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Archive for February, 2009

Coolant Maintenance for Inboard Engines

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Boat engines that are cooled with self-contained coolant that is cooled, through heat exchangers, by sea water are commonly referred to as fresh water cooled. The internal coolant is generally fresh water that should be treated with additives, usually ethylene glycol, more commonly referred to as permanent anti-freeze. The usual anti-freeze must be cut 50% with water. In warmer climes the antifreeze is needed for its anti-corrosive additives and heat exchanging properties. Oddly enough, if antifreeze is used straight, the engine temperatures may constantly climb on a long run. (more…)

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Hydraulic Service

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Most of us have the philosophy: if it is not broke don’t fix it.

This should not be the case when it comes to your hydraulic system.

Whether talking about a simple integral backstay adjuster, or a complex system with multiple cylinders, valves and pumps, sooner or later it will need to be serviced. Regular maintenance and inspection is highly recommended for all hydraulic systems.
(more…)

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Ericsson 3 Crew Moves In To Tie For Second Place

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race began on Feb. 14, but for Ericsson Racing Team’s Nordic crew the leg began three days earlier when the sailors set off from Taiwan on their yacht Ericsson 3 bound for the finish of Leg 4 in Qingdao, China.
(more…)

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US Sailing and Rolex Sign Four Year Sponsorship

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

US SAILING and Rolex Watch U.S.A. today announced a four-year sponsorship through the year 2012. The agreement between the two parties highlights Rolex’s continued support of US SAILING events and programs.

“Rolex is far more than a sponsor that lends its name to events,” said US SAILING Executive Director Charlie Leighton. “For over two decades, Rolex has been a working partner with US SAILING, helping us to highlight the rich traditions of our sport and its National Governing Body and create first-class events and programs. We are grateful for the company’s unwavering dedication to US SAILING.”

A long-time official sponsor of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, Rolex has increased its collaboration by becoming a new Gold level partner of the team.

“Our partnership with Rolex has been a cornerstone of the support we provide for our athletes. By becoming a Gold level partner, Rolex will play an even bigger role in helping our athletes unlock potential as they train for the 2012 Games,” says Dean Brenner, the Chairman of the Olympic Sailing Program.
(more…)

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Chicago Mackinac Update

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

According to the Chicago Yacht Club, the 2009 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac is shaping up to be one of the largest in the history of the race. They have received over 130 entries in the first week alone, and fully expect a sellout crowd this July.
(more…)

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2009 Charleston Race Week Sets All-Time Attendance Record

Friday, February 20th, 2009

While regattas around the world suffer significant drops in participation, the organizers of Charleston Race Week are proud to announce that the April, 2009 running of this southern classic has already set an attendance record of 157 registered teams.
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CYC Publishes 2009 Chicago Mackinac Notice of Race

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Chicago Yacht Club published the Notice of Race for 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 Race will start off Chicago’s lakefront on Friday, July 17, 2009 and Saturday, July 18, 2009.
(more…)

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Winners of All Kinds Receive Awards at Puerto Vallarta

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Winning is all that counts in most sailboat races, but in Del Rey Yacht Club’s PV09 International Race Series to Puerto Vallarta, presented by CORUM Swiss Timepieces, there also are rewards for good guys, good cooks, good communicators and good fishermen, as well as some pretty good sailors.
(more…)

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Dare and Rose of Sharon Have Their Days – First at Last

Friday, February 13th, 2009

The final outcome seemed clear from nearly two weeks earlier when the starting gun fired for Del Rey Yacht Club’s PV09 International Race Series to Puerto Vallarta, presented by CORUM Swiss Timepieces. Bob Kettenhofen’s racy Beck 60, Dare, which flew away off the line, would finish first in all four races, but how about that old wooden schooner surfing not far behind?

Even Byron Chamberlain, the owner of Rose of Sharon, downplayed his 79-year-old boat’s anticipated performance before the event, and on the dock at Opequimar Marina Thursday he seemed astonished when results of the Race 4 finale 286 nautical miles from Baja California across the Gulf of California were posted.

