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

Vendee Globe: From France to France


Let’s be clear, there is a big difference between winning and getting first place. Every entry that gets to the starting line of the 2017 Vendee Globe race is an amazing competitor. And every skipper who crosses the finish line, regardless of placement, is a winner. Yes – there is only one first place and that belongs to Armel Le Cleac’h on Banque Populaire. Second place finisher, Alex Thomson aboard Hugo Boss, however is also a major winner… ratcheting up his collection of Vendee Globe hardware, adding this second place finish to the third place trophy he earned last time around. Leaving only the first place trophy remaining for his bookshelves. Continue reading

TotalBoat Ambassador, Brock Callen, Pacific Ocean Explorer


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

NonStop & Alone – Racing Around the World


Follow This: Singlehanded Race Around the World – The Vendee Globe – Starts Sunday

When the rate of attrition for a sailing race is more than 50% of the fleet, you can bet on being entertained, even glued to, following these sailors as they circumnavigate the globe. 29 sailors are planning to make it all the way, but only a portion of them will reach the finish line. We have blogged here about British sailor, Alex Thomson and his foiling 60-foot IMOCA monohull, Hugo Boss. Thomson has been training hard and pulling off some pretty cool publicity stunts along the way for suit-maker, Hugo Boss. We have high hopes for this English speaking sailor in a sea of dominant, ocean-going Frenchmen, for whom this race was dreamed up. Continue reading

Across the Salty Peaks

Here is a glimpse inside a TransPacific crossing from Hawaii back to San Francisco aboard a “little” sloop that was part of the Ocean Cleanup Mega Expedition collecting data throughout the north Pacific garbage patch.

In August 2015, around 30 vessels crossed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in parallel, becoming the largest ocean research expedition ever. Sailing between Hawaii and Los Angeles, the expedition covered 3.5 million square kilometers and collected more data on oceanic plastic than has been collected in the past 40 years combined.

We wrote about the Expedition here, and marvel at the sailors who took it on themselves and their boats to not only cross the Pacific twice (most likely – to Hawaii and back), but to also engage in important scientific data collection about the Pacific garbage patch. Navigating 2500 miles of ocean one way is an experience on its own, and many of the boats who were well prepared, like these sailors on “STAY GOLD,” met with bad weather and breakdowns that stalled their individual progress. But as a collective, an amazing amount of data has been collected and will serve our future sailors well.

This video about the “Stay Gold” voyage  is more about how to manage breakdowns and unforeseen issues in the middle of the ocean.  Make sure you have what you need aboard your own boat before setting out for an ocean crossing.  Having tools and pieces available for repairs can make or break your voyage – and save your life.  We sell everything you need to prep your boat for an offshore passage. Here’s a little list of some items we find ocean explorers grabbing before they head out.

Thixo Low Viscosity
G10 Fiberglass Board
Safety Essentials
3M 5200
First Aid Kit & Supplies
VHF Radio

JD will help make sure you are READY for anything before you cast off! All it takes is planning! Lots of planning! Make sure your emergencies and breakdowns are minimized by carrying aboard what it takes to repair almost anything.

The Mega Expedition is Underway

The Mega Expedition is underway! 24 sailboats are conducting the largest research project on ocean plastics ever done with the help of some dedicated sailors and the American Sailing Association. Setting sail from the shores of Hawaii and some from SoCal, these volunteers will cover a huge area in a very orderly manner i n the name of ocean health and environmental science.

Back in May the organizers were looking for paid volunteers with ocean going vessels of any type who could become part of an historic grid of boats scouring the area of the Pacific Garbage Patch. The boats are doing research on the area and collecting garbage (mostly plastics, of course) and they will be collecting more plastic measurements in 3 weeks than have been collected in the past 40 years combined!

A compact surface trawl dragged behind each vessel will catch the smaller plastics. The device is known as Manta Trawl. It is the standard scientific equipment used around the world to quantify plastic pollution levels. Some people believe all commercial vessels should drag these type of trawls behind, thereby cleaning oceans all over the world and without extra effort or big money. We like that idea!

Keep track of the expedition and their findings on their website here. We commend them for this major undertaking and beg everyone reading this to work hard daily to ditch single use plastics – the water bottles and grocery bags, even dishwashing and laundry soaps – one and done plastics are killing our oceans and planet! Get yourself some pods for soap and reusable water bottles. Water bottle filling stations will hopefully take the place of our old favorite, phone booths – with easy access and visibility and plenty of them…. do your part!

Donna Sets Sail for the World!

In a few short days, the wait will be over for Donna Lange. For years she has been preparing for this second voyage around the world and the time has come to slip the lines, hoist her new sails and point her bow east across the Atlantic Ocean. Sunday at noon Donna Lange will leave Bristol Harbor on her attempt to be the first American woman to sail nonstop around the world alone. She has completed the circumnavigation before, when, as we shared in this blog post from a few weeks back, she made several stops along the way before returning home to RI.

Donna has been working madly for weeks on her Southern Cross 28 which she further readied for her ocean going voyage with new lines, a new Harken furler, winches and blocks and a new windvane, solar panel, sails and more! We were excited at the chance to send our TotalBoat brand around the world with Donna and offered her full sponsorship for her boating projects using TotalBoat.


She used WetEdge to redo the decks in a bright white. She used TB Spartan Bottom Paint in blue for her bottom, she insulated lazarettes and a bulkhead using the TotalBoat Floatation Foam, Used TB 5:1 Epoxy with slow hardener to seal the cockpit floor where the engine once lived. The teak railing got love from TB Danish Teak Sealer and THIXO, TotalSeal and Bond tubes are staples in her onboard workshop.

