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  #1  
Old 10-31-2008
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Voyage of the Swan update - Outfitting, etc.?

I see Dave M. has made some recent posts from Fiji. As a new-to-me PSC 34 owner, I (and perhaps others) would be interested in hearing any lessons learned you may have Dave on outfitting / sail choices you made as per your website, what has worked well so far, what hasn't worked as well as you expected, what else you'd like to add for a voyage such as yours.

I've found the Voyage of the Swan website to be very interesting and informative, thanks for your efforts there. Since my 34 is somewhat bare bones, I'm considering making many of the same upgrades you've described, and would be interested in hearing any further outfitting recommendations you may have for someone following a similar path.
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Old 11-01-2008
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MC1

I am happy you are enjoying the website. I have seen many boats during our cruise, many of them damaged in one way or another by wind and sea, and I can tell you that you own one of the toughest, most capable and comfortable cruising boats there is.

There is little we would change to the original outfitting of the Swan. But please remember cruising styles are personal and you should outfit your boat according to your needs and wants.

In our case, we have some basic rules: keep it simple, keep it light, keep the decks and lifelines clear (no water or fuel jugs, weather cloths, etc.) and don't skimp on the quality of the gear.

Knowing what we know now, we would have started out with better sun protection at anchor, in the form of a canvas sun shade for the cockpit (we did this in Fiji).

We would also have added another solar panel or used a larger one for a total of about 150 watts, and we would have added another house battery.

We would also have completed the conversion from wheel to tiller that we originally planned but ran out of time for. Since we are spending the cyclone season in Figi, we are going to convert while we are here. Pacific Seacraft has been an excellent resource and has been very helpful providing parts and specs to us.

Other than the changes mentioned above, we have been very happy with the boat as is. It has served and protected us very well. You couldn't ask for a better seagoing vessel.

If you've got any specific questions regarding cruising and outfitting the 34, or need any clarification of the above, I'd be happy to respond. There may be a delay at times when we are between ports where there is WiFi.

Dave
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Old 11-04-2008
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Dave,

Could you comment on your choice of dinghy, where you store it underway, and your satisfaction with the choice ? While a dinghy is present in a couple of the pictures, I don't remember your writing about it.

I too have enjoyed your postings and in particular have used your photos from the building of your other 34 to "see" the unseeable parts of my boat.

Bill Murdoch
'88 PCS 34
Irish Eyes
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Old 11-06-2008
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Bill,

Most people are going to think I am nuts, but we have an Avon Redcrest. It's the same type dinghy I had on the first cruise. It's basically a 9 foot Hypalon rowing dinghy, although a bracket for a small outboard is included. We don't have an outboard. I bought long wooden oars for it and use the short stock ones as spares. With the long oars, I can make pretty good time and it's good exercise. We stow the dinghy deflated in the quarter berth. It stows in an amazingly small cinch up bag.

Disadvantages: If you are not anchored reasonably close to the dinghy dock, you are going to get a LOT of exercise. If you like doing a lot of "dinghy cruising" to points of interest quite a way from the anchorage, you are out of luck, although we have rowed as far as a mile one way to these.

Advantages: No engine hassles or engine storage issues. No need to stow or buy gasoline. The dinghy can easily be stowed inside instead of on deck or on davits.

Regards, Dave

PS34 305 "Swan"
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Old 11-06-2008
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Thanks for posting,
Dave, your site missed my radar but i found it now. To anyone else intrested here's the link

Voyage of the Swan - A Blue Water Cruising Yacht is Selected, Outfitted and Cruised Offshore
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Old 11-06-2008
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Dave,
Has your 85 watt solar panel been handling your power demands and is the installation on top of the main hatch cover working out ok? My 1st mate usually uses that space for standing on while securing the main. We have considered installing panel over bimini but your installation has me re-thinking.
Thanks for the website, very informative and has given me lots of ideas.

John Schwab
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Old 11-06-2008
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John,

The 85 watt panel has been adequate. We rarely get very deep into the one 100 AH AGM house battery with the running lights on all night (LED bulbs). We might pull it down from 13.1 to 12.9 volts, but we have never seen 12.8 volts. However, if the preceding day was overcast and I also used the SSB for more than a few minutes, it is possible to drag it down into the 12.8 volt range, forcing me to switch to "both." Not a big thing, but I like to keep the starting battery fresh, especially with AGM's, just in case of an emergency (like when we hit the whale, or if we ever have to ward off a ship by turning on all the lights, strobes, etc.).

The position on the house requires moving the boom around at anchor. Oddly, this is when we use the most power because of WiFi computer use, stereo use, etc. At sea, we are usually limited to only a half day of charging if we are on the same tack all day, which is usually the case. But, that results in the conditions described in paragraph #1 above. Still adequate. I positioned the panel where it is now to keep it away from boarding seas, etc. It has worked very well there.

The reason we would like the more power (say 150 watts), that I mentioned in a previous post, is to allow us to use the stereo, SSB and lights at sea without skimping or switching to both. This would require another panel or a bigger one. Both cases would require a different spot. We have been thinking of a stainless framework at the stern that would get the panels above the boom and keep them charging on any tack. I have seen this on other boats. It could also support a bimini, as you mentioned. Care has to be taken to make this structure strong to withstand weather and sea. The usual bimini frame is not adequate in my opinion. The design of the frame also has to take into account windflow over the vane steering gear when going to weather.

This upgrade may take us a while to get to. It's hard to find people who can do this kind of work in South Pacific islands. In the meantime, the current arrangement is fine. It does require being frugal with the power, though.

Hope that answers your questions, John.

Dave
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Old 11-06-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMancini View Post
Most people are going to think I am nuts, but we have an Avon Redcrest.
Dave,

No snickers from me. That is the very same dinghy I learned to row in as a young man, and the only one we used when cruising the Med. We did have a little British Seagull that we'd slap on along with that removable motor mount, but only for really long distances. even with the Seagull, we didn't go much faster than rowing.

Now that we cruise with a hard dinghy, I tell my kids how lucky they are that they don't have to pump up the dinghy every time we anchor. Kids these days have it so easy!!

But that little Redcrest is a neat package -- amazing the way it can be stowed away belowdecks with so little fuss.
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Old 11-11-2008
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Dave,

After hitting that reef and hauling out for repairs, did you have the fiberglass and resin with you already, or did you procure it locally? Just trying to understand to what level of provisioning one needs to go to, to be truly prepared.
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Old 11-25-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMancini View Post
We would also have completed the conversion from wheel to tiller that we originally planned but ran out of time for. Since we are spending the cyclone season in Figi, we are going to convert while we are here. Pacific Seacraft has been an excellent resource and has been very helpful providing parts and specs to us.
So you will be converting! Wow. I'm excited to hear that. I just went to dinner with Rick Rohrer last week, if you remember him, and we were talking about the importance of tiller steering. Will you be fitting a reverse-mounted tiller as well for the steering vane?

P.S. Finally tuned into this board -- I'd stopped paying attention when it switched away from the mailing list.
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