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  #91  
Old 02-09-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbound View Post
Jon- real interested in your comment about windvanes. Do you think the emergency rudder scenario and total loss of electricity are that frequent that leaving having an oversized AP with appropriate spares ( ram, rudder indicator etc.) is not sufficient. For a lot of boats either due to speed DDW, displacement, stern configuration or other issues a servo pendulum may be quite difficult to install and function. What's your cut off for a Hydrovane or like product? Have trouble believing anyone's promo literature.
Thought between two battery banks, wind, solar, generator and oversized alternator supply to the AP is as bulletproof as I can make it. Thinking was with two complete systems or one installed with extensive spares odds of hand steering were low. See fewer and fewer vanes on backs of boats as A.P.s have gotten better.
Well, I'm obviously among a rapidly diminishing minority when it comes to vanes. What can I say - I've always loved mine, its elegant use of nothing but wind and water represents what sailing is all about in the first place, for me. I'm guessing many who diss the use of such Old School self-steering technology have probably never actually tried using a vane, and while autopilots have definitely improved greatly in terms of performance and efficiency, I think all the crap many cruisers are now carrying on the back of their boats, and the increasing number of tenders being stowed on davits, and the prevalence of stern arches and cockpit enclosures that can preclude the use of a vane, has more to do with fewer vanes being fitted, than anything else... Of course, I've always thought the primary reason many people today have so little interest in windvanes, is that they cannot be put into TRACK mode, and interfaced with a chartplotter to automatically take you to a distant waypoint :-)

I don't view my Sailomat as a very likely means of self steering in anything other than pretty benign conditions. It could be pressed into service as such, but it's not really designed for such a purpose, and in open ocean and bigger seas, I'd probably have to rely on other methods...

I've only used a Hydrovane once, and I must say I was underwhelmed, it's performance was not remotely close to that of a true servo-pendulum vane like my Sailomat, or a Monitor... I may have been able to dial it in a bit better over time, but it's a pretty simple device and the principle is basically the same as a Sailomat, so I don't think the fault was necessarily mine. The rudder was simply too small to steer the boat in tradewind conditions, and as we were sailing DDW so much of the time, I wouldn't trust it to avoid an accidental jibe...

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbound View Post
So Jon -In your view what's the upper cut off for the typical mom and pop cruiser? 40'? 45'? 50?. Or is it by displacement ? Or sail area?
I'd say 42.4672834 feet, nothing more... :-)

Impossible question to answer, of course, I can only speak to the upper limit of what I'm personally comfortable sailing alone. So many variables among boats, of course, something between 38-40 seems ideal for me at the moment. I could imagine going as large as 44' or so, for something like a Boreal, or for a comparatively 'small' 44-footer like an Alden...

Naturally, I have other constraints regarding boat size that many others may not. I only have 50' of waterfront at my home, and am restricted to about 5.5' draft for Barnegat Bay, and a 65' air draft to the north, and only 60' to my preferred access to the ocean to the south... I'd always want a relatively shoal draft for my preferred cruising grounds anyway, and at this stage of my life would never want to own a boat that wasn't ICW capable, and I'm not talking 64.5' either :-) Few things are more nerve-wracking, to me, than dealing with a bridge clearance of mere inches...

As you suggest, this is very much a combination of length, displacement, and sail area... I've always liked the general principle of Steve Dashew's designs - long, lean and lighter hulls, coupled with a relatively modest rig size. Such a boat 'scaled down' could be very appealing, and I could consider going for something closer to 50' in such a boat, but nobody really seems to be building such boats today... Not to mention, such a boat would be out of my league price-wise, anyway... :-)

As for doing deliveries, anything much beyond 50' starts to make me nervous, at least for an offshore passage. I'd generally much rather make the passage to Bermuda, or the Caribbean, on something like a Valiant 42, than on something like a Hylas 54...

