hdra

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About hdra

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  1. We have a Bainbridge Railman 7000 slide car system on our mainsail that is pushing 20 years old, and we are running out of spares. Bainbridge doesn't make it anymore, and we've pillaged all of our sisterships of the available parts that they'll trade. Any thoughts on a good slider system for a replacement? Boat is 72' long, about 50 tons, with about 80' luff and full batten main without too much roach, so less compression than a big cat or something but pretty heavy gear, and we sail 10-15K miles a year so a lot of wear and tear. I'd like to avoid ball bearing systems - we use one on our 40'er, but honestly not that impressed by the lower friction and have sprayed ball bearings all over the deck one too many times to really want to deal with it on a larger scale, and the bainbridge slide system has been just fine in terms of friction. So far the options I've found are: Tides Marine - seems like this is way too small/light duty for our size. Antal - Seems like it may be the closest thing to what we have, but don't like that they only have plastic batten receptacles - guess we could solve this just by using different brand of luff receptacles. Schaefer Battslide - we have a few aluminum schaefer batten receptacles from a previous main that we really like, but can't seem to find any pictures on the schaefer website of the actual slider system - anyone used it? Harken - I know Harken used to make a slider system that would work, as I saw it on a 113' schooner's mainsail that was built around 2006 or so and it seemed to work well, but not sure if they were just using a small boat slider system or if Harken stopped making it. Priorities are reliability/durability, support/availability of spares, and ability to match track hole spacing to the old track so we don't have to put more holes in the rig. Are there any that I'm missing, or anyone who has had experience with any of the above systems?
  2. hdra

    Are Lifeline AGM batteries any good?

    We have 6x 8D Lifefline AGMs and have been happy with them - we've been using the current set for about 5 years pretty heavily (liveaboard cruising/sailing 6-10 months a year) and are just now starting to see loss of capacity - think we can probably get away with another year but may replace them this winter.
  3. hdra

    Life jacket with harness

    You may be more comfortable wearing a separate harness and dinghy jacket - haven't come across many foam jackets with built in harnesses. We found the Spinlock harnesses to be really comfortable to wear and think they'd probably work well under a dinghy vest.
  4. hdra

    Exhaust water separator

    We've got water separating mufflers on both our engine and generator - definitely make them quieter. At idle you can't even tell the engine is running from on the dock. We have a clear lid on our sea strainer and it's easily accessible, so we can just pop open a floorboard and check for flow in the strainer whenever we are running the engine - no need for a flow meter in this circumstance.
  5. We’ve used it for that with no issues - 8 years and counting.
  6. Hey C Buck, buy an ad! The opposite actually seems to be true in the real world - we've found that UK/Europe based Insurers (Allianz, Lloyd's) have massively increased premiums and/or stopped providing coverage below certain values, and that US/Caribbean based insurers are providing better value or at least more options. Lloyd's in particular got hammered and is taking it out on their clients.
  7. hdra

    Furling Systems- Jib and Main

    We sail on a 72' 50 ton sloop which has the biggest harken furler (MkIV unit 4) on it and does 10-15K miles a year - we've found on that boat we need to replace the foils and connectors every 4-5 years as they start to wear and rotate against each other, damaging the luff tape. It's also the biggest wire that the furler will take, 16mm, and furling is fairly stiff, and we've blown up the plate that rotates inside the drum that the furling line ties to a few times. We try not to sail reefed, just use it as a furler. We're definitely pushing the limits of that unit, but it has been pretty reliable and has had no catastrophic failures in 10 years. A few riggers have suggested switching to Reckman as being the gold standard, but so far haven't had the budget to bite that bullet. That being said, we also sail a smaller boat (42' 9 ton) cutter that we recently replaced furlers on - we swapped it from a god-awful Facnor on the jib and a beat to hell but still surprisingly functional Pro-furl on the staysail to Harken's, and in the first 5K miles have been pretty happy with the Harken furlers - much smoother furling, and we're running a lot less torque and load so hoping we don't see any of the issues from the big boat. In terms of mainsail, I agree that flaking a big sail is a pain, but for actual sailing offshore I would vote pretty strongly for slab reefing - we have slab reefing on the 72'er that is well designed and one person can put in or shake out a reef in less than 10 minutes - limiting factor is how fit we are for grinding up halyard or grinding down reef outhaul. Never had any problems with it, and is pretty bomb-proof. When it comes to taking the sail on or off the boat, or flaking it upon reaching port, I sometimes wish we had a furler, as it's a job that needs a couple of strong hands, but for reefing while actually sailing think you shouldn't discount the slab reefing if it's well designed and thought out.
  8. hdra

