Activity in the boat yards is starting to pick up, and 2021 looks like it’s going to be an exciting season for both Rover and various of her crew racing on other boats! Currently the plan is for Rover to be on the Chesapeake until the Annapolis Yacht Club summer cruise in New England, and very likely she will head south to Fort Lauderdale in the late fall and probably toward the Caribbean for the winter months. In the meantime, various members of the Rover crew plan to race:
- Thursday nights on a J/22 (Rich [driving] and Lisa [foredeck], first half of the series)
- Wednesday nights on a mystery boat (see below) (at least Rich, Lisa and Brian, first half of the series)
In addition I am flattered to have been invited to be the second half of a double-handed race team for a number of weekend races this season on the Chesapeake. I’ll wait to get the owner’s permission before making a reveal on these pages, but the reader is invited to use the comments below to pay “Guess That Boat!” using these snapshots of her keel. Hints: her draft is just under 6 feet and her designer is a marquee name in the industry.
During the semi-quarantine winter of 2020 Lisa and I found that we just couldn’t stand the dark and cold any longer. So even though Rover was hauled out in Annapolis, we flew to Fort Lauderdale for a 5-week stay. Continue reading 2021 Sailing Kickoff: Sabre 425 Daysailing On The Biscayne Bay
I just stumbled across a terrific blog article in a Facebook thread explaining how and why buyers should carefully inspect the mast steps of the Roger Hewson generation of Sabres. This is article serves as a great companion to the Sabre Sailboat Buyer’s Guide I published some time ago. Check it out here.
YouTube channels can be credited with generating excitement about sailing and bringing people into the sport, but those of us who have lived aboard cruising boats for extended spells know that they also paint an unrealistically rosy picture of what the cruising lifestyle is really about. We also know that in many cases YouTubers set bad examples – for example by choosing to cross the Atlantic in a cruising catamaran dangerously late in the season as a publicity stunt, or filming themselves offshore prancing around on deck on the ocean with no jacklines, let along tethers or PFDs. Continue reading Lessons From a YouTube Casualty
Rover is hauled out for the winter here in Annapolis and I’ve spent essentially every free moment for the last two weeks getting her winterized. The process has been about what I expected, which is to say confirmation of why it’s easier to sail these boats 1,000 or more miles south to somewhere warm than to winterize them! Here’s a short list of the task list with some details on the methods I chose: Continue reading Winterizing The Hylas 54 Is a BEAR
After the gale passed yesterday, we found the breeze shifting to the west and easing somewhat, blowing around 20 with gusts to the upper 20s. With the right shift we found a terrible problem with swells bending around the northern corner of the island and coming to violently roll us on the beam. Some months ago Brian send me a link to a YouTube video showing how to rig a “swell bridle” for this situation. The technique involves tying a long line to the anchor chain with a rolling hitch, running it aft to the transom, and then easing out the chain enough that effectively you wind up a gigantic bridle that will hold the boat in the direction you choose (based on how much chain you let out from the bow). We decided to try it out, and it worked great! We were able to point the bow straight into the waves and be far more comfortable even though the waves coming off the Sound were so big they actually caused the boat to pound lightly on occasion! Check out the results in these videos:
Continue reading We Anchored Beam-To After The Gale
We are currently on a slow cruise back from Maine to Annapolis via Long Island Sound, and after dropping anchor in Stonington, Connecticut this past Sunday (September 27) we checked the forecast and saw this rather ominous graphical representation of the winds for Tuesday (September 29) night / early Wednesday (September 30) morning:
Continue reading Riding Out a Gale At Anchor!
Literally. It was s**tty.
It all started when the seals on our windlass decided to pack it in over the weekend, leaking gear oil over the decks and into the anchor locker. Wanting to avoid getting water in the gear oil and fearing we could damage the windlass further if the oil level got too low, we motored to Southwest Harbor to see if we could get a marine shop to take the windlass in for a rebuild. Monday morning I took on the huge job getting it taken apart and removed from the boat. Continue reading My August Week Off From Work Was S**tty. Plain S**tty.
Our WordPress website data shows that over the last six years of blogging my yacht reviews are the most popular posts with our readers by a considerable margin. The data surprised me somewhat, since I am neither an industry nor sailing professional. No matter – I love writing them and people seem to love reading them so I’m going to keep them coming! Having covered thousands of miles aboard our own 2006 Hylas 54, Rover, and as crew aboard the 2015 Hylas 56 Odette, I thought it was high time I put my reflections on these yachts down on paper for the benefit of anyone who might be interested. Moving forward, I plan to segment my yacht reviews into the following sections:
- Designer’s Intended Use (to put the review in context)
- Design Characteristics
- Performance Under Sail
- Sailing Dynamics & Handling
- Performance Under Power
- Handling When Docking
- Ground Tackle Fittings
- Quality / Fit & Finish
Continue reading Hylas 54 Yacht Review!
We bet a lot of you wonder how it’s going with three of the four of us working day jobs from the boat. It’s an interesting question because while I have been working from boats for long periods full time for several seasons between Rover and our prior boat, Le Saberage, those experiences were very different in that the boats tended to stay in one marina for weeks at a time, most often at a slip. That meant marina-supplied WiFi, electrical power supplied from the marina, and a known cell phone signal strength.
Continue reading “You Work From The Boat Full Time? How’s That Going?”