Alan H

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About Alan H

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    SF Bay Area
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    Shorthanded Sailing

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  1. Alan H

    Gulf 29?

    Ronnie Simpson, who admittedly is not your typical sailor...managed to sail from California to Australia in a Cal 29. I sailed from California to Hawaii in 1998 in a Ranger 29 with new standing rigging, but old sails and an Atomic 4 that would only run for 15 minutes at a time because ...I didn't know this....the water pump impeller was shot. I see the men and women in Petit Bateau, or who do the Jester Challenge cross the Atlantic in everyday sorts of boats. I think the OP who is thinking of doing some coastal cruising in a Gulf 29 is going to be just fine. Do the usual things...make sure the mast stays up by inspecting and replacing standing rigging if it's needed. Make sure the sails are functional. make sure the bulkheads aren't ripping out of the boat. Tap around to see if there's any delamination in the deck. if you just have to replace some through hulls, then do it at the next haulout. If they're plastic and they've been there since 1980, they're probably not going to fail tomorrow while you're pooping around on Lake Texawhuppee....
  2. Alan H

    Gulf 29?

    Well, you know, "most" Beneteau's are still afloat....and "most" Cals...and "most" Tartans...and most Santana's....and most Pacific Seacrafts... so are most Morris Yachts, or Custom built boats by big name, high-end yards. Kind of goes to show that boats built during that 70's to 80's era are up to handling what the vast majority of people use them for, and have been for a long time.
  3. Alan H

    Gulf 29?

    Capital Yachts built the Newport, Gulf, and Neptune lines. Same company, same factory, same workers, in southern California until 1996.
  4. All that said, I have to reiterate, that I personally know a dozen Pelagic users. A few have dropped comments to me about how a certain update doesn't work as well as it might, but generally all of them are pretty happy with the unit. A couple of them are utterly un-technical. All they want the Pelagic to do is steer the boat to a compass course, and they've gotten it to do exactly that. I am the only person I know of who had a strongly unhappy experience with the Pelagic.
  5. There's no question that the Pelagic is a much more robust system than the ST2000. If I could have gotten it to work, I would have kept it. I mean, I bought the thing specifically because so many of my friends in the SSS, even the utterly non-tecchie ones, had them and loved them. I don't want to trash Brians reputation because 1.) I like the guy and 2.) everybody in the world but me LOVES their Pelagic. Honestly, I think I got an early, bum unit. It's probably a bum control head, the Ram was probably fine. Whatever, it's too late now, I've sold the thing to a buddy for $100, and he can use it for parts. Issues....I never could find any documentation that really helped me at all. I could find wiring diagrams, templates for where to drill the holes in the mounting bulkhead, instructions on which size screwdriver to use to attach the wires to the plug, but how to make it work once everythng is plugged in, nope. I reversed the orientation of the control head at least five times, no placement of the control head would work. I checked the setup of the wiring so many times I've lost count...never worked. I thought I "had it" a couple of times by holding down various button combinations at power up...it would semi-work for 20 minutes or an hour, upwind and then out of nowhere, tack the boat. What broke the camels back was a trip up the bay before an SSS race. The Autopilot was sort of...maybe...BADLY steering the boat, I had to sit next to it because every couple of minutes it would veer off by 30 degrees. Out of nowhere it hard-overed the helm, drove the boat down, gybed us, and the ram fell off the tiller pin, ripping the coaming mount (the bronze fitting was inset into a piece of hardwood, and epoxied in) into 3-4 pieces. This after working with it for almost 3 years. I asked Brian for help a few times, I never heard much of anything back. I think I asked for help 3x, he did respond once and my bad, I didn't follow up. The other two times, nothing. There was NO documentation to download from the website. Now that Scanmar is marketing it, there is STILL....last time I looked....no documentation on the website. I don't need to be told what size screwdriver to use to tighten a screw on the end of a piece of stripped wire, but a little help on how to start it up and get it to work would have been nice. The ST2000 is nowhere near the construction quality of the Pelagic. However, I got my latest ST2000 about a month ago. I installed in weekend before last. I followed the clear and simple instructions in the owners manual to calibrate the deviation. Got that? ~Owners manual!~...I never got, nor found for download, a Pelagic owners manual. Ever. Anyway, This past weekend, with no further ado, the unit steered my boat a large part of the way to the Farallones, and back. It worked, straight out of the box and the instructions were crystal clear. Will an ST2000 steer my boat under spinnaker in the trades to Hawaii while I sleep? No. but to get an autopilot that will do that, will cost me a couple thousand bucks, and while some folks have that kind of cash, I don't....that goes double because I know that I'll be selling the boat in Hawaii after SHTP 2021. To drop two grand on an NKE or B&H Hydra system is just crazy. Fifteen hundred bucks for an EV100? Maybe. Sorta. If I could find a used one, I'd consider it.
  6. Alan H

