May 27, 2008
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May 27, 2008
No other single piece of equipment is so well discussed (and debated) by all pleasure boaters as anchors. On a given weekend, while working on deck, I have often heard somebody come by and make a comment about anchors on boats – I had a Delta 55# as my primary anchor on a 26,000# Ingrid 38 Ketch which stood out as a heavy anchor. Power boaters and sailors alike debate design, size, usage and holding power of anchors. An anchor can allow you to sleep well or it can destroy a trip or vessel. No other single piece of equipment will put a vessel in as immediate danger as when you are counting on your anchor; and your anchor fails to hold. A proper anchor will hold you to the bottom when you are drifting without a motor, while sleeping the night in a cove or weathering out a storm off a wave washed shore. An anchor also allows you to explore and overnight in places with no docks, mooring buoys; off the beaten path.
1300 – 1800 BC
Early anchors are thought to be rocks tied to rope and there is archaeological evidence dating from the Bronze Age to support this. For over 3000 years, anchors consisted of using a great mass to hold a vessel at anchor. In 1637, the “Sovereign of the Seas,” at 1600 tons, carried 12 anchors of 4000 pounds each! It was during the 1600’s that two goals were combined to make anchors what they are today, a penetrating point (from the hook) and a reasonable mass.
1846 – Kedge Anchor
The fisherman, yachtsman, or kedge, anchor works well in sand and mud, and is better in hard bottoms and grass than other anchors. The design is a non-burying type, with one arm penetrating the seabed and the other arm standing proud. The kedge anchor is popular as the ultimate storm anchor. It has stood the test of time and is still built today, in a virtually unchanged form.
1933 – Plow Anchor
Popular cruising anchors, the plow anchors include the old cruising standard CQR ‘secure’ – “Coastal Quick Release” and the modern Delta. They get their name from the plow shape witch digs in well and this anchor will reset itself if a change in pull trips it. Although it may not bury in hard bottoms, this anchor is more effective in grass than other lightweight anchors. This anchor is hard to stow, except on a bow roller.
1943 – Fluke Design
The Danforth is lightweight compared to its holding power, the Danforth is superb in sand and mud, and its flat configuration makes it easy to carry aboard. The Danforth doesn’t set well in hard bottoms, and sea grass can keep it from reaching the bottom. There are many similar lightweight fluke anchors on the market, including the Fortress, which is aluminum. In a strong current, the broad flukes of the Danforth and similar fluke anchors can make them sail through the water rather than sink to the bottom.
1970’s – Claw Anchors
Claw and Manta anchors are originally based on the Bruce anchor; the anchor designed to keep North Sea Rigs in their place. The Claw style anchor will reset itself if tripped. However, it doesn’t do well in hard bottoms, and the shape of the flukes makes it vulnerable to fouling in heavy grass. A fixed shank anchor that is harder to stow.
Since the 1970’s, private pleasure boats have driven the popularity and design of modern anchors for small to medium sized vessels. Aluminum versions of Fluke Anchors, modern fixed shank plows like the Delta and Claw are all anchors that have received and furthered designs of older proven anchors.
You will need more than one Anchor abour a boat that spends any time away from the dock.
A 34 foot cruising sailboat might carry 4 anchors; a 35# Plow anchor (main), a 33# Claw (backup), a 50# Fisherman or 40# Fluke anchor (storm) and a 8.8# grapnel (lunch hook, dingy, dredging).
For a 34 foot weekender sailboat, you could carry one 45# plow – the Delta as a main anchor and a 40# fluke as a backup anchor.
A 35 foot power boat might carry 3 anchors; a 33# stainless steel Claw (main), a 40# Fluke (backup, storm) and a small grapple or fluke anchor (lunch hook, dingy, dredging).
Careful out there!
May 13, 2008
Nick Gill has written the following comprehensive article to help you select the proper gear if you are participating in the Newport – Bermuda race. However the information is valuable for any sailing adventure.
I became involved in the technical sailing clothing business back in 1975 because at the time there was so little choice, particularly for the competitive dinghy sailor. Thirty years on things have gone to the other extreme, there is literally so much choice, from so many brands that chances are you will end up confused on what is right for you. The danger is you will leave the decision making for another year and end up cold wet and uncomfortable.
A few key headline points to consider which emphasize the need to have the right clothing.
- Being cold and wet makes you tire easily and reduces your reaction time
- With the right choice you should never have to be cold again
- Cotton clothing absorbs moisture and up to 25% of its own weight, once it is wet it will stay wet for the duration
- Wet or damp materials transfers heat 20 times quicker than dry fabrics do
- Cotton should remain onshore and be replaced by technical quick dry polyester materials
The race can begin in cold and windy conditions, and end in the sweltering heat and light airs, and probably most things in between. Night sailing is always a lot colder and depending on the size of boat could be between three and six days. These diverse conditions mean your kit bag will need a wide range of gear.
Layering – A Personal Climate Control System
I believe it is best to look at your options in terms of layers. Hot or cold, the layering system makes enormous sense and functions as your personal climate control system.
