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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat
I don't think a leak in the hull/deck joint will cause saturation in the deck core unless there are other breaches into the core. I haven't done that project myself but I've seen and read about other DE owners doing the job (and you don't have to remove the whole deck, just the teak cap-rail). From what I understand, the "top" and "bottom" layers of fiberglass on the deck come together at the edges, completely encapsulating the core. The only place where there is "exposed" core is where the ports and salon window openings were cut. If the boat seemed to be leaking everywhere when it rained, that is likely caused by leaking fittings.
As far as the lee shore description, that sounds like a very tight spot. I hope I never experience that. Sounds like you did a great job in coming up with a way to get the engine going again. If I did find myself in that situation, I think I'd go about it by:
Getting the anchor ready, checking the chart to see if the reef comes up gradually or steep, or if there was a gradual slope anywhere nearby that might successfully grab the anchor if my sailing attempts did not work.
If the wind is up, which it sounds like it was, I would drop the jib before I reefed the main. Going with main and staysail, you can still point nearly as well as you will with full sail, if you have a decent breeze. And if the jib is old and fat, you will point better without it and it will be windage forward if it's flogging, pushing the bow downwind, toward the reef.
Remove everything from the deck that will cause excess windage, time permitting.
It's hard to resist the urge, but you can't chase wind angle with a full keel boat. That's fools gold, if you are going slow, you're not really pointing as high as you think. There is too much leeway if you don't have any speed through the water. I would maybe try to build up some speed off the wind a little, hopefully not giving up too much ground, then pinch up and let the large mass of the boat power through a wave or two, then fall off again and build up speed and repeat. That would be my best guess, boat speed off the wind and momentum, but you have to keep boat speed up or you are going sideways.
Not trying to second guess, just going thinking about what I would do in that situation, since I have the same boat and have a pretty good feel for how it sails. What you describe is a tough situation in any boat. Love the solution to getting the engine started, very clever. Years of problem solving in front of a screen may have saved your skin that day.
Downeaster 38 #40
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Last edited by Argyle38; 01-29-2013 at 01:39 AM.