Archive for » June 30th, 2014«

Grueling 39K-Mile Yacht Race Tests the Sanity of Cramped Crews

Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/Team Alvimedica

Photo: Tim Moynihan

Photo: Volvo Ocean Race

Photo: Daniel Forster/Team Alvimedica

Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/Team Alvimedica

Photo: Daniel Forster/Team Alvimedica

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Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/Team Alvimedica

Photo: Tim Moynihan

Photo: Volvo Ocean Race

Photo: Daniel Forster/Team Alvimedica

Photo: Gilles Martin-Raget/Team Alvimedica

Photo: Daniel Forster/Team Alvimedica

The idea of sailing around the world seems a bit iffy, even on a huge luxury liner with hot meals, cold alcohol, ample shuffleboard, and a decent bed. The idea turns horrific when you’re talking about doing it on a 65-foot sailing yacht with no fresh food, no shower, a narrow net of a bed, one change of clothes, and a single “toilet” the size and shape of a mixing bowl.

(P.S. You need to share that micro-toilet with seven other people.)

This is what the members of Team Alvimedica have signed up for. Led by skipper Charlie Enright and general manager Mark Towill, they’ll make up one of six competing teams in the Volvo Ocean Race, widely considered the toughest sailing race in the world.

The 2014-15 edition of the race, which takes place every three years, will cover 39,000 miles, hit six continents, and run from October to June. This is the first time it will be a “one-design” race: All entrants must use a specially designed boat—the $6 million Volvo 65—with the same exact specifications. The new carbon-fiber boats, designed by Farr Yacht Design in Annapolis, Md. specifically for the next two Volvo Ocean Races and assembled in different spots around the world, are strong and sturdy.

The idea is that giving everyone the same boat will keep teams from sacrificing safety features at the expense of speed. That’s not an idle worry: The race has claimed the lives of five sailors in its 41-year history. That doesn’t mean the boats are slow. With two sails, the 65-foot long craft can hit 30 knots (34.5 mph).

The identical boats will emphasize sailing skills, which could make this year’s race more competitive than ever. Teams will be evenly matched off the starting line. Once on the water, they monitor the weather to determine the exact route they want to take and which sails to use (Team Alvimedica will bring seven options to choose from). Depending on their choices, the boats may end up close together for some of the legs.

Each of the Volvo Ocean Race’s nine legs is treated as an independent race, with points allotted for the top finishers. At each port stop, the boats compete in shorter sprint races. The in-port races are used as tiebreakers if there’s a dead heat in the overall competition.

Volvo Ocean Race

No creature comforts

The boat may be safer than ever this year, but it offers little in the way of temperature control and sleep-friendliness. The cramped innards house a communications center, a video-editing lab, sleeping quarters (basically hammocks), and the head (a very non-private toilet). Enright says the temperature down there is either “really really hot or really really cold.” Carbon fiber doesn’t exactly dampen noise, so the cramped below-deck quarters pound constantly with the sound of waves hitting the hull.

We checked out Team Alvimedica’s boat on a gorgeous 80-degree day in New York City. It was a scorching, claustrophobic slice of hell. A tiny electric fan mounted to the right of the boat’s navigation center—a couple of ThinkPads with a cable-suspended seat in front—provided a sip of relief. It’s hard to imagine what would help if it were cold. There is no fireplace.

Obstacles

Each stage of the race is its own unique flavor of nightmare, from typhoons off the southern coast of China, dodging steamships in Malaysia, pirates near Somalia, to a combination of massive waves, powerful winds, and gigantic icebergs in the southernmost stretch of the competition. The first leg will take the teams from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa—a 6,487-mile jaunt that will last more than three weeks. The teams will swing so far west after passing through the Strait of Gibraltar, they’ll practically scrape the coast of Brazil. Then they loop back east to Cape Town. It’s not the most-direct route, but it may get them there the fastest thanks to the trade winds. As an added bonus, the route should also steer them clear of potential pirate attacks off the west coast of Africa.

