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Old 14-10-2008, 13:21   #16
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To recap (adding a bit from Caribbean cruising intermittently over past 35 years):

1. Bimini;

2. Bikini(s);

3. Dingy (with big tubes and healthy outboard);

4. Plough or spade-type anchor, one size larger than "recommended"; CQRs work well most places, as do newer designs;

5. Plenty of Mt. Gay, limes, coke aboard;

6. Paper charts;

7. Good pair of binocs (for navigation and in-harbour amusement);

8. Snorkels, masks, and fins....good quality;

9. Lotsa suntan lotion, loose-fitting light (cotten) clothing;

10. SSB for amusement, serious comms (WX, security, email, etc.); and

11. No itinerary and no fixed timetable.

Bill
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Old 14-10-2008, 13:30   #17
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SP, sound advice from all.

A BIMINI really is critical and frankly, I love Hud's idea for moveable textilene blinds.

SOLAR PANELS - I have only three 75 watt panels on my boat but can generally average about 10 amps/hour if adjusted properly.

A WIND GENERATOR is also useful, especially during passages (and lets face it, when it is overcast there is often wind). Even though the tendancy is to anchor out of strong winds, the offshore night thermals can also provide a decent boost in many anchorages.

SSB - EXTREMELY useful for weather, email (with the appropriate modem) and cruiser's nets.

WATERMAKER - nice, not only in arid areas such as the Bahamas (I know, not part of the Caribbean), and some of the smaller islands off the coast of Venezuela, but also to ensure clean, palatable water without the need for transporting jerry jugs.

REFRIGERATION - really nice if you have the battery/charging capacity.

DECK WASH - especially useful if you have a watermaker and can give your boat a fresh rinse from time to time.

AIR CONDITIONING - virtually unused by most cruisiers. And Hud is absolutely spot on about Hella (or equivalent) fans. I have 7 and have actually thought about installing one in each of the head compartments (I do have one in the shower/tub compartment).

ANCHOR WINDLASS - I have both a manual and an electric windlass, but can tell you that electric windlasses have saved many a back over the years. When one considers the advisability of an all chain rode (at least for your primary anchor), the weight can get pretty intimidating on a 40 foot boat. If for reasons of cost/electrical draw you are unable to manage an electric windlass, at least ensure that you have a decent manual one.

CHAIN STOPPERS - really handy not only to lock the anchor on deck, but also to secure your ground tackle should your nylon stretch line fail (as I am sure you know, the windlass should never be used to secure the rode when anchored).

HATCH SUN COVERS - if you don't have the new roller blind/screens on your hatches, you should at least consider a Sunbrella sun cover for each hatch.

SPARES - while the availability of engine spares, lines, blocks etc. has improved greatly in the caribbean over the years, it is still extremely wise to carry at least your most needed items - eg., impellers, wire with heat shrink anchor ends/connectors, oil filters, fuel filters, anodes, etc.

CHARTPLOTTER - I wouldn't leave home without one.

RADAR - not as critical in an area that seldom has fog, but still helpful during night passages.

Having said all of the above, there are a lot of people enjoying the cruising life on smaller boats without any of the above.

Brad
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Old 14-10-2008, 13:36   #18
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Pleae add

2 hulls

To the list


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Old 14-10-2008, 14:32   #19
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Pleae add
2 hulls
To the list
Wherein; one might be the mothership, and the second the dinghy.
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Old 14-10-2008, 14:49   #20
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Wherein; one might be the mothership, and the second the dinghy.

Awe...Gord...play nice...
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Old 14-10-2008, 15:59   #21
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Sorry Rick; but I only said "might", in the spirit of inclusion.
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Old 14-10-2008, 16:38   #22
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A rugged awning. If you keep the sun off the deck, you won't need fans down below and will be cool and comfortable on deck. