• Announcements

    • Zapata

      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About stan1

  • Rank

Profile Information

  • Location

Recent Profile Visitors

679 profile views
  1. Scouts killed sailing into power lines

    I remember Manton Scott, I raced against him on LIS in the 60s. A great kid and a super sailor. If there was any good that came out his death, it was the removal of power lines over sailboat launching and dry sailing areas. At that time, dry sailing of small racing boats was just starting to take hold, and the issue of overhead power lines was not something people had generally thought of. It could have been any of us, back then.
  2. Chicago-Mac/Meridian X MOB Recovery

    Generalized Channel 16 chatter can be very annoying and distracting. After a while, it becomes just noise. I don't know what the Channel 16 chatter level is like on the Chicago/Mac, though I would expect that it is less at night than during the day. Too much general chatter and it becomes hard to really have a meaningful radio watch. This is why DSC is so useful. If that alarm goes off, it is almost always important. Offshore, is is easier to have 16 on at more than minimal volume since the only potential traffic is likely to be of interest. For instance, in this year's MHOR, there was channel 16 traffic warning about a large semi-submerged log. In prior years I have overheard traffic discussing the presence of fishing vessels and commercial vessels along the course track, helpful to know about in dense fog conditions. For the off watch, all I can say is "earplugs".
  3. Does this mean that Spadefoot has been recovered? If so congratulations.
  4. Best laptop for use on a sailboat is?

    I have used some version of a Toughbook for the last 20 years or so. With an SSD drive, they are pretty near indestructible. However, I am not sure that their processors have fully kept up with the demands of the current software (Expedition, etc.). Loading Windows 10 on the latest model was a PITA. They also lack the crisp displays of newer laptops. Despite this, they can withstand the abuse of exposure to salt water spray and and pounding in heavy seas, and the performance is good enough.
  5. Rock n Roll Boat Names

    Back in the early 80s: A high powered speedboat called "Psycho Killer" (Talking Heads)
  6. Own boat vs. sailing as crew

    I do Ditto- My owner did not even drive until about 5 years ago. And I did my best to kill him as tac/nav at the start of the last N2B race, calling for 5 gybes (asym on pole) to try to get free of the fleet after I called the worst start of my ocean racing career.
  7. Annapolis -> Cape May

    It is possible to cut off a number of hours leaving Delaware bay and heading north by skirting the south coast of Cape May, using an unmarked channel just off the beach. The first time I did it I was taking hand bearing sights every few minutes in addition to keeping a GPS track. I have become more comfortable with this channel over the years, and am now willing to do it at night. It requires threading a needle with course changes for a few hundred yards, but the time saving is considerable. Your mileage may vary...
  8. Annapolis -> Cape May

    I have done the trip down (and up) Delaware Bay dozens of times, usually as part of a passage to or from New England. It can be tolerable, but it is not generally a pleasant trip. The Bay starts narrow, but then gets wide and seemingly featureless (except for the Salem nuclear plant on the NJ shore). There is a lot of commercial traffic, and the channel is lined with shoals, some surprisingly shallow, which can limit your ability to get out of the way of the ships in places. AIS is a very useful tool, so ships can track you and you can call them by name and make passing arrangements. It is a good idea to study the charts before going down the Bay, so as not to be surprised by the shoals and submerged breakwaters on either side of the channel. When you get to the lower Bay, things open up on the NJ side so you can safely leave the main shipping channel and make your way over to Cape May. I have not gone into Cape May from the Bay side, so I can't be of help in that endeavor. The suggestions earlier about riding the tide are good ones. They also apply to passage through the C&D and even in the upper Chesapeake Bay. If you go through the C&D at night, be aware of the railroad lift bridge. It is supposed to be left in the up position except when trains are scheduled, but that is not always the case. The bridge is black, and while it does have lights, if you are running fast with a fair current, it will sneak up on you. You really don't want to go through it when it is lowered! You may encounter commercial traffic in the canal, usually tugs and barges, so be prepared to squeeze to one side or the other. I can't give a lot of advice beyond what has already been suggested for making a cruise out of this trip. I have always done it as a straight-through passage. April can be damn cold, however, so if you can do it later, that might be more pleasant.
  9. Newfoundland / NS Cruising?

    I did a cruise from Cornerbrook, Newfoundland, north through the Strait of Belle Isle and down the east coast to Springdale in 1996, and three trips along the south coast of Newfoundland and back to Baddeck , NS in the last 10 years. Newfoundland is stunningly beautiful and deserted, but you have to like cool weather and deal with fog. The south and west coasts are cut by spectacular fjords, with walls 500 to 1000 feet high, sprinkled with waterfalls. It is possible to hike on shore, but there are no real hiking trails. Game trails and stream beds do provide access through otherwise impenetrable puckerbrush. I would recommend bug nets, as the black fly population is considerable. However, mosquitoes are not as bad as might be expected when at anchor, unless you are close to shore. Having a good anchor is critical. We carried a 50 lb Luke for a Tartan 35, and it was not overkill. Finding a place that is shallow enough to anchor is a useful skill. Even then, boulders, ledge and kelp abound. On my first trips, the chart datum was offset from GPS position by several hundred yards, so GPS positioning had to be adjusted. We used radar to get a usable offset in the fog. On my last trip, GPS positions seemed to be closer to accurate. There are places you can tie off to the shore or tie up to fishing port town docks. Anchoring is possible, but the fjords which cut into the Newfoundland coast can be very deep. Last summer we were off soundings (>1000 feet depth) with land less than a mile away on either side of us! You can find anchorages at the heads of fjords and next to major waterfalls. Sometimes the weather can be foggy and cold along the coast, but warm and sunny once you get into the fjords. Also, the east coast tends to have better weather than the west coast. There are numerous abandoned fishing villages on the coasts, and others that seem to be hanging on by a thread. For the most part, the locals are quite friendly. We have bought seafood directly from local fishermen, and it is always amazingly good. Cruising boats are few and far between, but you do see some. We have rarely had to share an anchorage. The CCA publishes a cruising guide to Newfoundland. It is very helpful, especially with respect to anchorages, fueling, watering and resupply points. We had a watermaker on board on our last trip, which extended our resupply range considerably. The crossing between Cape Breton Island and Newfoundland through Cabot Strait has a reputation for rough weather, but every time I have crossed it has been a pussycat trip. I am probably due! Others have had rougher trips.
  10. Took one from northern Chesapeake to Newport through Delaware Bay and offshore for the 1978 NAs. Made it most of the way back... That is another story.
  11. Team Vestas grounded

