Sail Feed

Syndicate content
Brought to you by Sail Magazine
Updated: 6 min 38 sec ago

The cost of cruising: interview with SailLoot

Fri, 2014-10-17 01:01

How much does it cost to go cruising? How much / how long did you save in order to go? What do you spend every month as a cruiser? What about earning money while cruising? Questions along this line are among the most common that we get on Totem.

We recently had a chance to do an interview with Teddy J from SailLoot, and talk about ALL those issues. To listen in, you can stream it below, pick up on his site, or check out the SailLoot itunes channel.

Teddy has his eye on living aboard and cruising with his his wife, Megan, and their dog, Barley (yes, he likes beer!), and is asking all those questions to fuel his own planning. How much did we save put into the cruising kitty during those years of active cruise planning? What did we do professionally? How did we save money? What did we do for work in Australia? What are the expenses like while cruising? What do we spend the most money on?

Here’s the thing: everybody does this differently. His first interview, posted a couple of weeks ago, was with our friends on Delos. Brian and Karin have a really interesting story and concrete experience to share, and like us, are making cruising work with an eye on the longer term. And while we have some fundamentals in common, we have made some different choices along the way in how we’re financing, and what it costs. Every new episode from SailLoot will have new insights that help others visualize their dream and how they can make it a reality.

We answered his questions honestly and from the heart. But you can’t answer everything in an hour! I’m working on follow up posts about cruising and finances, so if there’s more you’d like to know about how we saved to go cruising, what it costs, and what we do for income- ask in the comments, or drop an email through our contact form.

Teddy was a lot of fun to talk to, and although I’m sure he would like to have gone from high school garage band to rock star, when that didn’t pan out I’m glad he hung onto the recording equipment to start up a podcast series specifically on finances and sailing. As a guy who just wants to cut the docklines too, what better way to figure it out while sharing it with the rest of the world? Everybody wins!

Teddy is a sailor, a traveler, and a planner. We fully expect share an anchorage someday, and meanwhile, we put our own challenge to him. What is it? Listen to the podcast and find out for yourself!

Financial planners know we love it when you read this on the Sailfeed website.

Furuno DRS4W 1st Watch WiFi Radar: Niche or breakthrough product?

Wed, 2014-10-15 08:30

Written by Ben Ellison on Oct 15, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

One of many technologies I was glad to learn more about at the NMEA Conference was Furuno’s unique DRS4W 1st Watch Wireless Radar. While it was introduced in Europe last March, FurunoUSA still hasn’t listed it online and for a while I thought they might not carry it at all. Furuno’s regional distributors seem to have some leeway in this regard, which apparently is why the Furuno MaxSea PC Radar system that Kees Verruijt covered for Panbo is not available in North America. In recent comments to that same 2013 entry you’ll find some strong reservations about the DRS4W concept and even myself writing “I don’t see the problem the Furuno WiFi Radar is solving.” My skepticism wanes as I learn more but still 1st Watch seems like a confusing bundle of limitations and possibilites. Let’s discuss…

The Panbo commenter “Kaz” also slammed the DRS4W on his Marine Review blog, and I suspect that what really got under his skin was this marketing video showing a young couple happily using Furuno’s standalone Marine Radar iOS app in the open cockpit of their cruising sailboat. There are no normal instrument or chart displays in sight and certainly no reference to the problem of seeing an iPad in bright sunlight. And when the couple are shown ogling the app down below it’s at a settee not an existing nav station where adding standalone radar on an iPad might make sense. The video just doesn’t look much like real boating, and hence doesn’t make the case for how the 1st Watch fits into a full fledged navigation and collision avoidance routine.

It’s also easy to question the value of eliminating the data cable when you do have to wire the DRS4W for 12 or 24 volt power. In fact, the Furuno DRS2 I’ve been long testing on Gizmo — which seems to be a very different radar fit into the same sleek 19-inch diameter casing the WiFi radar uses — came with a nice combined Ethernet and power cable that was easy to split and connect once I’d fished it down the mast.

Seeing WiFi Radar at work underway wasn’t all that impressive either. Note, for instance, the South Florida glare on the iPad (though reflections often seem to look worse in photos than real life). And I was surprised that the app went to sleep if it wasn’t being used, and since the DRS4W smartly goes into standby mode when no connected app is active, it took a while to get it back up again. On the other hand, the new radar does use at least some true color to indicate target density and the interface is as easy as advertised. It’s slick, for instance, to get look ahead and/or offset radar imaging just by dragging the screen around with a finger tip.

I’m not sure that 1st Mate Wireless is easy radar to understand, though, especially for the younger, less experienced boaters it seems aimed at. Chart overlay, for example, would help a user understand that much of the long red-hard target above really is the Sanibel Island bridge, appearing curved only because its high center section is further away the radar scanner than the bridge’s low ends. Heck, even an old style standalone radar can usually be set up with a NMEA 0183 connection that let’s radar and chart screens share target and/or waypoint icons to help the user relate the two.

But then I got thinking about what’s possible with the DRS4W. The Furuno guys at NMEA weren’t able to answer a lot of my questions — they do have a huge line of other products, some of them as opposite and esoteric as Ice Radar — but they did say that we’ll learn more about what the DRS4W can do at the upcoming Fort Lauderdale Show. What if the already excellent Nobeltec/MaxSea TimeZero charting app could integrate the 1st Mate? (If a current iPad has the horsepower to overlay radar?) What if the DRS4W could join an existing boat WiFi network, or host one, so that the two supported iPads could also get AIS, GPS, Heading, Depth, Wind, etc. data? (The good folks at Pacific Yacht Systems don’t think that’s possible, but let’s note that the TZT displays remain the only WiFi MFD’s that can easily join a boat network instead of just creating one.) What if the DRS4W includes some of the lookalike DRS2’s remarkable advanced features that just haven’t been activated yet?

What if Furuno allows other apps developers to work with the DRS4W radar stream, or even just those making specialty apps that wouldn’t compete with TimeZero? What if the next iPad model has a non reflective screen that makes it more useful in sunshine, as rumored? I’m just riffing here, but isn’t possible that a DRS4W combined with a small NMEA 2000 sensor network, a WiFi gateway (like, say, what’s already built into the Vesper XB8000 AIS transponder) and a couple of iPads could be a pretty elegant and economical navigation system, no MFD involved? I can even picture the results, though what you’re seeing below involves a remote desktop app and a whole lot of expensive and power-hungry hardware.

What do you think? Is Furuno’s WiFi Radar an interesting niche product or a major leap into the future?

