Do you have cool shots from your cruising adventures? Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The blades of our wind generator softly whooshed through the air above me as I steered and our two solar panels soaked in the bright summer sun beside me, spread out on either side of the cockpit like wings. We were heading north for a new anchorage and despite a constant draw from our chartplotter and instruments, and the intermittently running reefer throughout the day, our battery bank never dipped. When we reached our anchorage, dropped our hook and turned on the lights, the wind generator kept chugging along.
Alternative energy sources on a cruising boat are a beautiful thing. Over a spring, summer and fall of cruising we burned less diesel and put fewer hours on our engine due to the assist from our wind and solar. And while at the dock we made a conscious effort to unplug from shore power to let them take over when possible. The result, a miniscule quarterly power bill from our home marina. Sure, the initial cost of setting up a wind and solar system can be high–we were fortunate to purchase a boat that was already fully equipped–but the proof truly is in the pudding.
Enjoy this week’s edition.
The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) inducted ten of the sport’s significant heroes into the National Sailing Hall of Fame during ceremonies held for the first time in the organization’s hometown, and on the site of its future facility at City Dock in the historic waterfront district of Annapolis. The previous induction ceremonies – reflecting the national scope of the organization – were held in San Diego and New Orleans.
The 2013 NSHOF Induction Ceremony, held Sunday, October 27, was dedicated to the United States Naval Academy, with whom the NSHOF has partnered in its quest to preserve America’s sailing legacy, embed sailing in education, and recognize sailing’s heroes. Continue reading
It is up to the boat owner or captain to decide what is right for the safety of their boat and crew when going offshore, but for blue water cruisers, ISAF’s Offshore Special Regulations are a good place to start when deciding what you need.
US Sailing’s Safety at Sea Committee has conducted an overhaul of ISAF’s Offshore Special Regulations (OSR), which describes the gear required to be used on sailboats when racing in most local and offshore races in the U.S. The U.S. Safety Equipment Requirements (USSER) document is intended to be used by race organizers, owners and boat inspectors. The proposed updates were approved by US Sailing’s Board of Directors at the organization’s Annual Meeting in Captiva, Fla. on Saturday, October 19. Continue reading
Wet and cold but otherwise unhurt, two sailors were saved from rough seas off Sakonnet Point early last Thursday, Oct. 24.
Little Compton Fire Chief Rick Petrin said the men were aboard a 28-foot sailboat en-route from Bridgeport, Conn., to Dennis, Mass. on Cape Cod. One of the men had apparently just bought the boat in Connecticut from a previous owner.
“It was windy and quite rough and they had encountered problems even before they got to Sakonnet Point,” Chief Petrin said.
The sailboat was driven in among the rocks and breakers in the vicinity of West Island and the Sakonnet Light where it became stuck. Continue reading
“In today’s modern age there is no compelling case to support the mandatory requirement of flares,” says Stuart Carruthers, cruising manager of the (RYA).
“If the question is how to initiate a response, our position is this: flares are only required to burn for 40 seconds and you are expecting someone to see it, to recognize it and to take action. These days we have EPIRBs, personal locator beacons, and VHF DSC that will do the job automatically. That should negate the need for flares.” Continue reading
The running battle with Somali pirates has a new weapon – the blaring voice of Britney Spears.
Blasting high decibel screeches at oncoming pirates has long been a tactic to keep them from boarding, but it has recently gotten some fresh pop – like in music.
Merchant navy officer Rachel Owens said her security team has used Spears’ music six or seven times against Somali pirates while traveling by the African coast.
“‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ is a big one,” she laughed. “And ‘Oops I Did It Again.’ The reason why pop songs are very good is because they have a lot of high-pitched noises and bass notes, which are particularly painful when they’re played at ridiculously high volumes.” Continue reading
Team Dongfeng will have the interests of Chinese sailing at its core with a significant number of Chinese in the final race crew, as well as its support team. Team Director Bruno Dubois announced at the launch of the new campaign in the Hubei province city of Wuhan on Wednesday, October 30. Continue reading
2013 Moody 41: Perfect boat for East Coast sailing, couldn’t be easier with self tacking jib, shallow draft and in-mast furling! The interior is a gorgeous high gloss mahagony, and as many have commented, “it looks like a boat should”!
There is no lack of storage on deck or below, with huge lockers on the stern as well as the port and starboard garage lockers which can be accessed below decks as well. Now in Portsmouth, RI, ready for inspection, at $299,000. Listed via Berthon USA, email@example.com
On November 30, 2013, Dream Yacht Charters opens their new base in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This is the perfect location to sail South Florida and the Keys. Miami, Biscayne Bay, John Pennekamp Coral Reef and south to Key West are waiting to b explored.
