I would like to install a battery monitor that will show the state of the charge of my batteries. I have basic mechanical and electrical skills and would like to try to install it myself. What’s the best way of doing it?
I am going offshore this winter and the skipper said I need a specific inflatable life jacket, one with crotch straps and a spray hood. The problem is that I’m finding it hard to find one that incorporates both of these. Any suggestions?
Had we heeded the forecaster’s gloomy wind warnings, we would not have started the race, but 20 sailboats slipped over the line at 18:30 and inched up the 21-mile course. An hour—and two tedious miles—later, a red sun set leaving a starless sky. Two hours and barely four miles in, the fog came down like a black velour lining a coffin. Wet. Dark. Deadly.
One day when my mind was obviously a black hole utterly devoid of anything stimulating to think about, I wondered why so few presidents of the United States and aspirants for that office were sailboat owners.I think I found a partial answer when I came across an article in an online archive with a headline that read, “Boxer calls out Fiorina as a multiple yacht owner.”
The decision on whether to carry a life raft and what kind of life raft that should be can be a challenge for sailors. New six-person, non-commercial life rafts cost at least $1,700. Used life rafts can be a relative bargain, but all rafts need periodic maintenance. The decision on what is right for a boat can hinge on factors as varied as budget to the kind of sailing you do.
We’ve been to plenty of concerts but never by sailboat, so when our friends in Florida called to ask if we wanted to join them to see the Dave Matthews Band via boat, we grabbed our bags and headed for the airport.
Sometimes I get in arguments when I mention this, but I see a distinct Euro style and a distinct American style in yachts. Of course there is plenty of cross pollination between the two styles, but I have no problem pointing out a Euro-styled boat or an American classic-styled boat. I’d put the Alerion boats, including this new Sport 30, into the classic American-style genre. US Watercraft, in partnership with Langan Design Partners, designed the Sport 30.
The Winner 8.0 is a Dutch design and build. The design is from the Van de Stadt office, and it has been around since I was a kid and maybe even before that. Over the years, it has produced hundreds of outstanding designs. The builder is Winner Yachts. From what I can see, the 8.0 is designed to be a fast cruising boat that also comes in a performance model for those interested in racing. It’s a handsome package with clean styling and no affectations.
In the winter of 1956-1957, my grandfather commissioned a small sailing craft and named her for the young girl in Charlotte’s Web. He had been dreaming about small boats for some time and the popularity of his second children’s book made the project possible. He had owned other boats, including, a 30-foot double-ended cutter called Astrid, but Fern would be the first boat built for him.
Hanse thinks big. The German company, one of the world’s premier production builders, currently produces five models larger than 40 feet, and its new flagship, the 675, is nearly 70 feet. A recent test of the 575 found a collage of modern design, fresh thinking and exhilarating performance.
I recently had a scary experience on my boat when my PSS dripless prop shaft seal began to leak in a rather dramatic fashion. The water rose above the floorboards. I was able to get it under control and later consulted with the boatyard, determining that the shaft collar was not correctly installed. The stainless ring on the prop shaft slipped and allowed water to enter the boat.
In 1995, in the quaint era when logo T-shirts (non-technical 100% cotton) were considered as important to business promotion as a Facebook page is today, SAILING created one that featured a portrait of Joshua Slocum and a drawing of his yawl Spray. It’s a classic. If you’re lucky enough to possess one, it might fetch a tidy sum on eBay, but better to preserve it as a tribute to a great sailing trendsetter.
I think I take disappointments fairly well. When I found there was no Santa Claus, I managed to pick up the shattered pieces of my life and move on. Same with the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. I was going to start this column by shouting, like the crazed newscaster Howard Beale played by Peter Finch in the movie “Network,” that “I’m mad as hell and not going to take this anymore.” But then I had an epiphany. I’m not mad at US Sailing, the U.S. Olympic Committee, the International Sailing Federation, or the International Olympic Committee. I’m just disillusioned. I thought they set a higher standard to protect sailors. I was wrong.
The sailing world is flush with professional races that operate like finely tuned machinery. So when a truly grassroots competition arrives on the scene, it’s a breath of fresh air among intrepid pull-ourselves-up-by-our-bootstraps adventurers who make up for their lack of deep pockets with their courage, persistence and irrepressible good humor.
It was hazy, hot and the air was still and the seas were calm; certainly not the conditions we were expecting as we motored down the narrow channel toward the northern city of St. Petersburg on the eastern edge of the Baltic that so many of us had traveled so far to visit. But the uncharacteristically warm and sunny weather was only the first salvo of what proved to be a barrage of sensory overload that no reasonable expectations could live up to.