Click here to read comments about this Panbo entry, or add your own.

LIVE Podcast: Ocean Sailing Forum, Part 1

Mon, 2014-10-13 23:02

Part 1 of the World Cruising Club ‘Ocean Sailing Forum,’ live from the Annapolis Sailboat Show. Andy moderates a panel including SAIL’s Charlie Doane, Paul & Sheryl Shard from ‘Distant Shores,’ and Jennifer & Scott Brigham of the Valiant 40 ‘Pendragon.’ They discussed all things ocean sailing, from boat selection to watch planning, seasickness, fears, joys and more! Check for Part 2 later this week.

Anything to Fix Today?

Mon, 2014-10-13 18:32

Last Christmas, Indy wanted two things: a disco ball, and a tool kit. (She also wanted a dragon, but I’m afraid that was never in the cards.) Indy got her disco ball. And she got her tool kit. And, boy, was she excited.

Ever since, Indy has been looking for projects. Her current career goal is to become a mechanical engineer, so the kid needs some practice. Admittedly, non-emergency repairs were thin on the ground while I was in charge of the boat. But she pulled out the ratchet set whenever she could, just to make sure the pieces were still in order.

When we got ready to move to Papua New Guinea, Indy insisted the ratchets come with us. I winced a little; our bags were heavy enough as it was.
“I’m going to build things with Daddy,” she explained.
“Like what?”
“A treehouse,” she said firmly.
“That sounds good. But we might not have any trees in our backyard.”
She shrugged. “We’ll build a tree, then build a treehouse.”
So I packed the ratchet set.

As we waited for our visas in Brisbane, Indy’s plans grew. She, Stylish and I stumbled across American Ninja Warrior one evening, fell in love with the awesome Kacy Catanzaro, and became hooked on the show.
“I am going to build Mount Midoriyama in our backyard!” Indy announced.
“That sounds fun,” I said. I looked forward to telling Erik that he would be building a giant obstacle course over a pool behind our new place.
“Yeah,” said Stylish, “and all of the kids in town can come train on it.”
And let the lawsuits begin.

Once we settled into our house, Indy started looking for projects in earnest. I had visions of her going door-to-door, looking for bolts to tighten. Luckily, the girls’ new bicycles soon needed adjustments.

“Can I help?” I asked.
Indy rolled her eyes. “Okay, okay. You can hold the frame steady.”

But there are only so many bicycle wheels to tighten in this old world. Indy needed a project. The girls did a little brainstorming, and one of them though of Zippy, the bat that flies around under our house.
“We’ll make a bat box!”

Problem is, the only tools we have here are Indy’s ratchets. So, bright and early Saturday morning, Indy and Erik walked into town to find wood and tools.

And, voila. A beautiful bat box for Zippy and her family.

“I need more tools,” Indy declared.
“I think that will have to wait until we get back to the boat, honey,” I said. “Tools are too heavy to carry around in our luggage.”
Indy considered. She brightened. “That’s okay. I’ll just ask Santa at Christmas.”
Poor Santa. He is going to have a very heavy sleigh this year.

Dismasting in the North Pacific

Mon, 2014-10-13 13:48

Photos courtesy of Jolyn and Ken Zielesch, aboard cruise ship Rhapsody of the Seas

Bill Edinger, founder and President of Spectra Watermakers (and my boss), set out earlier this year on a five-month sailing sabbatical to French Polynesia aboard his Norm Cross-designed 45-foot trimaran, Defiance. He, family, and guests sailed to the Marquesas, Tuamotus, Society Islands, then up to Hawaii, all in a very seamanlike manner.

On the final stretch from Hawaii to San Francisco they hit the edge of the Pacific High, as returning sailors are wont to do, and motored for a day or two. This is when disaster struck. In Bill’s own words:

“Sunday the seventh we were motorsailing along in light wind. I was just coming off my 12:00 to 3:00 AM watch and was down below starting coffee for Kevin who was next up when we heard a loud bang. We both ran on deck to see the mast canting aft by about 30 degrees. I yelled to Kevin that we needed to get a halyard forward to keep the mast from coming down. He ran forward but before either of us could do anything the mast came all the way down. It seemed slow as the boom and vang collapsed on the top of the dodger and the mainsail sort of cushioned the fall. The mast of course was hanging out over the end of the port ama (float). The good thing of course is that no one was hurt.”

“The toggle on the forestay had failed. Unfortunately this is the only stay going forward. When the boat was re-rigged a while back this stay was upped a size to 1/2″ dyform wire which should have been bulletproof. I can only think it failed from shock load fatigue as the mast pumps a little fore and aft in a seaway.”

The offending toggle:

“We retrieved the mast by cranking it onboard forward with line and winches. Every few inches we had to stop to see what lines and rigging were hanging up and clear them before moving on. The mast appears in good shape. The main was a total wreck as we needed to cut it away, and the jib furler was over the side and dragging behind. We tried to save it but in the end had to cut it loose. Boom looks salvageable. The dodger was wrecked on one side and the port rails bent. Once we got the mast onboard we started lashing everything down and dismantling what rigging we could to clean things up. Over the next day we refined things by supporting each end of the mast with some milk crates and shims to keep the mast from rocking back and forth on the cabin top.”

“The Radar seemed undamaged so we rigged up a mast using our dinghy floorboards, mounted the antenna on deck just above the maststep and managed to get it working fine. I also retrieved the VHF antenna and jury rigged the VHF radio and AIS which is working so so.”

“I have to say the teamwork was fantastic. The whole crew was focused and calm throughout the whole ordeal.”

“By the time we got everything cleared up it was late morning and we re-started the engine and got going again. We figured we had enough fuel for about 500 miles but had over 1100 to go. I called the coast guard and reported that we had a non-emergency situation but would be needing fuel to get all the way back to San Francisco. They had us checking with them every four hours or so and by the middle of the second day called us to report that the cruise ship Rhapsody of the Seas would divert from its course to deliver us fuel by late afternoon.”

20140909_000614.mp4 from Bill Walton on Vimeo.

“Around 3:00 PM the cruise ship delivered 100 plus gallons of fuel (as well as a bunch of fresh fruit and other goodies thrown in!). We were definitely the show of the day as 1000 or so passengers lined up to watch the fuel transfer by three guys in a RIB-type boat. As soon as the third and last trip was made the whole crowd broke out in cheers!”

A happy ending and a story to tell for those aboard the cruise ship. Bill and crew motored through the Golden Gate a week later.

