Beginning next month, search-and-rescue satellites will no longer process the 121.5/243 MHz signal transmitted by older analog EPIRBs.The Coast Guard is reminding mariners to replace these EPIRBs with the newer 406 MHz beacons by February 1, 2009. The 406 MHz signal is 50 times more powerful than the 121.5, allowing better detection and providing a more accurate search area for rescue authorities, according to the Coast Guard.Also, the number of false alerts with digital beacons reportedly is significantly lower than with analog units. Satellites are incapable of distinguishing between beacon and non-beacon sources using analog frequencies, resulting in only about one in five alerts coming from a beacon, according to the Coast Guard. False alert signals can come from ATMs, pizza ovens and stadium scoreboards.EPIRB users can register their beacons in the U.S. 406 MHz Beacon Registration Database at http://www.beaconregistration.noaa.gov or by calling (888) 212-SAVE.
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As a rigger I split my time between listening to customer’s issues, researching solutions, and installing or modifying current rigging systems . During the inspection stage of a rigging problem one can find many hidden issues. Some systems work better than others do. Some theories work better than others do. Many times we find problems with the original installations.
In this article I want to highlight what I would refer to as the “Upgrade of the Month”. Considering the menagerie of electrical components making their way onto today’s boats, the current electrical draw has evolved into a serious factor. Higher draw equals shorter battery life span. Remember when it was a luxury to have a dim red light on a binnacle compass? Now it is common for instrument packages to insult the cockpit of a B1 bomber. Common boat installations now include: HVAC, various water systems, refrigeration, tank level indicators, autopilots, entertainment center, and a huge array of instrumentation. Most of todays boats will sport electrical systems that invert, convert, and insert, and the list goes on. Add this up on a night voyage and you can see the amp draw that can challenge the largest battery configurations.
In a past article I discussed the technology of LED lighting. Summarized benefits of LED are; 1) durability, 2) power draw less than 30% of incandescent lights, 3) miniaturized fixtures, and 4)resistance to nature’s elements. These are the major benefits that separate LED technology from the friction-fit, incandescent lights of the past.
A great product for replacing your old style running light fixtures are the Aquasignal Series 32 LED Navigation lights. They come in a handy kit of three (stern and twin bow) light. An LED all-round anchor light (AQS32001) and 225 degree masthead steaming light (AQS32401) are also available.
Likewise Lopolight has come on the scene with a large selection of LED fixtures for many different mounting applications. While maintaining the benefits of LED technology their housings are made of machined aluminum housings and are virtually unbreakable as well as elegant. Visit our online ships store or contact John Schumacher at Torresen Marine, Inc. for more information or to discuss this as your LED lighting project.
Join Torresen Marine, Inc – The Sailboat Specialist at Strictly Sail in Chicago. This year Torresen Marine will be even more involved than ever before. In addition to our used boat sales department, service department area and our new Hunter Sailboats, we will be introducing a new line of rigging products in a separate dedicated display where you can select your product and take it with you.
The uncertainties of offshore sailboat racing and today’s economy notwithstanding, 16 plucky competitors will aim their bows toward the horizon Saturday to start Del Rey Yacht Club’s PV09 International Race Series to Puerto Vallarta, presented by CORUM Swiss Timepieces.
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Ericsson 3, the Nordic crew entry of Ericsson Racing Team in the Volvo Ocean Race, safely reached the Taiwanese port of Keelung today shortly before noon GMT.
On the occasion of the Chinese New Year, Ericsson Racing Team crews have cause for celebration. Magnus Olsson’s Ericsson 3 and Torben Grael’s Ericsson 4 have worked their way back into contention for a leg win.
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As night falls on the Volvo Ocean Race fleet in the South China Sea, the conditions are beginning to deteriorate as well.
“Things are starting to get lumpy,” said New Zealander David Endean, pitman aboard Ericsson International. “We’ve got 23 to 25 knots and we’ve reduced sail area with a reef and smaller headsail. We’re starting to slam harder because there’s a bit of current against the wind, chopping up a two-meter swell.”
BMW ORACLE Racing, one of 10 world-class racing teams competing here at the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series (LVPS) starting one week from today, has been preparing the boats on the Waitemata Harbour in what promises to be a close and exciting world-class competition.
Roger Sturgeon’s STP65 Rosebud/Team DYT took line honors in the 2009 Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race with an elapsed time of 13 hours, 56 minutes and 05 seconds. Averaging 11.4 knots of boat speed, the international crew crossed the line at 3:01:05 just off the Southernmost City on January 15 after completing the 160-nautical-mile sprint. Organized by SORC Management, which includes members of the Storm Trysail Club and Lauderdale Yacht Club, the 34th annual race started off of Port Everglades on Wednesday, January 14, and ran along the Florida Keys with a fleet of 46 boats spread acorss IRC, PHRF, Multihull and one-design classes.
