SUICIDE OCEAN TOW: Drake Roberts on YouTube

17 Apr

Many moons ago I blogged about a fellow I met in Bermuda, Rich Littauer, who was aboard a derelict 52-foot steel boat, Cha Cha, that had been towed into St. Georges after losing her engine and sails during a rough passage from Newport, Rhode Island. More recently I’ve been in touch with Drake Roberts, the singlehander who found Rich and his crew, Gail Alexander, adrift and towed them most of the way to Bermuda with his Westsail 42, Paragon. Drake has launched a YouTube channel and has posted a complete video account of his own voyage to ...

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The Farallones

17 Apr

As cruel a lee shore as exists on the planet.

Low Speed Chase comes to an end in the Farallones Race, a fully-crewed contest that had been run without loss of life since 1907.

Photo posted on Facebook by Will Paxton; provenance not identified



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What Our Bluewater Boat Cost

16 Apr

Charlie Doane recently posted an article titled Bluewater Sailing On a Budget, about the purchase of his first bluewater sailboat in 1994. Adjusted for inflation he paid about $65,000 to purchase and outfit a boat for circling the Atlantic in. I enjoyed reading it and thought I'd write something similar.


In my case it won't be my first bluewater boat (though many would argue that my first boat, a 35' Wildcat Catamaran wasn't a bluewater boat) this is our idea of a bluewater boat on a budget. Our catamaran cost us over three times what we paid for this, ...

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14 Apr

Sailboat deck

This is an area of fiberglass sailboat construction that many owners ultimately become interested in, either because deck hardware installations on their boat start leaking, or because they decide to replace and upgrade hardware. Unfortunately, it is also an area where some builders often try to streamline their methods to save time and money, particularly when it comes to installing hardware such as winches, cleats, genoa tracks, travelers, stanchion bases, and the like.

As we’ve discussed earlier in this series, almost all fiberglass decks are cored these days, which presents two problems any time a deck is penetrated to ...

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A Day to Remember Why We Love Cruising

11 Apr

09-Apr-2012 mazatlan, mexico.
Days like today remind us why we both like to cruise and to find ourselves constantly "living" in new places. We love getting out and just wandering new places, seeing what we can discover along the way. Of course now we do it with kids so we find ourselves discovering more than just those tiny, dark, hole-in-the-wall drinking dens that we used to zero in on.

Today as we rode the bus towards Old Town with no real destination in mind other than hopping off at the cathedral or main plaza we drove past a playground. A ...

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Cool LED Retrofit

11 Apr

The LED "revolution" is sweeping the boating world. Installing LED lights means less power to get more light, smaller lights, smaller wire, tiny switches, and less weight. I'm not running out to replace all my lights with LEDs, but when I have to replace a light anyway, I replace it with an LED.

If you've got the kind of florescent light  pictured above (I've got three on my boat) it might be tempting to replace it with an LED strip, but the then you've got the stained footprint and screw holes from the old fixture to contend with. 

My customer ...

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Jules Verne Big Trimaran Porn

10 Apr

Sure, this short video of Banque Pop's epic Jules Verne record-setting run is in French. But you don't watch for the dialogue. You watch for the action.

There is plenty of action.

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NONSUCH 30: A Modern-Day Catboat With a Wishbone Rig

10 Apr

Nonsuch 30 under sail

The Nonsuch 30 was the first and most successful of the Nonsuch line of una-rigged cruising catboats built by Hinterhoeller Yachts of Ontario, Canada, from 1978 to 1994. Designed by Mark Ellis at the instigation of Gordon Fisher, a famous Canadian racing sailor who wanted a fast, easy-to-handle cruising boat for his retirement, this boat in particular and its four siblings (the Nonsuch 22, 26, 33, and 36) are among the most popular alternative-rigged production boats ever built. In all a total of 975 Nonsuchs were launched over the years; of these 522 were 30-footers. The Nonsuch remains a popular ...

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Ghost Ships

9 Apr

One of the eerie echoes of the 2010 Japanese tsunami was the ghost ship, Ryou-Un Maru, which broke free of her moorings and over the past year drifted across the Pacific to Alaska.

To prevent a hazard to shipping, or a ghostly beaching, the US Coast Guard late last week fired on it, and sank it, in 6,000 feet of water 180 miles west of the Alaska coast.

Here are some photos (full sequence here). Spooky. 

And speaking of ghost ships, here is director James Cameron perfecting the CGI re-enactment of the sinking of the most haunting ...

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