And a happier ending that they saved the mast! Dismasting stories always seem to involve “cutting away the rig,” and I always think that was at least $10,000, more like $30,000 with a mast like Bill’s, sinking to the bottom of the ocean. In rough seas you’d have no choice, but I always figured I’d give it the old college try to get that mast aboard somehow. Still, I thought 60-foot mast on a 45-foot trimaran for 1000 miles of motoring through a nasty part of the Pacific…this should be interesting. It wasn’t until I saw the pictures that I understood the diagonal approach to seagoing mast storage on a trimaran.

Terminology Moment: When your mast falls down on the open sea, by accident, this is called dismasting. When you take it down on purpose, say by a crane in a boatyard, this is called demasting. Please make a note of it.

Once I heard about this I immediately heard three more stories about masts that came down while just motoring along, from the shock loads of the seas. I wonder what the percentage is of masts lost in this manner compared to masts lost in full combat mode?

Jump Seat for Young Hearts

Mon, 2014-10-13 11:20

By Jane Eagleson, Team Alvimedica Photo by Robin Christol

Alicante, Spain, October 13, 2014
When Dr. Cem Bozkurt jumped overboard off the back of Team Alvimedica´s Volvo Ocean 65, it wasn’t just for the thrill of it. It was to jump start a new initiative to raise funds for charities devoted to children’s cardiac health.

An hour after the start of the Volvo Ocean Race last Saturday afternoon, Bozkurt launched from the ‘Jump Seat’ on Team Alvimedica as he waved goodbye to skipper Charlie Enright and his crew on their race to Cape Town.

“It was great fun, a thrill to share the excitement of the start with the team,” said Bozkurt. “But the main reason for me to do this was to call people for a caring initiative. As a part of our commitment to pioneering care in the field of cardiology; we will support local cardiac health charities by auctioning the Team Alvimedica ‘Jump Seat’ at each leg departure around the world and donate the proceeds to the selected charity.”

For the Alicante departure, Alvimedica launched the initiative with a 10,000 Euro check donated to the Menudos Corazones Foundation based in Spain. A group of children who have benefited from Menudos Corazones, along with their parents, came to visit Team Alvimedica in the Volvo Ocean Race village over the weekend.
María Escudero, President of Menudos Corazones, thanked Bozkurt and Alvimedica for their donation, commented: “At Menudos Corazones Foundation we are working hard to help kids with congenital heart disease. This wonderful donation from Alvimedica during the Volvo Ocean Race, starting in Alicante, will improve the life of these kids and their families, at home and at the hospital. A big and deep thanks from our hearts. When you sail, we will be sailing with you.”

Menudos Corazones Foundation is a non-profit-making organization whose mission is to carry out programs and activities necessary for improving the quality of life of children and young people with congenital heart defects and their families. With professionalism and approachability, Menudos Corazones accompanies and supports patients and families in those sometimes complicated situations that arise when someone has a child with a heart defect. More information at

Team Alvimedica is the youngest entry in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015, the world’s toughest and longest sporting event. The crew is led by American skipper Charlie Enright, age 30. Alvimedica, the European based medical devices company, is the team’s owner. Founded in 2007, Alvimedica is a fast growing challenger in the global field of interventional cardiology, committed to developing minimally-invasive technologies. This is the team’s first entry in the extremely challenging 39,000-mile race that started October 11, 2014 from Alicante, Spain and features stopovers in 11 ports around the world.

Information as to how to bid on the Jump Seat will be available on

And the race goes on . . .

Amory Ross/Team Alvimedica

South America Dominates Sunfish Youths

Mon, 2014-10-13 10:52

A report from the Sunfish Class in advance of the open World Championship

ARAPAHOE, NC – Holding a slim two point lead going into the final race of the nine race series, David Gonzalez Arria of Venezuela stayed ahead of his closest competitor and finished third in the race to win the series. Alonso Collantes of Peru was seventh in the final race to finish second overall. Finishing strong in the last two days of racing and rounding out the top three was Daniela Rodriguez of Ecuador. John Birkett also representing Ecuador was fourth and Chase Carraway of the United States finished in fifth. Thirty seven competitors from six countries participated in the championship. The Youth World Championship was open to qualified sailors under the age of 19.

The 2014 Sunfish World and Youth World Championship is organized by the International Sunfish Class Association. This year’s championships are being held at Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer. The residential camp venue offers a unique opportunity for sailors, their families, coaches and support crew to stay on site.

The Youth World Championship will be immediately followed by the Sunfish World Championship with seventy two sailors. New Sunfish sailboats are being chartered to all sailors by Triton Yacht Sales. Twelve races are scheduled in the World Championship running from October 13 through 16 with October 17 as a reserve day if necessary.

2014 Sunfish Youth Worlds final results, top 15

1 David Gonzalez Arria VEN 4469 20.00 3 2 4 3 1 (11) 3 1 3
2 Alonso Collantes PER 4472 26.00 1 1 (38q) 2 2 6 4 3 7
3 Daniela Rodriguez ECU 4443 28.00 8 4 (13) 5 3 1 2 4 1
4 John Birkett ECU 4465 36.00 7 6 (12) 1 4 2 7 7 2
5 Chase Carraway USA 4456 53.00 6 7 3 9 (26) 5 9 8 6
6 Andres Boccalandro VEN 4466 55.00 5 (16) 7 8 5 7 6 9 8
7 Marc DeLoach USA 4420 57.00 (38q) 15 1 7 7 3 8 6 10
8 Juan Sebastian Martinez COL 4442 57.00 10 (14) 8 4 6 10 5 5 9
9 Andres Regal PER 4470 69.00 2 5 11 16 8 (19) 10 12 5
10 Lucas Murdoch PER 4471 77.00 16 3 6 13 9 4 14 (18) 12
11 Paula Varona DOM 4439 96.00 4 8 5 (38q) 17 17 17 14 14
12 David Shatwell PER 4464 98.00 22 12 2 12 10 (24) 12 13 15
13 David Graf USA 4446 112.00 15 9 18 11 (24) 16 11 19 13
14 Levi Hencke USA 4462 117.00 19 13 10 15 13 18 13 (21) 16
15 Carolina Penagos COL 4468 120.00 (23) 17 9 10 12 8 19 23 22

2014 ANNAPOLIS BOAT SHOW: Jimmy’s New Boat

Sun, 2014-10-12 12:04

Not surprisingly, one of the big draws at this year’s U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis has been the new Garcia Exploration 45, developed by French builder Garcia Yachts in cooperation with bluewater sailing guru, author, and ARC founder Jimmy Cornell. I’m a big fan of Garcia, which has been building boats for 40 years now, both because they build in aluminum and because they do it exceedingly well. In the last several years most of their boats have been large stratoshperic custom jobs, well beyond the reach of mere mortals with less than a couple of million to spend, so it’s heartening to see them again building something a bit more accessible.

