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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Cruising with Kids – Not All Fun and Games

8 Apr

We've had a busy week of cruising, and let me tell you, there are challenges to being out here with two kids. Challenges that we never had to deal with when it was just the two of us out sailing the high seas. Looking back I can't believe how easy it was to sail around the world just the two of us. Back then a thousand mile passage was undertaken without any thought. Now throw a hundred miles at us and my brain wants to shut down. But then the kids go off to sleep and I load up the ...

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Odds and ends around the shop

8 Apr

Things are very hectic here at the moment. My father will be arriving in a couple days and during the week that he’s here we’re hoping to install a used diesel inboard (a Yanmar 1-GM, more on that soon) and maybe even step the mast, though I’m probably getting ahead of myself on that one! Either way, I have a lot to do before he gets down here. Mostly I’ve been puttering around the shop finishing projects and making all sorts of little mounting plates, backing plates, and fiberglass bits. I’ve also got a good friend in town who does ...

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OCEAN CURRENTS: Fantastic Video

7 Apr

Just had to share this one. This is an animated NASA “visualization” video showing the disposition of global ocean currents during the period from June 2005 through December 2007.

Aside from how beautiful it is, what strikes me most is the prevalence of huge eddies in certain locations–particularly off southern Africa, where there is an impressive string of them stretching from the southeast coast out west into the South Atlantic. There are also some interesting looking eddies off the northeast coast of South America and either side of the Central American isthmus, particularly on the Caribbean side.

It is interesting ...

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Must Reads: Merf Owen On Designing VO70s

5 Apr

Only one out of six of the VO70s on the current leg of the Volvo Ocean Race has managed (or been lucky ebough) to avoid a major breakdown. Nice, PUMA.

First, a quick video summary (and full details of Groupama's breakdown and options are here):

The chaos and catastrophe have been sufficient to induce VOR CEO Knut Frostad to issue a statement of concern. And, naturally, all the breakages have set off the usual armchair designer critics, who have taken to sailing forums across the globe.

To sort it all out, and explain things from the design side, ...

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