guest author

Beneteau’s New Sense 50

by Guest Author Zuzana Prochazka

Editor’s Note — Zuzana Prochazka is an award-winning writer and editor and currently serves as the president of the Boating Writers International association. Her website, TalkoftheDock, is “the boater resource for gear, boat reviews and other topics related to cruising and general loafing about on the water. ”  Oh yeah, she’s also a U.S.Coast Guard 100 Ton Master with more than 20 years of boating experience. She recently toured the new Beneteau Sense 50 at the Annapolis Sailboat Show and shared this piece with us.

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Beneteau's new Sense 50 spins in her own length at Annapolis - Photo credit:  Zuzana Prochazka

Beneteau's new Sense 50 spins in her own length at Annapolis - Photo credit: Zuzana Prochazka

There are those who would say that there’s nothing new in sailing – you raise some canvas, pull on some lines, and when there’s no wind, you turn on the engine and go home.  But those people have no imagination.  Imagination that is, like that which created the Beneteau Sense 50. 

It’s really refreshing to see a sailboat manufacturer start thinking about what barriers there are for boaters to get into the cockpit of a 50 foot boat and head out with confidence.  But someone finally started thinking as was proven at this year’s Annapolis boat show where the Sense 50 spun in its own length and generally wow’d audiences all day.

Cockpit real estate aboard the new Beneteau Sense 50 - Photo credit:  Zuzana Prochazka

Cockpit real estate aboard the new Beneteau Sense 50 - Photo credit: Zuzana Prochazka

The boat’s maneuverability comes from Beneteau’s Dock and Go steering system which features a joystick control that synchronizes a 360 degree pivoting propeller with a bowthruster to move the boat forward, aft, or completely sideways.  As the boat spins, the Yanmar 75HP sail drive coordinates with the bowthruster while the Raymarine autopilot manages the rudder. This is very much like what Volvo did with their IPS system for powerboats and the result is total control with a lot less anxiety, especially when docking. 

But boat handling is just the beginning with the Sense 50.  The Sense 50 is fast but still manageable as it is designed to deliver maximum performance at 15 degrees of heel rather than the normal 20 degrees.  From the sleek light displacement hull (31,195 lbs.) and low coachroof with angular windows, to the slippery underbody with a spade rudder and choice of keel drafts (6’ 11” or a bulb with 5’ 10”), this boat is almost more like an ocean racing Open 50 than a traditional cruiser.

The design group of Berret-Racoupeau tossed out any preconceived notions of what a cruising monohull should be and started fresh.  It’s a massive platform with a 49’ LOA and 15’ 11” on the beam that is carried well aft.  This width is what allowed the construction of an almost catamaran-like cockpit with an easy entry off a broad swim platform and one step up to the twin wheels. 

Cockpit table aboard the Beneteau Sense 50 - Photo credit:  Zuzana Prochazka

Cockpit table aboard the Beneteau Sense 50 - Photo credit: Zuzana Prochazka

The seats behind each helm station lift up and out to open the entire transom, creating an inviting terrace with a U-shaped settee on starboard and table that can be folded and lowered to a cocktail table or made into a sun pad or bed for two. The cockpit sole lifts up to reveal access to all the machinery for easy maintenance.  This was done by design to keep all the noise-making equipment well away from the living areas and the space is accessed via a ladder and can even house a washing machine. 

Life aboard the Sense 50 is divided into three areas – the easy outdoor living of the cockpit, the centralized social space of the saloon/galley and the quiet cabins forward.  Sleek, angular and very Euro-chic, the “greatroom” living space is finished in alpi fruitwood with an oak laminated cabin sole and feels very rich and comfortable.

The straight-line galley runs up the starboard side and has great storage.  On port is a U-shaped settee that also forms the seat to the sizeable aft-facing nav station, and wraps around a table that will seat 6-8 for dinner or drinks.  The entire space is interrupted only by an island in the middle that serves as extra counter space for the galley but also hides a folding seat and a pop-up flat screen TV both of which face the saloon. The Sense 50 is available in two or three cabin layouts.  The master stateroom is forward with an island queen berth, a small vanity desk and a large, ensuite head with a stall shower. 

Beneteau Sense 50's well-designed anchor windlass dam and locker - Photo credit:  Zuzana Prochazka

Beneteau Sense 50's well-designed anchor windlass dam and locker - Photo credit: Zuzana Prochazka

The base price of the Sense 50 is $398,000 but with all the upgrades available, sailaway can be more like $560,000.  The Sense 50 will undoubtedly revolutionize yacht design inside and out and possibly even re-energize a sluggish sailboat market.  For those who would like all the excitement in a smaller package, Beneteau is planning on introducing a 42 foot version next year.

