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Thought Exercise - Gearing a 30ft racer/cruiser for long range cruising


freewheelin

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1 hour ago, andykane said:

I think you'd be extremely happy with a 15kg Rocna and either 60' of 5/16" or 100' of 1/4". I'm not convinced that the chain is as beneficial for ultimate holding power as it's often touted to be - modern anchors seem to set so well at reduced scope that I feel the catenary effect is much less beneficial or necessary as it was with the older style ones. To that end, I see the chain mostly a benefit for chafe protection from the bottom, and, at least around here, it can be handy to have a bit of weight in the rode to keep the boat from swinging all over the place when the wind is totally dead. 

thanks. I will read through the thread. I was thinking more chain due to the coral in the Bahamas - peace of mind. Do I need to pay much attention to load limits? The 1/4" PC is 1300lbs, which is half of what I have seen recommended. Looking at G4 though, I could double that for less than $1 a foot.

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Hi. Some thoughts-:

Get a bimini, you'll be outside a lot of the time either sailing or at anchor in a hot(ter) climate, it makes a big difference.

We spent many years with only an icebox but converted with an Engel kit a few years back. SO much more civilisedB)

We don't have a windlass and run 40m 8mm chain, 60m 8 strand rope and a 20kg s/s spade anchor. You need a chain pawl so you can rest if needed and if you have 2 chain claws you have 1 as a bridle and a spare, the spare has enough rope attached to reach a winch from the bow roller so you can break it out if necessary.

The fridge only works because nowadays you can get 250w in a single panel (we are on a small boat with only an outboard, no inboard.) This can run the fridge and lights/fans at anchor or the tiller pilot, nav gear and watermaker during passage so long as the fridge is turned off at night. This might be different if you are running a radar with a big chartplotter screen and whatever electronics are considered essential these days:P

 

Currently have a 3.1m airfloor zodiac but spent many years with a sevylor pvc inflatable no prob. If you intend to go tropic recomend welded seams not glued.

Have fun

Rob

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I have never made such a long journey.  But, I have a 35' racer/cruiser that my family of 3 and our dog cruise on in the summer for at least a few weeks each year.
I think a lot of people are listing things that will drive costs up more than they would improve the trip.

Remember, chances are that a lot of people will have made similar trips, in similar areas with less than what you will be taking.

 

My thoughts:
-Safety gear should be at the top of your list.  Depending on the sailing that you do and how you keep your gear, this could be costly or just a minor review.  My biggest suggestion would be to focus on MOB prevention/recovery as in your case that would leave only 1 person on the boat.  Not a fun situation for anyone. If you have an AIS receiver, I am a big fan of AIS MOB beacons.  I believe they give the person left on the boat the best chance of finding the person in the water.  Review your harnesses, jacklines and tether points for MOB prevention.

-For cruising short handed you will want an autopilot.  Steering a compass course minimum, steering to a wind angle makes it that much nicer.

-I do not think you should worry about a dodger or Bimini.  Build/buy a boom tent.  Set it when you are at anchor or in the marina.  Take it down when sailing.
Last summer on our long trip, there were a few times we set the spinnaker without setting the main and left the boom tent up for shade.  We were still sailing at 5.5-6.5 knots with our dinghy in tow.  While there have been times a dodger would have been nice, they are rare.  When cruising we typically plan to avoid such weather.

-For navigation, I would want 1 chartplotter and a laptop or tablet with Navionics as a backup.  Chances are you can use a laptop or tablet you already own.

-This trip is possible without refrigeration.  But, you may decide that you want it.  Put together a meal plan list with and without.  Make sure you have the ability to cook what you plan to eat.  Food has a big affect on moral.  I couldn't imaging cruising without a BBQ on the stern rail.  We grill a LOT.  But that is also a big reason we require refrigeration.

-One of the best cruising items I added to my boat is a removeable bow roller to store an anchor on.  Everyone I talked with before doing it told me that it wasn't possible, but I built a bow roller using a 2x4 and some off the shelf marine parts that fits onto the bow of the my boat securely using some spectra line and a single ratchet strap.  It was inexpensive, didn't take long to build and I can't imagine cruising without it anymore.  Having an anchor at the bow, instead of having in a cockpit locker is a lot nicer.  Some of the other racers that I know have copied my concept for their boats for when they go cruising.  When we get back, it comes off the boat with no hardware left on the bow and no additional holes in the deck.  Obviously will depend on the specifics of your boat.

-Be realistic about how much time you will spend at anchor vs a marina.  How long will you stay in 1 place?  How much will you motor vs sail?  If you plan on motoring a LOT or staying at a marina often, being able to keep your batteries charged becomes much easier.  Tankage for fuel, water, holding is also based on time between marinas.

-You will want a dinghy.  You can spend as much or as little as you like here.  Pro's and Con's at every step.

   2 small inflatable kayaks.   Easy to store and cheap.   You will get wet.  Slow.
   8-10ft roll up dinghy, with outboard.   inflatables don't row well, you will want an outboard.  But then you have handling and fuel requirements.
           It probably won't plane.  It will still be slow.  You will get wetter than you think.