    J class Svea

    Where did you see a four-sided staysail in that video? I only saw one shot with a staysail in it and it looked like a pretty high aspect ratio deck sweeper to me - did I miss something weird?
  9. hdra

    Silicon, vs 4200, vs 5200

    The only use we've found for stock hardware store silicone is for sealing some inspection ports in our head - we tried 4200 and a polysulfide, but both grew mold, and given the lack of abuse the silicone worked just fine. The anti-mold/mildew hardware store silicone worked great for them, but it's a pretty similar use case to a home bathroom. For anything exterior or involving anything important, we tend to use either 4200, 4000, or Sika, depending on what country we're in and what's available, or Dow 795 for bonding acrylic/plexi windows in place.
  10. hdra

    New sailing cargo vessel

    In the San Francisco Bay Area they used to use scow schooners to carry cargo down from the river delta - see Alma below. They didn't have to go in the open ocean, and were often loaded reflecting that as well... I would suspect that for oceangoing displacement vessels with limited power (sailing) that the drag/dryness advantages of a pointed end probably outweighs the cargo carrying abilities.
  11. The 49er, the Vector, and I14's, being double trap boats, are very different and a lot more powered up than the 29er/RS500. Wish I could help you in the search - are you looking for something to race, or just as a fun skiff to play with?
  12. hdra

    New sailing cargo vessel

    There's a few small sailing vessels doing this to varying degrees: Tres Hombres has been sailing a similar Atlantic Triangle for almost 10 years now, carrying Chocolate, Coffee, and Rum. They also do "sail training" and carry passengers/apprentices at a very low price to help make ends meet, and I know that there isn't enough profit to be paying the pro crew super well. The Kwai is more of a motor-sailor, but seems to be pretty successful running only cargo, but they service islands and ports that are way off the beaten path, so often times their commercial competition is infrequent, unreliable, or nonexistant. SailCargo is starting down a similar route to Tres Hombres, but in the Pacific and with a purpose built ship to carry significantly more cargo - a lot more upfront cost & investment, but I know one of Tres Hombres' challenges is that they have such a small cargo hold it's hard to make a lot of revenue on it. There are a few others lurking in the wings - Ruth in Barbados doesn't seem to be really running cargo or operating at full capacity yet, Nordlys is related to Tres Hombres and is sailing coastal in Europe but seems to be plagued by collisions, refits, and low revenue, and Avontuur seems to be just getting off the ground trying to do the North Atlantic Circuit out of Europe. This ignores all the coastal vessels that are kicking around - there are still a number of 60-80' motorsailers carrying local cargo in the Caribbean, but they aren't really trying to market on a global stage like these others - they just carry cargo between islands and seem to operate on pretty tight margins.
  13. hdra

    Proposed new ABYC standard

    I feel your pain - we disassembled (read - destroyed because everything was held together with sikaflex and rusty nails) to get at an aluminum water tank which had a serious case of the white crystals. After much destruction, discovered the tank wouldn't fit out of the boat - it would have made it out of the boat as drawn, but the original owner had the factory weld a dog-house with watertight door on over the the companionway instead of a slider and hatchboards. We ended up deciding to delay the tank replacement until it actually starts leaking, since to get a new tank of the same size back in again we'd have to have it fabricated in place or cut a big hole in the boat, and we decided we'd rather go sailing than spend the winter in England chopping shit up. We were lucky enough to discover an inspection port (previous only access was by filler hole) buried under all the sikaflex and rusty nails so could at least get in there with a vacuum and wirebrush and get all the crud out of it.
  14. hdra

    Gunboat 68

    Fatigue & crevice corrosion in an anoxic environment (below waterline) are both probably issues - probably could address to some extent with choosing the right alloy (like for prop shafts). Much better to just go with Monel - think there were a couple of boats built that way 50 or 60 years ago that are still kicking around.
  15. hdra

    Gunboat 68

    How often do you need to replace that strop on the clew - I would imagine that there is some chafe from the reef tensioning line running through it? Or on a boat like this is the lifespan of the sail short enough that you don't have to worry about it? Or am I overthinking it, and you just replace that strop every 10,000 miles or something?