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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Four Days of Family Cruising on the Solent
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Thread: Four Days of Family Cruising on the Solent Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-19-2008 07:17 AM
sailingdog IF you're going to use it on a relatively small boat, I wouldn't go the DSLR route, since they're far more vulnerable to spray, salt, water, etc.... That said, for most people anything above the D40 is a bit overkill. That isn't just my opinion, but Ken Rockwell's as well. Unfortunately, the D40 has been replaced by the higher resolution, but not quite as good D40x.

BTW, most of the lenses you can use on the D40 will work on a later series DX-frame Nikon DSLR. However, some of the newest from Nikon are not DX-frame, but full-size sensor (35 mm) and as such will probably vingnette a bit with the DX-series lenses, as they are not designed to cover a full 35mm frame.

If you're going the DSLR route, a KATA camera cover might also be a good investment.
10-19-2008 04:44 AM
Jim H
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
She'll just take over the ship when everyone else is too seasick to contest her coup d'etat.

As for good waterproof digital cameras, I'd highly recommend the Olympus SW Stylus series of cameras. The 1050SW is less than $300 and 10.1 MP and waterproof to 33 ft. They also make 7 and 8 MP versions.

Also, Pentax's Optio series is quite good, but not quite as waterproof as the Olympus. Main advantage of the Pentax is that they use SD where the Olympus use a semi-proprietary XD memory card. Any questions, let me know.

P.S. I'd second the Portabote recommendation.
The coup d'etat is exactly what I'm expecting...

Thanks for the camera recommendations. The Olympus SW Stylus 850 SW looks like a very good choice for her:



I'm also wondering if it isn't time to have a DSLR. I've been using digital point and shoots for years, but I'd like to have a better lens again. The Nikon D90 is making a big splash now, but it would be hard to justify the expense. I wondering if a D40 or D60 would be a better starting point, if the lenses could be used with a better body in the future. Or is Olympus also the better choice in DSLRs as well?

Jim
10-16-2008 02:11 PM
sailingdog She'll just take over the ship when everyone else is too seasick to contest her coup d'etat.

As for good waterproof digital cameras, I'd highly recommend the Olympus SW Stylus series of cameras. The 1050SW is less than $300 and 10.1 MP and waterproof to 33 ft. They also make 7 and 8 MP versions.

Also, Pentax's Optio series is quite good, but not quite as waterproof as the Olympus. Main advantage of the Pentax is that they use SD where the Olympus use a semi-proprietary XD memory card. Any questions, let me know.

P.S. I'd second the Portabote recommendation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim H View Post
I'm hiding your quote from her-- she already is more than proud that she's the only one in the family not to get seasick so far, and I think she's planning to take command at some critical point in the future.

She's been out with her brother a lot rowing, but never by herself. She was cataloging the animals she saw on this trip in her journal, which was fun. She also took a fair number of the photos we share in the galleries. For Christmas, I'm planning to buy her a decent water-proof digital camera if I can get some good recommendations.

We almost ditched the brand-new 2.3 meter dinghy that came with the boat, because there's no way we can safely take four in it, but the small size is a real benefit for the kids who find it perfectly manageable on their own. I'm thinking of supplementing it with an inflatable kayak, if we can find a place to store it aboard, so that we don't have to ferry the family to docks and landings.

Jim
10-16-2008 11:57 AM
Jim H
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
Jim, consider a Portabote. They fold down to wakeboard size and can be lashed to the lifelines. The seats and the oars are a pain to stow, but they are light and can conceivably go down a cockpit locker right into the "dead zone" at the transom.

They row well and are dry. If you want a motor, you can stash a Honda 2 HP four-stroke (28 lbs) anywhere and I've had that combo out in near 20 knots...wobbly but serviceable and a good three point five knots into the waves and wind. Seats four.
We took a close look at them at the Southampton Boat Show, but our boat is pretty small to have something like a Portabote lashed to the lifelines. I like the open decks, as much as possible, but the small, flat package they make is really amazing.

The UK magazine Practical Boat Owner did a review of four folding kayaks, some of which can fold down into one or two duffle bags and be stored below. They are expensive, but I like the below decks idea, and the option to go on early morning explores up inlets and the like.

Example:

Feathercraft Folding Kayaks - Compare Features

The magazine review said you could rationalize the price if compared to a dinghy and outboard motor, gas, etc...

Jim
10-16-2008 01:27 AM
Valiente
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim H View Post

We almost ditched the brand-new 2.3 meter dinghy that came with the boat, because there's no way we can safely take four in it, but the small size is a real benefit for the kids who find it perfectly manageable on their own. I'm thinking of supplementing it with an inflatable kayak, if we can find a place to store it aboard, so that we don't have to ferry the family to docks and landings.

Jim
Jim, consider a Portabote. They fold down to wakeboard size and can be lashed to the lifelines. The seats and the oars are a pain to stow, but they are light and can conceivably go down a cockpit locker right into the "dead zone" at the transom.

