Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Marina del Rey, CA
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat
Thanks Gary! Most of my gadgets actually worked pretty well: my Garmin chart plotter, W-H hydraulic autopilot, refrigeration system, single-sideband radio, and the radar all performed perfectly. This was probably because all were new, carefully installed, and not subjected to several years at sea!
I recommend the AirHead, with two caveats: no more than two people, and when the boat is on a tack that lowers the internal "urine separation lip" inside the unit, female crew must agree to either urinate directly into a bucket (squat technique) or use a special "funnel" device that allows them to squat and then channel the fluid into the AirHead's exterior urine tank. The urine tank is not that hard to empty: most yachties could just empty it down the sink (and hence overboard) while at sea, splash some faucet seawater to remove the odor.
All this sounds complicated but I believe the sum total is less complicated and troublesome than any traditional system with hoses, valves, one or two pumps, vent, etc. Remember, you never have to unclog a hose or a pump or replace a pump flapper.
I understand that some luxury charter cats are switching over to composting heads. They have to make sure they install one for every two people aboard.
We proved the old adage "sailing and schedules do not mix." I had already heard that many times in my studies, but we "had to" leave Alameda no later than Oct 17 so Joyce could do the Ha-Ha. I knew for a fact there was at least one other boat (much nicer than mine) that would take her on board immediately if I announced we would not Ha-Ha (I met the owners, a nice elderly couple). If Joyce left, I'd lose Richard and likely Megan too, or with Megan I'd have a crew of two and I did not like that idea for a first voyage.
I remember the phrase "sailing and schedules do not mix" going round and round in my head as we sailed under the Gate into the strengthening wind and whitecaps. In a way I was glad because this would "test" the boat and uncover flaws I should know about ASAP (did it ever!).
The reason I chose a full-keel heavy displacement boat was I read from several reliable sources that they can be made to safely lie ahull in almost any kind of sea, while a fin-keel moderate displacement "racer-cruiser" would only lie ahull in a moderate sea, a heavy sea being likely to capsize or pitch-pole the boat sooner or later. I figured I would need to lie ahull a couple of times when I rounded the southern Cape single-handed in a couple of years, roaring 40's and all, so that's why I got a heavy boat!