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  #31  
Old 04-28-2013
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Re: Amuse me, sailing small boat offshore.

you should check out the sailfar forum.

good luck.
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  #32  
Old 04-28-2013
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Re: Amuse me, sailing small boat offshore.

I've always been attracted to the PSC Dana 24. I'd be curious what you folks think about that boat for ocean passages and Caribbean island hopping.

Mike
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  #33  
Old 04-28-2013
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Re: Amuse me, sailing small boat offshore.

Well, please don't think you are wasting your time. This is a summer of learning and I may not cross to Hawai'i this year, but I'm learning skills that will help me in the future.

I also am doing research and reading about self steering on other avenues, so I'm not asking for you guys to do the work for me, I'm really not finding much. I also just got a GPS and am reading a book on electronic navigation, so I am just packing my brain so many directions.

Once I know what my boat will accommodate, I am going to keep my eye out for a used one in Seattle or Vancouver. I found a website for Mr. Vane, it's 18 pounds. But I would really like to get one of the more "name" brands like aries or monitor that is more proven.

Mike, from what I have heard the Dana is just a rock soid boat that can and has done everything.

I sent a registration to sailing far forums. Looks like a good site.
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  #34  
Old 04-28-2013
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Re: Amuse me, sailing small boat offshore.

MikeinLA: I haven't spent any time on a Dana, but a friend just bought a Pacific Seacraft Orion (27' plus bow sprit, so the next size up). It's a very nice boat and seems really solid. I haven't had a chance to sail on it yet, but like what I've seen so far. Everything is well thought out and high quality, and I like the interior layout.

I think I'd prefer a more modern design/faster fin keel boat, but really respect what people do in these smaller Pacific Seacraft boats.
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  #35  
Old 04-28-2013
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Re: Amuse me, sailing small boat offshore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
I've been reading about windvanes, I'm not sure any would work on my small transom. I don't know how the new autopilots work, I should look into those next, but I was reading they use them single handed on the single handed transpac. I don't think I would be able to get enough power to one though.
A decent sized solar panel should keep a Raymarine ST2000 (more robust than the ST1000 for barely more money) running nicely all of the time. A windvane system is likely a lot easier to repair though, a nice feature if it breaks while you are on the water. Of course you could carry two Raymarine-style autopilots, they aren't very big.

They are quite simple. Normally they just follow a compass direction and will steer to keep you on that direction. If you have wind instrumentation that can tell the autopilot computer the apparent wind angle then they will steer to a wind course, which is safer if there is a wind shift (better to go off course then to accidentally jibe).

Installing one (without the wind instrumentation) takes a couple of hours. You to install a pin on the tiller and a mounting point into the edge of the cockpit. Power is just 12V DC. The tiller plugs into power and bridges the tiller and cockpit edge. I hid the power plug in a cockpit coming box, where it is out of the weather. There are photos here:
Raymarine ST2000+ Installation - AlexAndChristine's Photos | SmugMug

Average power consumption is pretty low if you have the sails well trimmed and are just using it to hold a course.

alex
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  #36  
Old 04-28-2013
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Re: Amuse me, sailing small boat offshore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
So....my question remains, what is the best self steering system for long passages on a small boat?

I've been reading about windvanes, I'm not sure any would work on my small transom. I don't know how the new autopilots work, I should look into those next, but I was reading they use them single handed on the single handed transpac. I don't think I would be able to get enough power to one though.

That leaves jerry rigged systems like um..thinking...sheet to tiller?
An auto pilot is definitely the way to go for you. A simple tiller pilot uses very little electricity and does a very good job of steering a nicely balanced boat. An extra battery and a small solar array is enough to keep a tiller pilot running indefinitely. And they take no space to speak of.

When you're out there it is generally a case of 90% cruising and 5% getting bashed and even then that depends on your idea of getting bashed. The reality though is that it is rare for any meaningful voyage to be without some tough weather times however short.

But boats can be made to withstand weather, the question is are people? Having never voyaged, you don't know whether you are or not. The worst time to find out you're not is when you're 1000nm from the nearest land and you're ALONE. And therein lies, for me, your biggest challenge.

After considerable experience at sea while not alone, I have also done long voyages on my own (single-handing)and the difference is very significant. It's not, as most will tell you, about sleeping and keeping watch and complying with the Colergs and all that stuff. We all now you're not allowed to do that and we all know that all single-handers do anyway.

It's about you and how you stand up to life-threatening conditions when you're alone, haven't slept for two days and haven't had a decent meal in twice that long and whether or not you can continue to make clever decisions when you think you're going to die. If you can't then you may well die.

