Rudder problems snag voyagers

Rudder problems snag voyagers

One of the most difficult gear failures for a voyaging boat is rudder/steering problems. Losing the ability to steer makes getting to the next available port a priority. Jury-rigged steering approaches can work, but call for having the proper materials on board and result in greatly reduced performance and crew fatigue working an often unwieldy emergency steering system. These drawbacks of emergency steering make the case for rigorous maintenance and troubleshooting of your rudder/steering setup prior to departure on a passage. A recent incident off Hawaii brings home the importance of this issue. On April 14, 2022, the 154-foot Sentinel-class…
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Ocean Navigator is 2022 Vallarta Race sponsor

Ocean Navigator is 2022 Vallarta Race sponsor

Ocean Navigator is now an official sponsor of the 2022 Vallarta Race, San Diego Yacht Club's long-standing traditional event sailing to the Mexican mainland on a 1,000 nm course from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. For for SDYC, racing to the Mexican mainland goes back to the first race iu 1953. The race is set to start in three classes on March 10, 11 and 12, 2022. Currently, there are 28 entrants for the race. This ocean race is a natural event for ON to participate in as a sponsor as it promotes offshore sailing skills and voyaging techniques that…
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North to Nome

North to Nome

With the changes in the Arctic, the Northwest Passage (NWP) is becoming an increasingly attractive trip to adventurous voyagers. In April 2020, I got a chance at making this famous journey when Matt Thomas, the owner of the 60-foot steel staysail schooner Terra Nova, invited me to join for an attempt at the NWP, sailing west to east.  I agreed immediately and joined Terra Nova in Poulsbo, Wash., across Puget Sound from Seattle. The plan went something like this: We would depart Poulsbo in mid-May, sail to the Beaufort Sea via Sitka, Homer, Unimak Pass, Nome and the Bering Strait,…
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Crossing the Doldrums

Crossing the Doldrums

For centuries sailors dreaded the aptly named Doldrums. This band of windless, hot, and humid weather near the equator could stall sailing ships for weeks, driving the crew to distraction with the monotony and sometimes even leading to the onset of scurvy as fresh supplies ran out. While sailors today needn’t fear scurvy, most of us still dislike this part of the ocean.  Most voyagers try to minimize time spent in the Doldrums. This strategy starts with obtaining accurate weather forecasts, whether over single-sideband radio or satellite phone connection. Even in the last 15 years that I’ve been voyaging, the…
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Posted August 21, 2021 Ocean Navigator Subscription August 20, 2021 - Honolulu, Hawaii - After careful review of the materials submitted to support his application, a review panel from the Transpacific Yacht Club have determined that Jesse Osborn wins the Mark S. Rudiger Celestial Navigation Trophy for the recently completed 2021 Transpac. Osborn was navigator aboard Justin Waite's Stevens 47 Mikmaks. The trophy is awarded to the navigator who submits celestial navigation worksheets or evidence of traditional navigation to the finish inspectors immediately after finishing, and whose work is selected as the "best" by an impartial panel of judges. First awarded in 2011, the trophy itself is an antique brass 1905 T. Hemsley…
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This July is the 51st running of the Transpac Race, the signature west coast offshore race, 2,225 miles from Los Angeles to Honolulu. And for this running of the race, Ocean Navigator is an official race sponsor. The seamanship, navigation, route planning and watchstanding efforts exhibited by the race crews are the same skills that voyaging sailors undertake every day in their passages. This makes ON’s sponsorship of the Transpac an excellent match. The race, run every two years, began in 1906 and was hosted by the Los Angeles Yacht Club. The current host of the race is the Transpacific…
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Our boat Havaiki was a 35-ton steel ketch. She was 48 feet on deck and 59 feet overall with the bowsprit and a six-foot draft. The boat was designed by Myron Spaulding of Sausalito, a well-known and respected yacht designer, and was built by Samuel Kerr Robinson of Sebastopol, Calif. Robinson was originally from Scotland and owned a body/fender shop in the San Francisco Bay area. He wanted a boat with a shallow keel and masts on tabernacles so they could be lowered and the boat could get under bridges. He had originally planned to navigate the channels in Europe…
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Notable New Titles — Plunge

Former liveaboard voyager and self-professed “citizen of the world,” Liesbet Collaert’s memoir Plunge is, like many other voyagers’ memoirs, an account of passages made, life aboard, dealing with gear failure, experiencing tropical beauty and a freedom tempered only by wind and weather. Yet, it would be unfair to only place the book in the category of sailing memoir. Plunge is also an affecting account of Collaert’s emotional life, her evolving relationship with her voyaging husband, Mark, and the losses and trade-offs that everyone, no matter afloat or ashore, must navigate. The memoir is bracingly honest about Collaert’s marriage and the…
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