Maybe the playground of the Bahamas has what you are looking for. From our base in Marsh Harbour you have the ideal jumping off point for the island chain. Unspoiled and stunningly beautiful, the friendly islands of the Bahamas await you.
If true paradise is what you are seeking a Dream Yacht Charter is just the ticket to punch simply go to www.DreamYachtCharter.com or call 866/469-0912 for all the details.
Here’s another great tip from our friend Capt. John of skippertips.com…
Did you know that a tiny piece of rigging the same size and shape as a bobby pin works as hard as the mythical Atlas to hold up your mast and rigging? And most of these pieces of “sailing rigging gold” cost less than $1.00. Read this excerpt from the eBook Sailing Skipper’s Pre-Sail Guidebook for peace-of-mind in any sailing weather.
Take the First Step to Rigging Integrity
Your shrouds, stays, blocks, furling gear, boom vang, and mast and boom fittings rely on one single fitting to hold them in place. If this fails, your rig could crash over the side, a block could slingshot across the deck, or your costly sails could be torn by a sudden unexpected load.
These tiny rigging warriors pin your rigging parts together, just like the nuts and bolts in an automobile. They are under constant load to deal with the stress, strain, and vibration imposed on your rigging as you sail. So who are these champions of your sailboats rigging?
Often overlooked–sometimes with catastrophic results–the common cotter pin leads the pack as the single most important part of your standing rigging. These fasteners can be bought for less than $1 at any nautical hardware store.
Cotter pins come in two varieties–cotter rings and cotter pins. Banish the “key ring” shaped cotter rings from your sailboat rigging for good. They have a nasty reputation of backing out of a fitting from vibration or stress. Carry and install “bobby-pin” shaped cotter pins for strength, durability, and super sailing security.
Make sure that you can see about 1/2″ of the threaded wire rope end inside the turnbuckle body. Replace broken or missing cotter pins right away.
Inspect Your Rigging with Care
Follow this fast, easy inspection to check the most vital parts of your standing and running rigging. Check the turnbuckles and cotter pin integrity on each stay and shroud first. Start at the bow with the headstay. Work your way down the side to the upper and lower shrouds, then to the backstay, over to the other side, then forward to the bow.
Look for dishing, or distortion of the turnbuckle barrel or the stay or shroud end fitting. Once a barrel or end fitting has distorted, it cannot be bent back into place without weakening the damaged area. Do not set sail unless all fittings appear straight and true.
Pay particular attention to the top of each stay or shroud turnbuckle where the end fitting enters the turnbuckle barrel. This area can trap water and develop hairline fractures over time.
Look inside the turnbuckle body (see illustration above). Check for cotter pins on the threaded end fittings. Make sure that you can see about ½” of thread inside the turnbuckle body. Each shroud or stay needs that much threaded end so that you can replace the cotter pins or tune the rigging.
Replace a Cotter Pin the Right Way
Check that each cotter pin has been sized to the hole of each individual fitting, and shaped in the correct way. You need to be able to pull the cotter pin out for replacement, or in an emergency. Follow this easy process:
Five Steps to Replace a Cotter Pin
1. Use a cotter pin that fits snug in the fitting hole.
2. Push the pin into the hole as far as possible.
3. Shorten the legs to 1½ times the fitting diameter.
4. Spread the legs into a “V” shape.
5. Leave the cotter pins un-taped for instant inspection.
If you decide to tape over the cotters on shrouds or stays, use just enough rigging tape to cover the cotter pin (two or three wraps about 1″ wide). This allows easy removal and inspection.
Other sailing rigging fittings with cotters
Make sure you check these common sailing running rigging fittings. Replace all missing or distorted cotter pins. Your sailboat will have additional components not included here. Add to this list as you go through your inspections:
- Furling drums, swivels, and fittings
- Lifeline turnbuckles
- Boom vangs
- Traveler control blocks
- Running backstays
Capt. John’s Tip:
Shape cotter pins the right way. Avoid the common practice of bending each leg into a U-shape. This will make the cotter difficult to remove for repair or in an emergency. Instead, spread the legs into a V-shape to hold the pin in place. Now you can change out any cotter pin fast and easy!
Now you know the first step to inspect your standing rigging for integrity and worry-free sailing. Pass along these simple sailing tips to your sailing crew or partner for sailing safety–wherever in the world you choose to sail or cruise!
