Month: May 2015

Busy Mizzen

The mizzen mast on a ketch is often the place to hang ‘stuff’. On my ketch I had the wind generator, radar and a back-up vhf antenna on the mizzen. But I think this one I snapped recently takes the prize for busiest mizzen. It’s carrying a lightning dissipater, vhf antenna, wind generator, tv antenna, …

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Lovers Key

During our stay in south Florida we took the opportunity to visit Lovers Key. It comprises four barrier islands and was at one time only accessible by boat, attracting lovers to its secluded beach to do what lovers do. Now it’s a state park and you can drive to it – there’s a small entrance …

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Fire down below!

I’ve only ever had a fire on board once, when the alternator controller burst into flames as a result of a lightning strike. A dry powder extinguisher did the business, putting out the fire efficiently even though the resultant snow storm of white dust took a long time to clean up. Fire on board needs …

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The stingray shuffle

Being ‘barbed’ by a stingray’s tail weaponry is a painful experience. There’s the trauma from the cut and then there’s the pain, swelling and muscle cramps caused by the venom – you’ll need to get treatment but you’re unlikely to die. In Florida there are half a dozen different types of stingray but the most …

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The Sonar Keelboat

I recently spent a few days in the delightful city of St Petersburg, Florida. Strolling along the waterfront, through green manicured parks, I spotted a fleet of Sonar Keelboats owned by the St Petersburg Yacht Club. The Sonar was designed in 1979 by Canadian Bruce Kirby, creator of the highly successful Laser dinghy. The Sonar …

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Rudders for cruising

From the steering oars employed by the earliest sailing vessels rudders have evolved into the centrally mounted foils we see today. On a production boat you don’t usually have the option of specifying the rudder configuration – you get what you’re given – but the design of the rudder will certainly affect the suitability of …

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