HMS Bounty Captain Speaks

2 Nov

Until we hear more from survivors it is hard to know just what the HMS Bounty Captain, Robin Walbridge, was thinking when he sailed his vessel and crew into the teeth of Hurricane Sandy

And, of course, Walbridge is missing and presumed dead, so we'll never hear directly from him. But via Sailing Anarchy comes this extended, and perplexing, interview with Walbridge, conducted in August. The discussion of bad weather and storms starts at 10:30. And the casual and naive attitude regarding hurricanes Walbridge diplays is either a misguided attempt to sound cool and crusty for an interview. Or ...

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ETNZ Uber Alles?

2 Nov

Yes, it's almost a year before the actual America's Cup match. And, yes, there is a whole new generation of AC72 boats to come. But amidst all the glitches, setbacks, and catastrophes of Artemis and Oracle, and the late start of Luna Rossa, there is one team that just keeps sailing on, looking good, learning from its training, and getting better. And that team is Emirates Team New Zealand. 

It was always going to be hard to get the AC72 right, because it is an entirely new beast. But just look at the clips of ETNZ's AC72 in ...

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Coast Guard Boardings and Your Fourth Amendment Rights, Part 3

31 Oct

Continued from Part 1 and Part 2.

Various parties have challenged Coast Guard boardings and suspicionless searches in the highest courts, but the courts have consistently upheld the Coast Guard’s right to board vessels under the Revenue Cutter Act of 1790, and its subsequent variations.

Unfortunately, the highest profile cases have been for drug busts. Plaintiffs who really are drug smugglers are less sympathetic to the public.


A major drug seizure. All photos courtesy of US Coast Guard

A boater who’s a bit miffed about a Coast Guard search usually gets over it after a few weeks and ...

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PSA: Watch That Winch!

30 Oct
No, we didn’t catch a fish…

It’s been a wild ride these first few months. Between the greenness of my boat, my very rusty sailing skills and the generally amateur nature of my ever-rotating crew we’ve run into quite a few snags. Most we’ve been able to laugh off. A couple, like my ripped genoa, I’ve had to work off, but overall there’s been nothing too serious. Until yesterday. Yesterday we had an accident which scared the hell out of me. (Spoiler: everyone’s ok now, but I’ll warn you that the photos after the jump get a bit gruesome.)...

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In Non-Sandy News: Steve Jobs Built A Superyacht

29 Oct

The Mariner is hunkered down on the Chesapeake Bay, waiting to see if Hurricane Sandy is going to have mercy on his fine vessel. The worst will occur tonight and tomorrow, so with nothing more to do to prepare it's a good time for a little escapist fantasizing.

For that let's turn things over to the man who has helped millions, maybe even billions, of people escape via his various electronic devices: Steve Jobs. Because one of Steve Jobs' last great design projects was a superyacht, called Venus.The lead architect was Philippe Starck, but Jobs being Jobs you ...

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Coast Guard Boardings and Your Fourth Amendment Rights, Part 2

27 Oct

Continued from Part 1:

Why can the Coast Guard search our boats without a warrant or probable cause, when the police can’t search our homes, cars, offices, motorhomes etc.?

It’s always been this way. The same congress that passed the Bill of Rights passed the Revenue Service Act of 1790, which gave revenue cutters the right to search any vessel anywhere in US waters, and any US-flagged vessel anywhere in the world.

Our fledgling nation was strapped for cash, and tariffs were the way to solvency. This was controversial even back in 1790, since many of our gripes against ...

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Coast Guard Boardings and Your Fourth Amendment Rights, Part 1

25 Oct

Sorry, but when it comes to Coast Guard boardings, you don’t have any rights.

I’m surprised how many boaters don’t know this. The US Coast Guard can board your boat any time they want, and look anywhere they want, without probable cause or a warrant. They can do this on the open sea, or while you’re asleep aboard in your marina at midnight. They can look through your bedsheets, in your lockers, in your bilges, in your jewelry box, or in your pockets. They can do it carrying just their sidearms, or they can do it carrying assault rifles. They ...

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Oracle Team AC72 Capsize Revisited

25 Oct

I know, I know. I promised to lay off this. And there are lots of other things going on (like Charlie facing off against Hurricane Sandy).

But then Oracle went and made this great video, looking in detail at the hours before and after the devastating capsize, and deconstruction, of their multi-million dollar AC72 yacht. It's pretty intense, and the awareness of how bad a blow the team has suffered is written all over everyone's faces.

So sue me. And then go watch.


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Hold Fast – A documentary about getting out on the water

23 Oct

Hold Fast from Moxie Marlinspike on Vimeo.

Recently here on Sailfeed Charlie wrote a great post about what we need to draw more people into sailing in which he talks about his first boat. Made almost entirely of styrofoam the Sea Snark was about the only boat a schoolboy could hope to own but that didn’t trouble young Charlie in the least, it was still ‘enough’ boat to give him a lifelong love of sailing.

This video is another tale of first boats and getting onto the water by any means possible. Three friends, members of the ‘Anarchist ...

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Bluenose II Relaunched

20 Oct

The Bluenose II splashed down about six weeks ago, and they stepped the masts a few days ago. I blogged about the Bluenose last New Years, when my wife and I were in Luneneburg, visiting her parents. Back then the Bluenose II looked like this:

This makes it one of the fastest restoration projects I've ever heard of, but it helps when you've got an army of both professionals and volunteers on the case.

Now she looks like this:

And here are the masts going on:

You can read all about the history of the Bluenose and Bluenose II here...

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