Friday, December 10, 2010

How to Win the Palm Beach race

Dan Myers' E-Ticket captured first in class in the 2010 Wirth Munroe Race to Palm Beach. Skipper Robert "Hutch" Hutcheson chatted with Super Sailmakers' Peter Grimm about the recent win.

Q: Did you use the #2 the entire way?
Hutch: No, we used the new #1, pretty light NW at the start, built during the day shifting N, then back to the WNW near the end.

Did you reef ever?
Hutch: None. Could have, but we had control without a reef. We only wet the rail meat a little bit, unlike other years when we were inundated!

I heard the seas offshore were giant. How did they treat you?
Hutch: We went out about 6-7 mi. just to edge of stream. A few biggies but generally 5-7'. Sempre Amantes and others went way out in heavier seas and the results show what happened.

Did you steer the entire time?
Hutch: Actually I ran the main & traveler which was very important with the shifts and gusts. I put Dave Connolly from Outer Limits on the wheel and we were going to trade off, but we both were doing so well where we were and coordinated, we just stayed with our positions.

Who did your crew consist of?
Hutch: Only 7 that I could pull together. Super Dave, Eddie, Holly, Graham, Ferol (woman club member), Dave. C., and myself. Both Eddie and I had screwed up knees before we started!!!! He fell on a pile of cinder blocks the night before...pre-celebrating! Ha!

What was the key to winning, as you saw it?
Hutch: "Right on" tactically...we discussed strategy as a group (as we usually do), then executed the best plan. It was a great and fun race. Thanks for asking! Attached is a pic of those who stayed for the awards and dinner (plus my girlfriend Vicki at dinner).

We like that they made a plan, stuck with it, and took it to the win. We like that the new #1 played a role, too! Congratulations guys!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why Should She Get all the Toys on Black Friday?

Want more boatspeed, cheap? The most enjoyable distance races or cruises are long reaches, and we can make them even better for you. A spinnaker staysail gives you a nice boost in reaching speed. Just attach it to the foredeck, hoist it with a jib halyard, trim it to a snatch block, and you’re off!

  • More Speed. About five percent more -- or an hour earlier into Key West on a good day!
  • More Balance. Helps reduce windward helm and keep the bow down.
  • Easy to Use. Flies loose on a rope luff, with a small furler on larger boats.
  • Fun Factor. Extra toy gives crew one more way to keep their heads in the race.
  • No Rating Penalty. PHRF lets you use it free!

Starting at about $20 per foot of LOA, a spinnaker staysail makes a great Christmas present for yourself, and will make your crew smile when you unwrap it on deck!

Interested? E-mail us here, and/or read more and comment below for public Q&A or contact us directly to learn more!

More Detail Below:____________________

Spinnaker staysails provide more power and balance on a reach. More properly designed sail area increases your boat’s horsepower without interfering with your spinnaker’s airflow. Set forward of the mast, the added pull helps keep the bow down and reduce windward helm. When racing, this makes it easier for less-experienced helmsmen to take turns at the helm, and when cruising, it helps the autopilot keep the bow down and the boat on course. It’s free, easy speed any way you look at it!

The tack attaches easily anywhere forward, on existing hardware, on the weather rail, or on a loop in a bridle tied between the rails. The luff is supported by a low-stretch rope, and the sail flies freely. Set it by hoisting it with a jib halyard straight out of the bag, and on larger boats, with a small continuous-line furler. The simplest sails are made from spinnaker nylon, with larger and more advanced race sails made from specialized laminates. It’s free power: PHRF considers it a jib, but it’s far more effective than your working jib because it’s lighter and set further away from the spinnaker.

Visit our Youtube page to see two videos of these sails in action. And yes, Neil Pryde’s personal boat is flying a full inventory of Doyle Stratis sails!

E-mail us now for more info on how this can help you!

Facebook Friendly?

Since June we've been "blogging" on our Facebook page. Check us out! Facebook fans are automatically entered in a drawing each month for free swag!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Doyle Stratis is Boss

Very cool. Doyle Stratis sails blasting around Land's End.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Rail Meat Offered, Experience Included

This guy just wrote looking to go sailing, and while we don't have a moderated crew board or anything, it seemed pretty darn easy to post it here. Anyone interested? Without his permission I won't post his e-mail, but I'll let him know he should come check out the blog.

I recently moved to Fort Lauderdale and I am looking to get back into in sailing. Unfortunately the last few years I was working in an undesirable location for racing so I have been out of the sport for about 4 years. Prior to that I grew up sailing Opti's very competively up and down the east coast, Lasers and crewed of a Meglas 24 and an International 14. I am looking to get involved with a boat that sails competitively in area and I will willing to travel with them as well. I would be completely happy just being rail meat or doing anything else. Is there a message board where I can post my interest or is there someone that I should get in touch with?
Mike Carr

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Coach Clinic Photos

We posted the best photos from the HISC Coach Clinic -- take a look! View below or click the slideshow to browse the files. If anyone wants the source file, just e-mail and we'll send the full-res version.

