Stubling across a well of solid ideas and small valuable fixes

There are countless number of sailing blogs – just like this one – and the contents vary. This evening I stumbled across what I consider a very useful one.

The very able Armin Horn writes that he was smitten by the sailing bug a few years ago and is now enjoying his Bavaria sailing yacht Jalin. Among other things Armin is a professor and electrotechnical engineer – and I would add inventor. The blog is covered with major and minor improvements and inventions to common problems and issue. Really worth a read if you either are forced or just plainly enjoy tinkering with your vessel – like both Armin and myself.

The blog is in German, but google translates it if that is an issue. So go ahead and enjoy

Some of the inventions are also for sale in a web shop.


Sometimes the planet appears like a surprisingly small and very friendly place

Winter in Oslo this year is wet, windy and cold, so walking home late at night is not the most fun one can have with shoes on. Was in only old habit or a belief in devine forces hoping to make the eveing a bit warmer that made me check the mail box a midnight? How optimistic can one be?

As we all know the postman always rings twice, and while the mailman sleeps, DHL apparently delivers – late. Much to my surprise the hand grabbed onto a padded envelope carrying a DHL label.

Like a small child on Christmas evening I ripped open the envelope and out fell a nice black T-shirt with “New Zealand” written over the chest with big letters and a nice Christmas card. What is all this I wondered, thinking I knew that I did not know anybody in NZ. Was my knowing wrong?? It turns out I was partly right. So here comes a for me surprisingly nice story:

A great New Zealand T-shirt

A while back before Iris was bought, I looked at another vessel in the Netherlands – Stormvogel. I liked the vessel immediately being designed by Dick Koopmans and bearing much resemblance to Iris – pilothouse and everything. Stormvogel is, however, 5ft longer. 

Someone else bought the vessel, undertook at not to minor refit at the Hutting yard in Makkum, and then crossed the large pond during winter of 2012.

Beautiful vessel under sail

I found this and more in the blog of new owner, Peter Wiedekamm and his family. They have embarked on a long journey. Being interested to learn and pick up a few tricks I follow this blog. A months ago the they arrived in NZ, and I posted a comment on the blog.  

Surprise – Peter tracked me down and mailed the Christmas present. 

But I presume he first had to buy the t-shirt in NZ, carry it home to Germany where he now is taking a break from sailing, before mailing it to Noway.Who does that? Thanks for the present and for providing another proof of the good in mankind.

The blog of this remarkable person is found here: The travels of Wiedekamm and Stormvogel

Anchor rider sail – a world of difference

Anchor rider sail – a world of difference

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The 2012 summer was the first season with Iris. Anchoring was all but pleasant as she swung like a carousel. Maybe one of the disadvantages of the swing keel she sport. So quite a few nights were spend moored to shore. She draws only 1.1m of water – of the many advantages of the swing keel 😉 – so we get close to shore.

Preparing for the 2013 summer I did a bit of research on how to stabilise the vessel at anchor. We ended up with a delta wing rider sail. It made the world of difference and swinging is now highly limited – leading to most nights being spent at anchor – sleeping.

Iris is 43ft, wights 16MT loaded. The sail maker recommended a size 4, but we ended with size 3, which works nicely. I think the sail is surprisingly large and draws a lots of wind. Hence it is important to secure it well and very tight.

Fell free to check the friendly sail maker 

I prefer to anchor with large cope; preferably minimum 5:1. That may be a bit more than most sailors. Iris was the first vessel into this lovely anchorage along the south coast of Norway. In the evening we wanted to head over to Denmark and when retrieving the anchor if found that the vessel in the middle had dropped their anchor over my anchor chain. Not ideal! With a lot of luck we managed to glide passed the middle vessel and get our hook up without any damage.