Ocean Voyaging

Yes, you can still get Dacron

Our new Ocean Voyager 2021 annual issue has an informative article by Jayme Okma Lee for which she interviewed sailors on three voyaging boats about the decisions they made in replacing their cruising sails. One of the sailors interviewed was the cruising…

USS Constitution rebuild yields VP desk

Wooden boat owners know that wood is a beautiful material, but unlike fiberglass or carbon fiber, wood can fall prey to rot. And so wooden vessels can require rebuilding at times. A famous example of this is the USN's wooden…

A snazzier name for MFDs?

Is there a piece of marine electronics that does so much yet has such a non-descript name? The multifunction display, usually dryly shortened to simply "MFD," is a powerhouse that can combine electronic charts, AIS, radar, GPS, voyage planning, tide…

Research says Bermuda hurricanes getting stronger

For East Coast voyagers, Bermuda is an attractive option for an offshore passage. Either as a destination or a stopping point before proceeding south to the Bahamas and the Caribbean or east to the Azores and the Med. There's also…

The Magic of Landfall

So many of our words and expressions come from the world of ships and sailing: taken aback, by and large, hand over fist, a wide berth, a loose cannon, chock-a-block, and landfall. Landfall, to a seafarer, is the moment…

Optimizing Alternative Energy

A successful ocean voyage depends largely on the way we manage energy on our vessels, be it from the wind, the sun, the ocean, the auxiliary engine or a separate generator. As offshore sailors, our goal is to gain…

Digital tide tables online

In 2020 NOAA ceased publication of the printed Tide Tables in 2020. Another watershed in the move toward a totally digital world of navigational information. Working the Tide Tables was once an important part of any coastal navigation course (even…

CCA names Randall Reeves 2020 medal winner

Never count out creative thinking for devising new ways to explore the planet and establish a record. Sailor Randall Reeves conceived of a new way to sail around the world.…

A rescue from a ship captain’s perspective

On November 9, the 328-foot Finnish-flagged cargo ship Midas rescued three French sailors from the capsized 50-foot catamaran Hallucine in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal. Included among the rescued sailors was French racer Regis Guillemot. A…

Float plan: an excellent safety tool

Filing a float plan is a valuable safety tool and its usefulness is regularly borne out by real incidents. Take the case of SV Bonobo. The owner filed a float plan with a friend regarding a voyage from Cozumel to…

Snagged anchors and empty gas bottles

Every corner of the world’s oceans has their own peculiarities. The roving squalls of the equatorial Pacific, the steep winter seas of the stormy northern Atlantic, the dreaded gales of the Gulf of Tehuantepec and the magically flat waters…

Light in a pinch

Routes from Florida to the Bahamas are as short as 50 miles, but they all involve crossing the Gulf Stream and hopefully arriving during daylight hours and early enough to clear Customs. For most sailors, this means an evening or…

It’s not easy being green

How can it be that something you love to do makes you sick? The ocean is a fickle host, at times benevolent and mild, then obstreperous and cruel — often within moments of each other. One minute you’re in…

Scopolamine patches: strong medicine

The scopolamine transdermal patch is a prescription medicine and very effective in the prevention of nausea associated with seasickness and postoperative nausea. By 2017, worldwide sales of the drug surpassed $370 million and have grown since. As with most medications,…

2020 Husick Award Winner

After consideration by our panel of judges (see below) the 2020 Ocean Navigator Chuck Husick Marine Technology Award goes to Raymarine for its Axiom+ multifunction display. Raymarine describes its Axiom MFD units this way: "The performance-tuned Axiom+ is a new…

Lighthouse with LED beacon

Lighthouses have come a long way since they were burning wood pyres on a seaside cliff. Now the USCG has turned on the first LED-based rotating beacon in a U.S. lighthouse. Light-producing technology progressed from flames to candles to lanterns…

Coast Guard urges small watercraft labeling

While not all voyagers carry surfboards, paddle boards or kayaks with them, some voyagers do. And many others bring a dinghy along, even when they're in home waters. If you have any type of small watercraft and lose track of…

Rebecca Childress and the journey forward

Rebecca Childress, live aboard voyager on the Valiant 40 Brick House and frequent contributor to ON, lost her husband Patrick to COVID 19 this past summer in Cape Town. She has posted a new video to the Brick House Youtube channel…