Month

July 2010
In my last missive on this subject I introduced the concept of building fiberglass boats in female molds, just like the one pictured here. Now we need to talk about the business of building up a glass laminate within a mold in more detail. To understand fiberglass lamination, it is best to focus first on...
Ian Morse of Radical Catamarans has just launched his very first boat and, man, it sure is… radical. I've always been intrigued by this sort of parallel, or biplane, rig, so I had lots of questions for him when we talked the other day. He was, however, a bit tentative about some of his answers,...
  I have just spent more than 24 hours during this weekend's Downeast Challenge (Marblehead to Rockland race) listening to fellow crew and SEMOSA member Charles "May I Cast Off Now?" Lassen explain to me that the now famous whale-jumping-on-boat photo on which I blogged earlier is naught but a clever Photoshop image. Mr. Lassen...
Just a few hours ago that crazy Italian guy, Alessandro di Benedetto, arrived safely in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, thus completing his solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world. He now holds the world's record for smallest boat (21 feet) ever to do this. The fact that he was dismasted and has been sailing with a...
  Cynics at various online forums are insisting this must be a Photoshopped image, but I don't think so. News outlets in South Africa are reporting this as fact: on Sunday a large southern right whale hurled itself on to a 33-foot steel sloop belonging to Paloma Werner and Ralph Mothes, who run the Cape...
  Just had a conversation last week with Bruce Johnson, chief designer at S&S, about this new "modern traditional" concept design they're floating. Bruce describes it as a scaled-down version of the 56-foot S&S sloop Anna that was launched at Brooklin Boat Yard in Maine back in 2007. Apparently Anna has inspired some lust in...
Some Australian news outlets reported yesterday that Plastiki, the unique 60-foot plastic catamaran constructed of 12,500 plastic bottles, had "come to grief" some 200 miles off the east coast of Oz and was in the midst of being rescued. The crew of Plastiki, meanwhile, have adamantly insisted they are fine and merely called for a...
  Marine biologists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have announced the discovery of a bizarre and extremely dangerous species of man-eating shark. Designated formally as Lamniforma Octopoda, the sharktopus, as it is referred to colloquially, has been cited in a number of lethal attacks on swimmers over the past month. Officials at WHOI have...
  This could be one of those Twilight Zone triple-coincidence stories that once upon a time kept me up to my armpits in pulpy comic books. Cue orchestra; dial up the basso profundo Rod Serling voice-over: "And there's the signpost, straight up ahead…"
  Should taxpayers have to spend large sums of money rescuing overzealous sailors who get into trouble they might easily have avoided? Should they pay to rescue sailors who don't actually need rescuing in the first place? Questions like this are bubbling up into the public consciousness, thanks to teen sailor Abby Sunderland, who was...
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