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March 2015

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That was a great photo in the February 11 'Lectronic of Liz Clark carrying her Cal 40 Swell's anchor underwater to reposition it in a more eco-friendly spot. But I'm not buying it!

I worked on a dive boat trying to remove a 70-lb anchor with full scuba gear. I was in my late 30s when I was doing this and in very good shape. But I needed lift bags to do it. For Liz to be running on the bottom with a 55-lb anchor in this manner is BS! But it is a great idea.

Don Scott
Planet Earth

Don — Two things: First, we just guessed that it was a 55-lb anchor. It turns out it was only a 40-pounder. Second, as you'll soon read, other cruisers report having had no problems repositioning anchors in the 66-lb range.

As for Liz, we forwarded your skepticism to her, and she replied as follows: "The anchor in the photo is a 40-lb Bruce. The skeptic is welcome to think whatever helps soothe his ego."

We think Liz is miffed that you doubted her. We don't blame her.

Technically speaking, a submerged 40-lb anchor doesn't weigh 40 lbs. As Archimedes discovered ages ago, a submerged object weighs less by an amount of water equal to the volume of water displaced by the volume of the object. So a 40-lb anchor might only weigh about 38 pounds when underwater.


During the three years we cruised the South Pacific aboard our custom Deerfoot 50 Blue Rodeo, we had a few occasions when we wanted to snorkel down to reposition our 66-lb Bruce anchor in order to avoid snagging and/or damaging coral. The anchorage at the South Pass of Fakarava comes to mind, where taking the anchor for a walk in 40 feet of water was a test for the lungs. In coral-strewn areas, we usually jumped in after anchoring for a quick recon to check the set and to size up obstacles in case of a wind shift.

By the way, Blue Rodeo is now for sale in Auckland, as we've moved over to the 'dark side' with the purchase of a Dolphin 460 catamaran. The Deerfoot is a splendid yacht, but we are looking forward to the cat for the next phase of our cruising adventure.

Mark McClellen and Anne MacDonald
Three Sixty Blue, Dolphin 460 cat
McCall, Idaho


We've repositioned our anchor many times as Liz is doing in that photo. As a full-time cruiser and avid diver, I've dived on my Delta 55, both with tanks and free-diving. I do this to get it in the right spot of sand or on the upslope of a mound.

When I had a 45-lb CQR, the best way to get it to set quickly — or sometimes set at all — was to have my wife wait 15 seconds after I surface dove to put the engine in reverse for 15 seconds. As soon as the chain would begin to load, I would shove the anchor in as far as I could. This combo did the trick every time for the fussy-setting CQRs. The other reason to dive the anchor was to wedge it in just the right spot in a rocky bottom.

Of course I didn't look nearly as good as Liz when I was doing this!

Fred Read
Amazing Grace, Islander 30
Washington, North Carolina

Readers — We'll have more anchor repositioning letters next month.


Two thoughts on items in the February issue.

First, we loved the Changes item on eating healthy and getting lots of exercise to stay fit. It's the only way to go. Amanda and I eat well, and when we're not doing sail-training expeditions six months a year, we both run, cycle, swim, kayak, and do yoga. I knocked nearly two minutes off doing the annual 5k Turkey Trot in Friday Harbor last year, and Amanda knocked off close to a minute. And we feel great. Of course, I don't turn 62 for a couple of weeks, so I'm basically a young buck. As for Amanda, she just turned 50, so she's still a little girl.

Second, the page 16 letter and diagram from Jim and Kent Milski, where they described heaving-to without a backwinded headsail, sure sounds like forereaching to us. We've found it to be one of the very best storm tactics with our Hallberg-Rassy 46 Mahina Tiare III. We’ve forereached in some very nasty conditions on the edge of the Roaring Forties enroute from Auckland to Tahiti; crossing the Bay of Biscay; and coming down the Oregon coast with storm trysail or triple-reefed main sheeted tight without any headsail.

Mahina Tiare will comfortably sail along at two to three knots with the wheel brake on and no helm input. This puts far less strain on the rudder, rig and crew, plus shortens our exposure to the heavy weather considerably more than running with large breaking seas. This is a storm tactic that rarely receives much attention, and it was great to hear that it also works great on Jim and Kent's Schionning 49 cat Sea Level.

We relaunch Mahina Tiare March 1, and set sail on March 19 for Sweden via Panama, the BVIs, Azores, Ireland, Scotland and Norway. We are excited about going to new places in Scandinavia such as Jan Mayen and Iceland. Life is good!

By the way, springtime in the San Juans is so fabulous that we're doing fewer boat shows and seminars, and are enjoying more time at home and between our expeditions.

John and Amanda Swan-Neal
Mahina Tiare, Hallberg-Rassy 46
Friday Harbor, Washington

Readers — Because of their decades of incredible offshore sail training expeditions, John and Amanda are charter members of Latitude's imaginary Sailing Hall of Fame. They don't do sail training in 'safe' places like the enclosed waters of the BVIs, but rather upwind across the Caribbean Sea, around Cape Horn, and just about every other inhospitable place in the world.

Most sailors would think that voyaging from Friday Harbor to Sweden, via the Panama Canal, would be a really big deal for a six-month period. And it would be. But for John and Amanda, it's just a normal season. And mind you, during each leg they are teaching a detailed curriculum to six students aboard their 46-ft boat. We don't know how they do it. And we don't know of anybody else who does anything quite like it. We stand in awe of what they've done and are continuing to do.


Here are my thoughts on a proposed San Francisco Bay Record Course, similar to the Mt. Gay Rum Around Jamestown Record, as has been discussed in Letters:

• That anyone be able to sail the course at any time.

• That entries would not need to be affiliated with any organization.

• That you could go around the course in either direction.

• That you could start from any of the marks on the course.

• That you don't have to finish.

• That you don't have to do well.

• That anyone can leave a comment on the event's site and/or download/email information.

• That the boat name, kind/size, owner, crew, date/time, and elapsed and corrected time are to be entered.

