By David Dellenbaugh
If you want your mark roundings to be quick and safe, there are certain strategies that work almost every time. For example, you should round each mark close enough that you could reach out and touch it. You should locate the next mark visually before you round this one. And you should definitely develop a strategic plan for the next leg before you round any mark.
Round every mark close enough to touch it, like MudRatz 420 sailors Zach Champney (helm) and Peter Cronin, pictured at the Buzzards Bay Regatta. It’s amazing how wide many boats go around marks. In most cases, they lose double the amount of distance they leave between them and the mark. They sail a certain distance past the mark and then they have to sail that far again just to get back to the mark. To minimize distance sailed, it’s important to round close to every mark. Of course, there are a few times when it’s OK to be farther from the mark – like at a windward mark in breeze when you need enough space to ease your main, or at a leeward mark when you are trying to do an ‘end-run’ around a pack of boats. But a good rule of thumb is that you should round each mark close enough that you can reach over and touch it. To get into this position you may have to slow down so you are right behind the boat ahead, but this ensures that you will sail the shortest course, and it gives you more tactical options and clearer air after the mark. © J. Cronin - OutrageousPhotography.net
By Jim Frayer
Well…probably the most recognizable change in its ninety years. Founded in 1928, Noroton Yacht Club in Darien, CT is considered one of the premier yacht clubs on Long Island Sound and has a rich sailing tradition. The original clubhouse, first opened in 1929, was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy and was demolished in 2016. This paved the way for the club’s symbolic rebirth with a spectacular new clubhouse, designed by Burgin Lambert Architects in Newport, RI.
Designed by Burgin Lambert Architects, Noroton Yacht Club’s new clubhouse is among the nicest on Long Island Sound. Photo courtesy of Rick Bannerot © 2018
If NYC members are walking a little taller and with a bit of swagger, it might have to do with the club’s new look! A feeling of rejuvenation pervades among the members. Prior to its demolition, the old clubhouse was a dark, gothic style building reminiscent of the “Manor on the Moor” with an interior not conducive to collegial gatherings.Read more
Hull biofouling: a boater’s dreaded bane that requires periodic elbow grease
By Lucie Maranda, PhD, Associate Marine Research Scientist, Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island
These outdrives were probably not delivering optimum performance! © harsonic.com
Especially in marine water, the unwanted accumulation of microorganisms, algae and animals on wetted surfaces can be costly if not attended to regularly. For recreational or commercial boaters, the danger of transferring non-native species is added to the increase in fuel consumption and maintenance cost. The navies of the world are not immune to this plague either. One study roughly calculated the cost of coating, cleaning and fouling on the United States Navy’s destroyers (class DDG-51) to reach $1 billion over 15 years! Whether one considers boat hulls, sensors, aquaculture facilities, pipes, offshore platforms, pilings – any unprotected solid surface will develop some form of marine growth when immersed in seawater.Read more
By Vincent Pica, ommodore, First District, Southern Region (D1SR), United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
Going back centuries, journals of seafarers are peppered with language indicating that they knew the Earth was round. “In the offing” meant, and means today, the waters you can see from where you are to the horizon. “Ahoy, captain, vessel off the starboard bow! Hull down, sir,” might yell the lookout from the crow’s nest aloft. This meant that all he could see from his vantage point were the sails – the ship’s hull was still below the horizon. So, “round has been around” (pun intended) for thousands of years. How many thousands? About 22 centuries before the epic confrontation between Galileo and the medieval Church, Phoenician sailors circumnavigated Africa, sailing down the east coast and back up the western shores, through the “Pillars of Hercules” at Gibraltar and back to Egypt, to report to the Pharaoh that, indeed, the world must be round.Read more
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
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