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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 16, 2015

Interactio Launches Kickstarter Campaign for
New Fuel Saving Device
and Mobile App

View real time boat fuel flow, consumption and range information using your Smart Phone or Tablet. New Optio Fuel wireless sensor from Interactio

November 16, 2015 (Victoria, BC) – Every once in awhile a deceptively simple innovation comes along that just makes sense. Optio Fuel is one such innovation.

Until now, the options boat owners had for monitoring their boat’s fuel consumption were either very expensive or difficult to retrofit, leaving boaters relying on instinct and math!

The Victoria, BC-based creators of Optio Fuel, Interactio Inc., will launch their first product on the popular crowdfunding platform Kickstarter later this month.

This new device makes it easy for boat owners to directly monitor their vessel’s fuel use using a free app on their smart phone or tablet. The fuel sensor and the mobile app is all that is needed to monitor fuel flow and consumption. Further, current range and optimal speed are also displayed on the device’s map in real time.

Preliminary tests show fuel savings in the range of 10-30% or more*. David Burton, Interactio’s co-founder said “In many cases Optio Fuel pays for itself in a weekend of cruising”. (*Numbers will vary depending on your boat, how often it’s used and your cruising style).

“Our goal is to raise $25k to fund the production of the Optio Fuel,” commented Roger Lines, co-founder of Interactio.

With the funds and awareness raised through this Kickstarter campaign, Interactio will offer a series of new products leveraging “Internet-of-things” technology to bring products to the marine market. As a new technology startup company looking to do things in new ways, Interactio is using modern crowd sourcing from Kickstarter to bring Optio Fuel to market. In true Kickstarter style, being an early supporter gets you a big discount when it’s delivered. Lines reports that the retail price for the Optio Fuel will be just US$199, but on Kickstarter, the first 100 units will be $99, the next 200 — $149.

The project launches November 28th and will run until the end of December. You can find out more at: http://bit.ly/Optiofuel.

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Ginny Osterholt Filiatraut wasn’t just a friend, she was a pioneer and a mentor, who helped me steer a course through often times murky waters. Ginny lost her battle with aggressive ovarian cancer at the age of 78, after a courageous fight. Her husband Jacques was at her side always as was their dog Buddy at their home in Punta Gorda, Florida.

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Ginny in her home SSCA office back in 1977. Photo courtesy Ginny Filiatrault

I got to know Ginny when I was Editor of the Commodore’s Bulletin for the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA). I had recently landed in Fort Lauderdale after my husband and I had cruised from California, taking four years to cruise. It was my first job as an editor and since Ginny had held the very same position (as well as Office Manager, Treasurer, Secretary and Director of the Board!), and she always had both words of encouragement as well as direction for me.

Moving on to cruising magazines after my three-year stint, I kept in touch with Ginny via email and  tried to offer her the same support she gave me when she would run up against push-back with a new Board of Directors or expressed her opinions about how the organization should be run.

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Ginny and Jacques aboard Jonathan, Jacques 42-foot custom ketch. Photo courtesy Ginny Filiatrault.

 

Ginny became Editor in 1975, helping to move the fledgeling organization from California to South Florida. SSCA went with her when ever she moved and her enthusiasm for the group never wavered. Born on October 3, 1936, she was an only child who started sailing early, at the age of 9. She helped her dad build a sailing dinghy to sail around in Santa Monica, California and later, at age 12 she lived aboard a 34′ Seagoer yawl with her dad. By the age of 15, she bought her own 12′ lap-strake sailing dinghy to rebuild. She met the founders of the SSCA who lived aboard in Coronado and joined in 1955 when she was living aboard her 37′ Hanna Carol, Bojac (a requirement back then!) and just 18 years old. Over the 55 years that she was involved with SSCA, she contributed immensely. In her own words, Ginny described her first experiences as a live aboard in San Diego…

We were a very close knit family and shared the dream of cruising and living aboard! Camaradarie was strong as we caringly helped each other in so many ways as were the SSCA traditions formed by our Founders in 1952!” (SSCA Commodore’s Bulletin, November 2007).

