Author Archives: Sailing Zingaro

The ONE time a catamaran SUCKS

When trying to find a place to HAUL OUT on the pacific coast of Central America.

Why? Because I want to copper-epoxy the bottom of the boat. It’s greener (no ablative paint to fall all over the coral), it’s easier to clean (no ablative paint in our skin), it’s stronger (no ablative… you get the picture).

marina-pez-vela

BUT it’s been the biggest PITA! Listen to this BS:

  • So I went to the only marina that could fit me in Pacific: Marina Paraiso (Panama): They wanted $3500, and I couldn’t live on the boat, or WORK on my own boat. Lol. Right.
  • Marina Puerto Amistad (Ecuador): They sent us a semi-reasonable quote, told us they could fit us, then 1 WEEK later, when we were just about to leave, told us sorry, they messed up, can’t fit.
  • Marina Puntarenas (Costa Rica): FINALLY! Called them from Panama, they can fit us, at a great price! Yay! So we sailed 250nm and…. oh… oops… they measured wrong. 7m wrong. Morons. Seriously wtf.
  • Marina Pez Vela (Costa Rica): They can definitely fit us, the manager offers me $500 off if we promote the marina! Sweet. Go to do the paperwork… they require FULL COVERAGE INSURANCE. Ever try to insure a 34 year old home built boat travelling through Central America? Not going to say it’s impossible, but I haven’t found a way. It’s kinda funny, I have to explain to everyone what Airex foam is… I should just lie and say fiberglass.

So… looks like I’m holding on to the 3 gallons of epoxy I purchased for this job. Guess I’m going to have to beach her and paint her. At least it’s cheap. I’m just so sick of the paint. I have to clean the bottom every two weeks here. No shit, it’s pretty crazy. If I let it go a month there’s some big ass barnacles.

There’s one other option. Marina Caldera which isn’t really a marina, as much as a piece of land with a crane. I’m wondering what will happen if they drop my boat… Plus it’s $70/day. Damn rich guys charter fishing for Marlin here. That’s the entire Pacific coast moneymaker. Every damn boat here. Using 200gal/hr of diesel fucking up the environment for a unicorn fish.

Ok. I’m done ranting. Now I’ll suck it up and figure out how to do this by myself. Get ready for an interesting video!

-James

PS – The image is Pez Vela. See the fishing boat at the bottom? I’m anchored between him and the wall. Can’t get internet, but easy to flag down a fisherman to take my boom in to get welded… more on that later.

PPS – I’m really not trying to be a downer, it’s really nice here. Cost Ricans are some of the most helpful people in the world. Super cool. Just needed to vent. I keep getting comments that I complain too much. Well those guys need to try to find a marina to haul out a 6.1m wide cat. In Spanish.

The thunder rolls… Lightning strikes sailboat | Sailing Zingaro – Episode 24

We get hit by lightning off the coast of Colombia. Worried that the sailboat might be hit again, the first mate sails Zingaro back to Cartagena.

We show you how bad the damage was and what survived. Looks like we are going to have a lot of work to do. At our current estimate the damage ran us just over $1700. Ouch.

Also we’re back to the usual vida broka! Sunken dink and boat-work wherever we look! We still have the portable dinghy, but by now we really are ready for a change.

Become part of the crew via PATREON … 
Get the Zingaro CREW t-shirt …

Sailing Zingaro Live from Costa Rica

Want to sail around the world? It’s not as easy as it looks …

Cruising is HARD!!! In this stream we talk about the hard parts of cruising, our sailing plans for the next months, and we have a special interview with another captain that sailed with us for two weeks, a Q & A, & we also respond to some YouTube comments at the end of the show.

[Streamed live on Jun 25, 2018]

You like our content? Please don’t forget to like, subcribe and share!
… or spend us a cold one on PayPal and become landcrew on Patreon.

We tour a farm in Colombia | Sailing Zingaro – Episode 22

Do you see the SIZE of that thing?! There’s something in the water in Colombia … 🙂

We get invited by a local to his family farm, so we leave the boat at anchor and take a water-taxi, car-taxi, & 4wd jeep to one of the most biodiverse places we’ve ever seen. Wow they sure do grow everything mega-sized here. Join us on our private tour of a Colombian finca.

You guys may recognize Raphael from the last couple videos, he is a business owner we met in Playa Blanca (about 4 hours south of Cartagena, Colombia). We took him on Zingaro for a week or two, and in return he invited us to his family ranch in Cordoba. What a cool place.

We think this is the best EP so far! Kim did a great job editing this.

-James & Kim

You like our content? Please don’t forget to like, subcribe and share!
… or spend us a cold one on PayPal and become landcrew on Patreon.