The Base Layer is vital.
One of its main purposes is to keep you dry next to the skin and it does this by wicking moisture away from the body. In an hour of moderate exercise the body gives off half a liter of water – it has to go somewhere – and if you are wearing cotton it literally absorbs the water much like blotting paper. Once wet or even damp, it will transfer heat from your body 20 times faster than dry fabric. Remember that sailing is a sport where you can be sitting still for long periods then along comes a sail change or requirement to put a reef in and all hell breaks loose for a few minutes. You then sit down again. If you are wearing cotton clothing next to the skin it will absorb the moisture and suck the heat out of your body, leaving you feeling cold and clammy and tired.
For the cooler part of the journey I recommend Gill i2 Lite. There are many choices of long or short sleeve, Crew Neck or Zip Polo as well as Leggings and Boxer Shorts. Don’t forget the boxers as damp cotton underwear is no fun!
For warmer conditions, Gill has introduced technical long and short sleeve shirts. They are very fast drying, highly wicking and have a UV SPF 50 sun protection factor, essential for the latter part of the ARC rally. This new Technical Apparel range has a natural feel, is not tight fitting and is very comfortable for long periods.
The key elements of the Technical Apparel range are;
- Fast Drying
- Fast Wicking
- UV Protection to SPF 50
- A Natural Feel
All garments adhere to these principals and also feature a water repellent finish so water beads off rather than soaks in. However warm and dry it is on a boat it is inevitable there will be damp decks and spray around at times.
The Mid Layer is the insulation or thermostat control.
Just as Gill has a simple classification system for durability of the outer layer fabrics, our base and mid layers also have a straightforward classification system. It is known as the i37 body temperature regulating system – 37 degrees centigrade being the natural body temperature. The i series goes from i2 to i5 increasing in warmth as you go up the scale.
i3 Micro Fleece Mid Layer: A lightweight fleece. This is a super soft and close fitting fleece providing warmth without bulk and comes in a top and trousers. In predominantly mild conditions but with cooler nights it is ideal under foul weather gear.
i4 Fleece Mid Layer: This range is made in Polartec Classic 200 mid weight fleece and is available in a Zip Jacket, Zip Smock and Salopettes. It is slim fitting and flat seamed which is ideal as a mid layer and for wearing under the outer layer. As with all technical fleeces the i4 is quick drying. I particularly recommend the i4 Salopettes, as these are great to sleep in too.
i5 Shelled Mid Layers: I believe the ultimate mid-layer is the Crosswind Jacket and Crosswind Salopettes. The outer layer is a lightweight waterproof laminated fabric. It is highly breathable. The insulation is an ultra compact material giving exceptional warmth without bulk. It is hydrophobic (water hating) meaning it can still keep you warm when wet. Combine these materials with a taffeta lining and the garments become so easy to slip on unlike a fleece lined garment. An added bonus is the garment has taped seams and can be worn on it’s own in moderate conditions.
Another relatively new concept is Gill Softshell. A sandwiched lamination of different materials giving warmth, wind and water resistance with stretch, giving appareled comfort in sailing wear. The Gill Softshell race jacket and pants are perfect as a mid layer or in warmer conditions as an outer layer.
The Outer Layer is the protection.
There are three suitable options in the Gill range depending how much you want to spend. Regardless of which you select, you will need a Jacket and Chest High Trousers.
The main difference between the garment options is the height of the collar and the durability of the materials. There are two types of material available, 2-layer and 3-layer.
2-Layer Fabric is generally lighter and because the coating is unprotected requires a lining in the garment. It is also less expensive and slightly less durable.
3-Layer fabrics are a sandwich with the waterproof membrane in the middle. The outer fabric gives the texture and the abrasion and snag resistance whereas the inner is a scrim and this protects the coating from wear and tear. Our 3-layer garments are the most durable, do not need a lining but are also more expensive owing not just to the fabric cost (more than 50% higher) but also the taping costs both in materials and labor.
Key West: Our most suitable 2-layer garment is the Key West Coastal Offshore Jacket and Trousers. It is mid-weight, packed with features, has a collar that ends just at the top of the ears and is the most suitable suit for a wide range of conditions. If most of your sailing is coastal cruising with the occasional offshore passage, then Key West will do the job. It is reasonably priced, comes in Unisex and women’s specific sizing and the women’s trousers have a very useful drop seat.
Atlantic: As its name implies, the Atlantic is perfect for the job. It is made using a 3-layer fabric, heavier and more durable and it has a much higher collar. If you do a fair amount of offshore sailing and the occasional race then this would be my recommendation. Atlantic is made in our 5-dot Ocean grade fabric and was restyled for 2006.
Ocean Racer: If budget is less of an issue there is the Ocean Racer Jacket combining the superb features of the Atlantic suit but with many innovative design systems that reduce weight and improve the garment breathability but without sacrificing performance.
This is achieved by material selection; reducing flaps and overlays to a minimum and a cut that makes the garment so comfortable to wear. This is the range that Gill developed during the last Volvo Ocean Race with the crew of Illbruck, the overall winner. The performance to weight ratio was key to them.
