Paul Cayard (Part II): The Subtleties Of Foiling

4 Mar

Scuttlebutt has published more from the surprisingly informative interview with Artemis honcho Paul Cayard (scroll down to find Part 2 if you have already read Part 1), and he digs even deeper into foiling, and the tradeoffs between losing displacemnt downwind and adding drag to your boards upwind.

This is the classic sort of America's Cup discussion, which could easily involve more than a few head fakes, so it's hard to know whether to take it all as gospel. But it's still pretty interesting, in a Kremlin-ology sort of way.

Here's a taste (but read the whole thing...

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The Road Warrior

2 Mar

Once on an airplane I saw a terrible movie, which featured John Travolta, Tim Allen, and William H. Macy playing suburban dads who rode Harley-Davidsons on weekends. They'd made up matching leather jackets.  One day they were pulled over at a bend in the road when a real motorcycle gang rode by – about fifty of them – real meth dealing, bar fighting rebels. One of the suburban dads said, "There they go, boys. That's the real deal."

Even though I'd been circumnavigating for six years, this is how I felt when I met The Road Warrior in Tanzania. I ...

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The Crabs of Chagos

27 Feb

Chagos, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, is paradise for cruisers. Except for a giant US air base (which is on another island, which you're not allowed to go near, so you never even know it's there) the entire archipelago is uninhabited. Some cruisers marvel at the tropical idyll. Some snorkel and fish. Some play beach volleyball. Me? I take pictures of crabs.

The Daddy is, of course, the coconut crab. Stepping on one of these on the way to your dinghy in the dark will make an impression. Once one mistook my leg for a tree and started to ...

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On board Gizmo, the last frontier

25 Feb


In retrospect, it's almost funny that the very first picture of Gizmo I published on Panbo (repeated above) highlighted that mess of wiring tucked under the circuit breaker panel. In the four years since, I've at least figured out, and in many cases changed or removed, nearly every electrical component on the boat. Just before I went to the Miami show it seemed like the time had come to attack what lay behind that nice little access door, but things did not go well…

My plan was to detach all the terminal strips and remount on them on a square ...

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Synthetic Lifelines in the Works

23 Feb
Photo Credit: The Rigging Company (

I spent last weekend at the Miami Boatshow where I got to meet a few of the lovely folks from SAIL, critique my father’s seminars and crash a couple of expensive-looking parties. Oh and I even found time for a quick look around the show. The focus was mainly powerboats and megayachts, with a small ‘Strictly Sail’ satellite where I spent most of my time. While there I had a productive chat with John Franta, owner of Colligo Marine and the guy who did my synthetic rigging. I’ve written about my rig a couple ...

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Department Of Homeland Security Nightmare

22 Feb

So Clark has been telling you all about how the US Coast Guard can trample all over your 4th amendment rights, and doing a great job either scaring the cr*p out of you, or pissing you off, or both.

If this story about the Department Of Homeland Security is true, then we should all go to even greater extremes of anger and paranoia (and we can see where the Coast Guard takes its lead). When I see this sort of thing I can only conclude that the terrorists won, by shredding our Constitution and somehow getting us all to ...

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Maretron DCR100 partial install, lights on & Labels up

22 Feb


There's lots more to report on from the Miami show, but partially installing a Maretron DCR100 Direct Current Relay on Gizmo just got me so excited I want to share. This boat has never had switches for running and flood lights on the fly bridge — especially annoying when I wanted to light myself up when crossing paths with a possibly unaware stranger — and it didn't have a switch for the new bow LED spot at all (to be explained). Now for relatively little effort and expense, I'll not only have switching at both helms but also be able ...

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America’s Cup: The Video Race

21 Feb

It's always very hard to tell what is going on inside America's Cup syndicates, unless they, um, break their boat. But sometimes you can get a feel for things by looking at the media they put out. So let's take a video tour.

First up is Oracle, finally back on the water and happy to emphasize that they've got the foiling thing going. They are clawing their way back from their unwelcome sailing hiatus, but if there is a team that has the players and resources to play catch-up, it is Oracle:

Nice to see Artemis out there with ...

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21 Feb

We’ve been talking about hanging a swing up on deck for months, but for some reason just hadn’t done it. Then a couple days ago the boat across the dock hung a hammock up on their deck—Ali saw it, the kids saw it, and just like that it was time to get a hammock swing.

I told Ouest to hang on and I would pull her to the top of the mast, but she declined. I thought sure she was going to say okay. Give the two of them a year and they’ll probably work out a way to do ...

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