Thursday, May 29, 2008

Newport 30 Owners Review

Debbie has put together a nice review of the Newport 30 MKIII.
Newport Sailboats were built by Capital Yachts, Inc. from 1971 to 1996 in Harbor City California. This review will focus on the Newport 30-III, our is a 1985 Newport 30 III.

The Newport 30-III came with either a standard keel (5′ 2″) or shoal draft keel (4′ 0″). The ballast on the Newport is a solid lead and alloy keel. Galvanized iron keel bolts are permanently locked in place by positioning them in the keel at the time it’s poured. An epoxy adhesive is applied to the top of the keel before it is bolted to the keel recess in the hull. Fiberglass cloth is bonded over the entire joined area to further seal it. A resin filler mixture is poured into the keel recess and allowed to harden. This means the keel bolts and nuts are now permanently locked and should never have water come in contact with them. Sail-away displacement averaged 8,500 lbs.

They came standard with a 2-cycle diesel engine. There are times when you could wish for a slightly larger engine but our Universal diesel is proving to be a good little workhorse. We average a half a gallon per hour with ours and given the cost of fuel these days that feels pretty good.

The hull to deck is bonded and bolted with an anodized toe rail. The toe rail is a nice additional detail that Capital Yachts did and isn’t always found on older boats of similar make and size. The anchor locker is at the bow and self contained so you don’t have foul smells venturing into the V-berth.

The mast is deck stepped and an optional item at production time was the jib roller furling. Our Newport 30 came with the roller furling option and lines led to the cockpit. Yes, you loose a bit in sail shape with a furler however if you’re not going to race then it’s much nicer to stay in the cockpit when working the sail.

A boom vang and masthead fly are two extremely important optional items that were offered. It’s hard to know the wind direction and a mast head fly will always be pointing in the direction the wind is coming FROM. It’s nice to quickly glance up to figure out the proper trim or a course change.

A boom vang, which will hold the boom horizontal when off the wind, will come with some of these older boats. If it was dealer installed is would most likely be rigged from the boom to a bail at the base of the mast so it doesn’t have to be down rigged when gybing. This is an added safety feature in case of an accidental gybe the boom would swing over without lifting up and maybe catching the leech of the mainsail on the leeward spreader.

Pedestal steering was another option other wise you’ll find a tiller. If you buy a Newport 30 III with wheel steering, periodically check for loosened bolts and cable tension. Also look for wear or ‘fish’ hooks on the cable and replace as necessary. Three or four time a year, depending upon the frequency of use, lightly oil the chain, pedestal shaft bearings and sheave bearings with a 3-in-one oil as part of your maintenance routine.

Swim ladders on the stern were another option. They make getting back aboard much more convenient. If you’ve not read yet about how to have a safer swim ladder than maybe you should.

The cabin is well laid out and the 10′ 8″ beam gives you more space inside than the average 30 footer plus those of you who are tall will appreciate the extra headroom. The salon is open as the dinette table folds and stores against the bulkhead and when in place and opened it will comfortably seat six adults. The V-berth comes with a teak door for privacy and with the center insert of the V-berth removed offers a nice amount of room to change clothes.

The head is just aft of the V-berth and is nice in size. The standard was a vanity with storage outboard and below, shower with foot pump (ours is upgraded to pressure water), toilet with holding tank and manual discharge in approved areas, teak door with mirror.

The port settee slides out to form a double berth and there is a single berth to starboard. Ample stowage can be found both behind and under these. The teak interior is beautiful and classic giving warmth to the cabin.

The aft galley came standard with a serving island, double stainless steel sink, gimbaled stove and icebox. For this size boat the galley is well sized as it gives the cook enough room to work comfortably. They came with an icebox and we did an ice box conversion and now have a 12 volt fridge which is really nice.

The nav-station was well thought out for this size boat. The nav seat is body formed and the chart table slides away when not in use. There is a teak drawer below the table and a chart light above. It is a comfortable work area and nearly disappears when one needs to use the quarter berth.

They have fresh water storage for about 70 gallons and the fuel tank holds about 30 gallons. There have been some issues with blisters but they have been easy to fix at least on ours. The Newport 30 III is a nice coastal cruiser with a big boat feel.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Leap From 25 Miles Up Fails

He has worked on this project of jumping from space for over 20 years. Spent $20M on the preparation and when it's time to leave, his still inflating balloon floats away without him. Sounds like a bonehead move to me! Read the full story, here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Divers Survive 19 hours at Sea

Two divers were left behind in shark infested waters in the Great Barrier Reef area. Not panicing was the key to their survival. Read the full story here.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Mac Attack

As you know, I am a Mac lover (since 84) and I found a cool navigation set-up that is very functional for less than $1k. A mac-mini running MacENC and a touch pad screen. I just purchased a several year old mac-mini from a friend for $100 so this system could be set up for a lot less than a grand. Check the details here.

