Thursday, January 28, 2010

Alinghi says it will forfeit America's Cup if BMW Oracle wins court challenge to disqualify its sails - ESPN

This is poor sportsmanship...just pull together some Swiss sailmakers and make some new sails already: "They've been in court for more than two years, and could be right up until within days of what could be the most exciting racing in the 159-year history of the America's Cup.

'We have been clear: If BMW Oracle succeeds in disqualifying the Defender's sails then there will be no Match,' Meyer said. 'Russell Coutts will have won the America's Cup for Larry Ellison without sailing.'"

Knockabout Sloops: Engineless Sailing

As I scour the web for Harbor-Watch I came across this blog and immediately recognized the lines of this boat.  Watching her sail around my home port has always inspired me to raise my own sails.  Enjoy...

Lopez Island / Fishermans Bay / Sailor extraordinaire: "This is the meandering story of my search for a modern day Knockabout Sloop. A type of sailboat that was common in the early 1900's. These were classic daysailers, weekenders and club racers. Few amenities below, no standing headroom and no auxiliary engine. They were all about the sailing"

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sailing Is Rocket Science!

I just ready "Einstein", the biography.  Big thick book...fascinating.  So I was glad to find this post at! 

I learned this tidbit recently after happening upon the obituary of a man named Don Duso. In the 1940s Duso helped rescue Einstein after he capsized his sailboat on Saranac Lake in upstate New York. I hadn't even known Einstein sailed. But it only stands to reason that the man who discovered relativity by reveling in "thought experiments" would enjoy sailing--and that he might push a small sailboat to its limit while contemplating the complex interactions of energy and mass relative to the speed of wind. E=mw2?
It's cool to think about this as your boat heels to the wind and the bow wave sings along your hull and you slip along the space-time continuum. Sailing is as close to the alternative universes of contemporary physics as many of us will ever experience. And imagine having a beer with Ol' Al back in the clubhouse after a fine day on the water and shooting the breeze about what it all means. Heavens!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Abby Sunderland aims for round-the-world record - LA Daily News

Girl Power - now its a race between two 16 year old girls: "MARINA DEL REY — Looking calmer than the adults crowding the dock, 16-year-old Abby Sunderland nosed her custom-equipped yacht toward the sunny Pacific Ocean on Saturday morning to launch a controversial bid to become the youngest solo sailor to circle the globe.

Sunderland's boat-builder dad, Laurence, broke down in tears while talking with reporters and well-wishers at the Del Rey Yacht Club, and family and neighbors cheered as they watched the 40-foot craft called Wild Eyes chug out through the marina's main channel.

But the Thousand Oaks girl wore only her usual determined expression as she gave a quick hug to Laurence and nary a wave or a glance back at land before beginning her 24,500-mile adventure with a quiet nudge of the tiller."

A Faster Yacht, Trading Sails For a Wing

Coming this February! "This year, the rules have all but disappeared for competitors in the world’s oldest international trophy competition, the America’s Cup sailing race. Motorized sails are fine, the single-hull rule is out, and in the case of the BMW Oracle Racing team’s boat, even sails are optional. Instead, the largest wing ever constructed could catch enough wind to make the yacht the fastest yet.

Conventional fabric sails are unreliable. “Wind speed and direction change by the second,” says Mike Drummond, the design director for the BMW Oracle Racing team. “The crew must constantly maneuver the mainsail to maintain maximum speed.” A sail’s leading edge often ripples, particularly when tacking into the wind, increasing drag and causing the sail to lose the airfoil shape that helps propel the boat. In contrast, it takes just one sailor a few clicks on a computer to immediately swing the 190-foot-tall carbon-fiber-and-Kevlar wing into position, where it will hold its shape regardless of conditions. With the wing, Drummond says the 90-foot trimaran can sail up to 5 percent, or about one knot, faster."

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jess makes running repairs

Jess makes running repairs" Just 48 hours earlier, the 16-year-old faced her toughest test so far with four “knockdowns” during a violent 12-hour storm which produced wind gusts of up to 70 knots and 10 metre swell in the Atlantic Ocean.

The second knockdown was the most severe, with Jessica’s boat completely upside down – its mast slammed a full 180 degrees into the water.

As her parents, Roger and Julie, held their breath back home in Buderim, the teenager battled fierce conditions and later wrote on her website that there were times she wondered just what she was doing."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Another Awesome Concept Design

Lila-Lou’s Ankida Concept Design: "The entire driving force of the Ankida concept, aside from beautiful looks, is to have ideal placement for every part and get the most out of your escapes. Whether you prefer to move under only one sail, or test the performance of them all, you can easily do it with a hell of a lot of style."

