What’s in a Rig? The Ketch

What’s in a Rig Series #4

Ketch rigs hold a special place in many a cruising sailor’s heart. There’s something dignified and majestic about them. They are two masted rigs with a main mast and a (smaller) mizzenmast – they carry a jib just like a sloop. Generally, ketches will be in the 40-plus foot range. The reasoning for this is that before sailing hardware and gizmotology (yes, we invented a word) was as advanced as it is now, designers were looking for ways to carry a good amount of sail, but make it manageable at the same time. This configuration served that purpose and while doing so also gave sailors quite a few options for various weather conditions and situations.

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Language of the Sea

Language of the Sea

It’s amazing how much influence sailing has had on society; right down to the words we speak. This was once a world that was predicated upon the activity of sailboats. The lands we discovered, the goods we needed and the wars we fought were all about sailing. But let’s focus on language for sec. It’s fascinating that the terms that were born on tall ships hundreds of years ago are still in our modern vernacular. Here’s a game – check out this guy talking about his job and see how many old-school nautical terms you spot. Post the number and in a couple of days we’ll let you know if you caught them all and what their origins are. Good luck!

So, I have to tell ya… Lately, I’ve been making money hand over fist. Some of my colleagues think it has something to do with a slush fund, but believe me, it’s all on the up and up.

It’s like this: I met some investors, we talked and they seemed to like the cut of my jib. They taught me how to work this new system that I can’t really talk about – can’t let the cat out of the bag, but I learn the ropes, I’m completely gung ho about it and suddenly another better job is in the offing. I take that gig and ride it like the wind. Now I’m styling. Everything is good right? Wrong. My boss at that job is a monster – full on loose canon. By and large, I like stuff ship shape too ya know? But this guy is hard and fast with everything and I’m not into feeling like the freaking whipping boy. It’s a dilemma. The office is small, it’s close quarters and I really don’t know whether to cut and run or stay on – hard to decide. If I leave I’m sort of left high and dry but if I stay to the bitter end I could find myself over a barrel and it could all backfire. I don’t know… I might have to deep-six this thing. I’m waiting on another situation. I’ll know in a couple of shakes how that will all pan out. Hopefully the new opportunity will fit the bill, but who knows.

Hey, maybe we could get together sometime over a cup of Joe. Maybe hearing your thoughts would put a new slant on things for me. It’s all kind of taking the wind out of my sails, but I’ll recover. Let’s hang out soon!

Sal Trimmer

Top Seven Celebrity Sailors

Top Seven Celebrity Sailors

Through a very stringent process that involved a complicated algorithm, a set of dice, and the hair of a newt, we came up with our list of the 7 most interesting high-profile people who we consider true sailors. We ranked the celebrity sailors using a mathematical break down of the bandwidth of their fame divided by their admitted love and devotion for sailing. It’s inarguable. You can disagree, and we’d like to hear your thoughts, but remember this has been determined through a scientific means, so we are ultimately right. If you are a celebrity sailor and didn’t make the list you should probably hire a new agent! Since we didn’t know whether to separate dead from living we included both…

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The Mega Expedition / Transformer / Beneteau 523

ASA Joins The Ocean Cleanup To Fight Against Plastic Pollution

American Sailing Association joins The Ocean Cleanup’s Mega Expedition to fight against oceanic plastic pollution.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – July 15, 2015 – This coming August the American Sailing Association will be providing exclusive documentary-style content from the infamous Pacific Garbage Patch off the islands of Hawaii. ASA certified instructor Bob Solliday will be in regular satellite communication with the ASA shore team as he participates in the Mega Expedition, a research component of The Ocean Cleanup project. As part of the fleet of boats that will be surveying the ocean, Solliday and his crew will be collecting samples that will aid in the research about the amount of harmful plastics that are in our oceans.

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Sailing Terms Quiz

Sailing Terms Quiz (IV)

We know how much you like us to test your sailing knowledge so give this quiz a shot and see if you know all of these sailing terms from our Sailing Made Easy textbook. Good luck!

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Duncan Hood Instructor Evaluator

Meet Duncan Hood, ASA Instructor Evaluator

Duncan Hood is an ASA Instructor Evaluator and has played a key role at ASA since it was founded in 1983. His recent trips to China have helped start numerous sailing schools and put sailing on the map in the region.

In this entertaining podcast from 59º NORTH Duncan talks about his colorful sailing career and his trips to China. Definitely worth a listen.

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Mallorca Flotilla

1st Annual Balearic Flotilla

Here’s a report from Capt. Jean De Keyser who was the Flotilla Leader on a recent trip through the waters of Mallorca in the Mediterranean.

Capt. Jean De Keyser and his better half, “Admiral” Mila, led the two yachts from Palma de Mallorca to the southeast coast of Mallorca.

The lead boat, Jasper, was a Bavaria Cruiser 45. Jean, Mila together with Kelly from Nashville and Janet from Charlotte, crewed her while Marianne, Pam, Chris, Lynda, Sue, Davis and Larry crewed on Maha, a Bavaria 50. Both Kelly and Marianne had joined Croatia flotillas during previous years.

The flotilla enjoyed great sailing weather and visited the national park island of Cabrera, several calas or anchorages and the ports of Sa Rápita, Porto Colom and Porto Cristo. Our participants enjoyed fun sailing fellowship, delicious gastronomy and visited some landmarks like the Monasterio Sant Salvador and the caves of Els Hams. Some crew members of Maha even visited the famous Majorica pearl factory.

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Jim King - Outstanding ASA Sailing Instructor Spotlight

King of Sailing

Sailing school owner Jim King didn’t scratch his sailing itch right away, but he definitely made up for lost time. It was just in 2006 when he took his first ASA 101 and ASA 103 courses but he bought a boat the next weekend! Now there’s a guy who knows he found his calling. He sailed all the time. First he explored the Jacksonville, Florida area, then the waters of England for three-years and when he joined the Air Force he continued to sail, this time on the Potomac River in DC and the Chesapeake Bay around Annapolis.

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News-2015-07-10-San Juan Flotilla-Featured

Exploring the San Juan Islands

Here’s a report from Captain Roger Philips who was the Flotilla Leader on a recent trip through the waters of Victoria and San Juan Islands, Washington, USA

The cruise was one of the best ever. Weather was nearly perfect – sunny every day, good winds and calm seas. We had three days of 15+ knot winds nearly all day, and folks had a great time sailing. Other days the winds were variable, with some sailing, some motoring, some motorsailing.

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5 Greatest Sailors of the Modern Era

We were thinking the other day about who might be some of the most influential sailors of the modern age. Beyond old-school guys like Columbus and Captain Cook, sailors don’t get a lot of run. So, at the risk of forgetting someone painfully obvious, here are the top five great sailors of modern age. Feel free to weigh in if you have a candidate you think should be on the list.

  1. Sir Peter BlakePeter Blake
    Peter Blake was a class act that died tragically at the hands of pirates back in 2001. He was an extremely accomplished open ocean racer and an America’s Cup champion but it was his passion for environmental issues that made him a special breed of sailor. He was a prominent member of the Cousteau Society and was a special envoy for the United Nations Environment Programme. It was clear Blake was making a difference through his efforts. He was regarded as a credible source who walked the walk. He had seen parts of the world very few others had and had an ability to articulate environmental concerns in a palatable way. At the time of his death he was on a mission to investigate and bring awareness to global warming and pollution.

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