Thursday, October 8, 2015

High Latitude Cruiser - Garcia 45

Yesterday I dropped Kraken off at Shelter Island Boat Yard for some TLC. Boring motor sail down marked mostly by a companion sparrow on board for a while - though I did see 10-15 kts breeze rounding Point Loma. In the yard there was a very serious looking 45ish foot boat. Asking around it turned out to be a Garcia 46 dating back to 2003 and had already rounded the world, and spent seasons around Tierra Del Fuego and Alaska.

The name rang a bell and looking into it I was reminded that Garcia had worked with the well known cruising guide author Jimmy Cornell on his latest boat - Adventura.

Their boats have a lot of interesting features. Anchor locker near the mast, shallow draft (<4') center board boats, interior 360 visibility, great layouts on interior and exterior for short handed cruising, lots of hull insulation which must come in handy in both the high and low latitudes.

Fast Cruiser - JP54

I remember seeing concepts for this a few years ago but seems like the boat has made water now.

Consider a fast - offshore racer inspired cruiser. A semi stripped down interior with comfy berths. A Kitchen that rotates inside the boat for weight distribution. A RIB garage.


Monday, October 5, 2015

America's Cup - 2015

The fleet races are underway for the next America's cup. I feel like the profile of these events is lower than the boat's deserve so here you go!

The speed at which these races unfold is pretty awesome and the boats look pretty solid. There's been some controversy in how this latest event has been organized but the end game of getting more pro sailors comfortable in racing big boats in close quarters at 30kts seems solid enough and the footage is still very high quality and might help new people understand the sport.

I have a huge amount of respect for Nathan Outteridge and featured his Moth tutorials some while ago. There's a neat video of him going over some of the foiling features of the AC45s.

YachtingWorld foiling overview.

A nice overview of some of the issues and solutions surrounding foiling. I'm looking forward to the current evolution of the Open 60 and whatever the generation following it is. Many issues of control and material stability to be solved still but very exciting to see us steadily get better at flying over the water.

Friday, September 18, 2015

10K page views

Just noticed the blog passed 10k page views - woot!

Race: Beneteau Cup 2015

I went into this weekend with a secret thought we might just win but a hard weekend on the water left us in fourth place after five races - just four points off first place! The bay once again was our undoing we just don't know it that well and combined with one bad race on the ocean where we lost our headsail during a start sequence and were over early (so had to double back and start again, painfully slowly) - somehow we still clawed our way back to 5th. Of course we benefited from issues on other boats too so overall it balances out.

Most importantly there's a huge difference in how we raced this year against last. The fleet has got more competitive as it establishes itself as one of the few big boat one design classes in San Diego and as that's happened we've also improved and are no longer sailing to survive and just make it around the course. We're starting to knock the rough edges off our gybes and tacks, our trim is in the ballpark and we're pushing the other boats hard.

The ethos on Kraken has always been to learn together, to bring a group of people up to a high level of racing, myself included. This has proven hard in some ways and the temptation has always been to just get out there and find the best sailors I can to make up for my own deficiencies on the helm ad turn Kraken into a win stick but the journey is the destination....  Kraken is fast - when we get it right we get rewarded. She makes up for our errors in some ways and keeps it fun.

So right now I'd say I'm equal parts frustrated by our last result, proud of where we've got to and excited about the future races. We've got a couple of tweaks left to Kraken that will get us faster for next year, and I can feel that we're very close to tacking and gybing efficiently. Tacking is all in the helm and initial acceleration, gybing we need to work on trim transition from side to side.

But we're SO close!