Monday, March 30, 2009

Big Daddy Regatta

Double Handed Farralones Race - survival story!

Check out this amazing story from a couple of guys on a J80 who lost their keel on the DHF race this past weekend!

Latitude 38 Article

Friday, March 27, 2009

Nice day for a sail!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

VIP Sailing reminder

We are having another VIP sailing demo day this coming Sunday the 29th. We will be taking out 3 boats - most likely the new Beneteau 46, the Beneteau 34, and a trade in Beneteau 393. RSVP is needed as spots are limited!
Call us at 510-236-2633

Monday, March 23, 2009

Record breaking storm and voyage...

This is a cool read - An around the world record setting catamaran voyage runs into a rare South Atlantic Hurricane. It's an older article, but still very interesting: here.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

New listing coming soon... Nice Beneteau 49!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Unique, beautiful, quality, value...

Have you seen the Wauquiez 41 Pilot Saloon yet? Are you looking for a quality, elegant, blue water capable sailing yacht? We have a Wauquiez 41 in stock ready for adventure... Great inventory reduction pricing on this model makes it even more interesting! or

The Island Packets want to go sailing!

It is a blustery spring day here at Passage.... I was down on the docks and saw the two Island Packets just tugging at their lines. They were just dying to get out on the white capped bay with the other boats. Can you help them?

Friday, March 20, 2009

OYRA - Offshore Yacht Racing Association Schedule

This is a series of 12 ocean races with courses ranging from 25- 88 nautical miles. The variety of races allows allows a boat to experience diverse weather conditions, night sailing, overnight anchoring, and close encounters with marine life! For more information on the series, rules, and entries go to the OYRA site.

Spring Series
3/21 Lightship #1
4/4 Duxship
4/18 Full Crew Farallones
5/22 The Spinnaker Cup
6/6-7 Drakes Bay

Fall Series
7/18 Lightship #2
8/15 Half Moon Bay
9/04 Windjammers
9/12 Northern Star
9/26 Southern Cross
10/21 Junior Waterhouse

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Quick email from JT who was cruising in the Bahamas....

In Florida again after flying in today from Staniel Cay, Exumas. Five people in a tiny plane.....with a chef on a 90 meter Luhrsen megayacht with a crew of 25!! Have seen a B-311, 393, 43 and 46 all cruising. Most from Canada. In Nassau there were 25 motor yachts all 150+. What recession!! Jimmy Buffet was having a beer at the bar last night in Staniel Cay. Home this weekend.....

Rough life eh?

Beneteau, the Greener boat builder

Kermit the Frog once said - “Itʼs not easy being green”. Maybe Kermit was a boatbuilder at some point in his life. Had he been, he would have known how true that statement was - and is. Components such as petroleum based products, lead, and wood from rain forests have routinely been used to build modern sailboats for a longtime, and most manufacturers still do use these things, partially from necessity and partially from choice.

The reality is that fiberglass boats must be made using materials that arenʼt always the friendliest for the environment. But the other reality in sailing is that the end product is quite environmentally friendly. Sailboats use very little fuel, and are mostly self contained under way, so pollution and sailing are rarely used in the same sentence. Thatʼs obvious, but letʼs go back to the manufacturing process and look at the things that make Beneteau a better and greener manufacturer.

Starting with the layup of the hull and deck, Beneteau is ahead of its competitors in using more environmentally friendly techniques such as injection molded decks on most models. Injection molding does away with the spraying of polyester resin into an openmold, which creates a large amount of styrene infused airborne residue that is not a particularly good thing, as you can well imagine. Injection molding incorporates a 2 piece mold into which precise pre-cut pieces of dry fiberglass are applied. The two pieces of the mold are joined together and resin is injected evenly into the mold and forced throughout the piece to ensure even penetration and saturation of resin into the glass. This process has a dual benefit - it guarantees much more consistent pieces in terms of weight and finish, and it eliminates all airborne spraying of resin, making a cleaner and safer workplace as well as a better product. This is a process pioneered by Beneteau and is used by very few others in the business because of the added expense to create the tooling and to implement the process in older manufacturing facilities.

The beautifully finished interior wood used by Beneteau, called ALPI, is created from veneers made from natural hardwoods grown in managed sustainable forests. It is a processed multi-laminar wood which is consistent in grain pattern and color, making it easy to repair or replace if necessary. The process involves using thinly cut veneers which are selected based on color and grain quality. The veneers are then put into piles and immersed into tanks containing pigment to obtain a light and homogenous tint.They are then immersed into a second tank of pigment to obtain the final color and to stabilize the color against UV rays and to seal them. Once this is done, they are sorted again to a chosen grain pattern, stacked,and glued using a proprietary waterproof glue into solid blocks of wood. This is the base for the ALPI product.

