Industry News

Articles about the passagemaking industry; its companies, segments and performance.

Suntex Marina Investors Raise Capital for Growth

Suntex Marina Investors Raise Capital for Growth

Suntex Marina Investors said this week that it had raised more than $200 million in equity commitments and acquired the assets and personnel of Suntex Waterfront Advisors.  Suntex CEO Jonny Powers said the investment capital means the company is financially poised for rapid growth.  “With the completion of this capital raise, we are financially poised for rapid growth. Increasing our portfolio will not only benefit investors, but we are confident that by extending our high standards of customer service to additional marinas, the boating public will also benefit from the Suntex approach:  Improve the customer experience by offering superior hospitality services that are unique in the marina industry.”

Suntex Marinas company logoSuntex said the combination of equity commitments and third-party debt financing will provide it with more than $500 million of buying power to acquire domestic marinas. Suntex also announced that Bill Anderson, president of Westrec Marinas, has joined the Suntex Board of Directors.  Anderson has more than 30 years of marina industry experience.  Westrec is the largest manager of marinas in the country, with such prestigious assets as the Harbour Towne Marina in Fort Lauderdale and Holiday Marina on Lake Lanier, as well as the management of the Chicago Harbors for the City of Chicago.

Posted by Tom in Destinations, Industry News, Marinas

Kadey-Krogen Notches 600th Yacht Sale

A new Krogen 44′ AE will start construction next month, the happy result of Kadey-Krogen Yachts’ 600th yacht sale. The customers of Kadey-Krogen sales executive Greg Kaufman were identified only as “two new members” of the KKY family of owners.  The yachts will be built at KKY’s construction partner, Asia Harbor Yacht Builders, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, with delivery expected in the fall of 2015.

Kadey-Krogen 44' AE Yacht.  Photo:  Kadey-Krogen Yachts

Kadey-Krogen 44′ AE Yacht. Photo: Kadey-Krogen Yachts

The Krogen 44′ AE is the latest version of the company’s original 42′ design, which was penned by the late Jim Krogen for his business partner Art Kadey.  The “AE” designator was applied to Krogen 44′ yachts delivered as of 2011, which incorporated a set of more than 50 ergonomic and technical changes. The newest iteration includes a redesigned galley and expanded flybridge.

Here are the basic specs for the Krogen 44′ AE

Length Overall (LOA) 49′ 0″
Length On Deck (LOD) 44′ 4″
Length at Waterline (LWL) 40′ 11″
Beam (Molded) 15′ 6″
Beam (Over Rub Rail) 16′ 4″
Draft (Designed Water Line – DWL) 4′ 6″
Displacement (at DWL) 43,140 lb.
Ballast (Encapsulated Lead) 2,500 lb.
Fuel 850 gal.
Water 300 gal.

Range Performance (Approx., with 10% reserve)

6 knots: 4,450 Nautical Miles
7 knots: 3,000 Nautical Miles
8 knots: 1,900 Nautical Miles
9 knots: 1,250 Nautical Miles

All data from Kadey-Krogen Yachts.

For more detailed information and a nice photo gallery, see the KKY website.

Copyright © 2014 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

 

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Industry News, Powerboats
Annual Top 10 Boat Names List from BoatUS

Annual Top 10 Boat Names List from BoatUS

A clever boat name from the photo files of BoatUS.

A clever boat name from the photo files of BoatUS.

I’m a little late on this one, but the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) recently released the national boating organization’s 24th Annual Top Ten Boat Names List. The BoatUS list of Top Ten Boat Names:

1. Serenity
2. Second Wind
3. Island Girl
4. Freedom
5. Pura-Vida
6. Andiamo
7. Island Time
8. Irish Wake
9. Happy Hours
10. Seas the Day

You can see the complete history of the BoatUS name survey  at this link.

We’d love to hear some of the better names you’ve seen out there.  Post them in the comments and we’ll do a roundup of them.

Copyright © 2014 by Oceanlines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boat Systems, Industry News, Legal & Insurance, Maintenance & DIY, seamanship

2014 Miami International Boat Show Opens Today

 

Open Doors of the 2014 Miami International Boat Show

What’s behind this door? The 2014 Miami International Boat Show

We’re in Miami for the opening of the 2014 Progressive® Miami International Boat Show and it’s clear from the exhibits on display, the boats in the water and the news already making headlines that there is a new optimism in the boating industry.

