By

Charles Doane
Jan. 8/2022:  Here’s a blast from the past. Behold the long outer face dock at Fish Island Marina in St. Augustine, round about sunset earlier this week. The last time I was here was in late April 1992, when I was crewing on the late great schooner Constellation. We had sailed down from Charleston, South...
Dec. 29/2021:  We previously discussed the very cool Energy Observer project, in which the old “maxi” racing cat Formule TAG (most famously known as ENZA New Zealand, an early Jules Verne winner) has been repurposed as a 100% energy self-sufficient vessel. But not all race-boat makeovers are so ambitious… or so well financed. One interesting grass-roots...
Dec. 19/2021:  This isn’t much of a surprise, that the great catamaran pioneer James Wharram has passed away, as he was, after all, 93 years old. Reading his recently published autobiography, I did get the sense that he and his partner Hanneke Boon were looking to get the story told in full before it was...
Dec. 16/2021:  This truly is a magnificent book. The ultimate in traditional wooden boatbuilding porn, it follows in great detail, photographically and textually, the new construction of Pellew, the largest Falmouth pilot cutter to be launched in Britain in more than 150 years. The mastermind behind the project was British builder Luke Powell, whose goal...
Nov. 25/2021:  I had planned to sail Lunacy south to the W’Indies this fall and base her down there for the winter. Turns out I wasn’t the only one thinking like this. It seems the pent-up demand from last winter, when people, like myself, took their boats nowhere due to the pandemic, would be pent up...
Oct. 27/21:  Inevitably, I suppose, I’ve been driven to dive deeper into the question of what happened to my old Ruta de Morgan skipper, the inestimable Eric Thiriez, on his last voyage in 2017. I have been in touch with some of my contacts in Cartagena, Colombia, Eric’s homeport, from which he set out for...
Oct. 12/2021:  Here we have another sad tale of mortality. On the last day of last month, as I understand it, the well-known yacht designer Ted Brewer passed away peacefully at his home in British Columbia. Born in 1933 in Hamilton, Ontario, he certainly had a good long run on this planet, both as a human...
Oct. 4/2021:  One thing I needed to take care of on Lunacy this past month was replacing the propeller zinc, the one anode on the boat that degrades fastest. I first tried doing this in the water, diving on the prop while Lunacy lay on her mooring in Portland, in what I call the lagoon...
Sept. 13/2021:  In one sense we’ve been here before. Back in the 1970s, when the Arab oil embargo sparked a big increase in fuel prices, the market for recreational sailing vessels got a big shot in the arm while powerboat sales slumped. Now that fossil fuels are leading us into a different sort of impasse–ecologically,...
Sept. 2/2021:  The majority of my summer cruising in Maine this year, aside from some brief solo forays into Casco Bay, has been conducted in Penobscot Bay. All things considered, it is pretty much my favorite place on the coast. Given the prevailing conditions this season–light winds, fair doses of fog, and the odd hurricane...
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