Open 60 Insanity: The “Keel Walk”

2 Feb

Alex Thompson may not win many races, but he and his Hugo Boss team are insanely creative and daring when it comes to marketing. I mean, who comes up with the idea that prodcues a picture like this?

I doubt that the keel walk will become a regular feature of canting keel racing programs everywhere. Yes, it is James Bond-cool and may deliver a global marketing bonanza. But pulling it off looks seriously, seriously, hairy (see video after the jump)…

The absolutely key factor in this stunt: trusting the driver and trimmer aboard Hugo Boss. Because they are in charge ...

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Core Electrical System Revamp

1 Feb


This is a standard project for any sailboat older than thirty, for three reasons:

  1. Sailboats used to be built with electrical systems designed to power a VHF radio and a reading light, and now we ask them to power refrigeration, inverters, all kinds of electronic gizmos, and to charge the battery banks that supply them.
  2. Electrical stuff has come a long way in the last thirty years. Back then we had variations of automotive equipment, and now we have purpose-built, high capacity alternators and regulators, marine wire, and better distribution products.
  3. The thirty-year-old stuff is, well, thirty years old,
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Drfit Nets Are A Scourge

1 Feb

Memo Of The Day

From: The Ocean

To: Humanity

Please, please stop it already with the drift nets. They have a habit of, er, drifting (at least until they get snagged on large marine mammals).



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Return To The Costa Concordia

1 Feb

There is always something terribly sad about a shipwreck, especially when lives are  lost and people are still missing.

This video–of the final dive on the Costa Concordia before the search for remaining bodies was called off–is a testament to the haunting nature of doomed ships.

It was uploaded yesterday, with this description:

The search for the remaining 15 passengers still missing from the stricken Costa Concordia cruise ship has been called off. Italian officials say the effort was too dangerous for rescue workers. The search had already

been suspended several times due to poor weather and choppy water. 17 ...

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31 Jan

Sailboat deck going on hull

My last missive in this continuing series on plastic boat construction dealt with internal structures within a hull and how they help support and stiffen a boat. This time we’ll look at how the two biggest pieces of a plastic boat, the hull and deck, are married to each other.

Almost all builders these days first install a boat’s interior and then close up the hull by placing the deck, another very large fiberglass part, on top of it. Large pieces of equipment, such as engines, electrical generators, and water and fuel tanks, are also installed while the deck is ...

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Camper Agonistes

31 Jan

Is it just me or does the crew on Camper seem particularly dispirited?

Not sure any boat would be a happy boat after getting creamed, and left behind, by the Strait Of Malacca. But these guys just don't seem very into it.

Unusual to see a  Team New Zealand crew struggling like this.

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Surfing The Ghosts Of Indonesia

31 Jan

Apparently, there are ghosts everywhere in surfing. We've long known about "Ghost Trees," the spooky big wave break off Pebble Beach. 

And now you've got Seven Ghosts, an incredible tidal bore in Sumatra that throws up multiple, perfectly

formed, standing waves that can carry a surfer for miles. RipCurl went in search of those ghosts, found them, surfed them, and filmed them. Cue scary music.

Here's Episode 1 (full series is here):


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Time for a New Tall Ship?

30 Jan

Number one question of the day: WHAT IS IT?

Answer of the day number one: Plankton.

Number two question of the day: Who sailed 27 of 31 days last October?

Answer of the day number two: The schooner Seaward, operated by Call of the Sea, an educational nonprofit focused on marine sciences, nautical heritage, and the environment on and out of San Francisco Bay. Aboard the Seaward it is an everyday thing to troll up plankton . . .

And study them under a microscope, then match up the tiny wigglies with the big board that shows what’s ...

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Singapore Strait Pinball

30 Jan

The above is a plot of all the ships around PUMA in the Singapore Strait. How many ocean races look like that?

Here's a good tour of all the dangers and frustrations–in addition to shipping–that have bombarded the Volvo Ocean Race fleet in these waters:

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