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Old 23-08-2009, 00:42   #16
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You state you are trying to minimize cost.. The S.P.O.T SPOT SATELLITE MESSENGER :: HOME PAGE has good coverage in Mexico and saves you $600 off the price of an EPIRB. Then if you decide to continue cruising across oceans or to the limits of its range, then buy an EPIRB and use the SPOT as a backup and something you can take ashore.
If you are going to Mexico and have a RIB dinghy you will need wheels for it. Good ones. You use these every time you go ashore, and there are always people on the net down here trying to buy some.
You will also need a Baja Filter for taking on diesel as some times you get it from rusty 55 gallon drums. (but its cheap!)
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Old 23-08-2009, 03:53   #17
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Offshore Sailing by Bill Seifert. Very practical and no nonsense.
I second this recommendation.

I also suggest Beth Leonard's Voyager's Handbook 2nd Edition. She has a good discussion about prioritizing what you need. You might also look at these articles:

http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/Leftoff.pdf

http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/SimpleBoatsystem.pdf

My first priority would be in making sure that your rig is sound and that you have good sail-handling systems and a full range of sails.
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Old 23-08-2009, 03:53   #18
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Damn, managed to sail 10s of thousands of miles without a radar, vhf, epirb, gps, water maker, AIS. Most of these things will make your life difficult and are not really needed.

Things needed for cruising.
1. Self steering vane. You can't go anywhere without good self steering unless your going to take a largish number of people. I consider largish, more than two people. Cruising just isn't fun if you are a slave to the helm. If you are going to rely on an autopilot, buy a second one and install it. Use the parts from the original as spares. You also need a back up for the electrical generating capacity that these thirsty buggers need.
2. Epirb
3. Accurate knotmeter/log or taff rail log. You can't do DR navigation without accurate measure of your distance covered through the water. This is stoneage navigation but you have to be able to revert to DR if those little electrons go awry.
4. Depth sounder. Especially in Continental shelf areas, you can navigate with the depth sounder. In the least, it tells you how much scope you'll need for the anchor.
5. GPS with at least one back up and preferably two back ups. I bought a Garmin 3006 for $800, a 478 for $300 and a 76 for $75
6. Paper Charts, chart kits, cruising guides, traced/copied charts . Buying the chips to cover a large cruising area can get real expensive quickly. With charts, all you need is lat/long to locate your positions.
7. good dinghy with a spare set of oars. A motor may be nice to have but requires fuel and they have to be kept running to be worth the space. It can double as a liferaft but wont work well, if at all, in rough conditions.
8. Life Raft. Make sure it has a double bottom. Without insulation from the water, a raft is virutally worthless even in the tropics.
9. Get your ham license. You can get a Ham hf radio up and running for under a $1,000. The radio can be set up to cover the marine HF bands so you can call on that in an emergency. The ham radio will give you world wide contact ability and the many marine nets. A ham radio shouldn't be used on the Marine bands because they do not have as tight frequency control requirements. May be able to add crystal control to the ham radio to give them acceptable Marine band performance. Even then, it's still not legal, except in an emergency, to use it on the marine bands.
10. A watermaker is a nice to have item in Mexico or other dry areas. We never had to schlep water in SoPac, however.
11. That brings me to having an awning for the whole boat. The sun is an enemy in the tropics. That's a hard thing for the PNW people to appreciate. Nothing makes a boat cooler than an awning keeping all that solar energy off your decks. It's also a great tool to collect water when it rains.
11. Haven't had any experience with AIS but if it's only $200, knowing that ship is out there and where it's headed can't hurt. The shipping lanes into major ports and the Canal can get real crowded. One of those big guys can ruin your day.
12. If you have any money left, radar may be worth a look.

Toys seems to make more people miserable than anything else on a cruise. People don't seem to be able to ignore a non functioning piece of equipment. The hoops and contortions we saw cruisers go through to fix busted but extraneous gear was amazing.

