Archives for 2021 | Sailing Blog - Technical Hints and Tips - Sailing Television

We're Taking On Water!

After months of lockdown in Panama, we finally set sail from Shelter Bay Marina to head to the San Blas Islands but along the way discover we are taking on water! We pull into Linton Bay Marina on the Caribbean Coast of Panama to make repairs and meet fellow YouTubers from the sailing channel, Parlay Revival.


Custom Sailboat Design

This time on Distant Shores, we meet the design team and see preliminary drawings for Distant Shores 4, created by KM Yachtbuilders and Dykstra Naval Architects, based on our discussions.

During lockdown in Panama aboard Distant Shores 3, we began video calls with Eeuwe Kooi, owner of KM Yachtbuilders in the Netherlands, renowned for their aluminum sailboats. We’ve been doing a design feasibility study with him, outlining our criteria, listening to his suggestions, and looking at examples of other yachts KM have built with similar features.

Lithium Battery Install

When the AGM batteries fail on our Southerly 480 sailboat following months of lockdown in Panama, we take the opportunity to replace them with lithium batteries before selling the boat. (We're designing a new custom aluminum sailboat.) With crocodiles in the water around the boat at the dock in Shelter Bay Marina, Paul builds a new battery box and friends help lift the new batteries into place. Paul completes the installation and we set sail for a test cruise to the San Blas Islands.


Centreboard or Lifting Keel

Ever wondered about the pros and cons of a centreboard versus a vertical lifting keel? In this session of our design feasibility study with KM Yachtbuilders, we do a deep dive into keel options - how they operate, how each affects interior space and the importance of rudder depth. We consider a Bestevaer 53, look at features of a Stadtship 56 including telescoping rudders and study stability curves and polar diagrams.


Should we Build a Bigger Boat

We continue our design study for a 50-foot custom aluminium cruising boat with KM Yachtbuilders in the Netherlands who build Bestevaer and Stadship sailboats. In this session, we go over the details of a customized Bestevaer 49 and two Bestevaer 45's that KMY has built for other customers. All have features similar to the ones we're looking for and by the end we wonder if we should build a bigger boat.


Trimaran Test Sail

Test sailing a Neel 51 Catamaran on a windy day in the Caribbean Sea off Panama. James & Eva take us out for the morning of exciting sailing to see what trimarans are all about. Back in port we get James thoughts on his boat after many thousands of sea miles.


Hydrogen-Electric power on boats

We're building a new boat and looking into various propulsion systems including the possibility of an electric drive.
In Panama we meet the Energy Observer which is travelling around the world demonstrating the possibilities of hydrogen fuel. They are powering all ships systems, including cooking, navigation and even powering the electric motors that drive her through the water with electricity. The electricity is collected in her solar panels which cover every bit of her wide decks. The power is stored in batteries, and also in compressed hydrogen. It's the hydrogen that makes her so interesting.

Energy Observer carries 62 kilograms of hydrogen fuel in carbon fibre wound tanks. This can be run through their fuel cell to produce some 800kwh of electricity. Their solar-panel covered decks produce 31kW peak output which is stored in Lithium batteries of 100kW. And when they have surplus power from the sun they can even produce their own hydrogen to refill the tanks. Add in automatically controlled sails for additional speed. They are doing a promotional world tour showcasing this 100% self-contained no-carbon voyage.

Check out the Energy Observer homepage for more information and to follow their voyage.


KM Yachtbuilders Factory Tour

Ever wondered what it's like to build a custom aluminum cruising boat? Come along for a factory tour of KM Yachtbuilders in the Netherlands where we get an introduction to the aluminium boat building process as well as the many types and models of yachts KM Yachtbuilders manufacture, including custom-built yachts like Skip Novak's new Pelagic 77. We get an up-close look at how aluminum hulls are shaped, see the stages of build and consider the pros and cons of aluminum boats.


Electromagnetic Pulse - EMP

What if lightning strikes near your boat?

Back on board Distant Shores III in Panama, we discover some of the equipment at the top of the mast isn’t working due to a "lightning event" called an electromagnetic pulse. We demonstrate our system for going aloft to remove the gear, then reminisce about Christmas and New Year celebrations in countries we’ve sailed to in years past.