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Old 21-09-2013, 14:46   #1
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Atlantic crossing countdown started: advice welcome

Hi everybody

The 2013 summer sailing season is just about over and here we are
thinking about our sailing plan for autumn 2014. To say the truth we
have been thinking and talking about it for quite a while now.

Whatís the project? Itís crossing the Atlantic leaving from the Canary
Islands late November 2104.

The boat: Moody 36CC
The crew: two persons: Captain 64 and wife 63 and no to forget the 10 lb dog (a real sailor born on the boat on Dec 19th 2010).

Right now our sailboat is in the marina resting after having spent
summer sailing form Valencia, Spain, Balearic Islands, Sardinia,
Sicily, Corfu and back.

I must admit that on more than one occasion we had very, very strong
winds building up in no time, strong enough to damage the sails, but
no personal damage. Now the sails are out to be repaired and inspected
to see if they can be used to cross the Atlantic or if we need new
ones. The wind also broke the radio antenna so that also needs to be
repaired or replaced.

We purchased a wind generator and are in the process of installing it.

As the title says all advise is welcome.

Thank you
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Old 21-09-2013, 16:38   #2
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Re: Atlantic crossing countdown started: advice welcome

Check your dog's rights ahead for the destinations planned. Carry relevant paperwork.

Do not put to much faith in windgens on predominantly downwind routes.

Arrive in Canary Islands with your boat virtually ready for the crossing. Getting spares, things done, etc. can be very time consuming here.

Start adjusting your boat and your thinking towards a 'minimum-optimum' set-up. There are no refueling points mid ocean and it is a long voyage. Make sure all the basics are well taken care of: hull and rigging, sails, engine, water supply, your health, etc. Frills are nice but it is the essentials that make or break.

Think forward of how you want the boat to get back to the EU side (if at all). It is relatively easy to sail to the West Indies; it may be a relatively harder task to sail her back from the West Indies to the EU.

Take care, dream big, go for it,
b.
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Old 21-09-2013, 18:56   #3
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Re: Atlantic crossing countdown started: advice welcome

Thanks barnakiel

We plan to sail back to Spain in Spring.

Next spring we will have the boat in dry dock to check everything that's under the water line, and to clean and paint the hull (antifouling).

The boat has a holding capacity of 250l of water in two connected tanks, it also has a 250l diesel tank.

What sails do you recommend?
We have to check all the rigging.

The engine is a Ford 60HP and the cap can dismount it and remount it with his eyes closed, or just about ;-)

We also want to review all the electrical system, just in case...

As for power supply apart from the wind generator we have 2 solar plates (a flexible one dedicated to the windlass and another one 85W for electrical needs.

What is your opinion on satellite phones a must or a no?
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Old 21-09-2013, 19:11   #4
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pirate Re: Atlantic crossing countdown started: advice welcome

Good advice from Barni... may I suggest you fit a T joint and a tap in the hose connecting your two tanks if you have an electric pump system... that way if for some reason your elec dies you can still access your water... been there..
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Old 21-09-2013, 19:21   #5
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Re: Atlantic crossing countdown started: advice welcome

Good idea boatman, thanks
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Old 22-09-2013, 09:49   #6
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Re: Atlantic crossing countdown started: advice welcome

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquah View Post

(...)

What sails do you recommend?

(...)

We have to check all the rigging.

(...)

electrical needs.

(...)

What is your opinion on satellite phones a must or a no?
1. A sound main and a jib will get you there. Extra sails may get you there sooner but a jet plane can get you there even sooner. So, I would stick to whatever there is in your wardrobe and simply optimize your set-up for larger than otherwise amount of broad reaching / running days. Extra long spinnaker pole helps heaps if you opt for a wing-and-wing configuration.

2. Depending on age and use of what you have, you may actually like to replace some (or all) of your standing rigging. Any failure in this department will render the adventure much less fun. Remember all elements count: chainplates, toggles, rigging screws, pins and rings, wire, terminals AND in-mast backing plates ... Make sure all your kit is thoroughly sound and replace / upgrade any elements that you consider in need of replacement or upgrade. You can read on Navtec website their recommendations. You want a quality rigger for all jobs.

