It is the season of renewal, for those afloat and those afflicted with landed status. In the South Pacific there are two FPB 64s about to depart for points north and a third already heading west, with a fourth now in the Islands. The SetSail contingent in Arizona is stuck viewing from afar, and… Read the rest »
Dashew LogsSteve and Linda write a regular column for SetSailors from wherever they happen to be. Join in as they cruise the world and discuss topics of interest to sailors everywhere. Here you’ll find their articles dating from 1996 to the present. Check back frequently for new articles posted from aboard their FPB 83 Wind Horse.
The Northern Hemisphere summer is nearly here, and with it the hurricane season. With the FPB fleet getting ready to depart New Zealand for points North, and one of the boats thinking about winding up in Hawaii or California, we have been looking at the long range weather forecasts.
A couple of weeks ago, we invited suggestions for an ultimate rugged cruising dinghy. We appreciate all of you who took time to shoot us your ideas, of which there were many. What you see here and following is our adaptation of some of those, plus a few of our own, into a concept dinghy.
We’ve been gradually reorganizing our offices, and in the process trying to figure out what to do with out hull models. This plating model was in hand yesterday, and we got to thinking it might be of interest for the secrets it reveals.
We have recently been asked our ideas for the ideal mix of design factors for a larger FPB dinghy. This got us to thinking about our own experiences, and what we would want in this category of gear, if we were starting from scratch. The comments that follow are based on the assumption that the dinghies will often be used in cruising areas off the beaten path. In this post we will share a few thoughts, and ask for yours.
You are looking at the original great room seating upholstery on Wind Horse at the end of 2011–that is six years after launching with more than 50,000 miles of intensive use. Aside from a little fabric fading, there is little to differentiate this from the original appearance. Read on to learn the secret to longevity. Read the rest »
We’ve been working with 3D supremo Ryan Wynott now for an intense year and a half, yet we’ve never met. So with a demanding schedule and tasks at hand requiring the closest collaboration, Ryan left his Canadian winter sanctuary for an arduous trip to the Sonoran desert, where we are presently moored. Read the rest »
Having grown weary with and needing a break from a long and arduous design cycle, a meeting of the executive committee was called and a weekend away to clear cobwebs was deemed prudent. In olden days this would have indicated a sojourn afloat to a bucolic hideaway known to a relatively few enthusiasts, say Catalina Island. Presently bereft of personal watercraft, Read the rest »
We like the matte gray unobtrusive looks of an aluminum hull that has been exposed to sea water for a year or so. But occasionally after a season of roughing it and sharing the odd harbor rafted to commercial or government vessels,
Some of you know that I’ve been swimming through the seas of the music world for quite a while. Blame my parents for bringing me up on a boat with lots of great music: Janis Joplin, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder…Today I’m proud to say I’ve just added a new album to their collection. Read the rest »
Are you caught up in the global warming debate? There is another theory, less-talked-about, that suggests we could soon be entering an ice age. Glacial ice core samples show that the onset of cooler weather may happen quickly. Consider this alternative, starting with the photo above. And those which follow.
One of the lessons we learned early in our cruising careers is that it is the people – land based, and cruisers – rather than the places, which make this lifestyle so wonderful. This post is about a special couple who are the modern definition of iron crews in wooden ships, and their remarkable yacht, Sina, shown above in a storm off Cape Horn.
We’ve been wrestling with how to make SetSail more user friendly for both longtime SetSailors and newcomers. Sarah, our technical Guru (amongst other duties), has been working with this for the past year. The new look is the result of those labors. We are not yet ready to share, but the new year will bring new exciting FPB developments with application Read the rest »
Your SetSail team will be reporting next week from Down Under. If we find ourselves with spare time we’ll see if we can get a look at the 72s trialing on Auckland harbor. This America’s Cup promises to be the most interesting ever. Read the rest »
From some of the most difficult uphill conditions we have ever seen to extremely powerful rain squalls, the past 52 hours have afforded us a wide array of conditions. The uphill sea states previously discussed gave us valuable insight into hull shape optimization for minimizing discomfort, and while we have an excellent handle on this with Wind Horse, the FPB 64s, and the Wicked FPB 97, we are always looking for ways to improve.
“Against the Wind…With his new powerboat design, world cruiser Steve Dashew continues a lifelong pattern of challenging the status quo.”
Since launching, Wind Horse has comfortably chauffeured us well over 50,000 miles.. Read the rest »
We’ve put together a live web view of Wind Horse‘s “vital stats”, to track how she is doing as Hurricane Sandy passes by while she is hauled out at Triton Marine in Beaufort, North Carolina. This data comes from the Maretron N2K View system via their Cloud Server.
