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Everglades Challenge 2020


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It has been an incredibly long and sad day to be a Tribe member today.  Not good news, which you all already know.  Like BravoBravo I had been glued to the tracker as Sailorman wandered farther and fa

I'll have more to say at length later. First of all, everyone is crushed by the apparent loss of Sailorman. I do think the fact that he didn't signal that he was having problems is indicative of somet

Sorry to hear that they have not found Sailorman. But before this turns into Manifestly Unsafe Voyage Anarchy, how about a few pics from yesterday? Zippy just off Everglades City:

Posted Images

Still over 100 days to go until the start. Not much to talk about. I need to lose at least 20 lbs by then, but I'll probably have to amputate something vital like my head to accomplish that goal. 
 
This boat looks interesting. I'd want more buoyancy than Hobie TI amas provide, but it's got potential to be a solo flyer. It certainly looks the part otherwise. 

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/u5siG2z9Ls35TS5K8

 

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I had been planning on being back in the home swamp by now.

I am working out, just in case I am home before New Year's.     My original plans for a boat in my own mind's image would not be practical to be ready for the start at that point.

We will have to see.

- Stumbling

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Getting excited!

First pic is coming up Tampa Bay double reefed in a stiff breeze, she was really balanced and pretty quick.

Second is 45 pounds of teak seats removed, going to build a lightweight marine ply deck across the cockpit and Seadeck it.

Hope to make a trip down to Florida Bay with the skiff and scout, (with fishing rods)

Andyman

 

SD egmont.jpg

SD_seats.jpg

SD interior.jpg

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The reefed rig looks great. How are you set up for rowing?

I see those Elvstrom bailers as a potential problem, always hated them. They tend to leak, they get stuck, they suck lines down thru them, they don't remove water unless the boat is moving 10% faster than you are (unless it's really honking, and then water is coming in faster).

FB- Doug

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Carbon sweeps for rowing, she rows like shit. Last year it was nearly impossible to make progress against the incoming at Boca Grand.

We are going to stick with the "we are sailors not rowers " mantra. Luckily Highlanders are pretty good in light air.

Last year we never opened the bailers, didn't leak a drop. 

Hope to improve on our 2 day 23 hour finish time from last year...

Andyman20190303_182214.thumb.jpg.7f015512454404a53d4987891d02f9de.jpg

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3 hours ago, sail10338 said:

Carbon sweeps for rowing, she rows like shit. Last year it was nearly impossible to make progress against the incoming at Boca Grand.

We are going to stick with the "we are sailors not rowers " mantra. Luckily Highlanders are pretty good in light air.

Last year we never opened the bailers, didn't leak a drop. 

Hope to improve on our 2 day 23 hour finish time from last year...

Andyman20190303_182214.thumb.jpg.7f015512454404a53d4987891d02f9de.jpg

I remember you and several others parked for a while off of Boca Grande.  Was a bucket of tension tracking to see who would break free first. 

- Stumbling 

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19 hours ago, stumblingthunder said:

I remember you and several others parked for a while off of Boca Grande.  Was a bucket of tension tracking to see who would break free first. 

- Stumbling 

Anchored and baking off Boca Grand,  took along time for us to get going in what eventually was a 8-10 mph Southwesterly. Was afternoon,  the EC 22 and Thistle had a few miles on us, we passed them both going around the dome houses at Cape Romano and checked in 1 hour or so ahead of them. We should have signed in and dashed but goofed off drinking coffee with the bait shop guys.

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I will continue to be a Speck Tater this year but now will get a different perspective from my new-to-me DJI Phantom drone.

My wife made this for me:

TaterForceDecal.jpg

She was appalled that I scribbled my FAA number with a Sharpie instead of getting her to make another sticker.

In EC related news, the head of our community sailing center was out here the other day and we discussed entering the Goat Island Skiff in the EC and bringing one of the kids. I'm sure it would be fun for the kid and it would probably bring some attention to the sailing center but I think the whole EC is a bit much so was thinking an Ultra Marathon would be better.

 

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  • 1 month later...

0 degrees F on the way in to work this morning. Feeling ready to become a hippie and live on some beaches waiting for March. 

Andyman, I assume you've kept my cat dug out of the snow?

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I notice an E-Scow this year and a Nacra C-20 on the roster.  Should be interesting to see.

