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post #1 of 20 Old 08-12-2010 Thread Starter
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Back in the USA!

Hi good friends,

Just wanted to let everyone know the Swan is back in the USA after a 49 day passage from Majuro in the Marshall Islands to Neah Bay, WA. We encountered two gales, five days of calms and 10 days hard on the wind in the Trades. The boat handled flawlessly the whole voyage. This was basically the story on the boat's performance for the 2 1/2 years we were cruising. What wonderful boats we have!

For pictures and details, please visit our website at swancruise.com.

Cheers!

Dave Mancini
s/v Swan
PSC 34 #305
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post #2 of 20 Old 08-12-2010
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Well welcome back to the real world.....though whether you want to be here or not may be an open question ?

Why though, didn't you eat the squid ?

Andrew B (Malö 39 Classic)

“Life is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it.”
― Terry Pratchett.
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post #3 of 20 Old 08-13-2010
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Welome back Dave! Been following you guys on your website postings. Awesome journey!

John & Beth Schwab
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post #4 of 20 Old 08-13-2010 Thread Starter
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Thanks John & Beth,

Good to hear from you. Good to be back on the list.

Dave
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post #5 of 20 Old 08-14-2010
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Dave,

Welcome back!

And thanks for checking in. It's hard to believe you shoved off 2 1/2 yers ago already.

Many folks reading this may not realize, that Dave encountered a major setback in the later stages of planning this trip. But undaunted, he and his wife pressed on to find a replacement boat in very short order. It's heartening to hear how well it performed, too. That must have been an amazing final passage -- 49 days at sea in a 34 footer, with some serious weather thrown in too!!

When and if you have time, it would be interesting to hear more about how your boat performed, particularly observations comparing your boat to other varieties of cruising boats that you encountered.


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Pacific Seacraft Crealock 31 #62

NEVER CALLS CRUISINGDAD BACK....CAN"T TAKE THE ACCENT
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-17-2010
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Originally Posted by DaveMancini View Post
Thanks John. Good to be back.

Glad you asked about the boat. In 2 1/2 years, we never broke a thing on the boat due to weather. What we did break was due to my own negligence, namely the skeg when I hit the reef in Fiji. We have hit a whale, a reef and a huge log and still this boat kept us safe.

We met about 100 other cruisers during our cruise. Many of these suffered damage in heavy weather: a bent mast, broken whisker poles, bent stanchions, loose bulkheads, leaks, etc. In many cases, we were in the same weather as these other boats, but the PSC just pushed through without a rub. We had uncountable seas break hard against the boat making a lot of noise and impact. In the beginning, we worried about each one, but came to realize the boat could take it and relaxed.

We also heard stories of other boats heaving to or lying ahull during heavy weather. We were able to keep Swan moving during any conditions we met. I lay ahull one night in 40 knots before I realized, the next morning, that the boat would beam reach very well under staysail alone. During the two gales we encountered this last passage, the Monitor steered the boat downwind under staysail alone in the first gale and on a broad reach during the other. The boat tracked steadily, taking each sea that loomed up like the boat was on rails, never a tendency to broach like I've experienced on other boats.

On this last trip we slogged hard to weather in the trades for the first two weeks, close reaching most of the time in six to 10 foot seas. The boat just pushed through, great sheets of spray flying aft. It was impressive. I worried at first about the strain on the rigging because I could see the slack come and go in the leeward shrouds, but the rig's wide stance kept the forces in check, all day, all night.

Other boats will make faster passages, but as a cruising friend of mine said about his fast racer-cruiser, you pay for every mile in discomfort. I should mention that most of the reason for Swan's slower passages is due to my unwillingness to start the engine, not the boat's lack of speed, because these boats perform well on that score. We were able to keep the boat moving in very light winds with the big drifter, but when the wind quit, we got out a good book and just waited. We only ran the engine two hours in the forty-nine days before landfall, just enough to keep it healthy mechanically.

These boats are tough, capable cruising boats that will keep going in the roughest conditions and keep you safe and comfortable. On top of all that, they are beautiful. We love our boat and would never consider another, except maybe another PSC. Crealock was truly a master.

Dave Mancini
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Dave,

Thanks for that great summary of Swan's performance on the cruise. Very impressive -- it sounds like she not only took care of you but did you proud, too!

If you have time, we'd love to hear more about the skeg-on-reef incident. Such as, how bad was the damage, was the rudder affected, how'd you go about repairing it in a remote location? It would also be interesting to hear your thoughts on whether the skeg was an asset or liability under those circumstances, i.e. would a spade rudder have faired better?

But no hurry, either. I realize you're just back, and likely have more pressing things to do. So whenever you have a chance, even if it's a few weeks or months from now. Thanks and, again, welcome home.


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Pacific Seacraft Crealock 31 #62

NEVER CALLS CRUISINGDAD BACK....CAN"T TAKE THE ACCENT
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post #7 of 20 Old 08-22-2010
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Thanks for the detailed accounting of the reef hit and your skeg damage and repairs Dave. 14,000+ lbs of boat hitting a rough and immovable object at 6 knots is quite a strike, and it's good to hear the skeg did its job in protecting the rudder even so. Your ability to sail extensively after that, and with no water coming into the boat shows once again the boat is designed/built to take care of the crew.

It's interesting that the embedded steel bar didn't save the skeg (although maybe it provided structural stiffness that helped save the rudder) and a pretty serious split occurred around it. From reading I've done on the topic, I take it that skeg design is a always a challenge, but I wonder if bolting on a stronger structure, similar to how the lead keel is bolted on, might not be a further improvement. The strength of the mount point might also then have to be increased even further, although I understand the glass layup is quite thick there already (1.5"?).
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post #8 of 20 Old 08-22-2010
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Dave,

Thanks for taking the time to spell out the details of the "reef-incident" and how you went about repairing the skeg. Very instructive.

I think what strikes me most about the story, is that you were still able to sail the boat safely. From what I gather, had you not been near a good yard, you could have even made or completed a significant passage if necessary to reach a haul-out location?

I tend to agree with your conclusions that the skeg "failed properly", i.e. had it not crunched sacrificially as it did, things might have turned out very differently (much worse).

Also, refresh my memory: Is you Crealock 34 a Scheel keel or standard draft variant? Do you think your draft/keel made any difference one way or the other?


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Pacific Seacraft Crealock 31 #62

NEVER CALLS CRUISINGDAD BACK....CAN"T TAKE THE ACCENT
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post #9 of 20 Old 08-22-2010
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Very interesting observations Dave, thank you. Just as car manufacturers learn a lot from crash tests, we can probably learn from these situations as well. Sorry you guys had to play the role of crash test dummies in this case .

By the way, the accounting on your swancruise.com website of the two whales rushing at you at unbelievable speed is quite a chilling tale, as is hearing of so many large ships passing unseen in the fog. Are you thinking of adding radar? Glad to hear you guys are safely back!

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post #10 of 20 Old 08-22-2010
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Dave,

If it's okay with you, I wanted to offer this direct link to your blog, where folks can see a good photo of the damaged skeg. I was actually surprised that it wasn't worse than seen in the photo. These are tough skegs!!

Nice job on the repair, too!!

Swan Cruise - Damaged Skeg

P.S. Just let me know if you would prefer not to link directly to the blog, and I'll remove it.


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Pacific Seacraft Crealock 31 #62

NEVER CALLS CRUISINGDAD BACK....CAN"T TAKE THE ACCENT
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