    I went through a few other options, but recently upgraded to a 10ft RIB with a larger outboard.  We tow it 100% of the time.  It was more money.  Towing it slows us down a bit.  But,   having a dinghy that planes is a LOT nicer to have for exploring the area we cruise in.  It really extends the area we can explore.  

-You asked for cheap suggestions.  You may be able to make the trip cheaper by just admitting that you will be stopping more often at marinas.  Sure, it will add some cost in provisions, fuel, pump outs and dockage.  But, if that means that you don't spend the money on jerry cans, extra tankage, charging devices, refrigeration, etc for what in reality is a short time, it might make more sense. 

-I suspect you will want to add some solar charging ability.  I don't have it on my boat, but it is high on the priority list for future upgrades.

 

I encourage you to go.  I hope you have a good trip.  Please let us know how it goes.

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Yup ^^^ there is a huge list of things that are unnecessary. And a couple of aisles at the chandlery of the same. Mostly stuff representing the lifestyle many of us are fleeing from.

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11 hours ago, triciarob said:

Hi. Some thoughts-:

Get a bimini, you'll be outside a lot of the time either sailing or at anchor in a hot(ter) climate, it makes a big difference.

We spent many years with only an icebox but converted with an Engel kit a few years back. SO much more civilisedB)

We don't have a windlass and run 40m 8mm chain, 60m 8 strand rope and a 20kg s/s spade anchor. You need a chain pawl so you can rest if needed and if you have 2 chain claws you have 1 as a bridle and a spare, the spare has enough rope attached to reach a winch from the bow roller so you can break it out if necessary.

The fridge only works because nowadays you can get 250w in a single panel (we are on a small boat with only an outboard, no inboard.) This can run the fridge and lights/fans at anchor or the tiller pilot, nav gear and watermaker during passage so long as the fridge is turned off at night. This might be different if you are running a radar with a big chartplotter screen and whatever electronics are considered essential these days:P

 

Currently have a 3.1m airfloor zodiac but spent many years with a sevylor pvc inflatable no prob. If you intend to go tropic recomend welded seams not glued.

Have fun

Rob

Thanks for the specifics. this is really helpful on the anchot and chain.The boat came with a bolt on bimini. I took it off, but will be putting it back on (and likely will have the canvas redone). Also, I have a small anchor roller I need to measure and see what fits. So two bonuses there.

I have been going back and forth about the cooler conversion. My current thinking is to purchase a modular 12 volt cooler, and plug it in to the solar during the day. It seems cheaper, and I can pull it on and off the boat when cruising vs. daysailing (which I plan to do with solar as well on return).

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2 hours ago, kcolborne said:

I have never made such a long journey.  But, I have a 35' racer/cruiser that my family of 3 and our dog cruise on in the summer for at least a few weeks each year.
I think a lot of people are listing things that will drive costs up more than they would improve the trip.

Remember, chances are that a lot of people will have made similar trips, in similar areas with less than what you will be taking.

 

My thoughts:
-Safety gear should be at the top of your list.  Depending on the sailing that you do and how you keep your gear, this could be costly or just a minor review.  My biggest suggestion would be to focus on MOB prevention/recovery as in your case that would leave only 1 person on the boat.  Not a fun situation for anyone. If you have an AIS receiver, I am a big fan of AIS MOB beacons.  I believe they give the person left on the boat the best chance of finding the person in the water.  Review your harnesses, jacklines and tether points for MOB prevention.

-For cruising short handed you will want an autopilot.  Steering a compass course minimum, steering to a wind angle makes it that much nicer.

-I do not think you should worry about a dodger or Bimini.  Build/buy a boom tent.  Set it when you are at anchor or in the marina.  Take it down when sailing.
Last summer on our long trip, there were a few times we set the spinnaker without setting the main and left the boom tent up for shade.  We were still sailing at 5.5-6.5 knots with our dinghy in tow.  While there have been times a dodger would have been nice, they are rare.  When cruising we typically plan to avoid such weather.

-For navigation, I would want 1 chartplotter and a laptop or tablet with Navionics as a backup.  Chances are you can use a laptop or tablet you already own.

-This trip is possible without refrigeration.  But, you may decide that you want it.  Put together a meal plan list with and without.  Make sure you have the ability to cook what you plan to eat.  Food has a big affect on moral.  I couldn't imaging cruising without a BBQ on the stern rail.  We grill a LOT.  But that is also a big reason we require refrigeration.

-One of the best cruising items I added to my boat is a removeable bow roller to store an anchor on.  Everyone I talked with before doing it told me that it wasn't possible, but I built a bow roller using a 2x4 and some off the shelf marine parts that fits onto the bow of the my boat securely using some spectra line and a single ratchet strap.  It was inexpensive, didn't take long to build and I can't imagine cruising without it anymore.  Having an anchor at the bow, instead of having in a cockpit locker is a lot nicer.  Some of the other racers that I know have copied my concept for their boats for when they go cruising.  When we get back, it comes off the boat with no hardware left on the bow and no additional holes in the deck.  Obviously will depend on the specifics of your boat.

