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  #21  
Old 02-09-2008
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Amen Cam!!

but...

off shore a sextant.
Multiple GPS's (4) with massive AA battery backups stored in Pelican cases and in the microwave (Faraday Cage) on passage are my choice. They work all the time, in any weather and with great accuracy. Sextants are fun...but they are buggy whips! (We've had this thread folks but feel free to start a new one!)

Answer: That's exactly what I do, although I have only three not four, in fact my GPS's/ VHF's in the case are individually wrapped in foil too. I have not dusted off the sextant in a long, long time but would still bring it for extended off shore work!

I like solar panels and simple battery systems with a battery monitor such as a link 10. I do not like gen sets of any kind including the small Honda's.
I like solar...but would not be without wind if going passive as I've found I can get twice the output on average daily than from a pair of 80 watt ea. panels. As to generators...never had or felt I needed one till my present boat...clearly a luxury...but BOY are they nice to have!! Feel the Honda generators are a good choice for someone with charging needs for a short term cruise or weekend type needs to charge batteries and power stuff.

Answer:
Meant to say solar/wind


I like roller furling and prefer a main sail with a minimum of three reef points.
Ditto...but Boom Furling main if you can afford it is even better than 3 reef points!

Answer:
I agree


I don't like electric windlasses. I've fixed far to many thus I now use a manual windlass when and if I ever need it.
I got one to make it easy and quick to raise the main from the cockpit. Can do it by hand if necessary. NO problems experienced (Andersen winch) and a nice if pricey convenience.

Answer:
There seems to be a huge difference in the longevity factor of halyard and sheet winches when compared to anchor windlasses. Location is perhaps a big player in this factor?

I prefer a dry bilge.
I prefer one too...but the last 2 boats I've owned by design cannot have a totally dry bilge...can't get to it. No big deal.

Answer: Again, I prefer a dry bilge you don't mind one that's why it needs to be about you..

I don't like 5200 or Silicone and use them very, very carefully.
I don't see much need for 5200 either ...but I do use silicone a lot and like it for certain things.

Answer:
Agreed, I do use silicone more than 5200 but I am very careful how and where I use the silicone.


I don't like exterior teak and I'm far to anal to let it go gray..
I like some teak ad how it makes a boat look and Cetol makes it pretty easy to keep up with it and keep it looking good. If I was anal enough to insist on Varnish....I would have no teak on deck!

Answer:
If I had to have a boat with teak I'd go back to using Cetol again. I do believe boats can still look good with no teak. Again it's about YOU..


I have davits and like them but NOT in rough weather! They are not however a necessity for me just a luxury.
I just don't like davits....an accident waiting to happen. Have had them on two boats and prefer to tow or store dink on deck.
Answer: Properly rigged I've traveled thousands of miles with a dink on the davits in calm weather with ZERO issues. The key word's are "PROPERLY RIGGED" and 95% of the folks I see using davits use them incorrectly. I always store on deck in anything over 4 foot seas or 18+ knots..

I like ST winches and rope clutches but would not go out of my way to convert.
I WOULD go out of my way to convert!

Answer:
I currently have two non ST's under my dodger, for halyards, and it's not bugged me enough yet to replace them...


I like Gore Stuffing Box Packing & PSS shaft seals.
I don't trust the PSS in distant anchorages. Give me something easily fixed every time.
Answer: Again this is why you must make your decisions. I've now owned four or five boats with PSS's and not had one ounce of trouble. In fact I just replaced the bellows on my current boat and sent the old one back for inspection. At 6 years old and 2800 engine hours (three ditch trips) PSS said the bellows were as good as new! I've also had a traditional hose on a stuffing box fail so PSS's are not the only shaft seal to worry about..

I like a forward facing nav station.
I never use my nav station except for storage. Everything is at the helm except the SSB.
Answer: I like to eat & sit there and use my lap top at night and still be in the conversation with the rest of the cabin not with my back to them. My electronics are also at the helm.. Should have clarified..

I like cockpit cushions but they are not a necessity
They ARE a necessity!!

Answer: My wife says so too..

I like dodgers (won't sail without one) & bimini's (don't want cancer) but they come off in really bad, green water, weather.
I like full cockpit enclosures. Great in cold and bad weather but subject to the same concerns as a bimini in REALLY bad weather.

Answer: Yup we have a full cockpit enclosure too but it's not on my 100% necessary list..

Been using Folgers...
I thought you said you liked COFFEE??