    I think several people have hit on the essence of the problem. With GPS, you know where you are on the earth to within about 12 feet. The part of navigation that used to take up the vast bulk of a navigators time and energy, figuring out where you are, has become trivial. There are still datum issues when you get outside primary shipping lanes, but you aren't relying on DR, two day old celestial fixes, depth sounder readings, RDF and radar if you were lucky. For an ocean racing navigator, the job has morphed into being a weather routing expert. On the races I have navigated on, weather analysis probably occupies 99% of my time while offshore. This changes when making landfall or rounding obstacles, but even then, you should know where you are and be simply trying to give the crew the fastest possible course around the obstace rather than merely trying not to hit something hard in fog or darkness. My practice on offshore races has been to be actively monitoring our course during landfalls and when passing around or through obstacles, each of which I have examined in advance. I request that I get called up at those times, and make sure that the skipper, who always stands the opposite watch, knows when to get me up. If this gets screwed up, I consider it my fault, even though there are at least 3 other people on the boat, skipper and 2 watch captains, who can and do keep an eye on the GPS chartplotter (but not the Expedition display, which is located in a more comfortable but less accessible location). It appears that several of the VOR navigators had not had the opportunity to review the general course track in advance, and simply did not realize that there was a low-lying island with extensive reefs out in the middle of the ocean. Thus, when they approached the area, they were still in offshore weather routing mode rather than inshore navigator mode. One got lucky, one didn't. To misquote Donald Rumsfeld, it is not the things you don't know that screw you up as much as the things that you are sure you know, but that really aren't so. They knew there were 40 meter shoals and nothing else. That wasn't so. How to reduce the chance of this in the future? I think pre-departure planning is key. For a major ocean race through remote waters, the navigators and skippers should review the route and note potential obstacles. Moreover, the race organizers should see that the route is discussed, either as part of the pre-start briefing package or in a skippers/navigators meeting While the ultimate responsibility falls on the navigator and skipper, there is no reason why they should not get some help. I would rather have someone brief me on a hazard I already know about than put a boat and her crew at risk because I missed something important.
  12. Team Vestas grounded

    Tape the charts to the overhead or create a transparent sleeve up there? Even just carrying the oceanic-scale charts plus the start and finish area charts for the current leg would be an improvement. I agree about keeping the chart-plotter displays off the deck. Night-vision is challanged enough as it is with instrument lights.
  13. Team Vestas grounded

    Comments above about root causes seem to be on the money. Narrowing it down further, I suspect that fatigue resulting from having had to deal with bad weather (tropical storm) was the immediate cause, probably for both navigator and captain. Failure to zoom was probably a result of fatigue. How to reduce problems caused by fatigue? Doctors and pilots have gone to using SOPs based on checklists. That could have helped. When I navigate I now have a list of daily and periodic tasks written out to help me remember when I am functioning at less than optimal. I sail in waters where MapTech raster charts are available, so the zoom issue has not been a concern but plotting, wx downloads and other elements of a day's work get done. Advance preparation...noting potential issues in advance. Some offshore races do a good job of briefing captains and navigators about hazards approaching the finish (Marblehead-Halifax and Newport-Bermuda are particularly strong on this point). Looking at paper charts in advance and noting problem areas is critical. For a race like this VOR, where it is quite possible that none of the crews have sailed this course before, a pre-leg briefing by the race committee or organizing body could have been invaluable. I would much rather sit and have someone tell me about obstacles I already know about (and confirm my own work) than think I know it all and find out the hard way that I don't. For this race, with only seven sets of captains and navigators, the briefing could be quite informal. They have to cover communication protocols, and in these waters, probably piracy issues, too. so a general discussion of navigational hazards would not be too much to ask. Simply posting a large scale paper chart on a bulkhead wall, with periodic position plots, would help the entire crew understand where they are and what is out there. Also, as folks have noted, paper charts of offshore zones generally don't omit stuff that sticks up out of the water. You may have to drill down to get the detail, but you sure as hell know that something is there. Checkists and advance preparation with multiple sets of eyes may not be perfect antidotes to fatigue, but would go a long way to mitigating the problem. ...and I do know what it is like to screw up and put a boat ashore; in 1978 I punched the keel through the bottom of a J-24 off Hereford Inlet on the NJ shore just before dawn and got a chopper ride to shore.
  14. What happened to the carbon rig on Silver Linings" ex "After Math"? And how come the little gasoline engine? This could be a sweet little trailerable fast pocket cruiser, but to do it right would probably cost $10-20K and add 500 lbs (diesel, tankage, stove, real head, batteries, safety gear, etc.)