The U.S. Coast Guard recently issued a Marine Safety Alert indicating that LED (light emitting diode) lights may be causing poor VHF radio and Automatic Identification System (AIS) reception. The alert, issued for informational purposes, outlines reports received from mariners concerning radio frequency interference caused by LED lamps that “were found to create potential safety hazards.”
LED lights, popular with recreational boaters for their low battery draw, cooler operation and sturdy construction, may be causing poor VHF and AIS reception. © BoatUS.com
In some cases, the Coast Guard says, the interference may cause problems if mariners need to call for help. The interference can affect VHF voice communications as well as Digital Selective Calling (DSC) messages, and it may also affect AIS because they also use VHF radio. In particular, masthead LED navigation lights on sailboats may cause problems due to their close proximity to antennas. The Coast Guard advises boaters to test for the presence of LED interference by using the following procedures:Read more
In celebration of their 125th anniversary, Elco Motor Yachts, headquartered in Athens, NY, is expanding their electric outboard motor range. The new models – the EP5, EP30 and EP50 – join the current EP9.9, EP14 and EP20 models to double the company’s range of electric outboard motor offerings.
“These outboards represent the next stage in Elco’s electric outboard development,” said Elco’s National Sales Director, Dean Heinemann. “With the trends we’re seeing in the industry, both in terms of more boaters going electric and more builders shifting toward outboard propulsion, our expanded outboard line will provide electric outboard options to more boaters and boat builders.”Read more
US Sailing has added a new member to its leadership team with the hiring of sports marketing and branding professional Peter Glass. As Chief Marketing Officer, the Chappaqua, NY native will lead US Sailing’s Marketing and Communications Department.
“There is really nothing I can think of that is more rewarding than working with an energized and passionate cross-section of sailors from around the country that ranges from recreational and community sailing to the elite level athletes representing the U.S. on the Olympic stage,” said Glass. “Our team has a driven and focused approach to further engage the sailing community and bring the excitement taking place on the water to new sailors and fans. I am grateful for the opportunity and I’m looking forward to working closely with the sailing community.”Read more
Susan Maffei Plowden of Jamestown, RI was presented with the 2018 Anchor Award at the Rhode Island Marine Trade Association’s Industry Partnership Breakfast. The event was sponsored by Gowrie Group and held during the Newport International Boat Show last month.
© Billy Black
Maffei Plowden was recognized for her role as Newport Stopover Director for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, an event that drew over 100,000 people to Newport and its surrounding waters and generated global media attention and economic impact for Rhode Island. Sail Newport Executive Director Brad Read, who has worked closely with Maffei Plowden on the two VOR Newport stopovers to date, made the award presentation. He joked that when Sail Newport agreed to host the first visit of the Volvo Ocean Race to Newport in 2015, “We didn’t know what we didn't know.”Read more
The Solo Non-stop Circumnavigation of the Mighty Sparrow
By Jerome Rand
I had thought for years about what sailing in the Southern Ocean would really be like. Reading about the “Great Singlehanders” that sailed there, south of the Capes and around Antarctica. These were the first seeds planted in my head while I crewed on boats crossing the North and South Atlantic on delivery trips during my mid-20s. The more I read, the more the thought of my own trip kept coming back to me.Read more
By Alexa Shea & Elizabeth van der Voort, Young American Sailing Academy
Editor’s note: Many sailors would consider the failure of a boat’s electrical system during an overnight race sufficient cause for throwing in the towel and setting a course for the nearest tavern. For the eight teenage sailors aboard the J/105 Young American in this year’s running of Stamford Yacht Club’s Vineyard Race, quitting was never an option.
While racing on a thirty-five foot boat with enough provisioning and water, one wouldn’t expect much to go wrong in one night going to Buzzards Tower and back. But if one suddenly had no navigational lights or data on the depth, wind direction, wind speed, boat speed, bearing and more, one would probably retire.
