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August 2, 2013

August Latitude Is Out

Gracing Latitude’s cover this month is Sharon Green’s awesome aerial of the vintage S&S yawl Dorade steaming toward the TransPac finish. The much-acclaimed woodie corrected out to win.

© 2013 Sharon Green

Desperate for something worthwhile to do this weekend? Fret no more, the August edition of Latitude 38 is available (free, as always) right now at marine businesses all along the West Coast — and it’s also accessible as a free downloadable eBook here.

Inside, you’ll find our complete TransPac report, insiders’ insights into this month’s America’s Cup action, an interview with circumnavigators Jim and Kent Milski, our report on the Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous, boatloads of local racing news, chartering info, ‘Classy Classifieds’ and more. Pick on up while they’re hot off the press. (You’ll find distribution info here.) Happy reading!

Warming Up on the Bay

Tucking up behind Yerba Buena’s treeline can keep you out of the wind, but it probably won’t make it warm enough to swim.

© Russ Cooper

Summer is here and the weather is fine…somewhere. In the Bay Area, sailors have been suffering with screaming winds, foggy days and frigid temps. Brr! But if the weather has kept you from using your boat, for shame! There are plenty of quick getaway spots that will leave you with lots of warm memories (even if you have to suffer through a little chill to get to them).

Time your arrival in Petaluma so you can not only take advantage of a flood current, but high tide as well.

© Mike Smith

Clipper Cove is an easy-to-reach destination from just about anywhere on the Bay. Since the Treasure Island Development Authority pulled up the vast majority of wrecks at the head of the cove, recreational boaters can now easily find a nice spot to anchor in the lee of the tree line. If the wind’s howling, you might have to leave the bikinis in the locker, but it’s still a great place for a picnic before heading back to the slip.

Running from the fog in the Delta.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Heading up the Petaluma River requires some pre-planning (see our article in the June issue for details) but it’s so worth it. Make sure your mast will fit under the two highway bridges — big boats don’t get to play — then set your inbound and outbound appointments with the D Street bridge tender. Plan to Med-moor as the docks can get busy on the weekends, and then just pay at the top of the ramp near the yacht club. There’s so much to see in downtown Petaluma that your days and nights will be full.

Force-feeding your lady love isn’t what we had in mind.

© Metro Goldwyn Mayer

Have a little more time? Head up to the Delta. This writer is currently enjoying a DIY Delta Doo Dah herself, and can tell you that, while it’s been plenty breezy up here, it’s much warmer than the Bay. Catch the flood and beat feet for some sun, people! If you can, be sure to stop in to Owl Harbor tomorrow for a potluck/barbecue and free movie night. And don’t forget to sign up at!


Of course you don’t even have to leave your slip to enjoy a little onboard R&R. Pick up a gourmet dinner from your loved one’s favorite restaurant and surprise her with a romantic night aboard. Queue up a chick flick and chill plenty of wine to make the night extra special. The temperature inside the cabin is sure to heat up after that!

Light At the End of the Profligate Tunnel?

Profligate heads to the water last Tuesday under the direction of General de Mallorca. It’s hard to know which, but either the cat looks bigger than ever or the General looks smaller than before.

Back in the days of the Vietnam War, politicians and generals kept claiming to see the "light at the end of the tunnel" for that dreadful period of American history. They were always wrong. So when we say that we think we see the light at the end of the Profligate boat project tunnel, we hope we’re being more realistic and accurate.

‘Lectronic readers may remember that the Wanderer and Dona de Mallorca had Latitude’s 63-ft cat all ready to go back into the water in late June for the Bash north, and were only thwarted by the fact that the Travelift was down for a few days for maintenance. Seeing an opportunity, we hired Peter Vargas and his Sea Tek crew and went off on a major refit bender. We had them greatly increase the skin thickness of the decks, then refair and repaint them, as well as the 13-ft long back steps and cockpit seats. It was a nasty job in the heat of the tropics, but the decks are now super strong and look terrific.

Had we not already lifted Profligate out at the La Cruz Shipyard, we wouldn’t have believed there was enough room to lower her back in.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Then we had them tear out 50 feet of the floors in both hulls so they could get at and increase the thickness of the inside skins of the hulls. When we tore out the floors, we found a couple of interesting things. For instance, one secondary but important bulkhead on one side had never been glassed to the hull at all, but had been free floating for 16 years. That’s wasn’t right. Plus, the aft heads on both sides had hever been attached to the hull below them, but had been primarily hanging from the overhead. On one hand it was a remarkable construction flaw, but on the other hand it’s a testament to the strength of modern boatbuilding materials. Anyway, the interiors of the hulls have all been ground down, and parts of them have already had the new interior skins — one layer of mat, one layer of roving, one layer of mat — glassed, and frames beefed up. By Saturday, anothers athwartship frame will have been added, the heads properly secured to the hulls, some secondary bulkheads made three times thicker, and all the glassing of the hull interiors completed.

Robin and Mike Stout of the Redondo Beach-based Aluetian 51 Mermaid helped squeeze Profligate into the water.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The honeycomb cores for the new floors are slated to arrive from Mexico City today, and the plan is that they start to be installed on Monday. Once the repairs and improvements are completed, the clearing of the interior and exterior will begin. We figure all interior surfaces will have to be wiped down a minimum of three times. Thanks to the tropical rains of summer, the exterior cleaning should be a lot more fun.

What a load of junk to be tossed! Were hoping that some of the good flooring can be repurposed for bulkhead reinforcement.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Having seen the light at the end of the tunnel, ‘General’ Vargas thinks the huge project will be completed by the end of next week. We’re not counting on it, but it could happen. In any event, we’re pretty confident that we’ll be back in California for the 28th start of the 20th Annual Baja Ha-Ha.

Big O is a great ocean-going boat, and was a terrific ‘Mothership’ for the inaugural Baja Ha-Ha.
Who are these sailors and what are they celebrating? To find out, see the first item of Race Notes on page 136 in the August issue of Latitude 38, due out tomorrow.
Offshore sailors make note: Effective Wednesday, August 1, the US Coast Guard will no longer monitor voice frequency 2182 kHz for International distress and safety.