Cruising Shot of the Week

Thanks to Katherine and Lael Easterling for this beautiful shot of their Tartan 412 Painted Skies tucked in at Snug Cove on Kangaroo Island, Australia!

Do you have cool shots from your sailing and cruising adventures? Send them to us at

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Broad Reaching with Andrew Cross


As we approached the mark I instructed my crew to get ready for a jibe. Green, and a bit unsure as to what that would entail, I talked them through each task that needed to get done and when, so we were all on the same page. Nearing the mark, I could tell boats were giving it a wide berth and we managed to pull off a decent jibe inside some of them as we all pin-wheeled around it together. Later, at the after party, our crew recounted the close-quarters mark rounding with excitement and were eager to be invited aboard for the next race.

I’ve said here before that one of my favorite things about sailing is that there are so many ways to get out and enjoy it. And while serious racing may not be for every cruiser, participating in the cruising fleet of a racing event or regatta can be a lot of fun and have some hidden benefits, too. It builds sailing skill and comfort; teaches couples or families to sail well together and gives them confidence in each other and their boat; allows you to take friends who have little or no sailing experience out for an exciting day on the water; creates camaraderie amongst groups of cruisers in a laid back format; and just plain gets your boat off the dock, which is what sailing is really all about anyway.

Enjoy this week’s edition.

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Dufour Yachts Celebrates 50 Years

In 1964 French engineer Michele Dufour realized his vision to build a new kind of sailing yacht using the “modern” technology of Fiber Reinforced Plastics. His first model, the Sylphe, was solid, seaworthy and fast for its time. The concept succeeded and launched Dufour Yachts into the rapidly growing worldwide market for recreational yachts. Fifty years later,  Dufour carries on with an award winning line of 10 models ranging from 31 to 56 feet, all noted for outstanding sailing performance, cruising comfort and exceptional finish quality. Join our Facebook page for a look back at the classic models that blazed the trail to today’s modern range of fast, comfortable cruisers. And for information on the current line of Dufour Yachts visit

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Cruising Shot of the Week

Here’s a cute sign confirming that spring sailing weather is finally here or on its way for all the northern sailors out there!

Do you have cool shots from your sailing adventures? Send them to us at

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Broad Reaching with Andrew Cross

Get Some

Over a decade ago I, a newly minted 19-year-old, bought a plane ticket and flew from Portland, Oregon to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to find a ride on the sea and to chase a burgeoning dream. I landed and scoured the docks with a “sailing resume” in hand and a glint of youthful exuberance in my eyes. Fortunately, a very nice German couple saw something in that twinkle and invited me to sail non-stop with them on their well-found Baltic sloop to Block Island, RI, then on to Newport. I didn’t even know where Block Island was, but I wanted to go. The passage north was surreal—the stars, waves and desolation of traveling under sail over the ocean seriously hooked me, as I fully expected it would. And what I learned most in those moments was that, in order to do this safely on my own, I needed more experience, and lots of it.

Watching as the couple ran the boat with an equal amount of skill, I quickly got the sense that they were seasoned offshore sailors and I was confident that if something happened to one of them, the other was more than capable of stepping in to run the boat. I was grateful to be in their company. Along the way they showed me how to tie knots that I didn’t already know, carefully explained to me each process of their navigational work and constantly asked me what the skiing was like in the western United States, as they desperately wanted to go. This valuable offshore experience had the potential to make or break my dreams of cruising. But it was necessary, because it is hard to understand what it is truly like out there—good and bad—until you’ve experienced it.

Enjoy this week’s edition.

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Captain Vows to Finish Family’s Legacy Sailboat

For over 60 years it waited to fulfill its destiny. And Friday, the lovingly hand-fashioned yet still unfinished wooden sailboat embarked on a voyage of rebirth that may see it finally taking to the water.

