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About CCruiser

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  1. CCruiser

    Gulfstar 43 Ketch Review/Advice

    We had a '74 50 sloop. The 43 and 50 were part of the MKII series introduced in the early 70's. So if you look at the 50 you will see a 43, only longer. We cruised the boat for a year in the Caribbean with the entire family - mom, dad and two daughters 11/7 years old. It was a good cruising boat, sea kindly, would point at about 40 to 45 degrees depending on conditions, was fast on a reach, and fitted out for livable space below (for our purpose it had three sleeping cabins). It's biggest issue was toe rail and port leaks. These were correctable but it was a not an insignificant amount of work to do so.. We replaced all the ports, with opening ports resealing them, and in the process removed the interior panels and sealed the edges and inside to protect from water damage, (A problem on a lot of boats) The toe rail we sealed with a bead of caulk on both sides, and that "solved" the issue, but needed to be redone on a regular basis. Finally, we replaced the primary/mast winches to self tailors and increased size, and added a Harkin traveler - (Hint - if you look you will see that it is easy to convert to a sloop, just remove the mizzen mast). The one issue you may find is with the cabin sole - the leaking if unchecked can do extensive damage, and require a lot of work to fix. Would assume you can get a 43 inexpensively. The issues I see, in addition to those mentioned above are (consistent with any 70's boat) what condition is the engine in i.e. does it need to be replaced/rebuilt; what condition is the standing rigging, the winches, etc. in; and what about the boat needs to be "modernized."
  2. CCruiser

    Melges 24 trailer hub

    Doesn't Melges know? They sold the trailers
  3. CCruiser

    Obtaining paper charts

    There is also Bluewater Books in Ft Lauderdale - official charts for $20.70 per chart. They have both official and private charts. Site is easy to use and they have free shipping. Have always found Fawcetts expensive.
  4. CCruiser

    Dolphins in Long Island Sound

    Have been in the Sound on a trip north from Florida for Hurricane Season, and took the opportunity to cruise the eastern end of the Sound, the fishtail area and Block Sound/Newport. and saw them. Guess we were just lucky.
  5. CCruiser

    Melges 24 - Water Underneath Cabin Floor

    Impossible to keep water out of that area. The comment about removing the floor is right on, all the older boats have removed the floor since they discontinued the floor early on.. Get a grinder with a cutoff wheel and remove the floor (obviously carefully), then sand down the hard foam you will find underneath, then sand down the edges of the surrounding fiberglass furniture and glass over the gap. You can paint or not as you wish. Then get it remeasured. Will not lose that much weight, so will still be within the measurement rule.
  6. CCruiser

    Comfort zone: air draft/bridge clearance

    Have done the IC a few times on a number of boats (Mile 0 to Florida, various ending ports) the standard height is 65', but there are some known "issue" bridges. The various ICW guides have the bridges with the actual heights. The chart shows 1 bridge at 60' when it is 65. I have always found the height boards helpful. The poster is correct that some of the lower board are covered by growth, and can be difficult to read, but the boards are in 2 foot increments and so by just knowing the starting height you can read the present height. Those few bridges that do not have boards are never an issue in my experience they are always at least 65 feet. This is the first I have heard of the heights on the boards being at the sides of the channel, but if true, almost all bridges are higher at the center and for much of the IC the channel under bridges is most of the stretch of ditch you are in. Have never pinged our antenna, we have a 60' mast, and a 3' of antenna The only boat we have pinged on had a 63'6" mast and a 3 foot antenna, and we pinged on the bridge going north ot of Moorhead City, and again on one of the bridges south of Coinjock, I think it was Wilkerson if memory serves. As for construction that used to be what Active Captain was for - to warn you of such things and other navigation challenges, like the changing contours of Middle Ground.
  7. CCruiser

