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GPS Yacht Deliveries

Blog of recent deliveries & navigational tips

Catnip

One of the biggest nuisances that sailors face, as Practical Sailor, Drew Frye will tell you, is the biting fly. They will find you in the middle of the bay in a howling wind; they will stay with the boat once on board; they are undeterred by DEET and every formulation tried; and they are seriously distracting, often biting right through clothing.

In his research to put an end to onboard biting flies Drew came across an interesting USDA Agriculture Research Service article on using catnip oil to repel stable flies. … In the words of the lead USDA researcher: “Catnip oil and its active compounds – nepetalactones – are powerful repellents against stable flies. … Catnip is probably the best repellent identified [including DEET and DMP] so far, for flies that bite. Catnip oil is also good as a larvicide,” meaning it can be used for reducing stable fly larval development, he adds.

Drew was unable to find anyone marketing catnip oil as a repellent so he purchased a spray bottle of the kitty treat spray from a local pet shop and tested it on the Chesapeake Bay for the summer.

Catnip oil has a mild, earthy odor. It sprays and spreads easily, is harmless to clothing, plastics including soft vinyl window material, which DEET melts on contact, is non-irritating to the skin, and washes off easily. While it only repels flies: deer flies, green head flies and horse flies, for about 30-60 minutes, it is instantly effective and can be sprayed easily with one hand while steering with the other. Tester found the oil only moderately effective against mosquitoes. Bottom line: While not a durable repellent like DEET is for mosquitoes, catnip oil was far more effective against biting flies than DEET or commercial brews, plus it’s plastic safe, people safe, fast, and pleasant smelling. Try www.petco.com. $5.00 per 8oz bottle.

2014 Team Vestas Grounding

February 2016 - Paper Charts remain important

GPS navigation systems, hand held or otherwise, do not automatically update their charts with new information as it becomes available. A concerted effort must be made by the primary user to do so. This generally requires the user to plug the device into a computer or remove a chip from the device and update it using the manufacturer's web site.

Though land masses rarely ever, if at all, move enough to necessitate an update, navigation aids do. The Corps of Engineers as well as Notice to Mariners publish regular changes prudent navigators should review.

Upon turning on any GPS navigation device I have not seen a single one that doesn’t somewhere during the start-up display a disclaimer stating that that particular device should not be used or considered as your only means/source of navigation. For that very reason paper charts will probably be around for a long time.

Paper charts, not the folded, sepia toned, water stained relics that are stowed under the V-berth that might look better framed and on the wall of a din, but newly updated and printed charts fresh from the chandlery. Bluewater Books and Charts and some of the larger West Marine stores, to mention a few, will print for you as fresh an Ocean Grafix chart as is available from the Defense Mapping Agency Hydrographic/ Topographic Centre in Baltimore, MD.

Now let's go back to your out-of-date GPS device where you are laying out a route and waypoints intended to be followed by your all-obeying auto pilot or the bleary-eyed mid watch stander. Unroll your recently updated and printed chart. (I prefer to roll a chart and transport it in a tube rather that fold them. No creases to slow your parallel rules) Transpose your GPS waypoints to the chart and assure that between them no navigation aids have been added/removed or a shoal has not washed up or a revetment placed along your route. This step was missed by Team Vestas during the 2014 Volvo Ocean Race (See video. Read full accident report.). You will be surprised what you may find - maybe a shorter and safer route. Now while on your off-watch you can lay your head on the pillow comforted knowing that there is less a chance your yacht will run up on the "bricks" even if the watch-stander does fall asleep. Works for me.

Mary Lou McDonald

November 2015

44' Fountaine Pajot catamaran. Yacht delivery over 1,000 miles, Annapolis-Abaco, 4 person crew.

Delivery: According to your Funk and Wagnalls, is a rather innocuous act or manner of delivering something or something delivered. However if you are in the yacht delivery business delivery may conger up other thoughts. If not foreboding certainly the dread of cold, wet and windy weather, rough seas, breakdowns and bad food come to mind, i.e., Dinty Moore beef stew, cup of noodles, etc. That was not the case recently when my crew, Arnie, and I delivered Robert and Mary Lou McDonald's 44' Fountaine Pajot catamaran, ROGUE ANGEL, from Annapolis, Maryland to Hope Town, Abaco, Bahamas in December, 2015. Robert's help standing watch gave Arnie and me an extra 3-4 hours of rest between watches. That was not the best part. Every morning Mary Lou was up before the watch change at 0600 with hot coffee and breakfast - quite often a hot breakfast. All the fixens for lunch were on the counter to take at your leisure. Without fail and regardless of the weather and the sea state, Mary Lou had a hot evening meal waiting at the watch change. Frequently she would offer up a tray of hor d'oeuvres in the late afternoon before the evening meal. Never were you lacking for a bottle of water, a juice or a Gatorade, or a snack at any time. Mary Lou was literally the hardest working member of the crew.

