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December 11, 2017

Reader Submissions: The ‘Freda B’

Reader Jan Passion — who sometimes captains the famed Golden Rule — submitted this picture of the Freda B back in October, when the days were about an hour longer and the temperatures noticeably warmer. As we suffer through the depths of our Northern California winter (with temperatures as low as 50 degrees on some days!), we’re reminded of the halcyon days of fall just a few months ago.

Trimaran Designer Ian Farrier Passes Suddenly

Rob Densem, the general manager for Farrier Marine wrote on Sunday: “It is with a heavy heart that I tell you Ian Farrier passed away in San Francisco on his way back from the USA yesterday. We are in deep shock as we come to terms with the huge loss of our captain, and our focus is on Ian’s immediate family and the Farrier Marine team.”

Ian Farrier checks on the build of an F-32 for Team VMG in Christchurch, UK.

© Team VNG

“Ian was a visionary, a multihull genius, an all-round nice guy who leaves behind a huge legacy to the sailing world,” said Densem. “Farrier Marine Limited is a strong business with a three-year order book for the revolutionary F-22 sailboat. Despite dealing with our grief, it is very much ‘business as usual’ at the factory today. It is our job now to carry on the Farrier legacy and ensure his vision is carried out.”

The new F-22 is the current focus of Farrier Marine. We spotted one sailing on San Francisco Bay yesterday, but it was too far away for a good photo.

© Farrier Marine

A multihull designer professionally since 1973, Ian Farrier’s hometown was Christchurch, New Zealand, but he and his family moved to Chula Vista (San Diego) in 1984, setting up Corsair Marine, and that’s where the F-27 took shape. Ian left Corsair in 1991, moving to Bellevue, WA (near Seattle). Farrier and Corsair continued their association with a licensing agreement until 2000. Farrier Marine is located in Christchurch, NZ, with a US office in Plano, TX.

Khimaira, Mark Zimmer’s colorful F-25C, racing in Richmond Yacht Club’s Big Daddy pursuit race in March.

©2017Latitude 38 Media, LLC

A spokesman for the Bay Area Multihull Association noted that “The introduction of the Corsair 27 was largely responsible for growth in BAMA racing in the late ’80s early ’90s. Initially BAMA was primarily a support group for multihull builders, many of whom built their own boats and then went cruising, reducing the ranks of membership. With the Corsair 27 introduction there was need for a local multihull racing organization which was already in place with BAMA.”

Mark Eastham’s F-31R Ma’s Rover and Truls Myklebust’s F-27 Raven worked their way out of the Mare Island Strait in a very light-air SSS Vallejo 2 race in October.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

After Ian Farrier created the Corsair line, it attracted the backing of John Walton, son of Walmart founder Sam Walton. Despite a net worth of many billions of dollars John was a hands-on guy and, in the early days, John came to San Francisco Bay with an F-27 and contacted Latitude 38 to see if we could help do a photo shoot for the F-27 brochure. We were lucky to spend the day with John Walton on our photo boat .38 Special trying to keep up with and shoot the F-27.


Sailing Cambodia

On a recent trip to Southeast Asia, we spent a few days on the small island of Koh Rong Sanloem, about 12 miles to the east of Sihanoukville in the southern part of Cambodia. Despite classic tropical sailing conditions, there appears to be a distinct shortage of sailing activity. The 120+ mile coastline of Cambodia is wedged in between Thailand and Vietnam and includes about 30 offshore islands. The tropical Koh Rong Sanloem has a number of sandy coves with small cabin beach resorts and ideal trade-wind sailing conditions from early November to the end of May.

Beautiful breezes but a definite lack of sailboats. All we saw were the local ‘long tails’, which have an air-cooled ‘inboard’ engine that drops a pin into the transom and steers by rotating the whole engine and its lengthy shaft.

