isn’t it ironic?

Who let him aboard? From the Festival of Sails regatta sailed out of Geelong Yacht Club. Photo Salty Dingo 2021 CG....

its dangerous out there

French adventurer Jean-Jacques Savin has disappeared and is presumed dead, three weeks after he launched an attempt to row across...

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2024

How many minutes of sailing have you seen covered on your TV in the past few Olympics? We, the sailing public, would of course like to see more. In an effort to make it more exciting we changed to faster, more exciting boats and even foiling but there has been little change in the amount of mainstream coverage sailing has received anywhere in the world. Why is this important? Especially as we’d like to see our sport grow and greater mainstream media coverage is one way to help that.

The new Mixed Offshore Doubles Olympic Event tentatively scheduled for Paris 2024 (Marseilles) certainly has the potential to shake things up in this area and bring sailing to the mainstream public in a more humanized and accessible way – being on tap to view online 24/7 throughout a single ‘medal race’. Like the Olympic downhill… but with more than that 100 or so seconds in which to enjoy it. Read on.

scotw

From the IQFOIL Class International Games…

Pilar La Madrid (ESP) was more than happy when she arrived at the shore at the end of the day. With five bullets out of five races, there was no one coming close to Madrid on the first day. Madrid: “I’m super tired. It was beautiful, we had done five races. It was super fun and yes I like it when it’s windy.”

all oysters, no pearl

On 12 January 15:32 UTC January, four days into the RORC Transatlantic Race, the Botin 56 Black Pearl (GER) with eight crew on board, contacted the RORC Race Team to retire from the race due to a broken mast – all of the crew were well. The nearest land was the Canary Islands, 800nm east of their position. About three meters of the rig was left and the highly experienced team got to work, making a jury rig and turned their bow east to motor/sail to safety.

Black Pearl’s biggest issue was fuel to run the engine for propulsion and also to produce electricity for navigation and the water maker. According to the race rules, Black Pearl had enough water on board to make landfall. Read on.

taint

I read The Editor’s piece about the handicap dodger with interest and it never ceases to amaze me how many people will twist and turn and even outright cheat to add to the stuff gathering dust on their mantlepiece.

Of course every time they look at it sitting there, needing its weekly or monthly polish, they know better than anyone what they did to acquire the item.

As a judge or umpire I have had to take a good number of them to book, some inadvertently breaking the rules but others doing so deliberately thinking they might get away with it.

One occasion it happened to me as a competitor; was in a local weekend regatta back in the old country. We were sailing in the white sail “Family cruiser” class. My crew was my 10-year-old daughter and it wasn’t exactly grand prix sailing – that came later for her.

The boat ahead was the one we had to beat to win the regatta and we were close enough to comfortably save our time when they ran aground, fortunately, it was light weather. However, they used their engine to extricate themselves and for good measure motor 100 yds or so down the course. 

Back [...]

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get ready for it

Don’t worry, these kids will be kicking your Aussie asses in just a couple of years!

the five

As a design firm rooted in the marine industry, we often reference the great naval architects and boat builders of the past to draw inspiration. Looking back through the annals of marine history provides not only fascinating insight into the past, it sparks the imagination to find the next great design innovation.

While boatbuilding and marine design may constitute only a small percentage of the larger architecture and design world, it’s increasingly clear that there are many best practices and principles of boatbuilding (both old and new), which can help inspire, innovate, and guide the future of architecture, construction, and interior design on land.

Below is a list of the top principles of what boatbuilding and marine architecture can teach us about building on land. Read on.

they’re kidding, right?

As John McEnroe might say, “You cannot be serious!” Yep, that is indeed the transom of the new Dufus, er Dufour 32.  An ill-fitting, bizarre and fucking ridiculous “opening” transom. Who in the hell came up with that, and how in the hell did that get approved for production??