-Be realistic about how much time you will spend at anchor vs a marina.  How long will you stay in 1 place?  How much will you motor vs sail?  If you plan on motoring a LOT or staying at a marina often, being able to keep your batteries charged becomes much easier.  Tankage for fuel, water, holding is also based on time between marinas.

-You will want a dinghy.  You can spend as much or as little as you like here.  Pro's and Con's at every step.

   2 small inflatable kayaks.   Easy to store and cheap.   You will get wet.  Slow.
   8-10ft roll up dinghy, with outboard.   inflatables don't row well, you will want an outboard.  But then you have handling and fuel requirements.
           It probably won't plane.  It will still be slow.  You will get wetter than you think.

    I went through a few other options, but recently upgraded to a 10ft RIB with a larger outboard.  We tow it 100% of the time.  It was more money.  Towing it slows us down a bit.  But,   having a dinghy that planes is a LOT nicer to have for exploring the area we cruise in.  It really extends the area we can explore.  

-You asked for cheap suggestions.  You may be able to make the trip cheaper by just admitting that you will be stopping more often at marinas.  Sure, it will add some cost in provisions, fuel, pump outs and dockage.  But, if that means that you don't spend the money on jerry cans, extra tankage, charging devices, refrigeration, etc for what in reality is a short time, it might make more sense. 

-I suspect you will want to add some solar charging ability.  I don't have it on my boat, but it is high on the priority list for future upgrades.

 

I encourage you to go.  I hope you have a good trip.  Please let us know how it goes.

Excellent advice. I really appreciate it. I realized I responded to Rob about the bow roller, but oh well. I like the advice about being realistic about marinas and anchoring. We realized in the process, that a lot of the money we would spend kitting out the boat, we could divert to marina fees. Realistically we will be in and out of marinas - a few days in, a few days on the hook. As it turns out, I will be working some on the sabbatical, so it makes more sense anyway.

Our current line of thinking is going as basic as we can, with only things we need - and especially focusing on stuff we will want still on the boat after our short trip. We got measured for a dodger, and it turned out it would be a weird fit on our boat anyway, so we are planning to go without. Significant savings there, for something I wasn't sure about. We will put our existing bimini back on, but that is good to have for general cruising in our area, and may get it re-canvassed (it is in rough shape).

Nav gear, we have a laptop for it, and plan to grab a tablet and lifeproof case so we can use nav in the cockpit. Then call it a day. We have charts and phones that can act as backup there, so it seems like enough. We also have an autotiller that worked during survey a few years ago but has not been touched. I'll need to test that - but fingers crossed that won't be an added expense.

Safety gear is a necessity in our books, but I'll need to do some research on what we need. Any advice there would be helpful. I am hoping to either rent or borrow a life raft as well.

We ended up buying a dinghy over the winter. It is a 9ft Zodiac roll up floor. Defender was dumping old stock. It is a 2015, but never used, and we got if for $600. I think we will put a 2.5hp suzuki on it, and hopefully that will work for us.

I appreciate any more advice! 

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If one is short of electrical power adding proper insulation to the cooler is more efficient, by far, than adding solar and batteries. Inert foam vs. gizmo gadgets. It is even worth it if the box shrinks a bit. 5 to 6" of extruded polyethylene foam sides and bottom (pink at building suppliers) gives miraculous savings.

Bimini's are a requirement. More the better. Foredeck canvas too at anchor. Best if easily furled. Don't bother with any expensive side or front windows in the tropics.

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1 minute ago, El Boracho said:

If one is short of electrical power adding proper insulation to the cooler is more efficient, by far, than adding solar and batteries. Inert foam vs. gizmo gadgets. It is even worth it if the box shrinks a bit. 5 to 6" of extruded polyethylene foam sides and bottom (pink at building suppliers) gives miraculous savings.

Bimini's are a requirement. More the better. Foredeck canvas too at anchor. Best if easily furled. Don't bother with any expensive side or front windows in the tropics.

Thanks. We have a pretty small box. I was thinking about investing in a high performance (modular) cooler, maybe even a 12 volt i could plug in while the sun is up. Going to look at where I could fit it, maybe under the dinette. 

My sailmaker said he could rig up a boom tent for really cheap, i'll add foredeck canvas to the list too. I've spent some time in the islands, and I think real, available shade is a necessity.

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Re anchors - 1/4" chain will be fine. We used 150' chain x 5/16" G40 (same as G43) + 150' x 5/8" rope on our 40' cat. Sat at anchor in 85+ knots. No problem with the chain later. On our 15,000 lb 30' monohull we used 1/4" G40 chain and cruised for 4 years with it.  For areas with coral I think 100' chain is a minimum. Still think 15 kg new generation anchor is plenty. A bow roller is essential to reduce friction when lifting it. You don't need a chain pawl in 30' or shallower anchorages.