Beneteau Sense 50
Specifications:

Yacht Design: Berret – Racoupeau
Interior Design: Nauta Design
Hull length: 49’
Max beam: 15’ 11”
Light displacement: 31,195 lbs
Deep draft: 6’ 11”
Shallow draft: 5’ 10”
Engine: 75HP
Fuel capacity: 110 gal
Fresh water capacity: 140 gal

Original article and photos courtesy of and Copyright © 2010 by Zuzana Prochazka at TalkoftheDock

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Sail, Sailboats

Here’s Why You Need an iPad on the Boat

by Christine Kling

 
 

The Apple iPad Loaded with Marine Apps - Photo Courtesy of Christine Kling

The Apple iPad Loaded with Marine Apps - Photo Courtesy of Christine Kling

(Editor’s Note — Chris Kling is a sailor with with more than 30 years of experience on the oceans of the world. She’s also an English professor at Broward College, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and the published author of the Seychelle Sullivan series of mysteries, including SURFACE TENSION (2002), CROSS CURRENT (2004), BITTER END (2005, and WRECKERS’ KEY (2007). You can and should buy them at this Amazon page. They’re great page-turners and the protagonist is a female tug captain and salvor through whom I could easily live vicariously (you know, except for the requisite sex-change operation of course). Chris recently got an iPad and has wasted no time collecting and testing marine apps for the sleek new tablet. You can visit her at her main website here or at her new blog, co-hosted with fellow writer Mike Jastrzebski, Write on the Water.)

I have wanted to share this list of some of my favorite boating apps for the iPad.  Some people have looked at the iPad and the high price for the device and they have said they just don’t get it.  Why would someone pay so much for that.  I can only report on my own experience — and this little computer has changed the way I interact with technology.  I find myself using my laptop less and less.  The iPad is so fast, so intuitive and does so many things that I could no more imagine living without one than I could imagine living without a computer.  Today, I will cover boating apps and in a later post, I will discuss writing apps.

To begin with, there is the problem with the screen outdoors.  I have found though, that if I change the setting from auto-brightness to manual and crank it all the way up, it is very easy to see and use for navigation outdoors.  Most of us wear Polaroid lenses when we are out on the water, and the iPad screen goes black when viewed in portrait mode with Polaroids on, but just turn it to landscape and the image reappears.

Navigation:

First, I need to mention that it is necessary to have the iPad 3G to get the real GPS chip in the unit for navigation purposes.  The non-3G units require wifi, which, of course, is not going to work at sea. Some have questioned whether the iPad GPS would work outside the range of the 3G connection, and I can attest that as long as you have already downloaded your charts, your GPS will work fine offshore.  Mine worked continuously on the passage three weeks ago from the Abacos to Charleston, North Carolina when I had absolutely no 3G connection.

iNavX Screen Capture on the iPad - Image Courtesy of Christine Kling

iNavX Screen Capture on the iPad - Image Courtesy of Christine Kling

iNavX – $49.99  I started using the Mac version of this software about four years ago and I love it.  There are other cheaper apps for marine navigation now, but I like using the same software on my laptop, iPhone and iPad.  This one app is universal, meaning it works with both the iPhone and the iPad with full versions for each device.  With many of the other apps listed here you would have to buy separate versions for the iPhone and the iPad.  Yes, it is a lot of money, but it is absolutely worth it to to get this full featured complete navigation system that can interface via wifi with your boat’s instruments.  The program comes with free access to all the NOAA charts, but you can purchase additional charts through X-Traverse. This service allows you to save, retrieve and move data on and off the iPad.  I bought the US and Bahamas Navionics Gold charts for the iPad for $49.99 which do show some marinas and other land features.

Charts & Tides Screen Capture on iPad - Image Courtesy of Christine Kling

Charts & Tides Screen Capture on iPad - Image Courtesy of Christine Kling

Navimatics Charts & Tides/ East Coast – $19.99 You might ask yourself what do I need another navigation program for.  Good question.  This app is by Navimatics and the app does show another type of cartography, but the navigation features do not work as well and are not as extensive as iNavX.  However, what this program does have is Active Captain, the Interactive Cruising Guidebook.   It was well worth the twenty bucks to get this feature that drops dots onto the charts where marinas, boatyards and various points of interest are located.  When you click on the dots you get a ton of info including cost of slip rental, phone numbers, reviews, laundry and grocery info, etc.  This is a sort of Wiki type thing for boaters and once you have your membership to the Active Captain website (free) and you input your info on the iPad, you can click a synch button and you’ll get the most up to date info available. When we were in Deltaville, VA, I saw a review that had been written one week earlier.  This is far better than a print cruising guide.  Yes, the info is available on the laptop if I am on the Internet, but with my iPad and my 3G account, when cruising here in the US, it’s available almost everywhere.

