Jeff F

Getting into solo/shorthanded racing

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Hi all, first post here, but long time occasional reader.

I've just bought a Mount Gay 30 ex Kryptonite and am gearing up to do solo and/or double handed racing and high performance cruising on the great lakes.

I haven't had a keelboat in 25 years but before that did lots of inshore and offshore racing.  

I'll have more questions once I get sailing.  Planning to race in the GLSS Mac race, and will make modifications to the boat as I go along.  I'm working on the AP and electronics now - my plan is to go with a Raymarine EV200 with a type 1 under deck ram.  The existing sail inventory is OK but the boat was used for fully crewed buoy racing only, so I expect I'll have a list of rigging mods and sail inventory changes once I'm sailing.  This year I'm getting all the requisite safety gear and AP which will likely take up my 2019 budget :-)

Boat is set up with masthead assymetric spinnakers on a fixed prod, and has water ballast 300 l per side.  It's a Van Gorkum design, aluminum construction.  

Comments and advice welcomed.  I'm looking forward to the challenge and adventure.

Jeff

 

 

 

 

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I think Kryptonite is a MkII Van Gorkom. You should be able to get a lot of performance out of it. Will be interested to see how you're treated ratings wise with water ballast. 

Before you commit to the Raymarine, you might take a look at the Pelagic AP's. I don't have one, but I've heard good things.

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There used to be a series on articles on the GLSS site called The Rode Show that offered great advice.  I don't know where you are located but pick a time in July/August to do the qualifier.  I forget but believe it is a minimum of 24hrs AND 100nm.  Do it while the water is warm.  Reach out to other GLSS veterans in your area for advice/guidance.  And most of all, have fun.  

Lifetime Member

2005 Chi-PH

2006. Chi-Mac

Edit:  Plan on a 2nd AP, they can and will fail.  

 

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+1 on the 2nd AP. I have an EV-100 on my boat, partially because it replaces a tillerpilot 2000 that has the exact same reach. I wouldn't want to rely on the tillerpilot under full sail and spinnaker, but to get me home it does the job. It helps if the only thing your 2nd AP relies on is a source of power.

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Where are you based out of? I think if I remember correctly Kryptonite used to sail out of LHYC in Sarnia.

This one is always a great time. Been running for over 30 years. Leaves out of Sarnia/Port Huron, goes around 45008 lower Huron weather buoy and finishes in Rogers City MI, I think just under 200 miles. 

2019 Huron Doublehanded Challenge. Registration is open at Yachtscoring

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1 minute ago, inneedofadvice said:

Where are you based out of? I think if I remember correctly Kryptonite used to sail out of LHYC in Sarnia.

This one is always a great time. Been running for over 30 years. Leaves out of Sarnia/Port Huron, goes around 45008 lower Huron weather buoy and finishes in Rogers City MI, I think just under 200 miles. 

2019 Huron Doublehanded Challenge. Registration is open at Yachtscoring

Used to round a buoy off Goderich in the mid 2000's.  Agree, a very fun race and a great excuse to put some miles on the boat.  I did my qualifier for the Solos on the delivery back in 2004.  

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1 minute ago, inneedofadvice said:

Doing all boats on one course this year. Avoiding the windless hole they call Goderich.

Great idea.  Dinner one year were the fish flies.  

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Before you commit to the Raymarine, you might take a look at the Pelagic AP's. I don't have one, but I've heard good things.

Pelagic is above deck like the tiller Raymarine versions......   since you can, you should put it below deck.

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I don't have a home base for the boat.  I'm Canadian and have a home NW of Toronto.  My current plan is to trailer to Chicago in mid May, do a qualifying sail from there, and race solo to Mac June 22.  Haven't done much planning after that but will likely get down to Lake Ontario later in the summer.  

I have no idea how ratings will be assigned for the water ballast, but want to use it.  That was one of the appeals of this boat for me.  I'm going to try to go as fast as I can and not worry about ratings, at least until I've got some racing in on the boat.  It's essentially a one-off anyway in my view, so I know PHRF is a crapshoot.  I'm not expecting a kind rating.  I think they were at 69 in Sarnia with no w/b.  Mostly I just want to sail fast and test my limits.

Thanks for the comments.  I'd love to get in touch with the GLSS community in Chicago, and maybe get some advice and guidance as I'm getting geared up.  

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Why not Sarnia and do the solo from there?  Sure would save some hassle and wear and tear from the extra tow distance.  Both lakes are very, very cold in May so please be very careful.  "I haven't had a keelboat in 25yrs" concerns me.  Sarnia Yacht Club is friendly, they are home to many GLSS members, and you have the Boston's a few steps away for any sail issues.  I'm sure you have a reason for L Mich.  