I've always thought a good 'marker' for determining boat size relative to one's personal strength, is the ability to furl a headsail by hand. I'm of the opinion that I should be able to furl the jib in 'normal' conditions without having to resort to the use of a winch... If I cannot, it means either that the furler itself is undersized, or the furling line leads are not sufficiently fair, or I've waited too long to reef, or I'm simply not strong enough to be sailing that particular boat... Having to take a furling line to a winch - particularly a powered one - can be a very risky practice, as so clearly demonstrated recently by Stanley Paris when he destroyed one of his furlers aboard KIWI SPIRIT...
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Thanks Jon . Very sensible answer. Been debating about doing A.P. spares and an emergency rudder set up or get that functionality through a Hydrovane. Look forward you seeing your vessel sailing this summer.
Guess I'm still ok can pull in my headsails although the first couple of turns take some effort.
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  #93  
Old 02-09-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

My spare autopilot is a monitor wind vane. You can't be too careful.
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  #94  
Old 02-11-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
I have read this thread and find some of the replies farcical. To the point of nearly calling BS. ...........One man can not carry a 100% well folded and packed cruising head sail for an average 65 footer, let alone a wet sail newly doused. To be able to get that sail down and stowed in any kind of sea would be a legendary feat of strength. But very doable if the sail is on and left on a fuller.
Who ever said they could carry such a sail ? I cant even carry many of the sails on my 45 footer.

I don't have a problem dropping a hanked on sail, I find it's much easier and quicker to claw down a luffing headsail than to try and furl it. Usually the hanked on headsail drops itself with just a man on the halyard winch controlling the drop and timing it with the roll to keep it inboard. Thatís especially so for the high clewed Yankee, you can drop the yankee well inboard easily and you can also pull the clew in close to the centreline with the lee sheet if you want. The big 100% jib is harder especially in a blow and needs a hand pulling the leech inboard and someone pulling down on the luff while another controls the halyard and another or the autopilot on the helm..... So we tend not to.......it's called keeping it easy Sailing short handed I just donít use a large jib or Genoa only the Yankee and the staysail together.

We didnít even hank the No 1 on our last passage, I donít push the boat, Iíd rather be comfortable, keep the heel down and reduce the motion and loads on gear, and still make good enough passages. and the Staysail and Yankee fill enough of the fore triangle to keep most people happy.

The outer jibs are a Yankee and the large 100% Jib hank on to their own forestays (which are side by side). They stay hanked on when at sea and are just raised and lowered. Itís a good system and I'm very happy with that arrangement. There are bulwarks with a stainless steel tube rail atop that the sail slides over the bags can be atached to the bulkwark and the sail dropped into the bag with it's clew tack and head still connected and zipped up or just lashed to the bulwark if it's going back up after a short lived front.

I can drag large sails around the deck and hank them on easily enough on a 65' ketch but that's a benefit of a split rig. My light air nylon sails are easily carried of course.

You can also rig a downhaul on any sail if you find it doesnít slide freely but I only rig that for the main to the 2nd reef luff position.

And sailing with a decent crew is magnificent and you can really play with sails, poles, spinnakers and all. Raising and lowering sails to really work the wind to the max in the daylight But I still drop to high cut 'working' sails overnight.
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  #95  
Old 02-11-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Uhhh, I don't think so... I've yet to see one of these "bulletproof" sailing yachts of which you speak... :-)
Whatever parts you 'worry about' breaking such as the Steering gear or the boom-mast attachment can be made stronger than required with very little weight penalty. Without building a battleship.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Well, that may be true of your boat, but most of the overbuilt battleships I've sailed, or seen, are barely capable of getting out of their own way under sail in lighter air, and are often seen 'sailing' on perfect days using this rather curious 'sail configuration'...
Ha ha...... yes good wind as well, but plenty of 40 footers do that too ! It's the owners prerogative. When I was in the Carribean I saw a lot of people motoring even performance multihulls, cheap fuel ! My boat sailed St M to St John at 9 knots most of the way under one big headsail alone and Passed people motoring! There's some funny sailors around.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Uh-oh, don't get me started on hydraulic steering on sailboats... One of my least favorite features on many larger yachts, sailing without feedback through a wheel or tiller IMHO is akin to having to wear MULTIPLE condoms... :-)
Never the less it works, it's easy to fix and it can be made pretty reliable with a pressurized reservoir and a pressure gauge in view of the helm. Any pressure drop is an early warning. It's a good system. You can also get positive feedback hydraulic helms now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Well, I realize windvanes have almost completely fallen out of favor these days, .....
Sorry, but that's simply an example of poor seamanship, and a misuse of one of your pieces of equipment... Sailing to a vane in coastal waters or within range of other dangers, then going to sleep, is begging for trouble, bigtime...