• That a social event start at noon every day of the year at #6 R”6”, and #10 Little Harding Buoy. Clockwise on even dates and vice-versa.

• That any unorganized or organized group may make use of the course in any way.

• That there be no Notice of Race, and that there be no organizing authority.

The marks shall be: #1 Little Harding Buoy, to the east; #2 Harding Rock Buoy, to the west; #3 Blackaller Buoy, to the east; #4 “GR” Buoy, to the south; #5 Alcatraz Island, to the south; #6 Blossom Rock Buoy, to the west; #7 R”2”, to the west; #8 R”4”, to the west; #9 R”6”, to the west; #10 R”8”, to the west; #11 Angel Island, to the south.

Steve Sarsfield
Kestrel, Ericson 26
Bodega Bay

Steve — As Bartz Schneider wrote in the February Latitude, leaving such an event as unstructured as possible sounds great in theory, but doing so in the Litigious States of America can lead to significant legal liability. If there were some accident, we're certain some lawyer would surely attempt to figure out some way, as ridiculous as it might be, to find Latitude 38 responsible. At that point, it becomes the old legal extortion game, where you have to decide which is less expensive, fighting a meritless lawsuit or paying the plaintiffs to go away.

At this point in our lives, we're more interested in the success of such an event and avoiding any legal liability than we are in having Latitude's name attached to yet another sailing event. As such, we're looking into the possibility of an already existing organization's being the flagbearer. How about you folks at the Bay Area Multihull Association, who already had/have a similar event with a similar course?

"A social event at noon every day of the year at Little Harding?" You don't really mean that, do you?


So the pinnacle rock that the Westsail 42 Danika hit, as reported in the February Changes, is 20° 45.843' N by 105° 32.889' W. That's very close to Punta Mita, where there are lots of big rocks. What was the skipper thinking? Was he traversing the area at night?

Marek J Nowicki
Raireva, Cape Vickers 34
Green Cove Springs

Marek — Skipper John Larsen, who has become a friend of Latitude's following the incident, explains what happened in the following letter.

By the way, if we're not mistaken, Manouch Moshayedi's Newport Beach-based TP52 Rio, with some professional crew, hit the same rock several years ago shortly before crossing the finish line of the San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race. It knocked the bulb off the keel, too, although the bulb was located the next day and reattached in time for them to do most of the MEXORC races.


It all started with a routine sailing vacation out of La Cruz, Mexico with my friends Ron and Karen. We had almost three weeks for a nice trip, most likely coastal cruising down to Bahia de Navidad. But a few things changed our plans: seven days straight sweating upside down in the engine room in the marina changing water pumps three times, trying to fix a genset, fixing an alternator, a regulator, the solar panels and the controller, and changing zincs. There was also the matter of Ron's losing a his wallet with $900 in it, my gashing my head on a low overhang at the shipyard entry, and our having to jury rig the charging systems. In the end, we relied on the genset and solar panels to be the 'regulator'. By the way, always carry a spare regulator, especially if your Balmar regulator is more than five years old.

But no problem, as we just lowered our expectations. We figured that we'd spend a few days anchored at Punta Mita, do some surfing, then make a run up to Chacala, another sweet anchorage.

Other than Karen's getting a scorpion sting while helping some fishermen launch a panga — what are the odds? — we had a very enjoyable three-night stay. But on the last day we found that the solar panels were not charging because the newly installed Aurincos were defective. It turns out they have been recalled. Plus the genset finally gave up entirely. That left only the alternator for power, and by then the regulator had cashed in for good. We had no source of power! So we decided it was perhaps a little past time to head for the barn.

With no remaining backups, only the engine-driven refrigeration saved the food. And when we ran the main engine, the Outback charger often indicated a huge 20-amp draw! Sorry for all the exclamation marks, but we were really on a negative karma roll!!

With the batteries going just under 12 volts, I decided to shut down all electronics — depthsounder, plotter, radar, autopilot, etc — to conserve battery power. Which is why, as I approached Punta Mita from the north, I was dead reckoning and visually relying on seeing the buoys marking the outlying rocks west of Punta Mita.

As we approached, I had a bad feeling, and decided to turn on the plotter to check my position. Even though the rock does not show on my Navionics charts, it is marked almost exactly right in Pacific Mexico: A Cruiser's Guidebook, Shawn Breeding and Heather Bansmer's excellent cruising guide. Unfortunately, I neglected to consult it at the time.

Anyway, the Raymarine plotter takes way too long to boot up and, as I acknowledged warnings, etc., it came on when — BAM! — we slammed into that pinnacle dead on at seven knots! My ECS tracking was on, which is how I know the exact position of the rock.

The impact stopped Danika cold, so I thought the rig would come down. But it didn't. We checked for water in the bilge, but found none. Then we looked around the boat as I backed clear. There was nothing but the pinnacle rock about five feet down with some red bottom paint on it. Had we been five feet to one side or the other, we would have missed it.

The navigation buoys for the rocks in the area were about a quarter mile to the east on my port side, with the rock to seaward of their current position.

The publisher of Latitude 38 was generous in not only getting the word out to cruisers about the location of the rock, but also stating that it wasn't my fault. He's right about that from the professional mariner perspective. 'It's never the pilot's fault', is our motto. That's our default, no-fault position.

My takeaway from the incident is that it should be a cautionary tale. If I can build, own and operate a boat for 40 years up and down the West Coast from Alaska to Mexico, be a professional mariner for the same amount of time, and have something like this happen to me, then it can happen to anyone. Although the extenuating circumstances and unreliability of Mexican navigational aids are comforting excuses for my ego, they are all just part of the domino theory of the chain of accidents. Bottom line, I hit the rock! I was responsible.

Danika is back in the water and as good as or better than new. Peter Vargas at the La Cruz Shipyard is a very professional, knowledgeable, conscientious boat repair resource. Danika's original 1-inch-thick hull is now 1½ inches thick in and around the damaged area after a five-week shipyard repair. The cost, including lay days, was around $15,000! It's supposed to hurt.

