I Think I Want This on My Flybridge

Nauticomp Tank Test of New LED LCD Panels

Nauticomp Tank Test of New LED LCD Panels

Yeah, I know this photo is from a press release.  But maybe it’s not just a cute demonstration.  Maybe it’s actually an effective way to prove a marketing claim of dust- and waterproof capabilities.  Nauticomp says it tests its marine LED-lit LCD displays to an IP67 ingress protection standard.  The ‘6’ in that designation indicates that the unit is completely protected from dust ingress, and the ‘7’ means that the unit is submersible to a depth of a meter for one minute.

I do not expect my flybridge to be submerged to a depth of one meter for ANY AMOUNT OF TIME.  But it is entirely possible, even highly likely that it will be in a downpour every now and then, so this isn’t just frivolous gilding of the lilly.  (I wonder what the IP rating for a U.S. Navy sub is??  A thousand meters for an infinite period?  Or maybe until they run out of hamburgers in the galley?  Probably classified, right?)

According to Nauticomp President Ryan Moore,

“Internally-sealed welds on the all-aluminum housings ensure that the display casings are watertight. All cables and external connections to Nauticomp marine displays are manufactured to an IP68 rating and the second number – 8 – signifies that they are submersible to three meters for an infinite period of time.

During the display assembly process, a silicon sealant is applied at display and back case opening to ensure water tightness on the completed unit. Nauticomp displays also feature Bonded glass, which does not “fog” up when there is a significant change in temperatures. In addition, power supplies to Nauticomp displays are external – to keep the units cool and provide added safety in the event of a power surge.”

We recently wrote about the company’s new Genesis line of monitors.  Nauticomp has some videos available for those who suspect a still image.  If you’re going to the Miami Boat Show, you can see both the waterproof demonstration and the new monitors in-person at Booth 1676 in the Electronics Room (Miami Beach Convention Center).

Copyright © 2011 by OceanLines LLC.   All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Electronics

Rough Weather Video

Yeah, I know I really shouldn’t be doing this. Showing rough-weather videos to boating junkies is like feeding the bears at Yellowstone. It’s not good for them.  They want more.  They will go to YouTube and spend (waste) hours looking at rough-water videos, then bad weather videos, then tornado videos, then videos of that cool electric helicopter, then the video of that kid saying, “NOT FUNNY!!”

Too bad.  The Nordhavn Dreamers’ Group on Yahoo turned me onto this and I’m just passing the favor (curse) along.

Have you experienced anything like this?  I’ve had some pretty wicked rides out of coastal inlets where tides and wind were opposed, but this?  Nope. Hope never to.

Video from YouTube.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Environment & Weather, Powerboats, seamanship

Ultimate Yachts: Video of the Molokai Strait 75′

Molokai Strait 75 at Newport

Molokai Strait 75 at Newport

The Molokai Strait   75 luxury bluewater expedition yacht Hercules is an examples of top-of-the-line everything. For the ocean adventurer, the Molokai Strait yachts are built with steel hulls and aluminum topsides, lots of displacement and fuel.

I first saw the 75′ Hercules at the Newport, Rhode Island, boat show in the fall of 2008 and it is an awe-inspiring yacht. But it’s not a yacht for the Newport cocktail cruisers. This is a full-on expedition yacht, with a hull designed for untamed oceans and safety features equal to the adventure.

The company produced a nice video on the small ship here:

Hercules, can often be seen at the bigger boat shows on the East Coast. Everything about this vessel fairly screams “ship.” Her bulk and solid presence even at the dock is impressive. The wide-open decks, massive freeing ports at the deck edge, and commercial-grade ship port lights and watertight hatches all add to the sense of safety and security.

Molokai Strait 75 bulbous bow

Molokai Strait 75 bulbous bow

Like many yachts of this size, most of the accessory systems are powered by hydraulics.  That includes one of the two anchor windlasses, the thrusters, steering, stabilizers and the Nick Jackson LPW 2700 davit on the foredeck. The design makes great use of the fo’c’sle where a clever arrangement has cozy quarters for captain and two additional crew members.

