Caribbean, What works and doesn't - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 141 Old 03-03-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

Nice opening post.
Would give thumbs down to the Honda and a big up to Northern Lights.
Have learned to approach the next island a mile or three up wind from rhumline and fall off for the last 3-5 miles of the approach. That way you have wind and waves behind the beam.
Have learned once you get past St. Bart’s it’s a totally different world. I haven’t even seen the first reef let alone a full main. Using only the solent /reefed main with at least two pumps on the backstay.
The $250/year for Cris is worth it. Other than that use passage weather, local radio station if I understand the language and that’s it.
C/w leewards it isn’t about the sailing. You pick the best window. Prepare like you’re going on passage as otherwise things go flying and go. In the lee of the islands it goes from dense wind shadow or mid twenties so not worth doing anything but main and varying amount of solent or motoring.
However the islands are fascinating. BVIs St.barts and Fort de France are Miami Beach knockoffs but the rest is magnificent.
Our hassle has been internet. Orange sucks, digicell isn’t much better and Flow is useless. Other hassle is noise. Anywhere there’s coastal bars they play obnoxious “music” late into the night. Carnival is just starting so the noise is constant.
Surprisingly in the French islands see more French Al than French grp.
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post #12 of 141 Old 03-03-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

On the topic of weather I use Windguru to plan my passage but on the morning of departure pull up the weather radar from meteo France or Barbados and have a look. Then as a final check on what is ACTUALLY happening not what is FORECAST to happen I have a hard look at clouds on the mountains tops for an idea of speed and direction.

On passage I am always looking upwind for hints that something might be changing for the worse. Any hint that it might be will see me shortening sail.

Re davits mine get used for security at night and never on interisland passages For those the OB is on the rail and the dink on the foredeck.

Something I didn't see mentioned but I regard as essential is a pair of polarised lens sunglasses. These help you read the water on reef navigation. Much safer than relying on some electrons.

As for which is better Honda or Northern lights why not have sufficient solar ot do with out either. I HATE the sound of a generator whether it be on my boat or someone upwind polluting the air.

Last edited by TQA; 03-03-2019 at 03:19 PM.
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post #13 of 141 Old 03-03-2019
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I like the way windfinder presents info.
All these weather predict apps get their info from same/similar sources. Some gather from more sources than others.

Good subject post
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post #14 of 141 Old 03-03-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

Mel, do you (or anyone else) ever use a bridle to pull the dinghy half way up the topside, via a mast halyard? Seems a common anti-theft approach.

I've never done it, rather I pull it up the davits, when I'm concerned. However, it is more of an exercise than I'd like and wonder if a bridle and halyard is quicker/easier.


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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

Minni, I saw this when I lived down in the Caribe. It was mostly done by big sailing yachts with very large tenders and heavy OBs... I think they were crewed charter boats. That size yachts don't have davits. They may have a stern dinghy garage. It's not a bad idea to get the dink out of the water if you are going to not be using it for some time... But most people at anchor are using their dink from early AM to late in the evening after a night at a local watering hole.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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post #16 of 141 Old 03-03-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

I agree about a good discussion. I try to provide one when I post. I or anyone here offering advise is doing that, "Offering Advice". Nothing is in concrete or the exact way of doing things. Everyone out here sails their boat differently. My only goal is to offer a BUFFET of ideas that readers can pick and choose from to see what works for them, their boat and their crew. Keep it up boys and girls. I always learn from others. I am just an average sailor that is bless to be able to do what I do.

