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Old 10-12-2009, 20:08   #16
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G'Day Creaky,

You will get so much free advice about what you surely must have to do this trip that I don't think that I will add anything. So far it seems that you will have to tow a barge to carry all the things suggested!

But I might comment about some of the suggestions:

Radar -- you are unlikely to encounter much fog on this route, but heavy rain is common. Trouble is that most small radars don't have enough power to see much in such rain! We have certainly used ours many times to detect squalls at night, to suss out anchorages when entering at night (not always a good idea even with radar, AIS, a forward-looking sonar and a crystal ball), and to check for unlit vessels at sea and along shore (far too common). If you can afford one, it could be pretty useful.

AIS: A very useful tool for singlehanders if you get one that you can leave on 24/7 without draining the battery. However, be aware that in the 3rd world areas you mention, you can not be sure that all vessels will be complying with the AIS rules, so a false sense of security might getcha in trouble.

Survival Suit: Not likely needed in these waters.

Para Anchor/ Drogue: Some research into survival tactics for Wharram cats will probably tell you which of these devices will do you the most good. I doubt if you need both.

General comment: One thing I didn't notice was some means of getting weather info while at sea. By this I mean better than trying to listen to the high seas broadcasts from Charleville, which I find pretty useless.
The SSB receiver that you mention, if coupled to a laptop with any of several free bits of software, will get you weather charts from NZed and Oz which cover the areas in question. We would feel quite naked without this basic data!

Now, as to your proposed itinerary: Not a bad plan at all! I assume that you would pass the cyclone season well up in the Sollies. The other areas are all subject to cyclonic storms, and while your cat can get up into the mangroves pretty well, you really don't want to be there!

You don't mention what time of year you expect to depart, and this has a big impact on getting East to New Cal from Brissie (actually, we usually try to leave from Southport... gives a somewhat better sailing angle). By exercising some patience you can usually get a few days of W'ly quadrant winds to start with, and this is well worth doing -- bashing into enhanced SE trades ain't fun in any boat, and I suspect even less in a fairly small Wharram!

So anyhow, I applaud the idea of going, especially with at least one crew, and wish you luck with the voyages. They are all great cruising grounds...

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Gladstone Qld Oz, but about to head south
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Old 10-12-2009, 20:08   #17
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In your neck of the woods, I would consider storm sails to be an important safety item- more important than a para anchor, IMO. If you rig your main with 3 reefs, you might be able to get away with that.
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Old 10-12-2009, 20:25   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkleins View Post
When you're single handing "collision avoidance" might come in handy.

Jim

Hmm re-reading my post it seems i may have come across as a bit blase about 'collision avoidance' thats not really the case,i'm just undecided whether radar is worth the quite substantial investment,more comments from people with radars and how useful they find them is very welcome



also a bit against putting heavy things aloft...how much do radars wiegh?
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Old 10-12-2009, 20:39   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unbusted67 View Post
Spare Mail Sail

way back when i first started thinking bout this spare sails was one of the first things that came to mind(i'm assuming u meant 'main sail')

but for a relatively short cruise...all up i'm thinking it will be less than 5000 miles if i go with a good to excellent cond main then in theory it should go the distance except for perhaps getting blown out by an unexpected squall,solution...always reef deep,reef early,always reef down at night,the longest leg is bris to new cal...not certain but think thats about 900 to 1000 nm, if it takes me two weeks because i'm sailing conservatively then to me thats no biggie.

so i'm leaning towards perhaps having spare funds to cover that sort of ...mishap(?)

ie a situation that causes much consternation but no real immediate threat to safety.


but that does raise another question --- whats the likelyhood of getting something like a new main shipped to the larger cities in the countries i'm thinking about visiting...i'm thinking prob not much of a drama in new cal,maybe not vanuatu or solomons but louisiades prob not much chance,hmm certainly something else to ponder
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Old 10-12-2009, 20:49   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkleins View Post
When you're single handing "collision avoidance" might come in handy.

Jim
You think?

