NauticExpo e-Magazine - #12 – Easy BoatingNauticExpo e-Magazine

The Online Boating and Maritime Exhibition

Easy Boating

For numerous seafarers, “easy boating” sounds almost like a four-letter word, far from the notion of maritime adventure. Yet, innovative electronics and materials have transformed sailing in unprecedented ways. In our 12th issue, you’ll find a selection of top gear worth a close look, while learning how connected shipping is reshaping industry habits. If you’re looking for Adventure with a capital A, the Golden Globe Race 2018 is for you. As a tribute to Robin Knox-Johnston’s non-stop, single-handed circumnavigation in 1968-69, competitors will sail around the globe without any high-tech help.

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GGR 2018 competitors will sail without the aid of computers, GPS systems or satellite phones.
Back to the basics (Courtesy of onEdition)

Emphasizing hands-on, low-tech sailing, the Golden Globe Race 2018 (GGR 2018) takes circumnavigation back in time.


Nearly five decades have passed since Sir Robin Knox-Johnston won the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, becoming the first man to sail solo and nonstop around the planet.

Next year will see a flotilla of wind-powered craft follow in the British yachtsman’s wake, as 30 sailors compete in the 2018 edition, a nautical marathon celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Knox-Johnston’s amazing 1968 voyage.

Starting from Plymouth on June 30, 2018, competitors will sail a course covering about 30,000 miles (48,000 kilometers). They will pass through four rendez-vous “gates” and round the Cape of Good Hope, Australia’s Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn, before returning to the British departure port.

Putting the Spice Back into Sailing

As a tribute to Knox-Johnston, whose teak yacht Suhaili lacked the high-tech gadgetry of today’s advanced monohull vessels, GGR 2018 competitors will sail without the aid of computers, GPS systems or satellite phones. They will use sextants and paper charts, make log entries manually and determine the weather by eye and experience.


Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (Courtesy of onEdition)

“Only a handful of GGR 2018 sailors knew about celestial navigation when they entered the race, so many have had to learn or relearn the technique,” says race founder and organizer Don McIntyre, who sailed solo around the world in the 1990 BOC Challenge Race. “These same sailors will also be licking their fingers and sticking them into the wind.”

They will use sextants and paper charts, determine the weather by eye and experience.

It is now possible to circumnavigate in under 80 days. But participants in the GGR 2018, which is more about human against nature than human against human, will spend over nine months at sea in their simpler, less-equipped boats. Knox-Johnston’s feat took 312 days.

“For those used to sailing with iPods and iPhones, it will certainly be a paradigm shift,” says McIntyre. “I call it putting the spice back into sailing. In this race, there are no cutting-edge materials making yachts go fast, no sophisticated electric autopilots steering straight courses, no satellite navigation and weather forecasts telling competitors where they are and where to go.”

Low-Tech Thrills

We are now in a world where superyachts can be sailed by one man with a touchscreen. According to McIntyre, this kind of high-tech, hands-off development is symptomatic of a wider trend shaping our lives.

“I call it flat lining,” says the Australian. “The whole civilized world is geared up to it. You get hot, you turn the air conditioner on. You get cold, you turn the heater on. All of a sudden, the highs and lows of life disappear as you head for that comfortable middle line. And then some people get bored.”

The type of non-digital equipment GGR entrants will carry aboard (Courtesy of Tim Bishop/PPL)

The type of non-digital equipment GGR entrants will carry aboard (Courtesy of Tim Bishop/PPL)

McIntyre believes the trend toward automation in sailing has advantages, but that it also can detract from the thrill of being out on the open ocean.

“The tech lets a lot more people get out on the water comfortably and safely, which isn’t a bad thing,” he says. “But there is a certain satisfaction and purity in doing something all by yourself, safely overcoming a challenge using your own brain and wit. Getting out and having a go. I think we all need this to truly feel alive.”

Back to the Basics

The 29 men and one woman taking part in the GGR 2018 have each paid a US $2200 entry fee. Competitors hail from 11 countries, including Brazil, India, Palestine and Russia. This eclectic group, boasting a mix of ages, professions and characters, is united by one common thread—a craving for raw adventure.


