A Discussion of the Philosophies of Cruising and Circumnavigating - Page 5 - SailNet Community

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  #41  
Old 03-30-2009
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Rereading my needs. being as I do like to race my boat, that could also be making me choose a boat in the arena of the models listed too. Ie one in the race/cruise category vs a cruiser to performance cruiser.

This is something that needs to be thought of too when choosing looking for a boat. IE will you have a crew on board, ie 4-6 even 7 or 8 in a boat the size I mentioned, ie 33-36'? or is it just the two of you? maybe a kid or to in the younger stages of life like CD/brian. yes 3 of my 4 kids come along frequently when racing, but with them being 20 and 23.......a bit different scenerio than Brian has with his kids.

Also, why I want the boat to have sail shortening abilities, so when it is just spouse and I, or should I say me 75%, and her the other 25% doing things, it is easier for me to do by myself. I might add a Jib RF for these occasions, but want the drum removable for when in race mode. So when it is just us doing an across the sound trip to Kingston, dinner, then a sail home....... the SA is managable with just the two of us etc.

A few other things for folks to think about, when choosing/using a sailboat.

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  #42  
Old 03-31-2009
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I am going to make this a sticky as I feel it will be good information for those who are considering getting into boating, LA, or making long passages. Some great viewpoints.

Brian
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  #43  
Old 03-31-2009
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Great thread CD!

My dos centavos (Representing the minimalist end of the spectrum):

I want to stress that the following is what works for us. It might work for you or, then again, it might not.

We have a small boat, a Vega 27. I have lived aboard and sailed this boat since 1990. Laura joined me in 1996. We have never seen a boat that better meets our needs. Our thinking on equipment is to go with only what is necessary and nothing more. Of course this would be subject to individual interpretation but here is how we see it -

I don't believe that a pressure water system or shower has any place on a serious voyaging boat.

I think refrigeration adds unnecessary complication and draws too much electricity.

I think that a "Light and airy, spacious cabin" is dangerous in a sea boat.

Boat size: As big as one of us can handle alone without any mechanical or power assist; Can the smallest, weakest crew member raise the anchor without using the windlass or set the sails without using a winch?

Big enough to be comfortable living aboard and to hold enough gear and supplies for an extended voyage. Lealea easily holds six months provisions without spilling out of the lockers. We have a water maker, a Power Survivor 40e.

Big enough to entertain? Our boat sleeps two, feeds four and drinks six. Big enough for us.

Boat size and safety: To those who suggest that bigger is safer let me just mention "Titanic" and "Edmund Fitzgerald".

Dealing with it

Safety equipment: First let me say that we believe that no amount of money can buy safety. The most important piece of safety equipment is between your ears. It is paramount that all crew members maintain a safety first mindset at all times.

I have heard of some sailors who eschew PFDs and even lifelines. Not us. We rig additional lifelines and jack lines at sea, always wear our inflatable pfd/harnesses on deck and always tether at night or when going forward and we never go forward unless the other crew member is in the cockpit. We carry an EPIRB, man-overboard pole and strobe and a heaving line but Rule 1 is "Don't fall off the boat".

Hand-holds: You can't have too many, inside or out.

We keep our flares, flare gun, parachute flares and smoke markers in a valise screwed to the underside of the lazarette hatch. Also in the valise are two US Navy die markers and a distress marker panel. There is a type III pfd secured to the underside of each of the two cockpit seat locker hatches with stretch cord. (Opening the three hatches with the flare valise and PFDs always impresses the Coasties)

We carry six fire extinguishers, two in the forward cabin where we sleep when in port or at anchor, two in the main cabin and two in the cockpit.

Our First aid kit is a US Navy item, very complete and well stocked. We have both had extensive first aid training. Every crew member should be able to deal with compound fractures, burns, severe cuts, poisoning and any known medical conditions such as heart problems, diabetes or allergies among the crew.

We both wear a sharp knife on a lanyard at all times at sea and there is a dive knife in a sheath attached to the base of the mast on deck.

We have three manual bilge pumps, all hose connections are double clamped with ss clamps with tapered soft wood plugs handy.

We include ground tackle as safety equipment. We carry two 10kg Bruce anchors and two 25 lb Danforths. The two Danforth anchors and one Bruce have a rode of 50 feet of chain and 250 feet of 1/2 inch three strand nylon rope. The remaining Bruce has 100 feet of 3/8 inch BBB chain and 300 feet of 5/8 inch three strand nylon (This last one does require mechanical advantage to weigh. If necessary we would slip the rode and buoy it). Two boat hooks also come in handy

We do not carry insurance.

Electronics: VHF radio plus one hand-held, depth sounder. That’s all folks. When radar systems get smaller and less expensive I may invest in one but for now we’ll do without.

