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Old 14-09-2014, 07:10   #1
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Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

I was able to get out of Onancock Creek before the NW Wind pushed me aground and ride this passing front down to Kiptopeke on June 14th 2014. One of the weather buoys I passed had the wind between 24-28 for about 4 hours.

My $2,000 Bristol 27 handle this cruise pretty easily but it beat me down a bit since I had the main up and had to be on the tiller constantly for about 7 hours.

The videos are before the wind peaked, but I was already tired from lack of sleep. Typical sailing vacation for a person that doesn't sleep on the boat a lot.



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Old 14-09-2014, 11:36   #2
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

Nice. She's a good old boat and I like where you put that solar panel, although it might be tricky walking back there when you have to lower the outboard. Many years ago I met a couple that spent six months in the Bahamas on a Bristol 27.
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Old 14-09-2014, 11:38   #3
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

Time for a wind vane self steering.
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Old 14-09-2014, 13:28   #4
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

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Yeah, I had things set wrong that whole day.

I had to use the main to get out of the creek. My 5 hp motor wouldn't hold the boat against that heavy NW wind coming out the creek which was on the starboard to windward on the way out.

As soon as I cleared the last channel markers, I headed south (to port) and forgot that there was very little water over there and had to come back to a more westerly course.

After I did get well out into the bay, the waves were affecting my gut a bit so I left the main up. I figured I might blow chunks if I stopped to bring it down.

The boat was trying to turn up into the wind the next 5-6 hours because of the main and the strength of the wind. It got to the point where I had to turn down hard when the waves were breaking close to the stern. I was glad the wind didn't increase much more.

If I'd had just the jib flying alone without the main, my tiller autopilot could probably have handled the steering. My main only has a single set of reef points also and it was already reefed.
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Old 15-09-2014, 07:29   #5
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
Nice. She's a good old boat and I like where you put that solar panel, although it might be tricky walking back there when you have to lower the outboard. Many years ago I met a couple that spent six months in the Bahamas on a Bristol 27.
I just stand on the port side (as in port side of the boat) of the solar panel when raising and lowering the motor. In the video, the motor isn't all the way up. I just never got around to it for about 6 hours. If I was on a long cruise, I'd probably just mount that engine on the stern railing where the last owner kept his dinghy outboard.

I have to more 20 watt solar panels I'm going to mount on the stern railing along the sides which will be more than enough to run all my electronics and my 1500 watt inverter. The panels charge two 12 volt batteries which or in parallel.
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Old 15-09-2014, 17:02   #6
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

Thanks for the videos. My first sail down the the Chesapeake was two years ago when I purchased a gaff/cutter rigged Flicka “Wren” at Middle River, MD and motor sailed her down and across the ICW single hand to Rockport, TX.. 90 days on the water. I'm heading back to Baltimore this October to crew on the schooner Mystic Wailer. In “The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. Is anyone else reading this going to be there? I will also be crewing to and from the race on another schooner “Quintessence.” I can then log the rest of the Chesapeake from Toms River, NJ to Portsmouth although not as skipper this time!
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Old 15-09-2014, 17:52   #7
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Yeah, I had things set wrong that whole day.

I had to use the main to get out of the creek. My 5 hp motor wouldn't hold the boat against that heavy NW wind coming out the creek which was on the starboard to windward on the way out.

As soon as I cleared the last channel markers, I headed south (to port) and forgot that there was very little water over there and had to come back to a more westerly course.

After I did get well out into the bay, the waves were affecting my gut a bit so I left the main up. I figured I might blow chunks if I stopped to bring it down.

The boat was trying to turn up into the wind the next 5-6 hours because of the main and the strength of the wind. It got to the point where I had to turn down hard when the waves were breaking close to the stern. I was glad the wind didn't increase much more.

If I'd had just the jib flying alone without the main, my tiller autopilot could probably have handled the steering. My main only has a single set of reef points also and it was already reefed.
Looks like good fun.

I love sailing in conditions like that but your tiller pilot should be able to handle it.

With the main reefed and the trim right it shouldn't be an issue and there shouldn't be too much pressure on the tiller. It will probably be working a bit with the wave action but unless you are short on power it should be OK...
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Old 15-09-2014, 18:47   #8
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

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Looks like good fun.

I love sailing in conditions like that but your tiller pilot should be able to handle it.

With the main reefed and the trim right it shouldn't be an issue and there shouldn't be too much pressure on the tiller. It will probably be working a bit with the wave action but unless you are short on power it should be OK...
Actually the tiller pilot didn't have a chance with that much wind and the main up. I was way passed the range of any tiller pilot or wind vane steering system.

I had to push and pull the tiller to it's maximum range just to keep the boat from going beam to sea as it was.

You have to remember the small rudder these boats have and the closely space Chesapeake Bay Waves.

Like I said, when the wind peaked at around 28 knots, the waves were breaking right at the stern so I was having to head dead down wind and fighting the tiller to keep the boat on course. I had too much sail up (as in mainsail) but went with it. I only have one set of reef points on the main.

If I'd had just the jib up it would have been easy cruising but the point was to sail the 50 miles or so to Kiptopeke while I had the good wind. I was having a beer at 3pm coming around the Cape Charles channel entrance and headed to a nice anchorage inside the cement ships at Kiptopeke Park.

This place is special because my Dad used to work on the ferries in the days before the Chesapeake Bay Bride Tunnel was built. I remember the view of the sand cliffs from when I was 6 or 7 years old. Always a nice site.


https://www.google.com/search?q=kipt...Qs%3B531%3B377
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Old 16-09-2014, 01:52   #9
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

Thanks for the post thomm225. I used to do a lot of Striper fishing at the steel ships in "Kippy". Do you keep the boat near Virginia Beach, or up in Onancock Creek?