View of the show floor at the 2014 Miami International Boat Show

So much to see as you walk into the Convention Center show floor at the 2014 Miami International Boat Show

If you’re following our Tweets from the show (@OceanLines), you’ve seen some quick spy shots we got from the show floor last night while all the show employees and company folks were still putting last-minute touches on all the displays. We tweeted photos of the Lehr propane-powered outboard motors; a great solution if you have a diesel boat and don’t want to carry or mess with gasoline for your tender. Actually, it might be a great solution for anything you want to do with a smaller outboard.

We also sent a picture of the great line of Yamaha outboards on display; the cool paint jobs on the Mercury Verado outboards on Deep Impact’s boats; the rocketship-like go-fast boats from Marine Technology and some examples of the new Carver Yachts lineup.

Last night you also saw our Tweet with a photo of Boston Whaler’s innovative fold-down side gate on the 270 Dauntless. We’ll have two more news stories from Boston Whaler today, including one on a brand-new boat being developed by the company.

There is also a lot of news from the marine electronics companies this year and we’ll have all the coverage, including a roundup of the great new technology and content available from the Navico brands — Simrad, Lowrance and B&G.

So, stay tuned and be sure to follow us on Twitter for quick heads-up items and photos from the show floor and the marinas.

Copyright © 2014 by Oceanlines LLC.  All rights reserved.

 

Posted by Tom in Boats, Electrical Systems, Electronics, Engines, Gear & Apparel, GPS, Industry News, Marine Electronics, Performance Powerboats, Powerboats, Propulsion, Radar, Radios, Sonar, Technology

Nordic Tugs Production Re-Starting

Starboard running shot of the new Nordic Tugs 39

Starboard running shot of the new Nordic Tugs 39

News this week from Nordic Tugs, Inc., that it has re-started production after a three-month hiatus during which most of the operational employees were laid off.  Bob Shamek, who heads sales and marketing for Nordic Tugs, said workers were being recalled as the production processes ramp up.

View of the pilothouse and expanded helm of the new Nordic Tugs 39

View of the pilothouse and expanded helm of the new Nordic Tugs 39

The company has a number of boats on order from its dealer network, including some for its newest model, the NT-39, photos of which are shown in this piece.  The Nordic Tugs line now includes the 26, 34, 39, 42, 49 and 54.

Salon aboard the new Nordic Tugs 39

Salon aboard the new Nordic Tugs 39

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Industry News, Powerboats
A Bigger Motorsailer from Nordhavn?

A Bigger Motorsailer from Nordhavn?

Partial Profile of a Possible Nordhavn 68 Motorsailer

Partial Profile of a Possible Nordhavn 68 Motorsailer

Pacific Asian Enterprises, the company that builds the Nordhavn line of passagemaking boats, has spent some of the less-pressured time of the economic recession to finish work on a couple of new designs.  Among them reportedly are a larger version of the 75 Expedition Yacht Fisher, a megayacht even bigger than the Nordhavn 120 currently under construction, and this one — a 68-foot motorsailer.

The 68MS is in official company drawings of layout and general arrangement that appeared on the Nordhavn Dreamers Group website this summer. The new motorsailer builds on the 56MS but, naturally, is significantly roomier and features twin engines.  These drawings show a masthead sloop rig with a large foresail, but company sources indicate the boat could also be delivered as a ketch. You can download the profile drawings here; and the layout drawings here.

How long it takes before we see this boat probably has most to do with how long the recession lasts. While there are a handful of slightly positive economic measures out there, consumer (boat-buyer) uncertainty seems to be at an all-time high. Many boat-builders in the trawler/cruiser/passagemaker segment experienced a sharp drop-off in demand last April, in the midst of what was supposed to have been the recovery. Not only has that caused the untimely death of some companies (see our piece on Nordic Tugs here), but even some of those remaining are beginning to think it might be 2-3 years before demand recovers.

There is a tremendous amount of money out there, but between the “haves” who are worried about tax uncertainties and poor investment vehicles (the stock market); and the “have-nots” who can’t get loans from banks, that money is not being spent on new boats.