Got a sewing machine? A home sewing machine will easily sew up a boom tent (rectangle) or foredeck awning (triangle). Sew webbing loops at the corners and a few along the edges for guy line attachment points. Doesn't have to be fancy sunbrella; any acrylic or polyester canvas will do. A few hundred $ and 2 evenings work. Buy cheap aluminium camping carabiners for the guy lines (not climbing types). When a squall comes you can reduce windage very fast by dousing the awnings.

For a portable fridge/12 v cooler: the only useful types are compressor based like the Engel. Thermoelectric types are useless in hot weather. Adding insulation is good - but on a 30' boat volume might be tight?

Oh, get 2 x Bora 12v fans. One for the berth, one for the cook/saloon. You will thank me later, trust me.

For a short voyage AIS MOB alarms might be overkill depending on your risk tolerance. I just assumed if I fell overboard I was dead. I moved about the boat accordingly. Never felt me we needed them. Good harness/jacklines/tethers are a good investment.

Have a good time. Stay out of marinas unless you really need them. Eat out with the money you just saved for each night away from one.

 

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Thanks, Zonk. Helpful as always. Boy those Engels are expensive. May opt for without. That is a lot of nights out to dinner worth of harware. We are practicing eating/cooking with non-refrigerated foods.

Anyone have info on how available ice is in the Bahamas? We have had good luck with ice blocks and coolers.

Thanks for the tip on the boom tent and awning. I think we will try to give it a go ourselves.

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On our first boat when we cruised Mexico in 95-96 we could get an "1/8 of a bar" of ice from a local fisherman's ice house for less than a dollar. An 1/8 bar weighed about 30-40 lbs depending on how nice you were to the guy hacking it off.

Sadly those days seem to be long gone; I suspect ice in the Bahamas is bloody expensive. Our well insulated fridge (4") would keep that bar of ice about a week. It was another DIY project.

 

Found this?  https://tulasendlesssummer.com/cost-to-sail-the-bahamas/

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just caught this thread.  Not sure if original poster and his wife still have this on the radar given latest socio-economics.  Meanwhile here are some thoughts.

I would say 'go' if you can doo it on the job front & home budget with time off.  There is rarely or never a 'perfect' timeline in life to go take an adventure.  It also becomes more difficult as you become older and start hitting that middle-life stuff, and if you wait too long, your requirements for 'what is safe' and other sorts of life shenanigans will get in the way.

For background - I took an Islander 30 on the Vic-Maui many years ago (1992) and just got back into sailing recently and did another/similar trip last summer from Seattle, float around in the middle of nowhere for peace of mind, down to SanFrancisco and back.  Point being - that kitting out a boat for a single < 1 year adventure is substantially different than what one would want for 5-10+ years.

The above said, and doing my best to have read through prior posts...

Overall plan: As somebody else noted - it seems you may be stretching in regards to your destination goals.  It still is not clear whether you plan to go 'outside' on the way South or via the ICW.  Either way - if you want to sail be sure to have your primary goal oriented around the trip and not the destination?  They have these things called airplanes nowadays for folks that are very destination oriented.  And yes, I do understand, that some kind of fuzzy destination/goal is always important - just don't let it override the fun.

Ground Tackle: No advice on details other than if possible, have a second set, even if it only has say 10-30' chain and is light.  This isn't your bluewater-boat hurricane anchor, it is just a spare in case something happens with the primary gear.

Auto Pilot: I would go low budget on this.  You have two, not single handing.  Just expect that it will only be useful during 'flat water' and when motoring.

Auto Pilot w/Wind: A cheap autopilot will probably burn up, and an expensive one does not make sense for a little sabbatical year.  On a 30-footer, it should be easy to just run sheet to wheel/tiller with bungee cords or (better) surgical tubing.  I brought the Islander30 home from Hawaii that way, although I did have an orange & white cat that the Albatross were very curious about to assist me.

Refrigeration: We are now in the fancy 2010s, not the 1990s, and there have been huge improvements in this area in regards to power consumption.  If you have space, which I realize can be tight on a 30-footer, I would recommend retaining the ice box and installing a small freezer along with it.  Proper rotation of stock, etc, and good to go?

12-volt: My current boat has 400w solar and still can't keep up. The old Islander had 25w and that was enough to keep the nav lights working overnight during summer.  Meanwhile, since this is a one-off one-season adventure, one or two semi-flexible 100w solar panels will help considerably and are easy to move around.  Yes, do not expect these to last 5-10 years, or even past your one-off adventure.  Meanwhile budget, budget, budget?  Depending on your battery bank size and effort you want to put in, how ghetto you are comfortable with - you can actually just plug these in (in parallel, not series please) via cigarette lighter as long as you have some loads (like shutdown the freezer at night).

Dinghy: You definitely want a dinghy.  If nothing else so you can get away from your wife, or your wife can get away from you, as the situation(s) arise.  As others have mentioned, and again sense this is a cheap one-off <1 season adventure - go cheap.  Also go small, and go roll up.  You will be far more respected having a tender that is appropriate for vessel size and safety underway than 'flash & bling'.  If your wife is worried about this, then find a good divorce attorney before taking your sabbatical.