Answer: Folgers is NOT the final answer but we have not yet found the perfect cup of boat Joe and have tried everything...

I HATE showering in the head (mold) and instead have a cockpit mounted wand..
I can't shower in the cockpit...I can't stand the ogling and suggestive remarks from all the females in the anchorage!!

Answer: And that's why I like it???
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  #22  
Old 02-09-2008
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Solar panels, wind generator: you'll need them at sea and on the hook. Gas gensets=Bad. annoy everybody.

Understand that it's a quiet Honda model, and it's a tertiary charging source: if the alternator, the wind and the solar aren't working, it's available to save the contents of the fridge or to power a pump. I got it mainly to run power tools at anchor (running these off the inverter, while doable, is not desirable from an efficiency standpoint), and to throw a charge into the windlass battery forward. On a steel boat, the ability to run Dremels, hand grinders and other power tools is useful on deck (obviously calm, dry days), as is the ability to "bring one's own power" ashore to do work on the beach you'd rather not do aboard.


Fuel system: Possibly unnecessary complications. (But I could be wrong)

In this case, yes. My system gives me the ability to polish fuel while sailing, to provide a back-up fuel pump, and to change filters without stopping the engine. I will have two 50 gallon keel tanks plus a 40 gallon "polish/day tank": even if I take on dodgy fuel, I'm not necessarily stuck, as I can isolate and self-remedy the situation in remote places.

PC Based navigation: Good for planning, otherwise - Bad. Prone to failure and may give false sense of security. be sure you have complete, up-to-date paper charts and plotting tools and know how to use them. Also have at least one hand held GPS with plenty of spare batteries. Disclosure: I have Garmin software and GPS interface on my PC but I NEVER use it for navigation while under way.

Yes, in keeping with the belt-and-suspenders approach, I will carry current and annotated paper charts. Understand I also have a pilothouse, a dry, large area in which to do my nav work. I don't need an outdoor, daylight-defeating, weather-proof screen for nav at the helm...I can buy approximately six identical used laptops for the same price as a current 10" plotter screen. Better that I have black boxes and six 15" screens...plus handheld GPS, a sextant, and various other goodies.

While I'm on a roll (Or rant as it were); Navigation necessities, In my opinion of course, are:

Good quality steering compass.

Another good quality steering compass.

Ritchie Globemaster, KVH AC103 fluxgate and probably a Vector G2 "satellite compass" for the autopilot. A compass on the wristwatch (have to hold it five feet off the steel deck, but it works fine at my chin level or atop the aluminum pilothouse lid.)

Two or more hand held GPS units. These don't have to be fancy as long as they give you the basic data - lat, long, speed. We have one Garmin GPS76 and two GPS 38s. Total cost about $400. You MUST (In my opinion) have GPS unit(s) that operate independently of the ship's power supply and not too fancy lest yo be tempted to forego real charts.

Two old Magellans plus a surprisingly accurate Trimble from 1993 with just alphanumeric display. Plus the Raymarine 420 plotter still at the inside helm. I'll probably update the Magellans to something that eats AAs less voraciously.

Depth sounder. Even a lead line. A necessity when anchoring and very helpful when you are sailng where you shouldn't be

I have a rickety CRT sounder called a Marinetek that works nicely, but takes power and room. There are better options.

Current NOAA or Admiralty paper charts. Expensive but no prudent navigator would think of going to sea without them.

Nor will I.

Plotting tools. I use a Jeppeson aviation style rotating plotter/protractor and a Field Artillery plotting square, a 18" steel ruler and a set of traditional brass dividers. #4 pencils don't smear like #2s do. These work for me because I'm used to them and know how to use them. (My life story can come later) I don't like parallel rulers or yachtman's plotters but you might find they suit you. Use what works for you but be damned sure you know how to use the tools that you choose.

Both the wife and I have taken plenty of nav courses and I do mostly GPS-less coastal pilotage here in chartbooks, taking bearings, 60 D Street and such. I also known and keep up my celestial nav skills with a Freiberger and a Astra III B sextant.

Tide and current tables. Paper, not on your laptop. (Again, electronic is OK for planning but it is not a substitute for a book printed on paper)

This is a weak spot for me, as Lake Ontario has currents, but "seiche" is as close to tides as we get. I will need to experience tides around Nova Scotia next year, if, as planned, we do a shakedown cruise down East prior to heading to Panama.

