Month

March 2011
A rose is a rose, it is said, and smells just as sweet by any other name. Would that it were true of boats. In fact, it seems many boats these days have perfectly horrible names. Glancing around at transoms in marinas and mooring fields, I must blush and/or wince at half the names I...
Good news for surfers… bad news for ocean sailors. The first long-term study of wind and wave heights to rely on satellite data rather than buoy reports and observations from ships has found that the ocean has been steadily getting windier and bumpier over the past quarter century. Unfortunately, little of this increase is translating...
The catamaran designs that British multihull pioneer James Wharram first created for amateur boatbuilders in the mid-1960s were influenced by the boats he built and voyaged upon during the 1950s. These “Classic” designs, as Wharram termed them, feature slab-sided, double-ended, V-bottomed plywood hulls with very flat sheerlines and simple triangular sections. The hulls are joined...
I've seen parrotfish do this many times, and what comes out, of course, is sand. If you want to see what comes out when sharks do it, just check out this video here. When snorkeling or free-diving around anchored boats I always keep a close eye on any through-hulls I spy for exactly this reason.
Editor's note: Recent developments in Libya and the ongoing piracy crisis in Somalia have sparked a revival of historical interest in the early 19th century U.S. war against the Barbary pirates. What follows is a recently discovered eyewitness account of certain celebrated events that took place in 1803-04. AYE, Scurvy's me name. Lieutenant Scurvy Bastard,...
There all sorts of ways to mark an anchor chain so that you know how much rode you've let out when anchoring. Some people sew tufts of fabric webbing to the chain links at appropriate intervals. Some people attach colored wire ties to the links. Others trot down to West Marine and buy packs of...
We've discussed how to evaluate a boat’s speed potential, but this really only tells you half the story. A fast hull won’t actually go fast unless there is enough power available to drive it at or near its potential. Aboard sailboats, of course, the source of this power is the boat’s sail plan. The parameter designers...
This is a common sight in marinas and mooring fields after some heavy weather blows through. Conscientious sailors either don't have time to strip their sails off their boats, or they figure the weather won't really be that bad. So they furl their headsails and take a few extra wraps around the clew to make...
Given the name of this blog I would be remiss if I failed to mention the massive tsunami that trashed northeastern Japan today. You can watch an absolutely horrifying video of the big waters sweeping through the city of Sendai here. In other unrelated bad news, the Danish Cruising Family Johansen (including three children and...
To give you a clearer idea of Lunacy's provenance I thought I'd share these pix of one of her sisterships, which is currently for sale up in Montreal. This design by Yves-Marie Tanton features Lunacy's hull form, but with a perfectly flush deck and a freestanding cat-ketch rig. You'll also note that this version of...
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