One man's waste is another

A passion for recycling and a love of steel has prompted a Maine sailor to combine his interests by building, in his back yard, a 113-foot schooner entirely of recycled and scrap material. Harold Arndt has worked in the industrial waste and surplus industry for many years and has seen a lot of material go into the scrap pile that could be perfectly useful somewhere else. As a result, Arndt likes to say that the word "waste" is a misnomer. "Waste is a resource in the wrong place at the wrong time," Arndt said, while pointing to the many piles…
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Now you'll know when to throttle back

Now you'll know when to throttle back your Atomic Four to avoid a ticket. Whistler Corporation, based in Chelmsford, Mass., has just announced the release of its 1490 Marine Radar and Laser Detector. The new product offers 360° of detection of all radar and laser guns. To simplify detector use, it is equipped with visibility displays which provide text messages when signals are detected. Karen McVeigh, Whistler marketing manager, commented on the product: "With the expanding use of radar guns by water authorities, we've received an increasing amount of requests from powerboat owners to create a product specifically geared to…
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Fisherman's approach to roll stabilization

To the editorCongratulations on publishing your recent Power Voyaging section, and especially Earl Hinz's piece on preventing power voyagers from rolling ("Roll stabilization," Issue No. 93, Nov./Dec. 1998). Unfortunately, the author perpetuates some misconceptions about paravane-type stabilizers introduced by the Beebe/Leishman book Voyaging under Power. First, as any commercial salmon troller can tell you, "stabies" ("flopper-stopper" isn't used by commercial fishermen) are not hard to deploy and retrieve. I used them on three boats, up to 40 feet, and could singlehand them, either stopped or slowly underway. Some fishermen operate these devices on boats larger than 50 feet alone. If…
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Iron Mike' coming to coastal forecasts

The familiar voices of local forecasters who announcecoastal weather conditions over VHF frequencies will soon be giving way to the droning synthesized voice normally associated with the Coast Guard's HF SSB high-seas forecastssometimes known as "Iron Mike." The monotone and often hard-to-follow voice, which can sound both male and female but lacks the natural timbre and cadence of a human voice, is being introduced as a cost-saving measure by the federal government. It is expected to free forecasters from the tedious job of speaking into a microphone several times a day, according to John Jensenius, spokesman and warning coordination meteorologist…
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It doesn't happen very often…

IT DOESN'T HAPPEN VERY OFTEN, but, in this case, we agree with the Clinton administration: There is no compelling reason to ask U.S. taxpayers to continue paying the tuition of students at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. In preparing consecutive issues of this magazine and of our sister publication Professional Mariner, we routinely interact with graduates and students of all merchant marine academies in the U.S. It would be nice to say that USMMA grads seem to be brighter, better trained, more professional, or, in the words of one U.S. senator, "better prepared to interact with the military;" but that…
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Newsletter tells of oceans'ills

Sailors with an environmental conscience would be well served to subscribe to a free newsletter that is intended to raise awareness about the growing threat to the ocean and its living resources. The Ocean Update is published by SeaWeb, which was founded by the Pew Charitable Trust in 1996 as a means to protect the world's oceans. The Update is a direct link to many universities and research developments around the world since it publishes academic studies in all areas of marine environmental issues. For example, a recent issue contained an article that described the ninth annual Coral Reef Symposium…
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Correction changes Chichester's course

There was a small error in a recent nav problem ("Biplane sextant sights," Issue No. 62). On his 1931 flight, Chichester actually took his departure from a harbor in the north of New Zealand, not from Auckland as shown. Chichester accomplished this remarkable feat of navigation by precalculating his observed altitude (ho) and setting his sextant to those readings for set times. By steering a course that would carry him west of Norfolk Island, he was able to turn right 90° when his LOP became his course line. Interestingly, investigators trying to solve the disappearance of Amelia Earhart have found…
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Ayesha's last cruise

In 1914, the German cruiser SMS Emden and Kapitanleutnant Helmuth Karl von Mucke found themselves in the South Pacific upholding the Imperial interests of Kaiser William. On Nov. 9, Emden disembarked 50 men, including von Mucke, at Direction Island in the Keeling group, to wreck its vital cable and radio station. The landing party quickly vandalized the facility, and the British operators were made "prisoners," although no one was actually constrained or locked up. In fact, the interaction of the two groups was so cordial that von Mucke agreed to a British request that the station's radio tower be felled…
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A racer's perspective on climbing the mast

As a racing sailor, the recent article on how voyaging sailors should climb a mast ("Climbing the mast," July/August 2000, Issue No. 107) grabbed my attention, and I thought readers might like to hear how racers handled this task. Racers discarded bosun's chairs long ago. I have been using a mountain-climbing harness for 30 years. The recent article does not mention the most important features of a climbing harness as contrasted with a bosun's chair. First, with a climbing harness, you can actually climb the mast, with the halyard(s) being merely an assist. The point is that, with a climbing…
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