John Larsen
Danika, Westsail 42
Sitka, Alaska

Readers — A guy who takes responsibility when something goes wrong. There aren't many of them left.


Did Latitude by any chance see Linh Goben's Facebook page, where she posted the accompanying photo of her new 'boat shoes'?

"Finally nice enough weather to wear my new boat shoes," she wrote. I presume she was aboard Savannah, the Featherlight 44 catamaran that her husband Teal and she have been restoring with the help of their daughter Emma.

"I would think that wearing my heels on boats for 16 years would prove that they are safe," she wrote.

Timothy Wilson

Timothy — We did see the photo and thought it was pretty funny. Although we don't recommend high heels on boats, even multihulls, Linh is an adult who has cruised in high heels before, so she can make her own footwear decisions.

We follow the Gobens' Facebook page pretty faithfully. Not because we have a foot fetish, but rather to see the beautiful smiles on the face of Emma, Teal and Linh's daughter. The way we see it, each big smile tells a story of how much this little girl feels loved. Loved the way all children need to be loved.

We got a similar happy charge the other day while at the McDonald's in Sint Maarten, Netherland Antilles, of all places. There was a clean-cut West Indian guy in line with his daughter, who looked to be about six or seven. She had the biggest smile on her face, and absolutely couldn't stop giving her smiling daddy big, happy hugs. It was more lovely than the most beautiful sunsets we've ever seen.


As a longtime reader/admirer/enthusiast of Latitude 38, I am compelled to write my first letter to you.

As I write this from a suburb of Chicago, enduring the forced winter hibernation from sailing the freshwater sea of Lake Michigan, l look forward to each new Latitude. And I have a routine for reading each issue. First, I locate and read Max Ebb. Those articles are treasures, although sometimes — such as January's — they are hard to decipher. I highlight sections for further review and analysis. Next, I read Letters, which are also treasures, thanks to the way the Letters editor expresses his opinions, even when they involve chastising — usually gently, but sometimes in firm and no uncertain terms — people for opinions he disagrees with.

For some reason my sequence was reversed with the December issue, as I stumbled upon the letter titled “We Had No Favorite Memories of the Ha-Ha". Like a moth attracted to a flame, I couldn't resist diving right in. After all, how could somebody not have any good memories of a Ha-Ha? And to write a letter making such a claim? Say it ain't so!

As I read, incredulously, I had to resist the urge to immediately jump to the editor's reply, especially after the author used the word 'churlish'. Who uses that word anymore? In any event, the editor's reply did not disappoint, as it was a succinct, thorough and comprehensive dissection of the complaints, and addressed all the inaccuracies and insanities item by item. I particularly enjoyed the editor's recommendation for this individual and crew to “. . . look in the mirror to find the source of your dissatisfaction.” Awesome. Well done! Thanks for the grins.

Jay Grizzell
Shoe String, Olson 34
Monroe Harbor, Chicago, Illinois

Jay — We weren't trying to hurt anyone's feelings, but we feel very strongly about the Ha-Ha, knowing that it's brought lots of pleasure to something like 10,000 sailors. So we're not going to be timid about defending it.

And to be fair, looking in the mirror to find the source of one's dissatisfaction applies to us as much as it does anybody else. Trying to blame others or circumstances is always the easy way out.

Although it's unlikely, we're hoping the skipper might be willing to do a second Ha-Ha to see if he couldn't have more fun. It would be on the house.


Our crew — which is all-female — insisted that my wife Carol and I take our Hughes 45 Capricorn Cat out on Sunday, January 25 because it was really nice and warm. I told them the boat needed a thorough cleaning, inside and out, as well as a bottom wipe-down. Being almost 70, I didn't have enough energy to tackle all the jobs just then.

The crew — at least eight of them — revolted by showing up on Saturday and demonstrating how badly they wanted to sail. They took almost everything out of the boat, washed the inside and outside of the entire boat, polished the Lexan windows — then bought and prepared a feast! When they left that night, they took all the towels, rags and clothing to their various homes, and washed them all!

With all the work having been done, we sure as heck went out sailing on Sunday morning. After hoisting sail on the cleanest boat on San Francisco Bay, we chased a .005 knot 'breeze' for hours, and enjoyed a 4.5-hour 'race' with about six other boats outside Oyster Point. Yeah, we had a great time! My wife Carol and I want to give a shout out to the best all-woman crew anyone could dream of. You gals are the best!

On a different subject, I wonder how many Latitude readers and Ha-Ha and Mexico vets remember Mary Forrest. Mary crewed for us on the 2007 Ha-Ha, which was our first cruise on the then-new-to-us Capricorn Cat. We were lucky to have her aboard for 4½ months, and not only learned a lot, but had so much fun and made many new friends.

The experience changed Mary's life, as she started crewing on sailboats before landing a paying job on a motor yacht. She then met and fell in love with Eddie, the captain, and they were later married. They continued to operate and crew on bigger and more magnificent yachts all over the world.

The big news is that Mary recently gave birth to a daughter, Torricella Grace Persichetti. Baby, mom and dad are doing great. Mary assures us that Torricella will be out sailing with mom and dad on their boat very soon. Sailing is in the family's blood.

Wayne and Carol Hendryx
Capricorn Cat, Hughes 45


I didn't really know what to make of Latitude's previous reports that Americans visiting Schengen Area countries — which includes most European countries — could only stay for three months before having to leave for three months. But now I'm learning, as Debbie and I are now in the process of trying to get a French visa for cruising our boat in Europe this summer. We would have preferred to get an Italian visa, but we couldn't get an appointment at an Italian consulate until late May just to start the process.

There are a lot of details in the process of getting a visa that make it even more difficult if traveling by boat. I doubt the process was intended to be anti-boater, it just works out that way. For example, you are supposed to apply within three months of your arrival in France, and you must allow a month for the processing of the visa application. The problem is that the consulate wants to keep your passports during this time — and we need ours to cruise between Caribbean islands on our boat. We think we have it worked out to give them a copy of our passports for the duration of the processing time, and to return in person to the consulate to have the passports duly stamped once the visa applications are approved.

