Web Exclusives 2015

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Ocean Navigator

Hurricane chart work

During and before hurricane season you will read and hear lots of information on what to do when a storm approaches, and how to escape and remain safe.

Web Exclusive

Celestial navigation introduction

A hands-on course covering basic celestial theory, sight reduction of sun, moon, planets, stars. May 20 - 21st, 2017 in Marion, Mass. This seminar is a hands-on course covering basic celestial theory, sight reduction of sun, moon, planets, stars, and specialty sights of certain bodies, like the noon sun sight and latitude by Polaris.

More on PredictWind, 2015 Husick Award winner

A look at the web-based weather forecasting and routing service chosen by our judges

An active December in the Pacific

As this newsletter is being written, we are not quite halfway through the month of December 2015 — but even so, we can already describe the weather pattern over the North Pacific as very active.

Voyaging tips videos - Shore Cord Adapters

Dealing with your boat's shore power adapter

2015 Chuck Husick Award Nominees & Winner

The master list of nominated products for the 2015 Chuck Husick Marine Technology Award and the final winner as determined by our panel of judges

Navigating with a celestial computer

The reality cannot be avoided: In order to learn anything new and get better at it, effort must be applied.

Solo sailor goes for non-stop record

On board his Akilaria RC2 Class 40 sailboat Gryphon Solo 2, Joe Harris aims for 137-day world record

Cool stuff for a cool season

OK — I just dated myself with that title, but "cool" is the only appropriate word, in my opinion, for this potpourri of charting goodness.

Cold water test

Voyagers Seth and Ellen Leonard test a desalinator in cold Alaska waters

Voyaging tips videos - Organizing lines

Some ideas for organizing lines on board

Digital Yacht's Signal K campaign

The UK marine electronics company is using Kickstarter to fund its iKommunicate interface box

A light that clips on tight

Mantus Anchors lets you throw some light where you want with its handy new lamp

Cruisers have Cuba on their minds

SSCA's big Melbourne Gam in November will focus on sailing in Cuban waters

Handy Cuba chart books released

NV Charts has complete Cuba coverage for U.S. voyagers ready to make the trip

Voyaging tips videos - Inspecting Roller Furling

A video primer on how to check your roller furling gear before a passage

ON at the Annapolis sailboat show

Another great show meeting with and hearing from our enthusiastic readers

Celestial nav returns to Naval Academy

Celestial nav instruction ended in the 1990s, but now the knowledge will be taught anew to midshipmen

Uncertainty in tropical cyclone forecasts

In the last newsletter, I wrote about the possibility of the Atlantic hurricane season having below-normal activity due to El Nino. Now that we are approaching the end of the season, we can look back and see that while the season will likely end up below normal by several measures, it has been a bit more active than was anticipated a couple of months ago.

NDGPS shutdown

The Coast Guard is taking comments on shutting down the NDGPS network

Voyaging tips videos - Fender Boards

A look how to set up and use fender boards for better protecting your hull in an unfamiliar port

Using the Rude Star Finder

Everything is easy once you practice. This is certainly true of what seems to be the complicated subject of precalculating available stars for a morning or evening twilight star sight.

Piracy alive and well on Maine coast

Highly regarded Maine boat yard falls victim to embezzler’s scheme

New ON video series

The Voyaging Tips video series kicks off with a look at propane and how to use it safely

Man-overboard devices with AIS gaining in popularity

As the automatic identification system continues to work its way into the recreational boating world, more safety and rescue devices are being equipped with the technology.

Teams approach scoring gate in Clipper Race

Do teams go for points at the Gate or head straight to Rio?

Lassoing a mooring

It seems everywhere we go, there is a different method of tying to a mooring.

Local knowledge or tactical smarts?

Putting it all together to win the North American Ensign Championships

Nigel's flying dinghy

During a cruise to Ireland an inflatable goes airborne

House hearing discusses backup for GPS

Years after the shutdown of loran, proposals still out there to bring it back

A historic Atlantic hurricane season?

In the last newsletter, I wrote about the upcoming hurricane season and the potential effects of a developing El Nino pattern in the Pacific. Now we are further along in the hurricane season here in the first half of August, and strengthening El Nino conditions are present across most of the equatorial Pacific.

Report predicts fewer August hurricanes

A recent report by Colorado State University predicts a below average number of hurricanes for August 2015

Solo Pacific sailors rely on wind self-steering

Two different solo Pacfic crossers used wind vane self-steering to lighten their load

Blue Moon shows up the sun

Panoramic photos of the moon reveal something about the sun's annual change in rising and setting

Coast Guard celebrates 225 years

On this date President Washington authorized the creation of the United States Coast Guard

Unusual occurrence In the desert

East of So Cal, you don't have to venture far before you reach what is perhaps the driest yacht club in the U.S. Gin and tonics notwithstanding.

A definitive look at Japanese boatbuilding

Boatbuilder and author Douglas Brooks examines small craft construction traditions in Japan

Tall Ships return to Portland, Maine

Sail training vessels return to Maine for first time in 15 years

Wireless monitoring of the boat frig

New Bluetooth transducer and idevice app make keeping on eye on your frig easier

Reducing radio interference

It sounds like a crude form of Morse code on your single sideband transceiver. The interfering signal is strong enough to disrupt fax reception, render voice reception unintelligible and bring your onboard email to a halt.

Washington state changes boat taxes

New lower taxes, especially for larger boats, make Washington more favorable for marine tourism

Icom Announces New M25 VHF Marine Handheld Radio

Celestial navigators get practiced

Recent Ocean Navigator celestial nav students report in on their offshore efforts

Transatlantic racers save rig

Amhas, a class 40 race boat, is knocked out the Transatlantic Race 2015 but quick work saves rig

Paper and plastic

I frequently see long and acrid online forum argument threads about the superiority of digital charting vs. paper charts.