The blocks are then “sliced” very thinly on an angle, and the angle of the cut determines the grain width and character. The finished plies of wood are fully finished end grain pieces that are uniform in appearance and resistant to impact, thanks to the glue and compression incorporated into the manufacturing process. Beneteau then takes an extra step in the process and cuts the existing plies at another angle to add even more impact resistance and consistency in finish.

The finished are then sent to the plywood manufacturer to be glued onto Class “A”sheets of marine grade laminates. These finished products become the beautiful bulkheads and cabinetry that are the signature of Beneteau boats. While this is a much more expensive process than conventional methods used by most builders, the end result is a higher quality and harder finish than one would expect.

Beneteau has also been a leader in using cast iron for its keels rather than lead, which is much more toxic to the environment and not as durable in cruising boats. Cast iron keels will stand up to running aground without bending or losing their shape, which is a problem with lead, not to mention that the expense and restrictive rules of lead use are making cast iron the smart AND green choice for modern cruising boat keels.

These are but a few of the ways that the worldʼs largest manufacturer of recreational sailboats, Beneteau, is contributing to a healthier environment, both in their manufacturing plants and on the water. Good and green sailing to you!

*Thanks to Mike Thoney of Karma Yachts for permission to use his green article... Check out their blog here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Island Packet Estero photos - shipping!

Good afternoon! A few hours ago, Estero #001 left the plant headed to an anxious owner on the Chesapeake. The folks at Gratitude Yachting Center are already standing by in their yard ready to welcome this yacht to Rock Hall and get it into the water quickly!

Océanis 31: European Yacht of the Year

A New Award for BENETEAU

It was during the official European Yacht of the Year gala evening in Düsseldorf, on Saturday 17 January 2009, that the news was announced.
The Océanis 31 was elected European Yacht of the Year in the Family Cruiser class, by a jury of journalists from 10 specialized European magazines. This year, the various yachts nominated did not compete in size classes as in previous years, but according to their sailing programme. The following yachts were in the Family Cruiser class: Bavaria 43, Sun Odyssey 30, Southerly 32, Delphia 26 and Océanis 31.

Following the election of the Océanis 37 as Yacht of the Year 2008 by Voile Magazine, this new award confirms BENETEAU’s capacity to develop yachts that continue to be innovative, comfortable and high-performing. It is also the second yacht to be designed by the FINOT-CONQ Group and associates of the Italian Nauta Design office to receive such an award.

Beneteau First 40 updates

Great photos of the new Farr designed Beneteau First 40 from LAURENT VIDAL PHOTOGRAPHE DE MER .

Spring series at La Trinite for First the 40

First regatta for yachts Cornouaille Magic, Coup de Coeur and Courrier Zen during the 3rd week end of the spring series at La Trinite ( Brittany - France ).

Cornouaille Magic won the IRC trophy during the 6th race. The event took place with light winds ( 8 - 10 knots ).

Courrier Zen, led by Gery Trentesaux has performed very well too.
Even if she finished before Cornouaille Magic, the temporary rating handicaped her ( TTC 2000 vs 1.0890 for Cornouaille Magic, as she has already declared her certificate IRC), Courrier Zen has "given" the first place to the crew lead by Herve Ricoux.

The skippers of these 3 First 40 are very pleased with the yachts : very efficient deck organisation , well organized cockpits, and good speed.

Killer whales off the San Francisco coast

Photo by Chris Colombana

Great photo and article in the Marin IJ about a pod of Orcas seen out near the Farallon Islands last week. Wish I had been out sailing! Another good reminder of the fun, excitement, and education you can have with your boat!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Beneteau 43

We currently have a beautiful new Beneteau 43 in stock with great factory incentives... To me this is almost the perfect boat for San Francisco - she is large enough to be comfortable with a large group (has two heads too), fun and easy to sail, and beautiful. She has the capability to go anywhere from across the bay to Sam's for cocktails or to Mexico or beyond... here is a nice review from Cruising world. We are doing another VIP Demo day coming up March 29th. Call 510-236-2633 to RSVP.

Portimao Global Ocean Race

Another amazing race....
Just found out about the Portimao Global Ocean Race, an around the world race from Portugal to Cape Town, to Wellington, to Ilhabela, to Charleston, and back to Portugal. Check out the site for amazing photos, cool video, and some inspiration to sail fast!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ay Caliente Testimonial!