Molokai Strait 75

LOA              75′- 6″
LWL              60′
Beam            22′
Draft             7′
Displ.           266,000 lbs (light)
Fuel             6,620 USgal
Water          1,070 USgal

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Powerboats
Newport Bermuda Race Underway

Newport Bermuda Race Underway

Start of the Newport Bermuda Race. Photo: Barry Pickthall, PPL

Start of the Newport Bermuda Race. Photo: Barry Pickthall, PPL

The 184 boats of the 2010 Newport Bermuda Race are heading out to sea as this is written. The latest weather forecasts indicate a lot of reaching, a nice strong Gulf Stream with eddies-a-plenty to deal with, and the notorious Bermuda High building in from the south. In fact, a quick look at the 24-48 hour surface wind forecasts from the National Weather Service (NWS) give the impression that a square-rigged tall ship would do well this year, with a stiff breeze well abaft of the beam to start.

I’ve put up a link to the iBoattrack service in the right sidebar that will remain live for the duration of the race. As I mentioned earlier this week, it’s a fascinating way to watch strategies develop, with the consequent successes and failures becoming more apparent as time goes on. Each boat is fitted with a satellite beacon that sends its position to the iBoattracking station ashore. The displays are not quite real-time because of race rules that prevent real-time competitive observation, but they’re close enough to be meaningful when you check in.

The video below from the official organizers gives a great flavor of the race. Newport Bermuda is one of the unique sailing races in the world because of its amateur-dominant culture.  Yes, there are professional crews — in their own class — but most of the competitors are friends and family, racing in their own family boats. Some are more serious and experienced racers than others, but all have met the rigorous standards for safety and experience.  Enjoy the videos and tracking and if you know of someone in the race, let us know in the comments and we’ll follow along with them!

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Cruising Under Sail, Destinations, Passagemaking News, sailboat racing, Sailboats
A Tall Ship Heads to Sea

A Tall Ship Heads to Sea

The sail training barque Picton Castle, a square-rigger registered in the Cook Islands and based in Lunenburg Harbor, Nova Scotia, is about to depart its mooring and head off on its fifth circumnavigation. The 14-month, westbound trip will sail through the tropics under the command of its first and only captain, Daniel Moreland.

Some 44 trainees and 12 professional crew have spent the past four weeks finishing preparations for the voyage, including a haulout last month for a new coat of paint on the hull. The upper yards – royals and t’gallants – have been sanded and varnished, all the blocks have been overhauled, lines tarred, and inspections passed.

Sail Plan of the Barque Picton Castle

Sail Plan of the Barque Picton Castle

Picton Castle was built in 1928 as a motorized trawler, served as a Royal Navy minesweeper in World War II, and was converted to sail in 1997. Her crew must master the 175 lines that comprise her standing and running rig. As a barque, Picton Castle has a fore mast and main mast that are square-rigged, and her mizzen mast is rigged fore-and-aft.

Barque Picton Castle


Sparred Length       179′
LOA                        148′
LOD                       135′
LWL                       130′
Draft                       14′ 6
Beam                      24′
Rig Height                97′
Freeboard                6′
Sail Area                 12,450 square feet
Tons                       284 GRT
Power                      690 HP diesel
Hull                          steel

Here’s the outline itinerary for the fifth World Voyage:

Itinerary for World Voyage 5, 2010-2011

Leg Location Port Date
Leg 1 Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada April 12, 2010
  Galapagos Islands, Ecuador  
  Pitcairn Island  
  Gambier Islands, French Polynesia  
  Rarotonga, Cook Islands August 15, 2010
Leg 2 Rarotonga, Cook Islands August 16, 2010
  Palmerston Atoll, Cook Islands  
  Vava’u, Tonga  
  Suva, Fiji  
  Bali, Indonesia November 12, 2010
Leg 3 Bali, Indonesia November 13, 2010
  Cape Town, South Africa February 3 2011
Leg 4 Cape Town, South Africa February 4, 2011
  St. Helena  
  Fernando de Noronha, Brazil  
  Lesser Antilles  
  Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada June 18, 2011


You can still sign up for Leg 2 and beyond if you happen to be in a position to do that. And there are lots of ways to follow Picton Castle on its voyage. Captain Moreland keeps a log on the main website and a number of the trainees keep blogs, which are the best way to learn what a sail-training voyage is really all about.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Cruising Under Sail, Destinations, Passagemaking News, Sailboats, Sailing Gear & Apparel
Video Debut: The Underway Series from OceanLines, Episode 1

Video Debut: The Underway Series from OceanLines, Episode 1

By way of introducing this new video series, let me re-state what will become obvious to you:  I am a writer. And writers may have great ideas for video but viewers will likely suffer a bit while the writer learns to be a filmmaker. And with that ugly excuse for the quality of our first effort here, let me introduce “The Underway Series” from OceanLines, which will document some of the routines of living and cruising offshore on a trawler or sailing vessel.  This first episode covers the “Periodic Engine Room Check” which all offshore cruisers should be doing, power or sail.

