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post #41 of 49 Old 09-14-2016
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Re: Sailor from Long Island

Good stuff!

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post #42 of 49 Old 09-16-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailor from Long Island

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Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
Chris,
No problem! You're more than welcome to come up to NPT and do some sailing with me... Bring your partner of course or not if she's not able to. I like the plan! But I think you need to enter something like the Marion Bermuda race and get some ocean experience before attempting a delivery from the Med to NY. Looking for the right boat takes time and you can't buy without survey and sea trials and fitting out with upgrades probably. You need spares and lots of familiarity with a boat you are going to cross the pond in. I think FL is one place to find inexpensive boats. But anyplace where a couple divorces or the owner decides he's too old can be a good buy. I don't think a crossing makes sense for a shakedown cruise. ;-)
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Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
The PITA in sailing up and down the Sound and out east to Nantucket is the timing of the journey with the tides and wind. When they work perfectly you can make a passage rather quickly. I've hit 12 knots going thru the race! And I've see boats literally making no way sailing against the current in Plum gut. Timing is everything!

Thanks for the offer, SanderO! I would love to come out for a sail one of these days! How late do you keep your boat in the water? Would love to discuss my 'plan' and your suggestions on the boat! Yes, I was looking at the current charts in the Eldridge book and timing at The Race seems very crucial.

I'll send you a PM now.

1989 Tartan 28
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Long Island, NY
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post #43 of 49 Old 09-16-2016
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Re: Sailor from Long Island

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Originally Posted by Goodwind90 View Post
The top of my upgrade list consists of an Auto Pilot system (manning the helm for several hours on end was grueling) and obviously fixed GPS system to accompany it. Do you have any recommendations?
I note you have a wheel, not a tiller. A wheel mounted system (versus below decks) is you least expensive and fine for coast cruising. Most common choice is the Raymarine EV-100.
Marine Wheel Pilot Systems

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post #44 of 49 Old 09-17-2016
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Re: Sailor from Long Island

Chris,
I have very strong opinions about APs driven by GPS.. almost as strong as the insanity of routes for sailboats.

I am with you in how tiring helming is for hrs on end. 2 hrs in a stint can be exhausting or boring... or maybe at times thrilling. But there are 24 hrs in a day so you gotta have an AP if you sail for more than a few hrs... I am in love with my AP who is named affectionately Alison. She's been helming most of the miles sailed for 25 yrs. YIKES...never complains and doesn't have to be fed.

I have a below decks Alpha 3000. It's quite robust and has been in very stinking conditions when I would prefer not to be getting the brunt of it.

She does not take instructions from a GPS. I am the one who tells her what course to steer and I do it with a nice large dial with degrees ticked off.

I have to mechanically engage and disengage the ram. Disengaged there's no drag or impact on the helm at all.. nada.

You can adjust for yaw which quiets down the helm and she corrects less and doesn't respond to every wave for example.

I get the compass course from a GPS plotter where I can either enter the mark I need to go to... or by using the GOG line on the plotter which tells me where I would go if things remain the same. Often all I do is look at the COG line which is infinity long and turn the course dial as Alison steers until it intersects the mark I want to make. Have to verify that the course is through clear water, no rocks, shoals etc... and that's it. I check it everyone once in a while... I also have data on the plotter which tells me things like xtrack error or course to waypoint as well as course sailed

I don't bother with waypoint libraries and such... I have WAY more than enough time to set a waypoint one at a time. For example if I sail from NPT to Newport... I need to go from the R2 I think to the Green can at Sand city... to North of Eaton's Neck... That's 3 which can be done with eyeball navigation... then assuming fair winds... a waypoint at Fisher's Island another R2.... a few cans in Fisher's Island sound... don't bother with waypoints just use the course / heading lines on the plotter.... get to Watch Hill then a waypoint at PT Judith and finally Castle Hill. This is a 24 hrs sail or something with max 6 or 8 marks to make. I think I have enough time to manually set them.. Don't you? Of course once set they can be used again... or I can also follow my track which is also handy... no waypoints necessary.

I can play with trim, clean the boat, cook, eat...watch of course, check the track on the plotter, check the weather forecast... And Alison dutifully steers. What a gal!

Essential equipment:

reliable AP
electric windlass and chain
GPS plotter with AIS and RADAR
VHF with GPS and AIS... hand held and fixed mount.
Wife

Notice in the pic the little used winch where a B&G T7plotter is mounted... it rotates and is adjacent to AP controls... I can see both real world and plotter and steer w/ Alison... there's a second windlass up down switch next to Alison. I can reach the throttle and see the engine gauges from this steering station. Display includes a flux gate compass too.

If you need help.... ask. Sailors are helpful.
Attached Thumbnails
P1000036.jpg   B&G T7.jpg  

Last edited by SanderO; 09-17-2016 at 12:31 AM.
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post #45 of 49 Old 09-19-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailor from Long Island

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimsCAL View Post
I note you have a wheel, not a tiller. A wheel mounted system (versus below decks) is you least expensive and fine for coast cruising. Most common choice is the Raymarine EV-100.
Marine Wheel Pilot Systems
Thanks for the recommendation JimsCAL! I will look into this system. Seems perfect for my boat for the cruising I'll be doing with it. The only thing I need to look into is power consumption. I might need a solar panel to keep my two 12V batteries charged while the AP is in use.

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post #46 of 49 Old 09-19-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailor from Long Island

Quote:
Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
Chris,
I have very strong opinions about APs driven by GPS.. almost as strong as the insanity of routes for sailboats.