Navigation: Best quality compasses possible, two bulkhead mounted and two hand-bearing. Two pairs of good quality 7X50 binoculars. Complete set of paper charts for the planned cruising area plus plotting tools (I like the Jeppeson plotter because I am a pilot. I also use a US Army Artillery plotting square, a steel ruler and traditional dividers. I don't like parallel rulers but you should use what ever tools you are comfortable with). I think you need an almanac but doubt the necessity of a sextant and HO249 tables (Although We do carry them). We carry three hand-held GPS receivers and plenty of batteries. Also tide and current tables and cruising guides like Charlie's Charts etc. The more information we can get about our destination the better. We also use a laptop computer with Maptech software and electronic charts and Google Earth for planning only.

Self steering: We carry a Tiller Pilot which comes in handy while motoring but Lealea has been known to steer herself under sail for up to three days, maintaining her course within ten degrees with just a piece of shock cord from the tiller to a windward cleat.

Spares: We carry enough new rope to replace the running rigging two or three times plus several blocks of various types and a handy billy. I used to carry a spare stay but have come to believe that standing rig failure can be dealt with using rope sufficiently well to reach port where more permanent repairs can be effected. We carry two water pump impellers for the engine and spare filter elements for engine and water maker.

Misc,: We have an electrical repair kit put together for us by an electrician friend cointaining wire of different sizes, an assortment of connectors, tape, tools etc. and a rigging box with spare shackles, clevis pins, cotter pins and monel seizing wire. Laura made a ditty bag for me that holds my marlinspike seamanship stuff. (Consult Hervey Garrett Smith for details) and enough hand tools to deal with anything I am capable of fixing.

Dingy: Difficult to work out with a small boat but essential. I think a two-part nesting dingy would be best but haven't found the right one yet. Hard dingy, oars, no outboard.

While the above may look like just another equipment list, it is actually an expression of our philosophy of self-sufficiency and minimalist cruising in terms of nuts and bolts. I am talking of actual voyaging as a lifestyle; exploring remote places and avoiding the crowds, as opposed to life in the marina. A suitable boat could be bought and fitted out as described above for fifteen thousand dollars. As a couple, cruising and anchoring out, we could manage quite well on six or seven hundred dollars a month without sacrificing comfort or safety to our standards.

A more common view of “Cruising” involves traveling by boat from one marina to the next, perhaps with an occasional sojourn in an anchorage, entertaining aboard, cocktails at the yacht club and dinner at waterfront restaurants. You may want to bring guests along or children. Our way won’t work for you. That’s fine, it’s a big tent. In fact, we are doing a little of both. We like restaurants and cocktails too and are presently comfortably ensconced in a big-city marina while we rebuild our cruising kitty. Our future cruising plans include Alaska, Mexico, the Galapagos, French Polynesia and some of the more remote and lesser known parts of the Pacific.

Our sailing CV:

I have sailed and crewed on sport fishing boats in the Hawaiian islands since 1980. I have lived aboard the Vega 27 "Lealea" since 1990 and with Laura since 1996. Together we have cruised the islands extensively.

We spent our honeymoon as crew members aboard the 151 ft LOA Australian square-rigger "Endeavour" 21 days from Vancouver BC to Kailua-Kona Hawaii. Laura sailed an additional three weeks to Fiji


Laura also crossed the Pacific from San Diego to Nawiliwili, Kauai as delivery crew in the 70 foot traditional wooden schooner "Spike Africa"

And, of course, we sailed Lealea from Honolulu to Neah Bay, WA, then to Port Townsend and Friday Harbor, cruising the San Juans and Channel Islands as far North as Maple Bay, BC before sailing to Seattle where Laura is currently managing a West Marine store.

Video logs
Details of our boat here and here
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Last edited by vega1860; 04-01-2009 at 05:21 PM.
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  #44  
Old 04-01-2009
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Vega,

That was an outstanding write-up. Thank you again for taking the time to do it. I feel it provides an excellent perspective on another way to cruise. Again, this is really a great thread because it provides many different view points and "philosophies" on how to get there and make it work... especially from those that have done it and have made it work.

I hope others will participate and/or feel free to ask questions.

Again, thanks to all,

Brian
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  #45  
Old 04-01-2009
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What I loved about cruising was the diversity in the cruiser's themselves. Once again it proves everybody gets through life differently, and no single way is the correct way.......i2f
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  #46  
Old 04-08-2009
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This is a great thread and it really does explore the ultimate cruising conundrums of how big and with how much stuff. This is something I personally have been trying to figure out for a while now. I have read alot of books and also poked around online, I have seen different extremes and philosophies expressed and I guess ultimately it does really comedown to "whatever works for you....."

Ok my disclaimer: 7 years of sailing. Started out inshore racing, did a bunch of courses before buying a Supersonic 27 that I now cruise on when i can with my wife locally.
I do still consider myself a newbie with basic coastal/inshore cruising experience, but also have been researching/planning for our bluewater cruise for at least the last 6 3/4 years

We are planning to take a couple of years off work and sail up the Australian Coast before heading either into the Pacific or up into Asia.
We are a young couple who simply do not want to wait for retirement to do this. So to make this work we need to do it somewhat Pardey style. That is 'Go small, Go simple, Go now'. This is not a romantic notion for us, it is simply a financial reality.

