Posts Tagged ‘california’
Alright, Class: Raise your hands if you would entrust your life and the lives of your crew to a SPOT tracker.
Those of you with your hands up: Grab a pair of scissors and give yourself a vasectomy.
There is good news for you, though – the widow of Aegean skipper Theo Mavromatis (or more likely, blood-sucking lawyers at her husband’s insurance company) is fighting for your right to be stupid, too.
You’ll likely remember the Hunter 37 Aegean as the cruising boat that allegedly crashed into one of the Coronado Islands off of San Diego during a ‘fun race’ down the coast. Long-running investigations determined the problem to be one of, let’s say, software – the crew likely failed to zoom in far enough on a chart plotter to see the islands, and compounded their navigational error by not keeping a lookout as they motored through the night on autopilot. All hands perished after the wreck, and multiple lawsuits have been filed against Mavromatis’ estate by families and insurance companies representing his crew – just as you’d see in any accident. But now, there’s something new; Ms. Mavromatis and her three children are now plaintiffs against SPOT LLC and Amazon.com, and in a lawsuit filed last week, they contend that it was SPOT’s failure to make sure emergency services got to the Aegean that was at least partially at fault for Mavromatis’ loss.
The family is suing for wrongful death, negligence, and breach of warranty, seeking unspecified damages and burial costs, and probably seeks millions. Assuming (and hoping) that Mavromatis, an aerospace engineer, had decent insurance coverage for his boat and life, this all smells like an insurance company casting a net for deep pockets to help defray the millions they have already paid out in this case, and they may just succeed.
Why? Because, as you can see by the screen grab above and at SPOT’s page here, the company really is advertising “911/SOS Member Rescue Benefit” for just $17.95 per year. And according to the lawsuit and several investigators, the crew of Aegean pressed the SPOT rescue button at some point in the calamity, yet it took a day for anyone to come check on them. Is this some serious bullshit advertising that should absolutely be curtailed or even punished? Absolutely. Is it negligence, and did it contribute more to the death of the Aegean skipper than the fact that he ran into an island? Umm…no. Add to that the fact that SPOT requires you read and sign a dozen paragraphs on why SPOT is not really a rescue device before you sign up, and we don’t think this one passes the smell test.
We’re also pretty sure that Mavromatis, a longtime sailor and telecommunications/electronics consultant for Raytheon, knew the difference between a SPOT and an EPIRB, but then again, we’d be pretty sure a guy like that would know how to work a chart plotter. In the meantime, it’s yet more litigation that will result in increased insurance premiums and more lawsuits down the road.
There’s a thread on Aegean litigation here if you want to stay on top of it.
March 28th, 2014 by admin
Yes, our old and cynical bones know that Valentine’s Day is a sick scam perpetuated on us by corporate behemoths purveying billions worth of flowers, chocolate, and horrible movies on all of us. But there’s something incredibly cute about young love, and our pal Anne at the King Harbor Youth Foundation sent us this adorable photo from yesterday’s practice along with the note below. Check out the KHYF here and donate something if you like what they’re doing. We do.
Attached is a photo of the Valentine’s Day proposal one of our high school racers made to his Valentine (also one of our sailors) during practice yesterday. It was a team effort to put the message on the spinnaker, and she said “yes.” Young nautical love; be still my heart! -Anne
February 14th, 2014 by admin
When Franck Cammas and VPLP put together the ORMA 60 Groupama 2 in 2004, the Class was already on its way to extinction. But Franck’s square-dimensioned, canting rig, lifting-foiled trimaran was so much faster, more innovative, and more expensive than the rest of the fleet that her launch pretty much ended the ORMA class right then and there. The history is more detailed of course (and you can learn almost everything about the ORMA class here) but suffice to say, G2 is the fastest 60 foot pickle fork ever built. And until the AC72s came around, she was still probably the world’s fastest seagoing multihull in light air.
Now that G2 is long past her ‘sell by’ date, the former BMW/Oracle trainer has made her way to San Diego, where she’ll be replacing the ex-Waterworld ORMA of Loe Enloe, who has gotten everything he can out of the ex-Waterworld boat. That one’s on the market for peanuts (pony up, SoCal sailors!), and we can now expect Enloe to crush and smash every West Coast record there is…provided she stays right side up. Great shot thanks to Dal at Bayshots – plenty more of his excellent San Diego work here.
And hit this link to see just how fast the G2 goes in a moderate breeze.
December 19th, 2013 by admin
When I was 11 years old, my parents wanted me to do something besides get in trouble. So they enrolled me in sailing classes at the Sea Shell Association in Santa Barbara, Calif. From the moment I climbed into that 8½-foot dinghy in 1952, I knew instinctively what to do and sensed I had done it before. I was a natural sailor, and it’s one of the reasons I later wrote “Déjà Vu.”
Sailing alone in that boat for the first time was a transforming experience. I came back the next day and every day after that. Sailing became one of the main streams of my life. I suppose my father was an influence. I remember seeing a photo of him at home sailing a big boat to Bermuda in his 20s. I still have it.
“High Noon” also left a mark. My father, Floyd Crosby, was the film’s cinematographer. I didn’t realize until later, but “High Noon” had blossomed in my head. The movie is technically a Western, but it’s really about an honorable, stand-up guy who sticks to his principles—even when he has to go it alone.
Before long I sailed that dinghy around the harbor alone, getting as close as I could to the big sailboats anchored there—particularly a beautiful wooden schooner that I learned later was designed by John Alden, one of the great American yacht architects. I loved its design and wanted to see how the different lines and sails worked. As my confidence grew, I started sailing to the harbor’s outer buoy. That scared everyone and they tossed me out of the club.
My next big sailing experience came in 1967, after I was thrown out of the Byrds. I borrowed $25,000 from my friend Peter Tork, who was in the Monkees, and went down to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., looking for a schooner. I found one identical to the John Alden-designed boat I had seen years earlier and bought it.
The 74-foot boat was named Mayan and was built in 1947 with Honduran mahogany. The cabins below can sleep eight, but six people is more ideal—four to keep watch and take turns manning the sails and two who can alternate cooking and cleaning.
After I took possession, I had to learn how to sail it. I had never sailed anything larger than 8½ feet, and you need a good wheel-hand—that’s me—and two good deckhands to handle the sails. So I made friends with lots of experienced sailors who wanted to sail on the boat, and they taught me everything I needed to know.
November 14th, 2013 by admin