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anarchy name sideOne of the truly great things about getting a new (to me) Melges 32, is all of the people at SDYC that I have reconnected with in just the few days that I have been there getting the boat together. John Reichel and his new bride JJ Fetter (awesome!), Chris Bush, Chuck Sinks, Matt Reyynolds, just to name a few. Sitting at the club bar with Brian Janney when Bruce Nelson came by.  An hour later we had covered a number of topics, had some huge laughs about how god damn fast time has gone by (not that funny, actually!), and just had a great chat.

Of course the conversation turned to the 32 (he digs it, btw), and ratings. PHRF SoCal hammers the boat at 24/12/0 and Bruce suggested that he is helping to get a better understanding of ORR/Time on Time ratings and handicapping. Nelson sent the below over and we are stoked to work with him and others to see if we can get a real alternative to the ways of PHRF. We will be running a series of these, hope you like them. – ed.

First, the US needs to get away from PHRF/Time on Distance, which has polluted handicap racing and the US mind-set for decades now.  While PHRF actually provides surprisingly accurate sec/mile deltas for many boats, the format chosen for the handicaps is unfortunate … if they had elected to rate a Farr 40 at say 510 s/m, instead of -3, then sensible comparisons of ratings and results could be readily produced. But the present scheme clouds meaningful comparisons, as ratings and relative performance cannot easily be compared on a direct percentage basis.  So say we change the F40’s PHRF rating to 510, and add 513 to every boat’s PHRF rating – now we can produce useful TCF’s, where TCF=510/PHRF with the F40’s rating 1.000, and directly compare the relative elapsed and corrected times of each race.

This also provides the choice between scoring Time-on-Distance (ToD), or Time-on-Time (ToT) – like most of the rest of the world does.

ToD works just as well as ToT only when:

1.       The course length is accurately known.

2.       There is no current.

3.       The wind conditions are ‘typical’, with no large shifts skewing the course.

ToT works just as well as ToD when the above conditions are met, and better when they are not – which is much of the time. About the only time that ToD works better than ToT is when the fleet is becalmed or anchored, which occasionally happens in strong current races in the English Channel – yet the French and British use ToT exclusively to handicap races…

So why does the US cling to ToD so dearly?


November 18th, 2015

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88 proof

How many times have we all said that? That is obviously one hell of  a puff, courtesy of Chris Coad who said: I shot this a couple weeks ago on the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Clubs Island Bay race which takes the boats out into Cook Strait. Can be a wild place to sail. One very wet grinder on the bottom left!


November 18th, 2015

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Big Pimpin’

alibi side bannerGiven the news about Gunboat today, it is purely coincidental, yet interesting timing to announce our newest advertiser here at SA, Alibi Catamarans.

They build what looks to be a pretty innovative product, with some interesting concepts as well. And for those not ready to purchase, they are offering some nice charter packages. If you want to spend a week or more onboard an Alibi, it will be possible to charter both the 54 and 65 footer as soon as 2016 in Phuket.

The quality of the destinations will match one of the Alibi catamarans: Langkawi, Andaman and Nicobar islands through the most beautiful spots in the South East Asia: Ko Phiphi, Ko Roknok, Ko Lipe… Contact


November 18th, 2015

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A bit of a shocker from Peter Johnstone and Gunboat….

In a period of non-stop accolades and introduction of several terrific new models, Gunboat has been quietly struggling behind the scenes for nearly two years. It has been a perfect storm of adverse business circumstances, mistakes, and disputes. A brief summary from my viewpoint/opinion:

• The Chinese built Gunboat 60 series cost Gunboat a fortune to sort out. The Chinese builder has fought its contractual obligations to manage, support, pay and reimburse for the completion, rework and warranty costs. Gunboat felt an obligation to its customers and spent millions out of pocket, which proved to be a huge strain on our resources, focus and productivity.

