Category Archives: Peter´s considerations

The importance of a strong rudder

APPEARANCE AND REALITY A tour of European trade fairs and marinas reveals which marketing campaigns and promotions have gained the most traction and highlights the latest trends and developments to have been packaged up, badged (invariably) as important improvements and … Continue reading

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Longue Route 2018

GENESIS OF THE LONGUE ROUTE 2018 To plagiarize shamelessly Jack London – or his wife Charmian, both wrote exactly the same sentence without specifying the author – “it’s all the fault of Captain Joshua Slocum and his ship the Spray!” … Continue reading

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Golden Globe Race 2018 – Longue Route 2018

THE EARLY BIRD AND THE WORM The time is racing away. Watch out or you might find yourself left behind, washed up – a social outcast even. You have to keep up, everyone says so. Perhaps there’s comfort to be … Continue reading

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Peter – 70 years

PETER FOERTHMANN – 70 Years – UNPLUGGED With 70 years on the clock, my life’s drone has soared to a height at which one could be forgiven for expecting a measure of wisdom, a modicum of life experience. Peter – … Continue reading

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From Aries to Windpilot

THE CHANGE FROM ARIES TO WINDPILOT MADE SIMPLE As the years have passed, innumerable UK-based boats that once had an Aries in pride of place have switched to the Windpilot Pacific. The differences are striking – time marches on (at … Continue reading

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Self steering on catamarans

Relief from manual steering for catamaran crews Catamaran sailors too have the right to close their eyes once in a while. Ocean-going catamarans at sea are almost without exception steered by electric autopilots, with permanently installed inboard autopilot systems generally … Continue reading

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Transom ornaments part #2

BIMINI – PERSONEL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT The bluewater dream is a dream of sun and warmth – and the less sun and warmth you have in your daily life, the more you dream of basking in them on your travels. That … Continue reading

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Transom ornaments part #1

INSTALLATION, OBSERVATIONS, ( OVER ) ANALYSIS Everybody knows that appearance-wise, one sailor’s dream yacht is another’s blot on the seascape and that we all have our own personal priorities. My professional interest centres on the after end (where else can … Continue reading

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Peter´s biography 1984 – 1989

THE FIVE PILLARS Two and a half years have whizzed by and it is high time I parked myself in front of the keyboard again to squeeze out another chapter of my life story. This has to be psychoanalysis at … Continue reading

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Boats by nations – France Part 1

LIBERTÉ, EGALITÉ, FRATERNITÉ – or none of the above? Freedom, equality and fraternity: values that inspired the rebirth of a nation but whose lustre seems to have faded under the onslaught of individualism, values that may or may not, depending … Continue reading

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Signs of Life

Rolling out of bed at 5 a.m. this morning, my first port of call was the sofa and a quick glance at the night’s incoming e-mail. One particular message caught my eye: Good evening Peter, Are you no longer among us? … Continue reading

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Windpilot USA

IN THE LAND OF SHARP ELBOWS Time passes in the New World just as it does in the old and people are people wherever they are. That, however, has never stopped some from playing up the differences and making believe … Continue reading

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Aries – The bad weather problem – no basis in fact

THE CURIOUS (Tall) TALE OF THE “BAD WEATHER PROBLEM” An unmistakeable and respected symbol of the bluewater tradition, the Aries vane gear has come to occupy a special place in the history of windvane steering systems. The 1960s were drawing … Continue reading

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Circumnavigation part 4

HOME AGAIN … AND THEN WHAT ? The last few miles pass in a flash and then it’s a headlong plunge into a joyous, welcoming throng of loved-ones, friends and family. Even ancient distant relations never normally to be seen … Continue reading

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Circumnavigation part 3

In our dreams Waterproofs, I would suggest, do not to feature much in most dreams of sailing around the world: fair winds, following seas and capable, entertaining (as you will) and steadfast company are much more the order of the … Continue reading

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Social evolution amongst yachtsmen

SOCIAL INTERACTIONS and SOCIABILITY The ground rules for successful social interaction are impressed on us repeatedly from our very earliest days: be polite, no hitting or pinching, be helpful, be kind and share share share… All amenable social interaction unfolds … Continue reading

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Circumnavigation # 2

ALL THE WAY AROUND … WHAT? Haparanda: remote, mysterious, alluring… and located at the very top of the Baltic, so best enjoyed with the aid of some friendly sunshine. It’s really all about the journey, as every wise mariner knows, … Continue reading

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The second-hand yacht

Just how much does it take, in terms of liquid assets, to turn dreams into reality, to convert flickering mental images of swaying fronds into real living and growing palms on a South Seas beach? And how much of the … Continue reading

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The good, the bad and the just plain odd

MISADVENTURES IN THE WINDVANE SELF-STEERING MARKET Are you sitting comfortably? Here comes another unlikely – but entirely true – tale from the world of windvane self-steering. If you were still steering by hand in the 1970s (or if, indeed, you … Continue reading

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Bio 1976 -1984 – and now to business

One Saturday afternoon off Kiel in June 1976 I drew a line under my formative years as carefree drifter and daydreamer and embarked on a new journey that, quickly taking on a life of its own, would increasingly come to … Continue reading

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