METAL HAS BEEN USED to build ships for about 160 years, and very large metal yachts were being built as early as the late 19th century. In 1895, for example, Nat Herreshoff designed and constructed a radical 123-foot composite metal sloop, Defender, to defend the America's Cup. She was built of aluminum, bronze, and steel and within six years was so debilitated by galvanic corrosion she had to be broken up.
It wasn't until the 1960s (except for some boats built in Holland, where steel has long been a favored material) that metal was used to build sailboats of more moderate size. Bernard Moitessier, an early pioneer, commissioned the construction of his 40-foot steel ketch Joshua in 1961. By the middle of the decade, aluminum was also being used to build both racing and cruising boats. By the mid-1970s, aluminum was the favored construction material in America's Cup 12-meter boats (the first was Courageous, built in 1974) and remained so until the mid-1980s.
Boats & Gear
HUMANS HAVE BEEN building boats out of wood for many thousands of years. Many assume therefore it must now be obsolete. Wood certainly does not lend itself to mass production the way fiberglass does, though there were a few builders who manufactured wood boats on something like a production basis not long before the advent of glass. Wood does have some distinct virtues. It is light, even compared to modern building materials, and in terms of tensile strength is stronger per pound than common electrical-grade fiberglass. In terms of stiffness, it is stronger per pound than S glass, E-glass, and Kevlar. In terms of its total structural efficiency, it is better than all of these materials, including carbon fiber.
THE SKY TO THE SOUTH as we sailed away from the island of Gomera looked bruised and hazy, as though the blue had been sucked out of it by some meteorological vampire. By this time, November of 1996, I had been cruising full-time and living aboard Crazy Horse, my Pearson Alberg 35 yawl, for almost a year and a half. I had sailed three times across the North Atlantic--twice as crew on other people's boats four years earlier, and once again as master of Crazy Horse after I left New England and headed east for Europe the year before. For several months I had felt competent, confident even, as we cruised Portugal, Spain, Madeira, and the Canary Islands at our leisure. But now, heading south from the Canaries toward our next destination, I felt a cold stone of uncertainty growing within me.
Africa! The very name conjured thoughts of the unknown and the unknowable. In the two years since I had acquired my boat I had sailed in familiar waters, voyaging to places I had been before, or places close to places I had been before, where I knew what to expect, what might go wrong, and how to set things right again. Now, at last, I was wandering on to charts that were alien to me, and I felt as though I was stepping off a cliff into a void.
O FUN-LOVING BOAT-WORSHIPPING CHILDREN of the Internet! Forget what you heard about doing up New Year's on St. Bart's. Tis a hyped-up overrated overcrowded experience if ever there was one, IMHO. I'm here to tell you: Culebra is the place to be (or have been). None of this dandified Beautiful People On Their Superyachts pretense and nonsense. On Culebra they know how to turn the page on the calendar with Egalitarian Style.
The Lunacy Report
Belay earlier transmission. Or part of it anyway. That "old Open 60" I pointed out in my last post, I learned yesterday is actually a new Open 60. Or nearly new. Turns out it was first launched in 2010 and was both designed and constructed by its owner, Michele Cassano (see photo up top), who spent eight years of his life working it on Italy's Adriatic coast. Step aboard and you'll find the finish quality is indeed a bit agricultural, but still it is a very impressive achievement.
I'm on the ARC beat in St. Lucia again this week, chilling with my SAILfeed compadres Andy Schell and Mia Karlsson and stalking the pontoons checking out all the peeps and boats that coagulate here in Rodney Bay as the world's biggest bluewater cruising rally comes to an end. It was a rougher ride than usual through the trades from the Canaries to the W'Indies this year, but spirits are high and the energy, as always, is very positive.
Page 7 of 75
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
All Content © 2011-12 Wavetrain - All Rights Reserved Site Design By FortySix Web