We also hope to start the process outside the three-month period, as we leave for the Caribbean on February 21. This means, with luck, the consulate will accept our applications on the day of our appointment on February 20, and we return to the consulate in San Francisco prior to our trans-Atlantic crossing in May to have our visas officially placed in our passports.

Upon arriving in our first Schengen country, we must have the passports stamped. Then we have just five days to get a French immigration stamp at a French border. But it's not likely we are going to make it to France within five days of reaching Portugal or Spain after an Atlantic crossing. We'll probably just have to ask forgiveness.

Once in France, we must report to the prefecture where we will be staying. Among other things, they'll require us to have a medical exam. But which prefecture are we living in when we're moving around on our boat? We doubt if we're going to be able to find a slip in the South of France, let alone afford one, during high season. Fortunately, we have very good French cruising friends living in Paris who we believe will rescue us here with an 'official residence' if the 'boat residence' proves difficult.

I say bring back the good old days of the 1970s, where you could just arrive in Europe and stay as long as you wanted on a strong dollar! At least the dollar has been strengthening against the euro.

Greg Dorland
Escapade, Catana 52
Lake Tahoe

Readers — It's true, the rules are that an American can't stay in a Schengen Area country — which includes just about all of the European region except England and Ireland — for more than 90 days without leaving for 90 days. Since the Euro/Med cruising season is no more than six months, it really puts a crimp in one's cruising plans. Non-Schengen Area options in the Med include Morocco and Tunisia.

There are a few ways around the three-month limitation, and two Latitude cruisers wrote us last year to explain how they did it. But it wasn't easy.

The Schengen Area rules are, of course, completely against the financial self-interest of Schengen Area countries, as they — and particularly France, Italy, Spain and Greece — need all the tourist money they can get. The members of the Schengen Area countries know it, but it takes lots of time to undo or repair even the worst legislation.

For Americans staying less than 90 cumulative days in Schengen Area countries in any 180-day period, your passport is simply stamped with the date when you arrive. You are then free to cross borders into all other Schengen Area countries without even showing your passport, just as if you were traveling from California to Nevada. This is how the Wanderer and Doña de Mallorca hope/expect things will work out when they use their canal boat in May and June.

The way Americans get caught staying more than 90 days in a 180-day period is when they check out of the Schengen Area. It's been reported that officials in Spain and Greece tend to be particularly lax when checking documents, while those in Germany tend to be more thorough. (What a surprise.) As a result, those who overstay the 90-day limit often try to check out of Spain or Greece and hope some lazy official doesn't notice they overstayed. But the penalties are potentially severe — including never being able to visit a Schengen Area country for the rest of your life.


It doesn't seem as if it was nine years ago when the publisher of Latitude wrote to ask what I thought of his buying a crewed yacht or getting into a boat partnership in the Caribbean. I responded by suggesting he put a catamaran in the yacht management program with BVI Yacht Charters. He even got me to look at Evil Louise, a Leopard 45 coming out of The Moorings program that he would eventually buy and put in the BVI Yacht Charters program. It seems like just a few years ago!

Now that BVI Yacht Charters has decided that 'ti Profligate is a little old for their fleet, the publisher asked what we readers — and former yacht management boat owners — think he should do.

I think the publisher's favorite stated option, keeping the cat and cruising her around the Caribbean for drone and other photography, is a nice idea. But I'm sure he realizes there are some possible pitfalls, not the least of which is no matter whether managed, maintained, or not, a boat doesn't like just sitting much of the year, and thus there will be lots of little problems to solve every time he gets to her. I have other friends in a somewhat similar situation, and they got so frustrated with the niggling issues that they placed a never-before-chartered Leopard 43 — and a really nice one, at that — in bareboat charter at Vacances Sous Voilles just so she would get some use.

Additionally, the charter industry has evolved since the publisher's days with the Ocean 71 Big O. Officials are not quite so laissez-faire, nor are insurance agents or charter brokers. I know that the publisher is in a unique situation and could probably take care of all the marketing himself, but life, boating and chartering have generally become a lot more complex over the years. Plus, finding an 'office' to do Latitude from, such as the Center Alizee in St. Barth, can still be challenging in parts of the Caribbean.

Having said that, my comments of nine years ago regarding partners are still valid. It can be great, but more often than not, isn't.

I would vote for selling 'ti Profligate, getting something newer, and keeping on doing what you have been doing — which is having her in a yacht management program. The Leopard 46 is a very popular boat, but don't think of getting one from the earlier years. The Leopard 43 is very nice, although she might be a bit small. I think they made those up through maybe 2008. The Lagoon 440 and 450 are reasonable sailing boats and have proved very popular charter boats, although I personally wouldn't want one.

By the way, I just saw 'ti Profligate the other day, and she looks to be in superb shape. I'm guessing that you could get a pretty good price for her, as well maintained Leopard 45s and 47s are highly thought of. Which raises the question of why not simply move up to a late model 47? I think that would be maybe a 2006. Would BVI Yacht Charters let you back in with a 47? They seem to have lots of Lagoons these days, plus some F/Ps, a Seawind and now the new Nautitech Open 44, but that's a brand-new build.

Tim Schaff
Jetstream, Leopard 45
Tortola, British Virgins

Tim — It was indeed you who got the publisher to buy the former Evil Louise and put her in the BVI Yacht Charters management program. And it truly is hard to believe that it was nine years ago, as we meant to keep the boat for only three years. It's been a great run with BVI Yacht Charters. We're really going to miss the folks there, from everyone in the office to Tony and all the great maintenance staff.
We're big believers in the concept of 'use it or lose it', no matter if it's boats, motorcycles or body parts. We're willing to bet that 'ti is in better shape than most sisterships precisely because she was used so much — and thus got so much maintenance. After a boat is three or four years old, we think the quality of maintenance supersedes the age of a boat in importance.