Ginny with SSCA Director Steve Leeds at the 2007 Gam in Melbourne, Florida.

Ginny with SSCA Director Steve Leeds at the 2007 Gam in Melbourne, Florida.

She spent the last six months of her life working tirelessly again for SSCA, gathering all of her photos of her time with the organization, some 90 albums, for scanning, and was finally honored recently with the title of SSCA Historian. She would have celebrated 60 years as an SSCA Commodore this June.

It was her tenacity, talent and trust that made her a lifetime sailor and often times a thorn in the side of SSCA’s directors and managers. She always had an opinion and wasn’t shy about sharing it, often in the form of long-winded emails to everyone on her list. Though there were times when she was “off-base” with regard to a given topic, Ginny usually had something to say that needed to be heard. She was truly the glue that kept this important organization together. Her truth will be missed.

88’s Dear One…

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Ginny holds a photo of herself with another Lifetime Commodore, Babe Baldwin.

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Ginny, Jacques and Buddy. Photo courtesy of Ginny Filiatrault.

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Photo courtesy Ginny Filiatrault.

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Here’s the latest courtesy of ‘Lectronic Latitude (Latitude 38):

Hurricane Odile Damage Updates

September 17, 2014 – Cabo, La Paz, Puerto Escondido & San Carlos

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This boat was one of several boats that were beached in San Carlos by Odile. Nearly two dozen boats sank or went ashore at La Paz. © 2014 Jim Cochran

The biggest — and worst — news is that there apparently is no new info on the status of three sailors that are reportedly missing from boats in the La Paz anchorage: The young Mexican man named Gabriel on a steel boat is reported fine. But Holly Scott of Charlie’s Charts reports that the Mexican Navy dove on the sailboat Princess, owned by a man named Gunther, and didn’t find any sign of him or his dog. Paul and Simone of Tabasco II have not been found either.

The following is a collection of information we’ve come across about the hurricane damage in the last two days, including the first reports of damage to boats on the mainland side. It’s more jumbled than we’d like, but it’s the best we can do given the circumstances. We try to give credit in all cases, but sometimes info has been forwarded multiple times without the original source of the info being included. Yesterday we omitted giving Holly Scott credit for a chunk of our report. Our sincere apologies. Holly is a longtime good friend of Latitude and has been doing a great job of getting information out of Baja.

Cabo San Lucas — It’s our understanding that the Cabo Marina infrastructure and boats within it generally did better than the rest of the city, which suffered tremendous damage. Getting the airport back in full operation is going to be critical for two reasons: 1) getting critical supplies to the resident population, and 2) getting trapped tourists back home. That said, several news agencies reported this morning that military transports are currently flying hundreds of tourists out to gateways on the mainland. As expected, roads in Southern Baja, have been badly damaged and fuel is in very short supply. There has been looting at Costco and other stores, but these people are cut off from the world and are in desperate need of water and food. Particularly water, as it’s hot and dry in Cabo.


Most of Cabo is in very rough shape. But despite the small boat damage seen here, reports are that no yachts in the marina suffered significant damage. © 2014 The Vette Barn

 

The following are some details from Mark Drewelow of YachtAid Global, which arranges for megayachts to provide humanitarian aid for coastal communities around the world:

“At 1730 today (Monday) Cabo time I spoke with local Superyacht Agent Victor Barreda. He weathered Odile at home, and he and his wife and kids are okay. He says the  town has no electricity and it looks like every building has been damaged. If electricity doesn’t come back on, fresh water becomes a major issue quickly. Yacht Aid Global has one 75-meter superyacht that will be deeply involved in an immediate relief effort, focusing on producing 4,000 gallons a day of fresh water for locals.”