Jimmy and I have some history, as I first met him crewing around in his America 500 cruising rally way back in 1992, so he was happy to show me around the boat this past Thursday shortly after the show opened. After retiring from the rally racket some years ago, he took to roaming the planet in aluminum centerboard Alubats and spent some time cruising in high latitudes. So he had some pretty specific ideas about what he wanted when he approached Garcia about building his next boat.

Jimmy holds forth on the stern of his latest Aventura. Like its predecessors, this is a boat with an integral centerboard and lots of internal ballast stashed in the bilges. Jimmy likes centerboard boats for sailing in very strong conditions, as he says they’ll skid away from breaking seas when the board is pulled up

Jimmy wanted a boat for cruising both in high latitudes and in the tropics so specified a deck saloon layout with lots of windows affording a catamaran-style wrap-around view of the world. He claims this is the first true deck-saloon centerboard boat ever built. You can steer the boat by wire from the comfy nav station there, where there’s also a throttle control for the engine, so you can run things from inside when you want. On the left down there you can see two of the four single bunk berths on the boat, which is what Jimmy favors for sleeping offshore. There are also two double staterooms, so the boat can sleep eight people total

The galley is straightforward and fairly simple, laid out to port alongside the saloon

A nice high-latitude feature–a pair of super-long stern lines stored on reels inside a dedicated transom locker

People I talked to either loved or hated the overhanging hard-dodger coachroof. You can count me in the former group. To achieve the complex shape, the coachroof is a molded composite structure, the only bit of the boat that isn’t aluminum. There’s also a very bulletproof compnanionway door

This is what Jimmy got most excited about when showing me the boat–a true midships chain locker hidden behind the door in the head just forward of the mast. The chain (Jimmy carries 100 meters!) is pulled aft through a pipe by a midships windlass hidden under a deck hatch

The next most interesting boat IMHO is this fairly simple Slovenian-built sport-boat, the Seascape 27.

It is quite affordable, comes with a carbon rig and sprit, and despite having easy-to-manage controls (it looks like it truly can be sailed singlehanded) seems to be fairly competitive–as evidenced by the fact that it took 1st place in the doublehanded division of this year’s Mackinac Race.

It also has a number of clever features, the most prominent of which is a center-cockpit outboard well.

Engine deployed and ready to work. This is an 8-hp four-stroke Tohatsu, which seems to be the largest mill you could fit in the well. What’s nice, of course, is getting weight off the transom

Engine hoisted and put to bed with the hull aperture closed

Engine sleeping under the cockpit floor, ready to run again when needed

There’s also a surprisingly cozy interior, just big enough I’d say for spending a weekend aboard

Other intriguing vessels include:

This delicious Morris Ocean Series 48GT, which also seemed very popular with the tire-kicking crowd on Friday. Not exactly a new boat, as this is a design Morris Yachts first introduced a number of years ago, but this example has some unique features, including a taller rig, exchangeable keels (one for cruising, one for racing), and lots of rig refinements

For example, this hydraulically controlled traveler, controlled from the helm, that you can instantly dump from behind the wheel with a touch of a foot-switch

And being a Morris it of course boasts a comfortable interior with some very fine joinery

The Jeanneau Sun Fast 3600, an affordable modern race boat from our friends in France

Not the kind of cockpit you normally find on a Jeanneau

And yes, the interior is quite stripped down, with such features as this attractive holding tank left out for all to admire

The new Beneteau Oceanis 35, smaller sibling to the award-winning Oceanis 38 that was introduced last year

The trick with the new Oceanis range is a total rethinking of what a sailboat’s interior can be. This is just one of several creative alternatives

The Dragonfly 32 Supreme, a nice high-end folding cruising trimaran from Denmark

It has a suprisingly large interior for a small tri. There’s a big double berth behind the sliding companionway stairs, a decent saloon with table and settees, and another double forward

Finally, from the Now I’ve Seen Everything Department, I wanted to share a few details from the Balance 451, a new catamaran that took me by surprise.

The most severely reversed “wave-piercing” bows I’ve ever seen on a cruising cat. Waves will run screaming home to their mothers when they see these puppies coming at them

A huge barbecue rig, essentially an outdoor galley, located about the same distance from the cockpit table as the galley in the saloon

Largest shower stall ever spanning the full width of one hull aft. There’s room for the whole family in there!

There’s lots more to see, and the show is still on! Running through tomorrow. Feel free to go take a look for yourself. As for me, I’ll be back on the scene starting Tuesday for some post-show test sails, so stay tuned for that.

Making a boat into a home

Sun, 2014-10-12 04:32

In the run-up to cutting our docklines, my friend Toast and I would meet for workday lunch breaks in downtown Seattle to talk about All Things Cruising. It was a much needed outlet during a time that we weren’t very public with our plans, and could only bore close friends with for so long. One week, she reported back from a daysail with another would-be cruising family that hoped to point south soon: “they’re never going to leave Puget Sound.”

She was right. They didn’t leave, and sold the boat the next year. Most of the right cruising prep boxes were ticked, so what was the giveaway? A completely vanilla as-it-left-the-factory interior. No family photos. No personalized soft furnishings in the curtains or throw pillows. An untouched oven. Not a single piece of artwork or personal memorabilia. Basically, nothing that said ‘humans live here.’

When we were looking for a boat, I didn’t worry too much about personalizing the interior to make it our own. Coming from a racing background, the idea of cushy seating and solid bunks already felt like luxuries. Adding our own touch with settee slipcovers, bright fabrics for throw pillows and bedding, drawings by the children, and meaningful artwork would be easy! Right?

Well, mostly. It’s also a very limited view of the opportunities you have to adapt a boat to make it your home, because we have not yet introduced a Sawzall.

aft bunk, looking worse before it looked better. a lot worse.


When we were shopping for our first cruising boat, I took the interior layouts very literally. What you could see is what one would get. During the years we sailed locally on Mau Ke Mana, our Hallberg Rassy 352, we learned a lot about what we really needed. Two of the baseline criteria we turned out to be hard when we went looking for The Boat We Would Take Cruising: minimum of three sleeping cabins, and a main cabin table that would comfortably seat at least five. This boat would be our home for years, and with three kids, we felt at least two cabins to split them between was essential, as was a dining area to fit the family. I mean, we certainly weren’t going to be eating in shifts!

