Category: Blog

05 Oct

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How fast can you go in a small cruising boat?

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Gerry Spiess and Yankee Girl arrive in Honolulu. Pic by Marlin Bree.

“When it comes to small boats,” my friend Gerry Spiess was explaining to me, “all the rules go out the window.”

Gerry is the champion small-craft sailor who set two world’s records by sailing his 10-foot homemade plywood sloop, Yankee Girl, across both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.

On the long reaches across the Pacific, he took only 34 days to sail 2,539 miles from Long Beach, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii. He had averaged 74.5 miles per day—an extraordinary run for a heavily laden boat with only a 9-foot waterline. Much larger sailboats do well to average a little over 100 miles per day.

He was bettering his North Atlantic record run. He had sailed out of Virginia Beach, Virginia, heading eastward to England. That sail took him an elapsed time of 53 days, 5 hours nonstop to Falmouth, 3,780 statute miles. He had averaged 60 miles a day an average speed of 2.5 miles per hour in storms, high waves, doldrums, and some good sailing. His best day’s run was 84 nautical miles.

Out of Honolulu and in the South Pacific’s trade winds, Yankee Girl began hitting 100 miles per day under her twin 29 square foot jibs.His best day’s run: a whopping 138.09 miles.

He abashedly jokes about his little boat’s speed: “I was asleep a third of the time.”

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Marlin Bree (www.marlinbree.com) is a contributing writer to Small Craft Advisor and the author of numerous boating books. He has twice won the coveted Grand Prize Award in Boating Writers International’s annual Writing Contest.

07 Jun

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R2AK III Kicks Off

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Photo Debra Colvin

An assortment of links to articles and media on this year’s Race to Alaska.—Eds

The R2AK homepage where you’ll find updates and team info.

Here’s the CBS Sunday Morning segment on R2AK by Luke Burbank.

A nice audio report from Nevada Public Radio.

An article focused on a team sailing a 27-foot O’Day.

Cruising World article on the race.

Here’s a newspaper article on Team Sistership

Today’s R2AK “Ruckus”

26 May

2 Comments

Dave Lucas on SCAMP: Hauling Ass, Easy as You Please

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We received this fun report from Small-Boat-Guru, Dave Lucas about his experience at the Cedar Key rendezvous and his thoughts on SCAMP specifically. —Eds

We’ve all seen the videos of the SCAMP dancing and flipping around and have even sailed with some, but this weekend at Cedar Key really showed me the true nature of these little boats. It was blowing a solid 12 to 15 with higher gusts and us hot-rodders were having a ball showing off and speeding around the slower boats when what do I see ahead of me but a SCAMP.

We’ll just zip up, sail circles around him and be on our way. He was only a hundred yards or so ahead of us and we figured to catch him in about two minutes; It didn’t work out that way. It took us about two miles to finally get to him and I was beginning to have my doubts.

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Many of you have experienced these 16 foot Melenseeds that Roger Allen designed and know that they’re real rockets

These guys on SCAMP were just sitting drinking beer and hauling ass, easy as you please. They could tack and jibe and mess around like it was dead calm where we were having to be really careful. You know that’s impossible, this kind of performance cannot come from a clunky little 12-foot boat. This thing somehow ignored everything I thought I know about hull speed. I would strongly recommend this boat to anyone who wants a simple, lightweight, safe, dry, fast boat.
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That’s probably why two of them are going together here at the Happy Hour boatshop; and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple more take shape in the near future.

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Dave

Dave Lucas
Lucas Boatworks and Happy Hour Club
skipjack@tampabay.rr.com

Learn more about SCAMP here:
http://smallcraftadvisor.com/message-board2/viewforum.php?f=3&sid=b3db01ed14712d8e8547ab3ebdbf3c06

SCAMP Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/SmallCraftAdvisorMagazineProject?ref=hl

SCAMP YouTube Videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRZNWAkdkXM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD0Si4aKleM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCRY0lH7OAc

Filed Under: Blog, Uncategorized

20 Mar

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Manry at Sea—In the Wake of a Dream

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RM slides 18-brereton 06 cleaned_edited 1200wide

Interview with Steve Wystrach about the upcoming feature documentary called Manry at Sea—In the Wake of a Dream

For more information on the film and to watch the trailer, click here.

1. How did you come across the Robert Manry archives?

The seeds of the Robert Manry Project sprouted in 1996 while I was preparing for a voyage from Southern California to Hawaii. I’ve been an avid sailor most of my adult life, with a special love of bluewater passagemaking. During that period, I reread many of my books about solo sailors and small boat voyages.

Since I was in the process of outfitting my boat, I had a particular interest in sections about gear and provisioning. One of the most detailed chapters on the subject is “Comments for Sailors,” in Manry’s 1966 book, Tinkerbelle. His book was exciting and inspirational the first time I read it, and remains one of the best sea stories in my library.

I noticed in Manry’s equipment list that he carried a 16mm movie camera. I simply asked the question, “Where is the film?” That set off a case of amateur sleuthing, and in the end (after two years), I located Robert’s brother John, in Alberta, Canada, who told me, “Yes, it’s all in a box in my garage. I was afraid I might have to toss it in the trash one of these years during Spring cleaning.”

2. Have you always worked in the film industry?

I’ve been a filmmaker since high school, and spent my professional career as a film editor and archivist. I manage the classic TV archive for the US Borax 20-Mule Team show, Death Valley Days (1952-1970), and just completed the restoration of all 452 episodes for the Library of Congress. It’s currently playing on the STARZ Western channel, and Grit TV.

3. Are you also a sailor or adventurer?

Besides sailing, my other passion is making long-distance walks on the vast network of European trails, particularly in France. I’m leaving in April for a 5-week trek heading south from Reims. I walk solo, and carry an ultralight backpack, and usually stay in bed and breakfasts, or hostels. It’s a fabulous way to see a country. I’ve also walked the 500-mile Camino de Santiago in Spain three times. I have a website about those adventures at www.longwalking.com where there’s a short video about some of the trails I’ve walked.

4. What have you learned about Manry during your research that has surprised you?

First, he was an ordinary “everyman,” who nurtured a very strong secret desire to fulfill his life long dream of sailing across an ocean, ever since he heard a lecture by a German adventurer, while growing up in India.

Second, was how the news media feeding frenzy began, and the audacious way that one journalist set out to track down Manry at sea, in order to scoop up the story before Tinkerbelle arrived in England. It’s a riveting twist to the story, and makes the film much more than just a “boy in a boat” adventure.

5. What impact do you think the voyage had on Manry’s relatively short life?

The main thing is that despite the limitations placed on him by culture, class, finances, and family, with humility, quiet tenacity and a joy for life, he made his dream come true. There’s a lot of depth to his biography that is not included in his book.

His fame gave him freedom to pursue other ventures. He had a successful tour of the lecture circuit, and made a second, year-long voyage, in a larger boat, circumnavigating the eastern United States with his family. I own that film, too, so who knows, maybe there will be a sequel. But, first things first.

6. What do you anticipate will the movie’s running time?

This is a full-length feature and runs a little over 90 minutes. We have a finished rough cut, which has been honored as an “Official Selection” at the American Documentary Film Festival, coming up in Palm Springs. In late March, I’ll be participating in a film pitch forum, competing for a grant that will go toward completing the film. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. There’s a second trailer rough cut you can watch here.

7. What is your expected movie release date?

If the financing and creative details like composing the score, animation, and a massive amount of film restoration all come together, we’re looking to complete by November – in time to submit to Sundance. ###

Read the eBook PDF of Tinkerbelle here.

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