MARINE NAVIGATION

100. The Art And Science Of Navigation

IMG_3586Marine navigation blends both science and art. A good navigator constantly thinks strategically, operationally, and tactically. He plans each voyage carefully. As it proceeds, he gathers navigational information from a variety of sources, evaluates this information, and determines his ship’s position.

Lisbon Stop Over

US Sailors who cruise are different than those who just race.  A US pure racing sailor views sailing as a competition between human athletes with the vessel being equipment.  A US cruising sailor views the crew as components of the vessel required to make it seaworthy. 

Republic of Kiribati

I have been asked many times for proof that the Murrelet can be considered ocean worthy. Until November of 2001, I was unaware that proof (outside of the mathematical ratios) existed. Because the uninitiated do not consider a trip across the English Channel, which is done by Mac26x boats, or a trip from Key West to Cuba, which I would like to do, or even circumnavigatingVancouver Island, to be an ocean crossing or passage it is difficult to convince doubters.

Centerboard Slot, Gybing board, Forward Rudder and Canard

The nature of  the Murrelet centerboard is not well understood. MacGregor Yachts states in the cruiser’s brochure that

A long, thin airfoil is far more efficient than a short, wide one. This is why racing sailboat keels are deep, and why sailplane wings are long and thin.

Lean Manufacturing

The notion of designing a vessel from a luxurious interior out doesn’t sit well with me, but this is likely the situation with most new sailboats today. In aircraft builds an approach called Lean is followed. This means that base functionality is engineered first before creature features (features that are intended to get a customer to buy).

Recreational Vessels

Articles in sailboat magazines sometimes have a Jimmy Buffet theme. Jimmy is the “son of a sailor” who is “just glad” he doesn’t live in a trailer. The comparison of a boat to a trailer home is a natural one and Macgregor yachts specifically points out that its powersailers can be used like Recreational Vehicles (RV)s when on their trailers.

Trade-Wind Force 7

circumnavigationMost boats carry sails that perform well enough to satisfy on trade-wind routes where three-quarters of the time the wind may be aft of 110 degrees apparent and there are opportunities for flying symmetrical shaped sails, like square sails and spinnakers.

Tsunami Resistant Basin at Crescent City, CA

The Inner Harbor Boat Basin at Crescent City, CA was extensively damaged  by the March 11, 2011 earthquake off Sendai, Japan. Several dozen vessels and many docks were destroyed by wave cycles related to the earthquake-caused tsunami.

stability isn’t everything it is the only thing

John Vigor, a reviewer of “good old boats” in Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere (1999 Paradise Cay Publications) lists the Alberg 30, Albin Vega 27, Allied Seawind 32, Bristol 27, Bristol Channel Cutter 28, Cal 20, Cape Dory 25D, Catalina 27, Contessa/J.J Taylor 26, Contessa 32, Dana 24, Falmouth Cutter 22, Flicka 20, Folkboat 25, Frances/Morris 26, Nicholson 31, Pacific Seacraft 25, Person Triton 28, Southern Cross 31 and Westsail 32s as blue water cruisers/ pocket cruisers.