Copyright ©2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Industry News, Powerboats, Sailboats

Nordic Tug Brand Could Revive Under Management Buyout

The Recently Launched Nordic Tug 39

The Recently Launched Nordic Tug 39

The current management team at Nordic Tugs is looking for investors to help them acquire the brand and production capabilities from the current private owner of the company, according to a source familiar with the search. Late last week, the Washington state boatbuilder announced it was shutting down manufacturing operations. The company recently launched a new 42′ for the Seattle Boat Show, as well as a new 39′ for the Show, and has a couple of dozen pre-owned Nordic Tugs listed for sale on its website.

The current owner cited the economic recession as the underlying cause of the manufacturing shutdown. The shutdown is being attempted with the goal of keeping all parties involved as “whole” economically as possible.  Employees who are being laid off are being paid for time worked up to the shutdown and for paid time-off that had been earned. Vendors and suppliers are also being paid, according to one company official.

There were two additional company-owned boats in early stages of construction. A quick check with some Nordic Tug dealers suggests a guarded optimism that the brand will survive and that manufacturing will resume as soon as consumer demand picks up whenever the recession is over. It’s pure speculation on my part, but Nordic Tugs fit into the mid- to upper-market niche and probably have a slightly higher percentage of financed buyers than the very high-end cruising and passagemaking boats.  They may also have a buyer demographic that has been hit harder by unemployment. These factors could exacerbate the difficulties faced by the builder and dealers in finding buyers with either significant discretionary cash on-hand, or access to easy credit. Those last two are characteristics in extremely short supply right now.

In the end, the boats and brand will likely survive, in my opinion. They are high-quality boats, with a diverse and loyal ownership base out there that could move up through the larger models if economic conditions permit.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Industry News, Powerboats
ActiveCaptain on the iPad – Wicked Cool

ActiveCaptain on the iPad – Wicked Cool

ActiveCaptain on the iPad - Screenshot Courtesy of Jeffrey Siegel, ActiveCaptain

ActiveCaptain on the iPad - Screenshot Courtesy of Jeffrey Siegel, ActiveCaptain

I’ve been looking for a reason to have to get an iPad and I think now I’ve found it. In his latest on-the-road blog entry, Jeff Siegel of ActiveCaptain demonstrates how well the software works on the new tablet platform from Apple. Regular readers know I’m a big fan of ActiveCaptain — I use it on my Palm Centro with a Bluetooth GPS — but on the iPad it arrives at a whole new level.

As Siegel explains, ActiveCaptain will be included in an upcoming update for the Navimatics Charts and Tides software, and the app itself will work on both iPhone and iPad. He also notes that while offline, the iPad shows all of the ActiveCaptain data, and then, when Internet is available, can be re-synchronized with the live database so that you have the latest possible local information. Perfect.

He notes, as well, in a response to a reader comment, that Coastal Explorer, which ActiveCaptain now sells for a good price in its online store, will also do the synchronization. All we have to do now is get a PC maker to build a real-world tablet for us, maybe with an OLED screen and splash-proof case so we can use it on the flybridge.  And no, I cannot afford a Panasonic Toughbook. If there was some real competition for that one, maybe Panasonic would lower those prices from the stratosphere.

No, I don’t get paid by ActiveCaptain. I’m just a Believer. Go get it.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Destinations, Electronics, Industry News, Technology
Writers on the Water

Writers on the Water

Okay, so it’s not quite as memorable (yet?) as “Riders on the Storm,” the 1971 hit by The Doors, but a new blog by writers Christine Kling and Mike Jastrzebski  called Write on the Water, is a place to talk about the intersection of writing and living and working on the water. I was the guest author there today and I’m thrilled and honored that they asked me to write something for them.

New Blog Write On The Water

New Blog Write On The Water

Chris is already a famous (to me at least) author of a great mystery series featuring the fictional tug captain Seychelle Sullivan. And Mike is a full-time writer living on his 36′ sailboat, Roughdraft. OceanLines’ own guest author Victoria Allman, who writes our “Sea Fare” series of recipes for the cruiser and who wrote “Sea Fare:  A Chef’s Journey Across the Ocean.”

I know from talking with readers of OceanLines that many of you are also writers. Remember, the definition of “a writer” is “someone who writes.” Don’t buy the stodgy nonsense that you have to have been published to be considered a true writer. Writers write. Period. And from what I’ve read, some of you are very good writers.