I am going Class 1 this year for a whole different experience.

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On 1/9/2020 at 5:19 PM, CatFive said:

0 degrees F on the way in to work this morning. Feeling ready to become a hippie and live on some beaches waiting for March. 

Andyman, I assume you've kept my cat dug out of the snow?

Safe and sound, a few leaves to blow off...

AndyMan

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Image result for kokatat drysuitThis will probably be my sleeping accomodations. I'll carry a tent and a screened hammock as well to cover unexpected stays.

I'm still wrapping my head around how a Carbon 20 is going to get through the inlets and Florida Bay. It's an experienced crew though, so I'm sure they have a plan

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33 minutes ago, CatFive said:

Image result for kokatat drysuitThis will probably be my sleeping accomodations. I'll carry a tent and a screened hammock as well to cover unexpected stays.

I'm still wrapping my head around how a Carbon 20 is going to get through the inlets and Florida Bay. It's an experienced crew though, so I'm sure they have a plan

  Seems uncomfortable lol.

I think the C20 should be fine to take Indian Key pass.  Lots of water.  Florida Bay they could keep to the West if concerned about depth.

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On 1/11/2020 at 4:32 AM, stumblingthunder said:

Is the sleeping area on top, under or all of the above?

I also enjoy the boat name!

- Stumbling

Beach Rollers under the deck and now we have a larger surface to lay down on.

My friend Mark Taylor named the boat due to the silly sail insignia, he has a knack for funny boat names. 

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41 minutes ago, sail10338 said:

Beach Rollers under the deck and now we have a larger surface to lay down on.

My friend Mark Taylor named the boat due to the silly sail insignia, he has a knack for funny boat names. 

Know Mark very well.   I have not seen his brother in a long time.    I grew up crewing for my father out at DIYC.   I am of Two Beers and Moresailesaid's contemporary.

You should track down a copy of "Yaahting, a Parody" and put the logo from the "Flying Squat Nationals" on your next main.   That will confound, confuse and go right along with the whole EC ethos!   The insignia is even stranger than the normal "Scot".

- Stumbling

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19 hours ago, TBW said:

  Seems uncomfortable lol.

I think the C20 should be fine to take Indian Key pass.  Lots of water.  Florida Bay they could keep to the West if concerned about depth.

Florida Bay West route, AKA, "The Great Circle Route."

- Stumbling

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We had a Carbon 20 last year and several Inter 20s before that. They can get in Indian Key pass just fine and usually go back out Chololoskee Pass. But if you're timid, you can go back out Indian Key at the cost of a few extra miles. Most of the big cats go down to the ICW in Keys, either by going back out toward Sable then south or the shorter route down Murray Clive. But with favorable winds its very possible to go straight across. Mind your rudders, though. At least one Nacra 20 made it across last year.

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5 hours ago, MisterMoon said:

We had a Carbon 20 last year and several Inter 20s before that. They can get in Indian Key pass just fine and usually go back out Chololoskee Pass. But if you're timid, you can go back out Indian Key at the cost of a few extra miles. Most of the big cats go down to the ICW in Keys, either by going back out toward Sable then south or the shorter route down Murray Clive. But with favorable winds its very possible to go straight across. Mind your rudders, though. At least one Nacra 20 made it across last year.

Good to know. If it can be done with daggerboards, then surely I can cut across with my boardless boat. 

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2 hours ago, CatFive said:

Good to know. If it can be done with daggerboards, then surely I can cut across with my boardless boat. 

Oh ya, Dart 18?  Should be fine.  There are little white stakes in the mud with refective tape  marking the channels.

I have done it on a P16.  Had the rudders kick up a couple of times but never grounded.

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2 hours ago, MisterMoon said:

The NPS put up all new channel markers this year, so it should be a little easier to navigate. 

Still the same idea?  Kind of colourless stakes?

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19 hours ago, stumblingthunder said:

After clicking on that, one has to select Everglades Challenge 2020, to show the list of folks signed up.

- Stumbling

I see Ron White is back for more. But no Randy this year?

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17 hours ago, TBW said:

Still the same idea?  Kind of colourless stakes?

