Photo of the Day

April 18 - Cyberspace

Today's Graphic of the Day is of the 80 foot by 45 foot one design offshore catamaran Bruno Peyron hopes will be racing around as part of The Race Tour in 2006. Two of the most interesting things you'll immediately notice is that they have a 'god pod' in the center as was the case in ENZA, and like the now lost Team Phillips, have no forward crossbeam. It's like a cat in the sense that only two hulls touch the water, but it's like a tri in the sense there are three hulls, the center one of which allows for tighter headstay tension. The design is the work of Gilles Ollier & Associates, and Van Peteghem/Prevost, all of whom are French, and all of whom have had extreme success in multihull design.

The cats are supposed to cost about $2 million U.S. each, or about 25% less than a 60-ft custom trimaran. Peyron says he expects the eight-ton boats to be capable of 600 miles a day, yet last for 10 to 15 years. In other words, a big bang for the sponsorship buck. Peyron says two or three groups are close to signing on the dotted line, and he hopes to have eight in action by 2006.

It will be remembered that Peyron himself is having a 120 foot cat being built to enter in the 2004 version of The Race. Details of the cat, currently under construction, are a big secret.


Photo Courtesy Race Tour

Should You Judge a Book By Its Title?

April 18 - Mill Valley

Maybe we have a bad attitude, but we weren't as impressed as we hoped we'd be with Ferenc Màté's new book The World's Best Sailboats, Volume II. Thanks to 535 color photos and 218 illustrations, it's a lovely follow up to The World's Best Sailboats, Volume I, which sold an astounding 100,000 copies.

We've got two problems with the book. First, on what basis does Ferenc believe he is qualified to chose the best sailboats in the world? According to the book jacket, he and his family spend their summers cruising aboard a Bruce King-designed cold-molded ketch. Big deal, so do a lot of other people. We have a nasty suspicion that Ferenc has never sailed on many of the boats he has annointed best in the world. Secondly, we've got some problems with his list. How could anyone claim that yards such as Huisman, and Abeking & Rasmussen aren't among the best in the world? Or that no New Zealand yards made the cut? Does Ferenc think that no Italian or South African brands were up to snuff? As a multihull sailor, we find it hard to believe that only PDQ catamarans were deemed worthy.

We hate to have to say it, but we think the book could more honestly be titled Some Of The World's Nice Sailboats (And Lots Of Brochure-like Photos Of Them And Their Interiors). Which is not to say that many folks won't enjoy it or that it won't look great on salon tables.

Photo Latitude/Annie

McNeil and Z-5 Hunting for Competition

April 18 - Mill Valley

So far it's been pretty easy sledding for Mill Valley Bob McNeil and his R/P 86 Zephyrus V. Since her launch last summer, she's taken line honors in the Pacific Cup to Hawaii, the Navidad Race to Mexico, and the Pineapple Cup to Jamaica. Looking for more competition, she's now entered in the DaimlerChrysler North Atlantic Challenge, a 3,600-mile offshore sailing race from Newport, Rhode Island to Cuxhaven, Germany. So far there are 62 entries, which will make it the largest TransAtlantic race for fully crewed monohull yachts perhaps ever. Slow boats start on June 14, the fast ones will start on June 21.

The only one who might give McNeil any competition is Hasso Plattner, who at last count had four sailboats named Morning Glory. The newest, a 162-footer by Baltic, might give Z5 a battle, although Plattner has been reluctant to enter her, saying that if the mast was damaged it would be two years before a replacement could be made. In any event, Plattner's real Z5 killer, a R/P 86 with a canting keel, won't be ready for launch in October. Hopefully he'll sell a few of his other Morning Glorys before then so we won't have so much trouble keeping track of them.

Photo Latitude/Richard

So How Was Island Madness?

April 18 - La Paz

Last week was the Paradise Found (for profit) Yacht Club's first ever Island Madness Week - replacing the 20-year-old Sea of Cortez Sailing Week - at Isla Partida off La Paz. There was an amibitious schedule that sounded like it could have been great fun . . . so how was it?

Life In a Glass Bowl

April 18 - Newport

"My wife and I were taking our Lagoon 380 Beach Access to the Bahia Corinthian YC in Newport in order to fill our water tanks when we spotted another catamaran in our harbor," reports Glenn Twitchell. "We live aboard on a mooring in Newport Harbor and thus are familiar with all the other cats in the neighborhood. We went by for a closer look and saw that the cat in question was Profligate. Here in Newport? How cool! We assume that you're here for the Newport to Ensenada Race. We have one of those Duffy electric boats that are popular here and would be happy to give you a harbor cruise. In addition, if you need crew for the Ensenada Race, Monica and I are willing and able. But where's the mast?"

Having been given such a warm welcome last year by recently-retired Newport Harbormaster Marty Kasules, we've become big fans. We spent almost a month there last spring and fall, and hope to do it again this year. There are two reasons we're going to miss the Ensenada Race this year; conflicting dates with Sail Expo in Oakland and a problem with our mast step. We noticed the mast step problem - basically a slowly elongating hole in the extrusion for the pin that holds the mast up and in place - while on our way from San Diego to Avalon, and decided to have it repaired right away.

It's soon going to be better than new, and we hope to be sailing from Newport to Avalon again the first week in May, thanks in a large part to the fine folks at Forespar, and Marina Shipyard in Long Beach. Maybe we'll be able to take you up on the harbor tour offer in the fall.

Even with a minor mast step problem, Dona de Mallorca enjoyed a great sail from Avalon to Alamitos Bay last weekend.

Upon nearing the harbor entrance, she saw these other So Cal boats out having sailing fun on a mostly gloomy day.

All Photos Latitude/Richard

It's the Last of the Dartmouth Sailing Week

April 18 - Banderas Bay

We regret to report that today's photo of Danielle Luber and the group photo of the Darthmouth coeds on Spring Break in Banderas Bay aboard Profligate for the Spinnaker Charity Cup marks the end of the series. Enjoy a last look.

Several readers were nice enough to advise the Berkeley born and educated - and therefore East Coast ignorant - Wanderer that Dartmouth University is in New Hampshire. To which the Wanderer responded, "So where is New Hampshire?" And furthermore, what's the justification for all those New England states the size of El Cerrito each having as many United States senators as California?

Photos Latitude/Richard

Don't Forget the Sailor's Ball

April 18 - San Francisco

Photo Latitude/Annie


April 18 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace

Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? The YOTREPS daily yacht tracking page has moved to

Weather Updates

April 18 - Pacific Ocean

San Francisco Bay Weather

To see what the winds are like on the Bay and just outside the Gate right now, check out

The National Weather Service site for San Francisco Bay is at

California Coast Weather

Looking for current as well as recent wind and sea readings from 17 buoys and stations between Pt. Arena and the Mexican border? Here's the place - which has further links to weather buoys and stations all over the U.S.:

Pacific Winds and Pressure

The University of Hawaii Dept. of Meteorology page posts a daily map of the NE Pacific Ocean barometric pressure and winds.

Pacific Sea State

Check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at:
For views of sea states anywhere in the world, see

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