I got around without 3, 4, 5 , 9, 10 , 12 . Numbering got lost at 11, but an awning is nice, AIS isn't very old so lots of people have done lots of miles with out it.
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Old 23-08-2009, 06:19   #19
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Scratch off Ham Radio and put in 12VC radio with great audio speakers so you can play sweat blues or soft jazz to go along with the "hottie to cuddle with . . ."
Actually, there is a new development out in the car radios - USB ports built into the radio so you can insert a flash memory stick with gigabytes of good music and avoid CD, tapes, etc. Tapes never lasted long at sea due to salt air and mildew. CD's last maybe a couple of years or so before they accumulate salt air film and scratches and gouges enough to make them unplayable. The usb flash drive memory sticks are up to 64 gbytes now and the 32gb and smaller are dirt cheap.
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Old 23-08-2009, 07:40   #20
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mexicoin 2010----wait until after cane seaason--that ends end of october....you will be keeping shore within sight---about 10 miles off so there are many things yoiu wont need on the above listings.....kiss--keep it simple-----you WILL NEED a GOOD vhf.
dinghy. if light enough, maybe not wheels. the tidal range in mexico is such that when you land dink, the cortez sea goes away for many many yards....you jus tmay want to place some kind of sand friendly wheels on dink just to get it above the tidal line, so it doesnt disappear whenye go to provision or see the town...
there are cruiser nets on vhf and ssb---i fyou anchor near another boat with ssb, they will allow you to listen with them, for the most part....
you will want to know weather--the winds blow like stink there in late spring and in fall--about 70 mph in baja-----you will NEED good anchors that can hold in sand and rocky bottoms...there are both there.....fishing gear and a fishing license for you and your dink and every individual pon board..usually runs about 163 dollars--get that in san diego--you WILL be boarded nearly as soon as you get into mexican warters, if they can manage it----usually around the coronado islands.....no handguns allowed in mexico.--they will search you for fishing gear and handguns
no spearguns allowed in mexico
in the towns there are family owned little tienditas--places to buy food for cheeep--the gringo stores are spensive...learn spanish i fyou donot already know some.
the tienditas do not advertise. you have to find them by being in th etown and getting around well----a bicycle or small scooter---like a 50-90 cc bike is goood---the bicycle is better---will fit on your boat. you will ned to filter your fuel. the diesel bought near the water is usually not good--if itis in a drum, is with additives not wanted in your diesel tank--bring a filter and extra diesel additive--biocide or h=whatever you use.....you will need the filter.
many oft he things on th elists of folks going cruising are unnecessary. you decide what is reallllly NEEDED by you as opposed to WANTED and go from htere---keep it simple works......good luck.....youmay stop in san diego before going to mexico--in that case, you willneed to contact the harbor patrol for a permit to anchor in the alleged cruisers anchorage---A9 for up to 3 months--so you can get your visa, your fishing permits and other things just before you goto mexico---the first mexico stop you want to do is beyond ensenada---you might like bahia asuncion----things are close by and the natives are nice there.......then farther south--either stop in san quintin, but the entrance is only about 5-6 ft deep in high tide--oops ----LOL boats have goten stuck in th ere for looong times--i donot know if they have dredged---i rather doubt it!! look up your stops--i fyou want to get in with the haha , is 350 entry fee....they go ot turtle bay, then some other places that are cool, but for only a night at a time--if you want to see places, might go solo--or with another bot--keep 10 mi off coast--there are bumps and shoals and rocks findable otherwise...depth sounder isnt a bad idea to have on board. a decent gps might be even bettter but they are very expensive--600-1000 dollars.....and up---worst marine has them for many many dolla----shop around if you can...point concepcion in cali is where the water turns smoother.....hard charts top backup the gps are a good idea.study before leaving LOLgooo dluck---yopu do not NEED many things to cruise the coast of the west in pacific--as long as you donot go so far out as to not have the coast in sight.....but there is a bit of chop close in, but is tolerable in a decent sized boat---over 30 ft...LOL--have fun.....in dago--goto downwind marine--they have the booklet for cruisers to mexico---is a goood one....
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Old 23-08-2009, 13:37   #21
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Shopping lists, dream lists...