• The G4 capsize in April, and the recent photo boat collision on a magazine boat test in Annapolis have thwarted sales of this series to date. The investment was made. The return is in the future.

• The abandonment of RAINMAKER by her owner and crew certainly was not helpful to a new series. The Gunboat 55 is a great boat, and it will take time for that word to get out.

• The ramp up of production in North Carolina took longer and cost more.

I am sure our situation will be dissected. As sole owner of the company, these issues are all mine…..I could have overcome maybe 1-2 of these challenges, but certainly not all of these in one short period of time. Today, Gunboat will file for Chapter 11 protection under the Federal Bankruptcy Code.

With the challenges above, there are also positive notes moving forward. The operations have shown a nice turn-around in the past few months. Boats are being built, and we are meeting our plan for operating the business and recovering through the Chapter 11 process.

Business has ups and downs. Success and failure. I have enjoyed 30 years of both results. While the past two years been the most stressful and difficult period of my life and business career, this period has also been one of enormous assessment and growth personally and professionally. I have learned far more from the failures than the accolades. We have a lot of good people, and we will see our way out of this period in the next two years.

To everyone who has been so supportive, I am forever grateful. To anyone adversely affected by Gunboat’s situation, I am deeply sorry. – Peter Johnstone.

Jump in our discussion thread


November 18th, 2015

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5.5 meter

We don’t know why we do, but we do. A new 5.5 Meter under build in Copenhagen. More here. And we’ll have more, right here, asap! Props to Jørgen the boat builder.


November 17th, 2015

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paris peace.pngA chilly wind follows the recent and much needed rain that fell in Northern California. Bundled pedestrians in winter coats and sweaters wait impatiently for the traffic crosswalk light to blink “walk” so they can quickly seek indoor shelter. Just a few orange, red and bronze leaves remain on bare tree limbs. It’s just a brisk 52 degrees but for us temperate Californians, it still feels like the dead of winter.

A cold and chilling shudder has been felt worldwide. Our thoughts, prayers and heart-filled sympathy is with the victims, families and friends of those who have died in the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Lebanon and throughout the Middle East.

As I write this, 132 have died, 352 others wounded, 99 of them critically in Paris. Images from St. Louis Hospital in Paris show doctors, nurses and staff crammed into a ward trying to save the injured. Hundreds of doctors and nurses worked around the clock to care for the injured.

Philippe Juvin, head of emergency services at the Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris has worked in conflict zones including Afghanistan. He described how the gunshot victims had to be rushed to surgery or intensive care after arriving with injuries that he has only seen in war zones.

Dr. Jean-Paul Fontaine, head of the emergency department at the Hospital Saint Louis explained that their hospital sees patients injured in the occasional car crash and possibly just one gunshot injury per year. Suddenly they received twenty-seven gunshot victims.

Catherine, a nurse at St. Louis Hospital was overwhelmed with the wave of solidarity among the staff “I prefer to remember this incredible wave of solidarity. All the staff, the doctors, surgeons, nurses who spontaneously phoned to offer their support and come in the middle of the night … That night I was proud of my profession, my colleagues and my hospital.”
Dr. Jean-Paul Fontaine, asked whether this would change the way that he would think about everyday life in Paris? “No, no.

And I hope that it will be the same for the Parisian people. Paris is a living city. You can’t imagine there were no football game, no movies, no concerts, no music, no bars. That’s impossible. And you have to keep on having this atmosphere. So we are not afraid.”

We are healers. May we continue our important work even under the most difficult circumstances and during the darkest moments. – Dr. Joseph Andresen.


November 17th, 2015

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what is it 11 17

Wide, two hulls and blue. What else?


November 17th, 2015

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fast fibers

Following up from “Mini Monster Garage”, here’s Fast Fibres first completed 20′ Cat. hull. The picture is my prototype which will be a home/kitset built foiling 20′er. All going well, the stb. hull will be complete around the Christmas/New Year period.

