Friday, March 9, 2018

Miami to Havana Race 2018 Recap

The crew of Runaway, a 2008 Hylas 70, sailed the 2018 SORC Miami to Havana Race starting February 14th, 2018.  We finished First Place in the Racer Cruiser Class, and also had the lowest Overall Time for any class. We accomplished this all while being the most comfortable and well fed boat in the race. Results Here

The Hylas 70 performed very well in every condition.  We started on a close reach, and her waterline helped us sail through much of the racing fleet that started five minutes ahead of us.  Later, we were able to set a spinnaker and enjoy the ride downwind to Cuba.

The conditions were perfect, with between 15 and 25 knots of wind from the east.  The Gulf Stream built up some big waves on the crossing, but Runaway handled them with ease.   

The overnight passage was a dream.  The wind built, and we hit 11.7 knots of boatspeed under spinnaker.  Even in the large puffs, the boat was under control and simple for two people on deck to handle.

We arrived at Marina Hemingway the next afternoon, finishing at 4:31 PM.  Cuban Customs were thorough but very friendly. The staff at the Marina was also there to help.  After checking in and tying up, we were off to Havana for food, Mojitos, and cigars.

I would be happy to share my experiences on the Hylas 70, the race, or Cuba any time. Contact Rob Harring at (213)300-3483 or

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Get out Sailing

Whether you live in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere,

Sail on hard or soft water this time of year,

Race with your friends,

Or cruise 'til the day ends,

Get out there,

Get out there,

A few more times this year.

-Rob Harring

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

6 Pictures of Beautiful Boats I've Seen Lately

In my travels I've come across some amazing boats that I'd like to share.  
If the owners read this, please contact me about listing your boat or buying a new one.

Rob Harring

Highland Fling 

A Beautiful Gaff Rigged Antiguan Sloop 

Athena, a 295 foot Schooner

J Class Yacht Ranger, America's Cup Winner

Winch Maintenance on J Class Yacht Svea

Swan Club 50

Friday, August 4, 2017

Article #6- 4 Tips for Getting Started in Racing

photo by Skip Brown

Everyone knows that any two boats on the same body of water are racing.  They might have different finish lines in mind, but it helps everyone stay focused and have fun when there’s friendly competition out there with you.  Racing can be a lifelong obsession, a fun diversion, or in some cases a hobby that brings out the worst in someone.  These tips can make sure you have the right attitude and expectations.

  1. Crew on Someone Else’s Boat- The best way to gain experience is as a crew member.  It is much easier to learn what is happening on the race course when you are not steering.  The whole race slows down, you can see situations developing, and think about how you will react when you’re at the helm.  You also have the chance to make some friends and meet potential crew members for the future.  
  2. Know the Rules- Sailing is a self policing sport.  There are almost never officials on the water as referees, and those are only at the very highest levels of competition.  You should not be on the racecourse unless you have a strong grasp of at least the basic rules.  Port/Starboard, windward/leeward, and knowing how they apply at a starting line and rounding marks are absolutely crucial.    
  3. Pick the Right Race- Most areas have different levels of racing in a small area.  There may be very serious weekend races and relaxed “Beer Can” races on weekday nights.  Some fleets are cutthroat and aggressive, while others can be welcoming and helpful to new sailors.  Get to know your area and what races will be best for your experience level.  
  4. Get Out There- The best way to gain experience is to be out there every chance you get.  You’ll make good calls and bad calls, but you can learn from every one of them.  Remember that many of your competitors have been out there for 5, 10, or 20 years on the same water.  You can start to catch up with their experience, but you probably have a long way to go.  Everyone has to start somewhere, and that usually isn’t at the front of the fleet.  Steady improvement should be your goal, no matter where you start.

As always, these are quick suggestions.  I am available to answer questions any time and go into much greater detail.  The next article is going to be a questions and answer version.  Please contact me with your questions.  

Rob Harring


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Article #5- 5 Tips for Having a Good Time at a Boat Show

San Diego International Boat Show Logo
Going to a Boat Show is a lot of fun.  Beautiful brand new boats are lined up and open for you to get aboard.  All of the big manufacturers are together in one place.  Gear dealers and representatives are available and showing off the newest technology and toys.  I’ve spent a lot of time at Boat Shows, and learned some lessons.  Follow these tips and make sure you make the most of your visit.  

  1. Ask Questions- Boat shows have a huge wealth of knowledge in a small area.  Many people in the industry have spent their entire lives around boats, and most are willing to share their experiences.  You can learn very valuable information about your future boating plans just by asking questions and listening.  The experts on electronics will be there with the latest greatest chartplotters and tips on how to use them.  There will probably be riggers there to show off new products and ways of using them.  All of these people will be happy to share their knowledge and experience if you ask.  