Drewelow spoke with the marina managers at Cabo and they reported that the boats in the marina and the marina itself came out “unscathed.” Mike at Driscoll Boat Yard spoke with the owner of a large motor yacht. He said there was some very minor damage to his boat, but all in all, the boats in the main part of the marina did remarkably well. Photos show that the small boats on the port side entering the harbor took a beating.

“Every yacht big or small that intends to head south to Cabo needs to bring aid,” Drewelow said. “Recovery will take months. YachtAid Global is coordinating some efforts with Marine Group Boat Works, which also has a facility in Cabo San Lucas. The Marine Group Boat Works yard in Chula Vista is collecting items that are of critical immediate need: drinking water, basic first-aid stuff, food with a long shelf life, temporary shelters, small line. If you want to help, contact Leah Yam, Cabo Relief, at Marine Group Boat Works in Chula Vista at (619) 427-6767. You can also donate funds via YachtAid Global’s donation page.”

La Paz — Again, the most urgent matter in La Paz, homeport for hundreds of cruisers, is that the three cruisers named above are still missing. Beyond that, boats in the various marinas apparently suffered very little if any damage, while some boats on stands at Atalanta Dry Storage, adjacent to Marina Palmira, suffered damage. Bob Davis of the Shell Beach-based Irwin 44 Nirvana called the Latitude offices this morning by satphone and reported that 22-25 boats had broken free in the cruiser anchorage in front of town. Five sank and the others were washed ashore on the Mogote peninsula or into the mangroves. We hope to have a complete list in our next posting. Davis reports that there was no real damage to boats in either of the La Paz boatyards. He says also that the Mexican navy has been conducting ongoing search and rescue (SAR) operations since shortly after the storm, and that the cruising community has pulled together in an impressive effort, in some cases refloating beached boats.

It’s been widely reported that Internet and phone service are still out in La Paz, so lots of family and friends back home are desperate for word that loved ones are fine. Authorities stated that electricity is available in only 17% of the city, but they are hopeful that it will be completely restored by next week. Davis was told that the fiber-optic cable that runs from Cabo all the way up the Baja Peninsula had been severed, leading to grim projections on the timetable for re-establishing phone and Internet service. But before our satphone conversation ended, his wife Sherry suddenly got a TelCel connection on her cell. We are now told that telephone and Internet connections seem to be working well including major land line connections. Davis witnessed “an armada” of electrical service trucks arriving recently from the mainland by ferry to address electrical issues in Cabo and La Paz.


Looking northwest from just outside the entrance to Cabo’s yacht harbor damage is strewn all along the shore. But being constructed with steel-reinforced concrete, we imagine that most structures are still standing, although damaged. The building in the far right of this image was under construction. © 2014 Whitney Roe

 

The La Paz Airport isn’t yet functional, and the TransPeninsula Highway may be destroyed in several areas. However, Davis has been able to confirm that the highway is fully functional from Puerto Escondido to Mulege. Vessels have been arriving from the mainland with aid for Southern Baja, and President Pena-Nieto is said to have toured the area by helicopter.

According to Bob Davis, consensus among La Paz cruisers is that Cabo is in much worse shape than La Paz, where some stores — including Walmart — are open, although all banks are closed. He has not seen any TV coverage, but the word-of-mouth info he has gathered about desperate people looting stores in Cabo for food and water is in sync with various network TV broadcasts.

In an earlier message relayed by Holly Scott, Davis wrote: “Susan Ross of the Portland-based Endeavor 43 Two Can Play suggested that the Baja Ha-Ha fleet could potentially provide an essential service by transporting ‘stuff’ [supplies, medicines, etc.] down to Southern Baja when the fleet comes south, and to the Turtle Bay and Mag Bay regions. Granted, early November is a ways off, but based on what I am hearing regarding Cabo, it may still be in ragged shape at that time.”

We’re certain that members of the Ha-Ha fleet would be happy to do all that they can. However, with the fleet’s arrival being almost two months away, we’ll have to see how things play out. People have to also remember that even one small ship could carry far more than the entire Ha-Ha fleet, but we’ll stand ready to help.

