JIM NOLAN — known locally for his "Be Current" tidal-current prediction tables and charts, and the handy CBYRA-designated government mark matrices with distance and bearing between them -- has announced his new 1992 series.
It has some unique new twists that make the familiar, good product even better.
New this year is the early season Annapolis-area Region III format, which provides the useful information in two volumes.
First, itcovers all events from the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron's Spring Race on April 25 to the Miles River Yacht Club's Annapolis-to-Miles River and Maryland Capital Yacht Club Miles River Race Back on May 23-24.
And, second, it covers everything from the Severn River Yacht Club's Summer Race and IMS Spring Fling on May 30 through the Sailing Club of the Chesapeake's Ted Osius Memorial over the Fourth of July weekend.
Each of these two volumes costs $15.
As usual, 11 more individual volumes cover events such as the following:
* Gibson Island Yacht Squadron's Love Point-Swan Point Spring Series at the end of May.
* Northern Bay Race Week over July 3-5.
* Eastport YC'sSolomons Island Race on July 17.
* the St. Mary's Governor's Cup race from Annapolis to St. Mary's City the last weekend in July.
*And much more, all the way to Annapolis Yacht Club's Fall Series andSkipper IMS Series in October.
This series ranges in price from $10 to $15 per edition, or all 14 can be purchased as a subscription for $100.
Special editions are also available for: the Cape St. Claire Yacht Club's Chesapeake Lighthouse Challenge, starting on May 22;EYC's Annapolis to Bermuda Bermuda Ocean Race, starting June 13; Hampton Yacht Club's Virginia Cruising Cup race from Annapolis to Hampton starting July 9; and Yachting Race Days at Solomons the first week of August.
Northbound sailors looking at New England racing will want to pick up special editions for the Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race on May 22, Yachting's Block Island Race Week in June and the Stamford YC's Race to the Vineyard in late August.
These speciallong-distance and New England editions are priced between $20 and $25.
All "Be Current" publications are available for sale at FawcettBoat Supplies on City Dock and from CBYRA at its office at 612 ThirdSt. in Eastport, or can be ordered directly from Nolan Associates, who will mail the publications out approximately two weeks before the race in question.
The affable and knowledgeable Nolan is fond of pointing out: Knowing what the tide is doing is the best, cheapest andmost practical way to sail faster.
How much of a speed increase, he asks, can you gain by such actions as buying new sails, cleaning the hull, or reducing weight on-board with such absurd and impossible tactics as using aluminum anchors and spectra lifelines, eliminating soap and toothpaste, or finding a nude midget crew that only eats popcorn?
The answer, he estimates, ranges between 0.3 and eight seconds.
On the other hand, Nolan claims, finding one-tenth of a knot of fair current at a boat speed of 6 knots will save nine seconds a mile, or 22 seconds a mile at 4 knots boat speed.
Avoiding one-tenthof a knot of foul current, at a boat speed of 5 knots, will save 14 seconds a mile, he says.
With the understanding that some things can't be charted in advance -- like an all-day ebb flow following heavy rain farther up the estuarial system in Pennsylvania -- Nolan's tidal-current prediction charts are nice to have around on the race course.
The mini-charts of the course area with the little directionalarrows and velocities, one for each hour of the race day, make it all pretty easy to understand, and for the more technically minded there are plenty of actual tide tables for lots of points in and around the course area.
The scale of all the information is finer than that of a standard-issue tide almanac or tide chart book, meaning that the arrows and data are more closely spaced in the Nolan publications to help pinpoint the best or worst spots to be in at a given time.
In short, the "Be Current" series is a pretty good investment in boat speed, whether the consumer picks up only one or two for the reallybig races of the season or is a regular subscriber who uses every issue.
Also new from Nolan this year is a new set of "Be On Course" mark matrices for Region II as well as the Annapolis, Choptank and Patuxent River areas of Region III. These should be available soon.
For more information, or to subscribe to the new 1992 series, write Nolan Associates, 5415 Burling Road, Bethesda, Md. 20814, or call (301) 986-8948.
Last call for regular (cheaper) tickets to the Naval Academy's annual Safety At Sea Seminar, set for Saturday and Sunday.
The two-day program is certified by the U.S. Sailing Association and includes an introductory session Saturday and an advanced one on Sunday, both offering plenty of practical discussion, demonstrations and information.
On-water demonstrations for both days will take place from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturday only, near the Robert Crown Sailing Center in the Severn River.
Tickets to the seminar are $40 per day or $70 for both days. Those who wait to buy them at the door will pay $50 per day, if they still can get in.
For more information or to sign up, call 268-7676.
Nancy Noyes is a member of the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association and has been racing on the bay for about five years. Her Sailing column appears every Wednesday and Sunday in The Anne Arundel County Sun.