Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Boat Crash

So we are a few months out from the warmer boating season and with that comes inexperienced boaters doing dumb things as shown in this video. The man that drove this boat and caused this crash, that could have taken the lives of 3 people said it was not his fault because he could not see over the bow. So dude because you can not see over the bow means you can just run over people. If you can not see over the bow you place a person near the bow who can act as a lookout, one of the basics of safe boating, or slow down so you can see in front of you. I teach safe boating classes for the state of Idaho and one thing we teach is to always wear your life jacket and keep a look out, etc. If any of you have not taken a safe boating course you can do so online for a fee or take a class from me, from the US Coast Guard (which I am a member of auxilary), or from your are sheriff Department, State Parks and Rec., etc. for free most of the time.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Worlds Fastest Sailboats

I wrote this article on Dec. 4th 2011 and so I thought it's time to update this article as a lot of records have fallen since 2011. The debate about how fast sailboats can go and/or speed differences between monohulls and multihulls can sometimes be a ridiculously contentious debate. It can be like talking about politics. So I think the best way to resolve this debate is to state facts, so here are the facts as supplied by the World Speed Sailing Records Council.

November 2012 off the coast of Walvis Bay, Namibia the Vestas Sailrocket was able to set three sailing records. 1. Top speed, (2.) 500 meet record top speed, and 24 hour record. Currently the Top Speed and 500 meter records is at an amazing 65.45 knots (75.2 mph). The nautical mile record is also by Vestas at an average speed of 55.32 knots. These records are not likely to be broken for some time. It should be noted this sailing craft can only sail on flat protected waters in one direction, so is not able to tack, jib, etc. Watch this amazing sailing craft...

The top speed record for a sailboat that can actually sail in open waters and able to tack, etc. goes to the trimaran l’Hydroptere. For 500 meters it hit a speed of 51.36 knots, which is almost 60 mph (59.33 MPH). They also did 24 hours at an average speed of 50.17 knots. Next phase for the design team is to develop an ocean going model. So look for many ocean records to be broke shortly.

Many felt circumnavigating the globe by water in under 50 days was impossible but that impossibility happened when the Trimaran Groupama 3 did it in 48 days, but then the trimaran Banque Populaire V did it in 45 days. Then the unthinkable happened when the trimaran IDEC Sport 3 skippered by Francis Joyon did it in 40 days, 23 hours, 30 minutes, 30 seconds. So maybe breaking 40 days is possible. This catamaran also set the 24 hour record at an average speed of 37.83 knots/43.53 mph. An interesting note is all three trimarans mentioned here are one and the same boat but was raced under 3 different names. What is amazing is the closest a power boat could get to this record was 60 days with the jet boat Ady Gil. However this was not non stop as they had to stop 12 times to refuel. The USS Navy nuclear-powered submarine USS Triton also did it in 60 days… 2 hours faster and non stop totally submerged.

The fastest speeds around a race course go to the Americas Cup (AC) catamarans. The older AC72 catamarans were fast, clocked at 44.15 knots for the 2013 America's Cup. After the 2013 event the AC cats were reduced to 48 ft but turned out to be faster and were clocked at 46 knots. Certainly these AC cats are the fastest sailboats ever to sail around a racing course, however this class of cats are now dead as a future racing class. When New Zealand won the 2017 America's Cup they announced the next America's Cup event would be raced on slower monohulls. Sad new to some, particularly the younger generation that loved the excitement of the fast high speed formula like racing. If you are sad about this news, no worries as foiling cats are here to say... see the next paragraph to see why.

The Extreme Sailing Series has been going on for years aboard 40 foot non foiling cats and then in 2016 they moved to the smaller but faster GC32 foiling cats. For many the Extreme Sailing Series moving to foiling cats was a big deal with the let down of the America's Cup no longer being raced on foiling cats. So via the Extreme Sailing Series one can still get their high speed foiling fix by watch spectacular racing and crashes. The GC32 top speed is 40.2 knots thus far off the pace of a AC cat but at a smaller size very impressive. Check the racing out at

In a smaller size of 18 feet is Flying Phantom that can hit speeds of 34.9 knots. There are several companies manufacturing 18 foot foiling catamarans but the Flying Phantom is the most popular at this point.

And finally the smallest and fastest sailboat is the foiling 12 foot catamaran called the UFO. This boat when foiling cat has hit 24.8 knots with a solo sailor. We will be posting more about this boat on FunToSAIL website shortly.

It should be noted that foils take work to maintain and the GC32 sells for $300,000 and the Fly Phantom sells for about $45,000. So for the average sailor these foiling cats are not the best choice for the weekend warrior. However the UFO sells for $7,000 and foils are fairly low maintenance do in part to the boats small size.