It was sometime during those years on Mau Ke Mana I saw a post on the blog of Ghost Sailors, another Seattle area family, that blew me away. They had gutted cabins (you can do that?). There massive rearrangement in basic features such as the pilothouse seating and their washer/dryer location. It was a revelation to me: somehow, despite going through a down-to-the-studs rehab on our old house in Seattle, it hadn’t occurred to that we could tear apart and remodel the interior of a boat, too. This completely changed the way I thought about boat layouts. It also opened up the world of potential boats that fit our budget.

Of course, you don’t want to mess with the structural integrity of a boat, but there is a great deal you can do without making compromises. A priority projects for us was main cabin seating. The existing table on Totem only seated four people unless you flipped out a leaf, and used the starboard settee. However, that leaf cut off traffic from the pointy end of the boat, which didn’t work for us at all. So we cut out the port side settee, moved it outboard, re-sized the table, added seating area (making seating on the port side more U-shaped, and putting a bench in on the opposite side of the table), and added a bench seat to allow all five of us to sit at the table at once… no leaf necessary. The loss was some of our port side “deep locker” storage, but the gain in seating was well worth it. It also let us make a number of other changes, such as some tankage reconfiguration and the addition of bookshelves…all of which is more useful to us than the back of a deep locker.

Siobhan in the main cabin, just a few months ago


Another early project was modifying the bunks in one of the forward cabins. The hard part was going from functional (middle photo- holy cow those kids have grown!) to totally gutted at left (honey we broke the boat!). But the end result was wider bunks, a bookshelf, a desk. Because there’s always more to do, the photo of it at right, taken today, shows it all spackled up and ready for a paint job. Buh-bye dark wood, a pretty light interior is coming soon to the teenage boy on Totem.

the regression- and progression- of the forward bunks


There have been myriad other projects along similar lines. In the navigation station: the chart table was too narrow for a chart. Huh. Jamie fixed that, and we got a nice, wide workspace for our nav area. It doesn’t host actual paper charts very often, but the extra width is very helpful.

In the main cabin, we spent years using the starboard pilot berth for storage instead of sleeping. See behind the heads of these cute kids? It was a messy catchall for stuff that we wanted out of the way.

La Paz, 2008: hard to believe these cute little kids are now mostly big teenagers


We took out the mattress, and Jamie built in storage space. It’s been a lot more functional for us as an easy-access spot for snorkeling gear (behind the double doors), paper charts (a wide, but not very tall, shelf… one of these days they will be held in by more than a board and a big clamp) and quick-grab shelf access everyday books, cameras, etc. at the front.


Today, new cabinetry makes it much more functional. someday we may even stain and finish it.


In the aft cabin, the layout was split with a double sized berth on the port side and a single on the starboard side. Back in 2007 we still shared the bed with the little ones on a fairly regular basis, so a bigger bed was necessary… and really didn’t need that single (viewing bunk?). On the port side, the berth was cut out, and in its place is a desk / workspace, and a set of bookshelves. On the starboard side, our berth was enlarged to be about the same size as a queen (so handy for standard sized sheet sets!), and a set of bookshelves went in along the hull. Later, we paneled it with bamboo that matches the tone of teak elsewhere on the boat.

aft bunk, much improved

found space in the aft cabin: an office area replaced the single berth


We’ve had Totem for more than seven years now. It’s full of the pretty colors, souvenirs, art, and other personal items that make it our warm, messy, much-loved home. It’s also organized into a much more functional space for our family than it was when we originally purchased it in 2007. You might think we’d be finished with improvements to the interior, but we’re not. Not even close! If we did everything we wanted, we’d probably still be back in Washington state trying to pay off what it cost us to do the work. Our budget prioritized comfort and function for our family. There’s still a lot we could do to improve the interior aesthetics, and hopefully, we’ll get to it someday.

The kind of reader who is willing to take a reciprocating saw to a yacht interior also knows we love it when you read this on the Sailfeed website.

Speaking French in San Diego

Thu, 2014-10-09 20:15

The word from the Coronado Strand:

SAN DIEGO – His fellow competitors can’t stop talking about the high tides, large surf and light winds, but back on the beach Julien Kerneur was all smiles. The French native finished first in each of the three races on the third day of the 2014 Kiteboard North American Championships. “I’m good in the light wind,” Kerneur said. Unlike many of the fellow competitors used to racing in winds of at least 12 kts, Kerneur says he is very comfortable with the lighter breezes that have been present throughout the competition. “I practice in these conditions, so it’s familiar. Without the kelp on the course today is very clean racing. It’s easy for me to look and take the speed.”

Today’s race course was mostly kelp-free, a welcome sight to the many athletes who have spent the past two days getting tangled in the patches of green. “Once you get out there, it’s about as perfect as you can ask for,” Leif Given said after competing in the day’s two kitefoil races. Unfortunately for the kiteboarders, the breezes became patchy in the early afternoon and the Organizing Authority suspended all racing after the boards completed their first race of the day.

Those hoping to knock Kerneur out of his first place spots, which he currently holds in both kitefoils and kiteboards, will be crossing their fingers for stronger winds tomorrow. One of those hopefuls is British kiter Oliver Bridge, currently sitting in fourth for kitefoils and second for kiteboards. Bridge is no stranger to the top of the scoreboard, having recently won the 2014 Formula Kite European Championship in Poland.

After today’s racing, competitors in both fleets became eligible to throw out their lowest scores. Winds permitting, the final day of racing is scheduled to begin Friday, October 10 at noon. Visit the event web site to see results, photos, updates and more. Tomorrow’s racing will take place near the Hotel del Coronado, in front of Avenida de las Arenas.

Simrad ForwardScan (B&G too): a breakthrough even in beta testing

Thu, 2014-10-09 10:00

Written by Ben Ellison on Oct 9, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

On Monday I got to poke around Baltimore Harbor with a beta test version of the Simrad ForwardScan announced last spring (discussed here on Panbo) and also introduced recently as B&G ForwardScan. Navico’s sonar product manager Matthew Laster brought along several versions of the NSS evo2 software that supports the new forward looking sonar (FLS) transducer but loaded the latest, saying “It hasn’t been tried on a boat yet but I think it’s quite stable.” In fact, it was darn stable and I was quite impressed with what I saw…

Once the updates were installed, the Simrad NSS7 evo2 home screen seen above got that ForwardScan icon as did the NSS16 on the fly bridge. That’s because FS is fully networked over Ethernet like most every modern sonar product, but notably unlike the EchoPilot FLS I’ve been testing since early August. The EchoPilot Platinum Video, which is the only other FLS system similar to ForwardScan currently available (I think), also involves installing two powered black box modules while FS requires none…

Here’s a look at the $799 FS hardware kit that is scheduled to ship at the end of October. Whereas I’d already installed an Airmar B617 bronze version of that same retractable stainless housing, I only had to pop in the new transducer and run the 30-foot cable up to the NSS16. I would have used the port on the nearer NSS7 but it’s already occupied with a StructureScan HD transducer. (Both units also include sonar ports and processing.)

