2012 ANNAPOLIS CATAMARAN TESTS: Leopard 58 and Fountaine Pajot Sanya 57

15 Oct

Leopard 58

Both the cats I tested after the Annapolis show this year are super-sized production boats designed mostly to serve in the charter trade. The Leopard 58, a.k.a. the Moorings 5800, is the more extreme example of this species, fully three stories tall, topped with an enormous covered flybridge on which it is possible to entertain and feed a dozen or more people while simultaneously driving the boat.

Leopard 58 flybridge

The Leopard’s amazing flybridge. There is both a wet bar and dedicated barbecue to satiate the hordes that will gather here

Viewed from a dock, or even from on deck, the height ...

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The New Age of Sail

15 Oct

After blogging about the Sail Transport Network a few days ago, I was perusing their website and came across The New Age of Sail by Dmitry Orlov, way down at the end of the left hand column. Mr. Orlov wrote his online manifesto back in 2006, but it really got wheels in 2008 when the economy started to crash. Back then I read mention of it in The Economist, The New Yorker, and blogged about it myself.

It makes for an interesting read if you've got an hour to spend–part fact, part speculation, part fiction. He doesn't mention ...

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EVIL EYE OF THE OCEAN: What the Heck Is It?

13 Oct

Swordfish eyeball

Gino Covacci found this object on the beach in Pompano Beach, Florida, this past Wednesday.

The web has since been abuzz with speculation as to what it might be. Do you think it is:

A) An alien probe sent from a distant planet?

B) An eyeball from a squid?

C) Some kind of sexual organ?

D) An eyeball from a whale?

E) A fetal bowling ball?

F) An eyeball from a swordfish?

Submit your answers in the comment section below. We’ll select a winner at random from those who answer correctly.

Swordfish eyeball

The winner gets to lick it, whatever it is....

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2012 ANNAPOLIS MONOHULL TESTS: Hunter 40 and Zen 24

12 Oct

Mark Pillsbury

After departing the Annapolis show on Sunday morning, I returned to Annapolis Tuesday morning to test-sail boats with my colleague and partner-in-crime Adam Cort from SAIL magazine. We each got in four boats in less than 48 hours, which, believe it or not, is a semi-easy schedule when it comes to post-show testing. On one of the two monohulls I sailed, the new Hunter 40, I shared a test with Cruising World‘s editor-in-chief Mark Pillsbury, thus continuing the bilateral cooperation initiated by Elaine Lembo and I this past summer. Mark didn’t want to cooperate for too long, however, ...

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Fantasy Yacht Brokerage: PUMA

12 Oct

Well, this is for anyone who has a couple mil just sitting around. Put it to good use, I say, and buy yourself some exhilaration.

How? Well, how about buying yourself a VO70 and taking to the seas at up to 30-plus knots. And I've got just the boat for you: PUMA's Mar Mostro.

I can understand if you doubt my advice, uninformed as it usually is. But take it from Kenny Read:

Do I have your attention now? Good. Because next you'll want to check out the specs. I think you'll agree that

this is what one ...

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Slightly Different Proof of Concept?

11 Oct

When the powers that be (meaning, essentially, Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts) burrowed into the matter of how to build a structure around the 2013 America’s Cup in the hope of insulating it from past craziness and creating stability going forwardand with that, marketability—the first essential that came to mind was independent management.

And then:

One subtext of the recent International Jury ruling permitting Emirates Team New Zealand’s extra-large foils over the objections of the defender and the challenger of record is this: It was a thoroughly independent ruling.

Proof of concept? The International Jury is, I believe, one step ...

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Man Down

11 Oct

Greetings, friends, from 18 23.62 S, 162 36.77 W. We are just starting Day 7 of our Tahiti-to-Tonga run. The winds are dying and poor Papillon is suffering the whack-and-smack of sails that every sailor dreads. But, this morning, I look out upon the ridiculous swell and our unraveling sunbrella with a song in my heart. For I, good people, am once again amongst the living.

We all know that I have trouble with seasickness. (Goodness knows, I haven't kept it a secret.) But normally it is four days of unpleasantness, then I'm back on my feet again. This is ...

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America’s Cup, Now and Then: The ETNZ View

11 Oct

We all spend a lot  of time musing about how the America's Cup has changed in the Larry/Russell era, whether it is a good change or not, and what it all means for the future of the world.

Of course, most of us do that from far outside the AC compound walls. It is, to put it politely, uninformed analysis. So it's both refreshing and informative when the insiders take a crack at sorting out the differences. And worth paying attention.

So here is Emirates Team New Zealand's list of things that are different, and things that are the same:...

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Vendee Globe: Powered By Open 60

10 Oct

Sure, our fickle attentions are distracted by those cool looking boats that have been racing, and flipping, out in San Francisco, and their larger cousins.

But the Vendee Globe is just one month away, and photographer par excellence Christophe Launay has picked the perfect moment to remind us that there are few boats that look more awesome than the venerable Open 60 powering across the seas.

Alex Thompson and Hugo Boss have a knack for drama (if not for always completing races). And they deliver once again, with Launay's help. Check it (full gallery is here):

HUGO ...

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