OYSTER YACHTS ON THE ROPES: Esteemed British Builder Runs Out of Cash

7 Feb

Oyster yacht

I’ve been in this business long enough to know there’s no such thing as a boatbuilder immune to financial difficulty, but this does come as a surprise. As recently as last month Oyster proudly announced they have in hand £80 million in orders. They just showed off the new Oyster 745 (see photo up top) at Boot Dusseldorf, where it was the largest boat on display. One of these big boys was also parked just across the pontoon from my boat at the Annapolis show last fall. Oyster was also launching itself well and truly into the superyacht market ...

Read More

Quick Update…

6 Feb

No formal blog tonight. An active weather system is moving in during the time I usually write, and I need to be on deck.

Spectacular day. Blue sky for its entirety and a nice fast wind. Also our best run in a while: 171 miles over the ground noon to noon and 165 longitude made good miles. That’s 4 whole degrees of easting in 24 hours. Need many more of those....

Read More


5 Feb

Day 84

Noon Position: 47 26S  10 46E

Course/Speed: E7

Wind: W20

Sail: Twins, two rolls

Bar: 981

Sea: W8

Sky: Overcast

Cabin Temp: 50

Water Temp: 42

Miles last 24-hours: 142 (Another 23-hour day due to setting ship’s clock back.)

Longitude Made Good: 133

Miles since departure: 11,192

In the morning, the working jib woke me. Rattling and banging against the shrouds, it confirmed my bet had been a poor one. Wind had not built overnight. Rather, it had gone to calm, and my decision to run conservatively–jib only–to follow the forecast rather than the hint of an evening ...

Read More

Working on the Jib Sheet

5 Feb

Day 83

Noon Position: 47 40S  7 32E

Course/Speed: E7

Wind: NW 15 – 25

Sail: Working jib out full

Bar: 993

Sea: NW 8

Sky: Overcast

Cabin Temp: 53

Water Temp: 41

Miles last 24-hours: 163 (moved clock back, so this mileage from a 23-hour day)

Longitude Made Good: 156 (best day for easting since started tracking LMG. This constitutes 3.81 degrees of longitude and brings our average LMG since Ushuaia to 136 miles a day. Up from 133. Goal is 150.)

Miles since departure: 11,050

We’re riding over a large low pressure system, which has backed off a ...

Read More

Pictures from the Passage: Colombia to Panama

5 Feb

Photos of sea state never do it justice. It is a truth and occasional lament, as it’s difficult to convey the feeling of being at sea. This passage (Trials at Sea and Ashore) held some of the most unpleasant seas we’ve experienced: flat-fronted walls of water, tossing Totem around. These pictures won’t capture those seas, but to the challenging passage from Colombia to Panama.

A more pleasant start on departure from Santa Marta; ahead of us, the 51’ Utopia II is dwarfed when passing the massive yacht M5.

Bit of a size difference

A few hours later, a ...

Read More

Readying for the Next Low

3 Feb

Day 82

Noon Position: 47 21S  3 43E

Course/Speed: SSE4

Wind: NNW10

Sail: Twins poled

Bar: 1008

Sea: NW 4


Cabin Temp: 52

Water Temp: 42

Miles last 24-hours: 142 (I set ship’s clock back one hour yesterday; so this represents a 23-hour day. Still disappointing.)

Longitude Made Good: 123

Miles since departure: 10,887

Busy day, both from the standpoint of sail management and from that of chores in prep for our next series of lows.

Wind did a one-eighty on me again last night. Came on deck at 3am to find our easy and fast ...

Read More

Crossing into East Longitude and other Musings

3 Feb

Day 81

Noon Position: 47 24S  0 40E

Course/Speed: E6

Wind: NW12

Sail: Working Jib and Main out full; wind abeam

Bar: 1011

Sea: NW3

Sky: Rain

Cabin Temp: 51

Water Temp: 42

Miles last 24-hours: 160

Longitude Made Good: 145

Miles since departure: 10,745

Today’s post is a video log. Enjoy.

PS. In the video I reference then current wind conditions as north at 10. By way of update, the Southern Ocean is now producing north winds at 25. Were on a close reach with two reefs in everything and headed SSE.


Read More

The great Nantucket Bucket fish caper

2 Feb
Timoneer powering along

I saw online that there was a Superyacht regatta underway in Antigua. The eighth annual apparently. It reminded me of a funny story. I raced the first Superyacht regatta in Nantucket many years ago. So long ago in fact that the biggest boat, the one that I was racing on, was a measly 125-feet long. I recently wrote an article about a new Superyacht that has just been launched. It is 198-feet overall, had a mast that towers  216-feet and a Gennaker that is 24,000 square feet in area.   That’s larger than 11 tennis courts,
Read More

15 Gusting 38

1 Feb

Day 79

Noon Position: 47 34S  06 23W

Course/Speed: E7

Wind: SW25+

Sail: Working jib, full; wind on starboard quarter

Bar: 1005

Sea: SW8

Sky: Fog, then high cloud

Cabin Temp: 53

Water Temp: 40 (note much colder)

Miles last 24-hours: 142

LMG: 123

Miles since departure: 10,428


The Southern Ocean is working me today.

The forecast called for wind to do a 360 overnight as the center of a low rolled over us, and given there was little advantage in tacking through it, I planned to let Mo ride all the way around. But at 2am wind did ...

Read More

Sleep, Eggs, Bread: A Good Day

31 Jan

Day 78

Noon Position: 47 22S  09 27W

Course/Speed: E6

Wind: N10+

Sail: Big genoa, full main, close reach

Bar: 1021

Sea: N3, S4

Sky: Just gray. Gray everywhere

Cabin Temp: 53

Water Temp: 47

Miles last 24-hours: 135

LMG: 123

Miles since departure: 10,286

How good it is to have slept well.

Just after last night’s post, I suited up, went back on deck and lofted the starboard pole. Wind had dropped to 10 knots, and the sail emptied and filled on the low, slow swell with a slap that sounded like rifle fire and shook the boat to ...

Read More

More from the AIM Marine Group