While it's true that it's best not to leave a boat unused, lots of owners leave their boats on the hard in the Caribbean for six or more months a year. And in the Northeast for eight or more months a year. Yeah, there may be some niggling issues, but we like to think that we can put up with it. You might recall that 'ti Profligate doesn't have a lot of stuff found on most boats, such as air conditioning, a genset, electric heads, electric winches, a watermaker, radar, a chartplotter, sophisticated wind instruments and so on. We never felt as if we needed any of them, and we know for sure that simple boats have fewer problems than complicated ones.

It's been 20 years since we did occasional 'under the radar' charters with our Ocean 71 Big O. Charters with 'ti for the last nine years have all been legit, with the proper permits, insurance, etc. We are aware of the greater complexities of chartering these days — and of some of the legal ways to work around them.

BVI Yacht Charters has a Lagoon 440 — a very popular design — that could be purchased for $360,000 and kept in their program. Given the fact that we're 66 years old, and the more complicated and high-maintenance Lagoon costs nearly twice as much as the value of our current cat, it doesn't seem like a fiscally sound move to us. And in addition to losing a big chunk of money in every boat transaction, there is all the hassle of selling one boat and buying another. We'd rather be cruising and using the saved money to have others keep our boat in good condition.

Selling our Leopard 45 to buy a Leopard 47 makes no sense to us at all. Except for a three-foot sugar scoop and more complicated systems that we don't think are necessary for the Caribbean, they are the same boat.

The way we see it, 'ti Profligate is a nearly indestructible 'big bang for the buck' cat with four cabins with heads ensuite. We have no interest in shelling out big bucks for a little more luxury, as we're not interested in luxury. When the time comes for us to need an electric head or air conditioning in the Caribbean between November and July, we're going to move from a catamaran to a walker.

So we're probably going to hold pat for at least a couple of years, and maybe do about four legal, longer-term charters a year, which would cover a lot of the annual expenses.

We're aware of the problems with partnerships. Nonetheless, if we could find a very experienced boatowner, especially one who previously had a boat in a yacht management program, who was interested in a half share for the months of November through January, we'd certainly look into it.

In any event, 'ti doesn't come out of the charter program until August 1, so we've got time to consider our options.


We suggest selling 'ti Profligate. 'ti has 'old bones' and needs a 'rest home' with a new owner. The legacy of the boat will bring above-market value.

We're sure a newer cat can be found with an upgraded hull design and newer equipment, and be more appropriate for the various needs of Latitude. Your resources in acquiring a newer boat at an excellent price, I assume, are excellent. Also, any updating of equipment can be done at discount rates compared to your readers. Create a new legacy for your new multihull and enjoy a financially secure retirement.

Finally, thanks again for a most enjoyable 2001 Baja Ha-Ha. It was the first cruise on our then-new Wauquiez 43.

Bob and Pat Clark
Southern Run, Wauquiez 43
San Diego

Bob & Pat — If any readers want more background on this thread, they should refer to the original January 26 'Lectronic piece.

We looked up the price for the modern version of Leopard 45s, which would be the new 44s, which aren't even 43 feet long. Yachtworld had one listed for $469,000, and another one "in contract" for $642,000. Wow, are newer cats expensive or what!? The 44s have some nice new features, including a hardtop and forward cockpit area, and probably lots of creature comforts such as electric toilets. But they are way beyond our budget, and we don't even want those luxuries.

"Old bones?" Say what you will about Leopard 45s, they were built like Westsail 32s. We have no doubt that 'ti will easily have a lifespan of 50 to 100 years. If nothing else, she makes a very comfortable and economical home on the water.


We saw that BVI Yacht Charters is retiring the publisher's Leopard 45 cat 'ti Profligate from their yacht management program. If the publisher decides to keep 'ti — and having chartered her, we sure hope that he does — he may want to contact our friends Jim and Cecelia at Pro Valor Yacht Management in the BVIs. They may take her in their program.

A lot of people are keen on catamarans with upper helm stations. Having owned Lagoon and Leopard catamarans with lower helm stations, and a Leopard with an upper helm station, we greatly prefer the former.

Lynn and John Ringseis
Ex-Moonshine, Lagoon 410 cat, Caribbean
Ex-Moonshine, Leopard 43 cat, Caribbean

Lynn & John — Thanks for the suggestion, but 'ti is 14 years old and thus too old for even the Pro Valor management program.


I like options #3 and #4 the most. But how much?

Terry Glenn
Planet Earth

Terry — For a partnership, we're thinking $115,000 for a half share. The Leopard 45s were the Boat of the Year when they were introduced, and are 'big bangs for the buck' in the catamaran world. We frankly can't believe how much new cats cost. 'ti has received excellent service from the folks at BVI Yacht Charters, who loved her because she was so easy to maintain. And she's had many things — tramps, sails, bimini, sails, etc. — replaced over the years.

'ti Profligate is currently set up tfor sailing in the British Virgins and, to our thinking, island hopping between Puerto Rico and Grenada. She is not equipped with SSB radio, EPIRB, watermaker, radar, AC or any of those kinds of extras, nor do we believe they are needed for her current service.

We're in no way desperate to sell her or find a partner, and would only consider somebody who has had many years of boat ownership, preferably a bunch of it outside the United States.

We're not sure what kind of situation you're looking for, but we hope you find it. The Caribbean is a fabulous place to have a boat.


Sail 'ti around the world slowly, chasing the green flash.

Scott Soper and Teresa O'Kane
ex-Different Drummer, Wharram cat
Bay Area

Scott & Teresa — Big Profligate would be much more suitable for that, although she would be sailing around the world much more quickly.


I had my other boat with the Anacortes Yacht Charters management program, and it was very successful. Those folks are always looking for good older boats that have been in charter programs before. The condition of the boat, not the age, is what matters to them.

I think Anacortes Yacht Charters is the largest yacht management/charter operation in the Northwest, and clients take the yachts as far north as Canada and Alaska.

No, I don't work for AYC, I just had a successful owner/management relationship in which I got 70% of the proceeds and they got 30%.

It's just another idea for you to consider.