©2017Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you’re inclined to escape the ‘real world’ and find a tropical location to set up a windsurfing or beach cat sailing school, this might be the place. The winds blew on the beach every day at a steady 15 knots, and we were told these were the typical conditions every day this time of year. It was too bad that we couldn’t find anything to take sailing. We did come across one lonely Hobie, but found it was privately owned and unavailable for rent. After a three-quarter-mile walk across the roadless island, we did see one other ~50-ft monohull anchored well offshore from the gently shoaling ‘Lazy Beach’.

Kayaks are OK but, if we could have found the owner of this Hobie, it would have been way better.

©2017Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Of course US history in the region doesn’t exactly bring up the best of memories, and current politics in the area remain very complicated. Just last week, the US imposed travel restrictions on senior Cambodian diplomats due to their backsliding toward dictatorship. But you wouldn’t notice that while sailing the coast. There was no shortage of travelers from Europe, Australia, New Zealand and a handful from the US. Searching Google, we did find a couple of one-boat charter operators — Yachting Cambodia and Sail Cambodia — that offer day or weeklong skippered or bareboat opportunities. But opportunities to sail on your own are limited. So we’re wondering if anyone has some insights on cruising the Cambodian coast and the Gulf of Thailand.

The only cruising boat we saw was anchored well off the bar at Lazy Beach.

©2017Latitude 38 Media, LLC

With an excellent dinner for four costing about $40 with drinks and cold, local beer for a dollar, much of Cambodia is a bargain. We’d love to get there again on a boat, or with a rack full of windsurfers or beach cats available. Either way, if you don’t mind time in the air to find time on the water, Cambodia just might be the next place for your ‘off the beaten path’ sailing opportunity.

Cruising the west coasts of Vietnam and Cambodia looks interesting — and rarely cruised, we think.

Google Maps
©2017Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Boater ID Card and Quiz

Ready or not, here it comes. And like it or not, the law mandating the California Boater Card is going into effect on January 1, 2018.

"The California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) is now accepting applications for the California Boater Card," a DBW press release read. "The card verifies that its holder has successfully taken and passed an approved boater safety education course."

Signed into law in 2014, the Boater ID Law will begin phasing in by requiring boaters 20 years of age and younger to have the new Boater Card. Each new year, a new age group will be added until 2025, when all persons who operate a motorized vessel on California waters will be required to have one. (Motorized vessels include sailboats with any sort of engine on them. Do you have an Opti with an outboard on it? Then you would technically be considered a ‘motorized vessel’ and subject to the card requirement when your age group is phased in.)

© California Boater Card

It’s $10 for a lifelong card, and "all the money goes toward developing and operating the program. By law, DBW cannot profit from the program." As we’ve discussed at length, one of our readers’ biggest concerns (and complaints) is that renters of personal watercraft will not be required to have the card, which raises the following issue for many: Why am I subject to new rules and regulations when people with a fraction of the experience I have are not? We’ve also heard a few readers express concerns that boater education courses will become perfunctory, rubber-stamping affairs that will simply try to get the masses their cards, rather than testing and scrutinizing people’s nautical knowledge. 

It is not clear how enforcement of the card will work, how vigorous it will be, or what type of boaters it will target. Will high-powered motor boats be more heavily scrutinized than sailboats, or will enforcement be equal across all boat types?

Some of our readers do see the Boater ID Card as a chance to brush up on their skills. If you’ve glanced through the 132-page DBW Home Study Course, do you think anything important is missing? Is there any particular skill set that you think is lacking in the general boating zeitgeist that should be addressed? What skills do you personally need to brush up on?

Please let us know.

The cast of characters appearing at the Star Sailing League Finals is studded with the sport’s celebrities.
In our ongoing attempt to keep track of the current rush of development around the San Francisco Bay Area waterfront, we’d like to alert you to a public hearing coming up next week concerning the big ‘Terminal One’ project planned for Point Richmond’s Brickyard Cove neighborhood, right smack up against Richmond Yacht Club’s property (which, fortunately, the club owns and is not leasing from any government agency).
As mentioned, all the production work on all Latitude 38 magazines was done in-house, from writing, to film developing and printing, to layout.