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Old 30-12-2006, 02:17   #1
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Offshore

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kipper
I've got a Mahe on order but have to wait until Nov 2007 for delivery

I'm actually gonna pick her up in La Rochelle and bring her across the pond with my brother... my first offshore passage, I must be mad!
Although I'd done thousands of miles around the coast of Britain and across to France, my first serious offshore passage was delivering my boat from Les Sables d'Olonne - just up the coast from La Rochelle - to the Caribbean.

As I'd also only sailed any sort of cat for two weekends I took a Privilege delivery skipper with me as far as the Canaries so he could teach me my boat and also about cat sailing in general. I was very glad I did as he was a great guy who taught me a lot.

You might look at doing the same... maybe just as far as Portugal.
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Old 31-12-2006, 07:44   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannius
Although I'd done thousands of miles around the coast of Britain and across to France, my first serious offshore passage was delivering my boat from Les Sables d'Olonne - just up the coast from La Rochelle - to the Caribbean.

As I'd also only sailed any sort of cat for two weekends I took a Privilege delivery skipper with me as far as the Canaries so he could teach me my boat and also about cat sailing in general. I was very glad I did as he was a great guy who taught me a lot.

You might look at doing the same... maybe just as far as Portugal.

I've sailed a cat before but just baby sailing in the Virgin Islands

The Bay of Biscay is probably the most worrying passage but I've got plenty of time so I can wait for a good weather window. It does have a fairly fearsome reputation though, especially at that time if the year, so it's definitely not a passage to be taken lightly.

I did consider a captain for that first leg but with the right storm gear (drogue / para-anchor) and a conservative approach I feel pretty comfortable.

Just counting down the months to the big trip now
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Old 31-12-2006, 13:41   #3
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Kipper I thought of doing what you want to do.since my boat was suppose to be done in December several people told me that may be it was not such a good idea to be in the bay of Biscay in late december. anyway my boat is not ready now....should be in Ft Lauderdale some time in the near future.JC.
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Old 22-01-2007, 15:45   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kipper
I've got a Mahe on order but have to wait until Nov 2007 for delivery

I'm actually gonna pick her up in La Rochelle and bring her across the pond with my brother... my first offshore passage, I must be mad!

I had my new Privilige 39 sailed by delivery skipper from Sable d'Olonne, France to Felixtowe, England. On the delivery, the skipper ran into something and knocked an eight inch hole in the starboard bow. Fortuantely, there is a collison bulkhead about a foot back from the bow, and only a few liters of water entered into the small water-tight compartment ahead of the collision bulkhead. Sounds like bad luck. Right?

Well, actually it probably turned out to be good luck. We ground out the temporary repair to the bow after the boat arrived in Fort Lauderdale. Then we massively beefed up the bow so the glass was about twice as thick as normal. This came in handy when we were sailing in the Indian Ocean south of Sri Lanka after the Global Tsunami because there were giant logs floating in the water, and at night this same bow ran into a log in the dark. Because the bow was so beefed up, we only chipped the gel coat. So there you have it. Sometimes what seems to be bad turns out to be something good. For pictures, check out DEBRIOSAURUS* REX* THE TREE THAT WANTED TO EAT MY BOAT* Once upon a time there was a tree that wanted to eat my boat

With respect to sailing across the Bay of Biscay in winter. You are a braver person than I. The distances are just too great to be guaranteed a weather window that keeps you from getting hurt. On the other hand, it could be a real opportunity to get some experience with a parachute sea anchor or drogue.

Go to Maxingout.com and click on Maxingout Podcast #1 - The Perfect Storm, and you can hear what it's like to deal with a storm using drogues and parachutes.

I personally wouldn't make the trip across the Biscay in the winter in a new untested yacht even if I had a parachute sea anchor and a drogue. The parachute attachment points have not been tested, and the Mahi 36 has bridle attachments to the forward crossbeam. I wouldn't put a parachute to a crossbeam because of the risk of pulling out the crossbeam and doing a backward capsize.

If I were in your shoes, I would delay the delivery of my catamaran from the factory until the spring when I could do proper sea trials and I would have time to prepare the boat for the transatlantic passage.

If delay was impossible, I would seriously consider shipping it transatlantic at that time of year.

