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Old 04-09-2007, 23:23   #1
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About 30 Miles in a Maxi 77

Last weekend we did an "international" trip. Me, my son and my partner's son went to Sebana Cove in Malaysia. Sebana Cove is about 11 miles as the crow flies but there is an island (Tekong) that needs to be circumnavigated so the all up distance according to the GPS is 15 miles with the last few miles up a river.

We left around 9:30 after immigration and boat clearance at the club. The wind was up really nice but unfortunately it was right on the nose and we were also beating against the tide. We made a few tacks and I realized that most of the ground made was lost due to the tide so in order to have any chance of making it in a reasonable amount of time I fired up engine and motorsailed the first leg of about 5 miles.

After the turn we had a good 5 mile run on a close haul to the river mouth, then doused the genny and motor sailed the last bit again. Arrival procedures were as simple as dropping our passports at the marina office and telling them when we were leaving (the next day).

We were meeting up with some friends and their boys coming back from Tioman and they had already arrived. The boys acted like it was old home week and disappeared into the jungle, went fishing and what not. Saturday night we joined the Sebana Cove yachties BBQ dinner. Basically the hotel does a BBQ and the Yachties all get a joint table. It was quite pleasant and a fair amount of Captain morgans disappeared as the night progressed.

We fooled around Sunday morning had breakfast and a swim and so on. We collected our passports and hit the river at around 11:30AM.

The ride out the river mouth was again a motor sail but as soon as we hit the opening we were close hauled with full sail. The wind increased steadily throughout the early afternoon and before we made the corner were were in pretty heavy stuff. We were close hauled and the heel angle was getting pretty big. We were also pounding through some 4-5 foot mixed swell. I had furled the genny short and about 2 miles from the corner I ended up furling it all the way in and firing up the engine.

About 1 mile from the corner the wind was whipping the tops of the swells and we were definitely in 25-30knot winds. The swell was very choppy and coming from multiple directions due to the number of obstructions (breakwaters and islands). There was a pretty good sized set of thunderstorms off the port bow but I was pretty sure we would turn downwind before I reached them. I considered that I was sailing solo as neither of the boys is competent crew especially for the seas we were in. To this point the boys were having a blast sitting at the bow and pounding with the waves and getting wet. However, discretion is the better part of valor, so I put 2 reefs in the main as I pressed the last mile to the corner and called the boys into the cockpit.

We ended up getting a lot of water on deck but the cockpit stayed dry except for some spray. Throughout the whole last 2 miles we maintained between 3.5-4.5 knots under sail and motor and I think making good headway caused us to crash the waves a bit but also kept the boat under positive control.

With plenty of wave crashing we finally made the corner and turned downwind. With only the main up with 2 reefs set and the engine at 2,000 rpm I saw 7.8 knots on the gps. Travelling with the swell, the tide and the wind the boat action dropped tremendously and as we weren't perfectly downwind we just got that downwind rolling motion as the swells passed us by.

The thunderstroms in the area disippated over the next 40 minutes and the boys were allowed back up to the foredeck as I unreefed the mainsail. I contemplated setting the genny and dousing the engine but the right sail would have been the spinnaker and at this point I figured I had had my sailing adventure for the weekend, We ended up motorsailing the last 3 miles and as we got close to the club the cats were out loving the fresh wind.

These were the biggest conditions I had been in single handed. I was very mindful of working on deck while furling the main. I got the boys in as soon as I decided to reef the main and definitely didn't want to go over the side without competent crew with me.

I don't know if I would have done anything differently. I didn't feel in trouble or in a panic at any time. I also feel getting rid of sail and using the engine are viable options and the prudent choice. The wind was from the port side and there was an island on the starboard side. I always felt that if the engine quit I would just roll into a starboard tack and drive away from the island to get some sea room.

You don't always get to choose your weather and I feel that I learned a fair amount this last weekend. Certainly I am a lot more confident in our rigging since we had all the standing and running rigging replaced. I wasn't too concerned about breaking anything. I also am glad we repropped the boat. The new prop gives plenty of push and i could really feel it doing it's thing as we crashed through the waves. That was a good modification.

Oh - yeah - tie everything down - LOL. Just about everything ended up on the cabin floor and the cooler (which was already on the floor) ended up upside down dumping 1 1/2 inches of ice water. Took me about an hour to clean it all up after we got back, ha!

Good fun! Comments welcome!
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Old 04-09-2007, 23:50   #2
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Sounds like a fun trip, congrats!

How did the boat handle the tough stuff? I am looking at an older, slightly larger Pelle Peterson design, but I can't find any info. It's a 28.5 footer, very silmilar in concept to yours, so I'm looking for opinions on the quality, seaworthiness, etc.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-09-2007, 01:17   #3
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I don't have a lot to compare it to but in the sub-30 foot range I think we have a great boat. I like the fact that she is a solid lay up and there is no coring anywhere. When we did the thru hull replacements I liked the fact that the hull was 1/2 inch or better of solid glass.

We had some big concerns about the standing rigging but since we replaced all the chainplates and backstay fittings I am very confident in the boat.

I don't think the standing rigging was ever rigged properly and after the fitting replacements I tensioned everything myself according to a Selden tuning guide I found. Since doing that the mast and rigging is a lot more solid, seems to be "working together" with little flex or pumping at any time. The boat just feels solid and I attribute that to a correctly rigged and tuned boat.

We didn't put a ton of thought into the boat we were going to get - there's not a lot of boats available here in the <32 foot range and all we really knew was that we wanted a "starter" boat to learn on. In this regard the boat is absolutely perfect.

In the few times we have been in big seas I was very happy with windward performance. She is probably a heavy boat for her length but not heavy in net weight so she pounds a bit. However, the hull shape directs most all the spray away from the cockpit and we stay pretty dry. She still makes good way to windward and does better in a little heavier air probably because its a heavy boat and we have medium/heavy weight sails. Also, she is a Swedish design and I reckon designed for some cold, nasty, north hemisphere weather.

Here is what I don't like:

Double hulled - in the cabin area she has a fibreglass hull insert. I'd like access to the hull either through floor boards or whatever.

Center table - the salon table folds up on each side of the compression post below decks. It makes passing by the table a PITA even when folded. But in a 27 foot boat it's hard to put it anywhere else.

Head location - The head is located forward of the salon but amidships aft of the v-berth. Kinda weird.

These are minor gripes and all in all i coudn't be happier.
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Old 05-09-2007, 03:43   #4
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Hi Dan, I googled Sebana Cove and have put it on my must visit list for when I'm up there.

Trying to organize a trip on the big silver bird for a 1 month trip in a couple of months to see how summer treats us, but not sure if there'll be any real difference as it only seems to be + - a couple of degrees during the year.

Glad you had a good trip.

Dave
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Old 05-09-2007, 03:50   #5
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Dave - Sounds awesome. If you get anywhere near this neck of the woods please give a holler. Our club has member/guest rentable chalets at around S$60 per night. They aren't fancy (aircon but no tv) but they overlook the moorings and it's hard to knoock waking up and looking at boats ;-)

For sure we'll get a sail or two in. Maybe even a weekender to Sebana Cove. That is if you don't mind a "little" boat - LOL.
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Old 05-09-2007, 04:03   #6
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Ta Mate, If I am down (down from Penang) there on this trip I'm bound to look you up, and with a month up my sleeve I may well do Singa for a week.

I heard that Virgin may be getting in and doing direct flight's to Penang in conjunction with Malaysia airlines, which would be great as KL didnt do much for me, but in all fairness, I only had 2 nights there and after a couple of weeks in Langkawi it freaked me out a bit.

I'll let you know when I know.

Dave
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