Can I make this trip as a novice - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 34 Old 06-01-2013
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Re: Can I make this trip as a novice

Have made that trip in my C&C 29. Just a few places to bail out on the Michigan shore. Center of lake has some freighter traffic so watch out. Pick your weather window wisely and do it in 1 stop. When looking at weather windows look for a stalled out weak high pressure system over the Great Lakes. It pretty much guarantees light wind and fair conditions for a couple of days. Don't even think of going in to Harbor Beach unless you use the south entrance. The Michigan shoreline has a lot of boulders so don't get any closer than a mile and half.

Boat probably has a Yanmar diesel. Have it checked out, fortunately they are pretty bullet proof. You should be able to motor in moderate conditions at 6 knots all day long. I strongly suggest you take another crew. A lot of things can go wrong with a boat new to you. Clogged filters on the diesel are pretty common for a boat that has sat for a while. Make sure you have a spare Racor filter and the secondary filter spare. Know how to change the filters. Also you want to know how to bleed the fuel lines. Take a small container of diesel fuel. If the filters clog and the system runs dry you will need it to prime the system. The mechanical manual pump on the Yanmar really doesn't get it done.
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post #32 of 34 Old 06-01-2013
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Re: Can I make this trip as a novice

Port Sanilac and Lexington are both good stops on the West side of Lake Huron. The Saint Clair River splits into 3 channels at the delta north of Lake St. Clair. Pick the one you want, before you get there. Probably the North Channel.
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post #33 of 34 Old 06-27-2013
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Re: Can I make this trip as a novice

I don't know if this trip has happened yet, but I will chime in and say you should have another hand on board for this trip. It sounds like challenging waters in a new to you and unknown older boat. Even if you have more experience I would suggest crew for this trip.

Originally Posted by Captainmeme View Post
Let us review the OP's qualifications:

" I have crewed on a Hunter 34 on a Port Huron Mac race and done a couple seasons of club racing as crew. I owned a 18' hunter for a few years. Pretty book smart and all that, just not alot of experience driving my own boat. "
Crewing on a race boat is no way a good qualification for really sailing a boat. This is not to say people racing sailboats are incompetent but being a bowman, on the mast or in the cockpit does not teach you a thing about the overall skills it takes to sail a boat. I actively race and am often amazed at how little some of the excellent crew know about the boat outside their position. Neither does sailing an 18 foot outboard driven tiller boat even solo teach you to handle a inboard powered keelboat.

If you are going to do it solo you should spend a few days sailing with the previous owner onboard "single handing" while he watches. It would be much better realizing what skills you lack with someone else onboard rather than enroute solo.

West Wight Potter 14 "Lemon Drop"
Oceanside CA
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post #34 of 34 Old 06-30-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Can I make this trip as a novice

Good advice that I dont disagree on at all. I ended up getting a tartan 30 that is sitting right in the slip I intend to keep her. The current owner just put up the mast yesterday and I am out of town. Will be paying what I own him sometime this week. It is a tiller steer. I am mostly nervous about docking her on the way back in. I will probably just motor around the first time out to get used to stopping distances etc... It does look like alot of boat compared to my h18. Gotta start somewhere/sometime.
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