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2 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

Both lakes are very, very cold in May so please be very careful.  "I haven't had a keelboat in 25yrs" concerns me.  

Gotcha.  I grew up sailing in Nova Scotia where the water is always cold :-) The last few years I've been racing dinghies and have traveled about 10,000 miles solo on my power boat.  I have a sense of the risks of temperature and conditions in the early season.

I don't expect to be doing the qualifying over night sail until early June.  

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44 minutes ago, Jeff F said:

Gotcha.  I grew up sailing in Nova Scotia where the water is always cold :-) The last few years I've been racing dinghies and have traveled about 10,000 miles solo on my power boat.  I have a sense of the risks of temperature and conditions in the early season.

I don't expect to be doing the qualifying over night sail until early June.  

Still cold.  I appreciate you know boating and navigation.  Still curious why Chicago?  I have some stuff that might be helpful.  PM me.  

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14 hours ago, Jeff F said:

Gotcha.  I grew up sailing in Nova Scotia where the water is always cold :-) The last few years I've been racing dinghies and have traveled about 10,000 miles solo on my power boat.  I have a sense of the risks of temperature and conditions in the early season.

I don't expect to be doing the qualifying over night sail until early June.  

Don't forget to take your chicken with you.

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17 hours ago, Jeff F said:

I'd love to get in touch with the GLSS community in Chicago, and maybe get some advice and guidance as I'm getting geared up.

https://www.solosailors.org/contact/

It's a fun time.  The new website has a bunch of good info and there's a lot of people on here from GLSS far more experienced than me...  

I used the raymarine ev AP system for solo mac and never had an issue with it.  Took a bit to get all the settings happy under spinnaker, but now it's great. 

My only advice is to not pick the easiest weather day to do your qualifier.  Go out where it looks like the conditions will be variable and really test yourself with the boat especially bc it's new to you.  I did the solo on a new boat for me and got my ass kicked by storms on the qualifier and it helped me a ton to figure out how the boat reacts and stuff to change and how i handle it etc.  For asyms on a fixed sprit, highly recommend tylaska shackles with the trip cones.  To me has always felt safer/faster than screwing around with socks and stuff but that's just my personal preference.

good luck.

 

 

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Lake Michigan opportunities:
GLSS Schedule
LMSS Schedule
A number of shorthanded races were added to the Chicago Schedule this year.

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22 hours ago, Jeff F said:

I don't have a home base for the boat.  I'm Canadian and have a home NW of Toronto.  My current plan is to trailer to Chicago in mid May, do a qualifying sail from there, and race solo to Mac June 22.  Haven't done much planning after that but will likely get down to Lake Ontario later in the summer.  

I have no idea how ratings will be assigned for the water ballast, but want to use it.  That was one of the appeals of this boat for me.  I'm going to try to go as fast as I can and not worry about ratings, at least until I've got some racing in on the boat.  It's essentially a one-off anyway in my view, so I know PHRF is a crapshoot.  I'm not expecting a kind rating.  I think they were at 69 in Sarnia with no w/b.  Mostly I just want to sail fast and test my limits.

Thanks for the comments.  I'd love to get in touch with the GLSS community in Chicago, and maybe get some advice and guidance as I'm getting geared up.  

Perhaps do the LO 300 and the Susan hood for a qualifier 

lot of solo sailing in LO 

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Joe O, this guy is going to Crowley's, meet up and help him.  

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A first time single-handed racer from our club smoked the fleet in the Trans-Erie last year . .  

He races a Schock 35 

damn good sailor

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On 4/23/2019 at 2:57 PM, Cal20sailor said:

There used to be a series on articles on the GLSS site called The Rode Show that offered great advice.  I don't know where you are located but pick a time in July/August to do the qualifier.  I forget but believe it is a minimum of 24hrs AND 100nm.  Do it while the water is warm.  Reach out to other GLSS veterans in your area for advice/guidance.  And most of all, have fun.  

Lifetime Member

2005 Chi-PH

2006. Chi-Mac

Edit:  Plan on a 2nd AP, they can and will fail.  

 

The old Rode Show is consolidated here:

http://docs.solosailors.org/pdfs/20 Steps to the Start Line.pdf

And the 2019 required equipment list:

https://www.solosailors.org/public/pdfs/GLSS_Required_Equipment_List.pdf

Yes, the qualifier is a minimum of 24 hours -and- 100nm. Problem for faster boats is they get done with 100nm in less than 24 hours. Still have to stay out there the entire time for it to count.

Autopilot failures on the race are common. Arguably the most prevalent equipment failure and reason for retirements. I've had two fail(and was lucky to have an entire extra system), so I now consider a spare is a necessity.

Good video here of a first timer on the Lake Erie Solo last year:

 

 

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