The Greenest Jury-Rigged Hero

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There is one story left to tell in the epic Vendee Globe Race – with the final sailor still not yet across the finish line. However – one week ago on Feb 25th – another record setter crossed the finish line and that’s the story we want to share with you here. *With no disrespect to the final racer Sebastien Destremau… But we love the story of the Crazy Kiwi sailor, Conrad Colman, who is one of the 18 solo sailors who will have finished the race out of the 29 that started. Conrad’s finish – like all the others before him – is a massive victory (and like we said about Rich Wilson in this blog post, they are all winners for just finishing at all!) for a few special reasons.  Continue reading

Rich Wilson: Greatest American Ocean Hero

Photo by Olivier Blanchet/ DPPI

Photo by Olivier Blanchet/ DPPI

Congratulations and bienvenue to American solo sailor, Rich wilson, who has just completed his solo circumnavigation of the world in his 2nd Vendee Globe Race. We have already declared Rich the winner of the race, despite his actual 13th place finish in just over 107 days at sea. His interview below, done soon after he arrived on shore, shows just how tired, emotional and mentally exhausted the 66-year old sailor is after the race. However he learns, mid-press conference, that his own route mileage on the 29,000 course was the same as the race winner, Armel Le Cleac’h. And this put Rich amongst the leaders, just in a slower boat, and arguably in an older (and more experienced) body! Continue reading

TotalBoat Ambassador, Brock Callen, Pacific Ocean Explorer

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Photo from MV Gazette/ Mark Lovewell

Adapted From the Vineyard Gazette – Heather Hamacek

TotalBoat Ambassador Brock Callen is a pro sailor, avid kite foiler and all around ocean lover. Along with his father, Brock Callen senior, the father-son duo has already made a name for themselves on Martha’s Vineyard where they live year round.  As the head of Sail Martha’s Vineyard, Callen senior shares a healthy love for the ocean with his son, and soon they will be sharing much more – a cabin on the 272-foot ocean research vessel, the Falkor.  Continue reading

“Sail Anything” This Saturday at the Archipelago Rally

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photo courtesy: Peter McGowan (http://www.petermcgowanphotography.com)

By Guest Blog Star:  Chris Museler – Excerpt from Cruising World Magazine, Photos thanks to Peter McGowan

15-foot wooden tender, in three separate pieces, sitting on a seaweed-covered launch ramp. That’s how George and Lindsey Hill started their morning one day last October, preparing for their favorite regatta of the year. The couple bolted their home-built nesting dinghy together as kids skipped rocks across Massachusetts’ Westport River. Forty-eight other craft, all equally as unique as the Hills’ classy, varnished pulling boat with its lug rig, began to appear on the sandy riverbank. This was the Hills’ seventh time at the Archipelago Rally, held annually across Rhode Island and last fall in Massachusetts. For those in southern New England who love just messing about in boats, this late-season event induces giddiness. Continue reading

Armchair Hurricane Forecasting

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With half of the east coast buckling down as Hurricane Matthew stares down the Atlantic seaboard, we thought it might be a good time to share this great article published today on GCaptain. Here’s to hoping you need none of this, and to many more days of sailing and boating before cold weather shuts down the upper portion of the coast.

With Hurricane Matthew currently barreling across the Caribbean and threatening Florida and the U.S. East Coast, G Captain reached out to Fred Pickhardt, a Tampa, Florida-based professional ship weather router, to ask him what were some of his go-to websites and resources for tracking hurricanes and tropical storms. Here are a few of his favorites:

