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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,
We are two cruisers on s\v Elegant’sea, an Islander Freeport 36’ sailboat. Our boat does not have the lines led aft. To do sail handling, my wife goes up on deck and raises, lowers or reefs the main. We have a 135 genoa for a head sail.

At this time we are anchored in Barra de Navidad, Mexico. We are on our way to Hualtulco , Mexico.

I have a pinched nerve in my back so my wife does the sail work on the main. We sail all day if possible and then because there is just the two of us and of my lack of nerve, (he he) we only have the main up at night. This proved troublesome when going around Cabo Corrientes from Puerto Vallarta this time as the seas were rough and the wind died so the sail and boom were banging around. About midnight we dropped the main. That means my wife went up on deck (tethered) and did the sail handling. Of course it was dark, for lack of much moon\cloud cover and we were heading into the seas. Not what we would like to do.

We would at some point like to start sailing at night also and we are hoping for this to happen on one of these multiple overnight legs. It, so far, seems to be lack of wind and also sail handling gets hard on us when we are splitting the watches etc. - we get tired. (I know this sounds like a whine.) Anyway, we want this to be fun and we are not on a schedule and we want to keep it safe.

So, we were thinking “why not use the head sail or part of it”? We could reef to say a jib and use it as a steadying sail and maybe get some push for the boat to boot? We could pull it in with just the person on watch or the two of us and it would not take going up on deck.

So far the only down side we have thought of is the Garmin underdeck auto pilot. Would the head sail create problems for the Garmin underdeck auto pilot? I know that the autopilots like to have the sails balanced. This would not be a balanced sail plan. We could just steer the boat by hand but then again this gets old after so many hours\days at sea.

Any ides on this and recommendations for this head sail option? Good idea, bad idea or other ideas?
Thanks,
Chip
 

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Any boat is going to perform and behave better with a proper balanced sailplan for the conditions. Going to main-alone at night seems an overreaction..

Reducing sail as a precaution overnight is not unusual, but going either main-only or genoa-only are not the only options. A reefed main and appropriate headsail will always work better, make better passages and the boat will roll/slat less with a better press of sail.

Kudos to your wife for being such a trooper.. but I think you should experiment with both sails in the right combination to make your passages more enjoyable.

Are you in the Lagoon? or at the $marina$? Hope you took the time to stop at Tenacatita and did the Jungle trip..
 

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Old soul
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Our approach is as Faster has just said. We are a cruising couple, so at night one person is alone on watch. Like you, our lines do not lead aft so most main work is done on deck (something I prefer).

For overnight sailing we almost always put in at least one reef in the main, sometimes two. We then either reef/furl the yankee, or simply sail on staysail and main alone (we're obviously a cutter rig). This allows us to keep the sailplan balanced, but also means the rig is more manageable for one person in dark conditions. We also have a strict rule that for any major sail changes, like putting in another reef, that the off-watch crew gets awakened.

I sure hope you appreciate that wife of yours. She's terrific!
 

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One of None
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Consider running lines aft! It's well worth the effort. Also, self tending headsail gear could be a life saver. A 2 speed winch could reduce the effort to raise the main, "stack pack" would also make things easier.
Looks like a motor sailer?
 
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elegant sea btw your blogs is one of the best and most informative blogs out there especially regarding maintenance so kudos to you guys for that...
 
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Hi,
We are two cruisers on s\v Elegant'sea, an Islander Freeport 36' sailboat. Our boat does not have the lines led aft. To do sail handling, my wife goes up on deck and raises, lowers or reefs the main. We have a 135 genoa for a head sail.

At this time we are anchored in Barra de Navidad, Mexico. We are on our way to Hualtulco , Mexico.

I have a pinched nerve in my back so my wife does the sail work on the main. We sail all day if possible and then because there is just the two of us and of my lack of nerve, (he he) we only have the main up at night. This proved troublesome when going around Cabo Corrientes from Puerto Vallarta this time as the seas were rough and the wind died so the sail and boom were banging around. About midnight we dropped the main. That means my wife went up on deck (tethered) and did the sail handling. Of course it was dark, for lack of much moon\cloud cover and we were heading into the seas. Not what we would like to do.

We would at some point like to start sailing at night also and we are hoping for this to happen on one of these multiple overnight legs. It, so far, seems to be lack of wind and also sail handling gets hard on us when we are splitting the watches etc. - we get tired. (I know this sounds like a whine.) Anyway, we want this to be fun and we are not on a schedule and we want to keep it safe.

So, we were thinking "why not use the head sail or part of it"? We could reef to say a jib and use it as a steadying sail and maybe get some push for the boat to boot? We could pull it in with just the person on watch or the two of us and it would not take going up on deck.

So far the only down side we have thought of is the Garmin underdeck auto pilot. Would the head sail create problems for the Garmin underdeck auto pilot? I know that the autopilots like to have the sails balanced. This would not be a balanced sail plan. We could just steer the boat by hand but then again this gets old after so many hours\days at sea.

Any ides on this and recommendations for this head sail option? Good idea, bad idea or other ideas?
Thanks,
Chip
chip sorry of I missed it but do you have spreader or mast deck lights? when moonless nights deck work and sail change work we used stromg powerful deck lights that would ligt up your work area...making work very easy

2 thoughts on this

turn the lights before you go forward and look at that area for enough time to aclimatise

same going back do NOT turn them off before your wife gets back to the cockpit

you will have anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute or so of blindness from the big lightness change of the attmosphere

and my thoughts on your sailplan are as follows

BALANCE SAILPLAN ALWAYS unless there is no other option
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
make better passages
HI,
What does a better passage mean?

