Archive for the ‘offshore sailing’ Category

The Summer Issue of Yachting Times Magazine is out and my Tech & Gear column includes reviews on…


Sea-Tags Man Over Board (MOB) Wristband Alarm System


Clarion’s New Line of Marine Audio – Guaranteed to Satisfy the Sea-Going Music Lover


Sun flare Flexible Solar Panels

Read this column and the entire magazine online here!


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Review of the new and exciting EVO 43 by Studio Tecnico REVILLINI, Italy and built by Sea Engineering. The EVO 43 combines beautiful Italian styling and design with elegant tech… my favorites!

And, learn about SKYROAM’s global hotspot WiFi and stay in touch no matter where you roam!


Link to Yachting Times Magazine.

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It important to keep up with safety gear aboard your vessel. Discover the McMurdo SmartFind AIS-equiped MOB device.


Link to full Autumn 2015 issue of Yachting Times Magazine .

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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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WSI Launches Interactive Intellicast Boating Mobile App for Safe Fun On The Water

**Now available for a limited time at an introductory price!**

WSI (Weather Services international), the global weather authority, has released a new mobile app called Intellicast Boating. Being billed as the first application to integrate NOAA navigational charts with the most advanced weather data available in a rich interactive, customizable map environment, this one appears to me the latest must-have app for the more than 12.5 million registered boaters in the U.S.. Intellicast Boating is an essential tool to help ensure a safe and enjoyable boating experience on the water. 

The app cleverly combines sophisticated, meteorological sensing data, NOAA navigational charts and highly skilled forecasts. Intellicast Boating provides complete coverage for all those anticipating water-based activity in the continental US, Alaska, Hawaii and the Caribbean. The new tool is also the first professional marine application to include full North American Mosaic Radar with coverage throughout the United States, large sections of Canada and the Caribbean. 

The technology tools used to create the hourly forecasts for Intellicast Boating provide point-specific, localized, short- and long-term weather updates for all ports-of-call. In addition, all National Weather Service watches and warnings can be viewed either as text bulletins or overlaid within the marine interactive map.


Screenshot from my iPad showing the SF Bay Area
chart with precip.

“Blending state-of-the-art forecasting and leading-edge radar tools with the latest NOAA navigational charts, Intellicast Boating is an easy-to-use, always-available mobile app that enables all boaters — weekend fishermen, commercial ferry operators, harbor masters, water EMS personnel and all other on-the-water enthusiasts — to gain access to expert-level tools and stay a step ahead of changing or threatening weather,” said Jim Menard, WSI’s Vice President of Digital Initiatives. “Now boaters can receive marine forecasts, severe marine watches and warnings, tides, storm and hurricane tracking, buoy updates and C-Man (Coastal-Marine Automated Network) reports in a few simple screen taps. You won’t want to go on the water without it.”


I appreciate how well WSI designed the app for anyone to navigate easily. There are a number of icons at the bottom of the chart  (you can also choose not to view) that give you direct access to such things as Buoy information, Marine Forecasts, Tides and Small Craft Advisory in your area. You can toggle these to create various Map layers or overlays, including Alert overlays – handy for the SF Bay!

The Blog tab provides up-to-date weather info from around the world. Touching the CITY tab zeroes in on the weather in whichever cities you choose to view, including your “home” area. This is also where you’ll find the Moon phases along with sunrise/sunset times. 

Note: A cellular or Wi-Fi internet connection is needed, NOAA Navigational Charts are provided to reference weather and tide information and should not be used specifically for navigation. Over all, the new Boating Weather app from Intellicast/WSI is quite handy and worth the money, in my humble opinion. 

The new app, providing expert-level content without advertisements, is available from iTunes at special introductory prices for the iPad ($6.99) and the iPhone ($4.99) until August 10th*. Intellicast.com is WSI’s expert consumer web and mobile service.