3. Windvane may save plenty of power consumed otherwise by an AP (much as it makes sense to have both). A fridge can be turned off. Emgncy GPS units can be run of AA batteries. ETC. Produce more, consume less, monitor your batteries, and you are fine.

4. Sat phones are optional extras. If you feel you need one, get one.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 22-09-2013, 10:34   #7
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Re: Atlantic crossing countdown started: advice welcome

Make sure you have a good dedicated sea bunk with a fan. Set up proper lee cloths that are sturdy. Set up proper jacklines on deck. Make sure you have a good preventor for the main. I like to have some back up if I have a single autopilot. Pack a proper ditch kit with your life raft. Bring along a couple of snatch blocks for sheeting on the rail and setting up a preventor. Buy a couple of LED headlamps for working on the foredeck at night. A good thermos comes in handy. If your nav lites are not LED change them as they draw too much. Make sure you have proper spares. Check batteries with a load tester if not recent . If you don't have a spinnaker/whisker pole, get one. Check your halyards where they pass thru the sheaves. If you like music have a small portable player, bring enough books or Kindle loaded up.
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Old 24-09-2013, 13:03   #8
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Re: Atlantic crossing countdown started: advice welcome

Hi everybody and thank you very much for all the precious advice you are giving us.

Barnakiel, yes we are dreaming big (sure hope it’s not too big) and will work hard to make this dream come true even if we do not have many years of sailing backing us.

Our sail inventory consists of: 1 main sail, 2 genoas and 1 cruising chute.
Right now we have a spinnaker pole that comes from our first boat a Samurai 21, so either we extend it (I don’t know if it’s possible), buy one or go without.

The AP we have is an Autohelm ST4000 with spares. We also have and ST2000 (for tiller) which could be used in last resort.

Apart from the standard VHF radio we also have a SSB radio so I guess the satellite phone will go to the nice to have list and if budget permits once everything is in top shape we’ll consider it.

Thank for mentioning the Navtec website

Robert sailor: Lights: for now we have LEDs in the cabin but the nav lights still have not been changed
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Old 24-09-2013, 19:08   #9
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Re: Atlantic crossing countdown started: advice welcome

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquah View Post

(...)

The AP we have is an Autohelm ST4000 with spares. We also have and ST2000 (for tiller) which could be used in last resort.

(...)

Robert sailor: Lights: for now we have LEDs in the cabin but the nav lights still have not been changed
Hi guys,

Check if a windvane is something you might like to have. IMHO a windvane goes very well with any boat that plans a many days' passage, especially when there are not too many crew onboard. A great energy saver too.

It is a great idea to convert to LED navlights especially the one you use on passages (on many boats this is the tri-color toplight), and the anchor light (if you plan to use anchorages a lot). Another huge energy saver here.

Existing tri-color lamps can be 're-used' if you opt for three colour LEDs. You can get them from Mast Products or any other maker.

When you extend your spinnaker pole the diameter of the tube counts but a slightly smaller diameter can be used if the only use of the pole is to pole out genoas.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 25-09-2013, 15:31   #10
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Re: Atlantic crossing countdown started: advice welcome

Hi barnakiel

Yes we are shopping for a used windvane, which I guess will be more economical than a new one.

Yes are intention is to use anchorages a lot.
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Old 25-09-2013, 16:08   #11
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Re: Atlantic crossing countdown started: advice welcome

If buying s/h make sure you understand what you are buying. Windvanes have some serviceable parts, etc. and they can be hard to get for older models.

All other things equal, I would buy new and a top shelf make.

Look into your AP's specs too, I might be wrong but you might be sitting on the top limit of its displacement range. APs, like anything, hate getting overloaded. Downwind sailing puts an extra strain on APs so make sure yours will be there for you when you need it most.

Have fun sailing and shopping. This year's ARC are just beginning to sail in. I get plenty of fun watching the newer designs (and the shows ;-)).

Cheers,
b.
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