I am with you in how tiring helming is for hrs on end. 2 hrs in a stint can be exhausting or boring... or maybe at times thrilling. But there are 24 hrs in a day so you gotta have an AP if you sail for more than a few hrs... I am in love with my AP who is named affectionately Alison. She's been helming most of the miles sailed for 25 yrs. YIKES...never complains and doesn't have to be fed.

I have a below decks Alpha 3000. It's quite robust and has been in very stinking conditions when I would prefer not to be getting the brunt of it.

She does not take instructions from a GPS. I am the one who tells her what course to steer and I do it with a nice large dial with degrees ticked off.

I have to mechanically engage and disengage the ram. Disengaged there's no drag or impact on the helm at all.. nada.

You can adjust for yaw which quiets down the helm and she corrects less and doesn't respond to every wave for example.

I get the compass course from a GPS plotter where I can either enter the mark I need to go to... or by using the GOG line on the plotter which tells me where I would go if things remain the same. Often all I do is look at the COG line which is infinity long and turn the course dial as Alison steers until it intersects the mark I want to make. Have to verify that the course is through clear water, no rocks, shoals etc... and that's it. I check it everyone once in a while... I also have data on the plotter which tells me things like xtrack error or course to waypoint as well as course sailed

I don't bother with waypoint libraries and such... I have WAY more than enough time to set a waypoint one at a time. For example if I sail from NPT to Newport... I need to go from the R2 I think to the Green can at Sand city... to North of Eaton's Neck... That's 3 which can be done with eyeball navigation... then assuming fair winds... a waypoint at Fisher's Island another R2.... a few cans in Fisher's Island sound... don't bother with waypoints just use the course / heading lines on the plotter.... get to Watch Hill then a waypoint at PT Judith and finally Castle Hill. This is a 24 hrs sail or something with max 6 or 8 marks to make. I think I have enough time to manually set them.. Don't you? Of course once set they can be used again... or I can also follow my track which is also handy... no waypoints necessary.

I can play with trim, clean the boat, cook, eat...watch of course, check the track on the plotter, check the weather forecast... And Alison dutifully steers. What a gal!

Essential equipment:

reliable AP
electric windlass and chain
GPS plotter with AIS and RADAR
VHF with GPS and AIS... hand held and fixed mount.
Wife

Notice in the pic the little used winch where a B&G T7plotter is mounted... it rotates and is adjacent to AP controls... I can see both real world and plotter and steer w/ Alison... there's a second windlass up down switch next to Alison. I can reach the throttle and see the engine gauges from this steering station. Display includes a flux gate compass too.

If you need help.... ask. Sailors are helpful.


SanderO,

You have quite the set up and I appreciate you taking the time to explain it all. Alison sounds great, but she sure is expensive! I agree with your take on APs driven by GPS- you want redundancy and minimize the chance of computer error, so I understand how manually plugging in your desired heading can be safer. I'm looking forward to getting the tour and seeing your set up in action hopefully soon! I'm curious about how you power all these gadgets.

I still have lots of research to do so I will post in the appropriate thread when I have narrowed down my options.

Thanks again for your helpful input!

-Chris

1989 Tartan 28
INTREPID
Great South Bay
Long Island, NY
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post #47 of 49 Old 09-19-2016
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Re: Sailor from Long Island

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodwind90 View Post
Thanks for the recommendation JimsCAL! I will look into this system. Seems perfect for my boat for the cruising I'll be doing with it. The only thing I need to look into is power consumption. I might need a solar panel to keep my two 12V batteries charged while the AP is in use.
I have a similar (but older) autopilot on my boat. Power consumption is surprising low. Does pull a couple of amps when the drive motor turns on, but it's off MUCH more than it's running. I've never had a problem with it running down my batteries, but I mostly use it when motoring, so the alternator is keeping the batteries charged.

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post #48 of 49 Old 09-19-2016
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Re: Sailor from Long Island

I wish I had some photos of the AP I spent years with. Huge green box with a counter rotating knob that looked like a compass. Was built for commercial fishing trawlers and never skipped a beat. Forget the brand sadly. Makes the Alpha look futuristic.

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post #49 of 49 Old 09-20-2016
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Autpilot and Routes

Hey,

I don't understand all the hate towards using routes and having the AP navigate the route. Personally, if I am going somewhere (instead of just out day sailing) I will most likely have a route set in my plotter, have the plotter running the route, and the AP steering towards the waypoints. This assumes that I can sail towards the waypoints. If not, I will still try to follow the route, but taking may take me far off the route.

I have my routes preloaded for a number of reasons:
-I like to look at paper charts and ensure that the route I want to take is safe and makes sense
-If the destination of far away (say 30+ miles) I will have alternate destinations listed in case the weather goes downhill
-I am on the only one on the boat who can sail, read a chart, etc.
-When the plotter is running the route I can see at a glance how far it is to the next waypoint, how long it will take to the next waypoint, how far to the destination, how long to the destination, etc. This enables me to make good decisions like perhaps I need to go faster (motorsail?) in order to make it to my destination before dark, before the current turns, before I run out of water at low tide, etc.
-I don't like surprises. Having the route set ahead of time means I can spend more time thinking about what beverage to have at the destination, what restaurant to eat dinner at, or how to fix whatever has broken during the trip.

Having the AP follow a route is little different from aiming the boat at a waypoint, and engaging the AP. The benefit is that the route allows the AP to compensate for changes in current, wind, etc. When the AP reaches a waypoint it beeps and I must press a button before it goes to the next waypoint.

All in all there are lots of way to operate your boat and you can decide what works best for you.

Barry
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Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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