How did your Pacific Seacraft do when the going got rough? - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Boat Builders Row > Pacific Seacraft
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  #11  
Old 05-31-2011
Andrew McGeorge ... NZ
 
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Hi from New Zealand. I'd been wanting to get aboard a PSC 34 on the open water for a while and this month I went on a pre offshore shakedown cruise NE of New Zealand with a single hander who has already been around the globe 2 1/2 times.

For the first day we were pretty much running in 30 knots with the triple reefed main, staysail and some headsail. Very comfortable and dry. Our return was head on into 30 to 35 knots gusting higher. With the triple reefed main and staysail the boat seemed a little underpowered and from time to time did tend to hobbyhorse. Any headsail caused excessive heeling so we used the storm jib on a spare halyard. This increased the drive nicely without much extra heeling and seemed to reduce pitching. It was quite comfortable. The boat was very very heavily loaded. All compartments were crammed full including the whole quarter berth and every inch forward of the head door from sole to ceiling. On deck was not much better with the dinghy, extra anchors and jerry cans of fuel.

It's a great little boat you all have.

I'd like to hear from any of you who went offshore and managed the space limitations a little better, or is a crew of two all you can expect on a 34?

Andrew
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  #12  
Old 06-27-2011
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Hi,
We got caught out in 30- 40+ against the east Australian current recently, in our 37 sloop. It was coastal but we had 4-5 m short seas. To remain out of the worst of the current we had to steer about 150 off. The experience has left us wondering if we have the right boat.
What we experienced:
She surfs easily to around 7-8 kn. If you hand steer you can keep her straight easily. If you don't she occasionally pings off to windward with the monitor. We ended up on beam ends, then, if a breaking crest hit.
She is quite a rolly, tender, boat, though with a sweet soft feel through the water.
For sail we ended up with a scrap of roller genoa poled out, then bare poles. By the time we saw we needed to put up the storm jib it was too late.
I ended up partially hand-steering for about 12 hours straight. Water in the cockpit about every 30 mins kept me wet and very cold.

The result:
Our pole and furler both ended up damaged. Hull deck join leaked. Splashguards got torn by waves breaking over stern.
Wife was thrown onto the stove and galley portlight. She will not do any more long offshore passages in this yacht, not from safety factors but comfort. She wants a less tender, stiffer boat with a dry/ protected steering position, or to give it all up.

My decision is to add a staysail, make the cockpit drier with a deeper hard dodger with more weather protection, fix all the leaks, maybe turn the standup nav station around to make a better seat for watch keeping, and try heaving to sooner. From there we will play it by ear. We came off an allied seawind 32 and to be honest while slow she was better in very rough conditions. We took her from FL to Australia.

We do love this boat but I wonder if the 40 would have been better for us. We no longer consider going anywhere when we might get 30 knots. This might change as we learn the boat better, but right now I think we will end up finishing our circumnav in a 43 footer. Our friends in their Roberts 44 never got wet once. In the interim we will not complete our trip around Australia, but will turn it into a coastal hopping trip up and down the east coast.

Last edited by johnbanfield; 06-27-2011 at 07:46 PM.
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  #13  
Old 06-27-2011
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Staysail definitely helps, you get much less hobby horsing, I sail using just staysail when apparent wind hits 20.
Seems to me you were in worst case conditions (wind opposite current), can you compare that to deep blue conditions?
Tom
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  #14  
Old 06-27-2011
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Hi,
We went north across Bass Strait in 30 kn, little to no swell because Tasmania was in the way, broad reaching. She was a bit rolly but fine. We have not been out in long swells yet, max 3-4m and quite short.
Same thing again- directionally stable and fast but easy to roll to rail-in the water stage. She seems to like 6.5kn where she feels more stable, but then a gust and she surfs and in lulls she rolls a bit and sometimes gets caught out.

I think a staysail is really going to make a difference, mostly in stopping her pinging off to weather. Does anyone know if I will get away with a single upright block per side for sheeting? A track seems harder and more work. What sheeting arrangements do the cutters normallycome with, please?
The rigger is coming in 2 days...
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  #15  
Old 07-01-2011
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I just returned from a cruise from Solomons, Maryland to Bermuda and back in Wayfarer, our PSC 31. She performed flawlessly. She has a very seafriendly motion in all manner of conditions, and we experienced most everything. What a great boat.

Before the trip I tried to get a marine insurance rider to cover the extended cruising range to Bermuda, but was rejected by 3 different insurance companies because the boat was "too small." Indeed she was the smallest yacht I saw anywhere in Bermuda's harbours, but I can thumb my nose at those insurance companies and be grateful for the money I saved by not buying insurance. Also, she was viewed with great respect by the other yachtspeople from various countries who shared our little marina (Capt Smokes Marina, St. George).

As for "when the going got rough" I'd say there were just 2 rough periods. The first was during the return when we crossed the Gulf Stream sailing close-hauled into sustained 25 kt winds with confused Gulf Stream seas coming from 2 different directions. It was never dangerous just a bit tiring since the Cape Horn had trouble handling the seas so we had to go from 3- to 2-hour watches for one night and hand-steer. We sailed with double-reefed main, staysail and a bit of yankee on the forward forestay. This seemed to give a nice balance.

