User registration bug fixed

Posted by John Callender on June 19th, 2013 at 5:33 am

There was a problem with the user-registration feature for the Socalsail Gear Directory not working properly; I believe that’s fixed now. If you’d like to add a listing to the directory, or submit an update for an existing listing, please feel free to register.

Registration is free, as is listing your company or service in the Gear Directory.


Web Links Now Available for All Buyer’s Guide Listings

Posted by John Callender on January 28th, 2007 at 11:17 am

I’ve modified the Socalsail Buyer’s Guide so that listed companies can have free links to their web sites. My thinking is that this encourages companies to update their listings, and generally makes the site more useful for its users.

Companies whose listings include a link are listed in the “Enhanced Listings” section at the top of alphabetical, category, and location pages. Adding a link to a listing that doesn’t currently have one is fairly simple; you just need to:

1. Create a user account on the site, if you don’t already have one. See the site’s registration page.

2. Go to the Buyer’s Guide page for the company in question, and look for the link that reads “Update This Listing” on the left side of the page.

3. Fill out the form, including the “Web Address” section.

4. Wait for the submission to be approved. (I approve all submissions manually to avoid malicious webspam, among other reasons.)

If you have questions or comments about the new arrangements, send me an email at Thanks!

Sailing-Themed Reality Show Looking for Participants

Posted by John Callender on August 1st, 2006 at 11:07 pm

This arrived in the mailbag a while ago. I’m passing it along in case any of you all are interested:

From: Talia Berman
Subject: Dreamboat
Date: July 20, 2006 2:18:10 PM PDT

County Line Productions is producing a show called “Dreamboat” for CMT. The
series is similar to pimp my ride or trick my truck but for boats. We are
looking for heartwarming stories of people in need of a boat repair. Is
there anywhere I can post this request on your website? If so, anyone with a
good story can email In addition, we are also
looking for a cast of boat shop workers who work in one shop and can
renovate our boats. Thanks for your help.

Talia Berman
Associate Producer

movistar Abandoned, ABN Amro One Wins Portsmouth Leg

Posted by John Callender on May 21st, 2006 at 8:58 am

This morning the captain of Volvo Ocean Race entry movistar, after a night spent fighting severe leaking from the failure of one of the pivot points of the Spanish entry’s canting keel, chose to abandon ship. movistar was about 300 miles from the race’s finish line in Portsmouth, England, at the time. Lots of interesting detail is available from the official VOR site: movistar abandons ship.

The boat’s ten crewmembers transferred via liferaft to ABN Amro Two, which had turned back to assist movistar and had been standing by throughout the night. The transfer was made during relatively light winds as the eye of a northern storm passed over them, but one of the main factors in movistar skipper Bouwe Bekking’s decision to abandon the vessel was the forecast for winds gusting to 50 knots. “Ten lives at stake, with a similar number of families, the right call,” Bekking said in an interview from ABN Amro Two.

movistar is currently adrift, with a radio beacon transmitting the boat’s position.

In other VOR news, most of the boats have reached Portsmouth, ending the last long-distance leg of the race. Unsurprisingly, this leg was won by the overall race leader, ABN Amro One. Two shorter races remain.

Photo: A shot of movistar taken before the beginning of the VOR, by Sally Collison /

The Irving Johnson To Be Re-commissioned Today

Posted by John Callender on May 20th, 2006 at 4:01 am

More than a year after the brig Irving Johnson went aground just south of the entrance to Channel Islands Harbor, the ship is set to be officially re-commissioned today at Berth 78 in Ports O’ Call Village, San Pedro. The ceremony, which is open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m.

A good article about the ongoing restoration work appeared last month in San Diego’s The Log: Irving Johnson repairs continue. And a nice piece about the re-commissioning was in yesterday’s Daily Breeze newspaper: Wounded ship ready for sea.

Photo: The Irving Johnson before the grounding, from BusinessWire.

The Death of Hans Horrevoets

Posted by John Callender on May 20th, 2006 at 3:40 am

In all my talk about the risks faced by crews in the Volvo Ocean Race, I always focused on the dangers of the Southern Ocean. But as we all know, any stretch of ocean can be deadly. Early Thursday morning, as the VOR fleet crossed the North Atlantic in the last long-distance leg of the race, Hans Horrevoets, a 32-year-old crewmember on ABN Amro Two, was swept overboard by a wave and drowned.

