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  #41  
Old 01-29-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Glen, lets talk gear.
In your book you mentioned that you bought a W-H autopilot rather than the typical cheaper model.
I believe this is the website: Products
Which model did you use.
How did it perform.
Were their any limitations?
How much power did it take?
Any problems with it.
What spares for it did you bring?
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  #42  
Old 01-29-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

+1 for getting this book

Glenn - The fact that you logged on just to chime in is enough for me to pull the trigger on your book. I look forward to reading it.

Bill
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Old 01-29-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingNwing View Post
As soon as I'm sure I've got a good enough internet connection I'm buying the Kindle edition. Looks good Glenn!
I got the kindle version last night and read about two thirds of the book already ... Great Read!!!!
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  #44  
Old 01-29-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Good on you for playing on this forum, Glenn. And thanks. Just ordered your book on kindle and looking forward to digging into it on my next delivery.
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  #45  
Old 01-29-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Thanks Manhattan and Patrick! I'm working on a book for 2013 but it's a novel. I'm also looking at boats. There are some incredible deals, probably because of the economy. At the same time, I know what I'm letting myself in for when a boat is acquired! I may need to finish the next book first. Thanks again for your support!
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Old 01-29-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

....I do not remember giving anyone permission to do an biography
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  #47  
Old 01-29-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

David: I got the base model, but with a hydraulic cylinder sized for the Serenity. I'm afraid I don't remember much more. I didn't get spares. The good news is that the unit performed amazingly well. There is a scene in the book where Joyce assured me the AP could not steer in such heavy seas. But it did - better than any of us. The controls are heavy duty, like what you'd expect to find on a commercial fishing vessel or a military vessel - not cheap, lightweight plastic. Note: installing the unit requires much mechanical skill and planning. There are NO "step by step" instructions. The owner, Will I think his name is, is helpful, but there's no way he's going to describe every nuance of installation. Whoever is doing it must understand Newton's third law of motion! NO hydraulic lines or fittings are provided. The book describes how we fabricated about eleven or so lines with the required fittings - this is a specific skill, not something you can buy at West Marine or Home Depot. Most people will need to hire a professional installer, and factor in that cost. All in all, I recommend W-H autopilots.
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Last edited by glenndamato; 01-29-2013 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 01-29-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyle38 View Post
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.

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.
Damn, and just when I thought there was no greater piece of crap sailing to weather, than an Island Trader 38... (grin, bigtime) Just kidding, of course - I was favorably impressed by the sailing ability of the 45 I ran, considering the type of boat it is...

One of the things the Downeaster 38 is known for, is being underpowered... The standard factory install of a Faryman 24 Hp is woefully inadequate for that boat, IMHO, and it's still a bit surprising to hear of a situation where such a small engine made such a big difference... (assuming SERENITY had that original powerplant, of course) Presumably, Glenn had been making progress to weather to put himself in that position to begin with, and I understand there can be some current in the vicinity of Cedros... More than anything, this should be a cautionary lesson in the avoidance of a lee shore situation in an un-weatherly boat to begin with - but not having been there, and not having read his book, that's all conjecture on my part, of course...

Your suggestion to go with the staysail and main alone in such a situation, however, with a boat with a bowsprit and so much freeboard forward, is right on the money... That likely would have offered his best way out of that box, the much tighter sheeting angle and flatter cut of most staysails might have afforded much better progress to weather... Last year I ran a Valiant 42 back north from the Rio Dulce, and we were hard on a good NE breeze all the way up to Isla Mujeres, and then across the Yucutan... Not only did we make a roughly equivalent VMG under staysail and main alone, than when trying to carry the jib, it was a more comfortable ride as well, less punishing to the boat, and much less water coming over the deck...

Kudos to Glenn for his creative solution with the engine, but this is another example of the value of a cruising boat being "nimble", and weatherly, and being able to sail out of a tight spot... There have been a couple of threads here recently re windward performance, and I'm always a bit surprised to hear some dismiss the importance of such ability in a cruising boat... Engines so often fail at the absolute most inopportune moment, and one may not always have the time to futz around with McGyver-style fixes, you need to be able to sail your way to safety, if anchoring is not an option... I think it's not uncommon, that people get into trouble by wasting precious time attempting to get an engine running again in a dire circumstance, when the better initial response would be simply to sail your way out of danger...

And to Glenn, nice to see you show up here... Please understand, despite my initial post to this thread, I do not consider your trip to be a "failure" because you abandoned your plans to sail across the Pacific, and beyond. Obviously, in your case, you made the correct decision, for you... Again, your story should simply serve as a cautionary, informative tale in regards to The Reality not always matching The Dream, and the advisability of starting out cruising by taking an approach more akin to baby steps, than by jumping in with both feet... For some people, like the late Mike Harker, the latter approach worked out great, but it's certainly not a guarantee for everyone...

Best of luck with the book, and whatever path you choose next...
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Last edited by JonEisberg; 01-29-2013 at 12:53 PM.
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Thanks Jon. About a year earlier I replaced the Farymann with a new Yanmar 3YM, 29 HP, and a new three-blade prop sized for the engine and the hull. You're right, the original was probably too small for the size and weight of a DE 38, and I think the extra 5 HP makes a huge difference (and probably the really old Farymann's with worn cylinders couldn't put out the whole 24 anyhow).
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Old 01-29-2013
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Re: Newbe with no experience buys big boat

Glenn,

Look for a small uptick in sales of your book. It is a great stimulus to many of us to know that the author is a contributing member here. I suspect that the same would be true if you joined sailboatowners.com, the cruisers forum and perhaps even sailing anarchy (although they are a slightly rougher crowd). There is nothing wrong with a little self promotion. I will be ordering the kindle version very soon.

For bedding deck hardware many of us prefer to use butyl tape which never hardens. See this thread at sailboatowners: Bedding Deck Hardware With Bed-It Butyl Tape - SailboatOwners.com

Thanks to DavidPM for contacting you.
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