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October 3, 2007

World Cruising Cat?

Would you sail this cat around the world for 10 years?

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Take a look at the catamaran in today’s Photo of the Day and tell us what you think she was built for. If you’re like most people, you probably think she’s some kind of funky daysailor, and that the most ambitious trip her owner would contemplate would be a weekend to Catalina.

You may be right, but we have a strong suspicion that the cat in the photo is based on a century old 38-ft sacred design from Tikopia Island, and was recently built for long term world cruising. Before you fall over in fits of laughter, allow us to qualify that.  We think she was designed and built for long term world cruising by Southern Californian Glenn Tieman, who had previously cruised a 26-ft catamaran from California to Mexico to the South Pacific to Southeast Asia and the Philippines over a period of 10 years. And on $1 to $3 a day, all expenses included.

Tieman’s original cat was a Wharram Pahi 26 that he built for $3,000. When we last wrote about Tieman two years ago, he said that he’d just completed his new 38-ft cat which, because he used so much better and more expensive materials – strip-planked cedar and epoxy – cost a total of $14,000.

Tieman said the next time he took a long voyage, it would be with two outrigger canoes for dingies. There are two with this cat.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

One of the things that makes us believe that this is Tieman’s latest cat is the outrigger canoe alongside the cat. During his last voyage, that’s all he used for a tender. He liked them because they could be made inexpensively from door skins, a little epoxy and "any old thing for an outrigger." He made his paddles from "a piece of plywood nailed to a 1′ x 2′." Because they were so cheap, he considered them all but disposable.

We’re going to try to track Tieman down, so we’ll let you know whether this is his cat or not, and what he’s up to.

Crew Schmooze Tonight at Encinal YC

Got crew?

Just in case you missed our earlier reminders, let us tell you once again that tonight’s the night to make crew connections for the fall season. The event is Latitude 38’s Mexico-Only Crew List Party at the Encinal YC in Alameda, 6 to 9 p.m.

“Help, save us from the rat race!” This is the only cocktail party we know of where you get to test a liferaft.

©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

This event also serves as a Pre-Kick-Off for the Baja Ha-Ha cruisers’ rally. Officially registered skippers and their first mates are admitted free; others pay $7 at the door. Mexico experts will be on hand and there will be free munchies and a cash bar. Everyone is welcome – come as you are.

For directions see

Nobletec for Mac Addicts

Asking a dedicated Macintosh computer user to switch to a PC is about like asking an adolescent to eat a pound of brussel sprouts. So, for years now, when Mac-addicted would-be cruisers found out that they would have to buy a PC in order to use the popular Nobletec navigation software, some were nearly suicidal.

We’re happy to report that no lives need be lost over this issue any longer. While helping deliver his boat to Santa Barbara, we’ve learned from Cap’n Tom that Nobletec works wonderfully on the MacBook Pro laptops which use Intel chips.

Tom Lilienthal uses his MacBook Pro aboard Dreamseeker to navigate with Nobletec.

©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Tom explained that you can partition these new Macs so that they will run either Mac or PC programs (such as Nobletec) and, according to one Nobletec technical advisor, the program actually runs smoother on the Mac machines due to their superior graphical capabilities. You do need to reboot the computer when you want to use it as a traditional Mac, but that’s the only minor downside we’ve experienced during the past few days of use. Instead of investing in a chartplotter, Cap’n Tom has his Mac interfaced with his autopilot and it follows predetermined routes flawlessly. Pretty cool, eh, Macheads?

U.S. Olympic/Paralympic Trials

Team trials begin this weekend for both the Olympics and Paralympics, the former at several Southern California locations, the latter in Rhode Island. The classes are Tornado, Finn, Laser, Laser Radial, 49er, 470, RS:X, Yngling and Star for the Olympics, and 2.4mR, Sonar and SKUD-18 for the Paralympics. The goal for all of the hundreds of participants is the 2008 Olympics in Qingdao and the Paralympics in Beijing.

Passports Now Required

It’s official – as of Monday, October 1, passports are now required for any American citizen traveling by air out of the country, including Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The new rules were supposed to have gone into effect in January but massive delays at processing centers prompted officials to postpone enforcement until later in the year. As more and more travelers rushed to get their passports, the backlogs just got bigger, and the deadline got pushed back.

Even if you only plan to travel by boat for the rest of your life, you’re wise to get your passport now. The same rules will go into effect for boats and cars on January 31, 2008. Thankfully, the Department of Homeland Security has caught up with the backlog and are now on a normal processing schedule: 4-6 weeks for standard processing and no longer than 3 weeks for expedited service. For more info, go to

Looking for a ride to Mexico? If so, you’ll want to mark your calendar with a big red Sharpie: The Latitude 38 Mexico-Only Crew List Party will be held this Wednesday, from 6 to 9 p.m.,
"I’m planning to to take my family to Cabo on our very expensive yacht," writes Brian Littlefield, "and am wondering if there have been any recent pirate-type attacks down there.
The fact that the days are getting shorter, the nights longer, and skippers are turning the bows of their boats toward Mexico can only mean one thing — it’s time for Buccaneer Day at Catalina!