“The fulfilling of a dream is finally starting up again,” said Arthur Ray Brown, who was giving up the boat he could no longer manage. “I hope I live long enough to sail on it.” Brown, 63 and staring hard at mortality, ceded the vessel to an ex-patriate Dubliner who took the sailboat in return for a promise: to complete the blue-and-white hulled vessel and someday launch it. Read More

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Wreck of USCS Robert J. Walker added to National Register of Historic Places

NOAA announced this week that the wreck of the ship Robert J. Walker, a steamer that served in the U.S. Coast Survey, a predecessor agency of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Walker served as a survey ship, charting the Gulf Coast ‒ including Mobile Bay and the Florida Keys ‒ in the decade before the Civil War. It also conducted early work plotting the movement of the Gulf Stream along the Atlantic Coast. Continue reading

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Sailing Family Back in the US After Rescue

A Navy warship carrying a family whose sailboat broke down in the Pacific Ocean with a sick toddler arrived on Wednesday in San Diego. The arrival came six days after Charlotte and Eric Kaufman used their satellite phone to call for help from 900 miles off the coast of Mexico as their 1-year-old daughter Lyra was vomiting and suffering from diarrhea and fever.

California Air National Guard members parachuted down to the 36-foot sailboat on Thursday — the same day the distress call was made. The Navy rescue ship arrived on Sunday. Read More

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Canadian Solo Sailor Rescued from Sinking Yacht

A Canadian solo sailor has been rescued from his sinking yacht in rough conditions 1,250 nautical miles (2,300km) north-east of Auckland – about 600nm (1,100km) south of Rarotonga – after a mercy dash by the car-carrier Fidelio.

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) received a signal from a US-coded EPIRB distress beacon just after 10.30am yesterday.

An RNZAF P3 Orion was sent to the scene. The 238m Fidelio, en route to Auckland, was also directed 370km to rendezvous. Continue reading

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Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation to Open Sailing Center

The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation (ASSF) has announced that it will soon be opening the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre, at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) in Dorset, UK.

The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation was set up in memory of Olympic sailor Andrew Simpson to inspire the next generation through sailing. “Andrew was very passionate about encouraging people to make the best of the opportunities that they were given. Through the Foundation’s activities we intend to provide opportunities to thousands of young people, and those who grasp it with both hands and show dedication, will be given significant support to reach their potential in the sport of sailing and the wider maritime industry through apprenticeships” commented Iain Percy Trustee of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation. Continue reading

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UPDATE: Boat of Missing Dutch Sailor Found, But No Sign of Skipper

On January 15, 2014, experienced Dutch sailor Sietse Hagen left his home port in Tenerife heading for Barbados in the Caribbean. Since his departure, nothing had been heard, until Monday when a Dutch vessel discovered the yacht in the mid-Atlantic. Sadly, there was no trace of 70 year old Mr Hagen.

A Dutch ship en-route from Savannah, Georgia to Agadir, Morocco found Mr. Hagen’s yacht on Monday, April 7 approximately 2,000 kilometers from the Moroccan coast. Continue reading

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Naturally Healthy Air Using Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil

Tired of that stale, musty smell on your boat? Forespar’s new Tea Tree Power™ air cleaner eliminates odors and creates a clean healthy air environment using a 100% pure Australian tea tree oil formulation.
More than a cover-up fragrance, Tea Tree Power™ attacks and degrades mold & mildew spores while penetrating porous surfaces to eliminate the odor source. Far stronger than similar general-market air cleaners, Tea Tree Power™ is formulated especially for the damp marine environment. It’s available in long-lasting gel for 3-months of continuous air cleaning, or spray for immediate odor control and direct mold & mildew cleanup. Order online at
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The latest addition to Interlux’s premier performance Micron® antifouling product line, Micron® CF (Copper Free),  not only offers best-in-class performance in the copper-free category of paints, it also offers the longevity that boat owners have come to expect from traditional, copper-based antifoulings. Micron CF is a multi-season antifouling that uses Biolux® Slime Blocking Technology to combat slime and Econea™ to ward off barnacles and zebra mussels.

A polishing product, Micron CF helps reduce paint build-up, reduce friction and improve fuel efficiency. It is formulated using less solvent to meet all US VOC regulations and is suitable for all types of boats, substrates and waters. Micron CF is available only in the USA in 4 bright colors including Shell White and a crisp black.

