Ready for the winter

After yet another year with a lot of miles under the keel, it was time to pull Tioga out of the water early and start the maintenance and winterization process before it got too cold.
The week before we pulled Tioga out, though, we had already tied her up to the dock in Lynn (thanks to harbor master Dave Mcqary) to investigate the no longer furling forestay and found that some wire strands were broken and that the entire forestay had to be replaced. Kevin, Cal and our own, Nick (who worked for NE rigging before going to Japan for his ski instructor training), did as always perform well and made it all happen in one afternoon.

During the last sail of the season from Lynn to Nahant, we used the opportunity to hoist our latest sail addition: an almost new gennaker – a big thank you to Bob Anderson for this extremely generous gift!! Look out for the blue paws on yellow ground (Bob breeds dogs…).

Thank you - Bob!

After the significant amount of maintenance we went through in Trinidad over the winter, we were quite surprised to see the cracks in the hull after Tioga was out of the water. Carefully peeling off the layers, Sean Antrim determined that some of the bottom fiberglass layers were delaminated and went to work to put all together again.

The next big topic was the left-over rigging backlog we did not have time to address when replacing the mast in Germany.

As we had to pull the mast, we decided to replace the entire electronics setup and install a new NMEA 2000 backbone while we had the chance (most of the equipment had given up during the long trip around the northern Atlantic). New wires for radar and wind instrument were pulled into the mast and a new radar dome installed.

NMEA 2000 backbone - first draft
The newly installed partners had to be taken out, fixed and installed back again. The old instruments in the cockpit had to be uninstalled, the resulting cut-outs resized to accommodate the new B&G instruments. Of course, none of that proved too hard for Sean who as always left hardly any trace of the work he performed.

In parallel the boat was winterized,

winterizing wordcloud Tioga

some of the broken parts repaired and the broken staysail halyard winch replaced (the drum had cracked and the winch could only be disassembled by destroying it.). The new winch is from Lewmar (Ocean Series).

For good luck, Peter, Dan and Philip placed their lucky coins  on the mast base before the mast was stepped again.

good luck coins

While the list for the remaining winter work is still quite long, we managed to get most of our action items taken care of and have the new B&G system almost fully working. Pretty cool to have radar, wind, log, depth, temperature, AIS, instruments etc connected into one system and accessible via iPad etc.

A huge thank you to Josh and Rex Antrim for allowing us to store the mast in the yard during this time. It made working on the mast so much easier and kept the mast out of the way. – Thank you!!

Mast storage in the Antrim yard


With Tioga back in the US this summer, we got the next Labor Day trip to Cuttyhunk organized. This great little island with less than 50 year-round residents lies between Padanaram and Martha’s Vineyard and marks the entrance to Buzzard’s Bay. It is about a 15 hour sail from Nahant and usually involves motoring through the Cape Code Canal.

The crew of A Family Affair (Ulf, Rosmarie and Jasper) met up with Tioga and crew (Philip, Corinna, Nick, Lauren, Mia and Thea) outside of New Bedford, while Lois (Henry, Jen and Blue) motored via Martha’s Vineyard to Cuttyhunk. Josh and Ellen sailed from Nahant via Provincetown and Bob sailed Boomerang with Samy directly from Nantucket to Cuttyhunk.

By the middle of the day, we had sufficient moorings secured to make it through the weekend. Unfortunately, the crew of Saoirse (Dan, Candace, Peter, Linda and Ellen) had engine trouble and could not make it through the Cape Cod Canal.

Anyways, a lot of fun was had by all and we will do it again next Labor Day weekend.



J-Class Worlds

We’ve had a very good year watching remarkable yachts race (Antigua Classic week, America’s Cup and J-Class regatta in Bermuda, Marblehead – Halifax Race…) and when the J-Class Worlds were hosted by the New York Yacht Club in Newport, RI, we knew we had to be there.

The winds were light and the races very close. We listened to the commentators on channel 85 and were impressed by how close these very large sailboats got together at the start. In the end, Lionheart (from Holland) won the World Championship with Hanuman (Newport-based with local, Ken Read, at the helm) in second place and Ranger in third.
The other boats on the line were Topaz, Svea and Velsheda. A good summary after the final day be found here.

