MISSING (AND MISSED) PERSONS: Dickie Lemont, Mike Harker, Spike Perry

Richard Lemont

My mom always said these things come in threes. I don't really believe that, but it does often seem that way.

First up: Richard Lemont, age 43, gone missing from his boat near the mouth of the Kennebec River in Maine last Thursday. By now, alas, he must be presumed dead. Dickie, as he was always called, launched his skiff upriver at Phippsburg late Thursday morning, did some clam digging, then went downriver to Popham Beach to cut up a tree that was obstructing the town dock there. After completing that job, he evidently somehow fell overboard on his way back up to Phippsburg. His skiff was found empty, motoring in circles, not far from Parker Head that same afternoon. An extensive search of the area by the Coast Guard, the state Marine Patrol, and a horde of volunteers has thus far proved fruitless.

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GRENADA CRUISE: Der Skipper Uber Alles

Crew of Tiando

Loyal WaveTrain riders have perhaps been alarmed, or at least puzzled, by the scurrilous and incoherent diatribes posted here of late. This is what comes of allowing a pick-up bareboat charter crew to share their secret thoughts and whims with an unsuspecting public. It is left to the skipper, of course, to impose some semblance of order. He may be vilified as a Nazi for his trouble, but it is clear where the crew would be without him (see photo up top).

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GRENADA CRUISE: Cabin Boy’s Lament

Daniel Lapidow

Dateline: St. George's, Grenada (guest post courtesy of Daniel Lapidow, crew and blacksmith aboard charter vessel Tiando)

When dad asked if I’d like to miss school for a week and go sailing, I of course said yes. Now I am on a boat with a fat Jew, a power Nazi, and a failed murderer.

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GRENADA CRUISE: Murder Suspect Still At Large

Charles Lassen

Dateline: Petit Martinique, Grenada (guest post courtesy of Chas. "May I Cast Off Now?" Lassen, fugitive and crew aboard charter vessel Tiando)

It was 6:30 a.m. when Susan "Sooky" Lassen took her dog, Phoebe, on a short boat ride from the island where they lived to a dock in Portsmouth, NH. It was a trip she had often made, but this time it was nearly fatal.

Her husband had warned her about the balky gearbox and had often told her to respect the huge tides and frigid waters of the fast-flowing Piscataqua River. As she approached the dock, she could not engage reverse gear and was thrown on to the dock by the collision. The tide swiftly took the boat, with Ms. Lassen's beloved Phoebe on it, in its grip.

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GRENADA CRUISE: Guest Blog

Grebada bareboat cruise

Dateline:  Carriacou, Grenada, at anchor next to some pissy Germans. (Guest post courtesy of Seth J. Lapidow, Esq.)

First of all, we are not too close.  Charlie knows what he is doing and just because we are in a charter vessel does not mean we are idiots.  But that is not the point of this post.

When Charlie asked me and my son, Daniel, if we would like to spend a week cruising around the West Indies while he writes a story for SAIL about the lovely and accommodating folks at Horzion Yacht Charters in fabulous True Blue Bay in Grenada, how could I possibly say no?

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APPELATION CONTROLEE: How to Name Your Boat

Bad boat name

A rose is a rose, it is said, and smells just as sweet by any other name. Would that it were true of boats. In fact, it seems many boats these days have perfectly horrible names. Glancing around at transoms in marinas and mooring fields, I must blush and/or wince at half the names I see.

I realize this is a subjective topic and that one mariner’s bon mot is another’s bad joke. But based on my own observations, I’d say many of you boatowners out there have created very dangerous situations with your boat names, wherein your boat’s self esteem may be so threatened it might at any moment, out of sheer embarrassment, cease to be a boat. Needless to say, there could be grave consequences if you and your family happen to be on board when this occurs.

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TURBULENCE REPORT: Wind and Waves Increasing

Breaking wave

Good news for surfers… bad news for ocean sailors. The first long-term study of wind and wave heights to rely on satellite data rather than buoy reports and observations from ships has found that the ocean has been steadily getting windier and bumpier over the past quarter century. Unfortunately, little of this increase is translating into stronger wind when conditions are light (i.e., when it would actually be useful). Rather the increase is mostly in the gnarly end of the spectrum. That is, the big, ugly, scary winds and waves are getting bigger, uglier, and scarier.

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WHARRAM PAHI 42: A Polynesian Catamaran

Pahi 42 aground

The catamaran designs that British multihull pioneer James Wharram first created for amateur boatbuilders in the mid-1960s were influenced by the boats he built and voyaged upon during the 1950s. These “Classic” designs, as Wharram termed them, feature slab-sided, double-ended, V-bottomed plywood hulls with very flat sheerlines and simple triangular sections. The hulls are joined together by solid wood beams and crude slat-planked open bridgedecks.

Wharram’s second-generation “Pahi” designs, which he started developing in the mid-1970s, still feature double-ended V-bottomed hulls, but the sections are slightly rounder and the sheerlines rise at either end in dramatically up-swept prows and sterns. The most successful of these in terms of number of boats built--and also probably the most successful of any of Wharram’s larger designs--is the Pahi 42. It is an excellent example of a no-frills do-it-yourself cruising catamaran with enough space for a family to live aboard long term.

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Subcategories

  • Boats & Gear

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

  • The Lunacy Report

    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.

  • Lit Bits

    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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