From Lewis Stewart Keizer: “The dry storage boat yard adjacent to Marina Palmira has a number of toppled, damaged, crushed or dismasted boats. All the other marinas had spotty but manageable damage (cleats ripped off docks, etc.) I know of no boats in marinas that sustained any appreciable damage, short of one boat in Marina de La Paz with a wooden mast that broke during the storm.

“Two Baja ferries unloaded a massive number of military and mostly CFE — the equivalent of PG&E — trucks, all of which is it rumored are headed to Cabo. Cabo is in really bad shape. The word down here is that Cabo airport will not reopen until the 21st. La Paz airport won’t reopen for a few days, but info is non-specific.

“Several of the 20 or so beached boats have been refloated this afternoon. A number of others are scattered hither and yon, and will be refloated as manpower, tow power and tides permit. A military flight is airlifting a number of stranded civilians out of La Paz to Mexico City today. Don’t know who they are.”

In a Tuesday-afternoon update from Nirvana via Holly Scott, Bob and Sherry made this offer: “Bercovich boatyard and boats on the hard had NO damage. I walked through there this morning and everything is intact. . . If anyone wants me to go down there and look at a specific boat, let me know and I will. Abaroa boatyard had some damage but again, I’ve not heard of any specific vessel damage in the yard. Same story, give me a vessel name and I’ll get the specifics. Atlantic boatyard nearby Marina Palmira took a real hit: a number of boats toppled over, some stacked on others, some crushed.”

Puerto Escondido — From Jake Howard aboard the Hunter 45 Jake in Puerto Escondido on Wednesday morning: “Here is the best list I can put together at this time. Firefly is here. They were right behind us in the storm and they are OK.

BOATS BEACHED IN THE MAIN ANCHORAGE:

  • Manta – Terry and Dawn onboard OK – We will try to refloat today.  Damage to port side ama, but should be OK.
  • Cloud 9 – Unoccupied – moderate to serious damage – Possibly salvageable
  • Libertad – Unoccupied – moderate damage – should be salvageable
  • Rapscallion — Unoccupied – light to moderate damage – should be salvageable
  • BOATS ON THE BREAKWATER/SEAWALL ON FONATUR SIDE OF THE ELLIPSE:
  • Merilon – Unoccupied – moderate to serious damage – may be salvageable
  • Yankee Dreamer – Unoccupied – moderate damage – should be salvageable
  • Elusive – Bill on board and okay – sery serious damage – probably a loss
  • Cloud Nine – Bill on board and okay – sunk – probably a loss
  • Sea Toy – Unoccupied – sunk – probably a loss
  • Luna Sea II – Unoccupied – dismasted and moderate damage – probably salvageable
  • Small 27-ft sailboat underneath Luna Sea II – Sunk – probably a loss

BOATS IN THE WAITING ROOM OR API AREA:

  • Angel – Unoccupied – High and dry on beach – moderate damage?? – may be salvageable
  • 27-ft trimaran – (Don’t know name) – In mangroves – minor damage – should be salvageable
  • Red Something (not sure on second word in name)- Unoccupied – on the rocks at API – moderate to serious damage? – may be salvageable?
  • Estancia – Unoccupied – dismasted and sunk at big API pier – definitely a loss
  • Nikka – Unoccupied – dismasted but still floating – moderate damage but should be salvageable.

One other boat was dismasted but don’t know name.  Unoccupied. Should be Salvageable.

That’s it, I think.  FYI – Heard on Amigo Net this morning that Pantera and Bob are OK in Santa Rosalia. Lot of damage there. Old marina destroyed. All but one boat on that dock beached or sunk.  Town is awash in mud.”

San Carlos / Guaymas — John Skoriak reports: “As more photos are posted on San Carlos message boards, the damage from Odile becomes evident. It seems that three large sailboats — one trimaran and two monohulls — broke loose from their moorings. Apparently all the boats at the two marinas are fine, and the same is true at the Marina Seca Dry Storage area where I have a Catalina 36.


