The Lunacy Report

Southbound WX And Marina Thoughts

 

I'm just back from sailing Lunacy down to her winter berth in St. Martin.  For this year's passage I had a professional weather-router, Rick Shema of WeatherGuy.com, give me advice on how to finesse the notoriously dodgy conditions that plague any boat trying to get from New England out to Bermuda and thence south to the W'Indies in th e fall.  As Andy Griffith once put it in his famous comedy spiel "What It Was Was Football," the name of this game is to get from one end of the field to the other without either getting knocked down or stepping in something.  Which is none too easy, what with late hurricanes and early winter storms to contend with, particularly on the first leg to Bermuda, where the Gulf Stream, perhaps the most significant climatological feature on the face of the planet, gets to play the role of the proverbial 800-pound gorilla.

I've been commissioned to write up the details for my print comic SAIL (they promised to pay Rick's bill; a tip of the hat to Peter Nielsen on that one), so I'm not going to spill too many beans here, but I thought I'd share some general impressions.  Plus, of course, I urge you all to read the full write-up when it appears on newsstands sometime in the hopefully-not-too-distant future.

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Rudder-Skeg Leak And Corrosion

While Lunacy was hauled out last June to have her new engine installed, I became aware of some other problems.  The most perturbing ones concerned her rudder skeg, which is a rather high-aspect alum inum structure that is welded on to the main structure of her aluminum hull.  Problem number one was that somehow, during the course of the year and a half since Lunacy was last hauled, about two pints of clean seawater somehow contrived to get inside the skeg.  Problem number two was that a bizarre corrosion pattern, seen here, appeared on the lower part of the skeg after the boat was out of the water for a couple of days.

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A New Westerbeke

This story begins in a dead flat calm somewhere between Bermuda and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, late last spring.  Said dead calm is pictured here in all its glory.  In all my years of wandering about the watery parts of our world, I swear I have never ever seen a stretch of open ocean quite as flat and millpond-like as this.  If you have a functional auxiliary engine it is much easier to appreciate such scenery, as you can motor through it regardless.  Without the engine, however, it gets a little frustrating.

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Introducing Lunacy (Tanton 39)

My current floating home of choice is a one-off aluminum cutter I purchased in the summer of 2006 from an active cruising couple, Bob and Carol Petterson, who commissioned the boat’s construction and launched her in 1985 .  They cruised her extensively on the U.S. East Coast and in the Bahamas and also completed a circumnavigation.  The bare hull was built by Kingston Aluminum Yachts in Ontario, Canada, and was finished in Rhode Island.  The design is by Yves-Marie Tanton, a French emigrant who slaved with Bob Perry and Chuck Paine in Dick Carter’s office in Boston during the ‘70s before making a name for himself designing several successful custom IOR race boats.

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