The crew of Young American overcame electrical issues to finish fourth in their 10-boat class in the Vineyard Race. Photo courtesy of Rick Bannerot © 2018
However, that’s not what happened in our Vineyard Race. When we lost all of our power on Young American, everyone sprung to action to try and help. Because our engine sucks in air on starboard, we just assumed that we had to flood the engine. But before that happened, our coach Joe Cooper gave us spare navigation lights that he brought just in case. After flooding the engine and trying to start it in order to charge our batteries, we decided to give it a break and try again when the boat was upright.
Luckily, we had two charged phones with two different navigational apps that we used, but two phones on 20 percent wouldn’t last two days so we had to make sure we barely used them. Also, we had two compasses built into the boat and we shined a flashlight on them. After 50 hours of racing, we were near Stratford Point when the wind died and we were discussing dropping out. That idea came to an end real fast when we all realized we had come this far with no electronics and we could go another five hours because we deserved to finish.Read more
Sparkman & Stephens has announced that Donald Tofias, of Newport, RI, has purchased the iconic yacht design and brokerage firm. Tofias will assume the role of President of the firm, having purchased 100% of the assets. Tofias is a lifelong sailor and founder of the W-Class Yacht Company. His first boat was an Alcort Sailfish, purchased when he was 12 years old. Over the past 30 years, Tofias has owned and campaigned a Waldo Howland and Ray Hunt, Jr. Concordia yawl, a W. Starling Burgess cutter, and for the past 20 years, W-Class Racing Yachts, including the W.76 sloops, designed by Joel White, which will now be marketed by Sparkman & Stephens.Read more
Over 120 former members of the Junior Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound gathered on Saturday, September 8, 2018 under the Pandemonium at Larchmont Yacht Club, scene of many great dances during their junior sailing days.
Reg Pierce, Jeff Neuberth and Paige Neubereth (Indian Harbor). © Bill Sandberg
The day began, naturally, with racing in Ideal 18s provided by LYC. Each team had a special connection – lifelong sailing pals Rich duMoulin and Elliot Oldak (both Knickerbocker YC); Instructor Bill Sandberg (American) and pupil Lili Jenkins (Noroton); the husband and wife team of Joan & Butch Hitchcock (American) and the brother/sister team of Monica Stautner Nichols and John Stautner (Indian Harbor). The Race Committee consisted of Jol Everett (American), Bizzy Monte-Sano (Larchmont), Ellen Isbrandtsen (Indian Harbor) and Nick Langone (Larchmont).Read more
By Chad Corning
Where the 2017 edition of Stamford Yacht Club’s Vineyard Race featured dream conditions with a fresh northerly prevailing for most of the race, 2018 was much harder work with a brisk easterly featuring for the trip out to the tower. After taking their medicine, the fleet was largely disappointed as the easterly faded away to nothing making this year’s 84th running a long and testing contest.
The crew of Jason Carroll’s MultiOneDesign70 Argo – Westy Barlow, Jim Condon, Chad Corning, Thierry Fouchier, Sidney Gavignet, Scott Norris, Anderson Reggio and Alister Richardson – set a new course record for the 238-nautical mile Vineyard Race with an elapsed time of 14 hours, 58 minutes and 19 seconds. That’s an average speed of 15.9 knots! © Kevin Dailey/KevinDaileyImages.com
We had quite a few challenges on Jason Carroll’s new MOD70 trimaran Argo. First and foremost, the boat was purchased just three weeks prior to the race and was in Lorient, France. A perfect delivery window opened up and the boat had a mostly downwind run on the southern route, sailing 4,000 miles to Newport, RI in a bit over ten days. A fairly frantic maintenance period ensued, and with fitting some new sails along with some minor miracles, the boat departed Newport the day before the August 31 start.Read more
Romance, Adventure, and Advocacy on the Great Lakes
By Mary McKSchmidt, Published by 14 Karat Books 248 pages paperback or Kindle edition $15
The five Great Lakes – Superior, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Erie – comprise the largest body of fresh water on Earth. They cover more than 95,000 square miles, an area bigger than the sate of Texas. Twenty-four million people in the U.S. and 9.8 million people in Canada rely on the lakes for drinking water, jobs, and a way of life, and their basin is home to over 3,500 species of plants and animals including more than 170 kinds of fish.Read more