Now reduced to a pile of rubble on the San Carlos shore, this was once a large trimaran. © 2014 Vince Radish / Viva San Carlos Message Board

 

The boat in the first photo in today’s report, apparently taken by Jim Cochran of the San Carlos-based Bliss, broke free from her mooring and grounded on the beach at the end of the San Carlos Bahia anchorage, “which is actually one of the best and most protected natural deepwater anchorages in Mexico,” says Skoriak, “except, of course, in a hurricane from south.”

The following is the firsthand report, from Monday, by Jeff Hartjoy of the Baba 30 Sailors’ Run in the northern Sea of Cortez, who is preparing for a nonstop sail around the world via the Southern Ocean:

“I figured out where the hurricane was when the eye passed over at 1:30 p.m. It was calm windwise for 30 minutes, although I had 10-foot waves, and had to sit in the trough and roll like a baby in a box car. My ice-maker flipped upside down and the cushions were all falling all over the place, but I was happy as the wind had quieted. After 30 minutes, the wind came back with a vengeance and blew like stink. The good thing was it had shifted 90 degrees, putting me once again in the protection of the land. The wind was also beating the 10-foot waves down to where they were about four feet. If my anchors let go, it looked like I could escape. Previously, I would have had to dive over the side before the boat crashed ashore and swim for my life.

“The worst part of the first half was I was having gusts to 85 knots. They would last about 15 seconds, and heel the boat so far that the rail was in the water. A couple of times I was tending to things on deck, and the rain was like buckshot. It stung! I couldn’t see anything, as the wind was like smoke on green water. So far, the only thing that is damaged is the bimini, as the zipper started blowing apart. So I rolled it up. One of the solar panels was trying to blow off the boat, and I had to tie it down with a rope and black tape. I think this thing will be gone by 7:30 p.m. tonight, and the back half of a hurricane is usually lighter than the front half’.”

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steve-black

Image courtesy of worldcruising.com.

The news came today from the team at World Cruising Club of the death of Steve Black, founder of the Caribbean 1500 rally,  following a long personal battle against cancer. We are all saddened by his passing and our thoughts are with his family.

The WCC Blog wrote. “Steve was an inspiration to very many sailors through his long and varied career in sailing, including numerous offshore races, many of which were single-handed, and a three-year stint as executive director of the U.S. Sailing Association, based in Newport, Rhode Island. However, there is no doubt that his biggest legacy will be the Caribbean 1500 cruising rally, which first set sail in 1990, with a fleet of 50 cruising boats to make landfall in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands.

The impetus for the rally started when Steve saw that cruising sailors outnumbered offshore racing sailors, but there were virtually no organized events for cruisers. The Caribbean 1500 rally offered the chance to sail in company, combined with preparatory seminars taught by sailing experts, an SSB radio safety net at sea, and of course a great deal of fun and socializing. Always leading from the front, Steve sailed with the rally, helping to inspire and trouble-shoot the fleet at sea.

He always found time to foster personal connections, spending hours matching crew to boats, allowing those new to sailing to take experienced crew along, or placing novices onto boats with veteran skippers for mile-building. His calm manner and easygoing personality led to many firm friendships being formed over the years.”

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Black moved to Michigan where he ran an educational publishing company. He started sailing recreationally in his mid-30s in regattas hosted by the Grand Haven Sailing Club. Black learned the sport from single-handers and has always preferred this aspect of sailing.

Steve is the reason I’m doing what I’m doing today,” says Andy Schell, event manager for the ARC Caribbean 1500 and offshore delivery skipper. “He put me on a 1500 boat back in 2006, which was my first offshore passage, and helped me make connections in the ocean sailing world. Steve was a huge inspiration. It’s an honor to be managing the 25th Caribbean 1500 this year and carry his legacy into the future.”