The Intellicast Boating app provides:
– NOAA Navigational Maps

•       Current NOAA navigational charts integrated into a rich interactive map environment

– North American Radar Coverage

•       First marine app to include a full North American mosaic radar covering all or parts of:

–      CONUS, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, PR, Bahamas, and Caribbean

•       Forecast radar for CONUS 

– Interactive weather overlays

•       Decoded buoy and C-Man reports

•       National Weather Service Marine forecasts

•       Marine and severe watch and warning bulletins and map overlays

•       Severe storm and tropical cyclone tracking

•       Tides

•       Several other layers including temperature, wave heights, and satellite imagery

•       Wind speeds

Highly Skilled Forecasts

•       Port-of-call observations and expert forecasts

– Additional tools for all the cities and ports on the selected route include:
  • Latest observations and almanac
  • UV forecasts
  • Sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset times
  • Detailed short term nowcasts for locations within CONUS
  • Global hourly and 10-day forecasts
  • Textual National Weather Service watch and warning bulletins for the United States

*After August 10th, pricing for the Intellicast Boating iPhone app will be $9.99 and for the iPad app, $14.99.

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Stealth, Quiet, Grand & Easy on the Engines – Planet Solar Sets the Stage

Looking like something out of a science fiction or perhaps a James Bond film, the M/S Tûranor PlanetSolar, the world’s largest solar-powered boat, completed its around the world voyage to promote the use of sustainable solar energy this past Friday, May 4th.


Planet Solar arrives in Monaco. Images -www.planetsolar.org

A large crowd turned out to welcome the 115-foot catamaran, which holds the record as the largest solar-powered boat ever built. The leader of the


PlanetSolar expedition, Raphaël Domjan, told waiting reporters, “We are extremely happy to have achieved this first world tour with solar energy! We have shown that we have the technologies as well as the knowledge to become sustainable and safeguard our blue planet.”
Built in Germany at a reported cost of $24 million, the twin-screw catamaran — which is powered by electric motors and capable of cruising at approximately 8 knots —  completed the 37,000-nautical mile circumnavigation using only solar energy, in 584 days. Some 5,780 square-feet of solar panels on deck charge what is said to be the largest lithium-ion battery in the world.

During the 19-month voyage, which began in Monaco Sept. 27, 2010, the 102-foot vessel crossed the Atlantic, passed through the Panama Canal and crossed the Pacific and Indian oceans.

The top investor in the project, German Immo Stroeher, said, “The M/S Tûranor PlanetSolar is much more than a ship. It has become an ambassador of solar energy.


Planet Solar in Miami. Images- http://www.planetsolar.org

The name Turanor is derived from the “Lord of the Rings” series of books by J.R.R. Tolkien and translates into “The Power of the Sun.”

For more information on Planet  Solar, visit them online!

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RV PEGASO is one of the new breed (build) of Superyacht Exploration / Research Vessels

RV Pegaso, the 74m (243 ft) oceanographic yacht arrived in Monaco on May 3rd. Pegaso has partnered with Edmiston, as Central Agent, and Ocean Preservation Alliance (OPA) on an unprecedented global mission spanning all five oceans.


“RV Pegaso opens up for our clients an extraordinary opportunity for true exploration of the world’s oceans”, said Mark Cornell, Chief Executive of Edmiston, “and a privileged opportunity to play a hands-on role in marine conservation. Edmiston’s aim is to deliver the ultimate experiences for our clients and Pegaso will do exactly that through the Mediterranean expeditions this summer, the Caribbean winter season and then on to important South Pacific expeditions in 2013.”

Pegaso is the fourth vessel for the owner, who is passionate about ocean conservation, and outfitted accordingly: 10,000nm range, dynamic positioning system, five-person VAS submarine with diver-lockout function, full HeliOps, extensive rebreather and dive operations centre, recompression chamber, scientist accommodations, wet and dry laboratory area, dedicated video-editing suite and more.

Pegaso is set to lead the superyacht fleet in technical capabilities, autonomy and clear focus on marine science and exploration.


“There are literally thousands of conservation and research projects waiting to happen and as many scientists wanting to get out to sea,” said Sean Dooley, co-founder of OPA. “The logistics for them to do so usually involves months of grant applications, scheduling and politicking. OPA offer them a path that cuts through all of that, and the yacht’s owner, family and guests end up having access to world-class projects and people as a result.”

“It has been a lot of work, but we are excited to finally get started on our mission,” Captain Steve Probst exclusively told SuperyachtNews.com. “We plan to finish training and preparations in Valencia for the next few weeks and then prepare for a major expedition which Pegaso Marine Research hopes to announce in the near future.”


Originally published on superyachtnews.com

By  Don Hoyt Gorman

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