Captain Jim McCarthy
Double Angel, US Yacht 42
Deer Harbor, Orcas island

Captain Jim — Thanks for the heads up. Until such time as we're no longer able to actively enjoy all kinds of watersports, we're not about to trade the Caribbean for the chilly Pacific Northwest and Canada. That said, we think a Leopard 45 cat would make a great sailboat/powerboat/home in the Pacific Northwest, Canada and Alaska. As we've mentioned many times before, because they are so spacious and economical, sailing cats make great motoryachts, too.

Just so nobody gets the wrong idea about return on investment on boats in yacht management programs, the common 70/30 split between the boatowner and yacht management company is after all expenses. And the expenses can be considerable, particularly if the all-important maintenance is as good as it should be.


Since 'ti Profligate is paid for, I suggest that you keep her, pay someone you trust to store and maintain her, and do some charters — lesbians, drone operators, photographers, whatever — to keep the cash flow from going (too far) negative. That's what my wife and I do with an asset in Europe and one in Palm Springs. It works well. We even have a slight positive cash flow.

Rod Sherwin
Planet Earth

Rod — Yours is our default strategy, mostly because it's the least complicated and involves the least asset churning.


Option #5 works fine for me. By the way, I'd sign up for the 'lesbian charter', as I must be one, since I'm only attracted to women.

Could you provide some details on the Latitude drone(s)? Most of the ones I've looked at are cheap, low-run-time toys, that fly for only five minutes before requiring 30 minutes to recharge. Camera capabilities are important as well. I seem to recall your noting the use of an attached GoPro.

Kerry Kalarney
Green Place Ranch
Olathe, Colorado

Kerry — It's just a wild guess on our part, but lesbians may have heard variations of the 'I must be a lesbian, too' joke from guys too many times to think it's still funny. Not that they probably ever did.

With regard to drones, we've only used DJIs, and are up to what must be the third generation. It was the original model that ran for only five minutes before the battery drained. Subsequent models have batteries that supposedly are good for 25 minutes, but we don't like to fly ours with less than 50% battery power. There have been many other excellent improvements with each generation.

Our first four DJI drones were all connected to GoPro Hero 3 cameras. Our most recent DJI — a Vision 2+ — has a proprietary camera that gives you first-person view (FPV) using a smartphone or iPad. Apparently the twice-as-expensive GoPro version takes a little bit better video than the Vision 2+, but we think the 14 megapixel Vision 2+ camera takes better stills.

Unless your last name is Spielberg or Tarantino, we think you need the latest $2,800 DJI Inspire over the $1,000 DJI Vision 2+ the way you need a dirty bottom on your boat. While we highly recommend all these 'can't get the photos/video any other way' devices, 99% of potential users don't need anything more than the Vision 2+. But get at least three batteries.

Many people — this would include Doña de Mallorca — have often referred to the Wanderer's $1,200 Vision 2+ drone as a "toy." This is out of ignorance, as this month's cover is just the latest to be taken with the "toy."


I was just reading Latitude's comments about the unsuitability of Luci LED lights for use as navigation lights. I agree, but want to make a correction. Latitude stated that for vessels less than 65 feet, sidelights only need to be visible for one mile. That's not quite correct, as it only applies to vessels less than 12 meters, which is about 39.4 feet. For vessels between 12 meters and 50 meters, the rule is the light has to be visible for two miles. You can see that in Rule 22.

I know this because I paid a good fraction of a 'boat unit' to get that extra mile of distance for the sidelights on my 52-ft Hans Christian.

Mark Novak
Betty Jane, Hans Christian 43
Santa Cruz

Mark — Sorry for the error, as we were having a major brain fade when we neglected to mention that sidelights for boats over 40 feet need to be visible for two miles.

But it got us to wondering, visible for two miles in what kind of conditions? When it's crystal clear out? When there is lots of moisture in the air? When it's foggy? According to Handbook of the Nautical Rules of the Road by Llana & Wisneskey, Rule 22 does not say that a navigation light has to be visible for a certain distance, but rather that the "navigation light must meet the minimum Annex I intensity requirement." Given the variable nature of visibility on the ocean, that makes a lot of sense.

The handbook goes on to report, "The distances given by Rule 22 were based on a somewhat arbitrarily chosen value for atmospheric light transmissivity — one that represents 'good' visibility." Nonetheless, navigation lights are almost always marketed as being visible for a certain distance, as in one mile, two miles or three miles. What it actually means is that those lights would be visible for those distances only when there is mathematically determined 'good visibility'.

Curiously, the masthead light on vessels longer than 164 feet has to be visible — in good conditions — for six miles, while the sidelights and stern lights only have to be visible for half that distance. When it comes to boats between 65 and 164 feet, the masthead light has to be visible from five miles but the side and stern lights from just two miles. In vessels less than 40 feet, the masthead has to be visible for two miles, as does the stern light, while the sidelights only have to be visible for a mile. Not exactly consistent in relative terms, is it?


I loved your February 9 'Lectronic piece titled, 'Help This Sailor Circumnavigate', about December Playboy Playmate Elizabeth Ostrander and her husband Erik. The couple sound like real deep thinkers. Excellent writing, too.

Russ Snidely
Planet Uranus

Russ —We've written some foolish things in the last 38 years, but perhaps none as foolish — and inaccurate — as the title of that February 9 'Lectronic piece. In addition to the title, the content of the piece suggests that Elizabeth needs to win the $100,000 that comes with being Playmate the of Year for her and Erik to continue their circumnavigation. Not only did Erik not say anything of the sort to us in our telephone interview, it isn't true.

Erik and Elizabeth own a successful 14-boat charter fleet and a sailing school out of Pier 39, and a 'yacht club' in the City, none of which he even has to manage on a day-to-day basis. In addition, they just bought a home they'll live in for six months of the year so they can cruise 'six and six'.
What we meant to suggest is that, like everyone, the Ostranders wouldn't object to having another $100k in their cruising kitty, even though their Islander Freeport 41 Journey is already very well-equipped.