The entire boat has way too much boat stuffed in there, and yet the one place where people spend the majority of their time – the cockpit is little more than a tiny, cramped afterthought. Gee, that looks comfortable.

What a mind-numbingly awful thing.

Jump in and comment!

where the rubber meets the…ocean

France’s Michelin Group, best known for its long history of innovations in tires, announced that it is moving forward with its designs for an inflatable wing sail system that the company hopes will bring the same level of innovation to commercial shipping and pleasure boats reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Announced in mid-2021, the WISAMO system has undergone its first tests and the company has an agreement to install a smaller scale prototype on an operation commercial ship in mid-2022.

The WISAMO (Wing Sail and Mobility) concept was developed jointly by Michelin’s research and development department in collaboration with two Swiss investors and involves famed French long-distance sailor, Michel Desjoyeaux, the only person to twice win the Vendée Globe race.  Read on.

discover no more

No matter how robust the big sailboat market is, not everyone survives…

Discovery Shipyard , based in Lymington, has been placed in voluntary liquidation. The directors of the Discovery Yachts and Southernly Yachts yacht builder have appointed Neil Gosteow and Stephen Absolom of Interpath Advisory as liquidators.

Since December 2021, difficulties had been made public. The owner, Werner Schaebele, who became the sole holder of the capital in December 2019, through his Binti Marine holding company, had publicly announced that he would no longer invest in the company, making it impossible to turn the company around in the short term.

The company, which employed 80 employees and eight apprentices in January 2021, has since lost employees. Its directors left the company in early January 2022. Read on.

wampum

A total beast in its conditions, no doubt.

local heroes

For Some Reason It Made Me Sad To See AIS Icons Of Glamour Yachts Already Travelling North, Back Up The East Coast, On December 30th & 31st. They May Have Crossed The Sydney-Hobart Finish Line, But The Real Heroes Of The Race Were Still Out There, Clawing Their Way South To THE Derwent, To Complete The Slowest Race For 17 Years.

In many ways, ocean racing has become a monoculture. To succeed you must be skilled and tough and rich, but for most owners with a realistic chance of victory, the broader values, ambitions, and motivations of the founders of the event have disappeared amid the ruthless need for a trophy. (QED the protest circus at the conclusion of the race.)

The first ‘Hobart’ sailors were friends from the newly formed Cruising Yacht Club (now the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia), who decided on a summer cruise together to Hobart. Before they left Sydney, British yachtsman John Illingworth joined the group and proposed making it a race. The Royal Navy captain had been stationed in Sydney during the war. It was just months after the armistice and life was returning to its peace-time rhythms. In the interests of keeping the focus on ‘cruising’, spinnakers were not permitted.

Don’t misunderstand me. I love the thrill of going fast and the affirmation of winning as much as the next person. It’s just that there’s so much more to sailing than the current deep and narrow channel, especially if you own an old wooden boat. Read on.

bow wow

We know what you’re thinking “how can a dog bone be used on a sailboat? We’re not playing fetch!”.

Well, the type of dog bone we’re talking about here is not something you would want to feed to your favorite four-legged friend. (After copious amounts of demon Rum, one may consider other applications for said bones, but we would not recommend them. -ed.)

No, the type of dog bone we are talking about is a small, lightweight, ‘dog bone’ shaped piece of aluminium. And they are becoming increasingly more popular on modern sailboats. So, in this article we will explain a few useful ways to use a dog bone that will soon have you fetching one from your tool bag! Read on!

mound of the hound

There is a boat in San Diego that I absolutely cannot fucking stand, and I am not alone in this. It is Staghound, the R/P 50 that despite years of mostly being poorly sailed with second-tier sails, has won a lot primarily due to the fact that the boat is quick, but has also been handed embarrassingly gifted PHRF ratings as well.

People have complained about it for years, but PHRF San Diego didn’t do anything until the boat added a fat top main, longer sprit, and new rudder, but even then it was a gift (-3 seconds a mile if I remember correctly).