    Sat Tracking SPOT...tracking not reliable

    The SPOT was lying face up, all the time, out on my companionway hatch under a very light plexiglass and foam hard dodger with a clear view of the sky at all times. While under that hard dodger, it was able to send "I'm OK" messages...twenty seven of them over the weekend, to be exact. During that time it should have sent about the same number of Tracking messages. It didn't. Why would it be able to send "I'm OK" satellite message, reliably, for two days, and not be able to reliably sent tracking messages, while kept in the exact same position in the exact same place? I don't know the answer to this, and I'm not going to waste my time trying to find out. It didn't send them, and the reason given to me by SPOT tech support is nonsensical...I'm done
  7. Alan H

    Sat Tracking SPOT...tracking not reliable

    So, if the SPOT was in my companionway the entire time...above the hatch and every single "I'm OK" message got through, then I have a hard time figuring that it didn't have a clear view of the sky. Over the course of the weekend I sent about twenty five "I'm OK" messages, every single one was received. It's just the tracking messages with two and three hour gaps. Yes, that offer, somewhere else...solo, I've messaged about it already!
  8. Alan H

    Sat Tracking SPOT...tracking not reliable

    What flummoxed me was that every single one of the "I'm OK" messages got through. If they got through, were logged and appeared on the track map pretty quickly, then why didn't the tracking messages? It's the same flippin' satellite message going to the same constellation of birds. The SPOT tech support lady I was on the phone with for an hour or more was very nice. She tried hard, I give her an "A" for effort and customer service, but....whoooiiiee. When she put me on hold to go ask the real "tech" people, and came back with..."it's 'cause you were near the airport" I knew that this was not the service for me. This might be a perfectly good unit for someone, say going backpacking...or sailing in the Bay where they can just push the button and the family knows you're fine, but for anything where I want to depend on the regular transmission of a tracking signal...where I don't have to remember to push that button every half hour...Nope. I got the unit for very little money, as there was a Gen II on the boat when I bought it. It didn't work so SPOT sent me this Gen III for, like $40.
  9. I just did a run out to the Farallone Islands from San Francisco this past weekend, on Saturday May 30th. I had a SPOT Gen 3 tracker on board. It's set to send position reports in, every 30 minutes. My impression was that the tracking function was not reliable during the trip, and so I turned it on , Sunday morning when I was going to sail back from San Francisco to my berth in San Mateo. Upshot.... Tech support at SPOT tells me that if I power the unit up and push the "Tracking" button, but then later push the "I'm OK / check in" button, that will stop tracking mode. I did a step-by step analysis of my points on the way out and on the way in from the Farallones, and I cannot explain how the various points lined up without imagining that I turned "tracking" on or off FIVE times during the trip, which I did not. I remember turning the unit off once, and starting up tracking once or twice but not five times. I note that every "I'm OK / Check-in" transmission was received, but the "Tracking" transmissions were spotty. Since I had a bad feeling about this, on Sunday, I turned the SPOT on when I left the CityFront at 11:33. I pressed the "Tracking" button, put it under the lightweight plexi hatch cover where it was safe, and let it run for the whole 4 hour run down to San Mateo. I never touched the "I'm OK / Check in" button. This is the exact same location on the boat where it sat for the whole trip out to the Farallones, the day before. Upshot...it sent in a position at 12:33 and then at 1:03, near the Bay Bridge....then nothing until Coyote Point Marina at 3:43. That's a two and a half hour gap, it missed five tracking points. SPOT tech support claims that I passed by SFO, and the airport interfered with the signal. That's bogus, as on Friday on the way up, I hit the "I'm OK/check in" button a couple of times while I wasn't that far from the airport, and it sent signals which were received, logged and showed on the findmespot.com map for my account. Upshot is, I no longer trust my SPOT Gen 3 tracker to actually track me reliably. I believe that it will work reliably if I push the "I'm OK / check in" button, but I do not trust the automatic tracking function. I remember that on last summers LongPac race, the SPOT just quit sending signals for no reason, though I didn't know that, at the time.. I powered it off, powered it back on and hit the "Tracking" function again and it still didn't work. I won't be renewing my yearly account with SPOT in two weeks.
  10. Alan H