Flickr World

This is one of the coolest web pages I have ever seen!! You type in a tag and the pics start floating onto the screen to create a huge globe of hundreds of cool pics from flickr. Then click on any of the pics to make it bigger. Click again and you will be taken to the flickr page where the photo lives. Just for fun type in "burningman" and see what happens.

T-Lapse SF Bay

This footage was recorded overlooking the SF Bay on Saturday, March 1, 2008. You'll see lots of races and of course the big freighters. Check this very cool vid, here..

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ko Phi Phi Dive - Thailand

Some of the most awesome diving we ever did was off the islands of Phuket. This video will give an idea of how wonderful it is. On one dive we saw 8 Lion Fish. You will also see the ubiquitous Clown Fish. Check it out and learn how to scuba so you can enjoy these wonders!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Boat Repo

I have been seeing more and more big motor yachts for sale at our marina. Many with price tags of over $250k. Many folks can't afford their monthly payments or the cost of fuel for a weekend on the bay. The following article was featured on Sailing Anarchy about folks that can no longer afford their big and small boats. Read on.

Pic of the Day

Caught in a very low tide!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mono vs. Cat

I have always been a monohull sailor and the reason for it is you can feel the boat in the water, you have much more awareness of the boat, wind and water on a monohull. However, there are lots of folks who swear by cats and love them for their speed, comfort (especially at anchor where they don't rock like a mono) and the fact that you can put a drink down in 20 knots of wind and it will still be there 10 minutes later. Now that's a cool feature. The other feature that cats have over a monohull is the amount of room and space on a cat. Loads of it. The downside of a cat is that you are paying double and sometimes triple the cost of a similar size mono. I found an old video on Wetass of a very fast cat chasing a very fast monohull. Guess who won the race?

Rented EPIRB Saves Lives

The owner and captain of a 48-foot charter sailboat credits a rented BoatUS Emergency Beacon (EPIRB)for helping save four lives when their boat struck a submerged object early on the morning of Tuesday, May 13, about 200 miles east of Brunswick, GA. The charter sailboat, the S/V Wolf, had been in transit to Bayshore, New Jersey.

The collision with the unknown object led to significant damage of Wolf, allowing it to take on water. Emergency efforts to stem the flow failed and bilge pumps could not keep up with the volume of water entering, leading Captain Paul Doughty to activate the beacon at approximately 5:00 AM.

Fifteen minutes later Captain Doughty called a May Day on a satellite phone to the USCG rescue center, which notified Doughty and his crew of three aboard Wolf that the EPIRB signal had already been identified and that the USCG Cutter Reliance had been directed to the foundering sailboat’s location. As luck would have it, the Reliance was just six miles from Wolf’s location.

Upon arrival at the stricken charter boat, the Reliance’s crew dropped a Rescue Assistance Vessel over the side and safely removed all four mariners. As the seas were nearly 10-feet, it was determined to be too dangerous to make further salvage attempts. With its interior now full of water and only its cabin top remaining above the waves, the sailboat was left to the mercy of the depths.

“It was amazing,” says Capt. Doughty, who has rented BoatUS EPIRBs on several previous occasions. The $750 EPIRBs can be rented from the Foundation for as little as $40 a week. “Shortly after I got off the satellite phone, the cutter was there. The EPIRB was instrumental in saving our lives. It just goes to show how important planning for this very thing is,” he added.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Meaning of the Song: American Pie

Remember This One?

Slo Mo

See more funny videos at CollegeHumor

Sailing Resources

Our boat, "Addiction". Click the pic for a much larger view.

Sailing is a big part of my life and I love being out on the bay. Yesterday I had one of those magic moments that I love so much. I woke up about 5am and headed up to the boat for a sunrise sail. The wind was blowing over 20 in spots and I had to reef the jib as I sailed for sunny Sausalito. As I got to the far side of Angel the sun broke thru the fog. I had tea and raspberry pancakes going in the cockpit. Everywhere around me was foggy except the sun was shinning bright on Sausalito. The fog was thundering down the hill and it was just me and some distant fishing boats as I hove to for breakfast. So sweet! On the way back I had a perfect angle on the wind as it pulled me towards the San Francisco skyline. I locked the wheel and headed up on deck and had an amazing sail towards the city as she basked in the sunshine. It was a beautiful moment in my sailing life!