Perhaps the most significant difference between the Navico and EchoPilot FLS products is that ForwardScan attempts to translate the pings received back into a solid profile of the bottom ahead. There are many other differences — like the ability to adjust the percentage of screen showing a fishfinder-like historical bottom profile — but it’s the interpolated solid view that makes FS easy to understand and useful at a glance.

Personally, though, I wouldn’t be happy if ForwardScan only showed its guesstimated bottom profile. “What raw data is that based on?” my skeptical mind would be asking. But the designers handled this perfectly, I think, providing a “Data point” menu that let’s the user alternatively overlay All the raw data or just the Objects above the interpolated brown bottom. The screen shots below were taken in All mode largely because it illustrates how the profile algorythm works, but it’s also how I’ll probably use FS for real gunkholing.

Not that Matthew and I didn’t nose around some dicey areas of Baltimore Harbor and wasn’t that fun. You can see by the track above that we were rarely in the dredged channel or on the correct side of the nav aids but that meant we got some great closeup views of this busy and fascinating port. And isn’t that what the freedom of boating is partly about and what a tool like FLS can help make easier? (By the way, NSS evo2’s ability to save a geographical region of tracks and waypoints as a GPX file made this Coastal Explorer screen fairly simple to make.)

So here’s ForwardScan profiling a rapidly shallowing bottom about 200 feet ahead. That’s about 6 times the 35 foot depth under Gizmo’s keel, which is the sort of performance I saw consistently at such depths and in line with Simrad’s claim of maximum 8x forward view, nominal 4-5x forward view (though oddly B&G claims 10x, which should be corrected). Note that the 241-foot forward range shown on this screen is a little glitch that will likely get fixed before this software goes public (it was adding the 1-foot offset I’d applied to the sonar transducer)…

We’d zeroed out the pesky offset by the time this screen was captured, but the more important news here is that we were doing 19 knots and still getting data points beyond the 150-foot range that FS felt comfortable profiling. What the screens don’t show is how fast ForwardScan is working; the raw data changes rapidly with changing bottom and heading, and sometimes the distant bottom profile dances around as the algorythms struggle to make sense of it. Navico should make a video!

Here’s a good example of what can be done when FLS is deeply integrated in an MFD. In the ForwardScan Intallation menu you can establish a “critical” forward range and depth that can show as red on your boat’s heading extension line in a chart window. A yellow warning range and depth is automatically set based on the “critical” number. Note too that if your transducer install isn’t vertical fore and aft you can correct about 10 degrees of error either way.

Here’s the ForwardScan main menu and View sub menu. Auto ranging works well and is in small enough increments that the screen area is well used. There are times, though, when you might want to manually change depth or forward ranges and the current scheme of doing both at once with the plus/minus buttons on the main screen seemed awkward. Maybe there should be two manual range controls on the main FS screen? I’m also lobbying for an “A” button so you can return to complete Auto mode without having to click down a couple of layers.

This screen, incidentally, was taken at Gizmo’s current marina slip and I think the close “targets” relate to a large piling that seems slightly outside the 15 degree wide FS beam. Kelp perhaps? Meanwhile I’m pretty sure the vertical data points at 40 feet show the sailboat that’s tied up perpendicular to me across the wide face dock. Matthew thought we saw fish sometimes in FS, though Navico is not marketing the technology in that direction (yet?), and he allowed that it may be possible to adopt the bottom profiling algorythms to “fill in” objects in the water column. Interesting!

Here’s the NSS16 showing sonar, ForwardScan, and StructureScan all at once — three transducers, no black boxes. However, the shot also illustrate what seems to be a bug that I noticed but couldn’t verify before FS. The large depth numbers in each is purportedly generated by each transducer and the 1.7 foot difference between sonar and FS makes sense as the transducers are about 20 feet apart and the slip is slightly shallower at the bow. But the SS transducer is also mounted near the bow and should read quite close to FS; instead it’s using the sonar number. Note that each of the three independent depth values can be accessed in a data bar — like the “STRUC” number above — which could be a valuable feature once Navico squashes the bugs.

But I’m getting off track. The bottom line with ForwardScan is that it seems to have raw performance similar to what I’ve seen with EchoPilot FLS — i.e. keep your expectations modest — but Navico has truly advanced the data display while significantly lowering the cost and install hasal. In regard to expectations I’ll close with a shot taken in extremely shallow water and mud bottom. FS couldn’t see very far and like EchoPilot I’d say forward ranges at depths of 10 feet and less often slide into the 3X range. But we did image the gnarly wires hanging off that old barge (below), and I’ve got a lot of Chesapeake Bay and ICW to do further testing in.

Meanwhile, I’m now at the NMEA Conference and realized that I somehow missed the introduction of Raymarine CP200 SideVision. But hopefully I’ll get to see it in action behind Sanibel Island tomorrow. The great sonar war rages on!

Click here to read comments about this Panbo entry, or add your own.

Kite NA’s & Welcome to the Game, SDYC

Wed, 2014-10-08 22:02


It’s all happening in front of the Hotel Del. And remember, “Nobody’s perfect.”

That’s a set piece, son. Billy Wilder would have been happy to explain.

SAN DIEGO – Consistent breezes allowed for the completion of seven races on the second day of the 2014 Kiteboard North American Championships. With winds averaging about eight to nine kts, the Kiteboard class was finally able to get out on the water and onto the race course. During the day, the Kiteboard class finished a total of four races, while the Kitefoil class completed three more races for a total of five overall.

Though the winds may have improved, competitors found that most of the challenge was coming from underwater. A contestant in both fleets, Nico Landauer explains that although the kelp and weeds in the water were tough for Kitefoilers, it was far more brutal for Kiteboarders. “You are lower down so it just gets tangled up in your legs,” Landauer said of the board fleet. In fact, navigating around the kelp turned out to not only be a challenge, but became a prominent factor in who ended up as the scoreboard leaders. “The key is to stay in pressure, but clear of kelp. Whoever did that won the race,” Landauer said.