Not to mention, an autopilot is not immune to producing a similar result...
Oh I make no claim to it being my finest hour But I was exhausted and sick and not caring I went below for a little rest...and slept and slept. It's easy to do.

BUT I would have been better off with a functioning autopilot then rather than a functioning wind vane , that's all.
These days you can program an alarm for course deviation on another bit of electronics so it keeps an eye on the Autopilot and sounds an alarm if you are off-course. I really like the navigational gear these days.
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Old 02-11-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

I can't see where cost is mentioned. I have a 41' boat and the exponential increase in cost from my 29' was a shock. I can't imagine what it would be if I went to a 50 or 60'
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Big boats cost more then small, there is no getting around that. Pick a boat that matches your budget and be happy with what you have.
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Mike, some people don't like big boats and don't like how they are sailed, used, docked... Jealousy? I don't know, as my kids say "whatever".
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

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Originally Posted by Shockwave View Post
Mike, some people don't like big boats and don't like how they are sailed, used, docked... Jealousy? I don't know, as my kids say "whatever".
In some cases, perhaps...

For certain, I wish I had the money to be able to afford a "Big Boat"... If I did, I'd spend it on something around 38-40' of high quality, and take off cruising on a $3-5K/month budget... :-)
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

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Originally Posted by outbound View Post
My impression is some times owner is on board with delivery captain. May be necessary for insurance reasons or owner's desire for experienced, skilled crew. Some of these boats are actively sailed. Don't have sense of how often this occurs but know folks who do the annual migration to eastern Caribe with a captain. Be interesting to know Jon's experience.
I've never done an offshore delivery with an owner aboard...

Although I've always tried to avoid such trips, most of my experience with owners aboard has been generally pretty positive... I managed to go years and years without ever having to do a trip with the owner, but nowadays that the Good Times aren't Rolling like they used to, a delivery skipper might on occasion have to make some concessions, if he wants to have steady work. With new owners starting out with bigger and bigger boats all the time, I have most definitely seen a big jump in owners wanting to use a delivery as a learning/training experience... For example, last summer I helped a couple run their new 47-footer the length of Chesapeake Bay... It was their FIRST BOAT, and one of the things they needed was a captain to sign off on 24 hours worth of 'training' for their insurance company... In the past couple of years, I've also done deliveries for a handful of other owners along for a portion of the ride, who were jumping into sailing with a first boat in excess of 40 feet, seems to be the way of the world, these days...

I must admit, most of these coastal trips with owners aboard have turned out fine... Actually, my biggest complaint usually turns out to be the weight gain I usually suffer, from being so well fed, or eating so many meals ashore during the course of the trip... Last fall I did a trip with the owner along from Annapolis down to Charleston, he happens to be the owner of a couple of very fancy restaurants in Vail, CO... So, with the exception of the first overnight sailing down the bay, every night for the remainder of the trip was spent at marinas, seeking the best restaurant we could find. As soon as the boat was secured and cleaned up for the night, the first bottle of a very fine wine would be opened, while our dining options were discussed... Incredibly decadent trip, I definitely tacked on more than a few ounces around the middle, probably should have added a Weight Gain Surcharge onto my invoice... :-)

I could easily manage taking my own boat down South for the winter and back, for less than what was spent on food and drink alone on this trip :-) But the owner is a wonderful guy, really enjoyed his company, and we were fortunate to have had some fantastic - albeit a bit chilly - sailing along the way...

He's thinking of making the switch to power, as he's tired of motoring most everywhere he goes, so he really enjoyed the sailing we did... And, unlike some owners I've traveled with, he actually remained awake, and on deck, for much of the time... :-)



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