Navionics – $19.99  I have not purchased this, but Navionics has their own nav program which like the one above, includes the nave. program with the charts and for this price you get the East Coast.  You would pay again for the West Coast and again for the Great Lakes.  You can only use their charts.  With iNavX all the NOAA charts are included for free, and then you can add other charts if you want to buy them.  However, I’d like to hear from others who might use this to know how they think it compares to iNavX.

MotionX-GPS $2.99 has recently added marine charts.  I have not gone this route or explored it, but I would love to hear in the comments if anyone else has done so.  As soon as I have the time I intend to explore this — I mean, for three bucks — why not??

AyeTides Screen Capture on iPad - Image Courtesy of Christine Kling

AyeTides Screen Capture on iPad - Image Courtesy of Christine Kling

Tides:

AyeTides XL — $9.99  This tide program is fully integrated with iNavX so that you can click on a tides button in the nav program and get your info.  The program has just released this iPad version (August 2), and it is beautiful.  And it still has more tide stations and information than the tide program included with Charts & Tides.

Marine Day Tides — free   Actually, there are two versions of this program and I use the free one which gives the most tides info I’ve seen, but it will only give you the info for today — not for the future.  The planner version of the program is $9.99 and it is great, but I get enough info to suit me with the Ayetides and it interfaces with my navigation program.

Weather:

I have tried a few marine weather apps for the iPad, but I haven’t found anything yet that I particularly like.  I would be very interested to hear from others what they like best.

Wundermap —free   This great app comes from the folks at WeatherUnderground.  This includes various types of radar and infrared screens which require an Internet connection.  It uses the GPS to determine your location and gives you a satellite map with an information overlay.  Now I just wish they would make a version that includes Marine Weather forecasts.

Weatherbug Elite for iPad — free   This little app has tons of great info on a very tight screen.  I like their wind direction compass rose.

Miscellaneous:

Boater‘s Pocket Reference — $4.99  1,800 pages of boating information including Rules of the Road, aides to navigation, illustrations, photos, buoys, signal flags, etc.  A great on-hand resource.

Shipfinder Screen Capture on the iPad - Image Courtesy of Christine Kling

Shipfinder Screen Capture on the iPad - Image Courtesy of Christine Kling

ShipFinder HD — $7.99  This app shows the AIS feed of ships in your area.  It is broadcast over the Internet so it will only be good as long as you have an Internet connection either via wifi or through a 3G account.  When coastwise cruising, however, it’s wonderful to see the name, course and speed of that ship in the distance. Yesterday, sailing from Fishing Bay to Solomons, we passed a strange gray ship off Point Lookout, and I was able to look it up with Shipfinder and discover it was a Naval High Speed Craft called SEAFIGHTER and she was at anchor.

Nautical Terms for iPad — $0.99 This is a great replacement for the old dog-eared nautical dictionary I had and the numerous bookmarks that I could never find for online dictionaries.

Knot Guide HD — $2.99 This includes 91 knots in 17 categories.  What more could you ask for?

Pocket First Aid and CPR — $3.99 From the American Heart Association, this guide appears to be one of the most complete for emergency situations as it includes illustrations and videos.

Air Display – $9.99 – This turns your iPad into a second display for your laptop.  Currently this only works with Mac OS but they are working on a Windows version. You could run your laptop nav program on your iPad using it as a slave screen and avoid having to buy the costly iPad apps.

Another boating plus is that you can load all your PDF manuals into Goodreads or now into iBooks, and they will be there ready to load in a hurry.

As for waterproof cases for the iPad, I have found the simple for $19.99 that looks like a glorified Ziplock bag to this fancy one from Germany for 280 Euros.  There are also various mounts here and others here that one can get to make your iPad function more like a helm chart plotter, but I am waiting for the swing away arm.

The iPad has become much more than just an eReader for me, and though many of these things I could do on a laptop, I couldn’t do any of them as fast or as easily as I can on the iPad.

Fair winds!

