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Old 18-05-2007, 08:42   #61
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I can tell from reading the above posts that none of you are experienced sailors. You have all failed to include the most important piece of gear on the boat. Let me enlighten you:


Mainsheet Technical Editor, C400
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Old 18-05-2007, 09:30   #62
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Oops, nearly forgot the other most important item. It goes with the coffe maker:

Now, where else but cruising on a boat can these two go together while enjoying natures most beautiful scenery? Strategically placed in the cockpit, birds chirping outside, it makes for a wonderful start to each cruising day. When used in a crowded anchorage or marina (while in the cockpit), with a nice hot cup of coffe, you will often get the distinction of a man with class and will be left alone to do your business without neighbors knocking on the boat.

THe only problem I have discovered is that you never meet the same nieghbors twice... not sure why.


- CD

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Old 01-09-2007, 20:14   #63
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pirate On the other hand, 70 pounds is a lot of anchor

Hi, Maxingout I have really enjoyed your log, thanks for posting it online. Bugel comes in in the middle of the pack in tests. Don't you think that having 70 pounds of anchor for a 40 odd foot boat might have more to do with your good results than the type? Actually, I want a bigger one than they make, so I may have a really big one made out of aluminum. It is a really simple design, but I think I will have to make it heavier to get the same holding power than a given weight in a design such as a Fortress, Delta or that silly looking anchor with the plastic bubble attached. As far as what you need offshore in the way of gear, if it uses more electricity than you can get out of a dry cell battery, it is strictly optional-based on my Pacific crossing via the scenic route. -An OldYachtie [quote=maxingout;80587]The piece of gear that made the biggest difference in my cruising was my 70 pound Buegel Anchor.
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:56   #64
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Well no one seems to have pointed out perhaps their best piece of gear; let me explain. Yesterday I had guests who live in Iqaluit located in Nunavut (look it up in Wikipedia) who wanted to go sailing. I was having some work done on my main so I said I would take them out if they were comfortable just motoring. Now what you need to know was that yesterday the weather was disgusting; typical Howe Sound fall weather with low lying clouds and rain with some wind; just enough to make it uncomfortable.

The boat I have is an older Catalina (1975) 27 that I have been restoring - but slowly with my new hip replacement. I am the fifth boat owner inheriting the boat from a series of cheap guys whose philosophy was to not a spend an additional dime on the boat. This boat is not equiped with a dodger.

As the rain came drizzling, and sometimes pelting down, I stood inside by the companion way wishing dearly for a dodger, preferably a hard dodger. In my opinion, the only boat that makes any sense in our Pacific North West (American term) weather (or Coastal BC weather) is a motor sailor; perhaps having a hard dodger with some canvas that would surround most of it would give me that motor sailor feel.

I love sailing, even in miserable weather, as long as I can stay relatively dry. I'm guessing most of you have a dodger and take it for granted. If you are the type that sails in the "off" season, especially up here in wet weather paradise, I think you would agree the dodger is right up there for being one of the top pieces of gear.
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Old 03-09-2007, 20:28   #65
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Old Yachtie,

I understand your comments about the weight of my 70 pound Beugel anchor. It's probably heavier than it needs to be. But remember, I was doing a circumnavigation. I anchored in tight anchorages on short scope. I anchored in deep anchorages on short scope. I anchored in remote areas were a dragging anchor could have fatal consequences. It could be the end of the voyage.

I used a 60 pound CQR and dragged it all over New Caledonia, Fiji, and Australia. I got tired of dragging anchor in marginal anchorages.

I converted to Beugel when I cruised in New Caledonia with German yachts. When they put down their 40 lb Beugel anchors, they immediately dug in and stuck to the bottom as if they were superglued in place. Four of us would go into a challenging anchorage, three beugels would instantly dig in to the bottom, and I would try to set my 60 lb CQR two or three times before it held when I backed down on it. It got to be a joke. One of the Germans was a diver, and he said he wanted to dive on my anchor while I was setting it to see what was going wrong.

When it came to anchoring near coral, the Germans using the Beugels would anchor close to shore, way too close to the coral as far as I was concerned. But they never had a problem because their Beugel never dragged. I would never have anchored that close to coral with my CQR.

After one full cruising season in New Caledonia, I was convinced. I also met a prominent German cruising author who was sailing on his Privilege 45 Catamaran around the world, and he had a Beugel anchor on his bow. I asked him how he liked it. He said that he formerly used a 60 pound CQR, but he had a problem with it dragging. When he switched to a 60 Beugel, his anchoring problems disappeared.