It would appear that ambition pays off, with the three pack leaders that have emerged after the second day of racing each competing in both fleets. Currently sitting in first place for the Kitefoil class and second place for the Kiteboard class is French kiter Julien Kerneur. Only one point separates Kerneur from Oliver Bridge, the current leader of the Kiteboard class and forth place position in the Kitefoil class. The third scoreboard leader is Nico Landauer, currently sitting in third place for Kiteboards and second place for Kitefoils. Rounding out the top three positions for the Kitefoil class is Bryan Lake.

With four races completed in each fleet, the competition is officially considered a regatta according to the racing rules. The Kitefoil class became eligible for a throw out score at the completion of the fifth race, and the Kiteboard class needs one more completed race to toss their worst score.

Results will be updated at Kiteboard NAs and depending on weather, Thursday’s racing is scheduled to begin at 12:00 PM. Spectators will be able to watch the competition from Coronado Beach. The racing will take place in the ocean, right in front of Avenida de las Arenas.

Preparing for the Indian Ocean

Wed, 2014-10-08 19:14

Jamie and I co-author the cruising column for 48° North, a Pacific Northwest regional boating magazine. He lead on this piece for their for October issue, with ruminations about what lies ahead for us with a big year coming. The complete magazine is free on newstands around the Salish Sea, and available online wherever you are.

Transition then Monsoon

Southwest monsoon season is active here in the Malacca Straits. Intense squalls with cold, biting rain, and streaks of lightning that are always too close divide the day’s oppressive heat. It is extreme weather – eerily calm, blindingly bright or catastrophically loud. Local fishermen live the pattern of these conditions, in rickety open boats.

Transitions between monsoon seasons are less predictable. Last year in southern Phuket Thailand a strong southeasterly surprised many sailors, leaving 40 boats firmly planted on the beach. Wind from the southeast, outrageous! What’s next- westerly winds?

It’s easy to fall into patterns that fit the season. Whether calm anchorages with good Thai food just a dinghy ride away or squally nights with a mug of strong coffee, cruising sailors adapt then settle, transition then monsoon. Sailing between regions confuses the pattern. We’re in monsoon season now, but on board Totem it’s all about transition as we gear-up to cross the Indian Ocean.

Ocean crossing preparations feel different this time compared our Pacific transit in 2010. The Pacific Ocean has a familiarity about it; partly from living along its eastern reaches, and partly from reading so many tales of the South Seas. Think of the Pacific and words like tropical, paradise, tranquil, pristine, exotic, and freedom come to mind. Even the island names sound enticing: Fakarava, Huahine, Naviti.

Think of sailing the Indian Ocean and piracy, rough weather and one missing jumbo jet come to mind. Many blue water sailors that press on to reach the western Pacific don’t continue beyond. The Pacific may have many more islands and a very peaceful sounding name, but it’s also more than double the Indian’s size and it’s not always so serene. Perhaps if early traders and explorers dubbed it Harmony Ocean, instead of referencing the Indian subcontinent, this stretch of water between Australia and Asia it wouldn’t intimidate sailors as much.

Reputation has a funny way of fooling us into believing without really knowing; but hearsay isn’t personal. If we’ve only learned one grain of wisdom while traveling it’s that you need to experience a place for yourself to begin to know it. Our favorite anchorage may be another cruisers worst place ever. Papua New Guinea has a terrible reputation as a sailing destination due to violent crime. After much hard research and trepidation, we sailed a safe path through beauty and ancient lifestyles to have an experience that was great beyond words.

The Indian Ocean does have its tragedies – Somali pirates around the horn of Africa and mountainous seas. The Red Sea route is clearly not a safe option so we’ll avoid the region. Consequently, the region of mountainous seas is not avoidable, but dramatic sea conditions are generally seasonal or predictable. So instead of focusing on Indian Ocean maladies, we’re looking forward to the Maldives – along with a small but growing number of cruisers rediscovering a host beautiful places.

Eliminating Somalia and the Red Sea, there are two routes to South Africa. The southern route begins in Indonesia’s Sunda Strait, in sight of Anak Krakatau (child of Krakatoa) born from the massive eruption of in 1883. From there it’s a relatively short 600 mile trip to Cocos-Keeling, visited by Joshua Slocum in 1897. The next leg is the longest at 2,300 miles to the islands east of Madagascar: Rodrigues, Mauritius, and Reunion. Each island has unique biodiversity, and cultural influences from African, Arab, Asian, and European traders and explorers.

Totem will take the northern route, which offers more stops along the way. From western Malaysia, the first is either India’s Andaman Islands, just 400 miles away, or Sri Lanka at about 1,100 miles. The Andamans look beautiful, but we’re put off by restrictive visa requirements and reports of better marine life elsewhere. In Sri Lanka, we hope to be one of the few yachts to visit the northeast port of Trincomalee since the end of the 25 year long civil war. Then westward 700 miles to the smallest country in Asia, Republic of Maldives, whose highest point of land is just eight feet above sea level. South 600 miles are the coral islands of Chagos, home to the largest marine reserve in the world. Underwater life is simply spectacular, or so goes the reputation –we’ll see! From there, we would love to visit the Seychelles, if piracy remains we’ll clear of the area; then south to Mayotte, Comoros, and Madagascar.

Visa requirements, adding pages to our well-stamped passports, endless boat maintenance, crew maintenance, and safety drills outline a simplified version of tasks during this transition from coastal to ocean sailing. We recently hired diesel mechanics for a 5,000 engine service – preventative maintenance. As we suspected, water pumps, start motor, and heat exchanger were in need of professional help. Unfortunately, there was very minor mistake made that led to a series of overheating events. Preventative maintenance became repairs required, due to a blown head gasket. Frustrating yes, and also educational and fun working with two upbeat Malaysian speaking mechanics that answered every one of my questions with “ok, ok, ok” (said very quickly).

Preparation is tiring in the tropics. As the sky blooms with the setting sun, challenges of the day fade. We look west to the places we’ll soon visit, and wonder. Will we swim with as many sharks in Chagos as in the Cook Islands? Will Madagascar have a bartering culture like Papua New Guinea? Have the French-subsidized baguettes and brie pad our waistlines in Mayotte as they did in French Polynesia? A few friends that are now crossing the Indian Ocean now are reporting better coral and more fish than they saw in the Pacific. In the last few months we’ve shared sunsets with veteran Indian Ocean sailors, South Africans mostly, waxing on with nostalgia of the beautiful anchorages and people along the way. It feeds our dreams, while reminding us of crossing the Pacific: tropical, paradise, tranquil, pristine, exotic, and free.