Good quality binoculars. 7X50

WWII Carl Zeiss 10 X 50s, Tasco 7 x 50s, a cheap 4 x 30, Bushell birders' glasses and an old rangefinder I found in the club house garbage. I use the Zeisses and the birders' glasses the most, as the Zeisses can make out buoy numbers at a ridiculous distance, but the birders' glasses are good at taking in a large sweep of water.


Hand bearing compass.

Yep, a Davis pistol grip model plus the aforementioned Suunto watch bearing compass.


A good stong hand held spotlight with it's own battery, not one that depends on the ships power.

Yes, two Garrity 6V lanterns, plus a 3V halogen flashlight...in addition to the "auto spot light" off ship's power or off the emergency power pack/inverter I carry (a 700W model I got prior to the Honda generator).

Log. A device that tells you your speed through the water. Record speed, time and compass heading in your Logbook or deck log at regular intervals to determine your DR position.

The GPSes do this quite well, and we keep hourly logs from which we derive set and drift, etc. DR positions are customarily kept and then compared with bearings taken from the shore (when it's visible) or against GPS reports. I plan to add celestial-derived positioning into the mix in order to add another element this summer.

Chronometer. Really a good wristwatch will do and I don't mean a Rolex. We each have a Rolex and neither of them keep good enough time for navigation. Any decent quartz watch will be superior. If it has a stopwatch function so much the better.

I do, and it does. Plus a recording barometer, probably the function I use the most. I adjust it to UTC via the national observatory, and/or an Internet site with atomic clock numbers. The variance over six months is at most, one second, which probably has to do more with my reaction time during the initial setting than the watch wandering.

Logbook. To record our position fixes to facilitate dead (Or ded) reckoning.

I keep a dual log of positional and maintenance information. I only know a few people on Lake Ontario who even keep a log at all, but it's how I determine oil change intervals, weather states, total sailing days, etc.

Any additional information about your cruising grounds you can get. Charlie's Charts, Wagonners, Yachtsman's chart books, whatever.

Yep! I've got to read something in the head.


Sextant. Eh... not so much. For the price of one cheap sextant you can buy two cheap GPS units that will be far more accurate than any position you can get with a sextant from the deck of a small boat, and by "Small boat" I mean anything under 200 feet on deck. (On Endeavour, 151 ft LOA, the best I could do was a cocked hat ten miles across. My GPS 76 typically gives a position within one boatlength of my Vega27) Bear in mind also that, on our recent Pacific crossing we did not see the sun, let alone moon or stars, for five weeks. Sextant's no good under those conditions Buckwheat. Then there are the tables and almanac you will need along with the sextant. Skip the sextant and buy three handheld GPS units and plenty of batteries with the money you save. Keep a log and fall back on DR in the unlikely event that all three of your GPS units fail.

OK, I admit I have a sextant, and HO 249 and almanac. Mostly I use the sextant turned sideways to take bearings for coastal navigation. Then check my position plot with the GPS.

Whoops! Looks like I got off on a tangent there. Sorry I just thought I had something to say and my fingers went off on their own. Not aimed at anyone in particular you understand. Well, not after I got started on navigation anyway. It's just that I have strong feelings about computer based navigation. All well and good until the batteries go flat or the salt spray gets into the works then it's a dark and stormy night and the laptop won't reboot and that's when the screaming starts. And it's "My mother warned me not to go to sea!", and "What do you MEAN you don't have a satelite phone?!?!?!?" and then it's "What'll we DOOOoooooooooooo!!!!!!!?!?!?!? and that's when the cat stars wailing and throwing up in your slippers.

Now, If it was me, I would calmly light up a cigar (Punch double corona, maduro, of course), fire up my number two or three GPS unit, verify my DR plot on my paper chart and authoritatively say "Bring in the Jenny and hoist the number 2 jib. Take another reef in the main and lay 'er on the starboard tack at 040."

But that's just me.

Heh. Well, the sextant comes out sideways for that coastal pilotage I mentioned, and for getting a height of something on shore to determine distance off. It's superior to a bearing compass in many situations. Part of having them, however, is for the challenge of mastering the skill, the challenge of doing the math and staying comfortable with the tables, and the way in which a noonsight breaks up the nautical day. We are taking a kid, who will need daily lessons via correspondence materials, and 20 minutes of sextant work before lunch is a way to pass on a skill while providing a bit of a break on passage. Not to mention that doing SHA/star work at night is a hell of a way to teach astronomy, and, if the math skills are up to it, there's always the opportunity to do lunars.