Christine

Original article Copyright © 2010 by Christine Kling. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Electronics, Environment & Weather, Gear & Apparel, megayachts, Powerboats, Sailboats, Sailing Gear & Apparel, Technology

Sea Fare March — Victoria Allman in the Galley

Editor’s Note — Victoria Allman is the chef aboard a 143-foot megayacht and the author of the recently released “Sea Fare:  A Chef’s Journey Across the Ocean.”  This is the third in a series of periodic columns here on OceanLines featuring her irresistible recipes. Best of all for OceanLines readers, who are travelers of the first order, Victoria also gives us a nice taste of the environment and context in which her recipes were developed. Last month, we devoured her Seared Cod with Provençal Ratatouille.  In this month’s installment, her megayacht is in Genoa and Victoria meets the magic of the classic Genovese pesto. If you’d like to read her book, just click on the ad in the left sidebar on OceanLines and that will take you to an Amazon link where you can order it.

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The Essence of Genovese Pesto as Prepared by Victoria Allman

The Essence of Genovese Pesto as Prepared by Victoria Allman

Re-Discovering Pesto

By Victoria Allman

For the past year and a half, the memory of one dish of pasta has haunted me.

It was our first and only night in Genoa, Italy.  We arrived tired and worn from a long day on the train.  We lugged our bags, heavy from everything we would need for the next two years of travel on the boat, down narrow streets to the busy port.  Frustrated by lack of taxis and grumpy from empty growling stomachs, we stopped at the first restaurant we came to.

It was nothing special, just a few plastic patio tables and chairs overlooking the commercial port. A laminated menu translated a handful of pizzas and half a dozen pastas into a comical form of English. Smelly Blue Cheese seated on Linguine was the one that made me smile.  But, I opted for a simple dish of Pesto Pasta that I ordered with Drink Water.  I was too tired to try and think of anything more exciting.

When my dish arrived, I was surprised by the color.  When I make pesto, a dark green paste is produced.  It is strong and bites with the licorice taste of basil.  This, in front of me, was creamier and a softer green.  I took a bite.  It was not as sharp as my version.  It was rich in flavor, but smooth and well-balanced.  With each bite, a taste of what I could only describe as green filled my senses.  I ate the dish with wonder and relished each bite.  I wish I could have eaten more.

We left the restaurant and sailed away the next day, but I had not forgotten that one perfect pesto dish.  It played in the back of my mind every time I’ve made pesto since.

When the boat returned to Genoa I danced on my toes, excited to go find the secrets of the regions most famous dish. I started at the market, where all good food discoveries begin.  Italian men in stretched and misshapen white tank tops called out their greetings to me.

 “Buongiorno,” I replied, trying out the few words of Italian I could remember.  “Basilico?”  I raised my eyebrow, hoping they would understand.

“Si, si.”  A man waved me over, wearing no more than a white apron over his faded baby blue boxers and the bright orange clogs that Mario Batali made famous. He handed me a bunch of small-leafed emerald green basil.  The tiny delicate leaves meant the plant could be no more than a few days old.  He broke off the heart of a stem and rubbed the leaves between his thick rough fingers.  He brought them to his face and breathed deeply, shutting his eyes and smiling. He was lost in thought.  He opened his eyes in a dreamy lulled way and broke into an Italian soliloquy for the next three minutes.  I did not understand a word he said, but his voice sounded like music. I smiled and nodded.

Maybe he knew I didn’t understand him.  Instead of repeating, he cupped his hand gently behind my head and held the basil out for me to smell. It was a sensual act.  I leaned in, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. The aroma nudged my memory.

It was different than the basil I had known.  It was sweet smelling and mellow.  I smiled with the same hazy look he had had. “Due.”  I held up two fingers to make sure he knew what I wanted. As I walked away, in search of the Parmesan and pine nuts I needed to complete my dish, the man broke into song.  His deep baritone voice reverberated an opera through the market. It could not have been a more Italian scene if a director set it up.

No wonder the pasta tasted so good.  In Italy, there is life and love in everything.

The Pesto of a Midsummer Dream by Victoria Allman

The Pesto of a Midsummer Dream by Victoria Allman

Pesto

By Victoria Allman
Author of: Sea Fare: A Chef’s Journey Across the Ocean
www.victoriaallman.com

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
1/2 cup olive oil

In a heavy bottomed frying pan, sauté the pine nuts over medium heat.  Shake the pan constantly so they do not burn.  Toast until they turn golden.  Remove from heat and cool.

To create the soft creamy pesto of Genoa, grind the garlic cloves and salt in a mortar and pestle (hence the name pesto).  Add the basil leaves and press until a rough paste is achieved.

Add the pine nuts and Parmesan and press to incorporate.  Slowly add the olive oil to emulsify into the mix.

You can also use a food processor for larger batches, but the blades will bruise the basil leaves and the color will darken.

