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August 27, 2008

Are Time-Saving Devices Slowing You Down?

Were these sailors just feeling a bit ‘loose’ last weekend, or did their main get away from them?

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We’ve heard of running a mainsail loose-footed, but until the other day we’d never seen anyone running one ‘loose-luffed’. Judging by the above photo, this method doesn’t seem to offer optimal performance!

Of course, on closer inspection it became obvious that this boom-furled sail had either unrolled itself accidentally, or its bolt rope had pulled out of the mast. Apparently the crew was unable to furl it in — or perhaps they simply didn’t see it due to the limited visibility beneath the boat’s bimini.

In any case, we know that roller-furling mains are a bit controversial — especially among offshore sailors. The two times we’ve chartered boats with such devices we’ve had no problems, but we know other folks haven’t been so lucky. For example, a boat within this year’s Pacific Puddle Jump fleet had major problems with its roller main and was unable to use it for much of their crossing.

If you’d like to share your input on the subject of in-boom or in-mast main furling systems, please drop us a line. We’d love to hear both the pros and cons.

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We’ll be working on our website over the next few days so you may notice some slow-downs or even interruption of service. Emails and ‘Lectronic Latitude notifications might also be delayed or even redirected into your Spam/Junk folder. Please check there if you’re expecting an email from us, and be sure to mark it ‘Not Spam’. We should have everything up and running smoothly by Friday and apologize in advance for any problems you may experience.

The Life You Save . . .

Be safe and sober this holiday weekend!

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Summer’s drawing to a close and one of the busiest boating weekends of the year is fast approaching. To ensure you have a fun and safe holiday weekend, consider these two tips:

1) Lay off the booze until you reach the dock or have your anchor firmly set;

2) Wear your PFDs.

Earlier this week, a Good Samaritan rescued two adults and two kids whose 14-ft boat capsized on the Bay — only the kids were wearing PFDs. Everyone was fine but it could have turned out very differently had no one been around to help. Remember, they don’t work if you don’t wear ’em!

Scott Sellers, Eric Ryan and Rolf Kaiser’s Donkey Jack provided plenty of scenes like these at the J/105 North Americans hosted by St.
Forecasters are predicting hotter than Hades temperatures for the Bay Area this week, and there are few better ways to stay cool than by wearing hot Latitude 38 gear.
This funky catamaran was spotted at South Beach Harbor on Saturday. © Timo Bruck "We saw this catamaran — made from 1-liter pop bottles, PVC tubing and a Hobie Cat trampoline with an oar as a rudder — at South Beach Harbor on Saturday morning," wrote Timo Bruck in an email.