After a number of competitors bitched, it was brought up for a rating review about a year ago.  This rating review included some ORR data from a test certificate in an old and slower configuration.  Even with this data, the boat got an additional knock (I think 9 seconds) which they sailed with and continued winning,

Based on the original review, PHRF worked with a yacht designer and came up with a VPP spreadsheet to remeasure using both measured VPP and PHRF numbers and requested all PHRF negative rated boats get ORR measured (almost all already were) and rated, [...]

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powered

“1,680nm to go. It has been a very messy Atlantic weather pattern and that looks set to continue into the finish. So far so good. We are happy with our more southerly approach in comparison to L4 Trifork. For the moment they are sailing very fast in close proximity to the low.

It looks quite difficult though to extricate oneself from the north; one of the reasons we rejected this option. We watch with interest to see how it plays out. The low does seem to be playing havoc with the fleet. We are sailing in 10-15 knot northerlies with the low still disrupting the trade winds. We think we can join the dots into the finish OK but we will have to be careful to avoid some very light air on the 13th. ETA still 16th January.”

– Comanche’s navigator Will Oxley (2100 UTC 11 JAN) from the RORC Transatlantic Race. Track the fleet here.

barn find

A few weeks ago a Chinese sailing official friend visited a museum in Ningbo dedicated to former Chinese sailing boats. It has the grand title of “Institute of Ancient Chinese Ships” but from the outside looks just like a warehouse, nothing grand. Inside it is full of smaller Chinese sailing boats and models of some of the grander junks, some with up to seven masts (there are a couple of these still sailing on Lake Tai to the north of Shanghai) 

Knowing my interest in all forms of sailing and that, in China, sail was used on a commercial basis up until as recently as 40 years ago he took several photographs and sent them to me. Don’t yawn yet!  It was kind of interesting with some boats clearly hundreds of years old then the next photo showed the rack of dinghies pictured above.

The one in the middle is a relatively – I said relatively – modern International Fireball designed in 1961 by Peter Milne and actually built in a much earlier barn in the UK.

Under her is what appears to be an old International 14 and along the racks is ample evidence that the plumb bow is far from a modern invention. On another rack there is a pile of rolled-up sails and they clearly don’t recognize the significance of this part of their collection. There must be at least 20 ‘western’ dinghies in what would be a significant addition to a ‘western’ small boat museum and frankly some I have no clue about.

I will have to get over to Ningbo and take many more photographs and measurements to figure out just what they have. 

Goodness knows what I will find when I eventually get to visit. The big question is just how did they find themselves here as many are clearly of a vintage close to when the China of today was being ‘born’ and their concerns would have been much more about feeding the population and of course just how on earth have so many of them survived.

-SS 

what isn’t fucked?

In a new study published Monday, a group of researchers from the University of Cambridge and the British Antarctic Survey report that Antarctica is at risk of experiencing some of the same marine invasive species problems found in large seaports around the world. Ship traffic is on the rise around the frozen continent, and each vessel carries the potential to deliver new, foreign marine organisms into isolated Antarctic ecosystems.

The authors noted that Antarctica is connected to all regions of the globe via shipping activity. Fishing, tourism, research and supply ships transit to the continent from more than 1,500 ports around the world. Based on satellite AIS data of ship traffic passing south of 60 degrees S, vessels were found to sail most frequently between Antarctica and ports in South America, Northern Europe, and the western Pacific Ocean.

While some of these vessels stop off at five “gateway” ports and get their hulls cleaned before traveling further south, many do not – bringing new species of mussels, barnacles, crabs and algae with them.  Read on.

it’s dangerous out there

On Saturday, a cliff collapsed onto a tourist boat on Furnas Lake, a dam impoundment in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The accident killed 10 people, including the skipper.