The sailboat that started the whole speed junky and off the beach surf craze is the undisputed king of beach cats, the 16 foot Hobie 16. This cat has been clocked at 25.9 knots, with GPS speed reports of up to 27 knots. When it comes to a non-foiling cat which was first built in 1970 its fast and continues to be the most sailed and raced worldwide. In addition with the addition of the Trapseats (wing like hammock seats the attach to either side of the boat) one with a disAbility that limited mobility can also sail this cat.


Top speed unofficially is 32.45 knots aboard the 140' Mari-Cha IV, sustained for short bursts. Since no monohull is hitting speeds of 40 knots or more the World Sailing Speed Record Council has no records of top speeds other than during monohulls record attempts at 24 hours or longer. Again some large high performance monohulls have hit over 30 knots for a very short time.

New monohull 24 hour record confirmed. The World Sailing Speed Record Council has ratified a new monohull 24 hour record set by skipper Ken Read (USA) and 20 crew on the 100-foot Comanche on July 10-11. While competing in the 2015 Transatlantic Race, Comanche covered a distance of 618.01 nm, averaging 25.75 knots.Jul 20, 2015

The 84 foot Banque Populaire VIII, skippered by Armel Le Cléac'h (FRA) went around the world in 74 days, 3 hours.


A note of interest with the next America's Cup 36, the sailboats used will be foiling monohulls so we should see some new monohull records.

CONCLUSION: So there you have it the official records to establish the facts.

And just to get another debate going what top speed have you had your sailboat going? Make a comment below.

Hobie Co. indicated in the mid 70's of a H16 doing 26.2 mph, and officially advertised a speed of 25.9 mph in the early 80's. Check out the Hobie forum for speed info. A Hobie 21 was recorded going 32.5 knots (proof is posted) . Take a look at this video of a Hobie 16 doing 22.3 mph. I recorded the speed of 26 knots on my Reynolds 33 catamaran. I bet I have gone faster on this big cat but unfortunately I did not have a GPS with me.

An Olympic Tornado catamaran was recorded hitting 36 knots. And a Laser monohull was recorded doing 16.8 knots in a storm.

No matter what speed you are going its slicing silently across the water that makes it all so enjoyable.

By Miles Moore of

Friday, December 29, 2017

Snark Stories

1960 Sea Snark with Kool cigarette sail logo

First Generation
When I was twelve I scraped together all the money I had made from yard work, doing piecework in my Dad's machine shop, and anything else I could scrounge and bought a sailboat--a Sea Snark, then in it's first incarnation (1960) and I've kept it ever since. My Dad taught me the basics, but soon was sailing solo. The original Snark had an unprotected hull made of expanded polystyrene ("Styrofoam") with a plastic sail and a very flimsy plywood rudder that lasted only two summers.  The plastic sail was soon replaced with a red and white nylon sail bought from the manufacturers. That's me on the far left, peeking around the sail, at age twelve.

Second Generation
I sailed it on Clark Lake in Michigan for most of my growing-up years.  The centerboard was lost and replaced with one made from marine plywood scrounged from the garage.  It didn't see much use during my college days until the summer of my Junior year.  I had my wife-to-be (then girl friend) up to visit.  We had sailed it to the far West end of the lake and practically becalmed when my Dad arrived in his Aztec and buzzed the house to let us know to pick him up in Napoleon.  Kathy was not pleased to meet her future father-in-law looking wind-blown and red-faced.  After we were married a few years Kathy sewed up the blue and yellow sail to replace the now-shredded red and white sail.

Third Generation
When I joined the staff of Campus Crusade in 1974 and moved to Florida, I took the Sea Snark with us.  We sailed it in Tampa bay and Daytona Beach.  Once while sailing peacefully across Tampa Bay a dugong surfaced and exhaled noisily right next to us, scaring us well into the next century.  We move to Indiana in 1976, then California in 1980 where we began to sail on Mission Bay in San Diego and Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino mountains.  This picture shows me sailing with Josh at about age three.

Fourth Generation
I recently made a new sail from my old hang glider and we tried it out on Mission bay recently.  It was bordered with 1" webbing that was sewn into the boom/spar edges of the sail. Where they cross they were sewn together and a brass grommet inserted.  The stainless steel hinge bolt (between the boom and spar) runs through this grommet and anchors the sail.  The opposite ends of the webbing are anchored to the boom and spar with hose clamps.  Small holes melted every foot along the length of the edges allow nylon cable ties to fix the sail to the boom and spar leaving the aluminum entirely visible.

Here are some fun videos of fellow Snark sailors :)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Last Racing of the Year!

This is it the last racing of the year via the Extreme Sailing Series, don't miss the action by watching the racing at their youtube channel
Racing begins Thursday/Nov. 30 at 14:00 local time (UTC-7). Fans can follow the action via the live blog on race day one and two and can watch the live stream on Facebook and YouTube on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December from 14:00 – 17:00 local time.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017