Tree Murder In the Chilean Channels

10 Aug

I cruised solo from Terra del Fuego through Chilean Patagonia. You can seldom anchor in these parts because the water is too deep. You have to tie your boat in every night with lines led to trees or rocks ashore. This is simple in theory, but it always took at least an hour, sometimes two if I had to make the dreaded four-point tie-in. When I asked Ken, another solo sailor who'd come south through the Chilean channels, what you do with yourself in the channels. He answered, "Mess with your shorelines."

One night I thought I’d be real tricky ...

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The Case Against TBT Antifouling

10 Aug

Much of the antifouling used in the Caribbean is still TBT-based

Ok, my last post gave you some (rather long-winded) background information. I’ll try to make this a bit shorter. Having thought Tributyltin (TBT) was something of relic off the past I was quite surprised to learn that it is not uncommonly used by cruising sailors, particularly those in the Caribbean. This post is a look at the arguments for and against such use.

First a quick recap. TBT, which used to be the number one antifouling compound, is a ‘pervasive marine pollutant’ (per the EPA). It is particularly ...

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The l

10 Aug

l’Hydroptere in close-up. Photo by Kimball Livingston

They missed an opportunity in early July, but they weren’t ready in early to July to take off on a Los Angeles-Honolulu record. Today Alain Thbault and crew are looking at a weather pattern over the Pacific that doesn’t convince them to push the Launch button, but they’re still hopeful. What’s below was released today by the teams communications manager, Thomas Lesage:

lHydroptre DCNS in weather-watch mode: interview with Jacques Vincent

What is the main weather parameter that will trigger the start procedure?

“Were targeting a phase when the North Pacific High is ...

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CUSTOM POCKET CRUISER: 30 Years in the Making

9 Aug

Paris 32 Petrel

AFTER I FINISHED UP my solo mini-cruise last week, I paid a visit to the Lyman Morse yard at Thomaston, Maine, and at long last laid eyes on Petrel afloat. She’s the brainchild of designer Jay Paris, a colleague at SAIL, who has been fiddling over her creation for almost three decades now. I first met her in utero, in a shed behind Jay’s house in West Bath, about 12 years ago, and I have to confess I never thought I’d see this day.

Jay’s basic brief to himself was for a small ocean-capable shoal-draft cruising boat with narrow ...

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Top Ten Cruising Destinations

8 Aug

I'm always asked my favorite stop on my circumnavigation, and it’s hard to give a short answer. This is the long answer, but it’s still hard not to ruminate, equivocate, and qualify. To make my list they must be outstanding all-around places to sail, anchor, live aboard, go ashore, and all the things that cruising entails:

1. Andaman Thailand (photo above):

Cruising, ten. Natural beauty, ten. People, ten. Food, ten. Safety, ten. Hundreds of karst limestone islands dot the 120 miles between the Malaysian border and Phuket. Each is its own little paradise. Many have hongs (literally rooms): tunnels, chambers, ...

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A blast from the (not quite) past – Why Tributytin (TBT) Antifouling should concern us all

8 Aug

The other day I was poking around the paint department of my local recycled materials store when I came across this relic:

That’s an old, old can of antifouling using Tributyltin, or TBT, as an active ingredient. As I mentioned a while back in my antifouling post this stuff has been banned in the US and EU (among others) because of its extreme toxicity to marine life. Still I have to admit that I considered squirreling it away in my shop, visions running through my head of painting the hull in the dead of night in some secret cove away ...

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Setting Sail in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

8 Aug

There are a number of charter companies operating out of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Travelers can contact: TMM Tacht Charters, Barefoot Yacht Charters, Sunsail, The Moorings, or Captain Yannis, for bareboat charters, skippered yachts or a day trip. Everything you need to enjoy the best vacation on board, from snorkeling equipment to fresh bed linens. Professional sailors captain each boat, so vacationers can rest assured that a qualified skipper is at the helm. Boats are fully provisioned before departure according to the special requests or specific dietary requirements of each guest and upon request, a private chef can be ...

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The IOC Wants to Kill It

7 Aug

They keep chasing it down and demanding to have it pulled down.

But even though they are the International Olympic Committee, it reappears.

Why? Because it’s hotter than a June bride in a featherbed.

Te voila, IOC, Some boats in a race is still with us.

And if you don’t get it there, try HERE.


San Francisco’s new Cruise Terminal and entertainment space (with America’s Cup 34 as its first tenant) takes shape on the Embarcadero, close by the temporary Pier 23 headquarters of America’s Cup . . .


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LOW SPEED CHASE: Farallones Race Inquiry Published

7 Aug

Low Speed Chase

THE INDEPENDENT PANEL APPOINTED BY U.S. SAILING to study this year’s Farallones Race tragedy, in which five crew died after the Sydney 38 Low Speed Chase was capsized and driven aground by breaking waves while rounding the Farallon Islands off San Francisco, has released its final report. I urge you to spend some time examining it. The panel has done a very competent and thorough job and are to be commended for their efforts.

That said, I’m not sure I agree with their most important recommendation, or lack thereof. Having concluded, quite reasonably, that the cause of the accident ...

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Cat vs. Mono – The Verdict

7 Aug

Part II of the great Catamaran versus Monohull debate. Part I is posted here, Cat vs. Mono – The Great Debate.

So we've covered a lot of ground so far. Cost, Maintenance, Engines, Heeling, Deck Space, etc. Now we just need to take a look at a few more variables and then we can come to a decision. Or rather, I will come to a decision and tell you what it is and you will have to live with the truth of it for all time.



Living accommodations. This is a tricky one. Indoors the monohull wins hands ...

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