After seeing the Beneteau 36.7 at the 2005 Strictly Sail boat show I was totally hooked. It did not take long to realize this boat had everything I was looking for. A racer/cruiser with a functional helm and comfortable appointments down below. In 2006 I purchased Ay Caliente Hull #127. The first day I took delivery of her we sailed out the Golden Gate to Point Bonita and I was very impressed by her speed and smooth handling under sail. I have not been disappointed since. Whether racing on the bay or just cruising with friends this boat always delivers and continues to amaze me.

We put her into the San Francisco 36.7 OD Fleet last year and have enjoyed the camaraderie that comes with racing in a close knit sailing family. The other skippers were very welcoming and helpful regarding the boat and set up. After a long day of racing it's fun to take a hot shower down below or grab a cold drink out of the fridge. When we're not racing we cruise out and drop the hook at one of the many beautiful anchorages around the Bay. It's been said many times on the docks that Ay Caliente may be one of the most active boats at the club...if you owned one you’d know exactly what I mean as you too would be impressed with her versatility, reliability and comfort! As the current Fleet Captain I'd be happy to offer any additional information regarding the boat and it’s fascinating features or about our ever-growing local racing fleet.

Aaron M. Kennedy
Ay Caliente!
Farr First 36.7
Hull #127

SF Bay 36.7 Fleet

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Rich Wilson finishes 9th in Vendee Globe!

Only the second American to ever finish the Vendee Globe solo around the world race, Rich Wilson just recently finished in a very respectable 9th place! Considering over 60% of the starting fleet didn't finish, this is quite an accomplishment. Rich has another bragging point, the fact that he is the oldest competitor at 58yrs old! Way to go Rich!
Here is the link to the video of him finishing.

Did you know that Les Sables D'olonne - the starting and ending point for the Vendee Globe - is where Beneteau's corporate headquarters are? The French do have an incredible sailing history...

In theory, the Vendée Globe is an utterly simple affair. Its fundamental principles come down to a few sentences, compared to which even the roughest logbook would seem sophisticated. A sailing race around the world, for singlehanders, without any stopover. That’s it. In theory at least, because beyond these words start great stories.

Official supplier of legends since 1989, this race has impressed the maritime world and the public in general, to the point where even the strongest superlatives seem unable to define it. The sea also has its mythical summit, created 15 years ago by a sailor, two times winner around the world (BOC Challenge, with stopovers), who refused to rest on his laurels.

Philippe Jeantot wished to go further, to give a new dimension to the world of maritime adventure… “Time, he wrote, is a necessary factor to attain perfect harmony with one’s sailboat. We had to forget about stopping. A round-the-world race, without stopovers or assistance, such were the conditions to reach the desired communion. For the first edition, we set off towards the unknown. None of the 13 sailors who crossed the starting line in 1989 had the experience of a solo journey exceeding 100 days” *.

* Taken from the foreword of the book « Le Vendée Globe, 1989 – 2001, histoire d’un mythe », François Mousis & Serge Messager, Editions des Vignes.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Californians Buying To Beat Sales Tax Increase...

On April 1st, the California state sales tax is going to increase by 1%. This article points out how sales are increasing a little at a local car dealership because people are trying to save a few bucks. If a boat is something you are going to be buying this summer, here is another reason to move ahead sooner rather than later! On a new Beneteau 43 for example, this alone will save you over $2,500!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

West Coast's largest barge arrives in bay

A good reminder that there is always something interesting happening out on the bay! With your own boat, you can be out there seeing it all happen....

check out the story here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Alerion Express News and Spring Incentives!

Courtesy of McMichael’s Yacht Brokers, I have attached some photos of 38#15, the first and only AE38 to have teak decks. AE38#17, currently under construction has a custom all-teak interior with curved ultra suede settees and a custom off-white deck color.

Although sales have been slower than usual, happily there have been 4 new AE28’s ,an AE33 and an AE20 sold since the beginning of the year. This shows a lot confidence in the Alerion Express brand! It also proves that it isn’t all doom and gloom out there like the media wants us to believe. We appreciate all of your support of the Alerion Express Brand.

Alerion Express 28 Owner Pat Nowak was recently published in Sailing Magazine's March issue. An article entitled "The Summer of 94 Day Sails" will be sure to evoke the feelings for sailing that may have fallen into hibernation over these cold rainy months. He speaks of his love for day sailing and lures even the most obscure water sports enthusiast to consider “Alerion Sailing” over all other activities. You can find this article on the Alerion website in the "Press" section along with other recent articles. This is a great reminder article of the fun of simply just sailing! You can also checkout the latest clothing “gear” on the site, too.

Alerion is excited to announce their Spring, 2009 incentive program. We have a few production slots that we would like to fill over the next few months and hopefully the program will help you with a new Alerion purchase. If there are any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me directly about the boats that this applies to.