Best Hurricane Tracking Sites

  1. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is the place to find the official tropical cyclone forecasts and warnings issued by the US government for the North Atlantic as well as the Eastern North Pacific.  The site has many resources available with excellent satellite photos, computer model guidance and an archive of past historical tracks going back into the 180o’s. The NHC site is user friendly and comes in full feature, mobile and text only versions with easy access to the latest storm info, official advisories, marine forecasts and much more. Hurricane Matthew coverage HERE.
  2. The Weather Underground Tropical Weather Page is a very comprehensive and easy to use site which provides excellent tools for storm tracking for both the professional and the amateur.  The site is available in a full (graphics heavy), a lite version, a mobile version and an iPhone version. This site allows you to track tropical cyclones anywhere on the globe with interactive maps that allow overlays of computer guidance, forecast tracks, many satellite images and features several excellent weather blogs. Hurricane Matthew coverage HERE.
  3. The Naval Research Lab (NRL) Monterey Marine Meteorology Division Tropical Cyclone page is another useful site that provides global storm tracking with comprehensive satellite and forecast track information on tropical cyclones across the globe.  This site is heavy on satellite images and is oriented a bit more to the professional user. Hurricane Matthew coverage HERE.
  4. Stormpulse is a commercial site that offers both current and archive tracks on an interactive map that allows you to overlay satellite, radar and surface data. It has a unique feature that allows you to quickly check how far the storm center is from major cities/ports. Hurricane Matthew coverage HERE.

Other Useful Tropical Cyclone Tracking Sites

  • Tropical Cyclone Guidance Project (TCGG), part of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), provides real-time guidance and information for major storms, including Hurricane Mathew. The site uses data from a variety of modeling centers outside of the NCAR, such as NOAA, other national numerical weather prediction centers, and universities. Hurricane Matthew coverage.
  • NASA often provides great satellite imagery for major hurricanes and cyclones. Check out their page for Hurricane Matthew.

Also be sure to check out Tropical Tidbits, a blog that focusses primarily on tropical cyclones and related topics, as well as Mike’s Weather Page at SpaghettiModels.com, which is a mash-up of various official models and information.

Blogging for Boating

It’s Easy to Be Prepared for Safe Boating on the Water

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Every morning the TotalBoatShow INBOX gets a google news alert tagging interesting news items that are “boating” related. It is both stunning and upsetting to read the daily news pieces that clog up the feed reporting on boating tragedies. Today feels especially tragic because Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández, one of baseball’s brightest stars, was killed early yesterday morning in a boating accident off the Miami coast. Continue reading

Waterlust’s Kit Boat Construction & Epic Adventure

A 2-Month IntraCoastal Odyssey from Annapolis to Miami

The Waterlust crew has finally pulled into Miami, their home base. After a 2-month adventure, including boat building and lots of sailing (and pedaling), the team is home. Waterlust’s team of 4 built the 2 new kit boats in record time at Chesapeake Light Craft, and painted them to be beautiful specimens with our own marine epoxy primer and topside paint. Then the team set off, bows pointing south.  A month-plus and a tropical storm later, (see video 3 in the series, as they took cover from tropical Storm Hermine)  the team reached their home port unscathed by the weather, and invigorated by their boat building experience, the sea and their odyssey. Continue reading

Sailing & The 2016 Rio Olympic Games

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How to Watch and cheer for the US Sailing Team competing in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

While the above video is not current (it’s a viral sensation from the 2012 games that is worth repeating) it is certainly relevant with the Olympics going on in Rio, Brazil. There has been a lot of talk about the venue, Rio’s lack of preparedness and the water quality specifically, have been topics that are close to sailors, as they have a good chance of not only sailing in contaminated water, but of having trash in the water foul their blades (rudders, centerboards, etc) which could certainly affect medal chances and make or break a race for any sailor out there.  Continue reading

Intergalactic FUN for O’pen Bic Junior Sailors

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When you get 50 kids in one spot on a hot summer day, you better have a great plan to keep them busy and smiling (50 whiners is not pretty…). One sure way, we have found, is to send them out on a fleet of O’pen Bics with a partner and make them do crazy things while under sail. It seems this technique keeps the junior sailors occupied with thoughts about how to best hot-shot the fleet and come up with the coolest trick or the best technique for some challenging “UnRegatta” sailing. Continue reading

Join Us Tomorrow: Providence Community Boating’s ‘Renaissance Regatta’

TOMORROW – Thursday July 21 is the Providence Community Boating Renaissance Regatta.  Please come! It is a fun event with lots of cool boats to check out and maybe even take a ride on one! DSC_0001w

  • Junior Regatta for the Sailors

  • The very beautiful Sparkman and Stevens, “Sonny” will be showcased dockside

  • The extreme ‘Moth’ Foiling sailboat will be doing a foiling and Racing Demo

  • A high performance catamaran – M32 will be on hand for Demos and boat rides

Continue reading