Gales sweep Transatlantic Race 2015

Gales and strong winds have taken their toll as the bulk of the fleet reaches the halfway point

All that teaching pays off

Years of instructing sailors in celestial may have helped Andy Howe navigate to an overall win in the Marion Bermuda Race

Winning the Marion Bermuda Race

How the Alden Mistral 36 Ti won the Marion Bermuda Race

New tracking service

Ocens SnapTrack offers a way for family and friends to track voyagers' passages

Turning a boat in its own length

One of the useful things we’ve learned while voyaging is a technique called torque turns.

Ice cream in tow

An ice cream maker that lets the boat do all the work

Schooner Columbia heads north

The newly-built steel incarnation of Columbia will summer in New England and Nova Scotia

Bermuda representative to miss Marion Race

After brisk repairs following hurricane damage, last minute engine problems bar Bermuda entry from participating in race

Distinctive voyaging landmarks

Cat sea trials produce great shot of the unique and aptly named Table Mountain

Chain & cable steering maintenance, Part 2

The second part of ON's steering maintenance video focuses on the gear belowdecks

El Nino and the 2015 hurricane season

It’s June, and the hurricane seasons of the central and eastern Pacific and the Atlantic have officially begun.

A maritime mystery

Any discussions concerning the mysteries of the sea and sailing ships will usually include, at least amongst knowledgeable mariners, passing mention of the disappearance of Mary Celeste.

Marine high-frequency single sideband radio, Part II

In my last Web Exclusive, we talked in general about the many uses of Marine HF-SSB radio and we will now get specific about one of the premiere transceivers available to the yachtsman and recreational boaters, the ICOM IC-M802.

Good primer on sailing to Bermuda

A filmmaker and voyager produces an informative video on a classic offshore passage

Record fleet for World Cruising Club's Spring rallies

Two fleets of sailors ready to depart for the USA and Europe

Assumed position

Every now and then I receive a call from some soul who wants to learn celestial navigation. I don't usually teach the practice, but the theory is essential to understanding how it all works. Once we begin a course of instruction, I expect they will stay the course until they “get it.” This could be an arduous process both for teacher and student for any number of reasons.

The masts return every every spring

A masthead view of the early season task of re-rigging the boat

Falling back on an emergency water maker

When their main desalinator broke, these Volvo Ocean Race sailors broke out the emergency unit

Locking in the oars

Ocean sailor and ON contributor devises his own sturdy oarlock design

Freshly minted celestial navigators

It's wall-to-wall parallel rules as a batch of celestial navigators learn the classic approach for the Marion Bermuda Race

Sticks and stones ... but words can never hurt me?

Everyone has heard the old saying, but in fact words can — if not properly understood — lead to unfortunate consequences on the water.

Low power radio challenge

Sure you can reef down in a gale, but do you have the skills to build this simple radio?

The Achilles’ heel of hydraulic steering systems

Any steering system is just that — a system. Each part has to work with all the others for the whole system to work.

New race to Alaska

The R2AK race is 750 miles from Port Townsend to Ketchikan for sailors, rowers and paddlers

Foleys receive CCA Far Horizons Award

ON contributors Jim and Jean Foley recognized for more than 100,000 miles of voyaging

Non-stop circumnavigation by sextant

Solo sailor Donna Lange plans a non-stop circumnavigation using only celestial navigation and SSB radio

Steering system video tips

Marine high-frequency single sideband uses, Part 1

Bluewater sailors need to consider HF-SSB as a serious option for their long-range communications.

The refit that nearly changed everything

ON reader tells about his boat rebuild that kept right on going

Steering system roundup

Which type of steering system does your boat use?

Rescue from a different angle

Commercial vessel assistance is often a key element in offshore rescue operations

Northwest Passage race

A new sailboat race is planned for Arctic waters in 2017

Freezing spray

For those who live in the northeastern U.S. or southeastern Canada, an unusually active stretch of severe winter weather began in late January 2015 and is ongoing in the middle of February at this writing.

A salty song helps morale

Challenged by a storm in the South Pacific, a voyaging crew boosts their spirits with a sea chantey

Donald Crowhurst story set for dramatic film

Colin Firth slated to play troubled single hander who perished in the first solo around the world race

Skip Novak wins CCA award

Famed Antarctic sailor is named for the 2014 Cruising Club of America's Blue Water Medal

Last mile mishap

An Atlantic crossing is almost complete when a cruising cat runs afoul of something in the water

Maritime technology vs. safety

The modern yacht has more in common with the fictitious Starship Enterprise then it has with seagoing vessels of just a decade ago. This is due to the rapid and complete proliferation of computerized electronics and their networking together to provide unparalleled monitoring, control, and informational display systems.

A celebrity star

A famous guide star is used to name a new electronic barograph from Starpath

Sailing "guru" at Chicago Strictly Sail

Nigel Calder will present three multi-hour seminars on boat handling and maintenance at McCormick Place

Press release

Fortress Launches New Anchoring System

Catalina’s New 425

ATL fuel bladders extend voyaging range

Imtra How To Video on Windlass Maintenance

Simrad HALO pulse compression radar honored for innovation

Tartan Yachts Announces 3600

Kenyon SilKEN 2 Receives Special Mention at Genoa Boat Show

Oyster 475 at the Annapolis Sailboat Show

Kiwi Spirit LM Farr 63 on Display at Annapolis Boat Show

PYI introduces Kiwigrip nonskid deck coating systems

Rose Point offers Canadian Hydrographic Service based digital charts for British Columbia

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