After helping make offshore cruising more accessible to countless cruisers since the early 1990s, Steve Black, sold out to the World Cruising Club (organizers of the popular Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, among others) in 2011.

When Steve announced his decision to retire in 2010, he was determined that “the 1500” would continue and develop into the future. It was his firm belief that after 21 years of his leadership, combining the Caribbean 1500 with World Cruising Club’s world-wide portfolio of rallies would see it continue to inspire sailors for many years to come.

“The most satisfying aspects of starting the Caribbean 1500 Rally and other rallies such as the Atlantic Cup and now the Bahamas Cruising Rally, said Black in a 2010 interview with All at Sea, “are the friendships formed. “We had 235 past ralliers meet at a reunion at the Annapolis Boat Show this year.”

The 2014 Caribbean 1500 rally will be the 25th edition and a fitting memorial to a man who encouraged so many cruisers to discover the delights offshore sailing.

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Choosing the right navigation app is no easy feat. Some cost a few precious boat bucks just to download, and “free” doesn’t necessarily mean activecapt-screenshot“less” when it comes to features. With the recent news that NOAA will stop printing paper charts this April, iPads are fast replacing chart plotters on the bridge or in the cockpit.

As a former cruiser, I often relied on print cruising guides to learn about a new port or cruising area. As we all know, this kind of information is always in flux. And there’s the rub: How do we get the latest information, preferably from other cruisers? The answer: AC.

For the past few years ActiveCaptain (AC) has grown and expanded to include over 100,000 boaters who write reviews and updates on anchorages, ports, hazards, facilities and more, all around the world.

Sail with confidence with any of the five navigation apps below. They all include ActiveCaptain data as an overlay for members. (AC membership is free).

SKIPPER (Ver 1.2)
Trailerbehind, Inc. – Free

skipper-app-iconThe newest offering in the Apps Store is Skipper and the free version isn’t just a trial; it includes a handy NOAA online chart viewer for onshore planning and satellite imagery on shore. For the Pro version you pay an annual fee of $12/year and you don’t have to pay extra for the charts you’ve already paid the Government for in taxes. NOAA Charts are auto-updated (or choose Google Earth or Topo maps, including historic topos. What fun!). All is cached and displayed offline very seamlessly, except weather and Google Earth requires an online connection. It also does routes/waypoints and real-time navigation (which Garmin’s app doesn’t do). Your subscription syncs your personal data and routes, waypoints, tracks, etc. between your multiple devices. Raster charts (the best!) load fast and look great since they are mosaic-ed together and are only 1.8GB each for the smallest possible download size. Skipper’s creator, Andrew Johnson says that Inland Rivers Charts including all NOAA vector charts will be added soon and he is working on ways to integrate Open Street Map technology. Perhaps my dream of having one app that shows both Charts and Maps may soon become real!

garmin-iconGarmin BlueChart Mobile (Ver 1.4)
Garmin International – Free (Charts are available via in-app purchase and range from $30 -$70).

BlueChart uses vector charts with features such as search, routes, waypoints, weather stations (choose conditions overlay showing dew points, temperatures, wind direction and speed, water temp, visibility) GRIB weather with wave heights and period, celestial data, measuring feature, real-time tracking. Each icon gives great details when tapped. Lots of overlay features can clutter up the chart but choosing which ones to view is easy using the cool “radial chart object menu”.

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Charts & Tides (Ver 4.7)
Navimatics  – $19.99 *

The first full resolution, seamless charting iPad app. Charts&Tides uses NOAA and CHS vector cartography. Covers all of U.S. and Canada and cost $20-$40. New features include AIS support, Closest Point of Approach (CPA) computations and alerts, more connectivity options for GPS (WiFi, GPSD), new Dead Reckoning Mode and interface improvements.