Pictures I’ve see show stakes with reflective arrows on each side of the channel. Not all that dissimilar to what was there before, but replacing many missing marks lost do to hurricanes,etc.  Even with new markers I don’t recommend going into FL Bay at night with out a really well proven gps route to follow. Thirty feet out of line and you can get massively stuck. 

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On 1/11/2020 at 12:32 PM, CatFive said:

Image result for kokatat drysuitThis will probably be my sleeping accomodations. I'll carry a tent and a screened hammock as well to cover unexpected stays.

I'm still wrapping my head around how a Carbon 20 is going to get through the inlets and Florida Bay. It's an experienced crew though, so I'm sure they have a plan

I would supplement the drysuit with one of SOL bivys. Either SOL emergency bivy

https://www.rei.com/product/813511/sol-emergency-bivy

it is inexpensive and it will last at least one challenge.

or more durable escape bivy.

https://www.rei.com/product/832336/sol-escape-bivy

they are lightweight. Perfect for sleeping in drysuit and crushing on a trampoline while wet and being splashed. Very good for keeping body temp up while sleeping. 
 

I used it in several EC and in UF 2016. Perfect solution when you need to crash for couple of hours without setting a camp or taking a nap while sailing with a partner.

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My personal experience is that if you want to sleep warm, the most critical thing is to get out of the wind. And it's best is you aren't wearing something wet, like a drysuit for example. Evaporative cooling from the wind on your wet drysuit while you are laying inactive will chill you very quickly and thoroughly. When I was sailing Class 4, we tended to go all day and night and sleep in shifts offshore under the dodger. But since we were pretty much always wet either from splashing or condensation, the only thing that made it warm enough was to wrap up in your foulies/drysuit in either a woolen blanket (which was pretty damp) or a light synthetic sleeping bag. 

Saying your drysuit or rain gear is what constitutes your shelter system probably won't get you anywhere with the officials no matter how slick and charming you are. Make sure you have tent or bivvy and some kind of insulation such as a sleeping bag or poncho liner even though you may never intend to use them. See the required equipment rules: 

Shelter System: Suggestions - Tent, camping hammock, or bivy bag with waterproof bottom and breathable top. A tarp may be included
but does not, by itself, satisfy the requirement. Note that tents used on chickees must be free standing. Note that some boats may qualify as
a shelter. A bivy bag by itself does not satisfy this requirement, it needs a tarp with it.

Sleep System: Suggestions - Self-inflating or closed cell pad or air mattress with sleeping bag or poncho liner, and dry clothing. The
combination must be suitable for a range from 32°F Gale Force Wind/Rain to 90oF+ and bright sun or rain.


The rules are vague to leave room for innovation, so if you have any questions, I suggest you email Chief and/or Paula for clarification.

And IMO a unmentioned critical factor for getting sleep on the EC ashore or close to shore  is skeeter exclusion. The 'swamp angels' will drive you nuts, making sleep very difficult. At minimum bring a headnet and gloves. 

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5 hours ago, TBW said:

You did :)

A big solo cat will  be a tough boat to manage.  

One would probably need a 'righting appliance' of some sort to make up for the lack of a 2nd body for counter weight.    A bag of some sort on a block and tackle at the end of a righting pole?

- Stumbling

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The Dart seems to have a lower volume and sail area than Prindles and Hobies. Whatever the reason, I've been able to right the boat easily with only a righting line.

Prior racers have convinced me to go with a mast float, mainly to prevent the mast from augering into the bottom in shallow waters.

I've seen righting bags and righting poles, but I haven't seen them used together. I'm sure it's been done, but probably overkill for most. More is better, except for the time you have to spend rigging the system. 

The boat always seems to want strong wind. With reefing, it's even more predictable. (Actually when overcanvassed, it's predictably vicious to sail solo, but easy to manage reefed down)

I'd guess the guy with the Hobie 18 will have more of a handful than me

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I was thinking about beaching.  Was going to suggest Cat5 just beach at night and use his tent, but an 18 foot boat, single handed might be a bit of work to beach.

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5 minutes ago, TBW said:

I was thinking about beaching.  Was going to suggest Cat5 just beach at night and use his tent, but an 18 foot boat, single handed might be a bit of work to beach.

Bad news if the tide goes out after you have beached.   Be sure to bring your pump along to re-inflate your rollers!