What we don't understand is your comment sarcastically describing them as being "deep thinkers." First, you don't even know either one of them. Second, what's 'deep thinking' got to do with anything? It's been our experience that most people who self-identify as 'deep' are full of it and of themselves. Of course, we say that being no deeper than a puddle ourselves, having given up 'deep thinking' after our last philosophy class at UC Berkeley. Anyone who is responsible and kind to others is plenty 'deep' for us.

We got a similarly negative reply to the 'Lectronic from Robert Lush, who wrote, "This edition [of 'Lectronic] sucks. A little T&A, if it works in the story, is fine, but this was terrible. The entire issue pushed the needle right off the end of the boring and unsuitable meter."

We were so stunned by these two negative reactions to something we thought was so tame in this day and age of Fifty Shades of Grey BDSM 'kits' being sold in Target and groups of San Franciscans demanding to be able to ride public transportation and sit in restaurants without any clothes on, that we published Rush's comments in the February 11 'Lectronic. We responded to it with this: "But 'boring'!? Even if we were 85 years old, if we were 'bored' by the photos of Elizabeth, we’d visit our physician to see if we had a medical problem. What about you?"

The following is a cross section of the gazillion responses we got. We tried to overrepresent responses from women.


I am 85 years old, and I did not find the 'Lectronic about Elizabeth Ostrander to be boring! Maybe boring stuff is the key to long life, but I have found the reverse to be true.

Ken 'The General' Roper
Harrier, Finn Flyer 31
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Readers — Ken's 'reverse of a boring life' includes having been a brigadier general in the Army and having sailed, among many other offshore passages, 13 Singlehanded TransPacs.


My husband, daughter and I are preparing our boat to sail around the world, and I have followed Latitude for a long time. I’m almost 50 years old, heterosexual, and right now I’d benefit in many ways if I lost 20 lbs. But one thing I can admire is a beautiful woman and sailor, and the very natural-looking Elizabeth is both of those. Go, Elizabeth!

Planet Earth

Marina — You want to lose 20 lbs? Based on the Wanderer's experience, if you go plant-based, even mostly plant-based, the pounds just fall away. Go, Marina! You can't believe how much better you'll feel when you're lighter.


Disgusting! I'm a guy who loves beautiful women, too. But I'm a sailor, not an ogler of women. It's obvious why Elizabeth has been chosen to be highlighted in Latitude. But Latitude is a magazine about sailing; it's not Playboy. I personally don't care about her and her husband's late night partying or their need to raise money via modeling for Playboy so they can sail on and start a family.

And that brings up the last cute girl you decided to promote. She was 'stuck' bartending and singing with Jimmy Buffet in Tahiti while her boat was on the hard. She was trying to raise money so she could repair her boat and sail on. Again, it was obvious the focus was not on her sailing. Let's face it. She was cute and it got your attention. And where is she now?

Planet Earth

Al — The "last cute girl we decided to promote," as you put it, is Liz Clark of the Santa Barbara based Cal 40 Swell. She's still cruising in French Polynesia, where she's trying to be "an inspiration to the masses" in regard to ecology and eating well. In fact, elsewhere in Letters you'll see a photo of her repositioning her anchor in order not to damage coral. Liz is one of those people who believes that you begin to change the world little by little, starting with yourself.

If you're going to pick a "cute girl" to disparage, bikini-wearing, fit-as-a-fiddle Liz is a poor choice. If you'd been reading recent Latitudes, you'd know she is one of 10 candidates for National Geographic's honor as Adventurer of the Year.

Since you called Liz out, we think it's only fair to ask you if any highly regarded organization out there has honored you for anything you've done recently.


Anything but boring. The idea of an attractive lady being an avid sailor with strong ambitions is fine. What is the problem?

David Arnold
Planet Earth

David — There is no problem. At least not in our mind.


I loved the photo of Elizabeth setting her anchor so much that I even used it for my computer wallpaper for a day. My wife of 45 years even approved. Please publish more.

Steve Bondelid
Mexico cruiser, 1993 through 1997
ex-Grey Max, Lord Nelson 35
Whidbey Island, Washington

Steve — We think you might be confusing Elizabeth Ostrander with Liz Clark.


I want to compliment Latitude on your always-on ability to provoke reader engagement, which keeps the publication ever fresh. I admit Elizabeth is gorgeous, and she's obviously a 'real sailor' — whatever 'real sailor' means because, in my opinion, anyone who even goes out into The Slot on a beer can race is a real sailor. Elizabeth has done passages that most of us dream of doing, and did them doublehanded — which anyone who has done a passage of two nights or longer knows is an endurance feat! And she's planning to go farther. Awesome.

My problem with Elizabeth is that I'm jealous. How come she gets to be out in the sun in just a bathing suit and not freeze her butt off? Oh, I forgot, the photos weren't taken on San Francisco Bay. And how come her skin looks so gorgeous and her face so fresh? Where does she get her sunblock? Why does her hair not have the salt-air-frizz-from-hell look that I battle daily? And, most importantly, those photos must be have been Photoshopped, because where are all the bruises that seem to just pop out like measles around my body anytime I go out on the boat?

But seriously, as a 50+ woman, I look at the photos of Elizabeth and I say, "You go get 'em, girl!" I love seeing a woman with the beauty that allows her to "run" for Playmate of the Year. But she don't need no stinking contests — Elizabeth is a sailor who is doing the cool things with her partner in life, and really doesn't need my vote for any validation of her looks. She's blessed with beauty, but is investing in the kinds of experiences that will last her well into her old age with memories and wisdom that will never fade.

As for Latitude's photos featuring Elizabeth in a bathing suit versus dressed in foulies in The Slot, oh come on! You're in the business of selling a publication, getting advertising and promoting a lifestyle — and you do that by appealing to your core demographic. So you go, Richard!

That said, I'll admit that Latitude pisses me off a few times a year. But that keeps me engaged. What will you do next?

