Ultimate Cruiser’s Skill? Welding.

17 Feb

16-Feb-2012 puerto vallarta, mexico.
Here's a hot tip for the would be cruiser: Learn to weld stainless steel and you'll never be wanting for money or work in your travels. In all of our years aboard we have hired welders seven times that I can think of off hand. Mechanics, twice. Refrigeration guys, twice. Nope, welding is where it's at. If you can weld stainless you'll be working in every exotic anchorage the world over.

The davits are coming along nicely. They are big strong beasts and I'm pretty sure they bring Bumfuzzle's overall length to over fifty-two feet. We'll ...

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What Is It?

16 Feb

Check out these pictures and see if you can figure out what they show. It's like a Rorschach test for humanity.

Beautiful, yet also disturbing, no? 

If you haven't figure it out they are from a series of photos taken in the water column of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Read all about the photo series, and the artist behind them, here

What would it be like to swim down through the estimated 100 million tons of trash swirling around in the Great Pacific Garbage PatchMandy Barker's photographs bring viewers probably as close as they'd

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Davits, Refrigeration, Almost Cruising Again

16 Feb

14-Feb-2012 puerto vallarta, mexico.
Welders were out today to get started on the davit install. They basically came out, lined them up, tac welded them to the mounting plates, and took them back off to the shop to finish up properly. Back in a couple of days to install those and fit the two reinforcement bars. Hopefully a couple days after that this project will be in the books.

Bumfuzzle Davits

Lowe got himself a play station stand-up toy thing-a-ma-bob the other day. He's digging it. The house continues to be overrun by brightly colored Made in China toys. The nice thing ...

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WAUQUIEZ PRETORIEN 35: A Well-Built Euro-Cruiser

15 Feb

Wauquiez Pretorien

This French-built cruiser-racer, designed by Holman & Pye, a British firm, first appeared on the market in 1979, just as the IOR rule was peaking in popularity. The Pretorien 35 thus exhibits features common to many boats of this era: it is beamy amidships with somewhat pinched ends and has a smallish high-aspect mainsail and a large foretriangle. It is not, however, an extreme example of its type. Nearly half the boat’s design weight is contained in its lead ballast keel, which makes it rather stiff and stable (its AVS is a very respectable 124 degrees), it does not have ...

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How NOT To Finish A Race

14 Feb

We've all done it. The finish whistle welcomes you across the line, your race is over, so you ease sheets, crack the cooler, and head toward the barn. And sometimes you suddenly realize you are interfering with boats that are still racing.

In the best case you are just disturbing their air, and you get out of the way quickly, with an apology. In the worst case you get….this.

Here's a summary of what happened (and a long version of the video is here):


The finish line was skewed by somewhere around 10-15 degrees. You can see the

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Wedding Ring Recovered

14 Feb

Yesterday I dropped my wedding ring off a dock.

I got back to the marina in San Rafael at 7 a.m., and indeed the tide was very low, only a few feet deep where I’d dropped my wedding ring. I forgot a towel or anything else to make me comfortable after my early morning swim, which made jumping into freezing San Francisco Bay, in the middle of winter, that much worse.

I dropped a fishing weight tied to some 1/8” Dacron to mark the spot. Without a weight and a line, I get disoriented underwater, and my search becomes ...

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Love Letter to Sailing

13 Feb

It’s such a common phrase, such a common feeling, that we take it for granted. The romance of the sea. Even those who dwell far from the sea are not immune to it. Red sails in the sunset. The very notion of sailing away to paradise. Those who heed the call, those who love the sea and sailing, will not find it strange that a sailor would choose Valentine’s Day to write a love letter to the sport.

Once upon a time there lived a young man so enamored of sailboat racing that he couldn’t look out from the deck ...

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Latest Glam Circuit? RC44

13 Feb

Top-end professional sailing never seems to settle into a stable hierarchy. Instead, circuits wax and wane, while the professional sailors just float from one circuit to the next, following the money and energy. No circuit ever seems to truly crack the code.

The America's Cup will always attract top talent because it pays top, which is to say ridiculous, dollars. But it's hard to argue that with skyrocketing costs, uncertainty over the venue, and just three paid-up challengers the AC is thriving. 

MedCup was looking good for a while, but the AC, the economy, and the high cost of campaigning ...

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