The most vicious weather we encountered, ironically, was after we had returned to Norfolk and started up the Bay. I was foolishly cavalier, thinking that having just made 2 ocean passages a little jaunt up the Chesapeake would be nothing. I was eager to get back to Solomons and paid the weather report little heed. I had even changed from my ocean rig (cutter) to my Bay rig (sloop) which was a big mistake. After about 2 hours of sailing on a beam reach with full genoa and main up, the 3 of us had just settled down to read our books while the Cape Horn steered when "out of nowhere" (if I hadn't been so engrossed in my book I probably would have seen the signs) we got hit by a severe nor'easter right on the nose, with sustained 35 kt winds and steep closely spaced breaking waves. We got all hands on deck and reefed the jenny to a little over storm jib size and put both reefs in the main, wishing I had another. For an hour I stubbornly tried to make headway north without success. The reefed genoa tore and flailed pathetically. Our helmsman, wearing ski goggles and a dry suit was enjoying every minute of it ("This is what I signed on for!"). When the wind didn't appear to be abating one bit I listened to the wx report which said "35 knot winds easing to 25 late." At that point, realizing we couldn't get up the Bay and couldn't safely get to an anchorage I swallowed my pride, got the inner forestay and storm jib up, dropped the main and turned around and ran, wee wee wee, all the way back to Norfolk under storm jib alone (at times hitting 8 knots and very comfortable).

At no time did I feel the PSC 31 was in any danger. I was just concerned about damage to sails and risk of injury to crew from the rough conditions. Everyone was tethered, with PFDs. We had a bit of comic relief when the pull tab of my PFD caught on something in the cockpit and I found myself being swallowed by my PFD. At first the crewed worried that maybe the captain knew something they didn't. Then we all collapsed in laughter, wind and rain howling around us, at the ridiculous sight I presented.

Paul
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  #16  
Old 07-02-2011
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Thanks for the post Okapi. You didn't mention timelines, how long were the passages and how much time did you spend in Bermuda.
Are you in Solomons? I keep my 37 at SCM.
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  #17  
Old 07-02-2011
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You're welcome, Brokesailor. Our passage from Norfolk to Bermuda was mostly downwind with about 8 hours of doldrums(motoring) and half a day motoring into wind on the nose. It took us 5 days and 20 hours. We spent 3 days in Bermuda and then the weather dictated we either head back or wait 2 days. We headed back (I was getting restless already and Bermuda is expensive). The passage back was entirely upwind and took us 6 days and 6 hours. Only had to motor the last bit to get through the Bridge-Tunnel and into Norfolk upwind.

Incidentally, after getting blown back to Norfolk (you could say the worst day of sailing I've had) and spending the night there, the next day I had the best run of my life--Norfolk to Solomons in 16 hours with the cruising spinnaker the whole way (unbelievable luck, since the genoa was shredded), in 15 knts wind just aft of the beam and no waves!, boat speed rarely dropping below 7 kts, mostly >8, lounging on the foredeck with the windvane steering, our COG like a line drawn with a ruler from Little Creek (Norfolk) to the Patuxent --the contrasts of sailing can certainly be extreme. And somehow we just remember the glorious days and seem to forget the miserable ones.

Wayfarer's home port is Solomons, right next door to you at ZYC, slip K10. Unfortunately, my home port is Grand Junction, Colorado, in the desert, 30 miles from Utah. I would love to get together and see your 37 next time I'm in Solomons ( August, but don't know dates yet). Is your home also in Solomons? Every year we say we are going to move back east. I am ready, but the housing market is dead so we are stuck here for now. Let's PM to stay in touch.
-Paul
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  #18  
Old 07-04-2011
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great discussion

Thanks for the first hand accounts! Techniques like falling off to prevent hobby-horsing, and driving the boat in subsiding winds with big seas are helpful to me.

Anyone use a trysail?

I've just discovered this forum and I'm looking forward to participating. I just bought my 34 in SW Florida last summer. Besides the trip back, via Okeechobee then offshore at Ft. Pierce, I have no passagemaking time in my boat so lots to learn.

The boat is much drier than my last boat, a Cape Dory 30. I love the way my boat is rigged with the removable inner stay and a genoa on the furler. I carried the staysail and reefed main on my old boat a lot and although I have yet to bend on the staysail on Cheoah, I think it is going to work well. Happy to have this sweet boat and looking forward to some great adventures.
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  #19  
Old 08-16-2012
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Re: How did your Pacific Seacraft do when the going got rough?

Glad I read this thread. We bought a PS34 this year that had the inner forestay removed, probably to make it easier to handle the big genoa on the roller furler. I've been talking to our rigging guy about adding a detachable inner forestay. The roller furler is difficult to handle in 20kts+ and we do not like the way the boat feels when the jib is reefed(too much power forward). It really seemed to me a staysail or storm jib on the inner forestay would solve the problem.
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  #20  
Old 08-16-2012
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Re: How did your Pacific Seacraft do when the going got rough?

We have a PS34 with the inner forestay and staysail intact. Over the 6 years we've been sailing here in Maine, I've come to appreciate the balance the two foresails create. Our Yankee is 110% which also helps with this balance. The boat is very steady without sinking a rail with winds over 20 knts.

Occasionally, we've sailed with main reefed and only the staysail but the balance is not as sweet.

Bob Steneck
PSC 34 "Alaria"
Christmas Cove, Maine
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