LANGSKIP 55: A Viking Longship Yacht

Langskip 55

Wanna-be Viking voyagers (e.g., Jarle Andhoey) who are daunted at the prospect of having to plunder and pillage in open boats can heave a sigh of relief. At last someone has had the vision to both design and build a modern-day Norse longship with comfortable interior accommodations and contemporary amenities. The visionary in question is Sigurjon Jonsson of the Skipavik shipyard in Stykkisholmur, Iceland, which has been building fishing boats since 1928. This beautiful and extremely unusual Langskip 55, the first yacht ever built at Skipavik, was conceived by Sigurjon as a versatile world-class cruising boat that can both cross oceans and wander up shallow rivers and inland waterways with impunity. Cruisers with a sense of history take note: these are the very same attributes that allowed Norse sailors to make such a nuisance of themselves during the Middle Ages.

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JARLE ANDHOEY: Busted in Chile

Jarle Andhoey and Nilaya

The drama of the Wild Viking continues. Last we checked in on Norway's Antarctic adventurer Jarle Andhoey, he and his crew aboard the 54-foot Nilaya had suffered a broken boom after leaving the Ross Sea and were bound to an unspecified Argentine base on the Antarctic peninsula to make repairs and take on fuel. It has not been widely remarked upon (nor has the helpful Argentine base ever been identified), but this evidently was successfully accomplished sometime around March 23.

Now comes word that Andhoey and company were detained on Saturday by the Chilean navy as they were passing through Chilean waters off the southern tip of South America on their way to Argentina. Nilaya is now reportedly at the Chilean naval base at Puerto Williams, strapped alongside a navy vessel with three armed guards aboard. According to the first published reports, Nilaya was detained at the request the government of New Zealand, although the Kiwis apparently have now denied this. According to other reports, Andhoey gave a false name for the vessel when hailed by the Chileans, and this may be what led to the arrest.

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ANN DAVISON: Solo Transatlantic on Felicity Ann

Ann Davison on Felicity Ann

Cast into the past to find the founding figure of bluewater feminism, the first in the line that leads to such modern-day heroines as Isabelle Autissier, Ellen MacArthur, and Samantha Davies, and you bump up hard against a woman named Ann Davison. She is remembered today, when she is remembered at all, as the first woman to sail solo across the Atlantic. She is also something of an enigma, wrapped up in a few ironies. Chief among these being the fact that she probably never would have gone to sea in the first place had she not fallen in love with a sailor.

Not that Ann Davison was ever a wallflower, waiting for someone else's testosterone to imbue her life with purpose. In her heart, she was always an adventurer. Born into a family of artists in London, England (her mother, in particular, had a passion for singing), she fixated on the thrill of motion as she was growing up.

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FEAR OF DRAGGING: Anchoring Tips for Scope Nazis and Other Scaredy Cats

Anchoring a sailboat

If you're paranoid, anchoring out can be a validating experience. On the one hand, it seems rather simple. You walk up to the bow of your boat, drop a lump of metal overboard, let out some rode, and secure it somehow. Then you stroll back to your cockpit and admire your surroundings while enjoying a libation or two.

On the other hand, it can often seem fraught with danger. The closest equivalent I can think of, in terms of destroying a good night's sleep with raw anxiety, are those guys who sleep out on mountains they are climbing in sacks they hang from tiny pins driven into cliff faces. The immediate result in the event of a mishap may not be quite as dramatic, but the ultimate worst-case consequences (loss of life and putative home) can be just as severe.

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ALLIED PRINCESS 36: A Robust Cruising Ketch

Allied Princess

The Princess 36, built by the long defunct Allied Boat Company up the Hudson River in Catskill, New York, is a robust character ketch that does not pretend to be anything other than a simple, comfortable cruising boat. In truth, it is a boat only a cruiser could love. Designed by Arthur Edmunds and first introduced in 1972, the Princess enjoyed a 10-year production run during which about 140 hulls were built, which likely makes it the most successful boat produced by Allied during its 22 years of existence (1962-84).

Of all the boats Allied built--including the Luders 33, sailed by the famous boy-circumnavigator Robin Lee Graham; the Seawind 30, first fiberglass boat to circumnavigate; and the Seabreeze 35, a very handy CCA cruiser-racer--the Princess is the one that still commands the most loyal following among modern cruising sailors.

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BLUEWATER SAILING ON A BUDGET: Selecting and Preparing a Boat

Pearson Alberg 35

Much has been written on the subject of preparing a boat to go offshore. It seems most of this literature is now focused on affluent types who aspire to live as profligately afloat as they do ashore, but it's important to remember you can in fact explore the watery parts of our planet in a boat of your own without spending huge sums of money. As an illustration of what's possible, I thought I might tell the sordid tale of how I bought and equipped my first bluewater sailboat.

I purchased Crazy Horse in Connecticut in the fall of 1994 expressly for the purpose of taking her offshore on a North Atlantic circle cruise to West Africa and back. She was a 1964 Pearson Alberg 35, built in Bristol, Rhode Island, and cost me all of $28,500.

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CRAZY CRUISING GUYS: Updates on Reid Stowe and Jarle Andhoey

Schooner Anne

It's been a while since I mentioned Reid Stowe, not because I've lost interest in him, but because he went dark for several weeks, not long after he and his family arrived in the jungles of Guyana aboard their schooner Anne back in early January. Now he's got his communications sorted and is again transmitting regular updates.

Last we visited with Reid he was booking into Guyana at Georgetown and accidentally violated the local pilot boat with his bow. Since then he's made friends with the pilots and got some help conning Anne up the coast and into the Essequibo River.

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JOSHUA SLOCUM'S LIBERDADE: Where Is She Now?

Joshua Slocum and family aboard Liberdade

One nice thing about this blogging game is that you sometimes get useful feedback. For example: about two years ago I put up a post about Joshua Slocum and his bizarre homemade 35-foot dory/junk Liberdade, which he sailed from South America to the U.S. in 1888 with his family after they were shipwrecked on the Brazilian coast. This included a brief end note as to the fate of the boat, to the effect that it had been donated to the Smithsonian Institution, but that it wasn't known whether the Smithsonian still had the boat hidden in its vaults, or whether Slocum had ultimately retrieved it.

Well... now I know what really happened.

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Subcategories

  • Boats & Gear

    Evaluations of both new and older sailboats (primarily cruising sailboats) and of boat gear.

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    Updates on what’s going on aboard my own sailboat Lunacy: breakdowns, maintenance jobs, upgrades, cruises and passages undertaken, etc.

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    Updates on what’s going on in the sport of sailing generally (most usually, but not always, relating to cruising under sail) and in the sailing industry, plus news nuggets and personal views on all manner of nautical subjects.

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    Longer articles by me that treat sailing and the sea in a more literary manner, short reviews of nautical books I think readers might enjoy reading, plus occasional excerpts from nautical books that I’d like to share with readers.

  • Techniques & Tactics

    Tips and diatribes regarding boathandling, sailhandling, seamanship, navigation, and other realms of nautical expertise.

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