Having said that we do want to make life as comfortable as we can of course, if there is something that we can afford and we feel that it will add to our enjoyment of the lifestyle we will have it. We do enjoy eating out, so would probably spend a couple of days here and there in Marinas. Both the first mate and I enjoy a hot shower every now and then and don't think this will change during cruising. So Pardey purists would probably consider us anything but minimalist.

The boat? we are looking at something in the mid 30's. Bluewater capable but will not be required to circumnavigate via way of the Capes, good tankage, good storage.

A Hallberg Rassy 35 Rasmus has currently caught our eye.......
HALLBERG-RASSY HR 34 boat details - BoatPoint Australia


The Equipment.

Epirb.(Even on a limited budget, I just couldn't justify NOT buying one).

Good ground tackle.

Solar Panels/Wind generator. ( My Dad has already donated us a small portable Honda generator).

Liferaft.

VHF. Also our current handheld for Dinghy use.

SSB is probably not necessary but means we would have email and good for cruiser communication.

Chartplotter + backup GPS. Papers Charts would also be a (costly) must. Sextant and tables, more because I am just interested in learning than because I think I would ever need them.

Eutectic refrigeration.

Solar Shower.($4 at a garage sale).

Radar Reflector(s).

Autopilot or Windvane.....undecided.

Maybe a TV. This is currently a contentious issue.

Good books and board games.

Lots of spares and tools.

Sea Anchor.

All suggestions, comments and criticisms are welcome, we are very much in the planning stages and trying to work out 'what will work for us'.
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Last edited by chall03; 04-08-2009 at 06:04 AM.
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  #47  
Old 04-08-2009
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Chall 03,
Looks pretty good. They are a great boat and easily sailed solo. I would look carefully at eutectic as they will break down somewhere and while it is working, you need to run the engine at least an hour or more each day. We have used eutectic on 2 boats, now have 12/240V. If you need to run engine for eutectic, you will have hot water. Autopilot.

Books and anything else will be traded in marina laundrettes. Sea anchors - I have one and I will sell to you - too small for current boat, never used on previous - (brand new parasail). HF needed. We used laptop for email, movies (dvd), chartplotter, weatherfax. Sextant, paper charts. Use oversize ground tackle. You will sleep at night without keeping one ear and one eye open.

Good luck and go for it. You have plenty of experience, even if it is 7 times one years experience (??)
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  #48  
Old 04-08-2009
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Thanks heaps for the advice and info again.

We are looking at the Rasmus up against Mottle 33's, Martzcraft 35, Adams 35/40 etc.

I am not that sure on Eutectic refrigeration, but we may be in a situation where are going to end up with in the short term at least, whatever is on the boat we buy....

As for experience, we are getting there! we have the benefit being able to do a shakedown on the boat up the east coast before we need to do any real bluewater passages.

What are your cruising plans for this season St Anna?

Craig
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Last edited by chall03; 04-08-2009 at 07:26 AM.
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Hey Chall03

It should be a great trip for you 2 to visit cane toad land. Good cruising grounds. (Dont bring any AK's- just a sharp wit, 2 beer mugs, and some common sense)

Eutectic fridges. I think you will learn enough to become a fridge mechanic with R134A in your blood. Our philosophy changed from fridge and freezer to just a 12V day fridge when at some stage, the compressor or dryer or coolant or fan belt or bolt tensioning compressor DIED. You might have heard the primeval sub sonic scream I gave, the last time it played up. My eutectic system and I had a competition to see who would last the longest. It almost won, I came out but permanently scarred off eutectics. Now on this boat, I have 12V and 240V run off shore power or generator. It will find some way to annoy me, I know!

Our plans for this year are a slow trip across the top end (back to front), work the cyclone season anywhere south of gladstone. A small bit of work on the boat, then next season we hope to go to Louisiades (from Cairns), New Britain, Kiribati then meander down to NZ for the summer. Who knows- plans have to be fluid for us. 'Whatever' is the word! I may end up having to find work to pay for something on the boat or stuck in PNG doing the do-gooder bit ???

I do know this- I have to go cruising- I already have a bad dose of cabin fever.

Email me when you are heading up and we'll look out for you.
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Originally Posted by St Anna View Post
Eutectic fridges. I think you will learn enough to become a fridge mechanic with R134A in your blood. Our philosophy changed from fridge and freezer to just a 12V day fridge when at some stage, the compressor or dryer or coolant or fan belt or bolt tensioning compressor DIED. You might have heard the primeval sub sonic scream I gave, the last time it played up. My eutectic system and I had a competition to see who would last the longest. It almost won, I came out but permanently scarred off eutectics. Now on this boat, I have 12V and 240V run off shore power or generator. It will find some way to annoy me, I know!
Maybe I should get one of these eutectic fridges. When I am on the boat I have so much fun that I fear I may OVER-fun when I go cruising, and I wouldn't want that to happen. I could use a few things to dampen my spirits and keep me from experiencing culture shock, something to remind me that there are places in the world that don't always have puffy clouds and sunshine. Not being married, and not having a Catalina, I really need to search out some kind of troubles to me keep me from laughing insanely until I pass out.
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