GPS is a great way to *confirm* a position...but it too, can be off: I've seen with my own eyes a significant correction to a GPS display even while it was reporting a good contact with four satellites. Briefly, my boat was doing 130 knots SOG, until I learned I was four miles SSW of where I'd been seconds before! Thanks to pilotage, I knew that the GPS system itself was "having a moment", (I had two GPSes on, and they both went briefly mental) which is why I like to have as many sources of information as possible, like following a 10 fathom contour line, for instance.

Thanks for the comments. I didn't list everything above beforehand because I just assume that's standard. Maybe I'm naive...
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Old 02-09-2008
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So we are now looking for Womboat 3 and here I think we need to be damn careful. Our sights are set on 40' and we are very much trying to keep that as a maximum size knowing just how expensive the gear becomes for every extra foot. In fact, not just the cost of the gear but also the handling thereof noting as well that the bigger the boat the more difficult she is to berth, or indeed to find a berth. (by that I mean temporary berth in ports away from home.)
That was a concern for us, as well. Frankly, I could afford a bigger boat and was lusting in particular after a Kanter Atlantic 45...very much my kind of proposition. But my wife is a wiry five-footer, and while young and game and pretty strong for her size, simple physics means I have a pretty good idea of what she can and can't overcome in the boat handling department (luckily, she's fearless about jumping off with a spring line in her teeth!). She can manage sails on our 40 footer in 25 knots entirely alone, which means for the duration of her watch. It is unreasonable to expect that I can be "on call" weeks at a time on passage, so it was her physical limitations that determined that maximum boat size we could handle, as neither of us wanted to get into electric winches, etc.

Of course a 40 foot full keeler has a LOT of stowage, tankage and general hidey-holes, so that's not an issue, and the pilothouse gives a vast amount of privacy for the aft cabin plus great engine bay access. We've lost some excitement in the sailing realm, yes, but have stability and durability on the upside...you just keep on plodding on at five knots in all but extreme conditions, because the boat drives itself, largely. Also, if the hydraulics fail, I can steer via tiller, but 40 feet is as big as I'd want to do that trick.

The price factor comes in later, but I do admit that ground tackle is massive enough at the 40 foot level (particularly if you size it up one class) to discourage wanting to go larger. More space means more crap aboard and sometimes it's best just to let the boat's dimension dictate what truly needs to go sailing with you and what can be left ashore.
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Old 02-09-2008
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To be perfectly honest I have learned more on sailing forums and found far better answers to questions than I have in my very large library of marine related books.
Same here, and aside from having a VariProp and a Honda 2000 on order, we are largely in complete agreement. (You'd like our Lavac head!) I also have a couple of VHF handhelds, one in the "crash box" with the old GPS and flares and heaving line, etc., and I thought I was the only guy using those Swedish (?) hose clamps...

I like Casey, the Pardeys, Beth Leonard, etc., but they are just larger drops in the pool of knowledge. Generally, I find that if I can get five thought processes out of these type of books, they are worth the price of acquiring them (Jimmy Cornell's latest was interesting that way, because he's had three very different boats on circs., and yet has the same general mindset I've already started to develop). Logging in here, however, I generally learn at least one new thing each day...a better average!
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Old 02-09-2008
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Logging in here, however, I generally learn at least one new thing each day...a better average!
Yeah and it's free!! I totally agree that if you can pull a few bits of wisdom out of a book it was worth it and that's usually what I get.

I reality my frustration with the current crop of authors is that they skim the nitty gritty of the actual "how to" part just a little to much. I understand they are in it to sell books and have editors yanking pictures and such but c'mon can't we get a little more in-depth and detailed?

I bet I've spent well over 2.5k on books over the years or maybe more......!!
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Old 02-09-2008
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This thread is FANTASTIC

This is the stuff I joined up for...

You guys make me feel like a 5 year old on a tricycle... I learn something here every day I log on, despite... the flair ups of personality...And this is the best kind of sharing.

Mainsail I knew you had some moxie and it's nice to git a better Glimpse...thanks for the list out of your preferences and the resulting comebacks from Cam and Val. Both are a wealth of information.... Happy camper I am..