One definition of a good writer is someone who can tell a compelling story. Our community has those by the drove. People like Ken Williams, John and Maria Torelli, and others who have compiled their writings into books.  And others, like Milt Baker and John Marshall and a host of other current cruisers, tell great stories in their blogs.  Of course, there are also the classic “nautical writers” of the age of sail, like Melville, Conrad and Dana. They were all seamen before they were writers. Derek Lundy points that out in his great book “The Way of a Ship,” which is is a fantastic account of his ancestor’s passage aboard the Beara Head, an iron-hulled square-rigger, that took a load of coal around Cape Horn.

If you’ve written about your time on the water, we’d like to hear about it and share it with our other readers. Send us a link to your blog or a book you’ve written and we’ll put together a page with everyone’s links on it. I know you’re out there, typing away on some kind of keyboard. Let’s hear about it! And stop by Write On The Water when you get a chance.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Industry News, Passagemaking News, People, Powerboats, Sailboats, seamanship
Garmin Makes Huge Offer for Raymarine

Garmin Makes Huge Offer for Raymarine

Garmin-Proposed Helm for the Kadey-Krogen 55' Expedition

Garmin-Proposed Helm for the Kadey-Krogen 55' Expedition

In an announcement made on the London Stock Exchange today, Garmin announced it is offering 15 pence (19.74 cents U.S.) per share for all the shares of Raymarine Plc. Raymarine lately has been discussing the various offers made for its shares but had not specifically mentioned Garmin since talks broke down between the two firms last December.

In its filing, Garmin says Raymarine initially approached it about making an offer to purchase the company back in June of 2009 and that subsequent to a recently announced offer of 3.6 pence per share of Raymarine, the company decided to make an offer.

In its announcement, Garmin notes that its offer is:

– a 436 per cent. premium to the average share price of 2.8 pence per Raymarine Share in the three-month period ending on the day prior to the announcement of a possible offer for Raymarine on 11 March 2010;

– a 366 per cent. premium to the share price of 3.22 pence per Raymarine Share on the day prior to the announcement of a possible offer for Raymarine on 11 March 2010;

– a 275 per cent. premium to the possible amount of approximately 4 pence per Raymarine Share that would be available for return to Raymarine Shareholders under the non-offer proposal referred to in Raymarine’s announcement dated 21 April 2010; and

– a 152 per cent. premium to the share price of 5.95 pence per Raymarine Share as at the close of business on 27 April 2010, the closing price on the day prior to the date of this announcement.

Total consideration of approximately £12.5 million would be payable by Garmin to Raymarine Shareholders, assuming that no Raymarine Shares are issued between the date of this Announcement and the closing date of the Offer.

Garmin says it expects the offer will receive the necessary regulatory approvals. As of mid-afternoon today there has been no official response from Raymarine.

I believe this announcement is the latest evidence of the aggressive posture Garmin has taken in recent years toward the marine electronics market. The company has pioneered a great deal of innovation in non-marine markets and has become the de-facto market leader in general aviation, as well as dominating the handheld and automotive aftermarket GPS segments. Garmin made an innovative proposal for outfitting the new Kadey-Krogen 55′ Expedition when we asked the leading marine electronics companies to do so.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Electronics, Industry News, Technology
USCG Photo Contest Winners for 2009

USCG Photo Contest Winners for 2009

Instructors, crew and students of a Coast Guard National Motor Lifeboat School class train for heavy weather boat operations in the harsh environment of Cape Disappointment in the Pacific Northwest Nov. 12, 2009. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jamie E. Parsons)

Instructors, crew and students of a Coast Guard National Motor Lifeboat School class train for heavy weather boat operations in the harsh environment of Cape Disappointment in the Pacific Northwest Nov. 12, 2009. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jamie E. Parsons)

Last month, the U.S. Coast Guard announced the winners of its “People’s Choice” photo contest, which we covered here. This month we have the winners of the in-house photo contest from the Coasties. These are great photos and although we’ve all seen similar photos before, we can’t seem to get enough of them. When you see this first photo of a motor lifeboat coming off the top of a wave, you know exactly the feeling in the pit of the stomach of everyone aboard that boat.

The Coast Guard Cutter Naushon conducts a familiarization patrol in Glacier Bay, Alaska, Oct. 21, 2008. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Logan Wright.)

