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Fujin Bieker 53 update

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Russell Brown, here is a recent video of Fujin sailing. We've been sailing Fujin for just over a year now including a 3 month break last Nov/Dec/Jan after the rig came down a couple months after launch. We have been racing and cruising a fair amount in the Caribbean, Bermuda and Newport/LIS. We just finished the recent Vineyard race and were first to finish beating 3 Gunboats on the water and corrected. Elvis, with her extended rig and boards seemed a bit faster in the light/moderate winds. They were leading late Friday night but made a tactical error that cost them. We're looking forward to more head to head racing with them. Below is a short phone video from onboard during the second day of the race after the wind came up a bit.

 

 

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Looks like a pretty untalented, unaccomplished crew there.

 

Based on what exactly?

 

 

I guess the boat is that fast it just wins on its own?

 

I like this design more every time I see it. It has really grown on me.

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Thanks for the video and for the race report. You could have just said you beat Elvis you know, but I appreciate the honesty.

I do hope you keep racing the boat just so we can all learn what the plusses and minuses really are.

In my eye it really is the coolest looking boat of it's type ever.

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206 was being facetious. Those are a few of the northwest's best sailors on board including Jonathan McKee and Cam Lewis is the one standing over the coach roof. Great sailors and good people.

 

Thanks Russell, lots of plans over the next year including a likely trip through the canal into the Pacific for Transpac and then to the northwest. That's assuming things go as planned.

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Really nice design and execution. You guys obviously have her going well.

 

Have any of the deliveries or cruising been double-handed and how did you find that?

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Enjoyed the race guys. Yeah, turns out South of BI was a lemon on the way out. Kind of hopeful on the way back but we lost another 8 miles or so. You guys always looked lower and faster. Well done - see ya down south.

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Really nice design and execution. You guys obviously have her going well.

 

Have any of the deliveries or cruising been double-handed and how did you find that?

Thanks, we seem to be getting a bit faster as we spend more time on the boat.

 

All overnight deliveries have had 3-4. Could be done with two as long as you reef early if the wind comes up.

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206 was being facetious. Those are a few of the northwest's best sailors on board including Jonathan McKee and Cam Lewis is the one standing over the coach roof. Great sailors and good people.

 

Thanks Russell, lots of plans over the next year including a likely trip through the canal into the Pacific for Transpac and then to the northwest. That's assuming things go as planned.

Thanks for clearing that up.

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Really nice design and execution. You guys obviously have her going well.

 

Have any of the deliveries or cruising been double-handed and how did you find that?

Thanks, we seem to be getting a bit faster as we spend more time on the boat.

 

All overnight deliveries have had 3-4. Could be done with two as long as you reef early if the wind comes up.

 

Yea, I get that but just wondering how realistic for retired husband/wife. We did that a few decades ago both on our own boat and deliveries. At the time the CW AC 42 was a big as we would want to go set off on, on our own, but sail handling systems have improved and everything seems to have sized up with claims a couple could do it. But even with better systems we have aged since and I really don't see many couple out there on cats this size... for example the GB 55 couple that was going to go off on their own seemed to bail on that plan pretty quickly...

 

So there is our dilemma. Just looking for what you think realistic.

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There a 70 year old Dutch guy single handing his 60 foot cat in the Caribbean. Been single or double handing it for the last 30 years. His insight in to people liking small boats was that was all they could afford / choose to spend.

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Really nice design and execution. You guys obviously have her going well.

 

Have any of the deliveries or cruising been double-handed and how did you find that?

Thanks, we seem to be getting a bit faster as we spend more time on the boat.

 

All overnight deliveries have had 3-4. Could be done with two as long as you reef early if the wind comes up.

 

Yea, I get that but just wondering how realistic for retired husband/wife. We did that a few decades ago both on our own boat and deliveries. At the time the CW AC 42 was a big as we would want to go set off on, on our own, but sail handling systems have improved and everything seems to have sized up with claims a couple could do it. But even with better systems we have aged since and I really don't see many couple out there on cats this size... for example the GB 55 couple that was going to go off on their own seemed to bail on that plan pretty quickly...

 

So there is our dilemma. Just looking for what you think realistic.

 

 

I think it comes down to what you want to do. My wife and I cruised from Seattle -> Mexico -> Costa Rica -> Panama -> San Blas -> Jamaica -> Grand Cayman on an Outbound 44 several years ago. We had our 2 kids (9 & 12) with us but they didn't help a lot. Although towards the end our twelve year old would do 3 hour watches by himself at night. We did several overnight sails with just the kids but we had a third adult join us for anything longer than 2-3 days. I think the fact that the boat is bigger really isn't a major factor. We have powered winches, autopilot, radar, easy reefing system, self tacking jib, hanked or furling headsails. The only challenging part are the long deliveries or nasty weather. With weather forecasting the way it is these days, as long as your time is flexible, you can pretty easily avoid the nasty weather. When it comes to long passages, just having to have be on watch half of 24 hours a day wears you out regardless of the size of the boat. Docking in a breeze can be a challenge, but you can usually radio the marina/fuel dock to make sure someone is standing by to assist.