For the first time Dare and Rose of Sharon finished first overall on corrected handicap time in Spinnaker A and B classes, respectively, depriving Dan Howard’s Carmagnole, a new Beneteau First 44, and David Kory’s Barking Spider, a Catalina 36 MK2, of sweeps in those classes—although for the complete event the Spider did prevail over the entire 15-boat fleet, with the Rose in second place 3 1/2 hours behind.

“I can’t believe we did that well,” Chamberlain said.

But the nice surprise for Dare, with the only sub-zero PHRF rating in the fleet (-27), was that it finally came out ahead in a race after dealing tons of time to all of its rivals through the first three races. Rose of Sharon was rated 132—that’s 159 seconds per mile—and Barking Spider 134. The four races measured a combined 1,034 nautical miles. Do the math.

Otherwise, Dare’s problem was that it was one of a kind, racing against mostly what hardcore racers call “furniture boats.” It finished at 9:35:54 p.m. PST Wednesday, once again hours ahead of everyone else in dying breeze, but this time far enough ahead for a payoff.

Fairly early in the four races Kettenhofen, a Newport Beach sailmaker, became resigned to his destiny.

“We decided to just sail the boat for fun,” he said.

A problem for Dare and some others was the event’s unique new rule on motoring that allowed a boat to use its engine and pay a penalty when wind was so light that its sailing speed dropped below its assigned “Cross-Over” speed. Dare’s Cross-Over speed was 4.13 knots, Rose’s 3.6 and Spider’s 3.45.

“We used the engine too much,” Kettenhofen said. “Whenever we got below 4.13 we turned the engine on. But a lot of people used their engines below their Cross-Over speeds. The rule isn’t yet simple enough for the typical sailor to understand. We probably didn’t look at it closely enough.”

Generally, those who used their motors less scored better, and although engine use was minimal or non-existent for all the boats in the windier Races 3 and 4, the results were similar.

Dare’s time would have been a few minutes earlier except for a glitch at the finish when, sailing into a rising moon in the last 300 yards, it tacked to go offshore away from the finish line marked by a flashing strobe light.

“We draw nine feet and I didn’t want to come down through the mudflats,” Kettenhofen said. “We were looking for the strobe and saw a light off to the right, but it wasn’t the right one.”

When they realized their error directly opposite the finish line, they tacked back toward shore and crossed successfully.

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Privateer Overall Winner in ’09 Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race

Friday, February 13th, 2009

With all but one of the Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race entrants having posted finish times, the 811-mile distance race from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to Montego Bay, Jamaica, has officially concluded for 2009. Roger Sturgeon’s STP65 Rosebud/Team DYT (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) took line honors with an elapsed time of 2 days, 11hours, 28 minutes, and 35seconds, just one hour shy of the race record set in 2005, and won IRC A class. Daniel Woolery’s King 40 Soozal (Alamo, Calif.) won the four-boat IRC B class, while Jack Desmond’s Swan 48 Affinity won the three-boat PHRF class. Ron O’Hanley’s Privateer took the overall title for the 29th running of this ocean racing classic, and collected the silver Pineapple Cup. The Pineapple Cup is awarded based on a PHRF conversion in order to combine both fleets.

“If you think of the great races around the world, this would have to be in the top five,” said Ron O’Hanley (Boston, Mass.) after returning home. “The conditions you get and the water you cover, as you wind through the Bahamas and then past Cuba—and the whole forbidden nature of that – is incredible. If you think of the boats that have done it before us, they’re the who’s who of racing. If anyone thinks of themselves as an ocean racer, I would urge them to do this race. That [Montego Bay Yacht Club] is an extraordinary club down there. Not only do they organize the race and the reception of boats very well, they are all very friendly. It’s a very storied yacht club and I really wanted to stay longer.”

Privateer finished on Monday (Feb. 9) morning. “In all honesty we didn’t think we were in contention when we got in,” said O’Hanley. “The race was very challenging and we felt we sailed a good race, but we also knew the breeze was heavy behind us. PHRF ratings are very wide and historically it’s been mid-size boats that have won.”