PICTURES OF YESTERYEAR: COPYRIGHT RESERVED Historic. Circa 1968: Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo non-stop around the world aboard his 32ft ketch SUHAILI. Knox-Johnston returned on 14th of June 1968 completing the 30,123 mile voyage in 313 days, averaging 4.04 knots. PHOTO CREDIT: KNOX-JOHNSTON ARCHIVEPPL TEL: +44 (0)1243 555561 FAX: +44 (0)1243 555562 Email:

1968: Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo non-stop around the world aboard his 32ft ketch SUHAILI. (Courtesy of KNOX-JOHNSTON ARCHIVE PPL)

“This is all about man and woman against the elements,” says McIntyre. “These are all guys who could not sleep the moment they heard about the race. They want to go back to basics, not pilot the fastest, fanciest 60-foot ocean racer that effectively sails itself.

“The participants in the GGR 2018 know they are rewriting history,” continues the veteran sailor. “Their accomplishments will be all theirs. They won’t belong to a computer or the sailor with the most money. In our automated age, Golden Globe sailors are true pioneers in the spirit of Robin Knox-Johnston.”

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  • Ceglinski and Turton, founders of the Seabin project (Courtesy of Seabin)


    What began as a dream to clean the ocean has become an innovative product made by a bunch of Australian surfers.


    “Everyone is aware of the plastics problems in the ocean and they are screaming for a solution,” Pete Ceglinski told international media representatives earlier this year at the Seabin debut in La Grande Motte on the French Mediterranean.

    This yachting center is one of the region’s busiest, its unusual pyramid-shaped hotels and apartments packed with holidaymakers throughout the tourist season. Unfortunately, rubbish from land and sea winds up in the marina waters and adjacent seas. On hand to witness the Seabin in action, NauticExpo e-mag watched the mistral wind blow empty cans and bottles over the roads and into the water.

    Plastic beach (Courtesy of Kevin Green)

    Plastic beach (Courtesy of Kevin Green)

    Near the harbor master’s office, a modest looking contraption about 50 cm wide and a meter deep was attached to the dock. As we approached it began moving up and down, sucking and wheezing. As the holding vessel sank it pulled in surrounding debris, including the aforementioned cans. Its electric pump expelled the water, leaving the trash trapped.

    As with any other rubbish bin, staff will empty the Seabin periodically by removing the catch bag.

    Alternative Energy Sources

    Seabin project operations manager Sascha Chapman explained: “La Grande Motte was the first partner within the Global Pilot Program. They took a leap of faith and invested in the project [while] still in its infant stages.” The marina will also implement the Seabin education and research program and will have first access to all future Seabin technology during the pilot phase.

    Seabin co-founder Ceglinski is a designer and former boatbuilder who came to the Mediterranean for his work. He based the start-up company on the beautiful island of Majorca, only a day’s sail from La Grande Motte.

    Building the Seabin prototype (Courtesy of Seabin)

    Building the Seabin prototype (Courtesy of Seabin)

    Ceglinski, Seabin inventor Andrew Turton and marine scientist Sergio Ruiz Halpern are hand-building the patented prototypes. Once sales commence, they will use an industrial rotational molding partner. Sustainability is another key part of future product development.

    The Seabin (Courtesy of Seabin)

    The Seabin (Courtesy of Seabin)

    “The V5 Seabin is currently being run on a 12V pump. The cost of running it is minimal, less than 1.20 euro per day if run 24 hours. But we will be conducting research into running the Seabins on alternative energy sources like solar, wind and water turbine,” explained Chapman.

    Preventing pollution is the main message the Seabin company wants to spread, rather than simply profiting from the mess, said Chapman.

    “The team at the Seabin Project understand that the Seabins are not the solution, just a step in the right direction. We would like to see the project bring further awareness to the global plastic pollution issue through education and research—reduce, reuse and recycle.”