*This just in… Now you don’t have to open a different app to chart a new area of the world. Navimatics has just added a newly developed chart engine to Charts & Tides for iOS and for Mac computers. Now the app is free and you can add  these two options:
– The entire US NOAA collection of charts: $19.99
– The entire US NOAA collection + CHS Canadian charts: $39.99

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PolarView MX (Ver 1.2.4)
PolarNavy – $3.99

From the folks who brought you affordable PC and MacOS charting. Their PolarView MX app for iPhone or iPad offers both vector and raster chart viewing combined with extensive instrument support that many mariners are seeking. Chart coverage includes U.S. and U.K. and world-wide charts are available.

SEAiq (Ver 3.4.0)
Sakhalin, LLC – $9.99

SEAiq-Open_iconDeveloped by software engineer/live aboard world cruiser, Mark Hayden. SEAiq uses free NOAA vector charts. Try SEAiq Free first, then upgrade to SEAiq USA or Open for $9.99 with in app purchase to enable all features. SEAiq Open allows you to use your own vector charts. (S-57, S-63, CM93, iENC, BSB, and KAP) or you can purchase charts for anywhere in the world from ChartWorld. Also, with Inland ENC support, you can download hundreds for free charts for many rivers in Europe. Other features: Import/export waypoints and routes. NMEA data, AIS, Track recording, GRIB weather downloads, anchor alarm, instrument data, TCP/IP WiFi NEMA data.

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Star Clippers to Feature Overnight Call at 2014 Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez International Regatta in the French Riviera

My favorite Tall ship cruise line Star Clippers is offering an exciting opportunity for yacht and nautical aficionados in 2014. Star Flyer’s Sept. 27 sailing will feature an overnight call at St. Tropez, France, during the annual Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez international regatta.

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Star Flyer undersail. Photo: N. BIrnbaum ©2014

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, which began in 1981 as La Nioulargue, attracts modern and classic yachts from across the globe that race for the coveted Rolex Trophy. In 2013 more than 300 boats representing 150 years of naval architecture and aesthetic participated in the event.

“We’re always looking for exclusive events, and the chance to attend Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez is an exciting opportunity for our guests who are largely yachting enthusiasts,” said Mark Carlson, director of marketing for Star Clippers Americas. “This international sailing regatta offers a unique blend of glamour, relaxation and adventure that we strive to provide on all of our itineraries.”

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There’s always something to learn aboard a Star Clipper Cruise.
Photo: N Birnbaum©2014

In 2014 Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez will run from Sept. 27 to Oct. 5. Star Flyer will call at St. Tropez Oct. 2-3 during the event. Guests will have two days to enjoy the race and explore the most famous port on the French Riviera. Other calls on the seven-day, roundtrip Monte Carlo, Monaco, itinerary include L’Ile Rousse/St. Florent and Bastia, Corsica; Portoferraio, Elba, and Rapallo, Italy. Fares for the cruise start at $1,986 per person, double occupancy, including port charges.

Star Clippers combines the pampered lifestyle of mega-yacht cruising with the exhilarating thrill of sailing aboard an authentic clipper ship. Guests rediscover what sailing was like during the glorious age of tall ships while visiting intimate ports of call untouched by larger ships.

Star Clippers recently was named among the Top Small-Ship Lines in Condé Nast Traveler 2013 Reader’s Choice Awards as well as Top Small-Ship Cruise Lines in Travel + Leisure magazine’s 2013 World’s Best Awards. 

To request a brochure, call toll-free 800-442-0556 or email brochures@starclippers.com.

For information, call Star Clippers at 800-442-0551, email info@starclippers.com or visit www.starclippers.com to view a video about the line or take a virtual tour of the Star Clippers ships.

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old-navigation

Out with the old?

In a press release issued yesterday, October 22, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, which creates and maintains the nation’s suite of thousands of nautical charts, announced that it will no longer print traditional lithographic (paper) nautical charts. The release went on to say that NOAA will continue to provide other forms of nautical charts, including print on demand (POD) and for electronic charting systems.

