TheLog is reproting:

KITTERY, Maine (AP) — Even on land, the Ghost looks futuristic and fast.

The angular vessel looks like a waterborne stealth fighter. It rides atop underwater torpedo-shaped tubes powered by a pair of 2,000-horsepower gas turbine engines. Gyroscopes keep the ride smooth.

Sadly, the Ghost is all revved up with no place to go. The brainchild of a wealthy inventor and entrepreneur, the Ghost might never be a familiar household name like Humvee or Apache — even if it works as advertised — because its creator built a warship the Navy isn’t convinced it needs.

“It’s a revolutionary program,” said Gregory Sancoff, founder and CEO of Juliet Marine Systems. “Nothing like this has ever been built by anybody, not even the Navy.”

TheLog’s complete post by David Sharp is here.

(Thanks to John Cessell for the link.)




Bring a Trailer is reporting:

This 1978 Tupolev A-3 Aerosledge (chassis N007) is one of 800 or so amphibious ground effect vehicles built in Ukraine between 1964 through the early 80’s. The seller says it was designed for Cosmonaut splashdown recovery in Siberia, though from what we’ve read they were used for less glamorous tasks such as transportation of mail, passengers and light freight in the same region. This one has been restored to what looks like an impressive standard, and sold at Barrett Jackson eight years ago for $187,000. Find it here on eBay in Clarkesville, Georgia with a reserve and unmet $250k opening bid. Special thanks to BaT reader Carson L. for this submission!

The complete Bring a Trailer post is here.

(Thanks to John Chessell for the link.)


Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 11.34.34 AM

CNN is reporting:

(CNN)While it’s a form of transport few of us see, shipping packs a punch as a polluter.

According to a recent study, shipping accounts for around 3% of global CO2 emissions. Not surprising when you consider that the engines of the world’s estimated 90,000 cargo ships are in use 24 hours a day while traveling.

Futuristic concepts for container ships powered by alternative energy range from windmill-powered propellers to banks of vertical metal sails. Even though most are still on the drawing board, one concept is starting to be viewed seriously by the shipping industry.

The complete CNN post by Peter Shadbolt is here.


If it were only this easy

On January 21, 2015, in General Boating, Zenith Maritime, by CaptRR


Thanks to Nathan Bradeau via facebook



gCaptain is reporting:

In the latest show of support for the Jones Act, 32 Bipartisan House Members have sent a letter to Senate leadership urging them to reject a “misguided” amendment piggybacked onto a Keystone XL Pipeline bill by Senator John McCain that would repeal the U.S. build requirement of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920.

The letter, which was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, expressed “serious concern” with amendment #2 submitted by Senator McCain as part of the debate on the Keystone XL Pipeline Act (S.1), saying that the amendment would have a harmful effect on the U.S. economy and national security. The letter continued:

“Shipbuilders are vital to America’s national and economic security because they build, repair, maintain and modernize the largest and most sophisticated Navy and Coast Guard in the world as well as America’s fleet of approximately 40,000 commercial vessels. According to a recent study by the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, America’s shipbuilding industry supports more than 400,000 jobs in all 50 states, which boost our economy by almost $60 billion every year. Each direct job in the shipbuilding and repairing industry leads to another 2.7 jobs nationally, and each dollar of direct labor income leads to another $2.03 in labor income in other parts of the economy.

The complete gCaptain post by Mike Schuler is here.


Sailing Fortuitous

Log Type: Supplemental Thoughts
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”

– Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

Right now, there’s a guy bobbing around the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a 24′ San Juan sailboat. He claims to be in the process of sailing solo around the world. Some have called him a hero—living the dream of so many cruisers and wannabe cruisers. Others have called him an idiot (or worse), lacking the skill, preparation, and the boat for such a voyage. He calls himself Rimas, and I’m way too deep into this train wreck to look away now.

The details that surround all of this are somewhat sketchy, and this log entry probably lacks the academic rigor for which is known*, but I’ll attempt to briefly point out some of the highlights. According to (1), Rimas Meleshyus left the Soviet Union in 1988, by inexplicably seeking political asylum in the Iranian Embassy in Moscow, followed by stints in New York, St. Thomas, Guam (giving tours in Japanese), and San Francisco. At some point in these travels, he got into sailing, and in May of 2012, he attempted to sail across the Gulf of Alaska in a San Juan 24 named Cesura (2) that he purchased in Juneau. This was his first boat, he’d only been sailing for a year (3), and it showed.

(Ed. Note: I’ve been following Rimas for a couple of years since meeting him at Starbucks here in Anacortes. I’ve even offered him a Captains Course to keep, but to no avail.)


Hippo chases boat

On January 19, 2015, in Interesting, by CaptRR

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Screen Shot only (video is in the link below)

ABC is reporting:

Footage captured at Kafue National Park in Zambia in December shows a humongous hippopotamus lurking in the water and chasing after people in a speedboat.