 

I don't know the full story about the GB55 couple. I am not sure how much sailing they had done previously. And when they moved on, they went to a motor boat, not a sailboat. Still, if your primary use for the boat is short handed cruising, I don't see the need for a 50' catamaran. If you want to race it or cruise with larger groups, and still cruise short handed, it is very manageable.

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Thank you. We have done lots of offshore cruising back in the day and I don't want to distract from the Fujin thread... but the Outbound 44 is a great boat and we are thinking about almost the reverse cruise (out of Naps) and then continuing north from Seattle up the left coast. We have done the cat thing but the mains keep getting so much bigger and more roachy and we wonder if the sail handling systems really have kept up such that reefing when needed is not such a chore that its dreaded.

 

Guess my question is if you were repeating your cruise, but on Fujin, would you feel confident in your ability to handle the sailing side of it, as just a couple?

 

BTW, regardless, I love what you have built with Fujin. Looks to be a great boat for what you guys are doing and you seem to be having a blast.

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As for the short handed ability of cats, my wife and I have approx 25k miles with just the two of us on a 62' cat. Once the winches are powered sail area becomes a lot less relevant. We'd reef/unfurl/hoist/everything solo. Only picking up the mooring and sometimes docking/undocking were two person jobs. I'd say that springing off a dock is the hardest thing. That, and telling someone ashore how to cleat a line or loop a bowline.

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As for the short handed ability of cats, my wife and I have approx 25k miles with just the two of us on a 62' cat. Once the winches are powered sail area becomes a lot less relevant. We'd reef/unfurl/hoist/everything solo. Only picking up the mooring and sometimes docking/undocking were two person jobs. I'd say that springing off a dock is the hardest thing. That, and telling someone ashore how to cleat a line or loop a bowline.

+1

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Soma,

 

Your comment about the bystander wanting to take your line when approaching a dock reminds me of a funny story.

 

There was a couple daychartering their 38' cat out of Maho Bay on St John. They had gotten the boat certified for multi pass and were offering day trips to Jost. That meant going to the Ferry/Customs dock in Sopers Hole Tortola to clear in before sailing on toe Sandy Cay or Foxy's. You know how the tradewind can funnel through West End and the skipper had taken a prospective deck hand on one day who couldn't have weighed more than 90 lbs soaking wet in her little bikini. Cute little gal with a great attitude but little sailing experience. The skip took her through the docking procedure step by step before even dropping the mooring at Maho and he implored her to understand that is was most important for her to get to the dock with the springline and surge the line on the dock cleat in order for him to use his outboard aux to bring the boat alongside parallel. He told her that he would come in bow to the dock at a pretty good angle and speed and she should jump from the bow to the dock with a neatly coiled line from the midship cleat onboard and take a full turn around the dockcleat immediately so that he could back down hard to make the bow swing away from the concrete wharf and then let the wind and the springline bring the boat slowly alongside.

 

Pretty standard procedure but the next instruction was to by NO MEANS toss the vital springline to anyone on the dock offering to help. So wouldn't you know that as they made their approach some local Lothario from the little rum shop across the street saw this pretty little blonde thing on the bow and he sprinted to the edge of the dock to 'help'! As he leered and sucked his teeth at her while standing directly over the cleat, he kept reaching out and asked her to 'Trow de Line, Trow me de Line pretty gurl...'

 

She asked him to step aside and prepared to jump and the big goon wouldn't budge but kept yelling to her and the skip. She glanced back at the skip who had prepared her for this and he nodded to the next cleat up the dock and adjusted course for it. The big fella got a bit vexed that she wouldn't let him assist and said so to the skip and then ran up to the next and last cleat and straddled it and kept reaching out to catch a hopefully thrown line. The mate yelled once more for him to get his ass out of her way and the peanut gallery on the porch of the rum shop just bellowed out in laughter at the sight. He held his ground and the 90 lb wondergirl took a flying leap and hit him square in the chest knocking him back a few steps and onto his useless ass which allowed her to take a wrap on the cleat and properly surge the springline allowing the skipper to make a perfect landing to the applause of everyone on the dock and the boat as well as the crowd on the big ferry boat.

 

The wannabe dockmaster was irate and started yelling at the skipper that he had a 'crazy gurl' for crew and made an elaborate display at his indignation to no avail.

 

Needless to say, the girl got the deckhand job that day!

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I used to be able to dock my 40 footer on my own. I had a bunch of total newbie mates on the boat try to help and I ended up ramming the dock on first sail after a long refit and relaunch. No one jumped off, no one told me the distances even though they were looking etc.

 

I ended up jumping off and tried to tie up myself and was just a bit slow because the boat was still going forward slowly. My usual burst of reverse was not enough as I was not used to my flexofold prop I had just changed from a fixed prop. The incident was totally my fault, not theirs, but I bet if I had no help I would have just aborted the attempt and got in OK on the second time.

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Two-handed on a 54' mono leaving a tight corner marina berth, skipper tells me to untie the stern, run up the dock, untie the bow, push the bow out, and leap aboard.

We left the marina with me hanging off the bow with a death grip on the toerail and a stanchion base.

Injured shoulder meant I couldn't pull myself up.

Skipper rescued me once we were in open water.

 

How the hell did we get from the Bieker 53 to this discussion anyway?

(If I was feelthy rich I'd buy one.)

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