If the competitors can duck and dodge their way through all of that, they’ll still need to make sure they don’t run out of food. That requires careful planning. Too much food will add unwanted weight to the boat. Too little of it would be disastrous during a slower-than-expected leg. During the last Volvo Ocean Race, the American PUMA Ocean Racing team ran out of food a day and a half from port on one leg.

But no matter how much food they bring, it will not be delicious. It’ll be freeze-dried everything, little packets of blech that won’t replenish the crazy amount of calories each crew burns on board. It’s no shock that the first thing the team will do when they get to each port is eat actual food, “or maybe get a blood test,” says Enright.

Tim Moynihan

When things go bad

When you’re stuck on a boat for weeks with a small crew, personnel decisions are a big deal. Substitutions are allowed between legs—and boats rarely finish the race with the same crew they had at the start—but while on the water, you’re stuck with whomever you’ve got. So each team builds a roster loaded with specialists who can deal with whatever happens: An electrician, a sailmaker, a medic, maybe a bowman or a strong grinder for the winches. A media specialist will also be on each boat to edit together video, as well as an embedded onboard reporter who’s only allowed to report, cook, and clean. It’ll be all-hands-on-deck, except for that reporter.

If something does go horribly wrong, the teams are on their own for a little while. The sailing yachts won’t be followed by chase boats and they’re often thousands of miles from land. In 2012, the mast of Team PUMA’s boat snapped in three places in the middle of the Southern Atlantic Ocean and ended up on Tristan da Cunha, the most remote inhabited island on the planet.

The boats are tracked: Every five minutes, Volvo Ocean Race officials will receive an update of each boat’s location, and the boats are certainly equipped for several forms of communication. A few Inmarsat Sailor satellite antennas are in the back of each boat: A large unit used for beefier transmissions, such as sending video from the boat via satellite. A second, smaller Inmarsat Sailor antenna will be used for less-demanding data delivery: Text messages and e-mails back home. Ordering a pizza probably won’t work.

There will also be five video cameras on board, including a pair mounted to the mast, and they’ll be rolling at all times. Not all the footage will be saved, however. Instead, there will be a buffer of at least 30 minutes so that the ship’s media crew member can review footage in case anything goes wrong, and to have more leeway when editing together montages. The mast-mounted cameras are controlled from below the deck, with a panel that can swap cameras, operate the zoom on each of them, and move them around. There’s also a Panasonic Toughpad the team can use on deck to see what’s happening, and remotely control the navigation system below.

According to Enright, the yachts were practically designed around one of the many cameras, a live-stream-capable module above the hatch that’s also equipped with a microphone for chatting. There won’t be a live-stream from the boat’s cameras, so you’re out of luck if you want to follow along with them for nine months straight. But you can follow them with an online map, and the media crew member will be editing videos aboard the ship and sending produced packages to TV stations via satellite.

The toughest part of the race will likely be the fifth and longest leg—the 6,776-mile, iceberg-infested stretch in the Southern Ocean from New Zealand to Brazil. “There, it’s not about going fast, it’s about controlling the crew and the boat,” says Enright, who anticipates filling the boat’s ballast tanks during that leg to slow the boat down and keep it more manageable. “To finish first, you must first finish.”

The prize for finishing first? Zero dollars. Each boat’s crew members are professional sailors who will be paid by their teams, but there’s no jackpot at the end of this grueling race.

The trophies aren’t too bad, though.


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United Yacht Launches Instant Used Boats for Sale Database

  • Email a friend


used boats

used boats

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (PRWEB) June 30, 2014

United Yacht Sales, the United State’s largest independently owned boat brokerage, announces the launch of their new “Quick Boat Search.” This new feature instantly searches hundreds-to-thousands of active listings of boats for sale, allowing potential buyers to find exactly what they want by boat manufacturer, boat minimum length, boat maximum length, or a combination.

