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About Wess

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  1. Wess

    Minimal Nav Systems for Coastal

    OK, lets shift gears slightly. * What does your full nav system suite of stuff draw; how many amps? Yea its going to vary a bit (maybe even a lot based on conditions) but if you are running your auto-pilot, radar, plotter, VHF/AIS, wind, depth, speed, etc... what's the amp draw? As I think this through that is going to be a practical constraint for me maybe even more than what systems I would want. The beauty of owning a trimaran like this is that its as fun to daysail as it is to cruise and I have the ability to trailer to cross country. The downside is the load carry capability is less than what most are used to. We don't do docks and plug in. There will be no inboard diesel(s) with alternator(s) there is instead just a small small outboard. No generator (maybe a small portable for emergencies), no inverter, no huge battery bank (friend just noted 8 - YIKES! - heavy batts on their cat). The bottom line is power generation and storage is going to limit me as much as what I might want will. So when I raced I would ask along with the rest of SA... "what's it rate?" For CA and this discussion I need to twist that to "what's it draw?" Now the odd thing is for the nav suite described above I have heard estimates of "couple amps; easily less than 10" to a high of "about 25!"
  2. Wess

    Minimal Nav Systems for Coastal

    Thank you Zonker. One more quick question: How are you powering the computer? Recall you sailing a cat, keeping it light, and hoping you are not going to say generator or inverter, LOL because there is no way I am going down that path!
  3. Wess

    Minimal Nav Systems for Coastal

    @Panoramix you and others mentioned wind instruments. And certainly most everyone seems to have them. Why? What use do you get from them? This is a trimaran with a rotating rig. I was looking at wind instruments as expensive, complex (to compensate for rotation), and prone to frequent breakdown. All for almost zero value add. What am I missing here? To the extent there is benefit that I am missing has anyone had success mounting wind instruments somewhere other then the masthead (or mast)? I can't imagine the stern arch up with the radar and solar would work but...
  4. Wess

    Minimal Nav Systems for Coastal

    No, that is not it at all. No disrespect but that ain't the question. We have been there and done this with nothing but paper, VHF, compass, speed and depth back in the 80s. But for example, in terms of power generation, by the mid 90 when we equipped a boat, solar had become so simple and robust that it became too good (with no real downside) to not have. What I am looking for is the modern day equivalent (to that solar example for power generation) in terms of nav systems. I don't NEED any of it. But what I am trying to understand is what has become so simple, so helpful, so maintenance free and robust that you simply would not go without. Not because you need it but because it just adds so much and hurts so little that its a no-brainer.
  5. Wess

    Minimal Nav Systems for Coastal

    Thanks for raising this point. I had neglected it. Tell me about this gadget.. I am truly ignornt of any and all advances in tide/current forecasting. For many years this was my bible in that regard. All - How are people doing tide and current forecasting now? @Veeger- Thanks for your posts. I liked the integration of all on the chartplotter on the new boat Added utility for sure. Is there a downside. If the plotter goes down do you lose all and is there a backup plan? What is it? Also given where you are and what you do I would be interested to know your decision on the M38. Feel free to PM if you don't want to post here but am curious what you put on that. @Zonker - Like the fishfinder idea. Any downside? Ability to integrate (I get you said you said you had non integrated... wondering if that was a conscious or equipment forced choice... basically why non integrated?
  6. I can think of a number of "name" designer and builder boats that have done far less and have no where near the longevity of Skateaway!
  7. Wess

    Minimal Nav Systems for Coastal

    Yes @Sail4beer and @SloopJonB - for sure depth and compass. Maybe a wind vane on the top of the mast but its a rotating rig so very much doubt I am doing wind instruments. For sure not at the mast head. PITA and unreliable at best. For all I maybe overstated the bang for buck/cost card. That is maybe less a primary driver. I just don't want something that costs a lot and breaks a lot and adds little to safety or ability to get off the dock. An example would be that we took off the used Honda outboard that needed unknown work and tossed it in dumpster. Replaced with a new Yamaha. Why? Best marine engine by far (I will give Honda #2) and superior service (availability and quality and ability to access parts) by miles anywhere in the world. So we added tons to to our reliability with the repowering. Yes @Steam Flyer - both paper charts and a VHF are also for sure. And my thought was similar to your about AIS transceiver before radar. But if bang for buck is good... but what is the bang other than fog? Squalls at night? Picking up markers in the ditch at night (was surprised I could do that)... other? Agree @IStream - one of the other things I liked about fewer systems is that I would not venture out in fog because I had radar and AIS (only to have it crap out) and try to keep to a schedule. No value judgement there; just a strong preference to not sail to a schedule. So adding some things may create a capability I don't want. Learned something about myself with the comment above about my running the ICW at night. I have never done that. Did not view it as safe. Add to this I had just seen the boat first time, no survey and had been fixing things fast but they were breaking faster. Got the AP to working status while running during the day. Same with radar and tried to teach self how to use. T'was just before Thanksgiving and really wanted to get home to see family. Its a small thing and virtually no chance of anything major/fatal. But still something that my wife and I would never have done in past. But with the chartplotter and radar lighting up the marks and ditch and the auto pilot driving I kept pushing on. Without the radar I would not have. I learned I need better discipline if I have better systems and capability. Not a decision driver (to get or not get something) but realized better systems have the ability to change some of our fundamental philosophy of cruising.
  8. Wess