- Stumbling

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So this might seem like a bad idea to some, but I'm hoping to sleep only when tide or conditions are against me. So if I'm trying to get in or out of a checkpoint and the tide is strong against me; time for a nap. Flat calm; paddle for a while, then take a nap. Repeat until the wind comes up. 

I see people trying to map out rest stops on google earth, etc. but I'm hoping to just stop where I drop. If the tide is low, beach, throw out an anchor and hopefully not drag while I'm sleeping. If the tide is high; tie up or anchor somewhere deeper, beach on a beach that I can drag off of, or push on. If I'm becalmed in deep water, I'll drift with sails down. I've applied this sleep/travel/sleep technique to kayaking, running, fastpacking, driving and motorcycling. I am well aware of the dangers of poor decision making while tired, and I know how hallucinations can really screw up plans (from experience). This is why I'm bringing a tent and sleeping bag (there's other good reasons for this too obviously). So while plan 'a' involves minimal sleep and pushing hard under sail, I fully expect conditions won't favour a course record and I'll quickly take a more conservative approach when I need to. First priority is to finish. Second priority is to finish fast. 

According to Wikipedia, my boat weighs about 287 lbs, which seems about right. Lightly loaded, I can drag the thing down a sand beach. I'm 6'2 and 200 lbs, so while I'm not ripped, I can move a lot of stuff around. With a kedging anchor and snatch block, I can drag it back up a beach. The narrow hulls with skegs tend to dig into the sand making solo beaching a bit of a grunt. I saw a start video where someone had their boat on a tarp to create a 'slide' to make dragging easier. My dry bags are thick, and roll up along their length giving easy(ish) access and have strong attachment points at either end. I've sewn extra straps into my hiking straps to form a large grid with lots of tie down spots. The idea is that they're well secured, but can quickly be detached and thrown onto the beach/mud/whatever if I need to lighten ship.

About bugs. I've expected them to be much worse in places like Fort DeSoto. I'm assuming areas like that have been sprayed, and that I should expect much worse further south. I have a 'bug bivy' but I don't think I'll fit into it while wearing gear. My hammock has a bug screen, so I can use that as a bivy if I'm sleeping on the tramp, or hang it up and use it as it's intended. Northern Quebec'ers have also introduced me to a device called a Thermocell, which has been a real asset in the north where bugs are notoriously bad. 

Sorry if I'm hijacking a thread with this essay. I'm just putting it out there that I know I'm taking on a real challenge here, but my decisions are based on real experience. At the same time, I realize that my experience with this race is zero, which is why I'm watching the forums here and on watertribe to learn what I can. Plan 'a' is definitely going to be very uncomfortable, but with favourable conditions will be fast. Recognizing and acting accordingly when conditions aren't favourable is what I'm banking on to get me to the finish. 

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I am soloing this year too.  I plan to get a good 6 hours sleep a night, but exactly how I accomplish that will be dependant on wind and tide.  My boat is only 65 pounds, so drag it up the beach and sleep in my hammock tent after eating a hot meal.  

Will play inside/outside based on wind and sea state.  

Bugs I don't find that bad, at least compared to Ontario in May or June, but maybe I have just been lucky.

 

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2 hours ago, BravoBravo said:

Lol... “plans”.... find the Mike Tyson quote about plans:ph34r:

Image result for mike tyson quote plansGood point. I used to run 100 mile ultramarathons. After the first attempt, I learned to plan for what happens after the punch in the mouth.

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18 minutes ago, CatFive said:

Image result for mike tyson quote plansGood point. I used to run 100 mile ultramarathons. After the first attempt, I learned to plan for what happens after the punch in the mouth.

I am not in the event but check out all the boats Friday afternoon...post a picture of your boat and I'll look you up

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I am a fan of plans.  If your plan goes sideways so be it :)

Have about 200 waypoints programmed into my GPS, pretty much every major turn.  Have inside and outside routes programmed and a bunch of potential camp sites.  Sail assisted kayak, so speed is more or less a known factor, within about a 3 knot range.  Sailing speed drops to 3.5 knots, start paddling.  So have a rough idea of where I might end up each night, of course uncertainty expands the further south I get.  Unless desperate, aim to leave Flamingo hour or two before sunrise.  Do not want to spend the night on Florida Bay if I can help it.  

