Charles Doane

INTEGREL GENERATING SYSTEM: Nigel Calder’s Frankenstein Comes Alive!

18 Jan

Dr. Calder

I wrote about this in my regular column in the current issue of SAIL (the February issue, which of course comes out in mid-January), but it’s something EVERYONE should know about, so I’m pimping it here too. This is a new system for managing electrical power on sailboats that Nigel Calder has been helping to develop for many years. It consists of an engine-driven DC generator–effectively a high-output “alternator on steroids,” as Nigel has put it–and a very sophisticated black-box controller that harvests untapped energy in a marine diesel propulsion engine’s power curve. It produces scads of electrical power when ...

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INTEGREL GENERATING SYSTEM: Nigel Calder’s Frankenstein Comes Alive!

18 Jan

I wrote about this in my regular column in the current issue of SAIL (the February issue, which of course comes out in mid-January), but it’s something EVERYONE should know about, so I’m pimping it here too. This is a new system for managing electrical power on sailboats that Nigel Calder has been helping to develop for many years. It consists of an engine-driven DC generator–effectively a high-output “alternator on steroids,” as Nigel has put it–and a very sophisticated black-box controller that harvests untapped energy in a marine diesel propulsion engine’s power curve. It produces scads of electrical power when ...

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IN IRMA’S WAKE: Xmas/New Year’s Cruise from St. Maarten to St. Thomas

10 Jan

Oyster Pond damage

We descended en famille into SXM two days after Christmas to find a) the airport was no longer running out of tents and the regular terminal had (sort of) reopened; and b) the Christmas winds, as Don Street likes to call them, were in full effect. Blowing out of the east, as always, these were tradewinds, but “fortified” with lots of ugly rain squalls and big long gusts of breeze up to 35 knots or more. They trapped us on the island for a couple of days, which gave us time to rent a car and explore in detail.

We ...

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IN IRMA’S WAKE: Xmas/New Year’s Cruise from St. Maarten to St. Thomas

10 Jan

We descended en famille into SXM two days after Christmas to find a) the airport was no longer running out of tents and the regular terminal had (sort of) reopened; and b) the Christmas winds, as Don Street likes to call them, were in full effect. Blowing out of the east, as always, these were tradewinds, but “fortified” with lots of ugly rain squalls and big long gusts of breeze up to 35 knots or more. They trapped us on the island for a couple of days, which gave us time to rent a car and explore in detail.

We ...

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GOLEN GLOBE RACE: Back in the Atlantic, Attrition, Bending the Rules

5 Dec

GGR tracker

There’s certainly been no lack of drama in this year’s “remake” of the first non-stop round-the-world Golden Globe Race of 50 years ago. As one would expect the attrition rate has been high, with dismastings, rescues at sea, injuries, including one broken back, and very thankfully (so far) no fatalities. Of the 18 sailors who set out on this adventure back in July, only eight are still sailing. Or wait… that may be seven now, as word comes this morning that Susie Goodall, on DHL Starlight, has just set off her EPIRB. Bummer!

Amazingly, two GGR boats ...

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GOLDEN GLOBE RACE: Back in the Atlantic, Attrition, Bending the Rules

5 Dec

There’s certainly been no lack of drama in this year’s “remake” of the first non-stop round-the-world Golden Globe Race of 50 years ago. As one would expect the attrition rate has been high, with dismastings, rescues at sea, injuries, including one broken back, and very thankfully (so far) no fatalities. Of the 18 sailors who set out on this adventure back in July, only eight are still sailing. Or wait… that may be seven now, as word comes this morning that Susie Goodall, on DHL Starlight, has just set off her EPIRB. Bummer!

Amazingly, two GGR boats ...

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2018 SOUTHBOUND LUNACY: Annapolis to St. Maarten

15 Nov

Lunacy doghouse

What with swapping out old Lunacy for new Lunacy and last year’s jaunt down to Florida and back it’s been a few years since I pilgrimaged to the W’Indies for the winter. It’s past time to revisit old haunts, I decided, what with last year’s awful storms, plus I have some business to attend to down there. Having again pimped out new Lunacy to her builder to be shown at Annapolis, it was preordained I should depart from the Chesapeake, which is something I hadn’t done before. I assumed it would be easier than leaving from New England.

I made ...

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2018 SOUTHBOUND LUNACY: Annapolis to St. Maarten

15 Nov

Lunacy doghouse

What with swapping out old Lunacy for new Lunacy and last year’s jaunt down to Florida and back it’s been a few years since I pilgrimaged to the W’Indies for the winter. It’s past time to revisit old haunts, I decided, what with last year’s awful storms, plus I have some business to attend to down there. Having again pimped out new Lunacy to her builder to be shown at Annapolis, it was preordained I should depart from the Chesapeake, which is something I hadn’t done before. I assumed it would be easier than leaving from New England.

I made ...

Read More

2018 SOUTHBOUND LUNACY: Annapolis to St. Maarten

15 Nov

What with swapping out old Lunacy for new Lunacy and last year’s jaunt down to Florida and back it’s been a few years since I pilgrimaged to the W’Indies for the winter. It’s past time to revisit old haunts, I decided, what with last year’s awful storms, plus I have some business to attend to down there. Having again pimped out new Lunacy to her builder to be shown at Annapolis, it was preordained I should depart from the Chesapeake, which is something I hadn’t done before. I assumed it would be easier than leaving from New England.

I made ...

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NICK SKEATES ON WYLO II: The Ultimate Barebones Cruiser and his Ultimate Dirt Simple Boat

17 Oct

Nick Skeates

Dang it. I was going to write a post about the boats I test-sailed after the show in Annapolis, as has been my custom these past years, but I lost my freaking camera and have no pix for it. Ah, well. This gives me a chance to change the subject and point you at a fantastic viddy posted on Vimeo by Byrony Stokes a couple of months ago. About the intrepid Nick Skeates, a dumpster-diving barebones cruising legend and his tough-as-nails self-designed and self-built boat Wylo II.

Gypsea Stories: Wylo II from Bryony Stokes on Vimeo.

Though there ...

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