Archives for 2019 | Sailing Blog - Technical Hints and Tips - Sailing Television

Storm off Cape Hatteras

This time on Distant Shores we look at using radar to avoid the worst winds in a serious storm rounding Cape Hatteras, do a gear review on our electric in-mast furling after 1 year of hard use and sail north to Annapolis in the Chesapeake Bay.

We left Beaufort and headed out the inlet to the ocean, then east to the excellent anchorage at Cape Lookout.

This spacious anchorage is a great stop for a day or two wait for weather, and you can even get ashore to climb the lighthouse mid-May through Mid-September.

We got a good start but after the first night the forecast changed for bad weather to build sooner and come stronger on our second day at sea.

With our mast height of 71 feet, there is no place we can pull in along this coast until we reach Rudee Inlet at Virginia Beach so we reefed down and carried on.

Radar is an excellent tool for plotting storms. On the left we're looking at the coast of Cape Hatteras and then the storm cell passing right in front of us. We've set the radar at the 6 mile range so the heavy rains are about 2 miles ahead.

The radar has helped us dodge the worst of the storm then it's just a few more miles to our planned stop for the night.

Check out the whole video below as we take you along on this journey.


Sailing North with the Gulf Stream

We're leaving the Bahamas using the Gulf Stream to make speed northbound.

This is our last sail on the amazing Bahamas shallow banks as we're preparing for the passage north to Beaufort and the Chesapeake Bay. For the first time we're going to sail right up the Gulf Stream and hope to use the current to add to our speed.

We are using the Predictwind software to get our weather and gulf stream forecasts via IridiumGO so we can receive updates even offshore. This is a first for us and worked very well. Although the updates can be pretty large even up to 1 MB or so it can be received over our connection if you choose a smaller forecast area for regular updates.

We catch a large Mahi-Mahi, bake bread, and set up the sails for fast downwind passaging with the current pushing us up to 11 knots.

When we pull in to Beaufort North Carolina we demonstrate using the current and wind to help get out of the dock in a tight situation.


Exploring Exumas-We tested our Ultra anchor

We have been using the ultra anchor for just over a year now from England and the the Mediterranean to the Caribbean and Bahamas. It has always set well and held perfectly in a variety of conditions. We were able to film it in the Caribbean and Bahamas in both clear sand and grass as well.

This time on Distant Shores we continue exploring the Bahamas in the Exumas with incredible beaches, interesting wildlife and review the performance of our Ultra Anchor.


Varifold Propellor Review

We are exploring the Exuma Island group in the Bahamas. Such amazing water colours! We find a shallow place where we can put our Southerly 480 on the sand and try beaching her, then wait for low tide to dry out. We also review our propellor.

It's been over a year now and I was ready to review our Varifold folding propellor. This is the first folding propellor we've had and I have to say its extremely smooth. I think it's the smoothest when operated in forward of any prop we've had, with the least vibration. It's powerful and has work perfectly the whole time we've been testing it.


Where has all the water gone?

Exploring the shallows of the Exuma Islands near Staniel Cay we visit the Swimming Pigs and beach the boat on a sand bank in the middle of nowhere! Check out the YouTube below.

We also discuss the calculations for how to beach the boat safely. You need to figure the low tide and make sure there will be enough water at the next high tide to float again. In our case we plan to drop back to anchor for the night and it will be just after sunset so should be an easy operation.


What to do in a hurricane

This time on Distant Shores we're talking about hurricanes, strategies for hurricane season, and what to do if you get caught in one.


Aground! Shallow Water Piloting in the Bahamas

Many of you have been asking why we love variable-draft Southerly Yachts. After-all, we've owned three of the them throughout the 30 years we've been cruising. So in this latest video, we answer your questions, giving you our completely biased view on Southerlies :-) as we sail from the Turks and Caicos Islands to cruise the shallow seas of the Bahamas, before Hurricane Dorian hits. We sail in company with other 6 other Southerly Yacht owners and demonstrate the freedom the variable-draft keels give us to explore shoal-draft anchorages and bays that deeper draft yachts can't get gain access to.

At the same time, we share our techniques for shallow-draft piloting in the islands, no matter what your boat draws. The Bahamas is one of our very favourite cruising grounds and in this video we show you why.


Understanding Marine Power Systems

Do you want to understand marine power systems better? Do you find marine power systems confusing? Are you trying to determine if your boat has enough power to run the equipment you’d like to install?
In this video series, we take you aboard our Southerly 480 sailboat, Distant Shores III, to help you understand what is involved in setting up a marine power system for your own boat.

Part 1 - Electrical Basics

In Part 1 of this new video series, we take you aboard our new Southerly 480, Distant Shores III, and start with the basics to help you understand what is involved in setting up a marine power system for your own boat.

Part 2 - Power Budgeting

In Part 2 of this video series, we create an electrical budget calculating our power use for various devices.

Part 3 - Solar Power & Generator on Distant Shores III

In this episode, we demonstrate our solar power system and Integrel on-engine generator and discuss how we use them together.