Matt Rutherford’s Pacific Project

In 2012, Matt Rutherford became the first person to sail singlehanded nonstop around the Americas. Then in 2013, he and former NOAA researcher Nicole Trenholm began the Ocean Research Project
Author:
Updated:
Original:

In 2012, Matt Rutherford became the first person to sail singlehanded nonstop around the Americas. Then in 2013, he and former NOAA researcher Nicole Trenholm began the Ocean Research Project, with an eye toward proving that small-scale sustainable research efforts aboard small sailboats are a viable alternative to larger well-funded efforts aboard well-staffed vessels. To this end, they spent several months at sea aboard the 42-foot steel hulled ketch Ault, collecting data on the state of the North Atlantic.

Now Matt aims to be the first to complete a continent-to-continent marine debris survey, sailing from California to Japan while trailing a net to collect samples, which will be processed by University of Tokyo’s International Pellet Watch Program and the Baltimore Underground Science Space. The ultimate goal is to quantify the quantity of plastic currently polluting the ocean’s surface and discover how ocean-borne plastics threaten marine life and human health.

Rutherford and Trenholm will be sailing aboard a W.D. Schock Harbor 29, the latest design by W.D. Schock. They plan to take off in mid-April following the Strictly Sail Pacific Boat Show in Oakland, California, so be sure to catch a sneak peak of the boat and wish them good luck if you’re there. 

Related

02-'17-Trans-Atlantic_Downwind-Schralpin

At The Helm: Man Overboard!

Imagine this simple scenario: the boat’s powered up, sailing close-hauled in a building breeze under full sail. I come on deck as the skipper during the watch change to make sure the new crew is comfortable and the boat is properly set up for both the current conditions and ...read more

Promo-01-LEAD-MGR00321

Contrasting X-Yachts & Moody Cruisers

One of the most fascinating things about sailboats is the different ways that sailors, naval architects and builders will approach a single design problem. The result has been a bewildering array of rigs and hull forms over the years, and in the case of the two boats we’ll be ...read more

04-Yacht-anchored-in-front-of-one-of-Lastovo's-gunboat-tunnels-(3)

Cruising Charter to Croatia

As is the case with so much of the Mediterranean, to sail in Croatia is to take a journey through time. Centuries before the birth of Christ, Greeks traded amphoras of oil, wine and grain across these waters. During the first millennium, the Romans built lavish palaces and ...read more

m123728_13_01_171012_PMA_02901_9999

Alicante Announced as an Ocean Race Europe Stop

The Ocean Race Europe, a new event in offshore sailing, will include Alicante as one of four stopover cities. This European offshoot of the former Volvo Ocean Race will include the biggest change to the racing rules under the new title—fully crewed IMOCA 60s will join the ...read more

01-LEAD-doublehanded2

Preparing for a Doublehanded Race

A few months ago we took a look at the development and attraction of doublehanded racing (Two to Tango, June/July 2020). Hopefully, that served to whet your appetite. If so, the question becomes: “How do I get started? The good news, as we explained in Part 1, is that if you are ...read more

01-LEAD-Day-three---dolphins.-300-dpi

A Key Approach to Passagemaking

How you approach offshore sailing is key to the success of each passage. In addition, some of the most valuable, even crucial attitudes and skills may not be either learned or valued in everyday life on shore and may even fly in the face of talents that are greatly admired and ...read more

OceanVoyagesInstitute-2048

Point of SAIL: Mary Crowley of the Ocean Voyages Institute

In this episode of Point of SAIL, Principal Editor Adam Cort talks with Mary Crowley, founder and executive director of the Ocean Voyages Institute, a not-for-profit based in California that has been both educating sailors and working to preserve the health of the world’s ocean ...read more

01-Ocean-Voyages-Institute_PHOTO-READY_1_pg

Tracking and Catching Plastic Waste

Plastic waste—in the form of everything from plastic soda bottles to abandoned fishing nets—constitutes a major threat to the health of the world’s oceans. Giving the immense size of an ocean, though, actually finding all the plastic floating around out there in a time-efficient ...read more