PSA: Watch That Winch!

30 Oct
No, we didn’t catch a fish…

It’s been a wild ride these first few months. Between the greenness of my boat, my very rusty sailing skills and the generally amateur nature of my ever-rotating crew we’ve run into quite a few snags. Most we’ve been able to laugh off. A couple, like my ripped genoa, I’ve had to work off, but overall there’s been nothing too serious. Until yesterday. Yesterday we had an accident which scared the hell out of me. (Spoiler: everyone’s ok now, but I’ll warn you that the photos after the jump get a bit gruesome.)...

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HMS BOUNTY: Lost in Hurricane Sandy

29 Oct

HMS Bounty

A replica of the good ship Bounty, of Mutinous Fame, has sunk off the Carolina coast south of Cape Hatteras this morning and two of the 16 (or 17???) crew members are reported missing. The vessel, under the command of Robin Walbridge, departed New London, Connecticut, on Thursday, bound for Florida. Evidently, the plan was to sneak past Hurricane Sandy and get west of the storm before it got too far north.

On Saturday, while the vessel was underway, someone in the Bounty organization posted this photo of the ship sailing in heavy weather in 2010 to the ship’s Facebook ...

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In Non-Sandy News: Steve Jobs Built A Superyacht

29 Oct

The Mariner is hunkered down on the Chesapeake Bay, waiting to see if Hurricane Sandy is going to have mercy on his fine vessel. The worst will occur tonight and tomorrow, so with nothing more to do to prepare it's a good time for a little escapist fantasizing.

For that let's turn things over to the man who has helped millions, maybe even billions, of people escape via his various electronic devices: Steve Jobs. Because one of Steve Jobs' last great design projects was a superyacht, called Venus.The lead architect was Philippe Starck, but Jobs being Jobs you ...

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Larry Meets Thomas

28 Oct

Miuccia Prada does the honors, christening Luna Rossa alongside Patrizio Bertelli. Photo and brand positioning by Luna Rossa/Carlo Borlenghi

So Luna Rossa launches, but did Patrizio miss the memo?

At Friday’s launch of Luna Rossa, Sr. Bertelli goes off telling his audience, “We have two virtually identical boats. That can be mutually beneficial. We can compare boats and improve boats better that way than in isolation. It is going to be very interesting.”

Ah, Patrizio, I thought we were supposed to be downplaying this little feature . . .

Remember when Oracle and Artemis both objected to the Luna Rossa-Emirates ...

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Morning Training and Hurricane Sandy at the Caribbean 1500

27 Oct

Mia and I just got back from a short run this morning (in the dark). I'm annoyed that the clocks won't change until the day of the start – November 4 – because otherwise the sun would be up when we're out carousing around Hampton.

We set off towards Hampton University, over the bridge and down the walkway onto campus grounds, around 6:30 and it was pitch black. Hurricane Sandy is on the way, and you could feel it in the air. It's extremely humid outside this morning, and windy – but the rain isn't here yet, and that's why ...

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Coast Guard Boardings and Your Fourth Amendment Rights, Part 2

27 Oct

Continued from Part 1:

Why can the Coast Guard search our boats without a warrant or probable cause, when the police can’t search our homes, cars, offices, motorhomes etc.?

It’s always been this way. The same congress that passed the Bill of Rights passed the Revenue Service Act of 1790, which gave revenue cutters the right to search any vessel anywhere in US waters, and any US-flagged vessel anywhere in the world.

Our fledgling nation was strapped for cash, and tariffs were the way to solvency. This was controversial even back in 1790, since many of our gripes against ...

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Remembering Myron, Keeping Myron

26 Oct

The Spaulding Center in Sausalito lies not so far across the water from The San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere, host to what has become an alpha sailing event on San Francisco Bay, the Leukemia Cup. It’s pretty hard to compete with Ted Turner as a keynote speaker—basically, you don’t; Turner is one of the all-time good guys—but enthusiasm for wooden boatcraft, plus having Warwick “Commodore” Tompkins on the bill for a same-night fundraiser at what once was Myron Spaulding’s boatyard, was enough to make that event a sell-out too.

What is the Spaulding Center? Chronicle writer Carl Nolte calls ...

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26 Oct

For just $20,000 you can participate in a re-creation of the Shackleton Epic  (with modern communications, safety gear, and central heating). For $20,000 do you think you'll be eating fancy cruise food? No, you will eat seal livers for the entire duration of the cruise, seal livers cooked over a fire of seal blubber. Just when you've had enough of seal livers, guess what you get to eat next? More seal livers. Several cruise members will have their toes amputated under primitive conditions,  all will be marooned on Elephant Island for an Antarctic winter, then will get to observe ...

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Are You Ready For The Vendee Globe?

26 Oct

Political junkies may be focused on that other four year thing. But sailing junkies are justifiably focused on the Vendee Globe, which sets off Nov. 10 (four days after that other competition ends).

Why? Well, check out this trailer for a documentary about the 2008 Vendee and you will understand:

You can find out all about the 20 skippers, the boats, and the details of he race on the Vendee Globe site. But

this historical perspectve from race director Denis Horeau:

“First of all, many things have not changed, cannot change and will not change I hope;

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Coast Guard Boardings and Your Fourth Amendment Rights, Part 1

25 Oct

Sorry, but when it comes to Coast Guard boardings, you don’t have any rights.

I’m surprised how many boaters don’t know this. The US Coast Guard can board your boat any time they want, and look anywhere they want, without probable cause or a warrant. They can do this on the open sea, or while you’re asleep aboard in your marina at midnight. They can look through your bedsheets, in your lockers, in your bilges, in your jewelry box, or in your pockets. They can do it carrying just their sidearms, or they can do it carrying assault rifles. They ...

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