    Better broaching for singlehanders

    Two tethers...a long one and a short one. In the SF Bay or if it's benign, I use the long one. If it's snotty outside the Gate, I use both. My boat doesn't have handholds along the side of the cabin top. I'm thinking about installing some.
  11. Alan H

    Open CPN on Android - issues on my phone

    I wondered that, but it's SO accurate in my slip. I mean, it's located me in MY slip, not my neighbors slip! Up in the City, again...put me within yards of the end tie I was one. Unless it's using cell tower triangulation in addition to the GPS, even without a Cell contract. That's possible.
  12. I have an unused tracfone, which runs Android. It is now only a handheld device, I let the Tracfone account lapse. Using wireless at home, I downloaded and installed the Open CPN port to Android, and a mess of my local NOAA charts. The phone has a built-in GPS. At home, the phone nicely locates itself. At the marina where the boat is kept....ditto. Friday night I sailed up to SF and sure enough, when stopped, the app pinpointed my location down to within feet. But Saturday evening, when the fog closed in and I was coming back from the Farallones, I had to boot the device FOUR times for it to display where the boat was. I could pop up a little window that displayed lat/long and course and speed...all of which made sense, but no little boat icon. The fifth time I started it up, POP, there's the boat icon, easily 4-5 miles north of where I knew I was. I started it again...POP, there's the boat icon, fifteen miles SOUTH of where I knew I was. Does anybody here have insights as to what's going on? Is the Adroid port of Open CPN anything like dependable?
  13. Alan H

    Some people aren’t getting it

    I've now seen this asshat and his buddy a couple more times. They've STFU about Covid when they're in hearing range and we're ignoring each other. Works for me. I hope he goes to his barbeque and they all catch it and wind up sick as fuck for a month. If a few of them wind up in the ICU, it would be just fine with me. Dead? No. I don't wish that on anybody.
  14. Alan H

    Some people aren’t getting it

    last saturday I was at the boat and got to listen...for the third time....to an asshole three boats down from mine, go off about how COVID-19 is bullshit, how HE isn't a carrier, how all the mask requirements and group size restrictions are stupid and fuckall, I'm going to a barbeque with 25 other people tomorrow. I really felt like walking over there, and belting him in the snotlocker. Instead I yelled at the motherfucker. He thought it was funny. Dickhead....and your stupid buddy who was saying the same thing and his equally stupid bitch, as well.
  15. Alan H

    Piper OD .. dayboat

    The Class chairwoman, Rowena sent out an email blast today. Scotland is as locked down as California, so "Spring Prep" didn't happen. The first big Clyde-wide race weekend didn't happen and no change is in sight. That plus the fact that Mrs. Alan wouldn't get on a transAtlantic plane flight in August for any money, means I won't be going over there, this year. Sights are set on 2022.