The Coast Guard Cutter Naushon conducts a familiarization patrol in Glacier Bay, Alaska, Oct. 21, 2008. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Logan Wright.)

These are the work of the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard and they represent, and reflect, the often dangerous and dramatic work these people do in the course of protecting us all. Remember that the next time you feel like groaning about a safety inspection or a request for a contribution to the U.S. Coast Guard Foundation.

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer hanging from a Coast Guard MH-60 Dolphin helicopter prepares to enter the water during high seas rescue training at Cape Disappointment, Wash., Nov. 15, 2008. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chuck Ferrante.)

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer hanging from a Coast Guard MH-60 Dolphin helicopter prepares to enter the water during high seas rescue training at Cape Disappointment, Wash., Nov. 15, 2008. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chuck Ferrante.)

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Environment & Weather, Industry News, People & Profiles, seamanship, Technology

Marinalife Members Get 20 Percent Discount on Beacon Wi-Fi

Marinalife Company LogoMarinalife, the online concierge and trip-planning service, recently partnered with Beacon Wi-Fi, the largest supplier of wireless Internet to marinas along the East Coast, to provide a 20% discount to its members. The new partnership extends to marinas as well, who will receive a 30% discount off the Beacon Wi-Fi wireless installation fee and 15% off monthly service fees for new installations.

Joy McPeters, president of Marinalife, said, “We polled our boating members and an overwhelming number responded that having Internet access was an important amenity at a marina. This partnership was critical for us as well as Beacon Wi-Fi because we both want to improve the experience of the boater at marinas. Beacon Wi-Fi is a very reputable company and it is ideal to be able to offer their Wi-Fi to our marina and boater clients at a better rate.”

“Beacon Wi-Fi provides service at hundreds of the finest marinas on the U.S. East Coast, all of which are focused on serving their customers well,” said Chris Reitz, Co-founder of Beacon Wi-Fi. “It makes perfect sense for us to partner with Marinalife so their boating members can benefit from our 20% discounts and securely surf the Internet. When Marinalife marina members add the Beacon Wi-Fi Network at their marina, their customers benefit from free roaming at over 200 marinas in the Beacon Wi-Fi Network.”

Marinalife said it currently has more than 8,600 marinas in its database. Beacon Wi-Fi said it has more than 200 marinas in its network, stretching from Maine to the Bahamas. There’s a good page with more technical information about the Beacon Wi-Fi service at this Marinalife webpage.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Destinations, Electronics, Industry News, Passagemaking News, Technology

Fugawi Announces NavPlanner 2 and Updated Marine ENC

Screenshot of NavPlanner2 Showing Google Earth View

Screenshot of NavPlanner2 Showing Google Earth View

Fugawi recently announced the release of Navionics NavPlanner2, powered by Fugawi. The company also said it has released version 4.5.5 of its Fugawi Marine ENC.

NavPlanner2 is an atlas of U.S. coastal waters, navigable waterways, and more than 12,000 inland lakes for use on a home computer for map viewing, searching, printing, waypoint planning and GPS data managing. NavPlanner2 includes the 2010 edition of Navionics Gold U.S. marine charts and the HotMaps Premium U.S. lake maps for use on a PC. While you can’t use the charts themselves on another plotter, you can export and exchange routes, waypoints, etc., with such devices, so it can serve as a great planning tool away from the helm station. Recommended retail price is $129. The program is available directly from Fugawi or from any Navionics dealer.

Fugawi Marine ENC Version 4.5.5is software for navigation that can use many charts from many different sources, including many of the Navionics formats, S-57 format charts, S-63 encrypted ENC charts, BSB charts, NV. Digital charts, topographic maps, and your own scanned paper maps.

Screenshot of Fugawi Marine ENC with Navionics Platinum Charts

Screenshot of Fugawi Marine ENC with Navionics Platinum Charts

I will be evaluating this latest version of Fugawi Marine ENC during an upcoming offshore delivery from Florida to Annapolis aboard a new Kadey-Krogen 58′. We’ll have multiple computers running different nav programs so it should be a nice run. We’ll get a chance to check out Fugawi with a little travel in the ICW, out and in some popular inlets and during both near-shore and offshore navigation.

Do you use Fugawi Marine ENC for navigating?  If so, drop us your thoughts about the program in the comments.  We’ll keep them in mind while we evaluate the program and we may follow-up with you.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Electronics, Gear & Apparel, Industry News, Passagemaking News, seamanship, Technology

Will Your Liferaft Work When You Need It?