They row well and are dry. If you want a motor, you can stash a Honda 2 HP four-stroke (28 lbs) anywhere and I've had that combo out in near 20 knots...wobbly but serviceable and a good three point five knots into the waves and wind. Seats four.
10-16-2008 01:24 AM
Valiente
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim H View Post

She also said, "On Sunday, it began to make sense to me how we might live on the boat," which is really nice to hear.

Jim
Indeed. My seven-year-old is at the weird stage where he finds sailing "boring" (unless I bring other kids, at which point he frolics all over the boat shouting out the names of things), but then he refers to a future in which "when we go around the world, we will do X and see Y and play with kids from Z".

I'm putting him in Optimists next June. He really needs to fall out of a boat a couple of hundred times, but he's getting there.
10-15-2008 04:29 PM
Giulietta Ahh sorry Jim, missed it first time around..excellent sail very nice to show us..God job..

Nice family...

Alex
10-15-2008 03:51 PM
Jim H
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillraining View Post
You should have seen any one of our kids first solo dingy ...they looked like some one having a seizure..arms flailing oars splashing hardly ever getting a full blade in..backwards ,forwards..this way that...what a riot...your daughter is a natural.
I'm hiding your quote from her-- she already is more than proud that she's the only one in the family not to get seasick so far, and I think she's planning to take command at some critical point in the future.

She's been out with her brother a lot rowing, but never by herself. She was cataloging the animals she saw on this trip in her journal, which was fun. She also took a fair number of the photos we share in the galleries. For Christmas, I'm planning to buy her a decent water-proof digital camera if I can get some good recommendations.

We almost ditched the brand-new 2.3 meter dinghy that came with the boat, because there's no way we can safely take four in it, but the small size is a real benefit for the kids who find it perfectly manageable on their own. I'm thinking of supplementing it with an inflatable kayak, if we can find a place to store it aboard, so that we don't have to ferry the family to docks and landings.

Jim
10-15-2008 03:45 PM
Jim H
Quote:
Originally Posted by bg9208 View Post
The feet have started itching again and we are planning, sometime over the next 4/5 years buying a 40-45ft cruiser and sailing to the eastern Mediterranean, Island hopping round the Greek Islands and after much local research buying a pied a terre in Cyprus, Turkey or Greece so that we could spend most of the time sailing.
The Solent is a lovely area and I hope it hasn't got too busy, it was starting to get like the M25 towards high tide even in my days.
It sounds like you've had a great time so far, and your plans for the Med are great. In the end, we might end up with a small place on the Oregon Coast but a decent boat in the Puget Sound (ready to to the inside passage and other area trips).

The Solent is and can be very crowded. A few weekends ago we couldn't even enter Lymington because it was full, and we got one of the last, difficult spaces in Yarmouth before it filled (we were the fifth boat rafted out from the pontoon). Launching with a broadside current wasn't fun.

Thus, you're right that it can be like the M25, but even then there are places to anchor, or show up early at, or simply raft at that still make it worthwhile. I've been rafted four deep at the Folly Inn, and it was still a fun experience. A guy self-appointed himself and his wife the hosts of the overloaded pontoon, and made everyone feel at home and part of the party.

Also, if you sail mid-week in the summer, it's fine. If you sail off-season, like the last four days, it's fine. You can always say the bank holidays are unbearable, but maybe that's the time to anchor and try to find some space away from others.

Let us know how your plans go-- I'd be interested in your choice of 40-45 footer. I'm still happy with 34, at least handling-wise...

Jim
10-15-2008 03:38 PM
Jim H
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
That Rival 34 is getting used, I see. Nice work, Jim. Do you kids crew much on passage yet?
Hi, Valiente

Your comment that "the boat is getting used" is what I consider the best compliment anyone could give a boat owner. To me, value is directly related to use, and nothing else.

On passage, we're happy if the kids simply don't fight and mutiny. On the six hour passage, they helped launch, played in the main cabin, slept, kept watch on deck, played in the cockpit, got bored, ate cookies when we weren't watching, etc.

We did a half hour of docking practice with the whole family before we even left the dock. My daughter now does the roving fender on the foredeck, my son steps off at landing with the bow line, and my wife has the stern and breast line to secure. I taught them the 0800 method I learned from a Yachtmaster a few weeks ago-- just teach the crew to do a 0 around the cleat, and then an 8, and then two more 0s.

If a line is too long, do the first 0 and then sweat the line, pulling straight up against the cleat, not directly trying to pull the nine ton boat sideways. This change was a huge help to the kids in terms of how they help land the boat, and my son likes the challenge of getting the 0 on the forward cleat as fast as possible.

The greatest achievement of the weekend was with our daughter, who argued convincing that we spend a fourth night at the Folly Inn, knowing she would get to row the dinghy by herself for the first time. This is the same girl who generally says "I won't go!" when we're planning a sailing weekend. "It's too boring! It's scary!" Anyway, it's tough work for us, but then generally she may enjoy the trip more than any of us. It's harder here, where we've had unexpected F8s to get home through, but this four days was perfect for her. "I never got scared once," she said proudly, so I think we made some major progress (the dinghy completely changed her experience as well).

She also said, "On Sunday, it began to make sense to me how we might live on the boat," which is really nice to hear.

Jim
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