Hard Water Riding

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Typical for New England, the super cold Arctic blast chilled down the harbors, ponds and bones of all of us who enjoy the water -even in the winter – turning them to rock solid ice – and then it was gone. But while it lasted – some 2+ weeks, there were plenty of us who grabbed our skates, kites and iceboats and RAN to these frozen places. Most know it doesn’t last, and in many winters it doesn’t even arrive once. So when you get a few weeks to play with your ice toys – you better make the most of it.  Continue reading

Boatbuilding and Systems Training (and more!) at the IYRS Open House

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We love boatbuilding, Beetle Cats, craftspeople and any version of this story where they all meet up. Having the International Yacht Restoration School down the Bay from us in Newport, is quite a boon for the local marine trades around the bustling boating towns and sheds around Rhode Island and New England.  IYRS has fed quite a few talented boatbuilders, composite technicians and systems engineers into the marine trades, and they continue to offer courses that appeal to all ages, all skill sets and all ambitions. Do you have ambitions to learn about boatbuilding and marine systems? If so, read on! The IYRS Open House is right around the corner.  Continue reading

Acorn to Arabella: The Vlogging Boatbuilders

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In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock without wifi for the past few years, the hot trend for those under 70 with a boat to build, is to document it on video. Sharing the build on YouTube is the plan for most “vloggers,” (Video bloggers are called “Vloggers”) and we couldn’t be happier about this! We have a long list of these boatbuilding vloggers that we like to follow, and amongst them is the dynamic young duo from the Acorn to Arabella series.

Over on our other blogroll, at TotalBoat.com, the readers have been eating up these updates from the Arabella work shed, a backyard bimini set up (ok, fine, it’s better than a bimini, it’s a full blown, shrink-wrapped workshop) in the back yard of the builders, Alix and Steve. These motivated men have decided that despite their lack of sailing ability (as in, they have never sailed. Ever!), that they are building an Atkins Ketch from scratch.

In the most recent episode we featured, they toured us through a rotting Atkins hull that they picked up and plan to use for all the beautifully intact bronze bits and pieces. These two are into recycling at it’s very best, and you’ll know if you watched our Vela Restoration series (and you should…), that we love it any time you can recycle old parts (or old hulls, as was the case with Vela). Giving new life to old things is worthwhile, especially when boats are involved. You’re better off with the “tried and true,” as opposed to the “brand new” often times with boating. If a part or piece has been through the ringer in the marine world, most likely it’s built to last, because most parts that aren’t, are long gone by now.

Head over to TotalBoat’s blog and catch up there with our Acorn to Arabella posts and see what we’re so excited about.

 

 

Podcasting for Mariners

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If you love a good listen on your radio – um – er – I mean computer – then tune in now and listen to our good friends at Around the Buoy as they speak with another friend of TotalBoat Show, photographer Tyler Fields.

We featured a photo of Tyler’s in our 2017 Jamestown Distributors catalogs, and since that time, he’s been on our radar as a prolific and talented marine photographer, nestled firmly amongst an impressive field of old-timer photogs, who seem to congregate in this corner of New England. And we think we know why. Continue reading

Gabart: On Top of the Sailing World at Age 34

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Scuttlebutt offered up this story about just another amazing French solo sailor. But this time, this young man has not only accomplished his goal of setting a new solo circumnavigation record, but he smashed the former record! Read all about it here!

At 34 years of age, François Gabart obliterated – in his first attempt – the singlehanded round the world record. Gabart reduced the previous record by over six days, setting new standard of 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds.

From November 4 to December 17, Gabart and his 30m MACIF trimaran covered 27,859.7 miles at an average speed of 27.2 knots. His top speed was 39.2 knots, and his top speed over a 24 hour period was 31.8 knots. Epic!

Gabart was welcomed triumphantly in Brest (FRA) this morning (Dec. 18) and shares some thoughts on this remarkable achievement.

Continue reading

Screaming Along in the Southern Ocean

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The Southern Ocean threatened to deliver the Volvo Ocean Race a punishing leg 3 packed with damaging wind and dangerous waves, and she sure delivered. With the fleet about halfway to Melbourne, conditions have calmed a bit from nearly a week of raging seas and winds delivered by a massive low pressure system which delivered an excess of 50 knot winds. Our TotalBoat Ambassadors, Charlie Enright and Nick Dana are aboard Vestas 11th Hour Racing, reported seeing over 60 knots and got the boat going a blistering 38 knots!!!  Akzo Nobel reported breakage to their mainsail/ mast track and elsewhere the insane amount of water washing over the boat accidentally deployed PFDs and is wearing down these salty souls. Mostly the fleet has remained in one piece so far, but there is plenty more icy ocean between the fleet and the finish. Continue reading

Roam: Tahiti to Hawaii – A Visual Voyage

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Here in New England, as the first flakes have flown in advance of the Christmas holiday, we offer this small gift in the way of dreamy cinematography, an epic sailing voyage and a dose of environmentalism: Roam, Lines to Hawaii, is the first short documentary from the crew at this cutting edge media company.  Roam describes their mission as one which aims to “reinvent adventure storytellling by unfiltering the voices of Creative and Athletic people who push the boundaries and explore not just their own back yard but far outside the documented….to share adventure as it is.” Continue reading

Making it to Melbourne

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It was an unusually fast and windy leg 2 for the Volvo Ocean Race teams who sailed from Lisbon to Cape Town just a few weeks ago. But don’t be fooled by the wet and wild photos from the most recent leg, which look pretty gnarly, but in fact set the teams up for a dreamy doldrums crossing (there was actually wind in this typically windless area), and a steady breeze that escorted them throughout the entire leg.  What will be different on this slightly shorter, 6500 mile leg? Well, to start, the temps will be COLD, the ocean will be bitter and the weather will deliver much of the same windy punch as in leg 2, but this time with an Antarctic bite that will chill bones and boats and make the salty slog through the notoriously angry Southern Ocean that much more difficult.  Continue reading

New America’s Cup Boats Announced

Today, we lean on news kings from National Public Radio, by sharing their well-compiled story about the latest announcement from the winning New Zealand America’s Cup syndicate.

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Emirates Team New Zealand, which took home the America’s Cup after swiping it from Larry Ellison’s Oracle Team USA in a duel of foiling catamarans off Bermuda this summer, has reinvented the boat that will next compete for the trophy.

After its win in June, Team New Zealand announced three months later that the 166-year-old competition — dominated by monohull boats until a switch to giant multihulls seven years ago — would return to single-hull designs. Continue reading

A Stiff Breeze and A Sweet Restoration

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When it’s blowing 35 knots, are you running for cover or aiming your bow towards your next harbor? It probably depends on the size of your boat – but these salty sailors aboard Adix, a 212-foot, Gaff-Rigged Schooner, see the stiff breeze as an opportunity for a fast delivery to Bermuda from Newport, some 700-plus miles away. They hoist lots of canvas and set sail for a rockin ride over the Gulf Stream and down to Bermuda. Since 35-knots is a bit much for most of our smaller boats to handle, my interest is piqued when I get an opportunity to watch a video of someone else doing it. And so it was with great interest that I tuned in to watch Leo’s video of delivering Adix south, expecting some gnarly seas and sweet footage from aboard this classic beauty, but what I found was much, much more. Leo, as it turns out, is restoring Tally Ho, an old wooden English Gaff cutter from 1910 and he has his own series on YouTube and website. Wild wind AND a YouTube boat restoration series – SOLD!  Continue reading