Multiple bystanders recorded the incident, and videos show that several rockslides preceded the collapse. A cluster of small craft were located nearby, and in the 60 seconds prior to the incident, the passengers of other boats attempted to warn vessels closer in that they should leave the area. The slides intensified, followed by the collapse of the cliff face.

The initial death toll stood at 7, but the bodies of additional missing people were located by dive teams on Sunday. The victims were from a tour group, and all knew each other and were staying together, according to authorities.

Identification of the remains has been difficult, medical examiner Marcos Amaral told Estado de Minas, because the cliff section crushed the boat and its occupants with “very high energy.”  Read on.

good luck

Explorers are preparing an epic expedition in the Antarctic to find the wreck of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance, the ship that disappeared under the ice in the Weddell Sea in November 1915.

The Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust (FMHT) has announced that come February 5, a team of polar explorers will embark on another mission to locate the famous wreck. The expedition, dubbed Endurance22, comes one month after the 100th anniversary of Shackleton’s death on 5 January, 1922. The British Antarctic explorer led three expeditions to the frozen continent, playing a central role during a time that was in later years called the “Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.”

Endurance was one of two ships used by the Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition of 1914–1917, which aimed to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic. In January 1915 the ship became trapped in the ice, stranding Shackleton and his 27-member crew. Read on.

american exceptionalism?

Wonder if they are going to use the word “Magic” this time? We’re guessing that’s a no. But they can use my genius idea of calling it “American Exceptionalism”, and I won’t even charge that much. But I do insist on driving. – ed.

In a message to the membership on October 19, the Club announced it was pausing its pursuit of the America’s Cup. This was a difficult decision, especially considering the Club’s strong, enduring bond with the competition and the significant investment of time, energy and resources in the past Cup by Club leadership and countless members. The lack of clarity on the rules, timing and venue for the 37th America’s Cup caused us to question whether there was sufficient time to build a competitive challenge.

Recent developments have caused us to reconsider this earlier assessment. Upon receiving the Protocol for the 37th America’s Cup, we were pleased to find that it contains elements advocated for by the Club last spring. Click here to read the Protocol.

In addition, the Executive Committee recently received a new proposal from Doug DeVos and Hap Fauth, American Magic principals and Club members, that warranted reconsidering our earlier decision to pause our pursuit of [...]

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get on the bus, gus

What will the next superyacht launched by Southern Wind Shipyard have in common with more than 400 New York City buses? Absolutely nothing, until you look in the engine room where you’ll find the same diesel-electric power and propulsion technology from BAE Systems.

The SW96#04, due for delivery next summer, is Southern Wind’s first yacht with a hybrid drive, a major milestone for the shipyard. And their next diesel-electric project is already taking shape: the brand new SW108 Hybrid which has already been sold for delivery winter 2023. If the current level of interest from clients is sustained, Southern Wind expects to be building up to – two hybrid-powered yachts per year going forward.

It might seem strange to source a hybrid drive from the public transport industry rather than using a system designed from the outset specifically for marine use, but it actually makes a lot of sense. Most if not all of the commercial marine diesel-electric hybrid systems currently on the market are far too big for a 29-meter (96ft) sailing yacht and the leisure marine systems are much too small.

The suppliers at both ends of the spectrum don’t see enough demand to upscale or downsize their existing products, so there’s a gap in the middle of the market from around 200 to 400kW (roughly 300 to 500hp). Or rather, there was a gap that BAE Systems has now filled, in partnership with Southern Wind. Read on.

vivacious

Esprit d’Equipe is the first French boat to win the Whitbread , the crewed round-the-world race , now known as the Volvo Ocean Race. In the early 1980s, Honeywell Bull (computer manufacturer) was looking for an innovative idea to boost its brand image and its staff.

They decide to sponsor a project, at the time very daring: to finance a racing sailboat to win the Whitbread , the most prestigious sailing race of the moment. Read on.

that was the year that was

For all that COVID got in the way of pretty much everything in 2021 our sport still saw some worthy highlights.