Hands and Feet.
The most common injuries on boats are to the hands and feet. Stubbing your toe because you don’t have shoes on is one thing but slipping and ending up overboard is quite another.
Last year Gill launched a new shoe called the “Gripper”. As the name implies, the grip is outstanding. We test all our footwear on a slip rig at an independent footwear testing house. It tests in wet and dry conditions, on varnished wood and glass fibre decking – the latter was something I had to supply as it was not in their usual manual! The slip resistance on the shoe went off the scale and surpassed anything we had tested before. It is achieved through a very soft rubber compound and a flexible sole. The sole is also very flat on the ground so you feel very secure as it literally wraps around the deck.
Gloves are also important, not just to protect from rope burn but also from getting fingers caught or trapped. There are many options but I would strongly recommend long finger gloves. The Gill Pro-Glove is probably the toughest on the market using a material known as Proton Ultra as opposed to the thinner Amara.
I cannot say that I have done the Newport-Bermuda race, but who knows one day I may get the opportunity. If I did this is what I would take from what I guess some people would see as an envious amount of choice. A mere 50,000 pieces of technical sailing clothing just a few feet away from me at any one time.
May 9, 2008
With three fabric type choices and color selection within each fabric, how do you make sure you get exactly what you need? Go2marine helps you make these decisions with their guides on determining cover size and product information.
If you’re still not sure, contact the experts at Go2marine or better yet, send pictures.
Go2marine is proud to support the International Marine Community. As of 2008, Go2marine has shipped to 168 (really, I counted them!) of 193 countries in the world. We offer guaranteed shipping by post, truck, ship or air, from ounces / milligrams to 1000’s of pounds / kilograms.
Some of the more exotic locales are Bosnia, Cameroon, Colombia, Dominica, Georgia, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, St. Martin, Syria, Tortola, Tusnia and Yugoslavia. Go2marine ships to commercial fishing fleets, around the world cruising sailors and anyone needing a part to keep them going!
Some of the landlocked countries we have shipped to including; Azerbaijan, Hungary, Laos, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Switzerland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. There are only 44 landlocked countries and only 2 that are doubly landlocked – countries that are surrounded by other landlocked countries.
We have enjoyed extensive shipping to Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Puerto Rico and the United States. Go2marine ships out boat building materials, marine facility maintenance supplies, vessel parts and equipment by the envelope, box or pallets.
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May 5, 2008
Edson manufactures boat steering wheels for both sailboats and powerboats. From Edson’s American Manufacturing locations, they produce stainless steel, wood, cast and composite boat steering wheels. Edson supplies boat steering wheels that are suitable for any vessel of any size.
Edson’s Carbon Fiber Boat Steering Wheel – less than 10 lbs in a 54″ wheel
Edson’s Carbon / Wood Laminated Boat Steering Wheel fitted to the Baltic 152′ Pink Gin, features alternating layers of Teak, Holly and Carbon Fiber, forming a unique blend of traditional and modern building materials. Hand built by third generation master craftsmen, each boat wheel is built to the customers specifications, combining woods of your choice with composite materials sealed with clear Awl Grip.
Twin Edson custom boat wheels aboard Baltic 152
Edson leads in Powerboat steering wheels with the Stainless Comfort Grip Power Wheel. Edson’s production power boat steering wheels are quality built in the USA. You may add features such as a steering knob and custom engraved center nuts. From modern stainless steel destroyer wheels to cast aluminum character wheels offering a traditional look, Edson builds a powerboat steering for you.
Edson powergrip power boat steering wheel
Edson steering wheels for modern sailboats are most often destroyer boat wheels mounted to an Edson steering pedestal. Offered for virtually every production and custom sailboat, Edson supplies a steering system, steering pedestal or steering wheel that will fit you vessel.
May 2, 2008
In 1948 in a city suburb of Vitry, France, an electronics engineer established a company called “Societe Electronique de Vitry, “Sevy” for short. While their main product was electrical accessories, Sevylor set up a unit to use their “high-frequency” welding machines to manufacture PVC consumer goods.
Quickly outgrowing their facilities, they moved to Buhl, located in the Alsace region of Eastern France near the German border. Once these headquarters were established, the letters “l’or” (French for gold) were added to the name and they began expanding into boats, inflatable pools, pumps, valves and other water toys.
U.S. distribution began in 1959 when Kayak Corporation of America signed an exclusive agreement to sell directly to the public at sport shows and other events. Sevylor developed the first camping mattress, which was sold exclusively through Neiman Marcus.
Sevylor makes history in 1962 with the creation of the inflatable pool mattress with a headrest and circular pockets.
In 1972 Sevylor bought Kayak Corp. and created Sevylor U.S.A. Inc., and development exclusively for the US market began. The Zodiac Group took over Sevylor and all its subsidiaries in 1981.
The creation of the “Ski Bob” in 1986 marked the beginning of the entire towables business.
Now a part of the Stearns Inc. family, all of Sevylor’s products are high quality and feature construction and materials engineered for safety and long life.