    Minimal Nav Systems for Coastal

    @valis and @frozenhawaiian - you both mentioned radar. Other than fog, what are you using it for in coastal hops? How reliable are the systems? I am assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that its likely to be the most expensive and least reliable system (well other than the auto pilot but that is a high use item).
  9. Question: For coastal and island cruising what are the minimum nav systems you would go with? Focus on minimum requirements with an emphasis on 1.) bang for the buck, and 2.) robust. Solar for power generation meets this test for me at least. Context: Today virtually every boat we see today - and I don't mean marina queens I mean boats out there doing it... even if just coastal/ICW - has a computer, a chart plotter, autopilot, radar, EPIRB, and receives and transmits AIS. My wife and I last did any serious cruising back in the 80s. Been both sides of the pond and to the islands. This was all pre-GPS days. Loran C was barely a thing. Because we were young and broke and the technology didn't exist we had none of these things. As we had kids we moved from offshore to coastal boats (and our sailing was limited to US east coast mid atlantic) and though technology had evolved (ie GPS etc existed) we still minimized (almost all) systems. Still had almost none of the aforementioned nav systems though we did have solar for power generation (we liked our fridge) and an autopilot. Technology was nice but it cost money and time to acquire and maintain and so compared to other boats we sailed, crewed or delivered, the simple systems approach still appealed to us. Paper charts and cruising guide books didn't seem to slow down or limit or sailing; it enhanced our ability to get off the dock. We did however have an autopilot which was nice given there was just two of us (and our 2 very young kids). As the kids grew we shifted to a boat we raced up down and all over Chesapeake Bay. Luddite that I am I did get a cheap chart plotter... though less for nav and more because I wanted VMG for racing tactics. But yes I did evolve to use it for nav as well. So why ask the question... because we sold the race and daysailing tri and picked up a cruising tri. Its a bit of an unused wreck and we are refitting her. Solar for power generation is for sure. She has a marginally functioning radar, chart plotter and autopilot. No AIS (transmission or receiving). Got the plotter and radar working well enough that I was able to run a bit of the ICW in FL at night to keep on schedule (delivering her for her refit)... so I can see benefits. But that all brings us back to the question of what systems and what brand (make/model) for nav? Planning to retire I don't want to waste money. Loving travel and sailing and hating systems and maintenance I want simple and robust. Our plans no longer involve ocean crossings. Coastal hops and ICW up and down the east coast and out to the islands. Eventually trailer to the west coast and do an inside passage to alaska as well as sea of cortez/baha.
  10. Wess

    Aground in Charleston

    Der is a shorta cymbaler one on da See and Dee kanal.
  11. Sam - A2B. Great winter racing scene in the islands. N2B and other will open wider with time and experience. This boat is right up your alley. Or @Mizzmo. Or @kbcH20.
  12. Boardhead - Thanks for building her. And sailing her. And inspiring us. You have no way to know this but it is because of you and that boat that my wife and I sail tris. I wish you the very very best for her and pray a new owner is found and treats her as well. I first sailed with my grandfather on barnegat bay. My parents had no interest - they were more into mountaineering - but the bug bit me and I picked up sailing again later with a girlfriend that became my wife of now 30 plus years. Its so long ago but I think I recall seeing the build and wondering what it was and then seeing her sail. I vaguely recall (and could easily be wrong) her being bearthed at a house on the bay side of the barrier island (ie east side of the bay) and maybe (?) being beached after one of the hurricanes. We were so happy to see her later out sailing and looking as good as ever. Think we rowed around her a few dozen times at Tices just admiring her. She (and you) were/are so ahead of your time. We loved seeing her at anchor and loved seeing her sail. Because of her we lusted after trimarans and eventually bought one (an F27F) which we sailed and raced for almost 2 decades. For my wife and I, the racing thing has gotten old (she was never into it) and we will be mostly cruising the new (to us) tri. We love simple systems and don't want to sleep 10 people so I can't answer your questions there. As to folding; I can. We bought folding obviously and the reason was simple... it increased our range significantly. We will keep her on the east coast mid Atlantic and can sail from Maine to the Islands but we also want to do Sea of Cortez/Baha and an inside passage to Alaska. We could not do that - given kids and sick parents we care for - unless the boat could be folded and trailered. So while we were willing to give up bridge-deck living of the offshore cats we had owned and some greater load carrying ability, we wanted to have the trailerability when picking a tri. Obviously you need a new owner that loves offshore racing as much as family cruising. I am sure that person is out there its just not me (us) any more. I hope you find him/her or they find you and Skateaway lives on in all her splendor and glory! Oh and God YES!!! I would love to see a fleet of these things racing in the RdR. Best wishes my friend, Wess
  13. YES. Too familiar. Hazy days but twas an Island Packet Packet Cat 35 if I recall correctly. Delivery off Nova Scotia. Bad weather and seas. Pop goes the water tank, I mean wrecking ball, I mean... oye!! The damage the F-er did before it burst was amazing. Rare you are thankful for a cat that was built like an army tank.