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  #11  
Old 02-20-2013
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Re: The boy behind the gate (new book)

Larry,

This wasn't a formal "author meeting" so questions will be sporadic as forum members discover this thread. You can set your user settings to receive an email when someone posts to the thread. But, please lurk around the forum and it would be fantastic if you decide to hang around to contribute your knowledge to any of the topics when you have time. SailNet is lucky enough to have some amazing sailors from across the globe and they provide a lot of assistance to those new to sailing.
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  #12  
Old 02-20-2013
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Re: The boy behind the gate (new book)

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
It seems that a significant part of pain was caused by gear failures.

The engine I now understand was just a bad installation.

The autopilot seemed to be a constant problem.
What brand was it?
Do you think a heavier duty model would have held up better?

After 6 years of experience do you think it would be possible to maintain an engine, in such a way as to dramatically reduce the number of failures.
IE: Have a schedule where you do Item 1 every 20 hours, Item 2 every 50 hours etc.?
I really didn't like how random and often your engine failed.
Hi David,
The autopilot was a Raymarine Electric RAM and a) wasn't able to handle the tonnage (25) that its rating showed or was confirmed by Raymarine when purchased. And their design of plastic gears engaging with metal gears is just d-u-m-b.
Additionally, the installer made the mistake of installing to the rudder post rather than the steering quadrant. We finally replaced the system with a HYDRAULIC autopilot which was the only way to go for a boat our size (50 feet, 25 tons). I think one of the points I make in the book is that I didn't know everything before departing--no one does and if you wait until you're the expert, you'll never leave. You don't have to be the expert to pursue a passion, you become an expert AS you pursue your passion.

To your second question of maintenance schedules, THOSE we had. Daily, weekly, monthly, by the # of engine hours, etc. But they don't cover blown heat exchangers, clogged filters, cracking metal fuel hoses, engine alignment, etc. These things are random and while we expected our engine very very regularly, and performed scheduled maintenance and even our own more often schedules, the random things happen. Salt and daily use takes a toll on everything at sea.
Larry
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  #13  
Old 02-20-2013
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Re: The boy behind the gate (new book)

My hat is off to DavidPM for roping in yet another sailing author! My hat is also off to Larry for coming here to participate in the discussion of his book. Participation by the author is a great impetus for me and others to read the book. Hopefully you will see at least a small uptick of sales as a result.
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  #14  
Old 02-20-2013
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Re: The boy behind the gate (new book)

Hi Caleb,
it is I who appreciate you, the readers and participants here. I love sharing my stories and am glad to answer questions. And yes, selling a few more books would make my mother very happy.
Larry
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Old 02-23-2013
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Re: The boy behind the gate (new book)

[QUOTE=sfsailor;992838
Additionally, the installer made the mistake of installing to the rudder post rather than the steering quadrant. We finally replaced the system with a HYDRAULIC autopilot which was the only way to go for a boat our size (50 feet, 25 tons). [/QUOTE]

I'm not sure how it could be connected to the post directly. Some kind of bolt on lever maybe?

I sort of remember the hydraulic unit giving you some trouble also. Was it much more reliable? Did it fail also? What brand was it.
I'm think all off us future voyages would be interested in what works and what doesn't work as auto helm failures seem to be a pattern in many off-shore stories.

As for the scuba tank air system, what brand or model did you get? How long did it take to fill a tank?
It sounds like it really added to the enjoyment of the boat?
How deep did you typically go? I'm asking because I'm wondering if a Hooka unit would have been just as useful most of the time?

For our benefit would you mind mentioning gear by brand and model that performed well or poorly and why.
There is nothing like 6 years of real experience.
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Last edited by davidpm; 02-23-2013 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 02-23-2013
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Re: The boy behind the gate (new book)

Hi David,
The new hydraulic autopilot never failed. But a plate cracked that was now overpowered by the hydraulic ram--was an easy fix. It was a Raymarine electronics and honestly, i can't for the life of me, remember the brand but we bought it from NavStation in Auckland, NZ. They were awesome and had sourced the best ram, motor, electronics and put it together as a package. The Kiwis know their stuff! I wouldn't go again without a wind vane. Our problem was that our dinghy was in the way but somehow we should have made a workaround.
The Scuba compressor was a Bauer and was amazingly reliable. Took about 15 minutes per tank, or 1.5 cocktails We also had a Hooka for cleaning the hull that ran off of a tank of air. It was useful for cleaning the boat. However, we are true divers so it wasn't uncommon for us to hang out at 60-90 feet where the hooka would not work.
The most reliable piece of gear onboard was our Spectra water maker. Great brand, great company with superb service.
Once RayMarine got wind of our circumnavigation, their service level for electronics shot way up and we were assigned to someone who helped us repeatedly and took a personal interest in us.
Sidebar: Re Insurance. The best company we found overall was Pantaenius in Frankfurt, Germany. Best prices, beat LLoyd's by a mile and great service. Once we got back to the US, of course we had to have a US company, and they have a NY office as well with good service, but of course prices go up when you come back to US waters.
Cheers!
Larry
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Old 02-23-2013
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Re: The boy behind the gate (new book)

Since you spent 6 years on one boat and probably had a chance to board dozens of fellow cruiser's boats and listened to probably hundreds of stories talk to us a little about boat choice. What seemed to work out the best for what size crew and sailing style and why.
Selecting a boat seems to be one of the first big decisions.
If you were do do some serious sailing again would would you buy?

Did you have health insurance and if so how did that work out?
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Old 02-25-2013
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Re: The boy behind the gate (new book)

David,
Re: What boat to buy, I only have a few comments.
Re: Keels. Bolt-on=Bolt-off. I would never go cruising with a bolt-on keel. It must be poured and internal. That's just me...who has hit a rock and survived because my keel was poured.
Keel shape: Modifed Fin Keel. Period. Skeg hung rudder. Period. No sail drive. Period.
For two people, I would go with 44'. With 4 people, or two with 2 kids, I'd go with 50'. For two people who entertained a lot like we did, 50'.
That's tonight's advice!
Larry
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Old 02-25-2013
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Re: The boy behind the gate (new book)

What kind of boat did you cruise on? Have not bought the book yet!
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Old 02-25-2013
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Re: The boy behind the gate (new book)

Hi Broke,
It was a Stevens 50'. 1986 and needed pretty much a total refit when I bought her. Same hull but stretched as the Stevens 47 and the Hylas 47. Performed magnificently! Haven't bought the book yet...hmmm, I wonder what I need to write here to change that. Most comments about the book are from readers who say that it's not just a travelogue. I go deep into my thoughts, decisions I make in order to go, and along the way, and it's very real-life (which isn't all pretty out there!).
Thank you!
Larry

Last edited by sfsailor; 02-26-2013 at 12:06 PM.
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