Monday, June 28, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

2010 Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race: Battle of the Beneteau First 40s

The 25th Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race is shaping up as a battle of the Beneteau First 40s. Last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart overall winner Andrew Saies’ Two True will make the long trek to the start line from his home town of Adelaide, where he will be met by two other recently launched Beneteau F40s Flying Cloud (CYCA Vice Commodore Howard Piggott) and Closed Halled (Graeme Hall).  (more...)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Free Life Jackets

SACRAMENTO -- The Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW), RadioDisney and the UC Davis Children's Hospital announces the 11th AnnualLife Jacket Trade-In. The event will be taking place May 28 from 4-6p.m. at select Sacramento Kohl's department stores and from 1-3 p.m. at select Sam's Clubs in the Bay Area and Los Angeles region. A complete list of participating stores is attached......

Please go to this website and find a location newar you if any of your kids (or grandkids) are in need of a quality life jacket. Too many accidents happen because jackets are not used (see the reports of the boat off Seal Rock this last weekend). The gift of safety on the water is really cool! Best, Mik

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Five Tips for Choosing a New Chartplotter/Fishfinder |

Five Tips for Choosing a New Chartplotter/Fishfinder

Price does count when upgrading your electronics, and these tips will help you figure out what features are worth the extra dollars.

You could spend $500 bucks on a combination chartplotter/fishfinder, or you could spend $5,000—and there’s a world of difference between “inexpensive,” and “cheap”. How can you make an intelligent choice as to which unit best fits your needs and your budget? Make sure you consider these five important factors, before you pull the trigger.
1. SIZE MATTERS when it comes to the screen, because this dictates from how far away you can see the unit, how large the numerics will be, and how “squeezed” the screen will become if you use a split-screen or zoom function. Look for units with screens that are at least 5” diagonal, or larger. Anything smaller then this is going to be tough to see unless you’re hunched right over it.
Another important screen feature is resolution, which will determine just how much detail the unit can provide. Resolution is measured by the pixel count, with more pixels being better. Cheap units provide only a few hundred pixels by a few hundred, but you can easily find inexpensive units with 480 by 480 or more. And also check out the screen’s visibility when wearing polarized sunglasses. Many will fade when viewed from an angle in bright sunlight. To test this out in the store, bring a bright spotlight and your sunglasses with you when you shop. Hit the unit with the light, put on your glasses, and see if you can still see the screen as you lean off to one side.
2. POWER is another factor you’ll need to consider. But power is only one half of the equation that determines how deep and accurately your unit will be able to detect fish; transducer choice also plays a huge role. More on this in a moment, but first, note that units in the low end of the price range usually put out between 100 and 300 watts. (Remember to check the spec in RMS, not “peak”). If you’re fishing in water of 200’ or less that’s plenty, but if you need to reach bottom in deeper waters, additional wattage will help you punch through.
3. TRANSDUCERS need to be considered in concert with power. The larger the transducer crystal is, the more focused its beam will be. The more focused the beam, the deeper it will penetrate. Think of it like a flashlight beam: one that’s set to spotlight penetrates farther then one that’s set to floodlight. In real-world use, doubling the transducer crystal’s diameter has the same effect as quadrupling the output power. So a machine pushing 300-watts through a four-inch transducer will see just as deep as a fishfinder pushing 1,200-watts through a one-inch transducer. Unfortunately, depending on where you buy the unit you may not have a choice as to what transducer comes with it. In most cases, however, you can easily purchase an upgraded transducer. Airmar’s web site ( has a lot of good info on what transducer upgrades are available and how to choose between them.
4. CONNECTORS may not seem like an important part of the machine, but they are. Connectors with flimsy plastic collars or thin metal prongs can get broken or bent, and replacing them can cost a large fraction of the unit’s price. So wiggle, push, and prod at them in the store to see just how tough they are, before you buy a unit. Pay special attention to these parts if you have to pull the unit off the boat each time you go home, because the more often you remove and replace the plugs, the more likely it is a problem will arise.
5. LONGEVITY is, of course, another important consideration. Water resistance, especially if you’ll be mounting the unit on a small, open boat, is the most important consideration in this regard. Pay close attention to the IPX (International Protection code) or JIS (Japanese Industry Standard) ratings, which are essentially identical. A rating of four is considered “splashproof,” which could accurately be interpreted as “will fry when wet.” A rating this low is simply insufficient for a small, open boat. An IPX/JIS of five means the unit can withstand low-pressure jets of water, six is high pressure jets of water, seven is submersible for up to 30 minutes at three meters, and eight can be operated while submerged continually. Obviously, the higher the rating number is, the longer your unit will survive in the marine environment—and that makes all the difference in the world, between “inexpensive” and “cheap”.
Lenny RudowLenny Rudow has been a writer and editor in the marine field for over two decades and has authored five books. He runs his own web site at and his syndicated blog appears at in the BoaterMouth blog section.
Five Tips for Choosing a New Chartplotter/Fishfinder |

Thursday, May 13, 2010

After seven months at sea, an Australian teen on Thursday was just two days away from reaching the finish line in her bid to become the youngest person to sail solo, nonstop and unassisted around the world.

Thousands are expected to line Sydney Harbour on Saturday to offer a hero's welcome to 16-year-old Jessica Watson, who has battled 40-foot (12-meter) waves, multiple knockdowns and critics who called her too immature and inexperienced for the treacherous journey.
Many thought she couldn't, and her parents faced withering criticism from those who believed allowing a teenager to attempt such a feat was foolish, insane — even borderline criminal. But the couple repeatedly defended their decision, even after their daughter, who has been sailing since she was 8, collided with a merchant ship during a test run.
Watson, from Buderim, north of Brisbane in Queensland state, sailed out of Sydney on Oct. 18. She traveled northeast through the South Pacific and across the equator, then south to Cape Horn at the tip of South America, across the Atlantic Ocean to South Africa, through the Indian Ocean and around southern Australia. She has survived on prepackaged meals, the occasional freshly caught fish and a steady supply of chocolate.
Another Australian, Jesse Martin, who was 18 when he completed the journey in 1999, holds the current record for the youngest person to sail around the world solo, nonstop and unassisted. But Watson's feat will not be considered an official world record, because the World Speed Sailing Record Council discontinued its "youngest" category.

Sixteen-year-old American Abby Sunderland of Marina del Ray, California, launched her own solo round-the-world bid in January. In May, she had to pull into port in South Africa for boat repairs, ending her nonstop attempt. She still plans to try to complete her voyage.

Saturday, May 8, 2010