Archives for 2020 | Sailing Blog - Technical Hints and Tips - Sailing Television

Panama Canal Crossing

Come with us as we travel though the mighty Panama Canal! We made three videos on the crossing with details on preparing for the transit, working with an Admeasurer (who plans the passage for your boat),

The first in the series shows what you need to do to prepare your boat for a canal transit, what it costs, where best to prepare, and who you can get, to help you navigate the necessary paperwork and required inspections.



Entering the Panama Canal in our sailboat, we handle the first 3 locks up to Lake Gatun. We take you on the first leg of the transit from Colon to Lake Gatun. We also show you how to find line handlers, train your crew for line handling, how to set up your boat to meet requirements as well as protect it from possible damage during the transit. We show you how to work with the Canal Advisor who is assigned to come aboard your boat for the transit, how yachts are required to raft up and demonstrate some boat handling techniques for locking through.



In Part 3 we take you on the second and final leg of the transit across Lake Gatun, through the impressive Culebra Cut and descend 3 locks to Panama City on the Pacific Coast.

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Passage Planning

We introduce you to a young farm family who share their plan for fun yet affordable family cruising. We take you and a crew of sailors who are planning their own escape for a week of sailing and cruise planning in the beautiful Exuma Islands of the Bahamas. We also show you our process for passage planning, techniques for shallow water piloting and snorkel on pristine reefs in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park.




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Southbound to the Bahamas

Last time on Distant Shores we left Rudee Inlet in Virginia and sailed around Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout - dealt with a fuel system problem that shut down our engine for the whole passage, and arrived at Beaufort in a gale with gusts near 40 knots. This time we're continuing further south sailing offshore from North Carolina towards Florida and the Bahamas.

Check out the episode below…
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Gale off Cape Lookout - We Lost Our Engine

This time on Distant Shores we make a 2 day passage around Cape Hatteras - deal with fuel problems that disable our engine - and face a gale as we sail past Cape Lookout to beat into rough seas towards Beaufort North Carolina.

When the tide is ebbing out of an inlet like this it causes onshore waves to rear up and break - and it's worse in the shallow waters around our narrow channel - now is the time to stay right in the channel as we motor out. If the motor did quit right now I would have to quickly pull out the Jib and use it to turn us and sail back in to the inlet. But we're lucky and it's 2 minutes more when we pass the outer channel marker that the engine does quit!! Yikes!

Check out the video below
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Preparing to Sail South

This time on Distant Shores we're preparing our Southerly 480 sailboat for our journey south and on into the Pacific. We show you how to do a chain-splice, learn the technique for eating Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs, attend the United States Sailboat Show and have a close encounter with a bridge going up the Severn River.

Part of the summer's plan for hauling out was to have a chance to touch up areas on the keel where the Coppercoat was incorrectly applied. This was warranty work covered by the manufacturer and required blasting to properly prepare the iron surface. In this case tiny crushed glass chips are blown in a concentrated stream using a powerful air compressor. Then coppercoat paint is applied. The copper is suspended in epoxy and is meant to last for a number of years - we'll report back.

Coppercoat-keel

Splicing Rope onto Chain



We need to replace our chain and as part of the process we want to put a rope on the end of the chain. This was we would be able to drop our anchor in an emergency by easily cutting the rope.

We use an app called Animated Knots by Grog, which is excellent for Splices as well as knots.

Check out the video for the full splice!

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