Paul L
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Old 10-12-2009, 20:50   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
Precut plywood pieces to cover holes from collision (including blown in ports and ripped off companionway hatch). Underwater curing epoxy. Foam rubber balls of different sizes to put in holes. Long coarse thread self tapping screws. Strong battery powered drill driver for screws. Collision mat

Stainless (or galvanized) wire and wire clamps for longest stay. Spare spreader and spreader parts. Equipment to climb mast. Absolutely secure halyard shackles. Stopper knots in bitter end of halyards and sheets sewn with whipping twine so they can not come out without using knife.

Wear a harness and carry a knife at all times

Lots of chafing gear

Expensive but worth it: Complete spare autopilot.

Three ways to generate electricity (could be three separate solar panels)

Besides the normal in first aid kit - a hemostatic clotting agent or bandage like Quikclot to stop severe bleeding.

Emergency drinking water

Instead of more flares I'd get a battery powered Laser Flare for night and for day orange smoke and a long floating distress streamer that floats behind the boat and is visible from the air.

Two waterproof handheld VFH radios

Also get a 2nd EPIRB (an inexpensive PLB is fine) in case the first fails.

Three anchors and ground tackle. (I realize this is a weight challenge on your boat)

Reinforce bow cleats.

Have person knowledgeable with cat design inspect all cross beam connections and consider any possible reinforcement. Inspect rudder gudgeons/pintles. Replace and/or reinforce.

Carl

cheers for such an exhaustive list of suggestions...some of these i already have plans for(reinforced bow cleats,and stern cleats for attaching drogue), some of them already implemented (have spare epirb...yes i have trust issues with electronic devices on small boats )

battery powered laser flare thats going on the shopping list i never even knew such things existed

precut ply patches again something i read once, thought was a good idea, but had forgotten thanks for the reminder

handheld vhf and gps both on my list and for in the grab bag as well

emergency drinking water...hmm i hadnt really thought about that however my drinking water is stored in a few seperate containers anyway so i think i sorta fluked into having that one covered


lots to think about...might have to start (the first of which i'm sure there will be many) a written list
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Old 10-12-2009, 21:33   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day Creaky,

You will get so much free advice about what you surely must have to do this trip that I don't think that I will add anything. So far it seems that you will have to tow a barge to carry all the things suggested!

But I might comment about some of the suggestions:

Radar -- you are unlikely to encounter much fog on this route, but heavy rain is common. Trouble is that most small radars don't have enough power to see much in such rain! We have certainly used ours many times to detect squalls at night, to suss out anchorages when entering at night (not always a good idea even with radar, AIS, a forward-looking sonar and a crystal ball), and to check for unlit vessels at sea and along shore (far too common). If you can afford one, it could be pretty useful.

AIS: A very useful tool for singlehanders if you get one that you can leave on 24/7 without draining the battery. However, be aware that in the 3rd world areas you mention, you can not be sure that all vessels will be complying with the AIS rules, so a false sense of security might getcha in trouble.

Survival Suit: Not likely needed in these waters.

Para Anchor/ Drogue: Some research into survival tactics for Wharram cats will probably tell you which of these devices will do you the most good. I doubt if you need both.

General comment: One thing I didn't notice was some means of getting weather info while at sea. By this I mean better than trying to listen to the high seas broadcasts from Charleville, which I find pretty useless.
The SSB receiver that you mention, if coupled to a laptop with any of several free bits of software, will get you weather charts from NZed and Oz which cover the areas in question. We would feel quite naked without this basic data!

Now, as to your proposed itinerary: Not a bad plan at all! I assume that you would pass the cyclone season well up in the Sollies. The other areas are all subject to cyclonic storms, and while your cat can get up into the mangroves pretty well, you really don't want to be there!

You don't mention what time of year you expect to depart, and this has a big impact on getting East to New Cal from Brissie (actually, we usually try to leave from Southport... gives a somewhat better sailing angle). By exercising some patience you can usually get a few days of W'ly quadrant winds to start with, and this is well worth doing -- bashing into enhanced SE trades ain't fun in any boat, and I suspect even less in a fairly small Wharram!

So anyhow, I applaud the idea of going, especially with at least one crew, and wish you luck with the voyages. They are all great cruising grounds...

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Gladstone Qld Oz, but about to head south

Cheers for another lengthy response

Radar--hadnt thought of monsoons etc good point,how effective is radar at picking up small local fishing boats??

AIS--hmm i thought they were low power drain how much do they draw??