The year didn’t start well with Constitution Dock, Hobart somewhat empty with the cancellation of the Sydney Hobart however for all that COVID got in the way of pretty much everything in 2021 our sport still saw some worthy highlights.

The Vendee Globe produced a number of edge-of-seat moments, none more when Kevin Escoffier’s PRB did a ‘One Australia’ and folded in two giving Mr. Fix It a matter of minutes to take to his liferaft.

The nearest competitor was Jean Le Cam who, despite all the modern safety aids spotted Kevin thanks to the simple flashing light on top of his raft. Knowing Kevin from the VOR Dongfeng days I am not ashamed to admit I cried when he was picked up in a remarkable piece of seamanship. 

Although he finished behind Charlie Dalin and Louis Burton the race was won by Yannick Besthaven as he received a time allowance for his part in searching for Escoffier giving a podium entirely made up of French sailors with Kevin’s ultimate savior finishing just behind in fourth. A total of fewer than 12 hours [...]

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sail on

Jerome H. Milgram, age 83, passed away December 20, 2021, at his home in Winchester, Massachusetts, with his family by his side.

Jerry was the W. I. Koch Professor of Marine Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he taught since 1970. Jerry was a member of the National Academy of Engineers and recipient of the 2017 Gibbs Brothers Medal (awarded for outstanding contributions in the field of naval architecture and marine engineering).

Jerry contributed to the development of many technologies associated with oceans: boat design, oil spill clean-up, tug and tow technology, underwater submersibles, and even holograms that detected plankton. He often worked closely with the United States Navy and the Coast Guard. Jerry was the design director and chief computer modeler for America3, which won the America’s Cup in 1992 by using a more scientific approach to the design of racing yachts.

Jerry was born in Melrose Park, Pennsylvania, on September 23, 1938, the oldest child of Samuel Milgram and Fannie (Marmor) Milgram. He loved sailing from an early age, and was captain of the sailing team at MIT, where he received his undergraduate degree in 1961 and his PhD [...]

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0 yeah

When the 5o5 was first launched, the pundits from the International 14 fleet said that the boat would performance poorly to windward as it lacked a plumb bow. Experience over the years has shown just how wrong they were, as the FiveO is superb on all points of sailing.

See all the photos on the 5O5 Website HERE

unsustainable

Twice a week, 50-year-old Brajasundari loads a collection of jerrycans onto a pedal cart, climbs aboard and travels three kilometres from her village Kanchrahati to buy water. Millions of women in arid and semi-arid regions of South Asia would call her lucky; they must do this twice a day, on foot. But Brajasundari lives in coastal Bangladesh, where there is water wherever you look – in ponds, streams, rivers and wells. However, it is all undrinkable.

Climate change has raised sea levels. The consequent ingress of saline water has poisoned freshwater sources throughout coastal South Asia. In Bangladesh, the saltwater is seeping ever further inland. Read on.

how’s that taste?

What a mess! 

The story so far: Two days ago Celestial looked to be the provisional winner of the 2021 Sydney-Hobart. Then the Race Committee protested and Ichi Ban requested redress. 

Both applications were upheld by an International Jury. A penalty relegated Celestial to second place and Ichi Ban was presented with the overall winner’s Tattersals Cup trophy. Unfortunate, but that’s the way the big boys go boat racing.

But wait, there’s more! 

Celestial then lodged a request for the International Jury to reopen the protest hearing on the basis of what they believed to be fresh and relevant evidence. So the Jury and interested parties all re-assembled today in the boardroom of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania to consider this increasingly acrimonious dispute.

Celestial certainly didn’t hold back. 

Their first new claim was an explosive allegation that the chairman of the original protest hearing had once had dinner with Ichi Ban skipper Matt Allen and that this, therefore, constituted a conflict of interest.  The chairman immediately stood down while that allegation was considered but the Jury did not agree that there had been any conflict [...]

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