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About CruiserJim

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  • Birthday 03/29/1958

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  • Location
    Alamitos Bay, CA
  • Interests
    Sailing, road cycling, reading.

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  1. CruiserJim

    Canada’s new tax on yachts

    Quite right. Taxes change behavior, (or behaviour for our Canadian friends). The really wealthy can pretty easily arrange their affairs to avoid “luxury” taxes. But the working stiffs involved in designing, building, manufacturing, selling, distributing and servicing said luxury items take it up the arse.
  2. CruiserJim

    My Song fell off a cargo?!

    Sad, but really the only reasonable course of action.
  3. CruiserJim

    Can a shower be installed into a small sailboat?

    +1000! My 38’ boat had a shower, but I used a good old Sun Shower virtually all the time instead. Simple, did not need to run an engine or generator to heat water, didn’t have to clean up the inside shower afterwards, it was 100% silent and it got plenty hot.
  4. CruiserJim

    Prevalence of aspiring sailors who give up

    From my own observations there is a huge advantage to learning to sail as a kid. Maybe it’s the “like riding a bike” thing or learning another language. Of course there are plenty of adults who learn and become experts, but there is just something about a kids brain being programmed to learn that sailing taps into. Kinda like me and snow skiing, which I did not try until I was an adult. It never clicked, despite several attempts and lessons.
  5. CruiserJim

    Erickson 29?

    Obviously the seller has taken this other thread to a whole new level:
  6. CruiserJim

    The Boat (2018) Film

    Yes, I read it years ago. Still have it sitting on the shelf. Might re-read it, thanks for the reminder.
  7. CruiserJim

    More than 30 killed off santa cruz island

    Nothing can eliminate 100% of risk. Everything is a trade-off, and regulators would consider the whole system in evaluating the risk. So for a fire safety system, Conception had no propane, no built in gasoline, no doubt the electrical system had appropriate sized-wire, fuses and breakers, fire extinguishers, an engine room fire suppression system, smoke detectors (apparently in the bunk room), an annual inspection, a COI that required a watch, crew training (presumably) in fire fighting and prevention, and finally, if all else fails, a small emergency exit from the bunk area. All of this sounded extensive and pretty safe up until a couple weeks ago. Assuming a fire started from a charging device in the mess area (above the bunk room), what parts of this system failed? 1. The mess is above the bunk room, smoke/heat rises, so smoke detectors may not have warned the passengers and crew until it was too late. 2. No watch. 3. Inadequate emergency exit. And of course the system did not contemplate risk from charging portable devices at all. The lack of a watch and perhaps no smoke detectors where the fire started results in the fire not being discovered until the entire mess hall/galley area is fully involved, rendering any firefighting equipment and training useless. Two apparent problems with the exit - the difficulty of locating it and actually getting through it in an emergency, and that it exits to the same general area as the main exit. In fairness to designers and regulators, it was probably assumed that should there be a fire, it would be discovered long before both exits were fully involved, and worst case, fire fighting efforts would slow the fire long enough for people to escape. The emergency exit was the last in a long list of fire safety items and after everything else fails, it was not enough (and we don't know if the passengers even had a chance to try to escape through it). It's tragic that it takes something like this to reveal deficiencies that in hindsight should have been more obvious. But then no one expected flooding in more than 4 watertight compartments on the Titanic either. Humans aren't perfect, but hopefully we learn.
  8. CruiserJim

    Where Has Your Boat Taken You?

    West coast, Ensenada to the south, as far as Sacramento via the bay, to the north, including a good bit of the Delta, and pretty much all harbors in between. All the SoCal islands except San Nicolas. Charter - BVI/USVI, also Raiatea, Taha'a, Bora Bora. Friends - BVI, Around Antigua, Tortola to Buzzards Bay MA via Bermuda.
  9. CruiserJim