Last year’s “Baja Ha Ha,” the fleet cruise from San Diego to Mexico, provides yet another impetus for all ocean cruisers to reconsider their liferaft situation. You DO have one, right?  And it HAS been maintained, inspected and re-certified, right? And you actually know what’s stored in it and how to use it, right? And you don’t keep it in an old valise buried in some locker under a bunch of junk, right?  It’s okay to admit to one of these failings; but not okay to ignore it any longer.  The skipper and crew of J/World, a 40′ J/120 that sank after a collision with whales during the rally, did all of this right and they’re all alive and well today to talk about it.

In fact, the rescue of J/World’s crew is a textbook example of how smoothly things can go when you truly are prepared for the worst. Even some unlucky breaks didn’t prevent a successful rescue by U.S. Coast Guard helicopter. The specific equipment that kept this crew alive and got them rescued was their Viking RescYou liferaft and their EPIRB. The raft protected them in rough seas some 60 miles offshore southwest of San Diego and the EPIRB alerted authorities and brought the Coast Guard right to their location.

USCG Swimmer Hoisted Aboard MH-60 Jayhawk After J World Rescue

USCG Swimmer Hoisted Aboard MH-60 Jayhawk After J World Rescue

In this photo you see the USCG rescue swimmer AST3 Scott Mochkatel being hoisted back aboard the MH-60 Jayhawk after safely getting all five J/World sailors aboard the helo. The USCG Sector San Diego press release has a link to the actual rescue video (just click on the picture in the press release similar to the one at right).

Here’s how it was recounted by the crew to Viking, the makers of the Rescyou liferaft:

The annual Baja Ha-Ha cruiser rally from San Diego, California, to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, turned into a life threatening situation for five, San Francisco-based, J/World Performance Sailing School participants. Thanks to fast-thinking crew members, an eight-person Viking RescYou liferaft and the United States Coast Guard, they’re all alive today after their 40′ J/120 J World sunk, 60 miles offshore.

For J/World instructors Eugenie Russell and Barry Demak and three, adult J/World students, the rally started in fair conditions. Three days in, the team was enjoying swift passage to Turtle Bay, the first anchorage point, with 20-25 knot winds and 10-15′ swells.

On the third morning, just before 10am and about 200 miles southwest of San Diego, the crew encountered a pod of humpback whales. A severe collision caused the rudder to completely dislodge and J World started taking on tremendous amounts of water.

Captain Russell, an experienced offshore sailor, dealt with the situation calmly and methodically. The crew continued to sail the boat with just the sails to get clear of the whales, while attempting to secure the rudder post and stop the ingress of water with a manual bilge pump. Russell went below deck to retrieve the EPIRB and ditch bag, while Demak gathered additional food, water and equipment.

About 40 minutes after the initial impact, Russell and Demak decided the crew needed to abandon the sinking vessel. They activated the satellite-detectable emergency distress signal and deployed their Viking RescYou liferaft just as a large wave hit the submerging boat.

With the aid of the inflated boarding ramp, the five sailors entered the offshore liferaft, bailed out cold seawater and tried to keep themselves warm and dry. They took stock of the offshore emergency pack contents, read the survival instructions and awaited rescue in windy, high seas.

Soon the team saw a USCG Jayhawk flying past them. Demak radioed the aircraft, while Russell fired one of the SOLAS rocket flares. Once the Viking liferaft was spotted, the USCG executed a textbook evacuation of the five sailors.

Fortunately, the professionally prepared and operated teaching vessel was equipped with the best offshore equipment, including the well-maintained Viking RescYou liferaft. Russell and Demak agree that the Viking liferaft was paramount to their survival. “We were fortunate to have the best equipment in perfect working condition,” said Demak, “but it is just as critical to be confident that it will work as designed and to know how to use it.”

If you’d like to read the full account of the J/World sinking and rescue, the December issue of Latitude 38, original sponsor of the rally, has a fantastic article and interview with Eugenie Russell. And the blog of the J World Sailing School itself has an even more extensive account by the participants themselves.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Electronics, Gear & Apparel, Industry News, Passagemaking News, People, Powerboats, sailboat racing, Sailboats, Sailing Gear & Apparel, seamanship