Twelve boats started the biennial race, ranging from the 70-foot Denali to the 36-foot SpiderGlide. Toward the end of the race, in 30-knot winds, Thin Ice, an Aerodyne 38 owned by Stuart Hebb (Coral Gables, Fla.) lost its rudder 30 miles from the finish line, and was later towed to Discovery Bay by the Jamaica Defense Force Coast Guard. No injuries were reported and all crew joined the official festivities in Montego Bay.

“We found out officially yesterday that we had won the overall title,” explained O”Hanley. “Everyone was doing the math, so at least math-wise we thought we had won on Tuesday night. We knew how close we were to Infinity. Infinity knew they had missed us by 4-5 minutes when they got in, and mathematically there were still boats that could still win such as Spider Glide.

“The forecast was heavy and favorable,” continued O’Hanley. “It was more upwind at beginning, while we expected a tight reach. Given that we won by only 4 minutes, it’s probably because we did that first leg by one tack. That helped a lot. Once we cracked off it was power reaching down, no kite, the course was fast, but not as fast as the initial forecast.

“Once we rounded the corner at Cuba, that was some of the best sailing I’ve done,” said O’Hanley. “I have never gone that fast for that long, probably six to seven hours of 16 knots of boat speed. We never got to rest; the conditions were such that it was uncomfortable to rest, so we were on our game the entire time.”

O’Hanley praised his crew, which has been together, for the most part, since 2003 when he had his previous Privateer, a Swan 48. “We like the distance races,” he said. “It was really fun for us. This boat was built in New Zealand and designed for heavy-air reaching, and in the two years that I’ve owned it and raced it, we haven’t had these kind of conditions. We’ve gotten better at better at keeping the boat moving and that paid off. We had a few little things break, but nothing catastrophic, nothing that slowed us down for very long. One of our crew members did break a rib — probably 18 hours into the race late at night – when we fell off a wave. We were prepared to put him in, but he is also our medical officer and self-diagnosed. He was a real trooper. He spent watches on rail, spent off watch down below, and was a full contributor.” Crew member Bill Winthrop (Newport, R.I.), a former paramedic and fire fighter, is recovering at home.

True to the legend of this race, which began in 1961, conditions for the two-day-plus race were mixed with winds consistently in the 20-knot range, although slightly different in direction than typically expected. “We had plenty of wind,” said Sturgeon, whose Rosebud/Team DYT was greeted at the finish line with the traditional case of Jamaica’s finest Red Stripe beer. “But it was more on our nose and not typical for this race, not in those proportions.

“Our strategy starting out had us going almost close-hauled,” he said. “From the start we tried to be on the rail as much as possible, but eventually sleep came and we got into a routine, a watch system. For the first part of the race we were beating upwind, except we didn’t tack. We did take one five-minute tack just past Great Isaacs, that’s one of the rocks to get around, actually two tacks. We were on port almost the whole time, but needed to flush the head. We were healed over too far in those conditions to flush. After that, it was slow changes of direction as we went past the Northern Bahamian island of Eluethra.”

Three boats did not start the race: Vincitore, the R/P 52 skippered by Jim Mitchell (Zurich, SUI), Fair Do’s VII, the Ker 46 owned by Marc Glimcher (New York, N.Y.), and IMP, the Ron Holland 39 owned by George Radley (Cork, IRL).

“Vincitore lost its rudder in the delivery to the start, IMP’s electronics failed and Fair Do lost its rigging on way to Fort Lauderdale,” said Felix Hunter, Montego Bay Race Coordinator. “The owners of both Vincitore and IMP, along with some of the crew, came in by air and are here enjoying the time with us in Montego Bay.”

For Sturgeon, whose Rosebud/Team DYT has won many of the world’s great ocean races including the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race as well as last month’s Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race, taking line honors and winning IRC A was a great personal achievement and one he shared with his wife Isobel. “Isobel did very well, she was a trooper,” said Sturgeon of his wife’s second ocean race (her first was the Key West Race). “It’s a great accomplishment. We’re tickled to be here and we think we had a fantastic race. We weren’t after the record, although we did show some respect and at least tried to beat it. Jamaica is beautiful and it feels great to be here.”

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