News from the Helm – September 2017

BY MICHAEL ROBERTSON

UNSTAYED: LOOKING FOR PHOTOS

Good Old Boat is looking for readers’ photos for an upcoming spread. We want to see you and your boat, underway beneath a headsail that’s set flying, i.e., not attached to a stay. Maybe it’s your colorful gennaker or asymmetrical, full and pulling. Or maybe it’s that same spinnaker, causing a broach. Maybe you’re reaching under a Code 0. Maybe it’s something else altogether.

Give me your best shot, surprise me, but do it fast. I’m gonna run this one in the January issue, and we’re close to wrapping up November now!


TEACHING SAILING

How do you teach sailing? How should sailing be taught? The U.S. Government has the answer. The U.S. Coast Guard’s National On-Water Standards (NOWS) Program grant management team and the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) worked together to recently release their how-to guide for providing on-water sailing instruction. They spared no creativity in coming up with their guide’s title: SAIL Standard Technical Support Document (SAIL TSD) — but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. More information about the 160-page document and a free download is available at: www.onwaterstandards.org and www.abycinc.org.


STONE HORSES RUN

Matador, Photo by Tom Kenney

KenneyStone Horse owners descended on Padanaram Harbor, South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, for the mid-August running of the Stone Horse Builders Cup race. David Neumeyer of Marion, Massachusetts, took first place sailing his Matador. Winds were light and fluky for this year’s event, but that didn’t take away from the fact that any gathering of these pretty vessels is a feast for the eyes.

Designed by Samuel Crocker back in 1931, only about 30 examples of the Stone Horse were built of wood. Racing today are examples of the 151 fiberglass cutters built by Edey & Duff between 1969 and 1996.


BOATING STATISTICS

 

Speaking of the Feds, the U.S. Coast Guard released its statistical report of boating incidents and fatalities that occurred in 2016. It’s available right here and is pretty interesting: http://uscgboating.org/library/accident-statistics/Recreational-Boating-Statistics-2016.pdf. To sum it up: if you want to enjoy your time on the water and give yourself the best odds of staying both safe and alive, don a PFD, step aboard a sailboat, and have fun.


NAVIONICS NEWS

Navionics, the popular navigation app used worldwide by mariners equipped with iPads, announced release of a software development kit, or SDK. An SDK is a tool that allows other (non-Navionics) developers to build applications that use Navionics functionality within their own programs. This is big news because it promises to take a useful product and make it more so.

Full disclosure: my family and I have been cruising aboard our 1978 Fuji 40 for the past 6 years, from Mexico to Alaska to Mexico and across the Pacific to Fiji. In all that time, Navionics, installed on a few on-board iPads, has been our primary source of chart navigation.

Developers can find more info at: https://developers.navionics.com/

 


 

ELECTRIC PROPULSION GAINING TRACTION

Torqeedo came on the scene a few years ago and made the small electric outboard market their own. They’ve since branched out to offer larger electric marine powerplants. Now they face significant competition from a company that’s been in the electric boat propulsion business for more than 100 years: Elco.

Elco is trumpeting its recent awards from boating magazines for an electric outboard line-up that ranges from 9.9 to 20 horsepower and an inboard range from 6 to 100 horsepower. For more info, visit: https://www.elcomotoryachts.com/.


USCG FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS

You’ve heard of the Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit with a mission to enhance the education, welfare, and morale of Coasties and their family members. A chunk of the money they raise is earmarked for scholarships for Coast Guard member children to pay for higher education. In 2013, the Foundation sent 40 kids off to school with the tuition paid. This year, they’ve done the same for 166 kids! To learn more about this program or to donate, visit: http://www.coastguardfoundation.org/.

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