I sail in the same waters you do. I don't have much gear, but I have done 1k so far this year and have hopes of getting another before the end of the year. (I like sailing in September-November; best time of the year imo.)

However, I have new sails, and new standing rig. All of my running rigging is less than 2 years old, and the oldest bits are being replaced as I have time/budget. I have big anchors, long rodes. I have an autopilot, only slightly broken due to too much excitement earlier this season - it will be replaced/upgraded. Other gear I find very important are a handheld GPS, depth sounder, a laptop computer, a fixed VHF, good binoculars, and an extremely reliable engine. And a zillion paper/digital charts.

My near-term priorities are dodger, windvane, and bimini that can be up whilst sailing. And a replacement screen for the companionway; I fell on it.

There's a lot of people here who have a lot more gear, and are far more knowledgeable than I. But I note most people who get down the coast talk about the simple stuff - sails, engine, gps, bimini - and rarely about the fixed-mount plotter or the water maker while they are passaging. Passaging is pretty simple, easier than piloting along the coast. But all those other things are going to make or break your comfort once you get there.
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Old 27-08-2009, 15:28   #22
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Thanks for all the info, your responses have been very helpful. I didn't think of the Baja fuel filter and wheels for my dingy. I think the SSB will have to wait, even though my boat came with an insulated backstay, in favor of an HF receiver and the black kat software to read weatherfax on my mac. I will definitely be getting an EPIRB, liferaft and fixed VHF... Radar... The planning continues. I Don't think the hottie's coming...
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Old 27-08-2009, 16:10   #23
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baha filter

My first and LAST experience with a baja filter was when I attempted to fill up at a commercial dock. The fuel flow was so fast that on the slowest "fill" the diesel spouted back up into my face from the filter. All the fishing boat people standing around laughed (have to admit it was a funny sight). They said that such a thing was a waste of time and unsafe. Nowadays one could get fined for having a fuel discharge overboard.

In all the years since then from the US to South America I've never needed that filter and gave it away!
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Old 27-08-2009, 16:42   #24
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Yep, been there done that, never used one for long. For a while, I used it only at the start of a fill to look for gunk in the first gallon or two, then got it out of the way. Frankly , in my sailboats, getting diesel was a rare event. My tanks were always too big. Word of mouth is a good way to know where to get fuel...
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Old 27-08-2009, 16:51   #25
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given the forced choice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirruscloud View Post
I will definitely be getting an EPIRB, liferaft and fixed VHF... Radar... The planning continues. I Don't think the hottie's coming...
For the cruise you're doing I'd choose the radar over the liferaft, if I had to make a choice. It seems a better option to avoid the collisions than to make contingency plans for how to survive them.
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Old 27-08-2009, 23:20   #26
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- - I second the deep-six'ing of the BaJa Filter. Not only is it expensive but as mentioned way too slow processing fuel. There is a simplier version of the filter which is a simple large funnel with a single screen "post" inserted into the center of the funnel. It passes fuel fast enough with the "small nozzle" fuel hoses to be useful.
- - Better yet add a dual fuel filter parallel to the primary fuel filter with a switch-over valve system. If the primary filter cloggs due to water or debris you can turn the switch-over valve and the parallel filter takes over while you change the cartridge in the primary filter.
- - A more involved cure is to install a Walbro electric diesel fuel pump downstream of a filter and install a bypass valve so the fuel can be shunted to the engine return fuel line back to the diesel tank. Then at anchor you can turn on the Walbro pump, open the bypass valve and circulate the tank fuel through the secondary filter and "clean/polish" the fuel in your tank.
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Old 28-08-2009, 17:13   #27
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- - I second the deep-six'ing of the BaJa Filter. Not only is it expensive but as mentioned way too slow processing fuel. There is a simplier version of the filter which is a simple large funnel with a single screen "post" inserted into the center of the funnel. It passes fuel fast enough with the "small nozzle" fuel hoses to be useful.
- - Better yet add a dual fuel filter parallel to the primary fuel filter with a switch-over valve system. If the primary filter cloggs due to water or debris you can turn the switch-over valve and the parallel filter takes over while you change the cartridge in the primary filter.
- - A more involved cure is to install a Walbro electric diesel fuel pump downstream of a filter and install a bypass valve so the fuel can be shunted to the engine return fuel line back to the diesel tank. Then at anchor you can turn on the Walbro pump, open the bypass valve and circulate the tank fuel through the secondary filter and "clean/polish" the fuel in your tank.
Something like this?
Can be parallel or series and the polishing pump is also a backup engine fuel pump, although I haven't tried it that way yet.