There are few sites that I frequent when I am going sailing and when I want to bring myself up to date in the sailing world.

For the local forecast, realtime wind on the bay as well as tide predictions, I go to

If I want an overview of the bay wind conitions (as well as many other places where there are sailors and wind), I go to

The best sailing mag on the west coast is Latitude 38. If you sign up for 'Lectronic Latitude, they will send you a thrice weekly email update on happenings around the bay and around the world. Sign up here.

So those are my top three. Check them out!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Dead Show & KABOOM!

30 years ago, I was traveling across the country headed for college at UNLV from the east coast. I was driving with my roommate Bob, who suggested we stop by to see the Grateful Dead show at Red Rocks outside Denver. So we headed in to see a band that I had heard about but I did not know their music. We had a great time. The folks at the show were very friendly and giving. The music was awesome as well. So that started my ongoing relationship with the Dead. Since they are from the Bay Area, there were lots of opportunities to see them at the Greek, Stanford, Shoreline and Kaiser. Yes, I am a Deadhead! So when Rachel (Bob's wife) called and asked if I could meet them in Denver and surprise Bob at the Phil Lesh Shows, I jumped at the chance. I flew to Denver and gave Bob a great thrill as we don't see each other that much as he lives in Montana. Little did I realize that Phil has put together a great band featuring vocalist/guitarist Jackie Green. The band plays mostly old Dead songs and all my favs! Went to two shows and we had a blast. They are in SF next week and if you enjoy songs like Sugar Magnolia, Trucking, Casey Jones and Uncle John's Band, then you should go to the shows at the Warfield!!

Tonight, we are back in SF for the KABOOM fireworks show on the bay. We will have 10 folks out on our boat for dinner and fun! Can't wait!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

One Year Later - 1000 Days at Sea

Reid has spent over a year sailing his schooner over the seas in his quest for 1000 days at sea. If you have been following his story, his young lady friend jumped ship about 8 months into the journey. Reid soldiers on without her and I can imagine he is one tired dude as he manages a ship that would normally take a crew of 4-5 to sail. Here is an entry from earlier this week.

A light gale with waves from the west picked up and the NE waves from the five day storm kept coming. It was a wild ride and a good thing I had double reefs in both my foresails when the squalls came through. I felt like Paul Revere with a mission and a message as I rode through the night and waved appreciation at the patches of stars that showed up through the ragged clouds. Before dark I was geared up and moving around the schooner and studying her from different vantage points, so from the pilot house during the night as I heard different noises, I felt confident we weren't breaking things. Before dawn the cresent moon floated like a boat above the eastern horizon. In the morning I did feel like a horseback rider who had ridden through the night catching snatches of sleep on the run. As I checked the deck before coffee I patted my foremast on the brow and said “You did good”. The first thing I saw was a rainbow behind us to the west and our first Pacific flying fish on deck. The Schooner Anne gallops inexorably onwards knowing there's no stopping. Both of us are nursing a little fatigue, pulled reigns and sore muscles and the migration of the yearning is longer than we have experienced. We ride great forces of nature through time and our timing and positioning are still good, thank goodness.

618 more days to go!

For more on Reid's journey, click here.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

BVI Slideshow

Our BVI trip is online in a slideshow format. You will see some pics from the Full Moon Party at Trellis Bay, the yacht, the crew and some of our adventures. To see the pics, click here.

Monday, May 05, 2008

That Sinking Feeling

Not sure who has the right of way here. (Click the pic for a larger image).

A maiden voyage is typically a memorable event. But four Bay Area residents will certainly never forget their first sail aboard Elenaki, their fiberglass-hulled Folkboat which sank off Sausalito yesterday. Boat partners Jim McKee and Markos Kounalakis with his five- and six-year-old boys set out from Sausalito Yacht Harbor after christening Elenaki, when at about 12:30 p.m. they noticed the boat's freeboard diminishing.

"We did not have a lot of reaction time," Kounalakis said. "As I went down to grab the radio, the interior was already full of water — the boat sank within 30 seconds."