Terri Watson
Delphinus, Mason 33
San Francisco

Terri — For the record, almost all of the photos of Elizabeth in the 'Lectronic and this month's Changes were planned and staged by Elizabeth, who has both a degree in photography and extensive photography knowledge and experience. "All I ever did was push the shutter," Erik laughingly told Latitude.

And just to clarify things about Latitude, it's always been the publisher's art project rather than a business seeking to maximize profits. The publisher has always followed the Hobie Alter philosophy, which is, "If I like something, I bet a lot of other people will like it, too." Based on that and our having overseen 450+ issues of Latitude, we feel that we, not the readers, are the final arbiters of what's "appropriate" for Latitude.


The 'Lectronic piece definitely teetered on the line of inappropriate content, but I also thought Elizabeth was ridiculously gorgeous. We humans are complex creatures and can hold conflicting thoughts simultaneously. It is a fun story, although one would think that the financial situation of her husband should be fine given his successful businesses.

Anyway, I have voted for Elizabeth to be Playmate of the Year almost every day since the 'Lectronic came out.

Barbara Merrill
Planet Earth

Barbara — As previously stated, Elizabeth doesn't need Playmate of the Year money for the couple to continue their cruise. We completely screwed that up.

We don't think the Erik and Elizabeth story "teeters" on anything, as they are totally legit cruisers, and both have interesting stories.


I saw Elizabeth’s pictorial in Playboy, and honestly I was more interested that she was a sailor than in her pics, and curious why she wasn’t well known in San Francisco. She’s pretty enough, but it would be more interesting to know her connection to boats.

If there was a boring element in the Latitude item, it was that Elizabeth seems to know she’s pretty and therefore came off rather shallow. I’m sure there’s more to know than that she aspires to be attractive and sail. To me competence and intellect are very attractive, and that aspect of Elizabeth remains a mystery.

E.J. Koford
Patches, Floating Fourteen
Elk Grove

E.J. — Elizabeth's "connection to boats" is that she's done two long and difficult doublehanded passages, and wants to continue sailing around the world.

In our opinion your belief that there is a connection between a woman's knowing she's pretty and her coming off as shallow is in itself about as shallow as can be.


Anyone who says a redhead is boring has gender issues!

Byron Porter
One Less Tuna, Trophy/Bayliner
King Harbor

Byron — Last time we checked both men and women can have red hair. So what does hair color have to do with gender issues?


I see nothing wrong with publishing images of beautiful boats — and beautiful female bodies. Beautiful male bodies? You'll have to ask the ladies about that.

David Lyman
Rockport, Maine

David — Speak for yourself, but we do not have to ask the ladies about that. We're straight as an arrow, but we're 'deep' enough to be able to appreciate beautiful physiques, be they female or male. Why would it be difficult to be able to admire the beauty of a person no matter the sex and without wanting to have sex with them?


I'm Irish, so when I saw Elizabeth's freckles, I voted for her without even looking at the other Playmate of the Year candidates.

John Granahan
Knot A Clew, Cal 39


I loved the feature of the redheaded Elizabeth. It reminded me of an exchange I had with yacht broker Scott Poe the other day.

Scott: "I hope my crazy redheaded bride and I can make it."

Me: "You've got another crazy bride?"

Scott: "Yes, Cheri is an amazing woman. But, as she always says, 'Red hair is God's warning label.'"

Paul Marston
Orange, Contour 34


I loved the story on Elizabeth — and like the fact that she was not dressed in all of the bullshit that US Sailing wants to make us wear when we go to sea. Elizabeth's look represented a good marketing strategy for the sailing industry — that sailing is fun! Pedal down and vang off!

Jonathan 'Birdman' Livingston
Punk Dolphin, Wylie 38
Pt. Richmond

Readers — When we asked the Birdman, a very experienced and successful racer both in the Bay and offshore, for details on the US Sailing edict, he replied as follows:

"If you want to race in the ocean, the new rules mandate that you wear a PFD at all times and, as of 2015, the PFD must include a jockstrap. This is straight from the Ocean Yacht Racing Association website, who got it from the US Sailing ISAF special regulations section. Last year some boats got protested and DSQ'd because of PFDs.

"There is more, but I don't think that the remaining regulations prevent anybody from sailing or racing while wearing a bikini. Nonetheless, there is a big price tag for all the electronic bells and whistles one now needs."


"Stir it up," Bob Marley used to sing. It's a good motto to live by and I'm glad to see that Latitude hasn't forgotten its roots.

On another subject, having delivered lots of multihulls, I liked your article on the dismasting and loss of Gunboat 55 hull #1 Raindancer. It seems many experienced monohull sailers have trouble understanding the loadings on boats that don't heel. I wish there were some easy way to teach the difference, but carbon fiber is no replacement for common sense.

Gary Hoover
Tradewind Yachting
Big Island, Hawaii


If you guys are gonna get all over this lovely cheesecake of a good sailor, how's about equal time to some serious beefcake? If you don't, you are exhibiting gender bias!

Molly Pruyn
Alberg 35

Molly — You are so far behind the times. LaDonna Bubak has always been our Beefcake Editor, and she's every enthusiastic about her position. If you send us an interesting beefcake photo, and the Beefcake Editor approves it, it runs.


On January 28, you ran a 'Lectronic titled "Beware The Open Hatch” about Sailor Cherry’s painful mishap going down a hatch. I think I remember a report in Latitude from 15 to 20 years ago about a Bay Area catamaran skipper who was tied up in Panama City preparing to transit the Canal. He, too, left his cabin-top hatch open and fell. But instead of getting a hematoma on his leg, he crushed 'the boys'. Ouch!

As I remember your article, he said that his bruised nuts swelled to the size of grapefruit. I’m wincing right now just typing those words. He had to wait two to three weeks for the swelling to subside before making his Canal transit. I think of that cautionary tale every time that I open a hatch.

In addition, I warn all of my male guests when they walk on deck. And I try to find a polite way of retelling the story to my female guests and to our small grandchildren.

Peter Detwiler

Peter — We vaguely recall that incident. We're sure the victim remembers it more clearly.



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