When I was 17 I got my first, a Mac 21, Owned togather by 3 other of my closest friends. But it was really my boat. I sailed it 100 times more they any other...every chance i got.... My dream shared with my best friend Mark was to build a Bruce Roberts 45...a 35 if we had to sacrifice.. ( I still think big )

I have yet to come to grips that you cant have it all...I still want a 50+ with every thing on it...and until I do, maybe then finding out for my self that it may or may not be to big to Handel .. then it would be like steeling someones dream away from them...or telling a kid..."Oh, You could never accomplish that" . Just putting this down into words is quickening my excitement about it and that's what it is all about for me...Rather it costs a fortune to keep it a the dock or cast the lines and head off into the unknown..Its all about the adventure and...bless your harts.. like you have said all up to each of us.

I too love to read books about our love affair, but have humbly skipped whole sections devoted to ideas or beliefs I care not to entertain..This sailing life is such a part of our personalities as to who we are...Some might think me a snob or unwise because I want a 500,000.00 boat with all the toys... but I would be personally dejected if the 18' O'Day felt in any way unworthy or unwanted to raft up, least we share a beer and sandwich.
I hope I have conveyed my gratitude to all of you for this small glimpse into your lives and hope to someday measure up. as for now following in your wake
of knowledge is what I aspire to ... Thanks Vega for starting this....

Hope to some day raft up and share that beer with some of you... Until then I will keep that dream alive also!..

Last edited by Stillraining; 02-09-2008 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 02-09-2008
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I bought Ms W a copy of Beth Leonard's "A Voyagers Handbook" for her birthday and it was a very good move on my part. Most of my "how to do" books have been by some of the crusty old salts like Roth and Hiscock. BL's book is both more modern in it's outloook and written in a manner that the less experienced soul can really appreciate. I also like the way in which she is happy to acknowledge areas were they have gone astray.
Good stuff.
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Yes, I agree. Leonard's no amateur, but she retains enough humility or at least honesty about her mistakes and foul-ups to make the materials seem approachable. This is combined with budget breakdowns and various "degrees of complexity" to which one, or one's line of credit, can aspire. There's also a fair degree of realism about how much money you can make in transit: not much, so start saving now...

I love those older, crustier guys like Hiscock and Roth, because they have such a high degree of internalized seamanship (they had to, as nobody was going to save their asses when they were out there, and facilities were slim to none). Unfortunately, this means for the general reader that a lot of stuff doesn't make sense. I remember reading the otherwise excellent Roth book "How to Sail Around the World", when Roth decides around 1990 (he's already pretty old at this point) to buy a Santa Cruz 50 and solo circumnavigate. What follows are what he's learned...but not how he could afford to buy a 50 footer with enough gadgets and mechanical aids for an old salt to consider going around the world in it! Some of the practicalities, admittedly the less glamorous stuff, is missing. Later, Roth decides that a 35 foot Pretorian is ideal, and he and his wife move aboard...I guess he got a nice pile of cash for the SC50!

It's not as ridiculously stiff upper lip as the Smeatons' prose:

"Beryl's arm was broken, our cabin was torn off and the rudder stock was bent. 100 miles east was the lee shore of rock-fanged Chile. 'Never mind, dear,' said Beryl, 'tea's up!' After the obliging 50 knot gale had cooled it, I downed my trusty mug, and three pitchpoles later, we had a new deck. Forty hours of bucket work cleared the bilges AND put out the fire. Jolly good! That night, we deserved our extra Hovis biscuit, which unfortunately stank of kerosene."
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When I think of cruising, I don't think about a solo circumnavigate. I don't think they are one and the same nor so they belong in the same conversation. Hey that's me and frankly at this stage of my life, I can't fathom a solo circumnavigate. Crossing an ocean is another thing all together and as I see it, it is still cruising. It is also something with the right boat I would love to do. But for right now, I will settle for the keys and the Caribbean.
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Old 02-09-2008
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Lotís of good stuff here today. Itís great to hear from more experienced sailors and I actually like it when someone disagrees with my ideas. It makes me re-think my position. I am still convinced that small and simple is the way to go. However, I do realize that our way is not for everyone. Most wives, for example, demand a greater degree of creature comforts than mine and will almost always demand a larger closet and bathroom. Laura, bless her soul, is true shellback, having crossed the equator in a square rigged ship and is in her glory changing headsails on the foredeck in a rising gale, or climbing the ratlines to reef topsails. (Personally Iíd be happy if I never again see wind above 25 knots)

As the man said, we each have to make our own decisions. I have watched a lot of cruisers passing through Hawaii over the years and have come to several conclusions based on my observations and experience. For example, Iíd rather spend my time in port washing down a cheeseburger with a pint of cold draft beer at the pub than fixing the refrigerator I installed so I could have cold beer and fresh meat at sea. At sea I drink red wine or whiskey, neat (Actually I donít drink at sea at all but you see my point). We have no refrigerator and see no need for one. ďHow do you keep the mayonnaise?Ē you may ask. We donít use it. I wonít go into a long dissertation on the subject here. Suffice it to say that we have been living, and eating, quite well for a good many years without a fridge. Donít be so shocked. Few people had refrigerators until the 1940s.