“This victory was very important to Roger and me,” said Isobel Sturgeon (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). “We have won regattas around the world, Key West Race Week, SORC in Miami, New York (Yacht Club) Regatta, Rolex Big Boat Series, etc. Roger has won the Transpac, Newport to Bermuda, Rolex Sydney Hobart and others all on his first try, but this race kept out of our reach. This was Roger’s third or fourth try, and the race is sponsored by our own yacht club: Lauderdale Yacht Club. The perpetual trophies are beautiful, but never had “Rosebud” on them. Now, winning it together, we will be able to look in the trophy case and see “Rosebud/TeamDYT” on the trophy on every visit to the club and show it to our family and friends. This means a lot to us. I can’t say it means more than any other victory, but seeing your name on a perpetual trophy in your own club is very important and rewarding.”
The race was described as “incredible” by Sturgeon, with cool weather, winds from 10 knots at the start to 18 knots for most of the night. “The boat performed beautifully,” said Sturgeon. “The redesigned keel and bulb as well as the newly faired rudder helped our performance improve by 10%! That’s amazing for a sailboat.”
This was Isobel Sturgeon’s first overnight race. “I have sailed overnight a number of times. But cruising overnight with some friends when you can have a nice meal accompanied with alcohol and racing an STP65 with 12 very competitive men on rations for four days are two different things!
“Everyone on the crew got along and spirits were always good. Naturally, this is easier when we horizon our competition, but we never knew we were winning because under the handicap system we had to be first to finish to just be in the game. As it turned out, we beat the second placed boat by a corrected time of 50 minutes! SWEET!”
In addition to line honors and overall IRC winner, Rosebud/Team DYT captured victory in IRC A class. This race is first on the calendar of 2009 Gulf Stream Series.
Overall victory in PHRF went to L’Outrage, a Benetau 34 owned by Bruce Gardner (Annapolis, Md.). “It is great to see a small, 34-foot boat win overall in its class,” said Race Chairman and Principal Race Officer Joel Bowie. “Hopefully his victory might inspire other local sailors with 30- to 40-foot boats to join in the fun next year.”
Trevelyan, a Corsair 28cc owned by Richard Stephens (Trumansburg, N.Y.) was first in Multihull Class B and First Overall in Multihulls with an elapsed time of 17 hours, 20 minutes and 42 seconds. (In 2007, Steve and Scott Liebel’s Custom 60 Stars and Stripes turned in the multihull record of 8 hours 31 minutes and 4 seconds.)
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Chicago Yacht Club announced further details about opportunities for sailors wishing to race double handed in the 2009 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. 2009 marks the 101st running of ‘the Mac,’ the world’s longest annual freshwater sailing distance race. The 101st Mac will start off Chicago’s lakefront on Friday, July 17, 2009 and Saturday, July 18, 2009.
Only monohulls will be eligible to race in the new Double Handed Division. Monohulls at least 27 feet LOA will be considered for entry in this division, as will monohulls that are: 1) at least 21 feet LOA; 2) designed and optimized for short handed distance sailing; and 3) have an ORR positive stability index of 110 degrees or greater. All boats competing in the Double Handed Division must comply with the 2009 Mackinac Safety Regulations (“MSR”). The 2009 version of the MSR, which will be published within 30 days, will contain several items applicable only to double handed entrants. This division will be scored using the Offshore Racing Rule (“ORR”), and will start on Saturday, July 18, 2009.
While multihulls are not eligible to compete in the Double Handed Division, they will have the option to sail in a double handed configuration within the Multihull Division. This year, the Multihull Division will require a minimum crew of two, and a minimum LOA of 24 feet. (Multihulls less than 26 feet LOA entered in the 101st Mac must sail in a double handed configuration.) All Multihull Division entrants must meet the requirements of the 2009 MSR for multihulls. Double handed entrants within that division must additionally meet MSR requirements applicable only to double handed sailors. If sufficient multihull double handed entries are received, the Mackinac Committee will create a double-handed section within the Multihull Division. All multihulls will race under the rules of the Great Lakes Multihull Racing Association (“G LMRA”).
Skippers and crews wishing to compete double handed (in either the Double Handed Division or the Multihull Division) must seek approval from the Race’s Selections Committee. In addition to the normal Race prerequisites, double handed applicants must document the following:
· Skipper has completed 1,000 nautical miles of sailing as a skipper of the boat to be entered, or a similar boat design;
· Skipper has completed a non-stop passage or race under sail of not less than 100 nm and not less than 24 hours;
· Crew has completed 1,000 nautical miles of sailing, either as a skipper or crew member sailing on the boat to be entered, or a similar boat design;
· Both skipper and crew have significant racing experience.
These are minimum requirements. Most, if not all, successful applicants will far exceed these requirements, and will be able to demonstrate significant short handed racing experience. The Selections Committee pays especially close attention to the experience portion of each competitor’s profile. Applicants wishing to sail in a double handed configuration must ensure the individual crew profiles are as specific, complete, accurate, and compelling as possible, and fully demonstrate compliance with the MSR requirements applicable to double handed entries. In particular, applicants should include specific information concerning relevant passages.
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