Come wish Donna well on Sunday at 10am at the Herreshoff Marine Museum. The send off party will sign her new mainsail, wish her well and wave farewell as she heads out of Narragansett Bay and out into the Atlantic Ocean.

We commend Donna for her vision of green sailing without GPS, engine and any outside assistance. Watch TotalBoat Show for updates on her position and progress and send messages to Donna which we will deliver to her via her SSB radio which will be one of her only electronic devices aboard.

FAIR WINDS and FOLLOWING SEAS, Donna. The TotalBoat Team will be there to wish you well as you sail away and TotalBoat will be at your sides (and above and underneath you) as you make your dream a reality.

We believe in you and we wish you well! See you soon!



Transatlantic Race Records & Finishes

The Transatlantic Race 2015 is nearly done as some of the slower boats continue to finish off the Lizard, UK, some 2+ weeks after the first start. There were many notable finishes with some fun video footage and we will look at a few here! A running commentary of the finishes and race news can be found here on the Transatlantic Race’s website.
Also from their website is this wrap up which was too thorough to attempt to rewrite. The Chicago based Reichel/Pugh 63 Lucky has been confirmed as the winner of the Transatlantic Race 2015 by the event’s four organizers: the Royal Yacht Squadron, the New York Yacht Club, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Storm Trysail Club.

This almost closes the latest chapter in what is the world’s oldest trans-oceanic yacht race. In 1866, just 15 years after they famously won off the British what would become the America’s Cup, the New York Yacht Club ran its first Transatlantic Race. Since then it has been held irregularly, the most famous occasion being in 1905 when it was of political consequence in the build up to the First World War. Intended by Kaiser Wilhelm II as a means of illustrating German supremacy at sea at a time when ‘Britannia ruled the waves’, he presented the solid gold ‘Kaiser’s Cup’ as the trophy for which the 1905 event would be raced. Ultimately the Kaiser’s yacht Hamburg was roundly dispatched by American Wilson Marshall’s Atlantic with Charlie Barr, the Russell Coutts of his day, driving the 227’ three-masted schooner from New York to The Lizard in just 12 days, 4 hours, 1 minute and 19 seconds.

The Transatlantic Race 2015 has once again proven that America rules the waves, with Chicagoan Bryon Ehrhart’s Lucky claiming the overall victory under IRC along with a Rolex timepiece. Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark’s 100’ maxi Comanche recorded the fastest monohull crossing in 7 days 11 hours and 35 minutes (outside of the course record of 6 days 22 hours 8 minutes and 2 seconds set by George David’s Rambler 100 in 2011), and Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 trimaran Phaedo³ the fastest multihull in a time of 7 days 2 hours and 4 minutes.

Towards the end of the race Phaedo³, at one point, recorded a peak speed of 41.2 knots when navigator Miles Seddon was driving. As Thornburg recounted: “The sea opened up before him. It was the biggest wave you have ever seen and we were pointing down it!” But it was the consistently big daily runs that were most impressive – four days at 610 miles/day and this was despite a generally short wavelength that required them to stack everything hard aft and have appendages and rig raked back to the maximum setting.
Matt Brooks and his team aboard the classic S&S, Dorade arrived in Cowes after finishing the 2015 Transatlantic Race. The team shaved over a day off Rod and Olin Stephen’s 1931 time in the race, covering 3,220 nautical miles in 14 days, 22 hours, 55 minutes and 57 seconds.
Dorade,Finishing the Transatlantic Race 2015, Photo Credit: Paul Wyeth/

Dorade,Finishing the Transatlantic Race 2015, Photo Credit: Paul Wyeth/

Here are some videos from a few of the finishers. It’s been fun tracking the fleet and impressive to watch these teams prepare, get out there and of course to finish with little or no damage or drama. Kudos to Lucky for the overall win, to Comanche for the new speed record and to Dorade for another great trip across the big pond! Onward for many to more ocean racing – like the crew of Phaedo3 who is heading to the west coast for the TransPac!

Happy World Oceans Day

Today is World Oceans Day, as is every June 8th. It is so important to respect our Mother Ocean every day, but use today to recenter your own strategies – or make up a new one for yourself and your fellow ocean lovers.

As boaters, whether you boat on a bay or river or ocean, saving and respecting the ocean is of the utmost importance for the health of our planet. With over 70% of the earth covered by oceans, less than 3% is protected and it’s up to us boaters to make a difference and spread the word.

You don’t need to do much to pitch in to improve ocean health. Here are some fun videos from ocean minded organizations to try to get us all psyched up and helping out. We’ve also complied a list of ONE THING you can do to immediately improve the health of the ocean and the planet. Can you help out?

1. Reduce plastic use. THIS IS A BIG ONE! So big that it’s the only one we are listing. Plastic is everywhere in our daily life and the less you use of it – the better off we all will be. Reusable bags and water bottles are so easy. If you are buying a plastic bottle of water often you are a big offender and you should get yourself a refillable bottle and get to the water fountains. Americans throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles every year and out of every 6 bottles purchased, only one makes it to the recycling bin.

Here is a great article about plastic use and some great suggestions about kicking the plastic habit.

PLEASE try out a few of these simple solutions to a healthier ocean:

  • Use recyclable grocery bags. If you forget them, request paper bags
  • Use and fill your own water bottle
  • Buy milk, juice etc in cartons or glass bottles when possible
  • RECYCLE your plastics when you do buy them
  • Try using the dishwashing and laundry soap pods or packs that eliminate the plastic bottle
  • use reusable containers for lunches and snacks, not plastic baggies
  • carry your own mug to your coffee shop and ditch the plastic lids, straws and cups
  • Spread the word! Give a friend a cool reusable bottle, bag or cup to help them out!

Together we can all make a difference. Start today!


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