If you think YouTube sailing channels are only about 'living the dream' you need to watch these six video bloggers learning lessons at sea, as chosen by PBO columnist Kass Schmitt
A hallmark of a great sailor is the ability to keep calm in a crisis, deal with it, and bounce back.
I write a monthly column all about the latest and greatest YouTube sailing channels for Practical Boat Owner magazine and this is my pick of 6 of the best episodes that show sailors coping and learning lessons at sea, giving viewers a glimpse into how they’ve handled trauma on board.
If you still think ‘living the dream’, showing off and ‘having more fun that you’ is all there is to Youtube sailing channels, I assure you: it is not! Enjoy:
1. A very stormy delivery
Modern day viking Erik Aanderaa has made a name for himself with his No Bullshit Just Sailing series in which he seeks out the most challenging conditions possible for himself and his 1970s Contessa 35.
In this recent episode we find him renewing his standing rigging and cursing his way through a number of other jobs in preparation for his upcoming cruise to Greenland.
He then takes a break from the boat work to deliver a viewer’s recently purchased Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 42i from Stavanger to the Oslo Fjord. While rounding Lindesnes headland in a solid Force 9 he gives a good demonstration of how quickly a small bit of sail damage can get a lot worse if not dealt with immediately. Despite a number of potentially questionable decisions, he manages to complete the passage safely, but I’m not sure it’s the best advert for his delivery services.
2. Surviving Hurricane Lorenzo in Horta
When Canadian Alan Mulholland recently retired he asked his wife what he should do with all his spare time. She suggested a boat, thinking he might enjoy paddling a kayak on the rivers and lakes of their native Prince Edward Island. He surprised her by buying a 1979 Contessa 26, refitting it, and setting off last summer on a two-year solo circumnavigation.
His channel Sailing Wave Rover documents his preparation and journey. So far he has sailed from Summerside, Prince Edward Island, to the Canaries via the Azores, where he managed to be the last yacht out of Lajes before hurricane Lorenzo destroyed the port (spot Delos’ mark on the sea wall at 10:46).
He and his boat managed to avoid damage while tucked up in the marina in Horta, even if the streets and waterfront buildings looked a bit the worse for wear the following day.
3. Mayday rescued at sea
Boat buddies of Sailing Uma, the eponymous stars of Beau and Brandy Sailing, purchased a 1971 Pearson 35 with a seized diesel engine in 2016, fixed it up and re-engined with an electric motor. They taught themselves to sail while exploring the Bahamas and Puerto Rico.
In this episode they head to Grenada for hurricane season, but disaster strikes when they find they are taking on worrying amounts of water through a crack under the waterline. Of course there are things that old salts in the commentariat would do differently, but I think they handle the situation admirably.
4. We’re taking on water!
Having outgrown their 1982 Pearson 367, Hillary and Ty on Adventure Adrift have bought a 1986 Celestial 48 in Hawaii and assembled a full crew to help them deliver it to Neah Bay in Hillary’s home state of Washington. Just a few hundred miles from their destination they discover a plastic through-hull has failed.
Ty dons a wetsuit and it’s all hands on deck to hoist him over the side to fit a replacement. Bravo to them for staying calm and sorting out the problem. Personally I would have stayed onboard and used some neoprene from the wetsuit as part of the fix, but where’s the action and suspense in that?
5. Finding and fixing a leak
Meanwhile to the west of the Isthmus of Panama, Nike on WhiteSpotPirates worries about the leaky bottom of her Reinke Super 10 aluminium sloop Karl.
Despite a lot of remedial welding on the hull during the refit a few years ago, she is understandably upset to find seawater seeping. With a bit of snorkelling, and the encouragement of her mentor Captain Maria, she has soon effected a temporary repair using Splash Zone. She then treats us to a demonstration of how she services her new Beta engine.
6. Solo sailor girl raises a MASTive commotion
Captain Holly on Another Adventure is in hospital in Virgin Gorda after a night-time collision between her tender and a powerboat. We wish her the best with her recovery. But before any of that happened, Holly could be seen helping suddenly single ‘Lizbef’ Earle (formerly of Sailing SV Delos) on EarleWrites with the repair of her 1969 41ft Amel.