Hunter has long been a leader in offering sailors a wide range of boats, from sailing dinghies to 50-foot cruisers. But the company may be best known for its mid-size cruisers, which offer expansive living spaces in boats that are easy to sail and handle.
The Hunter 33 fits right into that mid-size segment and introduces an attractive look for the Florida-based builder. With a sleek deck design and large cabin windows, the boat looks modern and fast. The hull has a wider transom than the earlier 33-footer and the bow has been given a narrower entry. The cockpit is large and comfortable for a boat of this size and has a neat fold-down transom that becomes a large swim platform. Hunter uses unique B&R rigs, with sharply swept back spreaders and no backstay. The main is quite large, while the headsail is small enough to be easy to tack. This rig is simple for a couple or even a singlehander to manage. Continue reading
The Salty Dawgs are congregating in Hampton, Virginia getting ready to leave for the BVI next week and the fleet has ballooned to 120 boats. Wow. Here’s a funny video put together by past participants of the Salty Dawg Rally.
The 36th Annual St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show, the largest boat show on the Gulf Coast, is set to sail into the Progress Energy Center for the Arts Mahaffey Theater Yacht Basin and Albert Whitted Park in St. Petersburg, Fla., from Thursday, Dec. 5 through Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013.
The show will feature an impressive selection of power boats and sailboats in water and on land, including a 40,000-square-foot clearspan tent housing all types of marine gear. Show-goers will find hundreds of power boats and sailboats including family cruisers, runabouts, fishing boats, magnificent sailing yachts, personal watercraft and much more. Continue reading
A live octopus hiding inside of a stereo speaker and a demon head attached to a baby stroller aren’t everyday finds along the Pacific Coast of California. But you can guarantee that on a day with more than 51,543 volunteers to lend a hand, someone is bound to find something strange lurking below the water’s surface.
From the borders of Mexico and Oregon, around San Francisco Bay and at sites as far inland as Lake Tahoe, thousands of Californians volunteered to lend a hand on what was both California Coastal Cleanup Day and International Coastal Cleanup Day Sept. 21, raking in more than 501,748 pounds of waterborne debris.
471,218 pounds of trash and an additional 30,530 pounds of recyclable material were removed from California’s coast, making a grand total of 251 tons that were cleaned out in one day. Continue reading
Since last week’s announcement that NOAA will no longer be printing paper charts there has been some confusion on where to get Print-On-Demand charts (POD). NOAA has a POD page on their website to help.
NOAA’s Print-on-Demand (POD) nautical charts provide up-to-date navigation information to mariners. These paper charts are updated on a weekly basis and include all of the latest critical chart corrections. Although NOAA produces POD charts, NOAA does not sell POD charts directly to the public. Instead, NOAA POD charts are available from NOAA’s commercial partners OceanGrafix and East View Geospatial. Both partners also sell NGA POD charts. Continue reading
Versatile and delicious, here is an easy crepe recipe you can use for meals, appetizers or desserts…
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Directions: Continue reading
A national flag flow at sea is called what?
Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org. A winner, who will receive a Blue Water Sailing hat, will be selected at random from the correct answers.
Thanks to last week’s Mindbender winner, Amanda Best, for her answer to “A staircase or ladder leading from the deck to the inside of a boat is called what?”: the companionway.
Thanks to Jim Rard for this spectacular shot of the anchor and crew of Ruby Slippers getting a freshwater rinse on Princess Royal Island, BC! Check out this awesome video to see how they did it!
Do you have cool shots from your cruising adventures? Send them to us at email@example.com.
There it was, a nasty looking rust spot and crack right at the elbow of the starboard lower shroud tang on our mast. While hoisting myself up our rig for an inspection I could see the blemish, but didn’t expect to see a crack. A closer look revealed a fracture that probably wasn’t going to fell the rig in a blow tomorrow, but that didn’t matter. Cracks in anything metal on a sailboat rarely turn out well and after a consultation with a friend and fellow rigger I got a new set of port and starboard tangs ordered.
Having worked as a rigger I don’t mind going up a mast and find them fun to tinker with. So when it came time to install my shinny new tangs I also decided to do a full inspection, replace the spreader boots and give the rig a fine-tuning. Of course, all of this took far longer than I had expected, but I had never spent that much time on our rig before and learned just about every square inch of it. A sailboat’s mast is vital to our mode of travel, but can often be an overlooked part of the boat. Getting to know it well, though, will definitely give you some peace of mind while out cruising.
Enjoy this week’s edition.