The driver had gunned the engine to get away — and it was good they did, because the hippo can be seen emerging from the water, feet away from the back of the boat.


An update for iNavX

On January 18, 2015, in Applications, Navigation, by CaptRR


iNavX on the Web

iNavX™ brings the freely available, official and up to date NOAA RNC raster United States waters marine charts to your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Included detailed chart coverage: West Coast, Gulf Coast, East Coast, Great Lakes, Alaska, Hawaii, and US Virgin Islands.

One app for all your devices with access to thousands of charts and maps: official CHS Canada charts, Navionics Gold charts, Fish’N’Chip charts, HotMaps, nv-charts, Hilton’s Fishing charts, TRAK Canada lakes fishing maps and Solteknik European waters charts may be purchased separately from X-Traverse.

With iNavX™ you can use the built in location services (i.e. GPS, cell tower, WiFi) to plot your position in real-time on the multi-touch scrolling and zooming and rotating (including course up) marine chart.

Using the iPhone’s, iPod touch’s and iPad’s WiFi connection, iNavX™ can act as a repeater for popular marine navigation software that supports NMEA data over TCP/IP such as MacENC and Coastal Explorer. This includes GPS, AIS receivers & transponders, and Instruments (Depth, Speed, Wind, Engine, Batteries, etc.)

In addition to real-time chart plotting and printing, iNavX™ supports waypoints & routes including KML (Google Earth) and GPX import/export, track log, measuring bearing/distance, GRIB weather forecast, tides/currents, anchor alarm, graphic instrumentation display and port/navaid search.

The power of a color chartplotter for a fraction of the cost.


This Canal System Runs Boats on Train Tracks

On January 17, 2015, in Interesting, by CaptRR



(Photo: Henryk Borawski)

Neotrama is reporting:

The 51-mile Elblag Canal stretches across 6 lakes from the Polish cities of Elblag to Ostróda. One 6-mile section includes an elevation difference of 326 feet, which is more than conventional locks could adjust for when the canal was built in the middle of the Nineteenth Century.

So Georg Jacob Steenke, the engineer in charge of the project, developed a novel solution. To cross the steep section of the canal, boats slip onto converted railroad cars, which are then pulled across the land to the next lake.

Although the Elblag Canal is no longer in commercial use, it’s actively used by recreational boaters and tourists. It’s the only canal of this type still in use in the world.


End of an Era

On January 16, 2015, in History, Navy, by CaptRR



Neatorama is reporting:

The Last US Navy Frigate Begins Its Last Patrol

n 1977, the United States Navy launched the Oliver Hazard Perry, the lead vessel in a class of frigates. American shipyards built 51 for the US Navy and 16 more for friendly nations, including Australia and Taiwan. These support vessels carried American will across the globe for nearly 40 years. The USS Stark, which was attacked by Iraq in 1987, was among the Perry-class frigates.

Now the last Perry-class frigate, the Kauffman, begins its final patrol from its homeport in Norfolk, Virginia. After a 6-month cruise off the coast of Central America, it will be decommissioned. There will be no more frigates in the US Navy inventory.

Except, as Kat Callahan of Foxtrot Alpha points out, the USS Constitution. This vessel, launched in 1797 and named by President George Washignton is an active vessel commanded by a naval officer.

The Neatorama post is here.

Wikipedia describes a Frigate:

A frigate /?fr???t/ is any of several types of warship, the term having been used for ships of various sizes and roles over the last few centuries.

In the 17th century, the term was used for any warship built for speed and maneuverability, the description often used being “frigate-built”. These could be warships carrying their principal battery of carriage-mountedguns on a single deck or on two decks (with further smaller carriage-mounted guns usually carried on the forecastle and quarterdeck of the vessel). The term was generally used for ships too small to stand in the line of battle, although early line-of-battle ships were frequently referred to as frigates when they were built for speed.

In the 18th century, the term referred to ships which were usually as long as a ship-of-the-line and weresquare-rigged on all three masts (full rigged), but were faster and with lighter armament, used for patrolling and escort. In the definition adopted by the British Admiralty, they were rated ships of at least 28 guns, carrying their principal armament upon a single continuous deck—the upper deck, while ships-of-the-line possessed two or more continuous decks bearing batteries of guns.

In the late 19th century (beginning about 1858 with the construction of prototypes by the British and French navies), the armoured frigate was a type of ironclad warship which for a time was the most powerful type of vessel afloat. The term “frigate” was used because such ships still mounted their principal armament on a single continuous upper deck. The later 19th century battleship thus developed from the frigate rather than from the ship of the line.

In modern navies, frigates are used to protect other warships and merchant-marine ships, especially as anti-submarine warfare (ASW) combatants for amphibious expeditionary forces, underway replenishment groups, and merchant convoys. Ship classes dubbed “frigates” have also more closely resembled corvettes,destroyers, cruisers and even battleships. The rank “frigate captain” derives from the name of this type of ship.



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