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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....

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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....

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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!...

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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, so that there was measurement data (and ratings) that could establish something more concrete than the bellyaching. So guess who refused to get measured after 6 months of asking? You got it. And of course the reasons are obvious, especially from people who don't want a fair fight.  They still wouldn't comply, so PHRF hit them -6 as a blanket penalty for refusing to get measured to get the rating a bit closer to reality.  This penalty would be dropped as soon as they turned in a measurement certificate. So what was their response? They asked for...

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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....

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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...

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