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Old 27-09-2016, 19:07   #1
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Everglades Challenge, Catamaran

I know this is forum is primarily focussed on cruising. I am looking for input on an offshore dinghy race. The race is the Everglades Challenge. 300 miles off shore/or inshore in an open boat, non stop unassisted in the gulf of mexico.

We are experienced sailors, but have limited experience with racing, especially off shore. We have already purchased a boat, a Prindle 16.

Does anyone have advice for racing offshore in a beach cat in the everglades region? Specifically, self furling headsail choice, oar vs paddle, anything else useful? The Prindle is a beach cat with a fractional rig and big roached main.

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Old 28-09-2016, 06:16   #2
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Re: Everglades Challenge, Catamaran

Cool! Cant offer any real advise, never having done anything like that, but I think it is most important to spend as much time as possible sailing and sleeping on the boat before the race. Maybe try a mix of propulsion options. I like a yuloh, but it might not work well for "motor" sailing unless you can set it up to one side of the main.

I am guessing having lots of differnt ways to move the boat means you can change muscle groups as need they get tired. Prehaps a mirage drive to use the legs?

Good reefing options, mayne a proper roller reefer for the jib so you can use it as a fine control of speed? Bivvy bag for sleeping?

Maybe an electric autopilot for when you are "motorsailing" and for catnaps and food prep.

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Old 28-09-2016, 08:13   #3
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Re: Everglades Challenge, Catamaran

Did that route (everglades part) in a 18 ft sharpie alone in 2001 but not during the race.
In the glades there is a fair amount of sailing with an easterly component from the trades and often narrow passages between the connecting bays with dense vegetation nearby blocking the bring paddles.
Contact the Everglades park service and get their camping guide ,bring water ,water and more water. This is serious sh!t ;DO NOT wing it! Saw many huge gators , I would not go in water above ankles and the is almost no dry land ,mostly impenetrable mangrove with mosquitoes.
I don't know how rigged the race rules are now,but would consider staying in the Gulf a long as possible before diving into the Glades where a sailing boat will have better wind.

I do not consider it necessary to have "off shore" experience for the gulf legs,much of which can be sailed in water of a few fathoms;but you should be quite experienced (wilderness) camping on your craft and on some of the beaches along the gulf.
Do your homework,ck you tube, blogs,etc. so you will have a realistic evaluation of what you will be confronting.

The rangers told me that I was the first that they knew of to do the Everglades alone in a sailboat. (draft 9" board up)....but back then there were a few areas where the mast needed to be lowered to clear overhanging vines and it was otherwise no particularly epic feat.
If you search this site you should come across where I have written more

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Old 28-09-2016, 09:17   #4
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Re: Everglades Challenge, Catamaran

Short of a custom build I would recommend a Tornado.

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
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Old 28-09-2016, 09:51   #5
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Re: Everglades Challenge, Catamaran

I had a P16 and loved it. In fact, I almost bought one last week, but figured I didn't need one more thing to maintain.

Get a cooler rack that mounts at the mast base. I had one that a small Coleman camp cooler dropped right into.

You'll also want a dry bag for food and clothes.

I had an extra reef point put in my main, and it worked marvelously.

Make sure you have extra rope in case you bust a shroud or halyard.

Maybe a couple VHF radios too. And what are you going to do about lights? Even if you don't have to have running lights you'll want a flashlight. And compass and GPS and enough batteries for the GPS.
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