The Sail Transport Network

10 Oct

A few months ago Charlie Doane wrote a blog post about sail powered shipping. It may be viable someday soon, but activity is afoot on a smaller scale. I first came in contact with the Sail Transport Network a few years ago, when I started Wine By Sail.

The idea of Wine By Sail, in its first incarnation, was to deliver wine from wineries around the Bay Area by sailboat, rather than by truck. Now Wine By Sail is my charter business, and we transport wine on a much shorter voyage, from the bottles to our mouths. You ...

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Boat Photography While Underway

10 Oct

Every time I post a picture like the one above I get a bunch of e-mails asking how I did it. Well I'm not a professional photographer, and my equipment is limited to a Canon t3i DSLR camera, a 15mm fisheye, an 18-270mm zoom, and a 50mm, but I do enjoy trying to get unique photos shot from rather strange angles.

So what is my set-up? I'm almost embarrassed to admit it; I'm such a cruiser. Because us cruisers really just make do with whatever we've got at hand don't we? To get these pictures I need three things: a ...

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Ocean Porn: The Age Of GoPro

9 Oct

Every once in a while a technology comes along that changes everything. The GoPro camera is small, it can be mounted on almost anything, and it is waterproof. And it is changing the way we see the world, especially the ocean world.

As photographer Chase Jarvis puts it:

There has never been a more exciting time in the history to be a photographer. Technology in enabling accessibility (and usability) like never before. Hell, if you can imagine it, you can capture it. And you dont have to spend an arm and a leg to do it. Helmet cam footage, a

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LAGOON 380: An Entry-Level Cruising Cat

8 Oct

Lagoon 380

The Lagoon 380 is not the smallest Lagoon catamaran ever built–both the Lagoon 37, its immediate predecessor, and the Lagoon 35CCC were smaller–but it is the smallest Lagoon currently built and one of the smallest dedicated cruising cats that succeeds in combining both reasonable performance and a “big cat” accommodation plan in a single package. It is a carefully balanced exercise in moderation. Designed by Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot Prevost and first introduced in 2000, the Lagoon 380 is intended to serve both as a charter fleet workhorse (it is co-branded as the Moorings Lagoon 380) and ...

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Speed Freak Season

8 Oct

It it's October, it must be time for the speed junkies to start assembling in southern Africa.

Paul Larsen and his Vestas SailRocket team, along with yet another version of SailRocket, have arrived in Walvis Bay, for about 7 weeks of sailing, hoping that this time, finally, they have cracked the code on all the weird things that boats and foils do at 60 miles per hour have been sorted.

Here's a teaser, which gives you a sense of just how persistent this team has been:

Larsen and SailRocket are still gunning for the 55.65 knots (64 mph) ...

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Bareboat Charter for $25 Per Day

8 Oct

Okay, the $25 only got me a 17-foot canoe, but it was one of the best "cruising" experiences of my life.  My friend Eddie and I canoed 100 miles down the Green River in Utah, from Ruby Ranch to the confluence with the Colorado River.

The canoe is a ticklish craft. I hadn't paddled one since I was twelve. You'd think forward movement would be straightforward, but a canoe wants to spin out of control at all times. Let me revise that: A canoe loaded with as much crap as we had in this one wants to spin out of ...

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7 Oct

Photo © Gilles Martin-Raget

Quote, unquote. Random voice in a random crowd as eleven trimmers lit up their wings and eleven windward hulls picked up and the spray commenced to fly and San Francisco’s Fleet Week Sunday audience hollered and whistled at the sight.

One more dose of what Russell Coutts in August called, “proof of concept.”

How cool is that?

Coming off the high of the America’s Cup World Series in August, you could figure the goal in co-mingling sailboat racing in October was to not f-up a good thing.

Check.

Now we know that Jimmy Spithill can capsize ...

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Papillon Joins SAILfeed

7 Oct

That cut on my hand?  That’s cruising, baby!
Hello, everyone.  Id like to welcome some new readers to Sailing Papillon.  The good people at SAIL magazine invited me to join their blogging community, SAILfeed, and so I am delighted to say that Sailing Papillon will now also appear at www.sailfeed.com.  The blog ...
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2012 ANNAPOLIS BOAT SHOW: Be Here See That

6 Oct

SAIL Booth at Annapolis

Me and everyone else at SAIL magazine have been running about like the proverbial headless chickens doing what we do here in Annapolis in early October. Most important news first: SAIL has a new location at the show, en plein air (we used to be buried in a tent), directly across from Catalina’s in-the-water boats, so be sure to stop by and pick up a pen and a hat and a calendar and subscribe (if you haven’t already) and sit in one of our comfy new chairs. The photo here depicts our own Sarah Johnston (with head recently reattached) setting ...

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Kiteboard Racing: Real Deal Or Cheap Thrills?

5 Oct

I don't really know what to make of kiteboard course racing, but I do know that kiteboarding is taking over the world and has kicked in the Olympic door.

But the world's best kiteboarders are in Cagliari, Sardinia right now, at the Course Racing World Championship, so we get a chance to see what it all looks like. Here's the promo:

My initial impression: style (speed) over substance (tacitics). But what do I know? So here's a summary of the

Day 1 racing action. Decide for yourself:

As a bonus, since we are talking about sailing disciplines that emphasize ...

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