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@CatFive Your plan seems reasonable. It's pretty similar what we're going to do. Sail when you can, sleep when you can't sail. Try to keep moving as much as possible but don't overdo it. 

Fair warning on the beaches in the Everglades and 10,000 islands. They are mix of sand and mud with a lot of oystershell and sharp chunks of prehistoric coral mixed in. Rollers are advisable if you don't want want chew up your hulls. Beaches at Cape Sable are steep too. 

 

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1 minute ago, MisterMoon said:

@CatFive Your plan seems reasonable. It's pretty similar what we're going to do. Sail when you can, sleep when you can't sail. Try to keep moving as much as possible but don't overdo it. 

Fair warning on the beaches in the Everglades and 10,000 islands. They are mix of sand and mud with a lot of oystershell and sharp chunks of prehistoric coral mixed in. Rollers are advisable if you don't want want chew up your hulls. Beaches at Cape Sable are steep too. 

 

And that loose porous sand can reveal an astounding population of "No See 'Ums" that will boggle the mind and leave you as a withered husk of a corpse unless you take ALL measures you can to combat the little demons. I fancied myself as the Aboriginal Windsurfer in the Virgins and had a very minimal kit that I could strap down to my Dufour Wing 12 sailboard and sailed from beautiful beach to the next camping in a little nylon string hammock under the cover of my sail. A Hawaiian sling stowed inside the hollow mast and my mast and snorkel provided grouper or lobster to roll up in aluminum foil and roast along with coconut, breadfruit and papaya gathered just back of the beach. I was in paradise UNTIL the sun went down and the breeze stopped and I was eaten alive. I remember one particularly hot windless night getting in the water with my snorkel with a scrap of mosquito net fitted to the end in attempt to filter out the sand gnats. They are so small that they crawl right through mosquito net. Only thing that even slowed them down was Avon 'Skin So Soft' skin lotion. Just the plain old regular stuff works but now they have added SPF 30+ and some extra critter repellent. Oh, and I used to windsurf with teak booms... The good old days when men were men and the booms were made of teak!

Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus IR3535® Expedition™ SPF 30 Family Size Pump Spray - 1 

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Head netting and https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/rynoskin-insect-protection-gloves... don’t have first hand experience with this brand but have used net gloves when it is hot sprayed with DEET ... if it’s cold regular gloves obviously do the trick 

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And the oyster beds can be concealed by high tide.  So you could land on what seems like a nice beach, then 6 hours later have 20 or 30 yards of exposed oyster bed to cross.  

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1 hour ago, TBW said:

And the oyster beds can be concealed by high tide.  So you could land on what seems like a nice beach, then 6 hours later have 20 or 30 yards of exposed oyster bed to cross.  

If I'm in the same place for 6 hours, 'plan a' has gone by the wayside

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3 hours ago, BravoBravo said:

Head netting and https://www.basspro.com/shop/en/rynoskin-insect-protection-gloves... don’t have first hand experience with this brand but have used net gloves when it is hot sprayed with DEET ... if it’s cold regular gloves obviously do the trick 

I have had a Tamer Suit and gloves for a very long time.  They work very well.

https://shannonoutdoors.com/bugtamer/bug-tamer-plus/

I have had to give a dose of mosquito repellent to the gloves occasionally as the hungry ones find a way to get your hands if you are working with them in the gloves.

-Stumbling 

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1 hour ago, CatFive said:

Still time to switch to a P19 Andy

And all the sudden Black Pearl (P19) started getting attention it should get.

the boat is perfectly outfitted for the EC.

i actually am thinking to get it myself, since I have a partner this year. I wouldn’t want to single hand it through the course, but with a crew - it can be fun.

 

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59 minutes ago, CrazyR said:

And all the sudden Black Pearl (P19) started getting attention it should get.

the boat is perfectly outfitted for the EC.

i actually am thinking to get it myself, since I have a partner this year. I wouldn’t want to single hand it through the course, but with a crew - it can be fun.

 

Saw over in the Watertribe forum that Andyman was reaching out to Bermuda Boy about the BP.  

Being tempted by the dark (cat) side?

- Stumbling

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No doubt...  Just paid for the wife, kids etc condo in Orlando for the week while I play boat. With the hotels to get down and back as well, hotel bill adds up to more than I paid for my boat.

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I see a Prindle 19 on the roster but it doesn't say if it's the Black Pearl. 