Livin la Vida Broka (5): Rigging with Dyneema | Sailing Zingaro

How to install synthetic standing rigging on a sailboat, how to splice a deadeye, and discussion of the pro’s and con’s of steel rigging vs synthetic.

In this series of Livin la Vida Broka, I take you step-by-step through changing out my 1×19 steel wire rigging for synthetic Dyneema rigging.

You can’t find this anywhere on the internet, it took me a long time to get all this information, then put it to use, learn from the mistakes, and ultimately make this video.

I’m proud to put this out. It’s the only one of it’s kind. Between this and the last video it’s everything you need to replace your standing rigging with synthetic, in one easy place.

DISCLAIMER: This is an example of how I changed MY rigging, please refer to professionals for specific installation procedures, BEFORE touching the rigging on your boat.

**PATRON ONLY OFFER: If any of you want to replace your standing rigging, I will be your consultant free of charge. Contact me through Patreon. I have relationships with Colligo Marine, the rigging dr, and can get you dyneema at a reduced price. 🙂

Much love!

-James & Kim

You like our content? Please don’t forget to like, subcribe and share!
… or spend us a cold one on PayPal and become landcrew on Patreon.

Made it to Costa Rica!

So, the journey up to Costa Rica was… LOUD. We motored more in three days than we have in the last 3000 miles combined. Started off beating into 15kts – Zingaro was doing great! We were moving at 8kts or so for the first 4 hours, storms forming all around us as we headed out and they headed in towards land. Got some really cool videos of that.

Then… dead. 3kts for the next two days. We had to motor so long I ended up freaking out at 5am and we drifted for a couple hours as I contemplated buying a trawler. 😀

We shut the motors down to eat, and sunsets, but we basically had to motor the whole way up here less 7-8 hours. It was a 52 hour journey.

We’re getting moored at the yacht club that I called from Panama, verified the size of the lift, and reserved a spot to get hauled out. But they gave me the wrong Information: We don’t fit in the lift!

Options:

  • There’s a huge yard for the big fishing boats that can haul us right near here: for $200/day!!
  • Sail back down 100 miles to the only 100T travel lift in Central America (and pay ~$800 for the haul out, plus yard fees). Trying to get a quote has been difficult.

So we’re kinda stuck, but this is boating. I’m really glad I speak decent Spanish now, I’ve got some locals helping me out. Nice people here.

Lastly, coming to Puntarenas to check in was 100% the right thing to do. We sailed an extra 150 miles to get to the Port Captain with the most experience, because we didn’t have proof of yellow fever vaccines. Turned out we didn’t need them, but the other guys asked for them and the Port Captain told them it wasn’t a real law and we didn’t need them. Woohoo!! May have gone differently in a smaller port. We heard of people being turned away!

Stay tuned for an update on the yard, going to buy epoxy now in the capital city 2 hours away. 🙂

– James

The most populated island on earth | Sailing Zingaro – Episode 21

Join us as we discover the small, packed, island Santa Cruz del Islote (Colombia) – the most (or second-most) densely populated island on earth! We meet the local leader of the youth environmental club, meet some of the people that live here on the island, and see what there is to see on this small crazy place.

You’re in for a surprise too, Kim and Lucie made a music video at the beginning of this episode.

Let us know what you think. 🙂

-James & Kim

You like our content? Please don’t forget to like, subcribe and share!
… or spend us a cold one on PayPal and become landcrew on Patreon.

Livin la Vida Broka (4): The Dyneema Video

A complete how-to on Dyneema. This video took me awhile to make, but I’m proud of it. Been waiting for a long time to put this one out. Here is a great addition to the LVB series. Everything one needs to know about dyneema, including:

  • What is Dyneema
  • How to make the 2 splices you need to know
  • How to make soft shackles, which are ~$1 to make, and could save your boat
  • 20 places it’s used on my boat

Hope this is useful to everyone. This really is my favorite part of this blog, sharing my knowledge with everyone. If you have a sailboat and don’t know how to use dyneema please do yourself a favor and get acquainted. Having a few extra shackels lying around will help you (as you’ll see in the vid).

Much love!
-James

Selma Fids: https://goo.gl/hVW7QG
1/8″ Dyneema spool: https://goo.gl/Y3hw6H

You like our content? Please don’t forget to like, subcribe and share!
… or spend us a cold one on PayPal and become landcrew on Patreon.

Cartagena wasn’t ready for the Zingaro | Sailing Zingaro – Episode 17

We didn’t even look at a picture before we arrived in Cartagena (Colombia). So we thought we were in the WRONG place! It was a HUGE city, awesome people, great nightlife, and a Russian submarine turned bar. This is a cool one. Enjoy folks!

You like our content? Please don’t forget to like, subcribe and share!
… or spend us a cold one on PayPal and become landcrew on Patreon.