From the ABN Amro site’s official announcement:

ABN AMRO TWO was sailing downwind in 25 – 30 knots of wind under main, fractional spinnaker and staysail. Seb Josse, Skipper of ABN AMRO TWO was at the helm, Hans, 32 of the Netherlands was trimming the spinnaker sheet, Nick Bice, Andrew Lewis and Lucas Brun were also on deck. The boat nosedived down a wave and water came washing back down the deck, when the water cleared Hans was no longer on deck.

ABN AMRO TWO Navigator Simon Fisher explained the incident, “Immediately Seb hailed a ‘man overboard’ and we initiated man overboard procedures and we put in place the GPS positioning. The boat immediately turned around and began to search for him, meanwhile raising the alarm on shore. After Hans was found he was lifted back on board and the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK was notified that we had a major medical emergency and to stand by. Unfortunaly our attempts to resuscitate him were not successful.”

ABN AMRO TWO Skipper Sebastien Josse said, “We are all devastated by the events that took place this morning and all our thoughts are for Hans’ family. Throughout the whole MOB (man overboard) procedure the whole crew handled themselves calmly, professionally and with the utmost maturity. It is with deep regret that we were unable to resuscitate Hans.”

ABN Amro Two, in happier days:

Photos: Hans Horrevoets, from the official Team ABN Amro site. And ABN Amro Two, courtesy of Sally Collison /

NOAA Wind Data Interrupted

Posted by John Callender on May 14th, 2006 at 7:15 am

NOAA weather buoy

I’m not sure why, but the NOAA weather buoy data that I display on SoCalSail’s Current wind observations page stopped updating at 3:00 a.m. local time today. It looks like it’s a problem at NOAA’s end; hopefully they’ll have it straightened out shortly.

Update: Which it looks like they did, since things are working again as of the next day. Hooray!

Bill Lapworth, R.I.P.

Posted by John Callender on April 8th, 2006 at 3:37 pm

Bill Lapworth, one of the best-known Southern California sailboat designers, has died. A private ceremony to scatter his ashes at sea was held yesterday, according to an item I read in Sailing Scuttlebutt this morning: Eight Bells.

William “Bill” Lapworth — perhaps the foremost West Coast Naval Architect in the post World War II period — has passed away.

…He designed Cal boats in all sizes from 20-48 feet and of course the famous Cal 40. That design proved itself over and over, winning many races including the Bermuda Race in 1966 and the TransPac in 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1985. The Cal 40 was so successful that it was inducted into the American Sailboat Hall of Fame, and led Bill Schanen, the editor of Sailing magazine to hail Lapworth as one of the sport’s greatest designers. In cruising designs his Cal 46 was also produced in great numbers and continues to be enjoyed by the cruising set.

As a shipmate Bill was absolutely tops to sail with; a consummate helmsman and extremely valuably tactician; always sought as a crew on major races. He also sailed on boats not of his own design, providing these most useful characteristics to their owners. His designs gave him a primacy never before achieved by a naval architect as yet on the West Coast. His calm demeanor was a most recognized characteristic and his evenhanded nature fostered only the best in his fellow sailors.

Bill is survived by his wife of 40 years Peggy Lapworth. His children Barbara Burman Rolph, Charles William Lapworth III, Robert Lapworth, Jr., Susan Cohl and Kim Sorenson. A private burial at sea will be held on Friday, April 7, 2006. A reception will follow at 3:00 P.M. at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Balboa, CA. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Newport Harbor Sailing Foundation would be appreciated. — Excerpts from the LA Times and Latitude 38

Another interesting item on Lapworth that I googled up ran in Latitude 38 back in December April, 2002: An afternoon with Bill Lapworth.

New Look for SoCalSail

Posted by John Callender on April 8th, 2006 at 2:45 pm

Matt's cool new SoCalSail logo

Thanks to my good friend Matthew Hine, SoCalSail has a new logo and site design. Please let me know if you notice any problems, or if you come across the old design lingering anywhere on the site.

Thanks, Matt!

ABN AMRO One Continues to Dominate

Posted by John Callender on March 26th, 2006 at 9:12 am

ABN AMRO One continues to outclass the competition in the Volvo Ocean Race, most recently taking first in the leg from Wellington to Rio de Janeiro (finish pictured at right), and then winning the Rio in-port race. The latter win was especially impressive in that the race took place in light winds, which up until now had been viewed as the boat’s only weakness.

More detail is available from the official VOR site: ABN AMRO One dominates in Rio.

Here’s an image of the crew collecting the tropy for the Rio in-port race:

Get used to that picture. Barring an act of God, that’s what the trophy presentation at the end of the competition is going to look like.

Images courtesy of the official ABN AMRO site.

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