I note that some people have discussed a book by John Vigor. Do yourself a favour and Google "John Vigor's Black Box" - that's an interesting concept and one that makes great sense when you're contemplating going to sea.

Good luck if you decide to continue with your quest.
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  #37  
Old 04-28-2013
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Re: Amuse me, sailing small boat offshore.

Some background

30 years sailing
about 50 different boats
- one was a Dana 24 (San Juan Islands) - Green Envy -well named and well equipped
36,000 miles
10,000 miles bluewater
Offshore Instructor Evaluator - currently preparing to upgrade to Ocean Instructor Evaluator.

My best advise - SLOW DOWN.

You need some more experience, by that I mean you need to learn how to deal with the issues when things go sideways.

I take people offshore on the west coast of Vancouver Island a lot. Less than 50% actually think it was a great idea. Many just check it off and buy the t-shirt.

Of those who do passages, far fewer decide to do it again.

On the other hand some have done extensive offshore and ocean sailing.

I actually do not like ocean sailing that much. But I am good at it and I get paid to do it.

I admire your enthusiasm, just make sure you are prepared.

I should add that I am absolutely opposed to single-handed ocean sailing - it is a violation of of International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

I enjoy single-handed coastal sailing.
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  #38  
Old 04-29-2013
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Re: Amuse me, sailing small boat offshore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex W View Post
A decent sized solar panel should keep a Raymarine ST2000 (more robust than the ST1000 for barely more money) running nicely all of the time. A windvane system is likely a lot easier to repair though, a nice feature if it breaks while you are on the water. Of course you could carry two Raymarine-style autopilots, they aren't very big.

They are quite simple. Normally they just follow a compass direction and will steer to keep you on that direction. If you have wind instrumentation that can tell the autopilot computer the apparent wind angle then they will steer to a wind course, which is safer if there is a wind shift (better to go off course then to accidentally jibe).

Installing one (without the wind instrumentation) takes a couple of hours. You to install a pin on the tiller and a mounting point into the edge of the cockpit. Power is just 12V DC. The tiller plugs into power and bridges the tiller and cockpit edge. I hid the power plug in a cockpit coming box, where it is out of the weather. There are photos here:
Raymarine ST2000+ Installation - AlexAndChristine's Photos | SmugMug

Average power consumption is pretty low if you have the sails well trimmed and are just using it to hold a course.

alex
Well, I didn't know they took so low power. I tell you what, I will practice trimming the sails so the boat stays on course as good as possible without self steering, then I will get a solar panel, I need one anyways, and third I will get an autopilot, which I WANT anyways.

Luckily my Ranger had a Raymarine st1000 previously that the owner said broke, but was in the original craigslist ad as a negotiable item, so it already has the mount on the tiller, and above the starboard lazarette.

By wind instrumentation, can my windvane on the top of my mast be connected?

Thanks as always.
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  #39  
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Re: Amuse me, sailing small boat offshore.

I should also point out as Omatako stated, whether or not I can withstand it. I can. I don't know if I can easily, I don't know if I will like it, but I know that I would rather die trying, that not try.

I'm not stupid though. Don't think that you are giving someone advice that is going to just up and take some POS old boat out and hope I make it. I won't go from impatience or excitement, I'll go when I feel confident in my boat and my skills.

I'm going sailing around the Salish Sea tomorrow, and that's going to be plenty of challenge for me, for now, but while I said daydream, that's true, but I'm also going to be learning and practicing skills I will need offshore. I'm working to get my boat as seaworthy as possible. Myself. I think I am 2-5 years from an ocean crossing realistically, but let's just say I'm a bluewater sailor in training.
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  #40  
Old 04-29-2013
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Re: Amuse me, sailing small boat offshore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
I should also point out as Omatako stated, whether or not I can withstand it. I can. I don't know if I can easily, I don't know if I will like it, but I know that I would rather die trying, that not try.

I'm not stupid though. Don't think that you are giving someone advice that is going to just up and take some POS old boat out and hope I make it. I won't go from impatience or excitement, I'll go when I feel confident in my boat and my skills.

I'm going sailing around the Salish Sea tomorrow, and that's going to be plenty of challenge for me, for now, but while I said daydream, that's true, but I'm also going to be learning and practicing skills I will need offshore. I'm working to get my boat as seaworthy as possible. Myself. I think I am 2-5 years from an ocean crossing realistically, but let's just say I'm a bluewater sailor in training.
You're comments remind me of an old play on words....."Happiness is in the pursuit".

Good luck to you.

Mike
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