Alinghi's sails 'illegal', claims Oracle skipper

AFP: Alinghi's sails 'illegal', claims Oracle skipper: "Oracle last week asked the court to rule on whether Alinghi had infringed the competition's nationality rules by allegedly using US-made sails for its yacht.

Alinghi has said the sails are made in Switzerland.

But Coutts told AFP in a telephone interview that they were 'molded and constructed' in the US state of Nevada."

Mainsail Rot

DACRON MAINSAIL ROT - Cruisers & Sailing Forums: "Chafe is a great sail destroyer. For those who sail wing and wing downwind, you need to have chafe patches on your mainsail to protect it where it may rub against aft swept spreaders. On Exit Only, our cap shrouds were an obstacle to running wing and wing - you couldn't get the boom far out without the sail chafing against the cap shrouds. It would take large chafe patches to protect the mainsail against cap shroud chafe. Because of this problem, we rarely ran wing and wing. Instead we used a double headsail for running downwind, and we did not raise the main."

Wind and Altitude: The Boating Encylopedia

Wind and Altitude: Information from "The speed of the wind rises with altitude, where it is less affected by the friction of the sea. This difference is discernible even over a relatively short distance equal to the height of a yacht’s mast.It follows, then, that if the true wind speed is higher aloft, the apparent wind direction up there is different from the apparent wind down below."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

SS United States possibly adopted as a floating hotel.

Could this be the next big thing in Philadelphia?: "Norwegian Cruise Line has been trying to find something to do with the rusting remains of the SS United States, an ocean liner bigger than the Titanic that was once the fastest in the world.

We think Roman Abramovich should buy it, on account of his passion for big boats. Right now, Roman's busy putting the finishing touches on his new 540-foot yacht Eclipse (rumored to be complete with missile defense system), which means he'll soon be in the market for something bigger. The 990-foot United States seems perfect.

But Roman hasn't expressed interest yet. So a group calling itself the SS United States Conservancy is suggesting that the boat be towed from Philadelphia to New York and made into a floating hotel. Patrick McGeehan has the details."

Monday, January 11, 2010

This theme park is worth sea-ing

This theme park is worth sea-ing: "I so desperately wanted to make fun of the park - cracks about posing for photos with fake muggers, and being on the only ship afloat with a needle-exchange program - but the reality was more inviting than the idea on paper.

More than 12,000 plants form landscape both wild and manicured between upscale shops, an art gallery (instead of the ubiquitous auction), and three of the ship's best restaurants. I lounged for a while on a park bench, inhaling the salt air without the sea breeze and trying to identify the tunes wafting from a half-dozen venues nearby."

Friday, January 8, 2010

Whale Wars

To save the whales, first you have to save the people trying to save the whales...before they sink:

"The Japanese whaling fleet is 'more aggressive and more violent than ever before,' Sea Shepherd captain Paul Watson has said following a damaging collision between a whaling vessel and a protest boat.

The Federal Government has ordered an investigation into the clash, in which Sea Shepherd's $2 million protest trimaran Ady Gil had its bow sheared off in the collision with the whaling ship Shonan Maru No. 2.

Speaking to radio 3AW today, Captain Watson accused the Japanese whaling fleet of endangering lives, but said the collision wouldn’t halt Sea Shepherd’s anti-whaling activities."

Blue Water in HD

Blue Water (part one) on Vimeo: "a film about crossing oceans.
The Ellen MacArthur Trust helps young people to recover from life-threatening illnesses by taking them sailing. If you get an hour's worth of enjoyment from watching Blue Water please make a contribution, however small, to the Trust."

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Holland Boating - Directory of Boating in Holland - Pure Michigan Travel

Pure Michigan Travel: "It calls to us from Great Lakes, rivers and from 11,000 inland lakes. The water. Inviting us to cast off our landlocked obligations and have a little fun boating in Michigan. Here we can answer the water’s call from 1,300 different public access points. So let’s launch our boats today. Where the sailing, water skiing, wake boarding and Great Lakes cruising are always Pure Michigan."

Monday, January 4, 2010

On Board Watermaker

Should You Get an On Board Watermaker: "A watermaker debate in All at Sea began last June, when Christopher Fletcher asked Santa to bring him a watermaker (Santa did—see our December issue at It might have been an odd choice for the wish list of a 16-year old, but Fletcher’s article ignited interest and feedback from our readers in the topic. In this series, we’ll attempt to provide more insight into onboard desalinization units.