Founder of United Yacht Sales, Peter Schmidt, comments. “We really care about our clients. Our new used boats search feature helps our boat sellers sell quicker and our boat buyers buy quicker. It’s all about convenience.”

IT Directory, Stephen Kaufman, elaborates. “Our new used boat search provides instant access to all of United Yacht’s boats for sale by connecting our website’s backend to our database of active listing.” He continues, “This is just one of many exciting new features that our team of experienced boat brokers has on the horizon for our clients.”

The instant search feature include results from nearly 300 different boat manufacturers and models, including the following.

  • Grady White
  • Sea Ray
  • Nordhavn
  • Hatteras
  • Viking
  • World Cat
  • Yellowfin
  • Wellcraft
  • Bayliner
  • Buddy Davis
  • and hundreds more.

As if the hours of time dedicated to developing a one-of-a-kind, convenient search system wasn’t enough, United Yacht Sales also just completed a month’s long process of listing detailed information of nearly 1,800 unique boat models. The new archive of boat models provides in-depth information on the length, hull, clearance, fuel capacity, water capacity, and horsepower of various yachts for sale.

Exceeding 40 years of experience in the yachting industry, Peter Schmidt’s United Yacht is among the most skilled yacht brokerages in the business. With over one hundred boat brokers on their team, the firm has as many as 1,000+ listings on the market and averages nearly 400 transactions yearly. With those kind of numbers, and on-going innovations in listing technologies and marketing, United Yacht is a THE industry leader in their field. Visit them online at http://www.unitedyacht.com or call them at 772-463-3131.

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New boats launched

New boats launched

By Oscar Tollast

SAIL AWAY: Elma Shipley, left, who has donated two dinghies in memory of her husband, with Hugh de Iongh

A SAILING group on Portland which provides opportunities for disabled people is celebrating the launch of two new boats.

Chesil Sailability, based at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, held a ceremony to mark the occasion.

Elma Shipley donated two Hansa 303 boats to the group as part of the Rod Shipley Memorial Fund with the Chesil Trust.

The boats have been named Rod Shipley 1 and Rod Shipley 2.

Mr Shipley started sailing in boats at an early age before spending many years in the Royal Navy, with his last posting in Portland.

He was involved in the Royal Dorset Yacht Club and became well known in the area after running Chesil Beach Motors. He passed away in 2012.

His wife, Elma, set up the memorial fund to create opportunities for people to get involved in sailing.

More than 40 people attended a ceremony to mark Mrs Shipley’s donation, including Mayor of Weymouth and Portland Kate Wheller.

Hugh de Iongh, committee chairman of Chesil Sailability, said it was a brilliant event.

He added: “We were so pleased to be able to share the afternoon with so many local dignitaries, friends of the Shipleys and our members.

“The weather helped too, and we are really grateful to our members who helped it run so smoothly.”

Mr de Iongh said the boats would be very important for Chesil Sailability, giving great pleasure and making a real difference to peoples’ lives.

He added: “Hansa 303s are the Land Rovers of the accessible sailing world – simple, robust and stable.

“They can be sailed two up, or single handed, and can be adapted for people with severe physical disabilities with controls.

“The ability for people with severe disabilities to sail independently is something very special that we can do, and gives them a unique freedom on the water.”

Up until recently Chesil Sailability had been using old boats on loan. These two new boats will form the core of the organisation’s new fleet.

The boats were taken out sailing after the launch event. Whilst somebody went for their very first sail on one of them, the other was used by two sailors training for national championships.

Mr de Iongh said: “Everyone came ashore smiling.”

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United Yacht Launches Instant Used Boats for Sale Database – Virtual

Browsing boats for sale just because easier with United Yacht Sales new “Quick Boat Search” feature. The boat brokerage’s feature gives clients the ability to instantly search hundreds of listings in real-time.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (PRWEB) June 30, 2014

United Yacht Sales, the United State’s largest independently owned boat brokerage, announces the launch of their new “Quick Boat Search.” This new feature instantly searches hundreds-to-thousands of active listings of boats for sale, allowing potential buyers to find exactly what they want by boat manufacturer, boat minimum length, boat maximum length, or a combination.