When we crossed the Atlantic, we had three days of 45 knot winds on the trip from Gibraltar to the Canaries during the month of November. If you want to see what it's like to be in those conditions dragging warps, go to Video and click on the video called WARP SPEED. That was a relatively easy storm to deal with, although the monohulls that we were sailing with were taking knockdowns, filling their cockpits with water. One monohull got two inches of water in their galley.

I don't want to discourage you, but at the same time, if your boat isn't fully prepared for what could happen, the amount of damge you could sustain could easily exceed the cost of shipping.


I confess that I am a belt and suspenders type of person who builds hundred ton bridges and then drives twenty ton trucks over them. But, so far, I have survived intact, knock on wood. I have an exceptionally well equipped catamaran that takes a licking and keeps on ticking. But part of the reason that I'm still around is that I sail offshore in the right season.

If you do choose to cross the Bay of Biscay in the winter, be sure to take a video camera because you may have an opportunity to capture some awesome footage.

Keep on keeping on mate, and good luck

Dave
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Old 22-01-2007, 17:10   #5
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Thank you, Dave, for the perspective of your experience.

Frankly, the Bay of Biscay scares me. I don't think I want anything to do with it during that time of the year, regardless if the boat has been tried and tested, or not. See attached for the reason.

Sure, I want to play with my new toy -- for a long time.

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Old 23-01-2007, 07:09   #6
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Interesting stuff Dave.Just one question!you are talking about using Parachute or Drogue from the bow ,I thought it is not a good idea on a cat,and that you should always do it from the stern and run away from heavy seas....JC.
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Old 23-01-2007, 08:10   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jean1146
Interesting stuff Dave.Just one question!you are talking about using Parachute or Drogue from the bow ,I thought it is not a good idea on a cat,and that you should always do it from the stern and run away from heavy seas....JC.
I use the 18 foot diamater parachute from the bow, and the drogues from the stern.

On the bows I have 25 inch chainplates installed in the decks that I attach the parachute to. That gives the bridle a secure attachment to the port and starboard hulls. It's bullet proof and chafe proof, and represents my ultimate survival tool if the worst should happen.

The drogues are trailed from the stern. They do an awesome job of controlling boat speed when running downwind in a gale. I have two drogues on board. I have a 120 cone Jordan series drogue, and I have never used this particular drogue. The only time I have used a drogue was running downwind for three days on the way to the Canary Islands from Gibraltar. In this particular instance, I used an "Abbott" drogue that I have named after myself. This drogue consists of loops of one inch three strand nylon that I loop behind the catamaran. But the loops are more than simply loops of rope. On these loops of rope I install carriers that I slide down the ropes to increase the effect of the drogue. What are these carriers? I simply use four foot sections of plastic water hose as the carriers and on these carriers I wrap anchor chain, dingy chain, dingy anchors, or whatever, and I tie these heavy weights securely to the hose carriers. I slip the plastic water hose carriers over the loops of rope, and then slide those carriers down the rope and into the water. The carriers with attached weights immediately slide back to the middle of the rope loop that I am trailing in the water. If I want more drogue effect, I put more carriers and more weight on my warps and then let them slide down the rope loop and slow the boat down even more. The "Abbott" drogue is an infinitely adjust loop of rope in which you can send as many carriers and weight down the loop as you need to use in order to control your speed when running downwind.

I like the "Abbott" drogue because it does a couple of things.
1. You can adjust the power of the drogue. If you need more drogue power, you simply send another carrier with attached weights down the rope loop to increase the drag in the water.
2. You can adjust the distance of the drogue from the boat by simply letting out more warp or taking in more of the warp loop using winches. The drogue should be consistently on the back side of any charging seas so that you are pulling the drogue through the wave rather than out of the front of the wave and losing drogue effect.
3. You can easily retrieve the drogue when you don't need it any more by winching it in with your cockpit winches. And when you winch it in, the carriers and the attached weight stay centered in the warp loop as you haul it in. That means you don't lose drogue effect and at the same time it's easy to retrieve once it's right behind the yacht.
4. You can construct an "Abbott" drogue using materials that are already on the yacht, and it's not expensive. You need at least 200 feet of line, and three or four pieces of flexible plastic water hose to use as carriers, and anchor chain and dingy anchors to attach to the carriers with shackles and ties.

