Seen at Maine Yacht Services in Portland while fixing stuff on my boat: Vendée Globe two-timer Rich Wilson’s new ride from France. A step down from an Open 60 perhaps, but still a very interesting boat. I’ve seen a number of these RM boats in France; they seem to be quite popular there. Never seen one in the U.S. before.
Toby Hodges in his Yachting World viddy review of the slightly smaller RM 1260 below describes RMs as the only production-built plywood sailboats in the world, but that is not quite accurate. Waarschip in Holland has been building very ... Read More
Right! We’re getting closer to the interesting part of the run-up to the next America’s Cup, the part where people actually start sailing the boats they will race on. Team New Zealand stole a small march on the other four teams competing in this 36th edition of the event, when it launched the first full-size AC75 in Auckland today (which is already practically yesterday over there in the Antipodes). Luna Rossa, the Italian Challenger of Record, shouldn’t be far behind and is expected to launch next week.
The Kiwis have decided to name their boat Te Aihe, an unpronounceable ... Read More
I heard glimmerings of this on the interwebs and immediately contacted Don, who obliged with a detailed release and obituary, most of which I’m publishing below. I don’t want my headline to confuse anyone. Iolaire, when she went down late last month after an accidental jibe off Ibiza, actually did not belong to Don anymore. After more than half a century of ownership, he sold her about 10 years ago. She had several notable owners over her long career (check this useful Classic Sailboats post for a full list), but Don was certainly the most notable and also owned ... Read More
What a charming book this is! A slim volume, but with a surprising variety of material in it. There’s a good deal of standard-issue practical advice you might find in other marine how-to tomes, but here you find it steeped and strongly marinated in a special sauce unique to Doug Logan. I’ve known the lad ever since we toiled together some 20 years ago at the Sailing Company (he on the Sailing World staff, I at Cruising World) and have followed his career ever since. He’s worked on powerboat comics, sailboat comics, currently works with a diverse collection of ... Read More
First some deep background: the term “death cruise” was coined during the 1980s to describe a series of outings under sail enjoyed by the editorial staff of Offshore, a now defunct New England boating magazine. Said staff at the time consisted of three people: myself (managing editor), Michael Csenger (assistant editor), and Marc Thibodeau (proofreader). The first cruise was actually a delivery, undertaken for an advertiser, and involved a very unreliable engine (dirty fuel, mostly), hence the dark moniker. The last took place in May 1990. I remember I blew off my law school graduation to attend. (Obviously, by ... Read More
I’m just back from a cruise down the coast (of which more later) and during said cruise received the very sad news that yet another old sailing friend has passed on. I first met Mac when he was living with Nim Marsh in Middletown, Rhode Island, back in 1993. He was lying low back in those days, tinkering with a brilliant invention for removing grease from homemade soup as you cooked it. This being one of many hats he wore through a varied life. Others included yacht designer, boatwright, magazine editor, writer, and probably a few others I never knew ... Read More
We sailed over to Popham Beach for the holiday, as has been our habit the last several years, to visit friends and family, but first there was the rudder to attend to. Or rather the steering system, as there were other problems the crew at Maine Yacht Center discovered when they took everything apart and dropped the rudder. In the photo up top you see the top of the rudder tube with the steering quadrant removed and a new top rudder bushing installed. It turned out both the old bushings, top and bottom, were worn and needed replacing.
We ... Read More
This is the most interesting new cruising sailboat design I’ve seen in a long time. Currently in build at Berkeley Marine Center, as conceived by a notable client, Barry Spanier, and drawn by a notable designer, Jim Antrim. It is significant, I think, that Spanier, a lifelong sailmaker who in his heyday designed and built some record-shattering windsurfer sails, has turned in his dotage to the junk rig. I’ve always been fascinated by the concept (you can see here some prior pondering on the subject) and find it inherently attractive. I say this, of course, having never sailed ... Read More
The subject was cruise ships. In the harbor at St. Georges, no less. I promised to tell you a story. This dates back to 1992, when I arrived at St. Georges as crew aboard the old Alden schooner Constellation, having completed the first leg of what would become my first transatlantic voyage (please refer to my latest book for more detail on how we almost sank en route to Bermuda). We had tied up on one corner of the St. Georges Dinghy Club dock, which was not then the swarthy concrete pier that it is today, but an old ... Read More
This year’s seasonal repatriation began with a quick cruise down Puerto Rico’s south coast in company with my old compatriot Phil (P.T. Cav, formerly Snake Wake) Cavanaugh. Our departure from the marina at Fajardo, shortly after 0800 on Tuesday, May 7, was most serendipitous. We had very calm conditions extracting ourselves from our berth, and just outside while raising the mainsail, then the tradewinds promptly filled in and swept us westward.
My purpose here was to get a better sense of some Puerto Rican geography that was important to Thomas Tangvald, both when he was younger and still sailing with ... Read More