Feeling sorry for Coville...counter-piracy training for sailors...dogs on the bow...why do boats sink in the Spring?... and much more

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 24 Mar 2011

Feeling sorry for Coville...sailor piracy training...dogs on the bow

Sodebo - start of solo circumnavigation record attempt. Photo: Yvan Zedda/Sodebo   
One has to sympathise with solo sailor Thomas Coville, 43-year-old Frenchman in his second attempt to sail a new round-world solo record.

Since his failed attempt in 2008, he has improved his trimaran Sodeb'O so that she has the speed to break Francis Joyon's 2005 record on IDEC, but they needed a little luck as well.

The weather has continually refused to cooperate throughout the voyage – read about his latest bad luck.

Dogs on boats are well featured this week, with a marvellously funny set of instructions on how to train your pup to pee on the bow, and Sailors for the Sea has started a membership category for – you guessed it – salty dogs.

Read how one company has taken the initiative in offering to train cruising sailors to ward off pirates. I find it a strange venture. When most sailors dream of cruising away from their regimented lives they imagine blissful times sailing, snorkelling, swimming and beach rambling. Arming up and doing military training ready for battle doesn't quite fit the picture. It makes a nine-to-five routine sound not so bad after all.

Round-world rallies probably won't be increasing in numbers while the Somalia situation remains grim, but other rallies are flourishing all over the sailing world. In this edition we feature one of the most remote sailing rallies in the world – circumnavigating Tasmania. There's also an article about flotilla sailing – the easy way to sail in company in idyllic sailing locations, without having to organise your own rally or give up your day job.

Some good new products are featured in this edition, and other cruising tales – from Velella on the west coast of North America, and the story of one sailor who has built by hand a staggering 29 boats.

Watch out for next week's news, where we'll be addressing the problems associated with DSC connections to your on-board radio.

Many more articles too this week, so browse down the stories to see what catches your interest

Sweet sailing

Nancy Knudsen, Editor

Solo sailor record-seeker forced to make massive weather detour
Kate Jennings translation/Sail-World,
Having set off to tackle the solo round the world record some 52 days ago, the skipper of Sodebo is having to face another meteorological barrier on his journey back to Europe. Due to the 'anticyclonic swamp' sprawling across the North Atlantic, Thomas Coville is being forced to make a massive detour via the West... [more]
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Royal Southern Yacht Club claims ‘new found land'
Peta Stuart-Hunt,
English sailors always were keen explorers, and the sad thing is that there are fewer and fewer places on the planet that have not already been explored. But this did not stop a hardy group from discovering a new land this week, right in the middle of the Solent, between the Isle of Wight and the southern coast of England.... [more]
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Counter-piracy training for cruising sailors
Sail-World Cruising,
Following the ugly turn of events which saw Somali pirates murder four cruising sailors last month, one non-profit security firm in the United States is offering counter-piracy training for cruising sailors. While many would-be long range cruising sailors would rather simply avoid dangerous areas, security training has a distinct role for the sensible sailor, even for non-dangerous locations:... [more]
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How to train your dog for life aboard
Carolyn Shearlock,
When cruisers think about taking their dog with them, the first question is usually what to do about the dog's bathroom needs. After all, it probably won't be possible to take Fido ashore every time he needs to go. The usual recommendation is to train Fido to go on a piece of carpet or Astroturf on the bow. But that begs the question: how do I teach my dog to use that area?... [more]
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Product of the Week: the Fender Hanger
Martin Flory/Sail-World Cruising,
Depending on the construction of your boat, these Fender Hangers from Accon Marine could provide relief from that panicked effort of tying and sometimes having to retie fenders when approaching a dock. There will always be the time when you want to attach a fender somewhere these hangers are NOT, but they are stylish as well as convenient and could help make docking or rafting-up easier.... [more]
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Voyaging with Velella - San Blas to La Paz
Meghan Cleary, American Sailing Association,
Continuing the 'Voyaging with Velella' by ASA writer Meghan Cleary. Meghan, her fiance Prescott, and their kitten Nessie are on a planned 9-month cruise in the tropics. Last week, after over three months living on the lush tropical coast of mainland Mexico, it felt strange to be leaving it for good. We spent a couple of nights sleeping soundly in the gloriously still estuary at San Blas...... [more]
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The boy who built boats
Nancy Knudsen,
There was a boy who wanted to build a boat. He came from a town near you or far away. He was eleven, and shy. He went to the local lumber yard to buy the timber. Feeling a little intimidated, he said he was going to build bookshelves for his mother.... [more]
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Key West....definitely the jewel in Florida's crown
Bob Wonders,
It's the 'Conch' or 'Conc' Republic and it rates as a fabulous place to visit. Although Key West, the southernmost point of the Continental United States, is only a four-hour drive, one must cross 42 bridges, including the ‘daddy' of them all, the All American seven-mile (11.25 km) bridge.... [more]
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Navtec's new anti torsion stay
Emma White,
Navtec - As we know, Navtec is the rigging solution of Lewmar Marine; Navtec has now produced a small-size, anti-torsional stay that is ideal for use with genoas and flying sails on yachts from around 40 foot and above, the new stay is sized at a seven ton break load.... [more]
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Dogs join Ocean Environment Action Group
Sailors for the Sea,
Is your dog passionate about the ocean environment? If so, no longer does he have to bark in vain - Sailors for the Sea have a new category of membership - 'The Salty Dog' Membership... [more]
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Rally circumnavigates Tasmania - five weeks and 800 nautical miles
Sail-World Cruising/Lois Ryan,
Tasmania. The closest big island to Antarctica. Lush, mountainous, secluded anchorages. With splendid weather in the summer. So why wouldn't you organise a yacht rally to circumnavigate it? The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania has been doing just that for the last 20 years or so, and the latest one has just finished. See the pictures, to envy, or maybe to think about joining the next one... [more]
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The boats that sink in the Spring tra la...and what to do about it
BoatUS/Sail-World Cruising,
In the northern hemisphere Spring is well on the way, and sailors everywhere are thinking about recommissioning their yachts and boats. Here, BoatUS identifies the five top reasons why boats sink in the Springtime, and offer a Spring Commissioning Checklist, courtesy of their Magazine, Seaworthy:... [more]
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Just launched, an iPhone App, Great Barrier Reef: Ultimate Guide
Fiona Harper,
This App is your Ultimate Guide to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, with insider information on the best places to see and experience the GBR. Covering all the major attractions, you'll also find secluded, little-visited islands, uncrowded dive sites and intimate beaches for pitching your tent. Includes essentials like: where to stay, how to get there and what to do once you've arrived.... [more]
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Nautor's Swan Australia and New Zealand launch
John Curnow,
It may well have rained in Sydney on Wednesday night, but it was nothing except sunshine, glorious colour and wonderful aesthetics at the launch of the new Nautor's Swan Australia and New Zealand agency.... [more]
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Sydney Yachts impress with GTS 43
Sydney Yachts,
The GTS 43 from Sydney Yachts, the new generation of racer cruiser has arrived. A performance bred design with a quality functional interior. Whether it be in a Hobart race or a Sunday afternoon at anchor with the family the new GTS 43 from Sydney Yachts impresses in all qualities.... [more]
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Solo sailing circumnavigator in more setbacks for world record
Sail-World Cruising,
Sadly, French solo sailor Thomas Coville on his trimaran Sodebo has once again dropped significantly behind the pace necessary for him to set a new round world record for a circumnavigation. Struggling to get past Recife, the most easterly point of South America, he is significantly behind where Francis Joyon was at this time of his voyage.... [more]
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