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Newsletter - Monday 4/10/2006 - Sailing Edition


Grow Old Upon the Sea

A Celebration of Seniors on Sailboats
by Carolyn Corbett

Not only are more and more people sailing off into the sunset these days, many are sailing off in their sunset years. Vern and Hope Booth are a classic example. Throughout their ten years of cruising, they told their children not to worry about funerals for them. One day their 76-year-old father and 71-year-old mother would decide they’d had enough of life. They’d drink up the last of the rum, open the through-hulls, and go down with Muskoka. The kids could collect the insurance, knowing their parents had gone doing what they loved. Though Vern and Hope agree on most things, they began to picture the boat sinking with each of them bobbing to the surface saying “I thought you wanted to go!” Humor such as this is prevalent among senior sailors.   more...


Lake Levels Keep Falling

By Angela Mullins
Port Huron Times Herald

As local boaters prepare for summer, the annual forecast for water levels in Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair is bleak.

Standing at 577.3 feet above sea level, Lake Huron levels are about six inches lower than last year and are predicted to peak this summer just slightly higher. Lake St. Clair also is below its average at 573.6 feet above sea level.

While Lake Huron still is a little more than a foot higher than the all-time record low of 576 feet set in 1964, the water's current depth and steady decline are factors that have some wondering if the lake's boom of the 1980s will ever return.    more...


Into the Ice - Return to the Northwest Passage

by Roger B. Swanson

The Northwest Passage has been a goal of mariners since 1497 when John Cabot first attempted to reach the orient by a northern route. Since then many have tried but few have succeeded. In recent years with global warming a few boats have gotten through tempting others to try. It has been eleven years since I attempted to transit the Northwest passage in 1994. At that time Cloud Nine with its crew of six was turned back by ice near Resolute, high in the Canadian Arctic. This year we did better but the goal still eluded us.  more...


Mainsail Handling

by John Schumacher
Posted by torresen_marine

Since the development of the headsail handling system the mainsail has become easier to use than ever. Both the main and the genoa can be deployed and handled with safety and confidence from the cockpit. Whether it’s the ease of hoist or the convenience of storage, two mainsail handling products come to mind: the Harken Battcar System and the Forespar Leisure Furl and Coastal in-boom furlers.  


Headsail Reefing Basics


A Venezuelan Field Repair

We were bound for Panama and anchored off a remote island some sixty miles off the coast on the western part of Venezuela. The winds had been boisterous, but from dead astern, making the sailing fast and on the rhumb line, if a bit rolly as our 35-foot Sparkman and Stephen’s design frolicked down wind.    more...


Sail Fast Toward the Corner

by David Dellenbaugh

In a steady breeze, you will get to the windward mark fastest if you always sail your optimal angle upwind (with a few tactical exceptions). This gives you maximum velocity-made-good (VMG) to windward for the wind direction that you have for the entire leg.

If you expect a persistent windshift during the first beat, however, don’t maximize your VMG for the wind direction you have at the beginning of the leg. That wind will disappear, so optimize your performance for the wind direction you expect to have when you round the windward mark.  more...


What is Polyurethane Coated Nylon?

Question: I'm a racer and I'm considering the Bainbridge Airx Cloth for my Symmetrical Spinnaker... could you tell me the benefits? What is the price difference, if any?

Answer: Airx spinnaker cloth is polyurethane coated nylon (rather than impregnated), which gives it zero porosity.   more...


Starting at the Pin End

by Wally Cross
 We just finished a regatta in Miami with many good starts at the pin. I believe the pin is a nice place to start in tough fleets with the wind either square or left of square.

Starting to leeward in the Farr 40 allows you to quickly get up to target speed. In big fleets the boat that gets to target speed first usually has an advantage 30 seconds after the start. Many boats up the line are usually sailing well below target trying to survive in a narrow lane. For awhile it seems fine yet slowly the leeward boats starts moving forward giving the windward boat only one option. The only option is tacking and usually it is the wrong direction.

There are rules for starting to leeward and the first is if you can not tack with in five minutes and cross after starting, the leeward end becomes risky. The advantage for starting to leeward is getting up to speed first and then slowly sailing a high angle to force the windward boats to tack first. The reasons for considering the leeward end:  more...


US Sailing Safety at Sea Seminar

Where: Bayview Yacht Club

When: Sunday, May 7th, 8:30am – 5:00pm

Who: Capt. John Bonds as the Moderator with John Rousmaniere (Author of "Fastnet Force 10" and other books) on Seamanship, weather, navigation safety and much more.

Details:  Registration required.  Only 125 seats available and it will sell out!!! Mark your calendar now.  Get your certification now as most offshore events are now requiring SaS certification from the crew.  An invaluable course for all boaters new and old!  More details and registration information coming soon.

Registration: online registration available at www.byc.com/sasseminar.cfm

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