Sails: Oh yeah - those things.  And running rigging, and standing rigging, and is the keel going to fall off or the rudder post bend?  Watch the weather and be careful.  Back to another post on this thread and my reminder that it is about the trip and not the destination.  Older boat, probably doesn't make sense to deal with all that, etc.  You will learn a lot the first couple months you are out, especially if you take a 'hop' out of the ICW and back in?

Electronics: Again, one-off sabbatical, older boat, so not much point with investing a ton here that is not portable elsewhere.  For trip planning I have found OpenCaptain very useful.  Plug in an external GPS, etc.  From there, since I can afford a GPS nowadays ;), you definitely want something that you can mount down soundly in the cockpit and clearly visible by the helmsman.  Since you will be mostly near-coastal, a good mount for a tablet or similar ought to be fine.  Key item here is that the helmsman will want to be able to clearly ascertain their current position without help from anybody else.

Dead Trees: I still carry, and strongly recommend, carrying paper charts and marking position during watch changes.  If nothing else - mark position regularly in a paper log.  I had the misfortunate long ago to see an old IOR boat hit by lightning.  It blew out all the electrical, nav lights included.  Shit happens.  Knowing where you are, at least where you were recently, can be really big deal sometimes?

Communications: As others have recommenced, 2x on the VHF.  Ideally one fixed installation with antenna at mast top.  I strongly recommend AIS, and one that transmits.  It will help hugely with commercial traffic, and if you can, tie the primary VHS into the same MMS.  For sabbatical, no need for SSB but satellite communications are invaluable.  Still a toss up for me in your use case about Garmin InReach vs. a full blown sat-phone or newer data only sat-phone devices.  Last summer offshore I used the InReach to text folks, top up the charge, and it went back into the ditch bag.  Used another data-only unit to download weather reports.  If I had the choice of only one, I would choose weather reports (and extra $$$ for texting).  Meanwhile in your case - as others have advised, start the sabbatical slowly moving South, a bit of ICW and some loops out and back?  At some point you will know what is best for you and your budget?

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On 3/8/2020 at 10:43 AM, andykane said:

My boat is 34', 10000lbs, which is right on the edge between the 10kg and 15kg on the Rocna sizing chart. 

Rocna makes a 12kg version the Vulcan. I bought that when I was between sizes and have been happy with the choice. 
 

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Boom tent tips:
Add some 3/4" or 1" PVC pipe to your boom tent to hold the sides up and stiffen the entire thing.
This will allow you to have it up in nicer weather as a sun shade without feeling enclosed in the cockpit, but the PVC will bend enough that if needed you can tighten it down to close things in when the weather isn't as nice in port or at anchor.

Make sure it is wide enough that rain running off it goes off the boat and not into the cockpit.
You will regret making it too narrow, but I have not ever heard anyone comment that their tent is too wide.

 

For refrigeration:
A good cooler and ice can be quite useful, especially if you are marina hoping and ice is easy to get.
If you think you will motor quite often when travelling, the 12V coolers meant to keep things cool in cars can be useful too.

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On 3/11/2020 at 9:31 AM, freewheelin said:

 

Safety gear is a necessity in our books, but I'll need to do some research on what we need. Any advice there would be helpful. I am hoping to either rent or borrow a life raft as well.

A good place to start are the safety extracts for offshore sailing.  They are available at sailing.org or here at ussailing.

 

Read the descriptions of the categories to figure out which one applies.  For cruisers they recommend going up one category but it's totally up to you.  Most of the requirements came from somebody learning from the school of hard knocks.

 

Anyway it's as good a place to start as any.

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Hello, nice tread:-) Do anybody bake their own bread any more? Now we do coastal cruising 3-4 weeks in the summer, and enjoy good supermarket-food, but in my junger days I did a 6 months sabbatical carib / Azores / Med and baked bread regulary. If/ when i’ m off again, i would start working on my bread baking skills in advance, and get used with my boat’s oven.... You will be more independant, and you will eat cheaper. 

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5 hours ago, Tender said:

Hello, nice tread:-) Do anybody bake their own bread any more? Now we do coastal cruising 3-4 weeks in the summer, and enjoy good supermarket-food, but in my junger days I did a 6 months sabbatical carib / Azores / Med and baked bread regulary. If/ when i’ m off again, i would start working on my bread baking skills in advance, and get used with my boat’s oven.... You will be more independant, and you will eat cheaper. 

Yup "all the time". But do not bake it in the oven as that uses way too much fuel and heats the cabin. We use a pan on the stove to make flatter breads that are no more that an inch thick after cooking. Make the pan smoking hot, toss in the dough, after a minute turn the heat down to med-low. Takes about 20 minutes. Or some variation of that.

Kneading the dough on a hot steamy tropical day can be rewarding...