    More than 30 killed off santa cruz island

    True, no major incidents - the sequence of events that resulted in the Conception disaster never occurred before. Perhaps luck played a part here, and no doubt existing safety practices too. I remember maybe 10-15 years ago, the dive boat Sundiver out of Long Beach lost a diver - they left the dive area before the last diver was aboard. A breakdown of the buddy system and the headcount procedure. Fortunately he was rescued by the Sea Scouts. A failure of two separate procedures. Agree the emergency hatch, especially the access from below, is terrible in hindsight. I've never been aboard one of these boats, but I do have a touch of claustrophobia. Looking at the bunkhouse pictures and imagining 30+ people in there triggers that in me. Complacency is a problem, a bit of human nature that is easy to succumb to. "Nothing's ever happened in all these years, what's going to happen tonight that's any different?" How risky is it to go to sleep while safely anchored on a calm night at Platts, which they done hundreds of times. If a battery did cause this, will the investigators ever be able to determine this with certainty? Whatever device might have been involved no longer exists after the intensify of the fire and then sinking, inverting and spending 10 days on the bottom. FAA has battery regs, but their records have just 265 incidents since 1991. Given the number of passengers and devices flying around every day, these things are statistically darned safe. Very low probability of something going wrong, but huge consequences if it does go wrong.
  10. CruiserJim

    More than 30 killed off santa cruz island

    They can’t issue new regulations that quickly, nor should they IMO. Regulations have the force of law and therefore must go thru a review process, be formally proposed, and then have a public comment period before being finalized. This CG memo sets out common sense reminders to operators, just in case they haven't figure it out themselves from what has been reported so far. Well drafted regs can make things better, ill-considered regs can be both destructively expensive to implement and ineffective, and in some cases counter-productive. These boats have operated safely for decades, but the Conception loss shows that maybe some things should be different going forward. It takes time, but the investigation needs to happen, then consider changes to the regs.
  11. CruiserJim

    Going over to the dark side

    Go for it. I’ve been on a couple charter boats with in-mast furling, and I’ve sailed a 54’ with a furling boom. I hate to say it, but for coastal cruising I’d choose the in-mast furler between the two. Much easier to deploy/stow the main. Yes there are compromises like sail shape and loss of roach, but every boat is a compromise, why should the rig be any different? Raising and lowering the main with the boom is a PITA. Finicky as to the boom angle, having to lift the weight of the sail and overcome the bolt rope friction. And the boom (I think it was LeisureFurl?) has a u-joint sort of gooseneck fitting that comes with a strong warning about avoiding accidental jibes or it might break. Of course no one sets out to do an accidental jibe, but shit happens, that’s why it’s called “accidental”. I’d hope my rig could handle it without a catastrophic failure. Heading offshore where shelter, sailmakers and riggers aren’t readily available, hard to beat a nice full battened main with lazy jacks of some sort. Get an electric winch if necessary. In fact it’s probably hard to beat this anyway, depending on how large a boat you get.
  12. CruiserJim

    Ro Ro Rolls Over in Georgia

    IOW, a wave hit it. Chance in a million.
  13. CruiserJim

    The blight of generators

    I bought a Home Depot generator special a few years ago when a transformer blew and burned up the underground vault in our neighborhood. Power was projected to be out for 48 -60 hours, it was December 22 and we were holding the family Christmas gatherings at our house, so we had both a freezer and refrigerator stuffed for the occasion and did not want to lose it all. It works, but damn is it noisy. More like a lawn mower running constantly. We ran it into the early evening, then shut it down for the nights, fortunately it was winter so neighbors did not have lots of open windows. It’s these things give the Honda its quiet reputation.
  14. Yeah, that’s a good idea, and not something I did. The boat was maybe 6 yrs old when I bought it. I think one of the control lines broke the next year and I replace them, then another one broke maybe 6 or 7 years later and I replaced them. So yeah keep them on a two year schedule like that. I don’t recall that they were very expensive and it’s a simple enough job.
  15. My boat had a fully battened main, Harken Battcars and Dutchman. I was a bit skeptical of the Dutchman system when I bought the boat, but it was surprisingly effective. I could hoist from the mast and just needed the winch for tension (38' boat). Dousing, if I went head to wind and let go the halyard, the whole shebang dropped instantly and the Dutchman kept it well enough controlled that I did not have to furl it immediately if I had other priorities. Only drawback I saw to the Dutchman was the vertical control lines get dirty and I ended up with dark vertical stains on the sail.