A passing good samaritan heard Elenaki's mayday and picked the four out of the water in what Kounalakis said was about a minute and a half. "The man and his wife pulled it off with great alacrity," he said. "By the time we were aboard, the Coast Guard had already been called and showed up within five minutes." Once aboard they were treated to blankets and towels. Kounalakis told us he'd first learned to sail while a graduate student in Sweden in 1980 — fittingly on a Folkboat, albeit a wooden one. He said that on Sunday they'd made sure all the seacocks were closed prior to departing the dock. He couldn't be sure of the source of the leak, but suspected it was in the outboard-motor well — which housed a brand new outboard no less. Currently he's working on salvaging the boat, which is sitting on her keel with sails still up and showing, just inside the Richardson Bay Channel entrance dolphin.

As for Kounalakis, who's published Washington Monthly Magazine for the last seven years, and has a nationally-syndicated weekly radio show on XM station POTUS '08, he doesn't sound discouraged by Sunday's adventure. "This is not the bookend," he said. "There is more to come and more adventures to be had — and we want all of them to be above waterline."

From Latitude 38


Top Rock Songs

What do "A Day in the Life", "Crossroads", and "Born to be Wild" have in common? They are all part of a list called "The 100 Greatest Rock Songs". Check it here.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Pic of the Day

Kite Boat Sails to Hawaii

It was a muggy Sunday morning on Maui's western tip. The gleaming Pacific lapped at ruins of the old pier at Mala Wharf. A deceptively quiet morning, there was no blaring indicator that a green-movement milestone was about to be achieved.

Like any morning on the island, day trippers poised at boat launches, backing their boats into the water, tying and untying knots, and dusting off their sea legs. Many likely groaned at the dent fuel would put into their wallets.

But not Dan Tracy and crew, who were gearing up to sail from Maui to Molokai in a kite-powered, 24-foot Corsair trimaran. While Tracy and crew have taken the boat out before — and even made the news for catching a 20-pound ono while fishing from the boat — this was the first inter-island voyage for the unique vessel. With the water at Mala Wharf "perfectly calm," conditions looked ideal.

The kite apparatus, which Maine native and lifelong sailor/fisherman Tracy designed and built, looks absolutely nothing like any watercraft outside the imagination.

"This is the most complicated, sophisticated apparatus outside of 'Waterworld' that you'll see," said crewmember Brian Thomas, who has been sailing since before he was born (his mother having been an avid sailor), as he helped prepare the kite for its unprecedented voyage.

There is no mast. Instead, an elaborate array of ropes, pulleys, and a giant hand-cranked winch sits atop an elevated area of the boat. This is how the 18-square-foot kite is controlled. Everything, including, of course, a chair for the driver, is attached to a rotating platform that allows the driver to harness the wind from any direction.

An outboard engine helps the boat into and out of harbors and assists the kite in times of low wind. Other than that, Tracy's boat relies solely on wind.

The kite's high elevation allows it to catch stronger, steadier wind than a conventional sail, which makes for quicker travel time.

Tacking across the wind of the Pailolo Channel — a waterway that is known to be rough — Sunday morning, the boat reached a top speed of more than 11 knots. The kite pulled the boat slightly up out of the water, easing the blow of the roughest chop. Tracy sat at the wheel as the other crewmembers — Thomas and Maui Community College Sustainability Club President Chris Taylor — took turns working other parts of the vessel. The crew and passengers glided over high swells with ease, talking story and catching sea spray. Sharing a Molokai papaya, they attempted pirate jokes and talked politics.

The crew made it to Molokai's East End in less than three hours' time before dropping off a passenger and heading back to Maui.

Hopping out of the boat, Tracy's elation was apparent as his feet touched Molokai sand.

Roundtrip, Tracy, said, the boat used a total of three gallons of gas; less than half of what it would normally take.

Of course, this isn't it for the Tracy's kite sail. There are other courses to chart, and implements to develop, he says, if he is to take this technology worldwide.

German company Skysails is also currently looking into using a similar technology to power cargo vessels and super-yachts.

In the beginning, all Tracy wanted was "a clearer deck for running a fishing boat" than a standard catamaran could offer. Now his idea has caught the eye of green-thinking individuals and corporations worldwide.

Tracy's kite boat might help make the oil slick rainbows that strangle the surface of stagnant waterways a thing of the past. It may change the sound and smell of a summer day.

As for a name for his boat, Tracy is waiting for the right one, but it will definitely be in Hawaiian.

Chain Surfing - Watch!

Ski Team: Impossible