Founder of United Yacht Sales, Peter Schmidt, comments. “We really care about our clients. Our new used boats search feature helps our boat sellers sell quicker and our boat buyers buy quicker. It’s all about convenience.”

IT Directory, Stephen Kaufman, elaborates. “Our new used boat search provides instant access to all of United Yacht’s boats for sale by connecting our website’s backend to our database of active listing.” He continues, “This is just one of many exciting new features that our team of experienced boat brokers has on the horizon for our clients.”

The instant search feature include results from nearly 300 different boat manufacturers and models, including the following.

  • Grady White
  • Sea Ray
  • Nordhavn
  • Hatteras
  • Viking
  • World Cat
  • Yellowfin
  • Wellcraft
  • Bayliner
  • Buddy Davis
  • and hundreds more.

As if the hours of time dedicated to developing a one-of-a-kind, convenient search system wasn’t enough, United Yacht Sales also just completed a month’s long process of listing detailed information of nearly 1,800 unique boat models. The new archive of boat models provides in-depth information on the length, hull, clearance, fuel capacity, water capacity, and horsepower of various yachts for sale.

Exceeding 40 years of experience in the yachting industry, Peter Schmidt’s United Yacht is among the most skilled yacht brokerages in the business. With over one hundred boat brokers on their team, the firm has as many as 1,000+ listings on the market and averages nearly 400 transactions yearly. With those kind of numbers, and on-going innovations in listing technologies and marketing, United Yacht is a THE industry leader in their field. Visit them online at http://www.unitedyacht.com or call them at 772-463-3131.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/used-boats/for-sale/prweb11980747.htm


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MSU Sailing Center popular with students, community






By Beth Waldon

/ The State News

The MSU Sailing Club offers classes out of Lake Lansing for those wishing to sail.




“MSU acquired this property and some boats through a gift in the spring of 1997, and I was hired at that time to put recreational and educational programming together for our department,” Ken Warshaw, MSU sport facility professional with the department of recreational sports and fitness services, said.

Several MSU students assist Warshaw with instructing beginners.

“The backbone of our operation (is) MSU student employees,” Warshaw said. “Most of our students (employees) come with minimal sailing skills.”

When applying for the job, prospective student employees are not required to have any sailing experience. Warshaw is more interested in students who have a good attitude and are interested in community involvement.

MSU Alumnus Peter Rocco, who is the lead instructor and supervisor of the program, has been instructing beginners through the MSU Sailing Center for almost three years.

“I was on the sailing team and I was looking for a job,” Rocco said. “I knew about this place from the sailing team and I came out here and talked to Ken and it worked out.”

Rocco began sailing at a young age.

“I started when I was really young, probably like second grade, but I didn’t really get into it until about high school … since then, I’ve been (sailing) every summer,” Rocco said.

Rocco said his favorite part about the job is the public involvement.

“I just love working with all the new people and teaching everyone how to sail,” he said.

Lansing resident Gary Bush purchased a sailboat from the MSU Surplus Store and Recycling Center last April and wanted to learn how to properly use it.

“I used to sail when I was 9, so (it has) been a long time,” Bush said. “The boat I bought was like my dad’s when I helped build it.”

Bush said he has enjoyed all eight lessons and is excited to put his new boat to use.

Prospective sailors can call the MSU Sailing Center and register over the phone. MSU students receive a discount.

Warshaw said students are allowed to receive one credit for the program through the Department of Kinesiology.

Classes held in September are exclusively for MSU students receiving credit for the class, but May, June, July and August are open to everyone.

Warshaw said the program has taught all ages how to sail, ranging from children as young as 5 up to senior citizens in their mid-80s.

“The challenges are on so many different levels and there’s an enormous amount of satisfaction for us as instructors when we take people who know nothing about sailing and … a month later, they’ve acquired a lifelong skill,” Warshaw said.



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