    The Seabin in Helsinki (Courtesy of Wärtsilä)

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    OnWaves works with oil and gas offshore platforms (Courtesy of Marv-Rich)

    OnWaves is a maritime GSM provider whose service enables calling anywhere in the world from the middle of the ocean. Headquartered in Iceland the company began operating in 2007 on cruise ships, ferries and offshore platforms, with the goal of “enhancing the lives of the crews.” NauticExpo e-magazine met with OnWaves CEO, Kristinn Ingi Lárusson.


    NE e-mag: How does your technology work?

    Kristinn Ingi Lárusson: First of all, you need to have satellite connectivity on board, preferably VSAT. But other systems work too. Our product is a little box that you install on the vessel and connect directly to the VSAT. It’s powered over Ethernet so it doesn’t need a dedicated power outlet.

    Access unit box (Courtesy of OnWaves)

    OnWaves access unit box (Courtesy of OnWaves)

    We are only allowed to work in international waters because we don’t have a telecom license for each country. Whenever you go beyond 12 nautical miles from the coast, the box turns on, and whenever you return to within 12 nautical miles, the box turns off automatically.

    There are two options. If you use your own phone and SIM card, you can call anywhere in the world from the middle of the ocean, but you may pay significant roaming fees depending on where you are. If you use our SIM card in your phone, our prices would be much lower than the roaming charges.

    NE e-mag: Are there any calling limits?

    Kristinn Ingi Lárusson: No, you can call and send messages anywhere in the world. In the beginning, it was designed for cruise ship passengers, as well as merchant marine crews. Recent studies show that not all crew members have access to telephony. If they do, access is often limited.

    We are trying to reduce the gap between the ocean and the land and increase the welfare of crew members.

    This box allows you to take your own device into your cabin and have some privacy when you communicate with family and friends, instead of using a public phone in the middle of a hallway. It’s a big advantage. We also work with oil and gas offshore platforms off the coast of Africa, Mexico and Brazil, and with platform support vessels.

    We are trying to reduce the gap between the ocean and the land, and to increase the welfare of crew members. If you have a happy crew, you have better employees and therefore better operations.

    NE e-mag: Can you also use the Internet via your mobile phone?

    Kristinn Ingi Lárusson: Absolutely. It’s not yet fully 3G, but has data capabilities. You cannot stream videos, but you can send pictures up to a certain size, send emails or go on today’s lighter version of Facebook.

    The Celebrity Millennium on an Alaska cruise (Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises)

    In the beginning, OnWaves was designed for cruise ship passengers. Here the Celebrity Millennium on an Alaska cruise (Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises)

    NE e-mag: Has this technology been around for a long time?

    Kristinn Ingi Lárusson: It’s been around since 2003. But the main difference is that the box has become much smaller. In 2003 you needed a whole cabin to house the system. Now, it’s less difficult to install on small tankers or private yachts. The prices are much lower, too. We live in a very different world than in 2003. Today, there are less than 20 companies in the world providing such technology.


    Michael Halpern

    Michael Halpern is a US-born and bred writer with experience in radio. He has lived in southern France for 15 years. Michael is the copy editor of NauticExpo e-magazine.

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    Daniel Allen

    Daniel Allen is a writer and a photographer. His work has featured in numerous publications, including CNN, BBC, The National Geographic Traveller.

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    Kevin Green

    Kevin Green is a Sydney-based yachting journalist who contributes to international boating publications.


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    Celia Sampol

    Celia Sampol has been a journalist for more than 15 years. She worked in Brussels and Washington for national medias (Agence France Presse, Liberation, Europolitics). She’s the editor-in-chief of NauticExpo e-magazine and MedicalExpo e-magazine.

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    Tony Slinn

    Formerly editor-in-chief of IHS Maritime, Tony Slinn is an independent maritime journalist.

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    Samantha Fisk

    Samantha Fisk worked at RINA for 7 years and has now gone into freelance for European magazines.

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    Ludovic Nachury

    Journalist and innovation enthusiast for more than 10 years, Ludovic Nachury is VirtualExpo e-magazine’s editor-in-chief.

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