  1. Wear Easy Shoes to Take Off- You’ll be getting on and off boats all day, and most of them will want you to remove your shoes.  Slip on shoes or flip flops will save you a lot of hassle.  There often won’t be places to sit down to put your shoes on and off.  Something that you can kick on and off will be much easier.  We really like your brand new boat shoes, and they will be perfect for you on the water, but we have hundreds or thousands of people aboard these boats every day.  The traffic really adds up, and we are often borrowing the boats from customers who want their boats to stay perfect.    

  1. Your Four Legged Friend- We understand that you love your dog.  We love dogs too, and many of them love boats.  They will probably be happiest at home for the show, and joining you next time you go on the water.  On a sunny day, the carpet at Boat Shows can get very hot.  We have seen a lot of dogs burn their paws while walking around.  They also won’t be able to get on board the boats that you want to see.  Scratches and fur are not welcome on boats that people try very hard to keep looking great during the show.  
  1. Look at Smaller Boats First- Part of going to a boat show is to do some dreaming on a boat that might be out of your price range.  That’s a lot of the fun, and you should absolutely do it.  I have found that it’s very hard to appreciate a smaller boat after you’ve looked at a mega yacht.  My recommendation is to start at the smallest boats in your range.  A 30 foot sailboat might be perfect for you and your family.  By the end of the day you’ll be thinking about sipping champagne on the French Riviera on your yacht.      

  1. Buy a Boat- You might think that I am biased, and I am.  Dealers spend a lot of money to be at boat shows, and manufacturers want to see results.  If it’s the right time for you, it’s a great time to take advantage of extra incentives that are available only during the show.  Make sure you bring your spouse or whoever needs to sign off on the purchase so you don’t miss out.  You can also meet current owners that are at the show, and learn about their experiences.  You’ll make friends that you’ll be on the water with for years to come.  A Boat Show is an exciting time to buy a boat and get a great deal!  

If you have any questions about Boat Shows, just let me know.  I will be at the San Diego International Boat Show June 15th-18th near Harbor Island in San Diego.  Come see me there!  As always, if you or anyone you know are looking for the perfect boat, please let me know.    

Rob Harring

Friday, May 26, 2017

4 Tips for Enjoying a Holiday Weekend on the Water

 Summer has arrived!  Your boat is in the water, ready to go.  The weather is getting warm, and the beer is ice cold.  Your family, including the second cousin you haven’t seen in twenty years; and friends that you haven’t seen since kindergarten are calling you offering their services on your boat.  On top of that, every other boat owner in America is planning to be out on your water this weekend.  This presents some challenges that you should be ready for.  These tips will help make sure you have a great weekend.

  1. Safety First- The traffic will probably be doubled or tripled, and the average experience level will be half or less than normal.  Keep your eyes peeled, and be ready for anything.  It’s the beginning of the year, some people are on their boats for the first time of the season.  They might not have known the rules very well at the end of last year, so now they’re really rusty and their reactions are going to be slow.  Take it on yourself to avoid dangerous situations, make your intentions known early and obviously, and always keep a good lookout.  Also know the uses and locations of all of your safety gear, and make sure it didn’t expire over the winter.

  1. Prepare Ahead of Time- The sleepy fuel dock where you have to wake up the attendant to fill up your tank?  Get ready for a three deep raft of boats.  Their fuel, beer, and water prices might have gone up as well, and they’re probably out of ice.  If you possibly can, fuel up the boat the day or weekend before, and show up with your coolers full and ready to go.  Finding a mechanic is also going to be a lot more difficult or expensive than usual.  A dead battery or a bad impeller can keep you stuck at the dock when you should be out.  Either do a shakedown in the week leading up to your big days, or pay someone to take care of it for you (and make sure they’ll answer your call on Saturday morning)

  1. Be Patient- Traffic will be up on land and on the water, parking will be crowded, local restaurants will be slammed and slow.  These things can be enough to make you forget about the beautiful weather, and the special times with friends and family.  Take a deep breath and smile.  There’s nothing you can do but make sure that you and everyone else continue to enjoy the day.  Rushing will either get someone mad, cause an accident or unsafe situation, or get you to ruin the day by yelling at someone.

  1. Make Sure You Can Enjoy The Whole Weekend- It may have been a long winter, and you might not remember some important things.  Wear your sunscreen.  You want to show off your tan back at the office on Tuesday, but peeling skin isn’t going to impress anyone.  Stay hydrated.  Make sure you have a lot of water, especially if you’re drinking something else.  If you are drinking, be responsible.  Never operate your boat under the influence, and follow your local laws.  I always assume that the other boats out there might not be, and stay further away as it gets later in the day.   Look out for this guy.

With these tips, you’re well on your way to having a great weekend.  Take some time to remember what Memorial Day really means.  As always, post any questions that you have.  

If you find yourself stranded on land this weekend, I can help find you the perfect boat for you and your family.

Thank you for reading,

Rob Harring