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On 4/4/2020 at 1:36 PM, DriftingWithoutGrifting said:

Just caught this thread.  Not sure if original poster and his wife still have this on the radar given latest socio-economics.  Meanwhile here are some thoughts.

Thanks for the very thorough response. We are still reading through and have this on our radar, and we are still happily receiving advice. We spent the winter prepping the boat, of course that was before the world went nuts. Now, we aren't sure what the next few months will bring. Work is up in the air for my wife, while I am extremely busy - so who knows with timing and finances. But for now we are still planning and saving as if we will push off Oct 1. However, we have thought about it and will roll with the punches and do whatever version of this trip we are able to - whether it is four months, one month or less. Being in NY, we are lucky enough to be among those healthy and relatively stable.

I really appreciate the advice, and it has been right in line with our current thinking. Our sails, running/standing rigging, hardware, etc. are rock solid. Either well maintained or new. Everything we added so far is either something we will use on a regular basis in our normal cruising/racing, modular like electronics, or we have decided to go without it. We have the small roll up dinghy, will be using our existing auto tiller, etc. We have 25 watts onboard already, and a controller that can handle much more. If we are still able to shove off we will add a couple 100W flexibles, and run the engine when needed. We even made a last minute switch during the defender sale, and ditched the 100+ feet of chain and new oversized Rocna. Instead we got 35' of chain then went double braid from there. All to be added to our current 25# CQR. This set up will be more functional in the LIS, and will become the backup if we are still able to sail south. lugging 100ft of chain in and out of the locker for races didn't seem very fun. 

Thanks again for all the advice - i'll be reading it over carefully.

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On 4/5/2020 at 9:50 AM, kcolborne said:

Boom tent tips:
Add some 3/4" or 1" PVC pipe to your boom tent to hold the sides up and stiffen the entire thing.
This will allow you to have it up in nicer weather as a sun shade without feeling enclosed in the cockpit, but the PVC will bend enough that if needed you can tighten it down to close things in when the weather isn't as nice in port or at anchor.

Trying to envision this - do you have pictures?

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18 hours ago, Tender said:

Hello, nice tread:-) Do anybody bake their own bread any more? Now we do coastal cruising 3-4 weeks in the summer, and enjoy good supermarket-food, but in my junger days I did a 6 months sabbatical carib / Azores / Med and baked bread regulary. If/ when i’ m off again, i would start working on my bread baking skills in advance, and get used with my boat’s oven.... You will be more independant, and you will eat cheaper. 

Yep, baking bread on the boat is too easy.  I cruised on a 30-ish footer and found you could bake the loaf easily on the stove top.  Put the dough in a ss saucepan with the handle taken off, then put this in a really heavy pot with a lid.  The lid shouldn't be airtight, it's just to keep the heat in, I used an old pressure cooker with no rubber seals but a casserole dish would do. The saucepan should sit on a small grid to keep it off the hot bottom.

This worked well on a metho stove, baked the bread, crispy top and all, in about 40'.

Oh, and it goes without saying the best place to prove the dough is in the engine compartment while underway.  The faint tang of diesel in the bread adds authenticity and provenance.

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17 hours ago, freewheelin said:

Trying to envision this - do you have pictures?

You want me to search through sailing pictures sailing while stuck working from home in isolation, OK.

 

Here are a few from our 2 week cruise last summer.
My wife has issues sun burning very easy, so the boom tent was up a lot during the trip.

First one shows the tent set with spinnaker flying.
We were on our way home, dinghy in tow, lunch on the BBQ, autopilot driving, spinnaker flying with the boat doing 6.5-7 knots.
The main wouldn't have added much speed, and the tent was keeping my wife in the shade, so it stayed up.
This is our kind of cruising.  :D

The second is us at anchor showing the tent from the side.
In this picture, we have it tied pretty loose.  We can tighten it down quite a bit more if it gets windy or rainy.
This one of the big reasons I like the PVC pipes, it really opens the cockpit up at achor, but still provides shade, rain and dew protection.

Third shows us motoring down a channel with the tent up, but shows the tie downs clearly.
There was 20kts apparent wind on the nose when this was taken.  No issues with the tent yet.
I haven't left it up in more wind than that.

My tent has 3 PVC pipes through it.
                  1 at the front, 1 at the back and 1 in the middle.

The tent has 8 tie down points.
                   1 in the middle at the front at the front that goes forward around the mast
                   1 in the middle at the back, a snap shackle that clips to the main halyard supporting the boom
                   1 at each end of the PVC pipes (6 total) that tie down to the toe rail.

The PVC pipes pass through pockets in the tent and attempt to keep it flat.
Yet, they are flexible enough that you can put some tension on your tie downs and put an arch into the tent.
It will also allow you to tie 1 side down tight and let the other be higher.
Quite a flexible setup for shade when weather is reasonable when at anchor.

It is setup to roll from front to back.
To set it, I put it across the boom at the back and attach the snap shackle to the main halyard, then roll it forward and tie it around the mast.
Then set the tension on the 6 other tie downs as desired.
To take it down, do the same in reverse.  I store mine tied to my spin pole, which is stored on chocks on the deck or it can sit on the floor down below.
It can be put up or down very quickly.  Minutes if by yourself, seconds if there are 2 people.

