EPIRB manufacturing errors...what inflatable should I have...all about staysails...sailing junk sunk by hit and run freighter...Blue Water Rally home...and much more

30 Apr 2009                                      To respond to this email CLICK HERE

Diary Dates



Vital News about EPIRBs

One half of the Tai Ping, still afloat after being cleft by a freighter which did not stop  .
While you are reading this I am winging (sadly not sailing) my way from Istanbul to Sydney, and hoping that the Ozzies are preparing some good winter sailing for me. Sailing in the Ozzie winter gives you the country's best season – steady winds, great crisp sunny weather....that's what I am expecting, but I'll let you know!

The saddest news of the week was the sinking of the faithful replica Chinese sailing junk which took six long years to build and was within a day of having completed its double crossing of the Pacific to prove that Chinese sailors COULD have done it 600 years ago. The junk, pictured here, was tragically sliced in half by a freighter which didn't stop.

This week's issue is full of useful – even vital – reading. If you own an EPIRB, you need to CHECK YOUR 15 CHARACTER CODE, as there have been some errors that could endanger your life in a distress situation.

In addition, there are ISAF guidelines for piracy, the new radar technology explained, important advice about how to decide which inflatable PFD you should be using, an excellent discussion on the use – or misuse – of staysails, and even some indispensable sunscreen tips for those who are lucky enough to sail in the sun.

Finally, if you will be sailing in one of the world's oceans any time soon, Science needs you!

Read on, enjoy, and

Smooth sailing!

Nancy Knudsen, Cruising Editor

ISAF publish Guidelines for Prevention of Piracy
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) announced today the publication of Guidelines for yachts considering a passage through the Gulf of Aden, Yemeni and Somali waters. The International Regulations Commission has been established in accordance with Regulation 41 to provide advice on matters related to the regulation of recreational boats or craft by government actions or otherwise.... [more]

What inflatable should I buy?
Ron Trossbach,US Sailing 'Safety at Sea' Moderator,
Spring is here, and it's time to be thinking about either purchasing a personal life jacket, or reviewing whether the equipment you have is adequate for the circumstances in which you will be sailing. Ron Trossbach, a US SAILING 'Safety at Sea' Moderator, answers the question.... [more]

Blue Water Rally 2007-9 Home Safely to the Med
Peter Seymour,
After a voyage of 27,000 miles and 20 months after leaving Gibraltar, the last yacht of the Blue Water Rally 2007-9 arrived safely in Aghios Nikolaos Marina, Crete on 19 April. Right at the end it took 5 hours of engine repairs in rough conditions before owners Tony and Audrey Walter sailed in on their 37 year old Salar 40 to a rapturous welcome from their fellow Ralliers.... [more]

Replica Chinese sailing junk sunk by freighter
News Hawaii/Sail-World Cruising,
A Chinese sailing junk which was on the last leg of a journey to prove how Chinese sailors could have visited America 600 years ago, has been sunk after a collision with a freighter off the coast of Taiwan. Sail-World had been following the progress of the Princess TaiPing, a faithfully recreated sailing junk of the Ming Dynasty period... [more]

The New Radar Technology – 'Broadband' Radar Explained
Bill Johnson, Wiley Nautical,
The landscape of small boat radar has just changed. Until recently, all the radars for the leisure marine market worked in pretty much the same way, but now a significant innovation is available. Clearly, anyone who is considering buying a radar system will want to know how the new technology - named 'Broadband' - works, and what the advantages – and disadvantages – are likely to be.... [more]

EPIRBs - Check your vital 15 character code
That's the message that Cobham Life Support, ACR Products, the world's leader in safety and survival technologies, is trying to get to all beacon owners. They want all EPIRB and PLB owners to double check their 15-character identification code registration for errors.... [more]

Calling all ocean sailors: maybe YOU can help
Nancy Knudsen,
Calling all sailors: If you plan to sail the Atlantic, Pacific, or Indian Oceans, consider setting your course through any of five garbage patches in the world's oceans. Sailors are needed by researchers to report back on what they see and hence help in a small way to solve the enormous problems caused by garbage dumping throughout the world.... [more]

The question of staysails - how to make them work for you
Andrew Dove, Area Manager North Sails Caraibes,
Though most modern sloops have a furling headsail and a mainsail, staysails are far from atypical, although those added to boats often appear to be of little use.... [more]

Indispensable Sunscreen Tips
Lynn Fitzpatrick,
This is the second part of a three-article series on sailors and the sun Dr. Steve Horwitz has been an active PHRF, Lightning and Etchells sailor for quite awhile. While most sailors on Biscayne Bay are used to seeing him at the helm of Widespread Panic, he crewed for years before he became a dermatologist.... [more]

Letter from the Indies: Santiago de Cuba to Cienfuegos (Cuba)
Andrea and Ian Treleaven,
Friends Geoff and Pip Lavis have now joined us for the 350nm sail west along the south coast of Cuba to Cienfuegos, passing the very high Sierra Maestra Mountains and on through the many cays of the Archipielago de los Jardines de la Reina (Royal Gardens).... [more]

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston muses - 40 years on
Paul Caine, Taiwan News/Sail-World,
The hardy sailor that was the only one to complete - and therefore win - the historic first round-the-world solo challenge in 1969, celebrates the anniversary and muses about sailing then, now, and in the future.... [more]

Skin Cancer - the Reality of being a Fair-Skinned Sailor
Lynn Fitzpatrick,
'One of the first skin cancer screenings that I did at a regatta was during the 2001/02 Miami stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race,' said Dr. Steve Horwitz. Steve is sailing's skin doctor. He has been practicing dermatology in Miami for over three decades and has been sailing on Biscayne Bay for longer... [more]

Vale Panama Yacht Club Hello Chagres River
BW Media roundup,
Sailing boats wanting to transit the Panama Canal these days are faced with a challenge of sorts. Cruisers in the area were horrified last month when Panama Ports Company suddenly demolished the Panama Yacht Club without warning. It happened at 3.00am, and by morning there was little left.... [more]


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