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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

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morwood

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About morwood

  • Rank
    Anarchist

Profile Information

  • Location
    Brisbane - after 4 years cruising Bahamas, Atlantic, Med, Caribbean, Pacific
  • Interests
    was: Catana 48
    "Por Dos"
  1. BJ, I understand the advantages of sealed batteries, but if you do decide to go the significantly cheaper and less temperamental FLA route, you can at least make the watering process much easier with something like this: https://flow-rite.com/battery-watering/pro-fill Despite my temptation to switch to LFP for the same charging reasons as you plus weight, I ended up staying with golf cart batteries with a watering system, and think it was the the right choice for us. I'm not sure which way I'd decide now if we still had the boat. Ours were under the saloon settee, so access was pretty easy, and being a cat we could vent them easily through the bridge deck, so we had no issues with fumes or smells. I understand under your berth in a monohull will be harder to vent.
  2. Yes in reasonable weather, but if you are just double-handed one of you will probably be up somewhere near the cockpit keeping watch. The last thing the off-watch person trying to get some sleep wants is someone jumping in and out of bed every 10 to 15 minutes to check the horizon. And anyway, I would guess for most people while long distance cruising <15 percent of their nights are underway. Generally just the major crossings and occasional overnight jumps while coastal. That was the case for us while cruising for 3 1/2 years from Boston to the Med to the Caribbean to Australia. I would suggest doing an overnight passage or two early in your planning to see if it is for you both.
  3. Lots of good advice from BJ above. I would add that though you find fewer pre-teens and teens cruising, I personally think it is one of the best ages to have them cruising/traveling. They are old enough to take real responsibility for themselves and the boat, and they are building experiences that they will remember for their whole lives. They are also old enough to take on lots of responsibility around their home-schooling/education. Our plan was to take the kids out for middle-school and return for high-school, but we ended up going a bit longer and finishing in a different country. But from a schooling/academic perspective they have not suffered at all. We did stick to a pretty academic home-schooling program, but it wasn't hard to get a lot done in just 3 or 4 hours a day when we could. Our twin boys were 11 when we left Boston and 14 when we got to Australia. From the start we had them helping with watches. Initially for part of one of our watches, then they progressed to watches during the day, where at least one of us was also awake, to eventually one of our sons (a bit of a night owl) was standing the 7pm to 11pm watch on his own, though I was sleeping in the saloon. It really helped us get some extra sleep, and was great for giving them real responsibility and engagement in the trip. To stand a watch you don't have to be able to run the boat on your own, just be able to keep an eye on the boat and traffic and weather, and be ready and willing to wake up the skipper. I may have read too much in to your comment about your wife wanting to do a course, but here's some personal advice from our experiences and from many others we met along the way. I'm referring to your "wife", but obviously this applies to whoever is the least confident/competent sailor in the partnership - Encourage and support your wife in doing anything she can to be more comfortable with running the boat on her own. She doesn't have to be a great sailor, just comfortable that she could get the boat back or forward to help, even if it meant dropping the main and sailing with just the roller furling jib, or motoring if you were close enough. Being comfortable with all the communications gear and autopilot is also important. But she doesn't have to be able to dock the boat, once you are close to a harbour you can almost always get help on the radio for the last couple of miles. A common nightmare/fear for the less experienced parent is what if something awful happens to the experienced partner and I'm left to manage the boat and the kids. Anything you can do to alleviate those fears will help everyone's enjoyment of your trip, and increase the probability of it happening. Great if your wife wants to be a great sailor, but it is not necessary, so try and help her set reasonable expectations for a minimum set of skills for a safe trip, not that she has to be ready to sail the world on her own before she goes (though it might happen along the way). If you are looking to find other kid boats and hear some of their experiences, there is a facebook group, "Kids4Sail" that a lot of family boats hang out on. It has a real mix on it, from very experienced long distance cruisers with kids to dreamers trying to work out how to make it happen. Generally it is a very positive and useful group.
  4. Here's a story from 2011 of a Sweden 39 losing all or most of its rudder 4 days after leaving the Cape Verdes then sailing with small head sails and an improvised drogue the remaining 1500 miles to the Caribbean: http://www.yachtingworld.com/features/rudder-failure-1500-miles-to-sail-69460 . We met Patrick and Amanda in 2012 and heard much of the story in person. They continued on and finished their circumnavigation back in the UK in 2015.