I have a Islander 26 over in Scotts Creek (Portsmouth). I will be bringing her over to Little Creek (Cove Marina) after I finish the bottom in early October. I am new to sailboats myself. Will be bringing her over using the outboard.
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Old 16-09-2014, 04:52   #10
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

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Thanks for the post thomm225. I used to do a lot of Striper fishing at the steel ships in "Kippy". Do you keep the boat near Virginia Beach, or up in Onancock Creek?

I have a Islander 26 over in Scotts Creek (Portsmouth). I will be bringing her over to Little Creek (Cove Marina) after I finish the bottom in early October. I am new to sailboats myself. Will be bringing her over using the outboard.
I'm over at Little Creek, East Beach Marina. Where is Cove Marina? I'll be pulling my boat soon over at Cobbs. I need to do the bottom etc.

I sail to Onancock because I've been gone from the area almost 40 years. I went to high school there before they consolidated all the schools. It's a beautiful old town, and the anchorage is very safe/protected. It's like 5 miles of creek to get all the way in there, but has about 8' of depth all the way.

https://activecaptain.com/X.php
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Old 24-09-2014, 02:01   #11
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

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I'm over at Little Creek, East Beach Marina. Where is Cove Marina? I'll be pulling my boat soon over at Cobbs. I need to do the bottom etc.

I sail to Onancock because I've been gone from the area almost 40 years. I went to high school there before they consolidated all the schools. It's a beautiful old town, and the anchorage is very safe/protected. It's like 5 miles of creek to get all the way in there, but has about 8' of depth all the way.

https://activecaptain.com/X.php

When you clear the jetty, instead of turning hard to starboard, you keep right on going into the restricted area like you are heading towards the Navy ships. You have to hail port security (channel 12) at the buoy line prior entering the restricted zone. There is a marina for (active duty, retired, DOD). Not as nice as East Beach, but you can't beat the pricing. Less than 1/2 per foot as East Beach.

I called Cobbs for a haul out in Oct. Decent prices. I am taking 5 days off to do my bottom in the next couple weeks. If you check Active Captain, you will see the dot almost on top of your location.
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Old 24-09-2014, 04:51   #12
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

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When you clear the jetty, instead of turning hard to starboard, you keep right on going into the restricted area like you are heading towards the Navy ships. You have to hail port security (channel 12) at the buoy line prior entering the restricted zone. There is a marina for (active duty, retired, DOD). Not as nice as East Beach, but you can't beat the pricing. Less than 1/2 per foot as East Beach.

I called Cobbs for a haul out in Oct. Decent prices. I am taking 5 days off to do my bottom in the next couple weeks. If you check Active Captain, you will see the dot almost on top of your location.
Yeah, a few days after I wrote that I remembered that I had forgotten about the Little Creek Base Marina.

The ferry(s) used to dock back in there someplace also back in the day also. They may have even taken some of the freight from the train cars, but I think most of that went to Cape Charles.

I'll probably be up at Cobb's on 1 November.
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Old 30-09-2014, 06:47   #13
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

I use a wind vane.

I don't need to hand steer, when it was blowing 35-45 knots (gusting 55) for 3 days leaving new zealand in winter. The gusts kept shaking the hanks loose.. The other issue is the waves about mast height made the (very small head sail) slack in the trough and bulge looking like it could burst on the crests. I got pooped 100 times in 12 hours.. often it was full again before it can drain. The scary part was the meter breakers which when impacted the side of the boat, caused the hull to flex several inches breaking some of the plywood interior.

Last week I was running in 25-30 knots with full main and poled out genoa (wing and wing) and surfing the swells. Going 7.5 knots on the gps. I decided after dark to reduce sail so I would not arrive at night... Also on a single genoa, I can run at 7.5 knots in 35 knots of wind. Always using wind vane to self steer.

My bristol 27 was only $1000 though.
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Old 30-09-2014, 07:09   #14
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

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Actually the tiller pilot didn't have a chance with that much wind and the main up. I was way passed the range of any tiller pilot or wind vane steering system.
With most wind vanes, the harder it blows the better they work. I've used them in 50+ knots of wind...they are a real blessing when it gets real snotty. They get their power from the water paddle that the wind paddle controls, not the wind paddle itself, and are plenty strong enough to handle significant weather helm if the boat is adequately trimmed. Does sound like you were challenged in that area by not being able to further reef or depower your main.
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Old 30-09-2014, 07:51   #15
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Re: Bristol 27 Sailing down Chesapeake in 22-28 knots.

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With most wind vanes, the harder it blows the better they work. I've used them in 50+ knots of wind...they are a real blessing when it gets real snotty. They get their power from the water paddle that the wind paddle controls, not the wind paddle itself, and are plenty strong enough to handle significant weather helm if the boat is adequately trimmed. Does sound like you were challenged in that area by not being able to further reef or depower your main.
The wind was on the stern quarter to starboard (from the NW) and I'm guessing gusting to 30 mph+ or so. I couldn't go dead downwind too long because I was just off the the low water 1'-2' deep maybe a mile and had to make an approximately 50 mile run to Kiptopeke.

This buoy shows the wind peaking at around 30 (on the graph), but I was more North at the times of the peak winds and I believe it was stronger there.

Marine Buoy Forecast | Weather Underground

I would love to have say a monitor (or an Aries) wind vane steering system though but I do have that outboard back there already. If a windvane steering system could have handled the steering, I'd certainly like to get one but the boat is quite old and beatup. I've done very little maintenance.

I still like these old full keel boats when it blows. It almost appears there is more to a Bristol 27 below the water line.
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