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Master the Art of the “Back and Fill”

Here’s another great tip from our friend Capt. John of

Learn to dock a boat smooth and easy once you how to twist–or pivot–your small sailboat inside a tight space. Know this and you will be able to turn around, back into a slip, or change direction within the length of your boat. Use these easy steps to master this boat handling technique.

Pivot Your Boat with Rudder and Engine

Use backing and filling to turn your small sailboat in a distance almost equal to her length. Practice this in an open space before you try it in a narrow, confined area like a canal, marina, or tight channel.

Seven Steps to Back and Fill Success Continue reading

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Gori Props Provide Overdrive Under Sail and Power!

It is well known that a fixed 3-blade propeller generates huge amounts of drag when sailing, but there is an option that reduces drag, gives you up to an extra knot when sailing and improves your efficiency under power — the unique 3-blade Gori propeller! Not all sailboat propellers are alike. Only one 3-blade sailboat propeller gives you the advantage of full thrust in both forward and reverse (it is actually better than a fixed propeller in reverse). Plus, the “overdrive” function in forward for motoring in calm waters gives you improved fuel economy and a greater cruising range, typically up to 20 percent. The Gori prop also has the lowest drag of all types of 3-blade propellers — fixed, feathering or folding. This has been well documented by the German magazine Die Yacht. Available from 15” through 30”, for shafts and sail drives.

Find out more and calculate your new Gori propeller size at

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Boat Review: Lagoon 52


The sun was getting a bit low when we got the Lagoon 52 away from the marina docks and headed out the cut toward the open sea. Compared to the 39, the 52 felt vast yet was similar to the little sister in many ways.

The bigger boat has the same rig with the mast placed quite far aft and the headsail set up to be self tacking. Still, the mainsail was large and required serious effort from the electric winch to get it hoisted and quite a lot of thumb pressure on the switch.  Once clear of the cut, we fell off a bit and rolled out the genoa. Like the 39, the big boat was happiest at about 50 degrees off the wind and really picked up speed at 60 degrees. In the 15 knots of wind we had, the 52 was soon sailing at 10 knots. Not bad. Continue reading

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As soon as you step aboard your yacht you can feel the attention to detail on a Horizon a Yacht Charter. And it’s not just because we operate one of the youngest fleets. Nor because we inspect every yacht, including below the waterline, after every charter. Nor because of our world-class maintenance standards. Not even the fact that we operate true 7 night 8 day charters, starting on any day of the week.

It’s the people. Every member of the staff is committed to ensuring you have the vacation of a lifetime. Whether you are learning to sail, bareboat cruising or on a luxury-crewed yacht, our staff ensures it’s everything you hope and dream of in a Caribbean-sailing vacation. You’ll know you’re in the Right Company when you sail with Horizon Yacht Charters.

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Rutherford Getting Ready to Sail Across Pacific for Pollution Research

First he sailed solo across the Atlantic and back. Then he became the first person to sail around the Americas, solo and nonstop. Now it’s not about the stunts, it’s about the science.

Annapolis resident Matt Rutherford and partner Nicole Trenholm will sail across the Pacific Ocean beginning April 14 from Strictly Sail Pacific to gather scientific data on plastics pollution in the world’s oceans, much like their Ocean Research Project’s mission last year in the Atlantic’s Sargasso Sea. Read More

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Bluewater Open Boat Weekend 2014

Whether you’re still dreaming, acquiring your blue water cruiser or just finished your circumnavigation, the Bluewater Open Boat Weekend in Limington, UK on the 7th and 8th June will be the place to be for cruising sailors on the “starboard” side of the Atlantic. Experts, experienced cruisers and those just starting out will mingle with much good camaraderie on this weekend arranged by the World Cruising Club, organizers of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC).

In brief: You’ll get to step aboard a range of different styles of offshore cruising boats; learn what to look for when choosing your bluewater boat; start your sail of a lifetime with guidance and advice from experts; meet and mingle with cruisers and industry experts in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere; and find out what it is really like to live the blue water sailing dream. Read More

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For the Hungry Crew

Here’s a delicious variation on a old favorite that is sure to fill up the crew before a big day on the water…

Carrot Pancakes

- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons pure cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup packed finely grated peeled carrots, patted dry on paper towels (about 3 medium carrots) Continue reading

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