I am looking at making a new boom tent or possibly modifying this one.
I would like it to be longer to extend more towards the back of the boat and just a bit wider.
When the rain gets heavy, we can still get more water in the cockpit than I would like.  I think some minor tweaking would make it a lot better.
This has been on the to do list for a couple years and I haven't got that far.  Most likely because we are pretty happy with this one.

 

20190824_113657.jpg

Thomas Bay 1.jpg

20190819_115355.jpg

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3 hours ago, kcolborne said:

You want me to search through sailing pictures sailing while stuck working from home in isolation, OK.

 

Here are a few from our 2 week cruise last summer.
My wife has issues sun burning very easy, so the boom tent was up a lot during the trip.

First one shows the tent set with spinnaker flying.
We were on our way home, dinghy in tow, lunch on the BBQ, autopilot driving, spinnaker flying with the boat doing 6.5-7 knots.
The main wouldn't have added much speed, and the tent was keeping my wife in the shade, so it stayed up.
This is our kind of cruising.  :D

The second is us at anchor showing the tent from the side.
In this picture, we have it tied pretty loose.  We can tighten it down quite a bit more if it gets windy or rainy.
This one of the big reasons I like the PVC pipes, it really opens the cockpit up at achor, but still provides shade, rain and dew protection.

Third shows us motoring down a channel with the tent up, but shows the tie downs clearly.
There was 20kts apparent wind on the nose when this was taken.  No issues with the tent yet.
I haven't left it up in more wind than that.

My tent has 3 PVC pipes through it.
                  1 at the front, 1 at the back and 1 in the middle.

The tent has 8 tie down points.
                   1 in the middle at the front at the front that goes forward around the mast
                   1 in the middle at the back, a snap shackle that clips to the main halyard supporting the boom
                   1 at each end of the PVC pipes (6 total) that tie down to the toe rail.

The PVC pipes pass through pockets in the tent and attempt to keep it flat.
Yet, they are flexible enough that you can put some tension on your tie downs and put an arch into the tent.
It will also allow you to tie 1 side down tight and let the other be higher.
Quite a flexible setup for shade when weather is reasonable when at anchor.

It is setup to roll from front to back.
To set it, I put it across the boom at the back and attach the snap shackle to the main halyard, then roll it forward and tie it around the mast.
Then set the tension on the 6 other tie downs as desired.
To take it down, do the same in reverse.  I store mine tied to my spin pole, which is stored on chocks on the deck or it can sit on the floor down below.
It can be put up or down very quickly.  Minutes if by yourself, seconds if there are 2 people.

I am looking at making a new boom tent or possibly modifying this one.
I would like it to be longer to extend more towards the back of the boat and just a bit wider.
When the rain gets heavy, we can still get more water in the cockpit than I would like.  I think some minor tweaking would make it a lot better.
This has been on the to do list for a couple years and I haven't got that far.  Most likely because we are pretty happy with this one.

 

20190824_113657.jpg

Thomas Bay 1.jpg

20190819_115355.jpg

I love it! What material did you use to make it? 

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We had a very similar awning on our 29, we called it the African Queen. It was all built from PVC pipe in 5' sections, joined over the boom. Four "battens" in all.

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@TenderI have a bread machine, granted it gets used mostly dockside.  Works great with the freezer though and another reason that occurs to me for lower budget to have an old school ice box + freezer.  I can't remember which model I bought but it was a Japanese one that has various cycles so theoretically offshore if you are incredibly lazy you can have it do all the raising and mixing and stuff, and then toss the dough into the oven or whatever.  Haven't tried that yet, and probably turning on the oven when there is no wind is a recipe for overheating the crew but might work well with a luke-warm shower to cool down?

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15 hours ago, freewheelin said:

I love it! What material did you use to make it? 

I have to admit that I didn't build this one.  It came with the boat when I bought it.
We have owned the boat 10 years.  We use it regularly.  It will last a long time yet.

The material is something similar to Sunbrella.  But, I do not believe it is Sunbrella.
It seems to be heavier than sunbrella.

 

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1 hour ago, kcolborne said:

I have to admit that I didn't build this one.  It came with the boat when I bought it.
We have owned the boat 10 years.  We use it regularly.  It will last a long time yet.

The material is something similar to Sunbrella.  But, I do not believe it is Sunbrella.
It seems to be heavier than sunbrella.

 

ok, thanks!

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16 hours ago, Ishmael said:

We had a very similar awning on our 29, we called it the African Queen. It was all built from PVC pipe in 5' sections, joined over the boom. Four "battens" in all.

What material did you use (or was used)?

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1 hour ago, freewheelin said:

What material did you use (or was used)?

It was Sunbrella. I think it was from a bigger boat, it covered a vast area of the 29 and didn't match the colour of the rest of the canvas.

