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  #1  
Old 11-11-2006
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Cool Blue-Water Cal 2-27?

I'm currently living in the Chicago area and sail a Cal 2-27 in almost everything Lake Michigan has to offer with the exception of the most severe gales.....
My question is, since I've never really sailed the deep blue, how good of an off-shore boat do you guys think that a Cal 27 would make? I'm looking at making is a full liveaboard in the near future and would like the opinions of the more experiencesd guys on its seaworthiness as a passage maker and cruiser.
I love this boat and it really has enough room for what I need at this time I just want to start seeing places and this is the boat I have to work with for now.
I know, I know.....smaller boats have crossed the pond and the bigger the boat (within reason) the more comfortable the passage.
Opinions? Am I crazy to even think of this ?





Culinary411
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Old 11-11-2006
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Culinary...They are well built boats but not really designed as long term bluewater cruisers. Neverthelss, going out the Lakes and down the East Coast and the Bahamas and the Islands is all territory you can handle and enjoy. After you've been through that, you'll be able to make your own decisions about whether you and the boat want to cross oceans! Enjoy!!
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Old 11-23-2006
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Camaraderie,

I think that's what I'm going to do. Right now I'm in the process of adding a bit of technology to it to make it easy to play with and then its off to Bermuda in the spring I think.
So far I've got a Garmin 3000 series chartplotter with SAT weather and 36nm radar, VHF, SSB, Harken Rollerfurling, looking for an autopilot.....any suggestions? It's gotta be reliable for long distance cruising. I've put it off long enough. Come spring I'm gone.....
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Old 11-24-2006
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I would also recommend reading John Vigor's "The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat" and follow the recommendations therein. Some of the modifications to make a boat more seaworthy for an offshore passage are reasonably easy to do—setting up or installing a bridgedeck, larger cockpit drains, locking drop boards, etc.
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Old 11-24-2006
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Culinary...
I would suggest crossing Bermuda off your list as a first trip destination. That is 600 miles of blue-water and Gulf Stream and north atlantic spring weather patterns. A bit much for your first trip I think.
Why not wander down the ICW, explore the Chesapeake, cross the stream to the Bahamas, do a couple of offshore hops down the coast before tackling Bermuda?
Preparing your boat... I would focus some attention on your electrical/battery system if you are going for an auto-pilot as you'll be chewing up some amps.
As to recommendations for an auto pilot...I'd suggest the Simrad TP22 for you. http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?...9332&id=336601
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Old 11-24-2006
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Dog,
Thanks for the book suggestion, I'll look it up and get it. Anything else you guys can recommend for me to read? I'm not a complete rookie, however, I don't have the experience some of you guys out there have and I need to start somewhere.


-Nick
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Old 11-24-2006
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Cam,

I was almost tempted to buy the Raymarine ST1000 below deck autopilot. Is that overkill? West Marine recommends a below deck pilot for offshore and I'm not sure exactly what I need. As far as tiller pilots go, is Simrad better than Raymarine? As far as electrical goes, I've gt an Atomic 4 with a high output alternator, 2 group 27 batteries and thinking about possibly going bigger. Also I'll probably add solar. I'd do a wind generator as well but my boat being only a Cal 27 I have no idea where to mount it. Suggestions here would be GREATLY appreciated.
As far as Bermuda goes, I'll do more research on the subject. If you think its not a good idea to try Bermuda right away maybe I'll do the Bahamas. At this point I'm not exactly sure what I'm up against either way. I've just heard stories about how rough the Bahama route can be. Then again, I'm the guy that tries to sail every gale I can just so I can get experience.



-Nick



-Nick
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Old 11-25-2006
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camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
Nick...I didn't think to recommend an underdeck pilot as I figured it was overkill for you. Do you have a quadrant one could be atached to? I went through 2 drives for the Ray ST6000 on my last boat so I am not a big fan of their autopilots. Simrad makes a better one in my opinion but there are also some small companies out there that make good ones. With the EXPOSURE you'll have at your helm I would definitely opt for one with a remote control you can operate from a dry spot.
The Bahama crossing is EASY if you wait for weather. Bermuda...is 7 days or more in your boat and no way to predict what weather you will run in to in that time frame. Let me be blunt....DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT.
If you want to try an ocean gale...go on a coastal hop when it is 25 to 30 then if you like 8-10 foot seas you can try for some bigger ones when a gale is predicted. At least coastal, if you get into trouble you can pull in somewhere or yell for help. It's a lot tougher 300 miles from the nearest land....and again...your boat is not designed as a blue water boat. Find out what IT and YOU can stand up to in increments.
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Old 11-25-2006
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Cam,

I'm taking your advice. I'll do more research into the Bahamas and other nearby islands. As far as 10 foot seas go, the most I've done with this boat was about 12 or 15 with a sea anchor and cabarnet (soiled shorts the first time too..LOL). It was NO fun at the time but a lot of fun looking back.
I'm sure ocean gales are more intense, can't wait.
I'm not sure about having a quadrant or what exactly a quadrant is. I was told by the West Marine dealer that if I wanted a below deck pilot and there was no place to attach it to on my tiller below deck that some type of collar could be fitted for the attachment. I have no clue about this type of thing. Hopefully I can find a Simrad pilot that's right for me and then I'll be set as far as toys go.


-Nick
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Old 11-25-2006
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Blue Water Cal

Hi,
You may want to obtain 2 other applicable books: Dave & JaJa Martin went half way around the world in a Cal; either a 25 or 27', and wrote a book and magazine articles about it. Check Setsail.com. They did it because it was what they had, however, I recall Dave about gutted and re-built the boat in preparation. Also, John Vigor has a book titled something like The Seaworthy Offshore Boat - tells you all about modifications to prepare your boat. While I believe in being prudent, many folks would have you believe you have to have a $100K boat to go - I say, if you've got common sense and the passion - go for it - do it now. Most folks let daily trappings hold them back and never go.

Good Luck,

s/v Breakaway
Cal 34

PS - Cals are known to have weak bulkhead-to-hull connection: might want to grind down the tabbing and re-tab with several layers of cloth and epoxy.
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