OceanLines Video - "The Underway Engine Room Check"

OceanLines Video - "The Underway Engine Room Check"

The philosophy behind an hourly, or every-two-hours engine-room check is that most big problems start out as small ones. And if they’re picked up early, many if not most, can be taken care of quickly and easily. Whether it’s a problem of the liquid outside the boat coming in — as in a leaking thru-hull or shaft seal; or one of the internal fluids — like oil, fuel or hydraulic fluid — leaking out of a component and into the boat, noticing it right away is key to offshore safety.

In the engine room, then, you will mainly be looking for leaks of the kinds just mentioned.  And as Gregg Gandy, project manager for Kadey-Krogen Yachts, and longtime yacht captain, demonstrates, a ritualized inspection will ensure you don’t miss anything.

This video was filmed during an offshore delivery of a new Krogen 58′ while more than 100 nm off the east coast of the U.S. Because our boat was brand new, with just enough time on the boat to be “broken in,” Captain Gandy was comfortable with a two-hour interval for the check. Some captains check every hour and a few go longer. I would say one or two hours is probably the right interval. Many owners these days will put a thermal imaging or even plain visible light camera in the engine room, fed to one of the helm displays.

You might consider creating and using a checklist at first. As pilots know, checklists are great for ensuring that distracting conditions don’t cause you to miss something critical. Another key, and you can see it in this video, is doing the inspection the same way every time.  Gregg likes to go to the far aft end of the engine room and work his way forward.

You can see him checking the running generator (we had two aboard the Krogen 58′) for leaks, vibration, loose belts or unusual noises. He then moves to the shafts, seals and transmissions, looking for proper cooling of the shafts, smooth, vibration-free turning of the shafts, no unexpected noise or vibration or movement from the transmissions.

While we may not have been able to get good voice quality in the engine room (remember to wear hearing protection, by the way), we will do so in future segments. Let us know in the comments what else you’d like to see.  I promise that we’ll keep them short and as interesting as possible.

Special thanks, by the way, to the folks at Kadey-Krogen Yachts — Larry Polster, Gregg Gandy and Greg Kaufman — who made this trip, and this video possible.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Construction & Technical, Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Engines, Maintenance & DIY, Passagemaking News, Powerboats, Sailboats, seamanship, Technology
Video: Running a Rough Inlet

Video: Running a Rough Inlet

Krogen 58' Departs Fort Pierce Inlet

Krogen 58' Departs Fort Pierce Inlet

The video you see here was taken while departing the Fort Pierce, Florida, inlet, Friday, April 16. The tide was running out strongly and the wind and seas were running in just as strongly. The resulting washing-machine ride was rather sporty, although our Krogen 58′ handled it well.  At one point, we realize we’ve forgotten to latch the doors of the refrigerator, which has just emptied itself into the galley. You can read more about this trip here.

A larger format and more video from this recent northbound delivery will be coming shortly.

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Environment & Weather, Passagemaking News, Powerboats, seamanship

The Underway Engine Room Check: Why You Need It

I saw a great example recently of why you need to be diligent about the hourly (or whatever regular schedule you set) engine room check while cruising offshore.  As you know from some earlier posts, Jeffrey and Karen Siegel, owners of ActiveCaptain, aboard their DeFever 53 aCappella, are headed south for the winter and recently made an overnight passage off the North Carolina coast.  They’re experienced offshore cruisers and they keep to an hourly engine room check during the day when both are in the pilothouse, and on shift changes at night.

Well, Jeff noticed a tiny leak during one of his checks and monitored it diligently over the next couple of checks.  His ultimate discovery should put the fear of Poseidon in you.

Have a look at his video of the episode.


You can follow the Siegel’s trip aboard aCappellaat their blogsite TakingPaws.

Copyright © 2009 OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Boats, Passagemaking News, People