August 8, 2011

Who Needs Bottom Paint?

You won’t blow your budget if you use the East African method of bottom cleaning. Although, according to these fishermen in Zanzibar, you do have to perform this ritual four times a year.

© Craig Anderson

Seems like every time we’re around a boatyard we hear boat owners grousing about the exorbitant cost of bottom paint. But as world traveler Craig Anderson points out, if you hate being beholden to modern antifouling systems, you could always employ the age-old method used by East African fishermen to clean their dhows. Simply careen your boat on a high tide, light a fire of palm thatch under it, and burn off whatever nasty growth has been slowing you down. Easy, effective, green and free.

"The fishermen believe the algae is a host to worms, which will truly create havoc once they are established in the mahogany sides of their sailing vessels. They also rub ground-up animal bones mixed with oil into the hull. . . The average life on one of these sailboats is 11-15 years, after which the wood is recycled into furniture."

(Editor’s note: Ahh. . . Please be advised that while this method apeears to work exceedingly well on inch-thick, hand-hewn hardwood hulls, we really can’t recommend it — especially on fiberglass!) Look for more on these East African watermen in an upcoming edition of Latitude 38 magazine. 

Delta Doo Dah 3D Ends

Potato Slough was the favored stop for the Doo Dah’s three free days — about 30 boats made their way there.

©2011 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The Delta Doo Dah 3D may have ended on Friday, but it’s far from forgotten. From the gracious welcomes the fleet received at all the official stops, to the great swag and prizes, from the freedom to explore on their own to the warm but not-scorching temps, the reports from the fleet are that everyone had a fantastic time.

So what can fit on the bow of Buffalo Spirit? Only 42 people, two dogs, two cats, seven guitars and a full drum set!

© 2011 Patrick Wilkinson

But how could they not with all that went on during the event’s three free days? The majority of the fleet made their way to Potato Slough, while a handful traveled beautiful Georgiana Slough to visit Walnut Grove, and others went off on their own for a little alone time. Those in Potato Slough’s Bedroom 2 were treated to free holding tank pumpouts — much needed by several boats — courtesy of the San Francisco Estuary Project on Wednesday, then later converged on Ruben and Robbie Gabriel’s Pan Oceanic 46 Buffalo Spirit for a potluck. We stopped counting the bodies after 50 people boarded to chow down, visit with neighbors they had yet to meet, and listen to the Potato Slough Jam Band, which included an electric guitar, bass, keyboard, harmonica and full drum set!

The competition was fierce between the six boats in Thursday’s dinghy race.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

After lunch on Thursday, a sailing dinghy race was organized with representatives from seven boats racing in six dinghies: Aquavit, Hapa Girl, Odyssey, Resolute and Solace (doublehanded), Silent Sun and Zorza. Though he had a runaway lead in his Sailnetics El Toro, Greg Mitchell (Hapa Girl) got fouled in an underwater anchor rode, allowing Rob Tryon (Silent Sun) and Eric Kopps (Resolute) & Austin Borg (Solace) to catch up. From there it was anyone’s race, but as the two older ‘boys’ battled between themselves, Eric and Austin sailed their Sunfish to victory. The entire anchorage erupted in cheers as they crossed the line.

Eric Kopps from Resolute and Austin Borg from Solace take a celebratory jump after their triumph in the dinghy race earlier.

©2011 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The fleet spent Friday making their way to the always-friendly Stockton Sailing Club where they were greeted by helpful chase boats guiding them in, air conditioning in the bar, and plenty of ice cold drinks. A kayak race was organized and all of the participants earned Latitude 38 hats as a reward. But the real celebration started a little later with the Doo Dah Hoopla. Stockton SC put on a fantastic barbecue dinner that was so popular it sold out before this Doodette could get there! Thankfully there were a few leftover ribs, which is all we really cared about anyway. Live music, dancing and prizes galore ended the Doo Dah in style.

Ian & Tim Shea from Beacause went a little crazy when they won a ‘killer’ R. Murphy knife at the Doo Dah Hoopla party at Stockton Sailing Club Friday night.

©2011 Latitude 38 Media, LLC
The crew of Scarlett missed out on some of the mid-week fun due to that nasty four letter word — work — but made it to Stockton in time to enjoy the Hoopla with friends they made along the way.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Though all the Doo Dahs have been a blast, the consensus among those who’ve done more than one — including the Doodettes — is that 3D was the best ever. Now the pressure’s on to make next year’s event even better!

Jay Hickman of Zorza showed real 3D spirit by sailing the entire route — not by choice, but because his engine conked out before the start!

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Ad: Free Haulouts at KKMI Pt. Richmond

At KKMI Pt. Richmond, your haulout is FREE with a bottom paint package purchase this August!*

© 2011 KKMI

We’ve made the process of getting your boat hauled and painted even easier by wrapping up the cost in package pricing. Don’t worry about calculating hourly labor and materials, just tell us the length of your boat and we can give you the price for one coat or two. Email or call (510) 235-KKMI (5564).

*Boat must be hauled out before August 31, 2011.

Uhh. . . Really?

The annual Cowes Week is a bit off our normal beat, but we couldn’t resist sharing this jaw-dropping video with you, which seems to illustrate an over-abundance of wishful thinking. Did crewmen aboard the sloop Atalanta really think they could make it past the supertanker’s bow in time? Were they pushing their perceived right of way? Or did they simply not see this bright red, 870-ft long vessel bearing down on them?

Thankfully, all nine crewmen survived the collision and subsequent dismasting — although two were launched overboard and one had to be hospitalized.

In any case, the clip presents a fine opportunity for us to tap your creativity: Email us your best caption of headline for this video. If your witty line is chosen as our favorite, you’ll earn some official Latitude 38 swag.

We’re not gentlemen, and we can prove it. For the second time in three years, we just completed a 1,000-mile Baja Bash.
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