  5. I don't really view it as an either or. I think most people use some form of snubber (or bridle on a catamaran) to take the load and add shock absorption once anchored. Some people also have a chain stopper (a chain lock just in front of the windlass) that is used at other times to keep high or continuous loads off the windlass, e.g. to set the anchor or break it out, or to secure the anchor chain while underway, or as backup to the snubber. That's how we used it, though much of the time we set and retrieved the anchor without bothering to use it. We did use it when med moored in Europe as you generally do not want the additional complication of a snubber in that set up with your stern just off the wall.
  6. I can't give you any advice on the cruise down the West Coast, but I can say that I taking our kids out of school when they were 11 and heading off cruising was a great choice for us and them. Along with the obvious benefits of being out cruising, the time spent with your kid(s) doing something adventurous is unbeatable.
  7. We never did the Fiji - NZ thing, but I would have guessed there would be some other boats in the area at that time who might have been able to help out with some more antibiotics? Just curious, as crossing the Pacific I had always thought we would rely on other boats for support if we needed it in that kind of situation outside of French Polynesia. It is however a very big empty space.
  8. Yes for general population cardiac arrest but for cardiac arrest due to drowning the chances of CPR making a difference are much greater. Here is an article that references 3 papers that give a survival to discharge of close to 80% for drowning victims rather than the 10% to 30% from the general population. http://www.swiftwaterrescue.at/content/info/cpr.html Bottom line, regardless of the efficacy of CPR for cardiac arrest on the street, it is worth trying for drowning victims.
  9. Yep, handheld's should have a unique MMSI, but the US has no way to allocate them, so the recommendation is to use the same one as the ship, or get a US only one from Boat US etc. http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=mtMmsi Mark.
  10. We just came in the way you have marked with a green line and then down the North East channel. It seemed to be accurately charted and buoyed. I imagine there are some weather conditions where you might want to go all the way up to the big ship channel, but it didn't seem necessary to us with the weather we had. We did only have a 3'6" draft :-) but it is plenty deep enough everywhere in the channel. Give us a yell when you arrive. We are now living in Brisbane. Mark.
  11. Now remember what your mother said "Stop it or you'll go blind". 11'6" RIB dinghies that weigh 150lbs don't exist and neither do 15hp outboards that weigh 75lbs. More like 190 lbs and 110 lbs. There are lighter RIB's, but you have to look for them. The Walker Bay Genesis 340DX 3.4m (11'2") is spec'ed at 137lbs. And because of it's tube shape (blunt bow) it has more room than average for the length. http://walkerbay.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Genesis_G2.pdf We had an earlier model Walker Bay Genesis RIB for many years and were happy with it. In some parts of the world you can still get 2-stroke outboards, and Suzuki has one that is spec'ed at around 73lbs. A typical 4-stroke 15hp outboard (and in the case of Honda you may as well get the 20hp as it is the same weight) does come in at around 100 to 110lbs. I would highly recommend the OP look at 20hp outboards if they are going with a big dinghy - depending on the brand - they weigh no more than the 15hp model.
  12. The first time we went cruising from 1996 to 1998 in a Vancouver 36 we only had MA state registration as we were not yet US citizens so couldn't document the boat. We sailed from Boston, across the Atlantic, around the Med and back through the Caribbean and only ran in to issues in one place which was a martinet in Guadeloupe who didn't like our state papers, or the fact that I hadn't got a visa for France. We got refused entry and had to leave. This was after the tit-tat immigration restrictions between France and NZ/Australia after Rainbow Warrior. Mainland France and Martinique didn't care. I suspect things may be tighter now, but don't really know as we had a documented boat this time 2012 to 2015. Mark.
  13. No. 200 AH at 12 volts. By adding a battery you don't get to double both the capacity and voltage, just one or other. With 2 x 200Ah 6v batteries: in series 200Ah @ 12v; in parallel 400Ah @ 6v.
  14. I personally think this is one of the best helm arrangements for a cruising catamaran, but none of the manufacturers seem to agree any more. The older Catanas like our 48 have a similar helm arrangement. The newer Catanas have the helms further outboard up on the deck, which seems a little exposed to me. I like the dual helms. In snotty weather, the leeward one is relatively sheltered if you have a decent bimini. Certainly as sheltered and more stable than on the average mono-hull. The leeward one also gives you a reasonable view and weather feel and good access to the sheet winch and main sheet winch (depending on main sheet layout). And as pointed out above, everything is happening in front of you where you can easily see it (well except maybe the windward bow depending on your height and the cabin roof height).
  15. One shroud on each side is the "standard" rig on catamarans, though there are exceptions. The mast is usually held in column by jumpers and diamond stays, hence transferring the loads to the shrouds and forestay.