running with a storm. It's hard to see this kind of thing live, becaue nobody wants to get a camera out in these conditions,  plus they're hanging on for dear life and can't film. In this case another vessel was following them to capture the action.

The waves aren't that big, but they sure are steep. You can have huge waves out there, but if they're not breaking they pose no danger. These are short, steep little monsters, and the possibilities of pitchpoling or a knockdown are obvious. 

This boat ...

Read More

Close Encounter With A Sea Giant

22 Dec

It amuses me no end to see humans trying to explore and understand my world. There is so much they never see, and so much they take for granted. But this photographer certainly got his money's worth (I play with these guys all the time.)

...
Read More

More from the AIM Marine Group