While thinking about how to make the Adventure 40 an incredibly trouble free and reliable ocean voyaging boat, I have worried most about two areas: chain plates and the rudder. Both for the same reason: they are the area in conventional fiberglass production boat construction where stainless steel and fiberglass come together in the presence [...]
I was recently reading a reputable boating magazine that I respect when I came across a “rule of seamanship” that simply took my breath away, it was so wrong:
We just had a gear failure that should not have happened. Here is the story of how being lazy, not once, but three times, added up to a lot of work:
A couple of weeks ago we published a well-reasoned and interesting post written by Lane Finley on the benefits of traditional hanked-on sails over roller furling.
[We just got an interesting and very well reasoned email from Lane Finley, a very experienced voyager who sails out of New Zealand with his wife Kaye on their beautiful classic Luders designed Annapolis 44 cutter Mai Tai, pictured above.] By Lane Finley Most people will believe that anyone advocating hank-on sails over roller furling [...]
The old saying that ‘if a job is easy, you’ll do it’, is a good one that we have tried to bring to bear at all times when improving our Ovni 435 Pelerin. If the job’s difficult, you’ll delay it until it’s beyond inevitable and then it can become a hardship. And nowhere is that [...]
Once a year we like to entertain our neighbours by hoisting our storm jib whilst we’re alongside. Not much new to be learned from it, but it does force us to get it out of the bag and give it a thorough check over for any signs of chafe or other damage. We have a [...]
A few months ago Phyllis wrote a post on how surprised she was to find that many, perhaps most, boats can’t reef or un-reef without rounding up into the wind. A process that is with all its attendant crashing and banging hard on the sails and gear. Not to speak of the fact you can [...]
One of the things we like most about the OVNI 435 is the well-stayed cutter rig. In light of experience aboard our previous boat we opted for a yankee (jib-topsail) rather than the standard roller genoa knowing that the yankee maintains its shape and drive far better when well rolled, and is stable and easy [...]
Morgan’s Cloud is the only boat I have ever sailed on (I only started sailing after meeting John) and so I generally assume that the way we do things on our boat is the way it is done. Which suits John just fine—he’s been able to brainwash, I mean, teach me how he likes to [...]
There was an interesting piece in a recent edition of French sailing magazine Voiles et Voiliers on gennaker furlers. These gears are very popular in France, and through their extensive use aboard racing multihulls and Vendee Globe boats have undergone real battlefield testing over the last ten years, to the extent that they must now [...]
Why do we give so much thought to our sails? Well, first, as we talked about in this post, good sails equal good speed and good speed equals more fun. Speed also contributes to safety because you are vulnerable to bad weather for less time. Finally, if your sails are slow in normal weather, they [...]
Last fall I got chatting to a couple, new to cruising, on their way down the Intracoastal Waterway in their new-to-them classic Carl Alberg designed Cape Dory 36. When I complimented them on their choice of a good looking and seaworthy boat that also sails well, they expressed surprise saying, “Oh no, she can’t get [...]
We are all for many of the advances in sail handling systems that have appeared in recent years: roller furling, low stretch exotic fiber rope halyards, solid vangs, and clutches. All these and more have made sail handling on cruising boats easier and, in many cases, safer.
Many years ago I sailed on a French boat equipped with a boom brake. Perhaps due to one of those curious national idiosyncracies, such devices were (and remain) very scarce in the UK, although they were popular elsewhere in Europe, and I was intrigued to see how it performed. Very well it seemed, as far [...]
Whilst the rest of Northern Europe has been enduring yet another ghastly summer with high winds and inundations, the Western Isles of Scotland have had a memorably warm and sunny season, with long spells of light winds. And as a result we’ve used our new asymmetric spinnaker on a regular basis.
As a young guy, one of the first cruising boats I sailed aboard was a lovely little wooden sloop. Originally gaff rigged, some well-meaning previous owner had changed her to Bermudian rig, doing nothing for her sailing ability (as was so often the case), a weakness that was exacerbated by an oversized mainsail that had [...]
Let’s start with the myths: If a carbon fibre mast gets struck by lightning it is toast, end of story. If a carbon fibre mast gets struck by lightning, there is no way to tell if it has been damaged or not, so it must be junked.
All the above is great, but this post gets to the real meat: How much did carbon fibre cost? And what did we get for that money?
We had an interesting to-and-fro with a reader who thinks that the benefits of carbon fibre for cruising yacht masts are trivial and that the same benefits could be realized in easier and cheaper ways. To understand why this is not so, and why carbon fibre as a mast material delivers such astounding increases in [...]