That pretty much made up my mind that I had to give Beugel a try. When I got back to Australia, I went to Main Street Metals and had them fabricate an anchor for me. They make them in all sizes - from 2 pounds to over 200 pounds. They would give me any size I wanted, and they would construct it out of high tensile steel if I wanted. I selected the biggest anchor that I could fit on my bow roller, and that was a 70 pound Beugel design. They said it would work for sure because that size anchor had held hundred ton fishing trawlers off the coast of Australia where they anchored in 400 feet of water. In fact, they told me that they once had two trawlers lying in tandem to the same anchor, and the anchor held, but unfortunately, it pulled the bollard out of the deck in a storm with both trawlers lying to the single anchor.

I put the seventy pounder on my bow roller, and sailed from Australia back to America by way of Thailand and the Red Sea. In the two year trip, I only had two times when the anchor did not set well. Once on a steeply sloping bottom in the Red Sea I could not get a strong set in fifty feet of water, but it didn't matter because the weather was settled. The other time it didn't set properly was on a rocky bottom in the Canary Islands. During the rest of the circumnavigation, the anchor was unstoppable.

Would a sixty pound Beugel have done the same thing? Probably. But I was so tired of dragging my 60 pound CQR around the sea bed, I decided to go for the seventy pound Beugel. Since I got my Beugel design, I have slept soundly in storm tossed anchorages half way around the world. It worked for me, and for everyone I know personally who have used them.

Even though I trust my Beugel 100%, I always back down on it to be sure that it has dug into the seabed. Occasionally there is hard pan on the bottom, and I wouldn't trust my boat to a Beugel if there's nothing on the bottom that it can dig into.

The other reason I'm sold on Beugel is because when there is a wind or tide shift, the Beugel resets and does not drag. I could never trust my CQR to reset in those same conditions.

I had a 200 foot all chain rode, and I would have thought the CQR would do the job. Most of the time it did in the easy anchorages. But when things were dicey, and the anchorage was difficult, the Beugel exceeded my expectations.
Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
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Old 03-09-2007, 21:37   #66
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Great read!! I find this thread of great interest and learning even more.. Cheers
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Old 09-11-2007, 13:41   #67
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My best investment....without a wind-vane. Mine happened to be an Aries. There are other good ones as well. It steered effortlessly and tirelessly through 2 circumnavigations under the most severe conditions imaginable. Second is my parachute sea anchor.....that's a story for another time.

My worst investment.....liferaft. I'd never have another one. IMHO, they are a recipe for disaster for a cruising vessel. I'm sure that will get me a lot of flack but that's my concidered opinion and no one can change it. I've known too many people that have died because of those things. In many events, the boat is later found empty, in sailing condition or lying on a reef after drifting for months. Most life rafts are found empty or never found at all.
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Old 09-11-2007, 16:47   #68
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OK…….Back to the Parachute sea anchor.

In ’95 I met a young man named Brian Caldwell in Fiji. He was a single-hander attempting to break the record for youngest single-handed circumnavigator in his Contessa 26. At the same time, a young man named Donald Kang was going for the 1st Korean single-handed circumnavigator. We sailed together through many countries, including So Africa and have been close friends ever since.

While sailing, we kept in contact via SSB. That’s when I 1st heard of using a parachute sea anchor. Brian used one fairly often to take a break during fowl weather or sometimes, just to have some rest. Upon hearing this, Donald decided that he would like to have one.

My wife and I ran a canvas repair business on our boat while we were cruising so I told Donald, if he would pay for the materials, I would design and build him one superior to the commercial one that Brian had. While I was at it, I built a bigger one for myself.

Donald used his while crossing the Indian Ocean and found it invaluable in 50+ kts of wind. 50 kts didn’t bother my larger boat (Passport 45) that much so I kept moving. However, when I later encountered a storm with 60+ kts and very confused seas, I decided to deploy it. Long ocean passages have never been the same since.

As soon as the wind hits 45 kts, I stop, deploy the parachute and relax through the storm. Utter chaos suddenly becomes a beautiful serenity. Watching the clouds race across the sky and lightening flash took on a whole new meaning.

Since that time, I built about 20 parachute sea anchors, up to 25’ in diameter for cruising vessels. One time, I took a bunch of guys out, in Durbin So Africa, in a gale, just to show them what it was like. It was blowing about 45 and the seas in the apposing current were huge. It was chaos and some of the guys wanted to go back. I deployed the Parachute, Kanani rounded up and we all sat in the cockpit drinking coffee at laughing at a school of Dolphin that decided to jump though the wake of the parachute. It is truly an amazing experience and the 2nd best cruising tool that I have ever had (1st will always be the wind-vane).

As for my philosophy on the life-raft. I strongly feel that in 90% of cases that life-rafts are deployed on a cruising yacht, the time and hazard that it takes to deploy and get into a life raft would be FAR better used to save the primary vessel. I can’t tell you how many people that I have heard on the SSB telling that they are abandoning ship because the boat rolled or the boat was dismasted or the boat was holed. I know of one person that abandoned ship because his engine quit and his mainsail halyard was up the mast and a storm was coming…..go figure.