Mary Lou stepped up again as we were clearing customs/immigration. Mary Lou's attention was drawn to a resort guest who was in the throes of an anaphylactic seizure. Resort personnel were not responding to appeals for help. Mary Lou's instincts kicked in. With 43 years experience as a nurse she took over putting the gentleman at ease and demanding the resort immediately call for medical help. All ended well.

Note: An Annapolis-Abaco delivery would generally take about six days aboard a yacht of this size. Weather conditions in and east of the Gulf Stream in early December (40 knot winds and 10-12 foot seas) dictated we stay within 10 miles of the Atlantic Coast as we headed south. Frequent severe coastal weather conditions prompted stops in Beaufort, NC, Charleston, SC and St Augustine. On the evening of the ninth day we were finally able to cross the Gulf Stream near Cape Canaveral, FL arriving in Hope Town on the 11th day.

Even under the best of conditions what Mary Lou contributed to our comfort and the delivery in general would have been laborious, pains taking and time consuming. Thank you, Mary Lou McDonald, for all of your thoughtful help and hard work. You were genuinely the hardest working crew member aboard. I would like to officially welcome Mary Lou McDonald to the crew of GPS Yacht Deliveries.

ROGUE ANGEL

August 2015

QEX 70' Santa Cruz Sled Racer. Yacht delivery over 2,705 miles, 13-1/2 days, Hawaii-LA, 5 person crew.

French Maid

October 2013

FRENCH MAID 52' Jeanneau. Yacht delivery over 1,800 miles, 12 days, Annapolis-Tortola, 4 person crew.

2013 Hawaii to LA

August 2013

Yacht delivery of the 62' Alan Andrews Design "Sled Racer" Medicine Man back home after the 2013 Transpac race. 2,407nm in 14 days from Honolulu, Ala Wai to Los Angeles with a 5 man crew. Click here for an interactive trip map.

2013 San Jose Del Cabo to LA

May 2013

Delivered the 42' Lagoon TPI Catamaran Vakasa from San Jose del Cabo to Los Angeles. 870nm in 6 days with a 3 man crew. Click here for an interactive trip map.

2013 Cabo San Lucas to LA

April 2013

Returned the 62' Alan Andrews Design "Sled Racer" Medicine Man back home after the 2013 NHYC CABO Race. 849nm in 6 days from Cabo San Lucas to Los Angeles with a 3 man crew. Click here for an interactive trip map.

2013 Miami to Annapolis

March 2013

Delivery of a 46.9' Jeanneau Sun Odyssee from the Miami Yacht Show to the Annapolis Broker. 923nm in 5 days from Miami Dinner Key Marina to Annapolis Eastport Marina with a 2 man crew. Click here for an interactive trip map.

2012

June 2012

Returned the 72' Farr designed Southern Wind Venturous from Europe (Canary Islands) to Bermuda. 2,826nm in 17 days from Las Palmas (Canary Islands) to Pennos Wharf (Bermuda) with the owner and a 5 man crew. Click here for an interactive trip map

1999-custom-65-catamaran

June 2011

65' Hughes Catamaran. Cape Town, SA to Cassino, Brazil. 14 days, 4 crew.

French Kiss

French Kiss

FARR 50', Skipper, 6 years, 20k miles, Annapolis to Bermuda, BVIs, Florida, Mexico, Honduras, San Blas, Panama Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragura, El Salvadore, Mexico, San Francisco to Hawaii.

La PATRICE

La PATRICE

46' Chris Craft Roamer, Traverse City, MI to Tampa, FL via Lake Michigan, Chicago River, Mississippi River, ICW, Gulf of Mexico. 33 days, 2,200 miles, two crew on board.

Condor 3

Condor

79' Steve Dashew ketch journey from Australia to Ft Lauderdale via Easter Island, Galapagos, Panama Canal.

Khalkis

2001

Khalkis, Greece to Bangkok, Thailand via Suez Canal and the Straits of Hormuz, 6800 miles, three person crew, 50 days.