When we started with the solar panel project on Wind Horse, we were 100% certain we would use the panels only in flat mode, unless they were in storage configuration at the dock (in the past we have always thought that tracking was not worth the effort). We have previously reported that substantial increases in output were recorded when the panels were squared to the sun. Now, with the Maretron N2K view data available on our iPads, we can play with tilting/angling the panels and see results as we adjust.
Nope, I’m not talking about the movie – beautiful blue color in the above shot by Carol Parker notwithstanding. As a matter of fact, your genial author couldn’t make it through the unbelievably tedious sci-fi re-telling of Pocohantas. No, we here at SetSail are big fans of The Avatar Logs, the blog and photo site of Carol Parker and her adventures with husband Mike aboard FPB 64, Avatar. Read the rest »
We’ve been out the past few days, testing the latest NAIAD stabilizing software on Wind Horse. We’ve had 20-to-30 knots blowing straight into Narragansett Bay with opposing and slack current, so a variety of sea states: from steep to “holy cow, look at that!” As you can see by the track above, we have been taking the waves at all angles, from dead ahead, to on the stern, and everything between. At the end of this post there are a couple of short videos.
Most of the Maine windjammers don’t have an engine, which is the way things should be in the best of all possible worlds. They maneuver in and out of some very tight harbors–Camden comes to mind–fitting their unwieldy hull shapes and tiny (in scale) rudders into some surprising situations.
For the most part they maneuver with the aid of their long boats, most of which are used pusher fashion, as you would a tug on the seen of a barge.
We are anchored in Rockland Harbor, Maine, it’s blowing near gale force and raining of course, courtesy of what’s left of hurricane Issac. A speck on the horizon grows rapidly in size, as a schooner fore-reaches towards shelter. Outer and inner jibs drawing, main and foresail taut, gaffs beautifully twisted off, she is a sight to behold.
We were cruising down Maine’s Eggemoggin Reach, having a Skype conversation with New Zealand regarding the exhaust system on the FPB 97, when we noticed a cool looking roach profile heading towards us. Having just spent several invigorating days watching working schooners with gaff rigs and topsails, an early platform not too far from the most modern high roach mainsails, we thought “Wow, look how similar these are.”
As the profile drew closer it turned into a rig we knew well, the Sundeer 64 cutter. This was the yacht we’d earlier noticed moored in Smith Cove, a sistership to Raven.
We’ve got high pressure to our west generating northerly winds, so the solar panels are facing south, an ideal situation for a little angle on the panels. With the sun due to arrive over the equator in a few days we eyeballed 45 degrees. The results were immediate and positive.
We have been witness to wonderful sunsets over the past 35 years of cruising. From Cocos Keeling in the Indian Ocean, to Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas, Prince William Sound in Alaska, to Greenland’s Disco Bay, we’ve been thrilled, chilled, and awe struck. But nothing compares to what we just experienced here in prosaic Smith Cove, in the state of Maine, USA.
Hurricane Leslie is forecast to give Maine a wide berth, and make a direct hit on the eastern corner of Newfoundland. But keep a weather eye peeled. This is a complex weather scenario and it would not be unheard of for Leslie to shift course more to the west.
We have a stack of work to do for the FPB 97, an article due today for a magazine, our accountants need data from us with which to take care of taxing matters, and we are faced with a dilemma. When we should be hard at tasks on the critical path, the light is distracting us from our responsibilities.
It is a lovely Saturday evening in peaceful Pulpit Harbor. There are a few folks out for a row, two kayaks are paddling nearby, and a trim cutter has dropped her hook to windward of us. Although there is 100% overcast, the sun has created enough illumination to cast a golden sheen on the calm water, with just a hint of ripple from the dying breeze.
And then there is this “Picnic” boat blasting out of the harbor, throwing a substantial enough wake to roll Wind Horse, and really get our smaller neighbors going. This is exactly the type of behavior sailors expect from powerboat drivers.
Of course there are a few other things under the heading of bad manners, or perhaps lack of knowledge, that get more polite mariners exercised. Now, we know that no SetSail visitor would fit into this category. But you may know someone who does, so in an effort to educate the lower classes of yachting, we offer the following suggestions.
After a long flight and 36 hours without sleep, I am sitting in a lovely conference room in the offices of Circa Marine in Whangarei, New Zealand. As I type, I am wearing a long-sleeved shirt, a sweater over that, a scarf and my coat and I’m STILL cold. My thin Los Angeles blood was not prepared for the journey down to winter. Read the rest »
We are at anchor, it is quiet, just three other cruising yachts in this bay, and the sun is shining for a change. With the sun now dropping towards our neighbors in the Southern hemisphere, or the earth tilting if you prefer being accurate, the sun’s angle to our flat solar panels is less than optimal. But is it worth adjusting the solar array angle?Read the rest »