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How to avoid expensive mistakes when you buy a new or second-hand yacht. 

Available on Amazon here


Icom IC-M35We review the Icom IC-M35 handheld.  Read the full review here.

GMDSS A User's Handbook

By Denise Bréhaut

GMDSS A user's handbook








The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) provides a fast and efficient way of calling for assistance at sea, whatever the size of craft or its geographical position. Since it was first published, this book has helped explain the system for anyone using GMDSS and has been excellent pre-course reading for students.



SafaSail HatThe SafaSail Hard Hat looks just like a sailing cap, but will help protect you if you get a bang to the head.  See our review here

Letters: Thank you Cathy Brown

Reproduced from Scuttlebut Europe

From Eero Lehtinen: Thank you Cathy Brown for pushing the alarm button what comes to the unacceptable ocean racing carnage recently produced by Vendee Globe, Volvo Ocean Race and Portimao Global Race.
In 1981, at the age of seventeen, I was eagerly following my older brother's adventure in the Whitbread race while dreaming about doing it once myself. My turn came eight years later (89/90) when I was fortunate to sail on three (or actually four...) different maxis on the six legs of this ocean classic. I still remember how it was at the same time scary and frustrating to crew on UBF (Union Bank of Finland), which was an innovative but poorely finished Joubert/Nivelt design rapidly earning the nickname "Usually Breaks First" among the competition.
Jumping boats in Australia to another Finnish maxi, Martela, was like an upgrade from economy to business class what comes to reliability and functionality... until the whole Speedwave keel structure failed and we were waiting for a lift on an upside down turned hull of the Frers designed beauty queen. Only a perfect timing of the catastrophe and some spare luck prevented a real tragedy outside of Mar del Plata... just a couple of days after we had sailed around Cape Horn. As a result of this I got a taster of skipper legend Pierre Fehlman's Merit for a speedy 24-hour sprint to Punta del Este finally finishing the eventful race doing the last two legs on the Swedish maxi ketch, The Card. The Farr designed Card as a boat and her routined and experienced crew made sailing so much more enjoyable as everything was holding and the boat was under control 24/7. As a consequence, the racing was hundred times more enjoyable and also results were clearly better.
What has happened to the good old saying... "to finish first you first have to finish"? An important part of a successful ocean racing campaign has always been a healthy balance between reliability, performance and optimised human factor on and below the deck. Recently the greedy designers and their "perfect world" routing and optimising softwares have pushed the whole show to the edge and beyond good seamanship what comes to safety margins and reliable equipment. The sailors' comments are hardcore, and quite frankly, I don't see many of them really loving it as it used to be. Are the round the world sailors becoming the new generation of gladiators, satisfying the drama hungry audience?
I have two talented and successful teenaged dinghy sailors at home, but as things are looking at the moment, I would never want to see them getting involved with the type of grand prix ocean racing we currently are witnessing. If we cannot educate the media and the public to get interested in close and exciting ocean racing where the best of the best are giving their 120% to beat their opposition, we shouldn't sell the show at the cost of the sailors' safety. It is fair to say that the sailors' guardian angels have been extremely busy lately and things could have easily turned even more traumatic than we (so far) have seen.
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