Friday, April 9, 2010

6 oz. Colors

Six ounce Dacron is now available in colors and we've been making more
and more sails out of it, like this Chrysler 20 Mainsail.

Monday, March 8, 2010


We just finished work repairing a main and jib off Alex Jackson's Speedboat -- main about 800 pounds, jib around 450. Let's get this beast back in the water and break some records already!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Great Sailing iPhone Apps

I think I'll have to start a running list of these, because the proliferation of cool iPhone apps for sailing and boating continues to astound me, and you hear about them from many places. There's no links embedded to these below, just search for them in the App store. Note, prices fluctuate.

Wind Meter: amazingly accurate measuring windspeed.

Around me: good for finding restaraunts / ATM's / beer store when you've sailed to a new port. Free.

RYA Racing Rules: summary and text of racing rules, sorted nicely.

Ship Finder: identifies all commerciall traffic (or boats with AIS transponders), including ship name, speed, heading, next port.

Compass: free app that came standard on the 3GS. Must be calibrated a bit but seems pretty accurate.

iHandy Level: turns your iPhone into a bubble-level with inclination in degrees. I used it with Compass to aim a satellite dish.

MyLite: free 'flashlight' app that provides enough close illumination to make your way across a cabin

Weatherbug: good weather app that and includes windspeed in real-time and forecasted wind. Free.

Google Mobile: a great package that also includes the Lattitude program that lets people on shore watch your progress on a map as they wait for you. It turns your phone into a transponder. This program is my favorite iPhone feature, put it on the kids' phones etc. so you know where they (their phone) is when needed.

MotionX GPS Lite: a very good GPS for your phone that serves sailing needs as well as others. Bit of a battery hog but very accurate, and free!

Wind Speed: it's an iPhone anemometer. Yeah, really, it uses the microphone.

Any others? What else is out there?

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Key West in the background, cappaccino-maker in the foreground. Maybe
there by 9am?

NOW We're Racing

Just before 11pm while averaging 9-10 knots a darting light came up
from astern, and there was only one boat it could be. Crosswinds, the
F-27 who'd been 30 minutes behind us had found the sweet spot in
apparent wind and climbed up in our six like a fighter plane. True to
the movie, he jinked low, shot high, we asked "'Where'd he go?'
Hollywood said 'Where'd WHO go?!'" as he flew by to weather easily
four knots faster. Still under our symmetrical with the wind building
to 20 true and angle close to 90, we moved to take it down. In doing
so we broke the dousing sleeve line and [gasp!] had to pull it down by
hand. The reacher unfurled and proved to be as fast for a while, but
we just now finished changing tithe asymmetrical as the breeze rotated
aft a bit and boatspeed had dropped. A lot of work for a 2500 sq ft
sail but we managed with three of us. We picked up another knot of
two with what's clearly the right sail and now seem happy around 11
kts. Checking the tracker, we saw Crosswinds now parked well outside
and behind us, indicating a problem. Nothing on the radio so we
assume and hope it's a simple gear problem and they'll be back in the
race soon -- comfortably behind us! No way it was the jib, Victor!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Leg One Done!

Past the Miami Sea Buoy before 5pm.

Champions crossing

The 2009 Charleston Race winner Jasmine crossing the 2008 Key West
Race winner Munequita.


Crossing tacks with Semper Amantes.


We has three choices to make and so far it seems we made the right
ones. First. We went with the symmetrical instead of the a-sail
because we knew we'd be gybing a lot in the north breeze. Second, we
didn't go hard in or outside and seem to have a nice wind alley.
Third, sea salt and vinegar instead of barbecue chips. Good call.

Diaster Narrowly Averted

The entire cre aboard Double Trouble breathed a sigh of relief just
now after recovering from a near catastrophe. It turns out, the
shoppers only brought 2% milk for the cappacino machine, NOT the half-
and-half clearly indicated on the stores list. Fortunately we were
able to hail for emergency assistance and a support vessel was able to
run it out to us without too much delay. I'll tell you, even with
great preparation, tragedy can strike at any moment.

Thanks, guys!

It's always nice to start the race on a good note. As I showed up to
the boat, crew were already rigging a pump to the forward bow bilge
after having discovered many, many gallons of water underneath the
inspection port. Great get, guys! That saved us a few hundred
pounds. On a roll, we decided to take a look at the chutes that got
yanked out in a panic when the water was discovered. Light winds let
us hoist at the dock to discover two small tears quickly patched with
stickyback. It will beuch nicer looking at a repair for the next 160
miles then a rip about to blow up!

Chilly Race Morning

It's a beautiful 49 degrees the morning of the 35th annual Lauderdale
to Key West race, with a diverse and competitive group of boats
getting ready to fly south for the winter. Key West temperatures
later in the week are supposed to be much more Florida-friendly, and
the weather down looks accomodating, if a bit light out of the north.
Follow the race with LIVE ONLINE TRACKING at
More from along the way!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Key West Bound

Super's Bob Meagher is off to Key West aboard Don Balthaser's Double Trouble, a Catana 58 with a -- just discovered! -- reverse-cycle A/C that can blow heat! Updates coming from the racecourse (connection permitting).