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Old 28-08-2009, 19:04   #28
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For the cruise you're doing I'd choose the radar over the liferaft, if I had to make a choice. It seems a better option to avoid the collisions than to make contingency plans for how to survive them.
I dont think is a good idea sail offshore with out a liferaft, ther is a economic solution to the radar , a radar detector, ohh boy, jump to the water in a serious situation is the last think i want, liferaft yes , radar yes too, the liferaft is your last resort dude, Cheers.
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Old 28-08-2009, 20:49   #29
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- - I have all the systems I mentioned including the Baja which I do not use anymore. Besides being too slow my main objection was the difficulty of cleaning it.
- - I found the plane jane version with the center post filter first in West Marine but have seen it in just about all the different boat parts stores lately.
- - The parallel filters photo you have looks like the commercial catalog unit which you can build yourself for significantly less money. For smaller boats that do not use the huge Racor 500's but instead the little RA100's or RA120's you can buy the brass/bronze pipe nipples, elbow, and valves at a local plumbing supply house and assemble your own system for a fraction of the cost.
- - Parallel allows you to chose filter #1 or Filter #2 independently rather than series which if you lose one filter you have lost the other. A 3-way valve needs to be at the inlet to the filter to select which filter - and - also another 3-way at the filter outlets to keep air from a filter being serviced from entering the main system.
-- The Walbro is downstream so that it "sucks" the fuel through the selected filter. I run the Walbro in parallel to a straight pipe from the filter output so that if the Walbro fails I can still have the original suction system to the engine lift pump. A 3-way on the Walbro output selects "to engine" or "back to tank."
- - The motivation for the system was to avoid loosing the engine for a long period of time when entering a harbor or just plain nasty winds and waves. I go below switch the two valves and I have a fresh filter on line in seconds.
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Old 28-08-2009, 21:36   #30
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Extemporaneous
- - The parallel filters photo you have looks like the commercial catalog unit which you can build yourself for significantly less money. For smaller boats that do not use the huge Racor 500's but instead the little RA100's or RA120's you can buy the brass/bronze pipe nipples, elbow, and valves at a local plumbing supply house and assemble your own system for a fraction of the cost.
- - Parallel allows you to chose filter #1 or Filter #2 independently rather than series which if you lose one filter you have lost the other. A 3-way valve needs to be at the inlet to the filter to select which filter - and - also another 3-way at the filter outlets to keep air from a filter being serviced from entering the main system.
-- The Walbro is downstream so that it "sucks" the fuel through the selected filter. I run the Walbro in parallel to a straight pipe from the filter output so that if the Walbro fails I can still have the original suction system to the engine lift pump. A 3-way on the Walbro output selects "to engine" or "back to tank."
- - The motivation for the system was to avoid loosing the engine for a long period of time when entering a harbor or just plain nasty winds and waves. I go below switch the two valves and I have a fresh filter on line in seconds.
I guess my drawing is not very clear.

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