March/April 2017

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Ocean Navigator

UFOs a challenge to Vendee Globe racers

The Vendee Globe is known as a “race of attrition,” and the 2016-17 contest has proven no different.

Powerboat hits ferry in odd accident

Crew aboard the Washington State Ferries vessel Chetzemoka saw it coming, ferry passengers on outside decks saw it coming, but the operator of the powerboat Nap Tyme apparently never realized he was on a collision course with the hulking ferry.

El Faro’s VDR answers some questions, raises others

Bridge audio captured by El Faro’s voyage data recorder (VDR), made available by the National Transportation Safety Board in December provides a harrowing account of the ship’s last 26 hours at sea.

Sailing club makes safety videos available

The Storm Trysail Foundation has made its growing library of Safety-at-Sea videos available online.

Reviving a Laurent Giles classic

After a four-year, $400,000 restoration, the classic Laurent Giles yawl Susanna is once again afloat in home waters, fitting out for the summer cruising season along the California coast between Ventura and Catalina Island.

Record fast sign-up for Fastnet Race

Sign-ups for the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s flagship event, the Rolex Fastnet Race, set a new record with 340 boats signing up in just four minutes and 24 seconds.

Sun, Wind, & Water: The Essential Guide to the Energy Efficient Cruising Boat

In all my miles as a cruising sailor, I’ve always been impressed by how well other cruisers could conserve things — money in particular.

Every mile extraordinary

In the summer of 2016, photographer Peter Ralston was aboard the 184-foot ketch Rosehearty for a trip to Greenland and into the Northwest Passage.

The multifunction VHF

When we think of how marine electronics are consolidating toward fewer devices at the nav station, most voyagers probably think of the multifunction display (MFD): a piece of gear that brings the chartplotter and GPS together along with performance sensors, engine sensors, water temperature and more.

Where are you most vulnerable?

This is the second of a two-part series on making sure you have the spares you need for your power voyaging boat.

Developing your spare parts strategy

A cat with no life

On a recent night at around 9 p.m., I was surprised to see a large catamaran cruising into the crowded anchorage here in Admiralty Bay, Bequia.

Message in a bottle

To the editor: Picture the scene — you’ve just crossed an ocean and, filled with elation, you’re brimming with the urge to share that news with your friends and family back home.

Malabar coast marauders

A light and warm westerly blew off India’s Malabar Coast on a morning in early December.

Sail fast!

No one likes sailing to a schedule. It’s stressful; you never know if the weather will cooperate, or for that matter if the boat will cooperate.

Extending your communications reach

Only a few decades ago the only communication options were VHF radio and high-frequency single sideband (HF SSB).

Demystifying SSB radio

In an increasingly plug-and-play world, marine high-frequency (HF) single sideband (SSB) radio has developed something of a bad reputation, particularly among people relatively new to cruising or long-distance sailing.

Vendee foilers raise questions about durability

Vendee Globe yacht designers literally spend years between each quadrennial event refining their designs to create a hull, with its appendages, that is both durable and lightweight.

Navigation by Google Maps

We all use charts for navigation, either paper or electronic, but undoubtedly have found that charts come in varying degrees of accuracy.

March/April Issue 239: The Sea Devil

Seen from the bridge of the British steamship Gladys Royale on a cold January day of 1917 in the North Atlantic, the white cloud on the horizon resolved itself into a three-masted sailing ship.

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