Just over a week before the payment deadline. I'm curious about how many entries are going to put out vs get out

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I'll be there Friday afternoon checking out the rigs on the beach, if any SAer's want to meet and greet ,maybe even a group photo :o

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I beleive those are 2 different P19s.  

Get the impression P19s are good EC boats.  Think first over all 2 years ago was a 2 up crew on one.

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On 12/6/2019 at 3:12 AM, Plenipotentiary Tom said:

I will continue to be a Speck Tater this year but now will get a different perspective from my new-to-me DJI Phantom drone.

My wife made this for me:

TaterForceDecal.jpg

She was appalled that I scribbled my FAA number with a Sharpie instead of getting her to make another sticker.

In EC related news, the head of our community sailing center was out here the other day and we discussed entering the Goat Island Skiff in the EC and bringing one of the kids. I'm sure it would be fun for the kid and it would probably bring some attention to the sailing center but I think the whole EC is a bit much so was thinking an Ultra Marathon would be better.

 

I had some plastic parts that had been marked with a sharpie.... Tried everything to get it off, and what worked was:

METHYL ALCOHOL.  aka Methanol.   Not common, but not impossible to get. 

It'll remove the sharpie like it was a dry erase board. 

 

But, um, Go the tribe!  Maybe one of these years I'll invade my sister's place in St.James city to observe. 

 

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1 hour ago, Kirwan said:

I had some plastic parts that had been marked with a sharpie.... Tried everything to get it off, and what worked was:

METHYL ALCOHOL.  aka Methanol.   Not common, but not impossible to get. 

It'll remove the sharpie like it was a dry erase board. 

 

But, um, Go the tribe!  Maybe one of these years I'll invade my sister's place in St.James city to observe. 

 

Likewise, dry erase markers work wonderful in removing sharpie marks.    Just mark and wipe!   

Fixed up some dry erase boards that someone used sharpies on.

- Stumbling

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Speaking of Sharpies....   this looks interesting:

25'X 5'6" sea going sharpie, ketch, sliding gunter rig, 2 slide-seat sweeps, 18 cubic foot foam floatation. Double dagger-boards, leeboards, foil.

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3 hours ago, TBW said:

 

Get the impression P19s are good EC boats.  

Why wouldn’t they be? P19 is slightly scaled down to fit a trailer version of Tornado. 
Light, powerful, voluminous hulls, kick-up centerboards. And since there is no one design racing any more they can be had for a little money.

Add wings  and reefing - (as in case of Black Pearl), and the boat is almost perfect contender. 

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Old beach cats are a lot of fun for the money. A friend of mine wants me to buy his FX1. He doesn't have an answer when I ask him if it's four times faster and more fun than my Dart. Which was the price difference before I bought new sails. 

I have to admit though that we weren't that fast at a cat regatta

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I like the looks of CrazyR's boat.  Are they available in North America?

We trailered our beach cat down.  Once, I won't go with a trailerable boat again. It's about a 5000km round trip for us.  It took us more hours of trailering the boat down than the total hours it took us to sail the course. 

Now, I would only consider car toppable or inflatable/folding.

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1 hour ago, TBW said:

I like the looks of CrazyR's boat.  Are they available in North America?

We trailered our beach cat down.  Once, I won't go with a trailerable boat again. It's about a 5000km round trip for us.  It took us more hours of trailering the boat down than the total hours it took us to sail the course. 

Now, I would only consider car toppable or inflatable/folding.

Contact me if you want a boat from the same manufacturer as mine. I will put you in touch with them and I will help work out language and logistics problems. 
Another Ukrainian firm, Ducky catamarans has US representative and their boats are decent “beach cruising” boats. 
 

Inflatable boats are slower and less precise in handling than hard shell cats. It is a combination of factors which makes them good - my boat is stored under my bed most of the time, I don’t need a trailer and I can fit it inside of most cars, including rentals, and I can fly with it, although it is a hassle. It also has enormous load carrying capacity, and I don’t afraid to bump hulls into rocks and drag it onto rocky shore. B97E5116-7EA7-41C4-B06D-1CF04A543335.thumb.jpeg.f326deccba86931be4cc9087d252e6e7.jpeg

3953534E-0299-4EAA-8A8B-4D66716F698C.jpeg

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