If we motor sail with the genoa\jib out, any down side to that do you think?

Yes we are in the lagoon with three other boats. The hotel is mostly empty along with the marina. Soon some cruisers will arrive for the holidays. Then in January after the holidays the snow birds arrive and it is busy for a few months. The French baker is coming around now so that's what counts! As for now it is quiet, that is also nice.

Debbie started up the VHF net and there have been about 8-10 boats checking in each day and other cruisers volunteering for the net control. We will be leaving on Thursday for Manzanillo.

I hear the monthly rate at the marina is 69 cents a foot USD at this time.

Yes we stopped at Tenacatita and were the only boat there. A motor yacht stopped by each day for a bit.
Thanks,
Chip
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi,
Yes, I sure do appreciate and love my wife Debbie greatly. You guys don't get any ideas :)! 
We are trying to avoid (for now) going up on deck at night. We are coming up on our first mutable night passage as a couple. We have done three days\nights at sea before but we had two crew members to help out. We may just motor sail with the head sail and try that on a night or two?

If we do have wind and decide to sail we will do as you and have two of us up and helping each other. We have always done that just with using the main only.
Thank,
Chip
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi,
We do have a stack type pack.

We sail during the day and as night approaches have been reefing the main. Then when one person is off watch and sleeps we furl the genoa and turn on the motor. We have decided to first try motoring with the head sail only as a way to avoid going up on deck at night. Then as we get more comfortable we will sail only at night.

Leading lines aft is out on our boat as the results by other people who have done it on the Islander Freeport 36’ are hard lines to pull. They have too many blocks and there are other reasons.

Replacing the mast winch is out as we are in Mexico and where would we get such an animal and the cost\time etc.

We do not mind being up on deck. It is a matter of easing into this and getting the experience.

The Islander Freeport 36’ is not a motor sailor. The Islander Freeport 41’ is a motor sailor. The Islander Freeport 36’ was designed by Robert Perry for two people to go cruising on. It has some advanced features for its time. The transom steps fold down for easy swim\dinghy access. The large windows for great views and roomy interior. The “T” cockpit and a mighty fine cockpit. A roomy head, great galley etc. We, as you can tell love ur Islander Freeport 36’ “B” plan. It sails great and is also sea kindly. They have been known to cross oceans but so have Catalina’s. For that maybe a Hans Cristian would be better or a Valiant 40’ another Bob Perry design. O’boy, did I start another discussion?
Thanks,
Chip
 

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snake charmer, cat herder
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hay chip..i am in one of the very few boats in the marina, and have been here forever. at present and until end dec i will be on g dock ..
was wondering who elegant sea was...lol
how long ye gonna be here?

btw-- i noticed sailing my ketch with headsail and mizzen and my hydraulic autopilot that i was in heaven.
sailed a sloop in gom with headsail alone due to high winds.. was much more pleasant than trying to fight the weather helm of the sloop and wheel mounted auto helm.
the under deck mounted pilots do well with whatever you place as sails.
the best crew you can find, if unmarried--you cheated you have spouse...

dontcha just love the french baker......

season here should start about the second week in january, when the folks in banderas bay meander south to zihuat for the sailfest. that event is fun--dont miss it.


btw, yet again--you will be surprised what you can find in mexico
 

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snake charmer, cat herder
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i have been here rebuilding my engine since it ranaway and made onbly ka lunk noise last year-- if you have questions abou tthis area, i am well versed as to where to find stuff and stuff. beware of jonco. he was run out of banderas bay due to his antics an d is here now. not to use.
there are locals here if you need items for boat-- there is a chandlery in santiago. there are ferreterias and comex and reparraciones for finding items needed and there are welders and carpinterias for other needs and wood for purchase. there is a good injector pump rebuilder here snd excellent mechanic who does not speak any english and puts all ****** mechanics to total shame.
i have found most of my needs are filled here in barra with few trips to melaque, and rare excursions to manzanillo/santiago. the home depot is in manzanillo.
there are folks with cars who will drive there and allow ye to accompany them for gas money--mostly locals.
how are ye doing and do you have any needs to buy while here other than provisions and french baker items??? are you finding everything ok???

please tell me your interwebz secret, as i am still working on mine, and i am dependent for that on a fail system of hotel...
 

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HI,
What does a better passage mean?
To me it means better speed, gentler motion with more 'press' of sail and overall more comfortable.

Don't see any real issues with 'motorsailing' as long as your engine is happy to operate at heeling angles - though if that's the case then you can probably dispense with the engine and just sail...

The boat should simply 'ride' better with the right sailplan for the conditions. And even in motoring conditions having a main up can limit rolling - you just don't want that endless 'slatting' and banging back and forth so sheet things tight (using it like a trawler's steadying sail)

but hey.... you're there and making southward gains so obviously it's working!
 

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The lights I have mounted on my spreaders were designed for charter fishing boats, about 500-watts each, and the entire boat is illuminated brightly. Additionally, they illuminate the surrounding water to a distance of about 50 to 75 feet. Yeah, they suck down a lot of battery, but I love the safety feature of being able to see everything I'm doing, where I'm stepping, etc. And, everyone within 5 miles can see me equally as well. When the lights go out, it takes me about 3 to 5 minutes to regain my night vision, though.

Most of the time at night, I sail on a reefed main, usually just a single reef, and a tab of jib. Works for me.

All the best,

Gary :cool:
 
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