If you want to see how it really works, go to my web site and view captainslogarchive27 - Survive The Savage Seas. There you will see a picture of two warps behind the catamaran in 40 knots of wind and eighteen foot seas out in the Atlantic. SURVIVING THE SAVAGE SEAS

There is also a complete account of what it was like to use the "Abbott" drogue.

It worked for me, and it might work well for you.

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Old 23-01-2007, 09:25   #8
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Dave thank you for all this information....awsome.I will take time to go trhough your website. Compare to you I feel very humble,our cat is coming soon,so the learning process will start soon......JC.
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Old 23-01-2007, 13:11   #9
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Maxingout.... Great video. Wonderful to see how stable everything was and how little drama even in 40 knots of breeze.
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Old 23-01-2007, 16:40   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannius
Maxingout.... Great video. Wonderful to see how stable everything was and how little drama even in 40 knots of breeze.
Most people are surprised when they see how stable things are in a catamaran in 40 to 50 knots of wind and twenty foot seas. The secret is slowing the boat down enough so that it's no longer smashing into walls of water or jumping off waves.

We had surfed up to eighteen knots and things were getting worrisome before we put out our drogues. If the autopilot failed, we could have had major strife at those speeds.

When both of our drogues were out, our boat speed dropped down to four and a half knots. It was amazing to watch the seas lift our stern as we sailed comfortably along without any worries. We didn't take a drop of water in our cockpit. What you see in the video was exactly the way it was. The monohulls that we were with continued sailing at eight to ten knots, and they had to deal with knockdowns and water filling the cockpit.

The monohulls arrived in Graciosa Island in the Canaries about twelve hours earlier than us, so that is the price we paid for slowing down to four and a half knots.

We talked with the monohulls as we were going through the same storm, and what I heard made me glad that I was on a catamaran. They were suffering while we were sleeping.

One of the advantages of a catamaran is that it has such great directional stability from having two hulls in the water. It's like being on railroad tracks downwind. And when you put a couple of powerful drogues behind your yacht, it effectively increases the length of your yacht to more than a hundred feet overall - Boat length plus drogue length. When you slow the boat down, and add massive directional stability to the situation using drogues, you go through your 40 knot gale and still get your sleep.

Catamarans are awesome.

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Old 07-05-2007, 11:45   #11
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We just got back from Guadeloupe with our new Mahe.we did 1500 Miles in 2 weeks in all kind of weather from nice to not so nice.Very happy with the boat,our autopilot died on us in the virgin island,so the rest of the trip was all hand steering,average speed was 7 to 9 with top at 14Knots....I will post pictures as soon as I can.JC.
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Old 28-09-2007, 06:57   #12
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Original Thread

My brother, Prout sailor for several years, says sail through storms because you'll get out of them quicker. Don't drogue. Difference was the Prout had the staysail which was great for heavy weather! Either way guests sleep for'rd, it can get pretty bumpy in the bows. Take care balancing provisions too for the long hop.
Solar panels maybe, wind generators too big for sail boats. AND NOISY.
Think hard about your lifeboat. Solar panel + satnav, watermaker, glucose for when you get into it after a thorough chilling and A SAIL so you can complete the trip in a reasonable time. And always wear your harness when out of the cabin with the cord short enough for you to climb back on board. You can't swim at six knots to catch up. So choose your dinghy as your lifeboat of choice and the liferaft as a survival suit with a limited survival time.
Made sense to me but I've yet to order my Mahe.
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Old 28-09-2007, 07:02   #13
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From Euro. That is a uniquely French style, something to do with those silly berret things.
Much more usefull would be side protection, the neighboring boat at Southampton show had caravan syle awning to either side which was alot more comfortable in a breeze and you wouldn't be out in the rain anyway.
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Old 19-04-2008, 04:33   #14
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We was based in Preston, Lancashire, We was based in Preston, Lancashire,
Know it well. I have a good friend who lives there. I'm originally from Liverpool and spent a lot of my youth in Rainford, near Ormskirk. Are you doing the ARC? I work with the organisers on their position tracking and event management software and I'll probably be down in St Lucia for the finish.
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Old 20-04-2008, 22:25   #15
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Mike - we are thinking about it and I have follwed the ARC for the last couple of years, plus I have seen you mention your work on other web sites, keep up the good work and I know Rainford well, hopefully will see you across the other side and have a few scoops.
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