In a time of panic and confusion, a life raft seems like a way to safety. NOTHING can be farther from the truth. It’s easy enough to say, “I wouldn’t abandon my boat unless it sinks right out from under me and I have to cut the life-raft free”. The FACT is….it doesn’t work that way. When panic sets in, everything changes. Rational thinking is lost. I was in the Queen’s Birthday Storm between NZ and Fiji in ’95. There was a crew of 6 professional sailors on a racing boat the abandoned ship for a life raft. The life-raft was later found empty. Every life-raft that was deployed in that storm was found empty. I have heard that story a hundred times.

In that same storm, at least 6 vessels were abandoned to later be found whole and floating. I had a cruising friend that found an empty life raft in the Tasman Sea. Never did find out who it belonged to. The stories are endless. I’ve never (personally) heard of anyone from a cruising yacht, successfully being rescued from a life-raft out of the myriad of stories of tragedy.

I won’t have one on my boat. IMHO, they are a hazard to a sailor. If a sailor has NO CHOICE but to save his vessel, he will be able to do it, 9 times out of 10. If he opts for the life-raft, the chances of survival are very slim indeed.

I paid $5000 for a life-raft in ’85, worst investment I ever made. In ’89, I took it to have it serviced and they found it delaminated and it wouldn’t even begin to hold air. The inflator didn’t work and the entire package was scrapped. I never had a life-raft again.
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Old 09-11-2007, 20:43   #69
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By far, the best money ever spent on the boat I run for a living is a heater that runs off waste engine heat. The second best investment is an electronic chart....but thats just because of the nature of my work.

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Old 29-03-2008, 22:31   #70
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the best gear

my boat is much smaller than most of yours. after using it for 28 years in the pacific nw i have added radar, 3 gps, soild fuel heater, auto pilot, wind vane. i am in the prosess of installing an inboard dielsel. i think that might be plenty for a 25 foot boat. mabe?
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Old 10-05-2008, 11:14   #71
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Auto pilot……GPS….sailed for two years with out either….boy are they nice.
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Old 10-05-2008, 20:58   #72
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Originally Posted by Kanani View Post
In many events, the boat is later found empty, in sailing condition or lying on a reef after drifting for months. Most life rafts are found empty or never found at all.
I know you are speaking from experience but these sort of statements always get me lathering for some real data.

Does anyone know of any sort of site (Coast Guard etc.) that would keep "real" statistics on this sort of stuff.

For example - In 1997 there were 20 empty liferafts found and 10 empty boats in sailing condition...

I'd have the raft but there would be strict rules about when it gets launched. Read the Fastnet book "left for dead." That's a darn good read on "when" and "if" you should abandon the boat.

In this case, Kanani, by your interpretation the boat should not have been abandoned because it was later found floating...

Not trying to pick a fight but I think the raft has a spot. The guidelines for when to deploy it have to be clear. I do agree that I would rather be on a 40 foot "liferaft" made of Fiberglass with no mast than a 6 foot liferaft made of rubber.

Getting into that raft is the absolute last thing you'd want to do.
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Old 12-05-2008, 17:02   #73
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Without a doubt 2 great things added to the boat:

1) Engel fridge/freezer (in addition to the boat's fridge) - what a great product! Very high quality, rugged, accurate temp control, extremely low power consumption.

2) Espar Diesel forced air heater. Just set the thermostat and curl up with a book or a video. Also good for sailing in cold weather - leave it on and go below once in a while to warm up.
Have fun, its the best thing to have!
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Old 13-05-2008, 06:58   #74
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I have an alternative way to download weather fax without the expensive SSB instalation. Get a Grundig yachtboy shortwave radio receiver, a double ended audio cable, download JVComm 32 to your laptop, connect the headset plug on the radio to the microphone plug on the computer and you're all set. Total investment of about $100 assuming you already own a laptop computer. We used this rig across the gulf of Mexico and throughout the Bahamas and it worked great.
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Old 13-05-2008, 07:18   #75
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thanks for the info

Just found this forum and this thread is a great introduction! I bought my 30 ft Tartan 1975 last year to learn how to sail , then when I decide to retire ( 2012 ???2016) maybe continue costal crusing Nova Scotia or off to jolly old England etc.
Alot to learn ; thanks for the good info !

We bought her in Grand Manan and sailed her home last October. It was an amazing experience ; I am estimating the value returned to us for the wonderful week of coastal crusing from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia was equal to about half of what I paid for the boat. I installed a cabin heater(propane) that made the October trip comfortable.

good deal finding this forum !

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