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On 12/1/2019 at 4:49 AM, TwoLegged said:

Top priority: dump the fridge 

This may sound like a small issue, but it's actually critical to simplifying your life so that you enjoy the experience of cruising rather than spending your time worrying about how to manage the food.

Obviously, you need the safety gear too, and the dinghy.  But the main thing is KISS: keep it simple.  

And above all, as other have said: just do it.

tldr; Go simple, go now!
 

I agree, although I do have a fridge.

Way, way, WAY too many people think spending money and having stuff equates to being able to go off on an adventure. What matters is YOU. Your attitude.

If you want to buy everything in a magazine to be happy, going off sailing will be awful for you.

Any yacht anyone this side of a billionaire can afford is fundamentally much less comfortable than an RV, and really much closer to a tent. Can you go tent camping for a few months? Yes. Do you need much stuff to do so? No.

What you need:

1) A boat that won't fall apart and sink. Check. Nearly any fiberglass production cruiser-racer fits this bill just fine.

2) Water and food. Both are easily available anywhere people are. Food includes fish you catch, and sailing down the edge of the continental shelf will cause you to catch more fish than you can eat just by dragging a BIG lure and using gardening gloves to pull the line in. Water is MUCH SAFER in lots of little bottles than in a tank, and especially from a water maker. Water makers are very unreliable, so you can't count on them ever, you need enough water to be safe even if you have a water maker. So skip those, and just buy flats, cases, of small bottles of water. Easy to see how much you have, hard to waste more than one bottle. And you can shower easily with four to six pints of water. I like refrigeration, but as TwoLegged said, you will save a ton of money and have a LOT more fun without it. The work, money, noise to keep the infrastructure required for refrigeration takes away from enjoying the sailing and adventure.

3) Storm sails: don't get ANY. Total BS. Schedules and bad routing take you into storms, just don't do that any more than you do now. Short sails from port to port are MUCH more fun that multi-day legs. Enjoy yourself, don't go for bragging rights. You can sail with just your reefed main, or just a jib. Learn to heave to. Or run with bare poles. But really, you won't ever use storm sails unless you purposefully choose to do things that you are not going to enjoy. Instead, enjoy.

4) Dinghy: Use oars, skip the outboard. Get a 10' inflatable, they are much better than 8.5' and still roll up compactly (essential!!)

5) Shade: A boom tent is more important than a bimini or dodger. Bimini takes away the fun of sailing. Hats work GREAT. Dodgers make people sea sick by interfering with the view of the horizon. Dodgers make people afraid to get out of the cockpit. You MUST get out of the cockpit while sailing. Not doing so is quite dangerous.

6) Anchoring: Use any modern anchor with 20' to 50' of chain, and nylon rode. Bow roller, but use hands or halyard winches instead of windlass to pull it up. If I can do this at age 63 on a 40 footer, you can do it in your 30s on a 30 footer. Not a problem. Windlasses and all chain rode are so overkill its not even funny.

7) Nav equipment: How many GPS units are on your body right now? I find iPads with iNav and Navionics to work very well, better than the integrated and expensive systems from the marine companies. Waterproof bags work great. Have at least two, one charging and one being used.

8) Communication: Floating, Handheld VHFs with built in GPS (two), a satellite hot spot, and an EPIRB. Definitely not a built in VHF, and not SSB, and not a big satellite installation.

9) Safety: Life raft? If you are doing long passages, of course. But again, if you are ENJOYING yourself, nearly always day sailing from port to port, not worthwhile. Like having a personal rescue helicopter in your back yard: sure, one can imagine needing it, but you really won't. If you sink too fast to pump up the dinghy (10 minutes), you are probably underneath a freighter anyway.

Be sure you wear buoyant gear, especially foul weather gear: only buy floatation jackets and bibs. Never, ever, EVER wear foul weather get that does not float. NEVER depend on inflatable life jackets, as they are only 50% more likely to keep you afloat than a chain around your neck (published USCG experience). Note that the vast majority of modern sailors do not follow these safety rules even during offshore racing. I see all these people wearing heavy, negative buoyancy gear and hoping their inflatable life jackets will work... and what happened during the VORor Chi-Mac? People go over with that stuff, and they don't come back.

The most likely dangerous situation is going overboard, and not being able to easily get back aboard. Being able to easily get back aboard is also essential for having fun during a sailing adventure. However, on every single MOB event I've been involved with over these six plus decades, we were able to just pull the crew aboard over the leeward rail, or the MOB was able to pull himself or herself back aboard. Adrenaline is real, but so is hypothermia. Harnesses and related lines on the deck are not that necessary, except for the last time you go over the side.

Use buckets for dewatering: when you need them, pumps will fail you, buckets won't.

Go simple, go cheap, go now.

Many of us on this site have crossed oceans with nothing more than the above items. This was the norm before 1990 or so, and was reality almost without exception prior to 1970. For example, a gold plater in 1973 Transpac had two life rafts in canisters on deck, but neither had been inspected, and neither worked. This nanny culture is new, it is not the way it has always been.

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