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Subject: EMERGENCY STEERING
(Posted on Jan 28, 2016 at 07:39AM by Colin Jackson)
1992 VICTORIA-MAUI : 4 BOATS LOSE THEIR RUDDERS

US Coast Guard Cutter tows the Swan yacht “Rocket J Squirrel” from the middle of the Pacific back through the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The cutter proudly carried the yacht’s ‘war banner’ on her bow – with the boat’s namesake ‘Rocky’ of ‘Rocky & Bullwinkle’.



The advice from the captain to this yachtsman skipper: “Next time you break down it had better be in a Winnebago in Wisconsin!”

Most recreational boats (even some of the latest power vessels), carry an emergency tiller, which allows the vessel to be steered if the steering mechanisms are lost. Sadly, that gear doesn’t help if the rudder itself is severely damaged or lost. In some cases, there are things you can do – like dragging buckets off the side that you want to turn. In other cases, the circumstances become more dire. Enter the emergency rudder.

steering

On our LEVEL THREE training vessel “ALEGRIA X”, we have an entire emergency rudder system. When participating in long range cruising & racing, we take the fold down transom door off and attach the custom base for our emergency rudder system. Should the rudder become seriously damaged or lost, we can quickly pin the cassette for this rudder, then drop a large custom blade in that cassette, followed by the coolest custom tiller in the Pacific NorthWest (perhaps the world!). You see, our tiller goes around the backstay to give enough leverage to drive this powerful boat along without too much challenge.

So where do we store this monstrosity? Well, offshore sailing isn’t the perfect setup for slippery floors and the boat is also a little tall for every crew member to reach the handrails built into the ceiling. Sooooo… we replace the mahogany flooring with a non skid covered floor, compete with two centerline handrails that serve for shorter crew and a mounting surface for that big rudder blade.

Offshore adventures are all about preparing for the worst & hoping for the best.  Heavy weather, long passages?  Best to try before you buy. 

So far, the equipment has only been used in practice. We’d love for that always to be the case! Preparing for big adventures? Consider our LEVEL THREE COURSES & the awesome SAFETY AT SEA class run through BC SAILING



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Subject: docking tip right out of TOP GUN
(Posted on Aug 12, 2012 at 11:00AM by Colin Jackson)
think back to the movie and remember how those f14’s barreled towards the rolling deck of the carrier and came to a sudden halt with the assistance of an cable they call an ‘arrestor’ wire? 
 
that little piece of imagery can work for you as well
 
you see boats have gotten wider – especially in the stern – and getting a line off the back corner with some forward pull can spin the boat alongside all on its own
 
we’ve watched our founder cruising his 64 footer with only his wife aboard and what they work with is basically their own ‘arrestor wire’ ~ two people ~ one gigantic boat ~ 55 years of marriage in tact ~~ how?
 
let’s say they want to be alongside portside to the dock ~ MR. COOPER gets the port aft corner of the boat safely to the dock and MRS. COOPER steps ashore and ties her one magic knot (well, nothing magic about it ~ just a proper figure eight cleat knot)
 
once secure, MR. COOPER can put the starboard engine in slow ahead and the boat will pull forward and in alongside the dock ~ it is so effective that if one were to leave the boat this way overnight, providing she has enough fuel, the boat will still be sitting there in the morning ~ lots of time to properly secure the balance of the lines and adjust fenders with ease
 
this example works for twin engine boats and can be used effectively with single engine boats as well, especially when some rudder angle towards the dock is added to the equation
 
magic docking ~ be up there with the BEST OF THE BEST!
Subject: courses that lead to chartering
(Posted on Jun 6, 2012 at 07:26AM by Colin Jackson)
seems a lot of people look at boats and wonder ‘how can I do that?’

