MOD70s Deserve Your Attention

12 Jun

They’ve got it all: speed, power, (relative) safety, and a hard-sailing (though small) fleet. But the MOD70s are still struggling to find a place in the sailing world’s consciousness.

Which is a shame, because they are pretty amazing boats, frequently sailing at 2.5 times the true wind speed.

This video came from a little outing the folks at Latitude 38 had on Orion, an MOD70 that’s going to tear up the Left Coast sailing scene. It was enough to have ...

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Fiberglass and Epoxy- Repairing an Outboard Motor Mount

11 Jun

Although I’ve been stuck here in Marathon Florida longer than I would like, we’ve been busy as bees during our layover. I’m here with one of my crew from the New Orleans – Florida Keys leg of our trip and before we set off on the next leg, up the East coast to Maine, we’re doing repairs on the boat which they are caretaking. The first big job was the transom/outboard well, which had been underbuilt and was sorely in need of repair. After a couple good yanks on the outboard the mounting face ripped right out!

That big empty
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ALUMINUM HULL ANXIETIES: Return of the Leaky Rudder Skeg and More Bottom Paint Rumpus

11 Jun

Lunacy hauled out

Lunacy got hauled out at Maine Yacht Center soon after we arrived there from Bermuda last week, and yesterday I went up to have a look at her. As you can see in the photo up top, there’s very little bottom paint left on her nether parts. She’s been mostly bald like this for most of the winter. Since taking her down to Puerto Rico last November, it’s been a battle keeping the growth off and she’s had her bottom scrubbed five times–three times by me and twice by divers. Besides being too soft to stay on the boat ...

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Vesper Marine WatchMate, still the leader in AIS collision avoidance?

11 Jun

Written by Ben Ellison on Jun 11, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Vesper_on_Gizmo_New_York_Harbor_cPanbo.JPG

New York Harbor demands your attention even when you have lots of great electronics including what’s arguably the best recreational-level AIS target tracking system. That’s my excuse for not photographing the ideal example of the Vesper Marine AIS WatchMate 850 at work in heavy traffic. A more compelling shot might be more zoomed in and would have at least one solid target icon indicating a vessel(s) that had reached the Vesper’s highly configurable alarm level. But do note how the WatchMate is tracking 114 targets at ...

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Anchors and Hot Dogs

10 Jun

The other day when we lifted the anchor right before dark for the overnight sail to Santa Rosalia we saw just how lucky we were that we left when we did. The anchor was just barely hanging onto the chain thanks to a missing pin on the swivel shackle. Again, my terminology is bad, but see that little round cotter pin in the picture? That was missing. And that big pin that the anchor is pulling against had managed to slide halfway out—only the weight of the anchor pulling against it was keeping it from falling all the way out. ...

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GULFSTAR 50: An Affordable Big Boat

10 Jun

Gulfstar 50 under sail

Gulfstar Yachts was founded in 1970 by Vince Lazzara, an industry pioneer who in the early 1950s helped make a success of Aeromarine, one of the very first fiberglass boatbuilders. In the early 1960s he did the same at Columbia Yachts, which became the world’s biggest sailboat builder in its day. Early on Gulfstar emphasized low price and maximum interior space over build quality and sailing ability, but in the mid-1970s the company shifted gears and worked to deliver a more high-end product. The most notable manifestation of this was the Gulfstar 50, a large center-cockpit cruiser first introduced in ...

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Bumfuzzle Audiobook

9 Jun

I know a lot of you listened to Live on the Margin instead of reading it. And you probably thought, “Wow, that Nick O’Kelly sure has one smooth voice.” Admit it. Well he went ahead and did me a solid by voicing Bumfuzzle – Just Out Looking for Pirates. If you like listening to books on your way to work—something that’ll encourage you to quit working—then pop on over to Amazon and buy it NOW!!!!!

And hey, right now Amazon is practically giving it away for $1.99 if you already own the Kindle version (which is only $2.99 you cheap ...

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Get the Stink Off Your Hands

9 Jun

IMG 0194
This could be my greatest contribution to sailing.

If you should ever have to work on the sanitation system on your boat, you will undoubtedly get some of the foul liquid on your hands, and they will stink. It’s not so much sewage, I don’t think, but the foul, nasty odor of stagnant, decomposing seawater. Hydrogen sulphide, or whatever. It’s amazingly concentrated and tenacious: the slightest contact will make your hands stink for a long time. Soap and water won’t help.

I came home the other night after a few hours of sussing out a leaking holding tank, and ...

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A Puppy

9 Jun

So I forgot to mention that I did finally succeed in getting our AC fridge working again. It’s not working as well as it should, but when plugged in to shore power it really doesn’t have to be. We’re going to be doing a lot of boat work soon and I’m planning on having both systems vacuumed (if that’s the term), as well as replacing a couple of suspect hoses, before filling them up again. In theory our refrigeration system is a pretty good one. It should be capable of keeping our food and beer cold. And now that I’ve ...

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The Ninja Sailor

9 Jun


Stylish descended the companionway, muttering to herself.  “Lanacote, small brush, Lanacote, small brush…”
“Everything okay?”
She glanced up at me as she started rooting through the drawers in the nav desk.  “I had to pass Dad to get up the ladder.”
There are many obvious skills one needs to cultivate to live aboard.  Good seamanship.  Knots.  Basic weather analysis.  But ...
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