The engine is fixed. The rat problem is no more. The life raft is certified. And we can’t wait for the next monsoon season!

Well seasoned followers know we love it when you read this on the Sailfeed website.

ALBERT’S NEW BOAT: OPO Makes a Difference in Dominica

Wed, 2014-10-08 16:37

Hank Schmitt of Offshore Passage Opportunities first met Albert the first time he pulled into Dominica while sailing the West Indies several years back. He was the very first islander Hank met, so he took him on as his “boat boy,” though of course Albert is no boy, being all of 47 years old with three grown kids. “What struck me was how Albert was like any dad,” says Hank. “His kids are in nursing school and high school, and his oldest is working in the construction business, but they would come down to the docks and Albert would empty his pockets to give them money almost as fast as he was making it. Just like any other struggling family man.”

Hank visited Dominica regularly, and when he learned Albert’s daughter in nursing school needed a new computer, he handed Albert an old one he was replacing. When he learned how Albert spent the off-season fishing offshore in his rickety old wooden boat-boy skiff, which had definitely seen better days, Hank, a former offshore fisherman himself, decided he needed to help Albert get a better ride.

So Hank made a pitch to the membership of OPO, the biggest crew networking service in North America, and eventually raised $6,000 from 40 donors, one of whom, an “angel donor,” contributed about half the total. Hank bought materials for building a new boat through his Lewis Marine Supply account at a nice discount, managed to get it all down to Dominica and through customs (after kicking in an extra $2,000 himself), and then helped push the project through the last humps of the boat’s construction.

“Dominican men are the same as all men everywhere,” explains Hank. “They didn’t read the instructions and screwed up on the hardener, so I sent some more money this past spring so they could finish up.”

This past summer, at last, Albert’s new boat got splashed. Albert can fish offshore more safely during the summer and can also provide better service during the cruising season. Be sure to look for him if you spend any time at Portsmouth on Dominica this winter!

Meanwhile, I’m getting ready to head down to Annapolis for the show. Look for an update on that post haste.

ALBERT’S NEW BOAT: OPO Makes a Difference in Dominica

Wed, 2014-10-08 16:37

Hank Schmitt of Offshore Passage Opportunities first met Albert the first time he pulled into Dominica while sailing the West Indies several years back. He was the very first islander Hank met, so he took him on as his “boat boy,” though of course Albert is no boy, being all of 47 years old with three grown kids. “What struck me was how Albert was like any dad,” says Hank. “His kids are in nursing school and high school, and his oldest is working in the construction business, but they would come down to the docks and Albert would empty his pockets to give them money almost as fast as he was making it. Just like any other struggling family man.”

Hank visited Dominica regularly, and when he learned Albert’s daughter in nursing school needed a new computer, he handed Albert an old one he was replacing. When he learned how Albert spent the off-season fishing offshore in his rickety old wooden boat-boy skiff, which had definitely seen better days, Hank, a former offshore fisherman himself, decided he needed to help Albert get a better ride.

So Hank made a pitch to the membership of OPO, the biggest crew networking service in North America, and eventually raised $6,000 from 40 donors, one of whom, an “angel donor,” contributed about half the total. Hank bought materials for building a new boat through his Lewis Marine Supply account at a nice discount, managed to get it all down to Dominica and through customs (after kicking in an extra $2,000 himself), and then helped push the project through the last humps of the boat’s construction.

“Dominican men are the same as all men everywhere,” explains Hank. “They didn’t read the instructions and screwed up on the hardener, so I sent some more money this past spring so they could finish up.”

This past summer, at last, Albert’s new boat got splashed. Albert can fish offshore more safely during the summer and can also provide better service during the cruising season. Be sure to look for him if you spend any time at Portsmouth on Dominica this winter!

Meanwhile, I’m getting ready to head down to Annapolis for the show. Look for an update on that post haste.

The Volvo Race Adds Cool

Wed, 2014-10-08 12:50

By my definition, given the challenges to the ocean and its creatures, this is cool—

Volvo Ocean Race’s new official game has not even started yet but 28,000 players of it have already chalked up a big win by raising more than €15,000 to help a creature close to every sailor’s heart, the albatross.

The organisers, Virtual Regatta, launched a five-day, dry-run Leg 0 game last month to whet the appetites of players around the world for the game proper, which kicks off on Saturday with the first leg from Alicante to Cape Town.

More than 28,000 players took part and the €15,254 raised is being presented to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Birds (RSPB) for its Save the Albatross campaign.

The albatross is hugely important to sailors who traditionally believe the souls of dead seamen and women take the form of the sea-bird.

Unfortunately, longline fishing has threatened the albatross’s survival and the donation – plus another €15,000 being donated by the Volvo Ocean Race itself – will boost the RSPB’s campaign.

An albatross called Wisdom is the symbol and mascot of the world’s leading offshore race.

“We’re delighted to help in this way,” said delighted Virtual Regatta’s CEO, Philippe Guigne.

“Entries for the Volvo Ocean Race game itself are already flooding in. We have more than 30,000 already – it looks really positive.”

Players will follow the route of the real boats and face the kind of tactical challenges the team skippers will need to confront such as when to alter direction and when to change sails.

There’s also one other aspect the game will have in common with the real thing: “Our players have been known to set their alarms every four hours so they don’t slip behind in the race,” says Guigne. “They’re going to need stamina!”

Players can keep track of their progress over the nine months online and also via a regular digital video show.

Leg 1 begins at 1400 CEST (1200 GT) from Alicante on Saturday. The race covers 38,739 nautical miles and visits 11 ports in all including a pit-stop in The Hague.

Follow Me, SAILfeed Readers

Wed, 2014-10-08 02:23

As you know, the fine crew of Papillon is currently living ashore. Yes, we’re still firmly tropical on a tiny island in Papua New Guinea, but still. We are temporarily parted from our beloved yawl – and this on our fourth anniversary aboard. Sniffles all around.

For the duration of our sabbatical-from-our-sabbatical, the blog will not be syndicated on SAILfeed. This makes sense, because we are not sailing. So, dear SAILfeed readers, you will have to bookmark the original Sailing Papillon if you would like to keep up with our adventures. Otherwise, I’ll be back on SAILfeed circa April with cruising stories galore. (But, really, you don’t want to wait that long for me to come back. Better just to keep reading. Off you go, now.)

See you there.

  • facebook
  • twitter