Big thanks to all Anarchists who emailed in response to our first mini monster garage post, I promised you more, I do hope you like the results of the hard work! Foil designs (by my self and Nat Shaver – ex Team NZ eng.) are complete and I’ll build these after the second hull is complete.

Keep those emails of interest coming in!!! – Anarchist Bruce.


November 16th, 2015

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Big Pimpin’

The Etchells Worlds continues to be one of the most hotly contested regattas in the world, pitting America’s Cup sailors, Olympic Medalists and Volvo Ocean Race sailors against each other. This year, in Hong Kong, two American teams, Aretas and Scimitar, dominated the event. Aretas and Scimitar finished two points apart and were both Velocitek Shift equipped! The top two boats left a 21 point gap between 2nd and 3rd.

Skip Dieball, helmsman on World Champion Aretas, explains how and why he used the Shift at Worlds:

Q - Why did you choose the Shift?
A - We demo’d the Shift at Etchells Long Island Sound Championships and compared it to our existing compass. The ease of use and clarity of the readout made it a no-brainer. Compasses are incredibly valuable. The Shift is the best we’ve sailed with.

Q - Did you use the shift tracking feature?
A - Yes, we did use the shift tracking. We sailed upwind pre-race and got a feel for the range in the wind shifts. Then we picked a number that we felt was a good average. Going into the top mark it was really easy to know whether the breeze was right or left and whether to do a bear-away set or gybe set.

Q - Did you use the start timer?
A - Everyday. Having timer AND compass on display when in start mode is one thing I really like. No more paging through the modes to do last minute wind and line checks!

Q - How do you like the new anti-reflective / anti-glare lens?
A - We demo’d the original and then raced with the new AR/AG lens. Very nice!

Q - What type of sailor do you think would benefit the most from using the Shift?
A - All sailors. More experienced sailors will find it to be a useful tool. Newer sailors will learn the game and windshifts faster if they have a tool like this.

Title inspiration thanks to Dexter.


November 16th, 2015

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Some call it “School Sailing.” Kids call it “the best day of my life!” Whatever you call it, it’s a fun-filled, action-packed, sailing extravaganza that gets every 5th grader out sailing on Lake Winnebago in Oshkosh, WI. Oh – and let’s not forget teaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through sailing, or using sailing to teach team-building and leadership skills to kids!

According to Steve Eliasen, Director of International Youth Sailing of Oshkosh and mastermind/magician of this three-ring circus, what began eight years ago with 60 charter school students has exploded to become the largest school sailing program in the US, exposing nearly 1500 school kids to sailing every year for the past several years!

What does it look like? 80 kids arrive at the beach on a yellow bus in the morning and learn to sail by lunch time. They leave, and another 80 arrive for the afternoon. Eat, sleep and repeat for roughly two weeks in both June and September. Some kids design and build sail rigs for O’pen Bics, some fabricate their own Hobie Wave sails and some create and pilot their own life-sized solar-powered boats.

Why Oshkosh – kind of your average city in the Midwest? According to Eliasen, three things:

Lake Winnebago, one of the largest inland lakes in the US that offers easy, inexpensive access and perfect sailing conditions

Bold school district leadership that sees the potential and helps make it happen. “This could happen anywhere,” says Eliasen, “but it happens here in Oshkosh because our school district leadership and teachers embrace it fully and make it a defining component of being a student in Oshkosh public schools. If you are among the 10,000 public school student in Oshkosh, you sail. Period.”
The incredible generosity of donors and volunteers who give everything they’ve got to get kids learning to sail and connecting with the remarkable, natural aquatic environment in their own back yard.

Says Eliasen, “We started this program because we believe what every sailor knows in their bones – sailing is a complete education. That everything you need to know about life, including academics, you can learn from sailing. As one of our supporters (who happens to be an MD) puts it, mastering sailing is no less an accomplishment than completing medical school.” Check out their latest video!


November 15th, 2015

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