Donít get me wrong. Iím not suggesting that my way is the only way, or the right way, just one of several ways. And, as someone else said here, Iím no Luddite. We use GPS for primary navigation, plan our route and watch movies on our laptop. Our next planned purchase for the boat is an ipod compatible stereo so we can eliminate the 400 CDs we carry in a binder (The old stereo quit on us while crossing the Pacific anyway, eating my favorite Beach Boys CD in the process).

Valiente, there are a couple of seeming contradictions in your post. Concerning my comment about needing a mechanical log or other manual means of determining boat speed for maintaining a DR position you said:

The GPSes do this quite well, and we keep hourly logs from which we derive set and drift, etc. DR positions are customarily kept and then compared with bearings taken from the shore (when it's visible) or against GPS reports. I plan to add celestial-derived positioning into the mix in order to add another element this summer.

Further down the page you say:

GPS is a great way to *confirm* a position...but it too, can be off: I've seen with my own eyes a significant correction to a GPS display even while it was reporting a good contact with four satellites. Briefly, my boat was doing 130 knots SOG, until I learned I was four miles SSW of where I'd been seconds before! Thanks to pilotage, I knew that the GPS system itself was "having a moment", (I had two GPSes on, and they both went briefly mental) which is why I like to have as many sources of information as possible, like following a 10 fathom contour line, for instance.

OK. You like using a sextant but, remember, we didnít get a good enough look at the sun to get a sight for over a month on our crossing.

Replying to my comment about maintaining a written deck log you wrote:

I keep a dual log of positional and maintenance information. I only know a few people on Lake Ontario who even keep a log at all, but it's how I determine oil change intervals, weather states, total sailing days, etc.

I differentiate between the deck log and the maintenance log, butwhat I'm talking about here is a record of your position plots, be they by DR, Observation or GPS. My point was the need for position determined by two or more separate means, belt and suspenders, and comparing the relative accuracy of the positions determined by various methods so you are aware of the accuracy you are achieving. As far as not keeping a log on the lake, even one as big as Ontario, we didnít keep a deck log while island hopping in home waters either, other than to keep track of engine time, fuel consumption etc. but, I submit that when one is out of sight of land for a month it is a different kettle of fish altogether. Position derived from compass, chronometer and log and recorded in the logbook as the DR position is an independent back up for your GPS and/or celestial derived position.

But again, thatís just my preference. You have a lot of time for that sort of thing at sea and I enjoy the process. (I might add that I agree with your observations on celestial. Itís just that on a boat the size of a Vega in all but a flat calm sea it is nearly impossible to get a decent sight.)

On the subject of logbooks: we use a day planner zipper binder with tabs dividing the engine log, provisioning lists, stowage plan, expense record, position log and daily journal. It has pockets and inserts to hold our passports, vessel documentation, Veterinarians health certificate for the cat, Yacht Club membership cards, Coast Guard inspection certificate etc. You will really impress the Coasties if you whip out the book that has everything organized at your fingertips. The inspection, if they bother to inspect at all after seeing that you have your act together, will go a lot more smoothly. When they ask if you have flares, for example, just flip to the page where you have recorded the purchase and expiration dates and tell them. What could have been an ugly experience ended up nothing more that them standing on the dock filling out the form and me sitting on the boat with my logbook.

Good point about the barometer BTW. Essential equipment for offshore, in my opinion, but, like everything else, only if you know how to use it. Laura got quite good at forecasting the weather using the barometer, thermometer and watching the clouds. Then again, you may have a weather fax or satellite internet connection but whatís the fun in that eh?

We enjoy being self reliant. We enjoy learning how sailors crossed the oceans in the 18th 19th and early 20th centuries and trying out their methods in our own voyaging. The old ways still work, are challenging and, for us, fun. But letís not be foolish about it. We carry a set of signal flags for fun. Not as a substitute for a VHF.

Malie ka kai.
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