This thing sure does look a bit bug-like, doesn't it??? No need to get out the Raid, however. Tis but a figment in the imagination of one Yelken Octuri, a French designer whose day job is color-coordinating plane interiors for Airbus. It would appear he does not find this job entirely fulfilling. In his spare time he seems to have an awful lot of fun coming up with wild and creative conceptual designs for futuristic aircraft. Two of these--the Flying Yacht you see here and a design for a Sailing Aircraft--were featured in an exhibit at the Air and Space Museum in Paris earlier this summer.
Boats & Gear
Boats produced by the French builder Chantiers Amel occupy a very unique niche in the cruising sailboat market. The company founder, Henri Toncet, who changed his name to Henri Amel while serving with the French resistance during World War II, became a pioneer of fiberglass boatbuilding in Europe after studying floating pontoons built of polyester-impregnated burlap that had been deployed by Allied invasion forces. Amel emerged from the war crippled in one leg, missing one eye, nearly blind in the other, but possessed of an iron will and obsessive personality that he channeled into the creation of a line of extremely clever yachts he described not merely as cruising boats, but as “integrated cruising systems.”
You may have noticed I haven't been in a huge rush to blog about the offshore race in which Team SEMOSA competed the week before last. If you're assuming this was because we did poorly, you wouldn't be far wrong.
We ran the race on Phil Cavanaugh's Baltic 35 Alida, which we have campaigned with some success in the Piscataqua Sailing Association's Tuesday night beer-can series over the past few years. Because the Downeast Challenge course runs from Marblehead, Mass., to Rockland, Maine, where I once sailed regularly, Phil anointed me navigator. I'd never been a racing navigator before. One perk, I discovered, is that the navigator can easily think of important reasons why he should be belowdeck when conditions on deck suck.
For example, at the end of this race, when we were trying to thread our way into Penobscot Bay through fog and pouring rain, I spent all my time sitting at the nice dry nav station watching for obstacles on the chartplotter and radar. Meanwhile, Phil and our newest SEMOSA member, David Hill (on the left above), got thoroughly soaked up in the cockpit.
In my last missive on this subject I introduced the concept of building fiberglass boats in female molds, just like the one pictured here. Now we need to talk about the business of building up a glass laminate within a mold in more detail. To understand fiberglass lamination, it is best to focus first on simple solid laminates in which multiple layers of fiberglass fabric are built up to the thickness necessary to make a part strong enough to do its job.
Ian Morse of Radical Catamarans has just launched his very first boat and, man, it sure is… radical. I've always been intrigued by this sort of parallel, or biplane, rig, so I had lots of questions for him when we talked the other day. He was, however, a bit tentative about some of his answers, as he still hasn't figured out exactly how best to sail this thing. It's been in the water just six weeks, and Ian's been out sailing on it just six times, and the learning curve is still pretty steep.
Just had a conversation last week with Bruce Johnson, chief designer at S&S, about this new "modern traditional" concept design they're floating. Bruce describes it as a scaled-down version of the 56-foot S&S sloop Anna that was launched at Brooklin Boat Yard in Maine back in 2007. Apparently Anna has inspired some lust in the hearts of more than a few sailors (Bruce mentioned in particular a group in Martha's Vineyard) who have nevertheless balked at her price tag. Where Anna cost about $2 million to build, Bruce estimates this somewhat smaller vessel can be had in cold-molded wood for about $1.15 million, or in fiberglass for somewhere south of a million.
Not that I expect too many of you have that kind of change lying around. But you can dream, can't you? Personally, I could look at the lines of boats like this all day without getting bored.
Originally dubbed the Crealock 37 after its designer, “Gentleman Bill” Crealock, this boat is now deemed a conservative cruiser, though when first conceived it was considered a more cutting-edge performance cruiser, thanks to its long fin keel and skeg-hung rudder. Molds to produce the boat were originally created by Clipper Marine, which went bankrupt before building could begin. The molds were acquired by a firm called Cruising Consultants, which launched 16 hulls in 1978 and ’79 before selling out in turn to Pacific Seacraft. Pacific Seacraft produced the boat in Fullerton, California, for 27 years before closing its doors in 2007, whereupon a marine archeologist, Stephen Brodie, acquired the company name and tooling for several boats, including the 37, and shifted production to North Carolina.
Page 13 of 18
Offshore Passage Opportunities
Attainable Adventure Cruising
Blue Planet Times
Father & Son Sailing
Cruising Sailor's BB
Good Old Boat
North American Sailor
Liz Clark and the Voyage of Swell
Onboard with Mark Corke
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