What is left of the Boat after 9,500 miles | Sailing Zingaro

A lot of people have asked for it, so here it is! Boat tour time! This one will be a bit different than most, as I’ve already given a tour of the layout. If you haven’t seen the first walkthrough, please click here …

If you HAVE seen the boat, Kim and I put this together. A hilarious look at life on our home-built sailboat after 9,500 miles of cruising the world! We’ve fixed a TON of stuff, and there’s a lot left to do, but this is a funny look at the repercussions of sailing around the world. 😉

Hope you all like!
-James

You like our content? Please don’t forget to like, subcribe and share!
…or spend us a cold one on PayPal and become landcrew on Patreon.

Swimming in the canal and paying the fee

Well… I can check “swimming in the Panama Canal” off the list. Didn’t even know it was on there. Don’t recommend it. Here’s the story:

colon club nautico

Our challenge: transiting the canal without an agent

So we’re trying to do this on a budget. The least possible amount you can pay is $1875, with $891 coming back after 3 weeks if you don’t hit anything, or cause a big delay.

Continue reading

Our first PATRON joins the boat! Sailing Zingaro – Episode 12

Please welcome Kris Knabel (one of our first supporters on Patreon) came down to Grand Cayman to sail to Jamaica with us. With the new and improved rudder we let the wind fill our sails and GO!

Unfortunately… in true Zingaro fashion our OTHER rudder fell off. Oops …

Continue reading

Panama Canal is calling!

Getting measured for the Canal on Saturday, February 10th!

We’re busy filling out forms, and borrowing other people’s cell phones to make the arrangements for the canal without an agent (livin la vida broka isn’t a joke). Looks like it’ll cost us right around $2045. The agent quoted me $2900 …

I’ll be putting out a Livin la Vida Broka (LVB) video on the cheapest way to get through the canal. 😉

Just arrived: New crew and a special package

We have new crew arrive last night! Please welcome Lucie Leichsering, another Berliner (I’m outnumbered…). Lucie will be staying with us indefinitely, and definitely transiting the Panama Canal with us next week!

Kim Lucie James with Vollkornbrot

Guess what she brought?? Some of the world famous bread made fresh in the oven of Ute (Kim’s Mom)!!! It’s the best bread we’ve ever had. I wish I had some local bread to show you the difference, but I don’t like wasting food and we won’t eat it. 😉

-Cap’n James

We are back at Puerto Lindo (Panama)

Kimmi and I just got back to civilization from the San Blas Islands. Wow, they’re pretty. Got drone shots under sail. Followed Kim with the dink while she was kiteboarding, underwater stuff. Super fun couple weeks. Good to get away, that’s what this is all about …

Coming soon: Next episode of Livin la Vida Broka and Sailing Zingaro – Episode 12

Freediving the Kittiwake before it toppled over | Sailing Zingaro – Episode 11

S/v Zingaro makes it to Cayman Islands, and we take it easy with a little kiteboarding and diving. The Kittiwake was a really cool wreck to dive, and Kimmi’s first freedive! She did amazing! Little fish. After that’s all over we realize we’ve got a little problem …

Continue reading

Say Guten Tag to my new editor! | Sailing Zingaro – Episode 9

Kimmi’s first episode! Yup, she edited this entire thing. I’m very proud!

In this Episode Kim joins the Zingaro Crew and we take the boat from Isla Mujeres, Mexico, to Cozumel. Unfortunately Cozumel was a paradise for cruise ships and not cruisers. Expensive compared to the rest of Mexico and no authentic tacos to be found … A nightmare for Kim!

Luckily we got to meet some French-Canadian sailors on a 30′ boat (with 5 people, one Mom, and one dog). They are living the pirate kind of life even more than we are. It ended up bring days of singing and sailing with a bunch of beautiful people aboard.

Continue reading

Fixing the boat after running aground | Sailing Zingaro – Episode 8

If you like the how-to vids here’s a really fast walkthrough of a month in the boatyard to repair my bottom.

We fixed the damaged spots, rebuilt the daggerboards, and generally refit the boat. It was a ton of work, everyday 10-12 hours. I lived in the yard during this whole operation. But she’s ready to go! Also, a suprise paint-job!

Let me know what you think!

You like our content? Please don’t forget to like, subcribe and share!
…or spend us a cold one on PayPal and become landcrew on Patreon.

How I fixed my daggerboards | Sailing Zingaro

So I broke two of the biggest pieces of my boat … Here’s how I fixed them. In this video you’ll learn the method I used to rebuild my broken daggerboards. Even if you don’t have daggerboards, you can use this to fix rudders, centerboards, and the like.

This is the culmination of two weeks of solid work, 12 hour days. Tons of work, but man, I learned so much.

Continue reading