On the subject of my Rock Star Honda.. I know there is a current thread out there on this subject but here is my one penny worth.. When I built this boat 5 years ago a diesel generator was going to cost between 15-20k depending on which model I choose. I love Northern Lights.. but expensive. I had this Honda generator on my previous boat and it worked great. I paid $850 for it new in 2008. I can buy about 18 new Honda's for the price on one diesel generator. So I used that money I would have spent on other needier items to go cruising. I use the Honda only at anchor and usually when we are here for more than a few days. My solar panels amperage is about 40 amp hours short in a 24 hour period while at anchor. If sailing we are about 120 amp hours short. That is on a good sunny day. So best I can do is about 2.5 days on just solar before I need to charge the batteries. However on this boat we are princess. We love coffee and toast in the morning, hot croissants and hot shower in the evening. We also use it for the microwave and rare occasion air conditioning during dinner time. So when I get up I start the Honda to make coffee and toast and charge the batteries for about an hour or two depending on our needs. I need to make hot water every other day and that takes about 20 mins. Now lets talk about our other Rock Star the 9/18gal an hour watermaker.. It runs off of 12Vdc. I run that every third day or so. I can run it off the solar, engine or Honda. Dealers choice depending on what we are doing that day. Furthermore every now and than I need to break out a power tool and the Honda works great here too.
Managing power can be an art form on a boat. I would rather run the Honda any day vs running the engine to just charge the batteries or make hot water. The Honda does that well enough. I do have a small inverted (600 watts) to power/charge small devices and TV at night if we want. Most important it powers my guitar amp so I can jam and terrorize the anchorage. It also keeps the boats from anchoring too close to me. Trust me,, nails on a chalkboard sounds better than how I play.
I am not sure if I am going to upgrade my solar panels or put a wind generator on. My cruising days are getting numbered due to health concerns. So might not be worth it especially if this is my last season. Time will tell.
On the subject of dinghy carriage.. I was not clear on that. I almost always carry it on the foredeck when ocean sailing. I use the back dinghy davits to lift it out of the water at night. The one time I didn't I sheered a transom bolt. My bad. The other time, I got severely wake (rolled the boat almost rail to rail in the water) by a tourist boat and Bertram fishing boat in a anchorage with dinghy and motor on. Bent a support bar. Probably also weakened said transom bolt.
Weather - Wind Gods hate me.. I know that is a cliche but I have proven that true over 35 years plus sailing. They are just plain are mean (bastards). I have tried everything to appease the Wind Gods; rum, good rum whiskey,great whiskey, bourbon, beer, champagne, Bahama Mamma craved out of dead wood, Evil eyes, and even hired a witch doctor in DR. Nothing has worked so far. I have many choice words for the little sh.... ts.

Keep sailing
Keep posting
and always chase sunsets and sunrises. God does amazing stuff with just one light bulb in the sky.

Melissa Renee
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Last edited by Melrna; 03-03-2019 at 09:37 PM.
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post #17 of 141 Old 03-03-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Mel, do you (or anyone else) ever use a bridle to pull the dinghy half way up the topside, via a mast halyard? Seems a common anti-theft approach.

I've never done it, rather I pull it up the davits, when I'm concerned. However, it is more of an exercise than I'd like and wonder if a bridle and halyard is quicker/easier.
Yes, it is very common to see that here. Canoe stern boats and boats without swim platforms are were I see it the most often. However, any boat can do that. Hoist bridle are also used to hoist the dinghy on the foredeck as well. I believe a good thing to make up and have. I went to West Marine to make up my bridle system out of SS cable.

Melissa Renee
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post #18 of 141 Old 03-04-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

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You're in your 5th year down here and you still find value in paying Chris Parker for weather information? With everything available online and with 5 years of experience, I find that a bit odd.
When we sailed the Carib we used Chris for my gosh for 6+ years and when we return we will use him again. Why? We met Chris and had a long talk and he said hey you need to do your own forecast and then call me to verify. We did and became a quite good at it. And having your forecast in hand before talking to Chris gives you some confidence in your ability or something to discuss with Chris on why yours varies from his.

When we were ready to cross the pond we were sitting Antigua and talked to Chris daily along with our own forecast. There was a front coming across the USA and the question was how far south it was going. If it did not go to far south it would be a great sail to Horta if it went south it would not be a good day - We watched daily and it was 50-50 right up to departure day and we sat. 2 boats left. We waited and the front came south - we left behind it and on the way over we had 2 boat alerts for both boats that left - never heard from again.

Chis is a great tool but only a tool to be used with others. Everyone has their favorities ours are Windyty, WIndfinder, Windguru, Passage Weather and gribs from our ssb. YEA we use all of them when we prepare for a passage of more than a few hours - if only a few hours we use gribs, Windyty, windfinder and passage weather. What we are looking for is not only current and potential weather but what is causing the weather - where are the hi and lo pressure sytems and how are they moving -

just what works for us
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Just our thoughts and opinion
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Mel, do you (or anyone else) ever use a bridle to pull the dinghy half way up the topside, via a mast halyard? Seems a common anti-theft approach.

I've never done it, rather I pull it up the davits, when I'm concerned. However, it is more of an exercise than I'd like and wonder if a bridle and halyard is quicker/easier.
We sailed most of the Caribbean - east and west - and do not have davits - we carry our dink on the foredeck for ALL passages period and the motor on the rail. We have had a few times when the prevailing wisdom was get the dink out of the water and we made a bridle and used a mast halyard- same one to put the dink on the deck to raise it way out of the water.
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Just our thoughts and opinion
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post #20 of 141 Old 03-04-2019
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Re: Caribbean, What works and doesn't

We do not have a gen set nor see the need for one. We run 550w of solar and it meets all our needs with the 6 house batteries we have. There may be an occasion that we need to run the engine but with a 150amp alternator we do not have to run it long.

We did look at wind but the cost of the wind gen is so high and a cost benefit analysis of wind vs diesel is way in favor of diesel and running the engine.

so far it has worked well for us but then we are not someone else -

Just our thoughts and opinion
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