Sunday 29 June 2008

Emergency Shroud Kit Strikes a Chord

When passagemaking weight can become a real factor in deciding what you can and cannot take onboard with you.

You have to strike a balance between overloading your boat with so much stuff she loses performance and won't sail well, and carrying enough gear to get you to your destinations safely with your yacht in good shape, the crew well fed and in good health and without losing the sailing abilities of your boat.

Spare shrouds and stays which are weighty and difficult to stow (large coils), therefore rarely are included in the inventory of a cruising vessel. However, if you lose one on passage it presents a critical situation which must be fixed immediately. It is a tricky procedure to jury rig one whilst at sea.

A company called Colligo have come up with a lightweight solution called the Emergency Shroud Kit and is an option to be considered.

The kit comes in a sealed plastic bag containing enough 7mm Dynex line to replace a 50ft, quarter-inch stay, complete with a line terminator ready-spliced to one end. Another line terminator is provided with splicing instructions, together with 20ft of lashing line and a short length of tube for chafe protection.

Colligo reckon a shroud can be replaced in about 15 minutes. Replacement rigging is so bulky and heavy that many boats fail to carry it - this sounds like a practical, lightweight solution.

Having had to replace a forestay in port (Galapagos Islands) and a intermediate shroud at sea during my voyage, this kit certainly strkes a chord with me.

You can read more about these episodes in my ebook 'Voyage of the Little Ship 'Tere Moana' downloadable from my website

Reproduced courtesy Colligo Marine

Friday 20 June 2008

Nexus HPC Compass Transducer for Racing

For all you racing Officianados out there, here is a brand new unit from Nexus for calculating true and apparent wind angles etc. in extreme conditions when racing.

It has just been launched worldwide.
Read on..............


The Nexus HPC represents a real advance in high-end racing compass transducers. The Swedish-based navigation instrumentation specialists, Nexus Marine AB, have launched a high-performance compass transducer into the worldwide market to provide users with unrivalled accuracy even under the most demanding of conditions.

The Nexus HPC (Heel Pitch Compensated) Compass uses the latest materials and precision engineering techniques to give an accuracy of plus/minus 1° to a maximum heel of 60°, vastly superior to the majority of compass transducers currently available.Fully compatible with the Nexus NX2 and NXR instrumentation systems, the HPC Compass features a six-axis configuration that also incorporates heel and pitch, giving exceptional results for data such as true wind angle even when the boat is at a substantial angle of heel.

Size matters; The HPC Compass Transducer also comes with a network bus and an NMEA 0183 output port, enabling it to be fully integrated with most modern instrumentation systems available today, and yet the entire instrument is only the size of a small mobile telephone.This product represents a real advance in the design and manufacture of high-end racing compass transducers. It combines accuracy and the capability to integrate with a wide range of navigation systems with a sophisticated and compact structure that requires minimal space or maintenance.

The HPC is offered as a standard component of the Nexus family of instrumentation systems, and it can also be purchased as a standalone unit for upgrading existing systems.

The HPC is distributed globally and is available from all good chandleries.

Worldwide distributors are listed on the company’s website:

reproduced courtesy Blue Sheets Marine Directory and Nexus Marine.

You can read more about true and apparent wind angles when cruising in my ebook 'Voyage of the Little Ship 'Tere Moana' downloadable from my website

Thursday 19 June 2008

QuikSCAT Global Weather Data

Here is an interesting weather data website showing wind strengths globally. It is not a forecast and the data can be up to 22 hours previous, depending on any changes in the hourly updates.

Just click on the ocean area you are interested in and it will zoom in giving you the wind feathers in colour.

Ocean Surface Winds Derived from the SeaWinds Scatterometer.

This page includes CURRENT DATA. For previous day's data, click here.

The following map displays the ocean surface winds at a 10m height from today's satellite passes as processed by NOAA/NESDIS, from near real-time data collected by NASA/JPL's SeaWinds Scatterometer aboard the QuikSCAT.

For additional information about SeaWinds or QuikSCAT, please visit JPL's Scatterometer web site. The current empirically derived model function being used by to relate normalized radar cross-section with wind speed and direction is referred to as QSCAT1. The map below has been divided into 30x20 degree bins for closer examination between latitudes 80N to 80S and longitudes 180W to 180E. Just click on the desired geographical location and hopefully a closer look will be provided. Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

Please Note: While these wind data are obtained from the operational data stream available at NOAA/NESDIS, this web site is not maintained with 24x7 support.

The Multidimensional Histogram (MUDH) rain flag is being used at this time.The wind vector retrievals thought to be rain contaminated are colored in black. While not perfect, the MUDH rain flag appears to mark many of the suspect vectors in regions of probable precipitation, epecially in the tropical latitudes.Rain can contaminate the wind retrievals, especially in situations with moderate to heavy rain rates.Please read the product release notes and this note concerning the near real-time QuikSCAT wind products.

Updates hourly with any available new data.The images may contain data up to 22 hours previous from update time. Details of orbit data files that go into the plots can be found here.

reproduced courtesy Paul Chang NOAA

You can read more about weather and reading local conditions when cruising, in my ebook 'Voyage of the Little Ship 'Tere Moana' downloadable from my website