~ and this leads to our favourite question: ‘what courses can I take that will allow me to charter a boat’
 
the simple answer is ‘any of our  multi-day on the water programs’
 
complete the CREW & BAY SKIPPER programs and we’d love to see you out chartering the daysailing boats on the bay
 
complete the cruise & learn and start your overnight charters on larger boats ~~ or step up from BAY SKIPPER by taking CRUISING NUTS & BOLTS
 
looking to explore more distant harbours and be more self sufficient? ~~ that’s what GUNKHOLING is all about ~ that’s the special name we use to cover the more in depth cruising programs that can lead to CYA INTERMEDIATE or IYT INTERNATIONAL BAREBOAT SKIPPER
 
we’re really excited to see you progress to chartering ~~ after all, we have an incredible collection of the finest charter boats in the area
 
sometimes people get through the program and have the certification, but they wonder if there is some ‘middle step’ between courses and chartering all on their own ~ we have three stepping stones to ‘going it alone’:
 
1)    some people take a skipper / instructor for the first day or two on their charter ~ they jettison this helper (preferably at somewhere they can buzz back home and not middle of the strait) and continue on their holiday
 
2)    others join a flotilla and have their own family and friends but a resource boat nearby and some ‘good coaching’
 
3)    others follow an itinerary, especially our fresh ‘newbie’ itinerary from the authors of the DREAMSPEAKER CRUISING guides – complete with some of the most straightforward routes and harbour entrances
 
WHAT SIZE OF BOAT SHOULD YOU CHARTER? 
 
~ your instructor will make recommendations, but in general, the size you did your course on and/or what you are comfortable with are the starting points
Subject: Changing to Catamarans
(Posted on Dec 27, 2010 at 10:47AM )
For many years we watched sailors switch over to power vessels and thought it might be an unstoppable trend.  Then came a period of time in 2008 when fuel prices came close to doubling inside 6 months.  The tidal wave of sailors moving towards power vessels in both courses and charters ebbed.  At the same time, a new trend picked up - one towards catamarans - and why not?  When compared to a trawler style power boat, these boats go the same speed under motor and can go faster than a trawler in strong winds.  There is nearly twice as much room and the visibility is excellent. They also use a fraction of the fuel and the ride is very comfortable in a wide range of conditions.



A few pointers if you are joining the crowds that are heading towards catamarans:

1) Handling - take a course or arrange private instruction at the time of your charter or separately.  These boats are easy to handle and most people pick it up quickly - but it is different and therefore not automatic.  Don't be fooled by their size - moving a pair of engines far apart makes for quick work of turning and once you have the hang of it, you'll have trouble going for anything else in the future.

2) Moorage - book the boat early and then call ahead for popular times in our top marinas.  These boats don't exactly tuck well into corners of the marina.  Every marina has spots suitable for catamarans, but you need to plan early to make for easy work of your evenings ashore.
 
3) Sailing - because the boats don't heel, it is important to reduce sail as the winds pickup so as not to strain the rig excessively.   Watch the wind strength and were there are forces that would normally cause excessive heeling, take those to mean it is time to shorten sail.

4) Anchoring - as the windlass is positioned at the forward end of the bridge deck, it is important to transfer the load while anchoring to the bows with the use of an anchoring bridle.  Our crew will be pleased to show you how to do this.



Featured here is the Lagoon 400 - and you can book onto Amritha - this new model available out of Port Sidney - but act soon to avoid disappointment. 

Be sure to contact the office for the article written by our Lagoon owner who took his vessel to Alaska.  It is a great read.


Subject: Gifts for your favourite boater - gift giving is SOOOO easy!!
(Posted on Nov 25, 2010 at 08:37PM )
Giving the gift of boating is so much better than socks.  Socks, however, are great if you are going to be boating in the very near future - it is a little cold these days! 


We've got some great ideas for gift ideas ranging from the introductory HELLO SAILING fun sails
 - for as little as $84 up to a full selection of live aboard adventure programs.    
Our modular format CREW program is a great option for those wanting to start sailing here in English Bay  - $399 provides two evening sessions followed by a weekend of fun on the water and includes the Please Craft Operators Card 



For folks already well underway on their courses, clinics like DOCKING, ANCHORING and SPINNAKER SAILING are only $199 each.  

Gift Certificates can be applied to any of our courses or charters. Give us a call and let us help you find the perfect option for your current or future boater!

This is the BEST PART - you don't need to leave the comfort of your home, office or car (well for safety purposes, at least pull over).  Our gift certificates have serial numbers and can be E-MAILED right to you -- and forwarded on to the recipient.  . It's the green gift alternative.  Wrapping is so much easier this way! 





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