The Magical Water Maker & Its Uses Worldwide

Though oft considered ‘high-tech’ in the cruising world, current technology that allows us to produce potable water from the ocean has been around for some 40 years. And it’s not just us “yachtsman” that benefit from it. Around the world, watermakers are used to produce drinkable water in small hotels, on commercial ships, in beachside houses and communities, and in emergency relief scenarios, with industrial units capable of producing upwards of 10,000 gallons per day.

Watermakers also appear on virtually every ocean-going racing yacht, from the Volvo Open 70s to the single-handed Open 60s of the Vendee Globe. A Spectra watermaker was even installed in an ocean-going rowboat piloted by Stuart Boreham, who cheerfully stated, “It worked like a dream and never let me down!”"

The Sexy Women of Maritime Calendar

Pacific Northwest Boating News: Sailor pins literary hopes on sexy women of maritime | Three Sheets Northwest

A few years back, Kim Carver was working on commercial ships and looking for a way to finance the publication of her fledgling maritime magazine.

Though she worked in the traditionally male-dominated maritime industry, the Northwest native realized she was routinely crewing alongside women who were not just strong and accomplished, but downright sexy.
Taking a cue from the countless steamy calendars of firefighters, cheerleaders and other objects of desire, Carver rounded up some of her female friends working in the maritime industry around Seattle and photographed them in various stages of undress, on ships and in other locations.
And soon, the Sexy Women of Maritime Calendar was born.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Jessica Watson's boss plans to sail beside her at Cape Horn - and wave

Jessica Watson's boss plans to sail beside her at Cape Horn - and wave: "As Australian 16-year-old solo sailor Jessica Watson was celebrating after passing through her first Southern Ocean gale successfully, she received the news that her old boss is flying to South America with the intention of sailing around the Horn, and, hopefully being able to get close enough to wave to her.

Jessica is currently heading for Cape Horn in her attempt to be the youngest solo non-stop unassisted sailor to complete a circumnavigation.

Jessica was a dinghy instructor for Mooloolaba sailing academy, Sunshine Sailing Australia, and has long admired her one-time boss, John Bankart.

Bankart's own voyage from South America to Antarctica will take 26 days and take him, he hopes, within waving distance of the teen solo sailor. It will also involve his first rounding of the famously dreaded Cape Horn.

'Jess is up and she’s going and she’s doing a great job. Our aim is to see her in the flesh and speak to her via the radio,' John told the Sunshine Coast Daily."

Friday, January 1, 2010

New year, new laws

New year, new laws for Florida
Starting today, anyone looking to renew their Florida driver's licenses or identification card will have to provide additional documentation other than their old license. You will now need to provide one form of proof of residential address and one proof of social security number.

Boston wants to block Yemen tankers

This sort of makes sense now doesn't it?:

Mayor Thomas M. Menino said yesterday he will ask Boston’s lawyers to see whether the city can block Yemeni tankers from delivering liquefied natural gas into Boston Harbor, calling such deliveries “wrong.’’

“We’re in extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures to ensure the safety of our city,’’ the mayor said in an interview. “They cannot be coming into a harbor like Boston, where there is less than 50 feet between the tankers and residential areas.’’

Menino and several other public officials said they would press for the tankers’ cargo - destined for an LNG terminal in Everett as soon as next month - to instead be unloaded away from the city, in light of the failed Christmas Day attempt by a Nigerian man, who trained in Yemen, to blow up a US airliner over Detroit.

Crew Uses Crazy Futuristic EarthRace Boat and Lasers to Fight Japanese Whalers

Gizmodo: "Regardless of your feelings about whaling, you have to admit the fight just got a whole lot more interesting. Check out this video of a Sea-Shepherd-manned (from Whale Wars) carbon-fiber, biofuel-powered EarthRace Trimaran blinding a Japanese whaling boat with lasers.

Looks to us like the laser is mostly for warning and intimidation, which probably works considering they're zooming around in a ferocious-looking 1080-horsepower, 78-foot trimaran. The crew manning the EarthRace is the Sea Shepherd society, which you might know from Whale Wars, where they're usually getting outwitted and outgunned in a boat nowhere near as cool as this one. The MV Steve Irwin, which is the ship followed by Whale Wars, travels a maximum of 16.5 knots—this EarthRace hits 50, which actually lets them chase down and intercept whalers."