Monday 22 June 2009

Sir Peter Blake Museum Nears Completion in Auckland

To all sailors everywhere and especially in his home country of New Zealand Sir Peter Blake is fondly remembered with pride and affection. His life, exploits, successes and his huge popularity will always be commemorated. His later environmental works are still going on long after his untimely passing on that fateful day in 2001.

The construction of the new wing of The New Zealand National Maritime Museum which will be a wonderful tribute to Sir Peter and known as 'Blue Water Black Magic', is well under way and expected to be completed by the end of July this year.

It will be a fitting way to remember New Zealands most famous and one of the worlds most famous sailors, hero and general good guy.

Located in the heart of the New Zealand 'super yacht' finishing area at the Viaduct Harbour on the Auckland waterfront, it will be open to all. An inspiration to any visitor it will become a major tourist attraction for domestic and international travellers.

The following is an extract from the NZ National Maritime Museum website

'The New Zealand National Maritime Museum, with the support of the Blake family and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and with significant investment from the New Zealand Government and Auckland City Council, is creating an enduring tribute to a New Zealand hero.

Blue Water Black Magic - A Tribute to Sir Peter Blake will be an engaging, inspiring, educational, fun, family-targeted interactive exhibition in a redeveloped Maritime Museum wing designed by renowned New Zealand architect, Pete Bossley . The Maritime Museum’s Hall of Yachting is being completely redesigned and redeveloped to create an exhibition that will be rich in objects, stories, interactivity, audio visual content and colour.

Featuring the 1995 America’s Cup-winning boat NZL32 – Black Magic, the exhibition commemorates the life and work of Sir Peter, including the America’s Cup challenge and defences, the Jules Verne Trophy, the Whitbread Round-the-World races and other career highlights and personal stories, while also profiling many other key players, innovative designers and thinkers in New Zealand’s boating industry.

Central to the design of the experience is the commitment to engaging young people and families to try out and explore the elements of leadership and determination. To understand that even if “winning is everything”, failure is just as much a part of success - as Sir Peter himself said many times, “if it’s not hard it’s not worth doing”.

Extract courtesy New Zealand National Maritime Museum, images courtesy Pete Bossley Architects.

NZL32 'Black Magic' that won the Americas Cup will be suspended from the roof in August, the following three months will see the full fitout and a 'soft' opening in November with the Official opening taking place in January 2010, which will of course be attended by Sir Peters' wife Lady Pippa and family.

Monday 8 June 2009

Sailing Techniques for Improved Sailboat Performance

As Captain of your own sailboat you will need to be aware of changing conditions (weather, wind and sea) as they occur and take the necessary action so that your boat responds quickly to the new conditions. By anticipating ahead of time what the weather is going to throw at you next and adjusting your boats' attitude to suit, you will get maximum performance and a more comfortable ride for your crew.

The following is an extract from a 'Cruising World' article which lists a number of techniques you can use. They illustrate that by thinking ahead of the weather as best you can, you can keep your boat properly trimmed and sailing at her best.
'Keep an eye on the masthead fly. The wind changes aloft before it does on the water.

Anticipate wind changes by watching to windward. Try to guess in advance what the wind will do next. If you were correct, make a note, and remember what you saw for the next time.

A sudden gust, unless accompanied by a change in direction, will move the apparent wind forward. Your first reaction should be to ease sails, then turn the rudder to bear away.

Before manoeuvreing, always sail at full speed. Wait until the crew is organized, then make your manoeuvre in a puff of wind.

When tacking, start your turn slowly. Increase the rate of turn once the boat is head to wind. Don't allow your jib to back, as this will slow you down.

After tacking, sail a few degrees low to build up speed before sailing up to and trimming for your new course. When sailing downwind, reach up to gain speed after a jibe or any time you feel the boat has lost momentum.
During times of action, assign every member of your crew a specific job. On a well-sailed boat, everyone works in his or her assigned area and stays low.

Keep your crew off the foredeck - weight forward slows a boat.

When steering with the wheel, stand up so you have a greater height of eye. Angle of heel is your most important performance indicator. While helming in light air, never sit to leeward.

To reduce weather helm and keep rudder drag low, do one or a combination of the following: Move crew weight to windward, shorten sail, ease the traveller, ease the sheet, or flatten the mainsail. Your objective is a balanced helm. Too much heel also creates weather helm.

Are you sailing in clear air? Disturbed wind or water dramatically affects speed on boats of all sizes. If your wind is blanketed or you're sailing in choppy water, manoeuvre away.

In light wind, keep the crew still and quiet to allow the trimmers and helmsman to focus on performance without distractions.

Check to see that the telltales on your jib are breaking evenly when you luff. On the mainsail, the top telltale should be just on edge at all times.

When trimming sails, remember that shape is more important than the amount of projected sail area. A sail works at peak efficiency when its draft is 40- to 50-percent aft of the luff. To point higher, move the draft aft. To sail faster, move the draft forward.'

Extract courtesy 'Cruising World'

You can read more about sailing in all weathers' when cruising/passagemaking in my ebook 'Voyage of the Little Ship 'Tere Moana' downloadable from my website