Makes 2 cups pesto

Recipe, photography and narrative Copyright © 2010 by Victoria Allman

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Charter, Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, People, Powerboats, Sailboats

Sea Fare February – Victoria Allman in the Galley

Editor’s Note — Victoria Allman is the chef aboard a 143-foot megayacht and the author of the recently released “Sea Fare:  A Chef’s Journey Across the Ocean.”  This is the second in a series of periodic columns here on OceanLines featuring her irresistible recipes. Best of all for OceanLines readers, who are travelers of the first order, Victoria also gives us a nice taste of the environment and context in which her recipes were developed. Last month, we savored her Spanish Clams with Sherry and Iberico Ham.  In this month’s installment, the yacht has called on a French port. If you’d like to read her book, just click on the ad in our left sidebar and that will take you to an Amazon link where you can order it.

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The Return of Summer

By Victoria Allman

 A feast of summer colors assaulted me as I entered the Forville Marche in Cannes, France.  Market tables sagged with tomatoes, the color of fast cars. The shine of the eggplants deep purple, almost black skin sat as backdrop to the emerald green slender zucchini.  We had just cruised into port and I couldn’t wait to head back to this particular market. 

I collected the freshest seasonal vegetables from tables laden with grey-green bulbs of baby artichokes still on the stalk. Mounds of wild mushrooms, gathered from the nearby woods, were heaped in wooden baskets. I picked up a long braid of garlic from the table in front of me, brought it under my nose and breathed deeply. The heady smell invaded my senses.  “S’il vous plait.” I handed it to the market woman.

I passed tables piled high with over twenty varieties olives. Black wrinkled ones cured in sea salt sat next to pale green ones mixed with snipped herbs and whole cloves of garlic. Others floated in brine or were chopped to a fine paste to be used as a spread on baguettes. I popped a youthful fat olive with smooth skin into my mouth as I selected more than I would use that day.

Next, I visited the woman who grew all her own herbs. I couldn’t escape the distinctive citric smell of lemon balm, the herbaceous smell of rosemary, and the lingering scent of fresh dill. This was the way to begin a day. Brightly colored vegetables accosted me at every turn. “Victoria!” A woman behind me squealed. “Ca va?”  I turned and was wrapped in a hug by Ana, the voluptuous fruit seller. She stepped back and placed her dirt-stained hands on my shoulders, rounding her self in to kiss each cheek.   “Cheri, you have come back home.” 

This is what I missed. Every day last summer, this same woman had filled my basket with a dozen, fist-sized white peaches from her garden. Each day, I had devoured more than my share, standing over the galley sink, juice dribbling down my chin. I gobbled the subtle flesh as sweetness swirled through my mouth. I would finish one and reach for another. By the end of the day, they had all disappeared. The next morning, I would return to Ana to start the cycle again.  I am someone who loves the change of seasons, but I was more than a little sad to see last summer end. We sailed away and found new cuisines to explore, but now, here I was, back for more.

“Hola.” I stammered. “I mean, Bonjour.” Switching countries is a confusing way to shop.  She giggled and picked up a peach. “For you, cheri.”  I smiled, knowing what lay ahead. By the time I had walked home to the boat, I had sticky hands from the first of many of this season’s white peaches, and had planned my day’s menu around the vegetables bursting from my cloth bags.

I loved being back in France once more.

 

Victoria Allman's Seared Cod with Ratattouile

Victoria Allman's Seared Cod with Ratattouile

Seared Cod with Provençal Ratatouille

By Victoria Allman
Author of: Sea Fare: A Chef’s Journey Across the Ocean
www.victoriaallman.com

 
6-6 oz fillets of cod
sea salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
    
1/3 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 red onion
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 zucchini
1 yellow crookneck squash
1/2 eggplant
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 tomatoes
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon thyme
2 bay leaves
Sea salt and pepper

Arugula leaves

Dice all the vegetables into a small one-inch dice.  Sauté the onions and the garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes over medium heat until they are soft. Add the peppers and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini, squash, and eggplant. Sauté another 5 minutes.  Season with the sea salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, red wine vinegar, thyme and bay leaves.  Combine the rest and stew for 20 minutes over low heat.  Season with more vinegar, salt and pepper if necessary.

Pre-heat oven to 400.

Season the cod with sea salt and pepper. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan over high heat.  Add olive oil to the pan and sear the cod, presentation-side down for 3 minutes until a golden crust occurs.  Remove the cod to a baking dish, presentation-side up and repeat with the rest of the cod.  Bake for 5 more minutes or until cod is at desired doneness.

Pool the ratatouille on a plate and top with arugula salad and fish.
Serves 6

Recipe, photography and narrative Copyright © 2010 by Victoria Allman

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved

Posted by Tom in Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Destinations, megayachts, People, People & Profiles