“Like most other mariners, I grew up on NOAA lithographic charts and have used them for years,” said Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey. “We know that changing chart formats and availability will be a difficult change for some mariners who love their traditional paper charts, but we’re still going to provide other forms of our official charts.”

plotting-on-paper-chart

Plotting on paper

Since 1862, those lithographic nautical charts — available in marine shops and other stores — have been printed by the U.S. government and sold to the public by commercial vendors. The decision to stop production is based on several factors, including the declining demand for lithographic charts, the increasing use of digital and electronic charts, and federal budget realities.

“With the end of traditional paper charts, our primary concern continues to be making sure that boaters, fishing vessels, and commercial mariners have access to the most accurate, up-to-date nautical chart in a format that works well for them,” said Capt. Shep Smith, chief of Coast Survey’s Marine Chart Division. “Fortunately, advancements in computing and mobile technologies give us many more options than was possible years ago.”

tablet-vs-paper

Is it best to have both?

NOAA will continue to create and maintain other forms of nautical charts, including the increasingly popularPrint on Demand (POD) charts, updated paper charts available from NOAA-certified printers. NOAAelectronic navigational charts (NOAA ENC®) and raster navigational charts (NOAA RNC®), used in a variety of electronic charting systems, are also updated weekly and are available for free download from the Coast Survey website.

The world of navigation is benefiting from advances in technology, Smith explained. He said that NOAA will consult with chart users and private businesses about the future of U.S. navigation, especially exploring the use of NOAA charts as the basis for new products.

The Bottom Line

e-nav_in_cockpit

Electronic navigation is increasingly popular with recreational boaters.

It seems clear that NOAA isn’t making enough income off of paper. So they are moving towards more lucrative delivery systems.

This is good news for trailblazers like ActiveCaptain, the first to market with a crowd-sourced, electronic navigation product and the only Interactive Cruising Guidebook online. Since then, ActiveCaptain has been integrated with top e-nav systems across all platforms, like Garmin’s BlueChart Mobile, Navimatics Charts & Tides, Polarview, SEAiq, Jeppesen’s C-MAP, MaxSea, Nobeltec, and more.

Stop the Presses!

With all these choices available to everyone’s price-range, it’s no wonder NOAA has made the decision to stop the presses.

Paper charts will ultimately go the way of the Newspaper. As the developer of ActiveCaptain put it, ” I think that’s a big announcement and is just one more of a series of nails in the coffin of paper charts. It acknowledges what has happened in every other industry which has experienced similar technology changes. In this case, it’s the chart image, not the media, that’s important.”

It probably bodes well for cruising guide publishers like On The Water ChartGuides. Publisher Mark Doyle learned early on that if you’re going to compete in the digital navigation market, you’ll need to update often. His Intracoastal Waterway CruiseGuide and other guides come with free daily updates and alerts via Facebook, Twitter, RSS, and even text or email. As people find it too expensive to purchase charts Printed On Demand, they will want to turn to these comfortable chart books for detailed information and charts of US waterways.

sf-bay-chart-noaa

PDF Chart of San Francisco Bay from NOAA.

FREE CHARTS! (For a Limited Time)

For a limited time, NOAA is offering its entire suite of charts in PDF file format. For the three-month trial period, you can download about a thousand high-resolution printable nautical charts – almost the entire suite of charts. These PDFs are exact images of the traditional charts we have come to love, currently printed by lithography. They are available now! Go to: http://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/pdfcharts/ for info and to download the PDF charts. You’ll need to have their Chart Viewer to choose which numbers you want.

So whether you decide to give up your paper charts and go solely digital or hold out for another year, keep in mind that if you are using paper, you’ll have to check Local Notice to Mariners for updates – a time-consuming job, for sure!

Check out the discussion (it’s a lively one!) on ActiveCaptains eBoatCards Discussion Group. It’s free to join.

http://www.eboatcards.com/the2ndmostdangerousthing

Lastly, if you’re thinking about tossing your paper charts, consider giving them a second life by donating them to a local sailing group. Or send them to me and I will up cycle them into something very cool!

-Nancy

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