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  #11  
Old 03-23-2014
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re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

Congratulations on your first sail , you got there , it doesn't really matter what went wrong as long as you learnt something for next time . There are good days sailing and better days sailing . At some point for most of us it doesn't always go as planned , but you were out there actually doing it not sitting at home thinking about doing it . Next time you will be having a coffee , eating a biscuit and going yep we will miss that tanker by heaps , pass us another one thanks . Nothing like a steep learning curve .
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re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

Sounds awesome to me, seeing as my boat is sitting under a foot of snow and we can drive across Lake Champlain right now. You've got a good attitide and did well. Try to get in an area without the traffic -- that's stressful for anyone. Keep untying those lines from the dock as too many forget that part of sailboat ownership..
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Old 03-23-2014
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re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

If your fiance did not break up with you after that trip, she's a keeper!
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Old 03-23-2014
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re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

Im with bijones, if nothings broke you have gained the understanding what sailings about.

I would check for water or trash in your fuel, that and to make sure your fuel system is bleed right.

Most of the tugs and barges monitor channel 13

If you wife steeps foot aboard again you did great.
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Old 03-23-2014
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re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

Sounds like a success to me

Now get out there in some light winds and enjoy, you will be comfortable in no time
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re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeejDeC View Post
My VHF is vintage 1982... like a rainbow in the dark, YEAAAAHHH.
After trying to hail the tow/barge/dredge thing and getting no response, I think it's possible my antenna or radio is crap. We did a radio check, but at like 200 yards. We monitored 16 and heard nothing for 5 hours.

Having heard your input, I think I'll seriously consider a new main unit with auxiliary handset. Nav wise, I want to go the tablet route but also like your idea of a GPS distress/man overboard function. Do you need one to have the other?
A couple of notes.
1. Radios don't tend to wear out. Yes, a new radio will have a bunch of great features like DSC. But my guess is that what is more likely the problem is that you masthead antenna and the cable running up to it are shot. They don't usually last 30+ years. On VHF the ground is usually less of a problem but you should check the ground wire too. And to answer your question directly yes you need a GPS attached to the radio for full DSC funtion. It will still work without one but will not broadcast your position if you get in trouble.
2. I do a lot of offshore long distance sailing. If I have learned one lesson it is redundancy, redundancy, redundancy. A fixed mount VHF with a second mike is very convenient. It it craps out you have nothing. A fixed mount VHF with a second handheld radio means two things have to crap out before you lose comms. About the same cost. (BTW I have two fixed mount and two handheld marine VHF radios on board. But I am a belt and suspenders guy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeejDeC View Post
Of course, three "good friends" of mine have years of experience and were "happy to go out with me" any time. A 63 degree sunny afternoon and three friend's voicemail boxes later and I decided it was go-time.
3.I am glad you had a successful sail. But I would caution you that you made the mistake of many new (and less new) sailors. You decided to sail under less than optimal (appropriate) conditions as your friends could not come when you wanted to go sailing. I have watched people sail into 45 knot winds and 20 foot seas because they needed to get to the next port on time to meet friends. They did. Lost the dinghy, most of the rig, and a big part of the transom. I guess they didn't take their friends sailing. There is an old saying, originally attributed to pilots but paraphrased: There are old sailors, there are bold sailors, there are no old bold sailors. Don't let desire overcome common sense.

Fair winds and following seas
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Last edited by Faster; 03-23-2014 at 10:00 AM. Reason: fixed quote attribution
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Re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

One more vote for a relatively 'successful' first foray.

Nothing broke, your lady's a keeper, and you'll do better next time, and better still the time after that.. next thing you know YOU'LL have 40 years under your belt and be telling another newbie the same.
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Re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

Beej,

One thing that John and I still do after each sail (either while at anchor or at the dock) is to relax and review the day. We try to be as honest as possible about the bad parts because the little things we overlook during that "debriefing" may be critical to do correctly down the road.

Congrats to both, and please extend mine to your GF.
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Re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

Great story and congrats on your maiden sail. We all have had experiences like that. Taking a long a more experienced sailor for a few outings may be helpful.

I vote for the redundancy side also. We have two handhelds as well as the fixed VHF with Ram mike. I would purchase the handheld first as it willl have the added advantage of being portable, where most ram mikes are still fixed....just at the helm.

As far as navigation I would suggest an inexpensive chartplotter. The are made for the marine environment, look sleek and inobstrusive and can be very helpful and a safety factor, however they are not a substitutte for having a paper chart on board as well. We use a Navionics app on ours as well as the portable I pad down below.

Where are you keeping your boat? on the Chesapeake? The trip through the canal is not as dangerous as entioned and we have transitted many times. The tankers are really not the issue. The real issue are the go fast boats who have no speed limit and glass like water.

BYW welcome to the C&C club

Dave
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Re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeejDeC View Post
I'd also err towards early morning than flirt with dusk. We had an hour before sunset when we got back, but the tankers didn't have their lights on yet and discerning their bearing in waning light was very difficult.
Three more notes:
1. Ships in general do not have "bow lights." They have "side lights." The red and green lights are more likely to be on the "house" in the stern then anywhere near the bow. If your mindset (like mine was) is that the colored lights are in the bow you will think everyone is making sternway! Big ships have a 225 degree (112.5 on each side) masthead white light in the bow and a 225 degree white light in the stern. The stern masthead light is higher. Think of a triangle with the pointy part at the bow and the top of the triangle at the stern if that helps you remember. They also have a true stern light. When combined with the stern masthead light it means a while light in the stern from 360 degrees.
2. Carry a couple of cheap air horns and don't be afraid to use them. 5 short blasts means "I disagree with your intentions" and also can be used as an emergency or danger signal. You don't have to be sinking, burning etc. to warn that BFS that you don't have things under control - technically you are at the moment a "vessel not under command" if you don't think you can get out of the way in time. In tight quarters trying to sort out which BFS is CBDR (constant bearing decreasing range - in other words on a collision course), getting their name, calling them on the radio, and having a conversation all take time. They don't want to hit you - the paperwork is a bitch - they would rather do a crashback. You can apologize later after things are under control. Don't be afraid to broadcast in the blind "I'm the little sailboat and I am out of control." Anything so two of you are trying to avoid the problem rather than just one of you. Sure it is embarrassing but less so than being pulled out of the water with bits of your boat floating around you.
3. In unexpected strong winds dump the main, furl most of the jib, and head downwind. Your boat speed with decrease the apparent wind speed, the boat will flatten out and you will have a lot more control.

Fair winds and following seas
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Last edited by svzephyr44; 04-03-2014 at 08:41 AM. Reason: clarity
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