Para anchor/drogue--do have more research/experimenting to do here but i'm thinking a progressive defense against heavy weather not seperate ie..reef down til nothings left/hove to,if that starts getting wild run with drogue,if thats untenable then out with the para anchor,but i guess if the destination is toward winward ya may as well forget the drogue step an go straight to para anchor from hove to...anyone out there with heavy weather experiance in a wharram???

Weather while at sea--this ssb linked to laptop system You use ,is there an ongoing fee like internet access or something def need to look into this one

Cyclones and itinerary--yep...been up a mangrove creek in Airlee as cyclone Larry approached,no fun,prefer to be out of the belt if possible.

Time of departure--was thinking May ish but then i thought it would be more of a reach in S/E...bashing into trades sure aint my idea of cruising an yes especially on a small Wharram (hence the wetsuit )
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Old 11-12-2009, 00:07   #23
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"Weather while at sea--this ssb linked to laptop system You use ,is there an ongoing fee like internet access or something def need to look into this one"



Creaky,

The wefax charts are broadcast "free to air" by many governments, including Oz and NZed. All you need is a hf receiver, a cable from the audio (headphone) output jack on the radio to the microphone input on the laptop, and a free program called JVcomm32 which can be googled and downloaded from the net.

The program uses the soundcard in your computer to decode the audio signal from the radio, and you get a nice B&W weathermap on the screen. They broadcast a number of different products, including MSLP analysis and varying periods of prognosis forecasts, 500 mb charts, sea temp charts, wave height charts and a hell of a lot of esoteric other things that I don't understand!

If your budget stands for it, adding a Pactor Modem to your transciever brings on-board e-mail and weather "grib" files to your repetoir... all very useful, and a great way to maintain contact with other folks, afloat and ashore.

Crikey, you can spend a lot of money an this stuff...

Cheers,
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:07   #24
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I'd add, consider what you would do if your steering fails and how you'd rig a makeshift rudder.

P.
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:39   #25
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A previous poster mentioned something for sewing up serious wounds. Nowadays EMS professionals almost never sew wounds. They use glue, or staples.

Yep, I said glue. As in regular, old super-glue. Works great for holding skin together. Staples work well also. Here's a link to the sort of stapler that I carry with me.

Skin Stapler & 25 Staples | www.chinookmed.com

This company, Chinook, is a great general resource for first aid supplies of all sorts. The suggestion to carry some Quick-Clot is a good one, also. With a packet of Quick-Clot, some super-glue, and a stapler you are ready to handle pretty much any wound that can be taken care of outside of a full-scale ER.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:29   #26
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As a fellow solo sailor (and solo at many other sports including Cave Diving, etc. thru the years) I would iterate some general advice. "Doing dangerous things safely" is my motto. Thus, know your gear, inside and out. Figuring stuff out in an emergency won't happen, nor will you use something you have not practiced with. For the money, autopilots are the first thing to ensure you have 100% for bad weather. Without them you are stuck behind the wheel and useless to act as crew in a bad situation... I do not know much, but I also know reefing BEFORE bad weather and having a plan for all situations in advance allows action (not panic-which means you're done...) to effectively prevail. I am NO expert. Just applying survival training to this sport from others I am well versed in...
Good luck and have fun!
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:38   #27
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On another note, single gear failure (or failure to act according to the "plan") rarely results in tragedy in other sports. It's MULTIPLE gear/plan failure that is a bad deal. When the first thing goes wrong, Stop and fix it. Don't wait for the second and third thing. Otherwise "Murphy's Law" WILL get you. Ok, enough philosophy. Have a great trip and great weather!
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:47   #28
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What are you doing for auxiliary power?
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:52   #29
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One thing I would not be without on a Wharram - a set of ski goggles.

These boats can attain good speed, but then become very wet!.

The ski goggles are also excellent in dust storms!
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:59   #30
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agreed, except for the "makeshift" part

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishwife View Post
I'd add, consider what you would do if your steering fails and how you'd rig a makeshift rudder.
A lot of people are discovering that makeshift rudders don't work in heavy seas. In previous boats I always had a plan to make a rudder out of a cabin door and the spinnaker pole, but on my newest boat I've installed an actual emergency rudder. I went with an SOS rudder by Scanmar. It's large and its beefy and I hope I never again have to take it out of its locker.
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