I guess the title of this post is a little ironic as it has been a year since my last post. No excuses and no dramas, I have been all consumed by starting a business.Will try a little harder to keep this puppy going despite other distractions.
I received an email today from Paul Gelder, the former editor of Yachting Monthly that inspired me to get off my provervial and start posting again.
Since his retirment he has been all consumed by the refit of a 1978 trimaran. This video shows Paul enjoying the fruits of his labor and an awe-inspiring refit sequence.
In his own words:
This was my biggest DIY project ever! I guessed it might take me 1,000-hours-plus, at least. It turned out to be nearly 1,500 hours. Phoenix is a 1978 Mark II Telstar trimaran, which I've owned for 21 years.
Designed by Tony Smith, she was built in 1978 in Sandwich, Kent, before Tony moved to America to build Gemini catamarans. I first saw Phoenix wrecked in the 1990 Burns night storm off Emsworth Marina, in Chichester Harbour, Hampshire, UK. She was rescued as an insurance write-off, rebuilt and re-engineered by custom boat-builder David Kay, who sold her to me in 1994.
In 2000 Phoenix was 'stretched' from 8m to 9m (30ft) in 2000, when David added a sugar scoop stern with a new rudder and skeg. But last year, after more than 20 years, Phoenix needed major makeover -- new windows, new electronics a new switch panel, new navigation lights, new headlining and running and standing rigging. The work began in February 2013, and seven months' later she was re-launched in September in fabulous sunshine and 30 degrees C.
Refit statistics: I got through what seemed a mile of sandpaper (using three different sanding machines -- wet & dry done by hand), 15 litres of paint, 120 paint rollers, 25 paint brushes, 150 pairs of disposable rubber gloves, five rolls of masking tape. The paint was International's epoxy primer, plus Perfection undercoat and two-pack gloss, with Interdeck non-slip deck paint and Woodskin varnish.
I fitted -- with thanks to David Kay, again -- new Raymarine electronics (including i70 cockpit instrument displays, a touch-screen chart plotter; X-5 Smart autopilot, with fluxgate compass, new Aqua Signal nav lights, new Harken radial deck winch, new genoa and blade jib deck blocks, new standing and running rigging and lifelines, and new Blue Seas switch panel. I also fitted FlexiTeek to the cockpit floor and sugar-scoop and had the stainless steel pulpit shortened and re-welded. I added two 10-watt solar deck panels. The interior was stripped for 18 new panels of foam-backed vinyl headlining to be fitted, plus new smoked Lexan windows.
The young guy who is bowman on Belle Faster (the J30 on which I crew) was a little disparaging about being a bowman on the more modern yachts that lack a symetrical spinnaker and pole. In the main I agree with him but as this video shows, being a bowman on the more modern yachts is anything but dull. It looks downright bloody terrifying, especuially given the speeds Mar Mostro travels at.
Last week, I blogged my interview with Gary Jobson where he spoke about the new graphics technology - Liveline- that will be used during the AC coverage on NBC. These videos shows Liveline in action and explain how it works.
The guy behind, Liveline, Stan Honey is a God. Among a long list of achievements, he created the yellow line in football and was ISAF Rolex Yachtsman of the Year for his navigation accomplishments.
It's worth watching all three of these. It's going to be cool to see in action.
Thanks to the nice people at Sailing Spoken Here, I had the privilege of interviewing the great Gary Jobson. Gary is reporting for Sailing Spoken Here, covering regattas, sailing issues and everything in between over the next two months.
There were a million things I could have asked Gary but what interested me most was his perspective on the state of sailing media, in particular TV. Coincidentally, this was also the week that NBC announced that it would be covering the America's Cup.
Gary has covered sailing on TV since the 1983 America's Cup, There is no one better qualified to talk on the subject and he doesn’t mince his words. In his view, sailing on TV attracts an audience when three things happen:
Close racing with lots of lead changes
There is a great story behind the racing
Compelling characters are involved
Close racing is a tough one. Match racing can be incredibly exciting (Remember the last race of AC32 in Valencia) but it can also be like watching paint dry to anyone but real fans of the sport.
We talked about the way the AC will be covered. A few months ago I saw an impressive demonstration by Stan Honey on the new techniques being used for the AC. This will overlay a wide array of race-related information over the sailing images to explain what’s going on. (Think what the yellow line has done for watching football and multiply that by 10 and you’ll get a sense of what’s in store). It will make the AC match races much easier to understand and much more engaging for novice and veteran watchers of the sport.