Equally impressive was the fleet of spectator boats surrounding the event and the helicopters in the air.

Thanks to Dan and Bob for making it down to Newport for this event.


First YouTube videos about this event:

A few more photos can be found here.

NYC by sea

With our friends, Hilla and Stefan, moving back to Europe this fall, we recently decided that is was time to sail to New York City and experience the Big Apple in a different way.

Sailing into New York Harbor under the Verazano Bridge was already impressive but easily topped by sailing up close to the Statue of Liberty and then along the amazing skyline up the Hudson River to the marina at 79th street.

We had carefully planned our departure the next day to not only get pushed down the Hudson with the outgoing tide but to also get washed around Battery Park up the East River.
Of course, things turned out a little differently when we untied Tioga off the dock just to learn that we were stuck in the mud at low tide…
Anyways, leaving a good hour later did not really slow us down and we enjoyed another fantastic sail along Manhattan and under numerous beautiful bridges.
While moving at 11 knots through Hell Gate was a lot of fun, the most memorable event might have been when border patrol aimed their machine gun at us, requesting that we leave enough space for the departing Staten Island ferry.

Below are a couple of impressions of that trip:

Good morning Eyeopener

Some of you might remember that we recorded a video at the beach in Barbuda that Doug took to his office at Channel 5 and cut into one of their Eyeopeners. He had to put quite an effort into removing the significant wind noise etc.

That wake up call video is now scheduled for this coming Monday, August 21. It airs twice: first between 05:12am and 05:15am EST and 06:12am and 06:15 EST. After it airs, it will be uploaded to the website as well!
Now that the video aired on TV, here is the link:

Maybe some will be getting up early enough to watch it live.

Video – Bermuda to Nahant – Update with new soundtrack

Our final leg back home (after over 12,000nm) brought us from Bermuda to Nahant. We had left Tioga on a mooring in Grotto Bay and were happy the she had survived the serious (60kn+) winds during our absence.
We visited the America’s Cup village to watch race day 1 of the AC finals, spent a nice afternoon at the RBYC in Hamilton looking at the beautiful club house, their collection of half-model & trophies and watched team New Zealand win even more AC races.

The highlight before we left Bermuda was the J-Class regatta where for the first time ever 7 J-Class yachts raced against each other – quite a sight.
The sail home was pleasant, the Golf Stream crossing calm and sea live to the north of it plenty.
The nice welcome by our friends and family rounded of this final leg.

Updated video with different soundtrack that hopefully plays in the US as well:


Previous version that includes the song “Weather with you” from Crowded House and therefore does not play in the US:

Video – Antigua to Bermuda

We timed our departure from Falmouth Harbor to coincide with the Antigua Classic week. However, due to other preparations, the installation of the new alternator etc, we ended up only looking at extremely pretty yachts at their docks, rather than sailing with them out at sea. The hike up to Shirley Heights was another highlight.

We got our food in Jolly Harbor and sailed into the night to get to Barbuda – one of the most beautiful places we know in the area. A nice downwind sail under gennaker got us to St Barth’s the next day and we continued on to Bermuda from there.

Catching a yellow-fin tuna just south of Bermuda was another highlight of this roughly 1000nm leg. In Bermuda, a spectacular place in its own right, the preparations for the America’s Cup made for an even more memorable experience.

Video – Trinidad to Antigua

After a challenging start in Chaguaramas (we had to pull the boat back out and get if fixed over night) we got into the swing of things, sailed over night to the Grenadines and enjoyed a couple of days of island hoping before continuing to Antigua.

The roughly 400nm route looked like this:

We did not capture as much footage as usual. Hopefully the video below still gives somewhat of a flavor of the places we visited:

Marblehead to Halifax Race

This Sunday the offshore Race to Halifax (in Nova Scotia, Canada) started in Marblehead, MA. We got a group of friends together and sailed to see the start.
Wind and weather were perfect and we enjoyed watching the long line of boats (app 80) under spinnaker slowly disappear behind the horizon.
A short swim for the boys, a nice lunch, a seal and a whale rounded off another perfect day on the ocean.

We want more of those!