    Goiot Hatch Refurb

    When you are done, no need to wait. We did ours and replaced the lens in place. As for the gasket - Plastimo has a glue to use with it, but I believe any inflatable repair glue will work.
  8. Seems like you chose the easiest of all - an airplane. Not sure what your story has to do with the Thorny Path or for that matter Jimmy Cornel's Ocean Passages. Too bad about the chartered boat though.
  9. Not everyone has forgotten how to sail up wind, but they have not bought Island Packets, they have bought catamarans. They are much more spacious and comfortable a anchor. There are two “theories” about how to get from the East Coast to the Eastern Caribbean - the offshore approach and the Island hopping approach. Both start with respect for the Trade Winds and the sea state they develop which can make going to weather an excruciating exercise for both the boat and crew. Beating into 25 knot or more Trades and their seas is not something to be undertaken lightly, if it can be avoided. The offshore approach starts with the idea that you should avoid the Bahamas and leave from a more northerly departure point on the east coast, recognizing that the more northerly and the later in the season the more likely the chance you will encounter extra-tropical cyclones, i.e. gales. These approaches center around Bermuda as a potential stopping spot, and call for leaving on a weather window - the front end of a cold front. They also focus on leaving in late October and early November. If you are leaving from say Newport Street recommended decades ago that you leave in October and stop in Bermuda, waiting for November to take the hop to St Thomas or St. Maartin, in order to avoid hurricanes and gales. If leaving from the Chesapeake, there are a couple of rallies that leave from there - the Salty Dog and the Caribbean 1500, and a lot of boats that go it on there own.. To your question if you are leaving from the Bahamas, you want to resist giving up to the south. In other words you want to stay as far north as possible. Thus, the preferable method is to leave from the Abacos, (say Great Guana Cay) on the leading edge of a front, motoring in little or no wind due east, sailing as the wind fills in and clocks, so that you are as far east as possible before the Trades fill in from the northeast, and you can fall off and reach into the islands. Normally, this trip is undertaken in November or early December to avoid hurricanes and the winter Trades. The other approach is the one taken by the folks in the video - island hopping thru the Bahamas, out to the Turks and Caicos, Big Sand Cay to be exact and then across to Luperon (used to be to Puerto Plata) on a good weather window. Then on a good weather window (Trades in a low cycle from the Northeast), work the North Coast at night when the katabatic winds are further reducing the Trades. The theory here is that you sail up wind, but within a narrow band off the coast to avoid the Trades and sea state as much as possible. The classic trip stops in a couple of places on the north Coast, (e.g. Rio San Juan), before turning the corner and into Samana. From there, again on a weather window, you cross the Mona Passage to Boqueron P.R., and then along the South Coast of Puerto Rico. This method is spelled out in detail in The Gentleman’s Guide to Passages South, by Van Sant. From our conversations with folks who have done this trip it takes at about a year, and many get “stuck” for a while in Luperon. Re Diarmuid's comments - the out bound trip has never been easy, or something to be undertaken lightly, and as noted above, the approach varied depending on where you were leaving from. However, the rallies from Newport and the Chesapeake are still well attended, and you will see any number of boats in the Caribbean with ARC, Salty Dog or 1500 indicia. When we first did the trip over 30 years ago, it was typical that folks took their boats out and back in one "season." What has changed is that now most folks take their boats out there and leave them for a number of seasons. On our last trip we had the boat out there for 3 years. I would also say that Island Packets are not that prevalent, nor are Catamarans, except for the BVI charter fleets. Another change is 30 years ago the largest sail boats you saw, with only one or two exceptions, were Swan 65's. This last trip sail boats over 100 feet were ubiquitous, and some were 175-200'.
  10. CCruiser

    Feasibility to refit a big, old boat?

    There is no way someone on this site can give you a cost estimate for a restoration of this or any other boat. Developing such an estimate requires some work on your part with a surveyor, a yard, a rigger and sail maker to determine 1. what condition the boat is in, 2. what you need/want done, and 2. what it will cost to get the boat into the condition you want her. Even then any number you develop, assuming you can get a number, would be a WAG, given the uncertain nature of what will turn out to actually be required as you work your way through the project. If you want to see what's involved in a restoration look at this site concerning the restoration of a Cal 40 - That was a free boat. It will give you an idea of the steps you would need to take and the people you would have to engage to contemplate such a project. If I recall correctly the cost of that restoration (admittedly a gold plater) was in the quarter million $$ range. You take on these types of projects because you love the boat, want to see it restored, and while money is no object, it has to be a secondary consideration. As someone said earlier if you have to ask . . . !
  11. B.J. We anchored on the Dutch side in 2014/15 for 2 months, (Nov-Jan) and when we checked out the charge was $280. The bridge fee and anchoring fee are enforced when you check out at the bridge customs/immigration office, which you are required to do if you are in the lagoon. You can't check out at P-burg. They have a record on the computer of every boat entering the lagoon, vessel name and date of entry, which is backed up with video and the bridge tender logs. The new bridge opens 15 minutes before and after the entrance bridge, so when you enter you can proceed to the new bridge, requesting an opening and pass through to the French side. Then check in and out on the French side for $7.00 each time (last time we were there in 2017), with no anchoring fee. That was the last time we anchored on the Dutch side. Different from the first time we checked into St Maartin - you went around to the police station and signed a book. No paperwork, no passports, no boat papers, just your boat name and your name. Of course that was awhile ago.
  12. On the French side, which is were you should stay, whether Marigot or the lagoon, check in at the Captiniere's office at the Port Royal Marina.- it was $7 dollars each way when we were last there.
  13. CCruiser

    Boom Vang CF?

    Move the forward main sheet blocks aft and replace them with a double with becket. Leave as much space between the block and the vang attachment points, the block can be close to directly above the block on the traveler. Garhour makes a double with becket that matches the mainsheet blocks you have, spec'ed for up to 5/8" rope and 3,000 lb swl. Easiest, safest, and cheapest fix.
  14. We have cruised the Grenadines/Grenada several times. Grenada is a gorgeous island, but there are limited places to sail/snorkel. We have always enjoyed cruising there as we could take in St Georges (gotten real busy) and the South coast. Its a bit like St Martin in that regard. However the Grenadines are comparable to the BVI in the sense that they offer a lot of small islands to visit that are relatively close to each other. They are also a great cruising ground because you can hang out in Bequia, Tobago Cays, and Cariacou. However, the sailing is more challenging than the BVI. You can charter from St Lucia or Grenada, but both suffer from a long first and last sail (unless you buy one-way). Another alternative is chartering out of the south end of St Vincent - Young Island Cut or Blue Lagoon. As for Belize its great cruising and chartering as well, except that the charter bases are concentrated around the Plascencia area, which makes it difficult to get to the area north of the entrance channel to Belize City - Goff's Cay, Cay Caulker and Ambergris Cay (San Pedro). But there are plenty of spots south of the entrance channel, such as Blue Field Range, South Water Cay. It is also next to impossible to visit the off lying reefs. The snorkeling is outstanding as good as the Bahamas.
  15. Having chartered and cruised both, B.J. comments are spot in from our experience.