ELVSTROM BLUE WATER RUNNER: Modern Interpretation of Downwind Twin Headsails

12 Feb

Runner downwind

Here’s an interesting item my neighbor and erstwhile shipmate Jeff Bolster recently pointed me at. You may recall his Valiant 40, Chanticleer, was unfortunately parked last summer in Road Town, Tortola, and was dismasted in Hurricane Irma last September. He now has the boat in Kittery, Maine, for a refit (she motored on her own bottom from Tortola to St. Thomas, traveled by ship to Florida, then by truck to Maine), and he was thinking this new headsail system from Elvstrom might be worth trying out.

The basic concept, a symmetric pair of matching headsails for flying wing-and-wing ...

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Colombia for cruisers: a different attraction

12 Feb

sailboat arrival santa marta

It wasn’t many years ago that Colombia was considered dangerous to visit: cruisers lured by pretty Venezuelan islands towards South America rarely made the hop next door. While care must be taken, the story has flipped: improved domestic stability makes Colombia a relatively secure destination and economic collapse had turned Venezuela into a no-go zone.

We arrived in Santa Marta, Colombia with plans to stay not much more than a week: just long enough for Jamie to fly up to Puerto Rico for rigging work on a friends’s boat, a quick overland trip to Cartagena, and then we’d be off. ...

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Phase Two

11 Feb

Day 90

Noon Position: 48 55S 31 41E

Course/Speed: NE7

Wind: W30, gusts to 40

Sail: Storm Jib

Bar: 1002

Sea: NW12

Sky: Clear

Cabin Temp: 50

Water Temp: 41

Miles last 24-hours: 150

Longitude Miles Made Good: 141

Miles since departure: 12,095

The front, dark and heavy, moved through with rain, but not much more wind than we’d had. That was at 6pm. Two hours later I put the storm jib back up. Winds had moved to a steady 30 knots and the barometer was still dropping. By midnight you could feel that the weather was on us ...

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Airmar 2018 part 1: Newly certified installers toting TDT1000 transducer testers

11 Feb

Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 11, 2018 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Airmar_TDT1000_kit_case_n_ACI_logo_cPanbo.jpgDoctor Ducer is in the house! Seriously, the already impressive Airmar TDT1000 Transducer Diagnostic Kit is now key to the company’s new certified installer program, and thus you and your sick fishfinder may one day appreciate a boat call by an informed ducer doc with the right tool. And if an ACI installs the transducer in the first place — let’s call it “preventative medicine” — you get a significant warranty upgrade. I tested the tester last month and learned a lot about Airmar and sonar ...

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10 Feb

Day 89

Noon Position: 49 22S 28 14E

Course/Speed: E5

Wind: N20-25

Sail: Staysail and main

Bar: 987

Sea: NW10

Sky: Drizzle and Fog

Cabin Temp: 51

Water Temp: 40

Miles last 24-hours: 109

Longitude Miles Made Good: 83

Miles since departure: 11,945

South, south the wind keeps pushing us until we bottom out at 49 23S at 10amf. The fog is inescapable, and even the birds have given up and gone elsewhere. Not a soul down here but us.

Then ever so slowly the wind turns into the north and hardens, first to 20, then 30, then 35.

We ...

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Critters to Consider

9 Feb

Day 88

Noon Position: 48 29S  26 12E

Course/Speed: ESE5

Wind: NE10

Sail: Main and working jib full

Bar: 1003

Sea: N4

Sky: FOG. Can see maybe 30 feet past the bow.

Cabin Temp: 51

Water Temp: 39

Miles last 24-hours: 144

Longitude Miles Made Good: 138

Miles since departure: 11,845

On deck this morning, another sprinkling of critters, maybe fifty from bow to stern. Mo ran all night with wind on the quarter and then the beam and took a fair bit of water over the cabin, which deposited these shrimps liberally over the boat’s supposedly non-wetted surfaces. As ...

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Golden Globe Race – then and now.

9 Feb
Robin Knox-Johnston finishing the first Golden Globe Race in 1968
I am really looking forward to the Golden Globe around-the-world yacht race that starts on July 1 this year. It’s a brilliant idea, I only wish that I had thought of it, and judging by the number of entries it seems as if many others also saw it as a great idea. Thirty eight people signed up to do the race, but from the race website it looks like that number has been whittled down to 22, still a healthy fleet.

The Golden Globe race celebrates the 50th anniversary of
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9 Feb

Day 87

Noon Position: 48 00S 22 49E

Course/Speed: E7

Wind: NNW 25

Sail: Main and working jib, both with two reefs

Bar: 1006

Sea: NW6

Sky: Overcast

Cabin Temp: 52

Water Temp: 38 (!)

Miles last 24-hours: 174

Longitude Miles Made Good: 170 (4.24 degrees of longitude–best day by far)

Miles since departure: 11,701


Midnight. It is raining. Total darkness except for the glow from running lights. The white steaming light is on too, illuminating the foredeck and the working jib, half rolled in and pulling hard.

I am standing in the cockpit and have been for some ...

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Volvo Ocean race Leg 6 underway

8 Feb
Race start in Hong Kong harbor

Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race is underway and already the crews are dealing with testing conditions. After a pleasant start in Hong Kong harbor the six remaining boats are now having to deal with 30 to 35 knots right on the nose as they approach the southern tip of Taiwan. The fleet is in the Luzon Strait, the stretch of water that separates Taiwan from the Philippines and will follow much the same course as they sailed on the way up from Melbourne, except in reverse order. They need to leave the ...
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Under Africa

7 Feb

Day 86

Noon Position: 48 02S 18 35E

Course/Speed: E7

Wind: NW 15-25

Sail: Working jib full, wind on port quarter

Bar: 1003

Sea: W10

Sky: Overcast

Cabin Temp: 53

Water Temp: 42

Miles last 24-hours: 163

Longitude Miles Made Good: 155

Miles since departure: 11,527

Yesterday. A half day of open blue sky and sparkling blue ocean. At 47 and a half south. If I had not seen it, I would not have believed. I spent the entire morning shooting video (below), whose images I loved so much I could not edit any out, but instead am presenting a ...

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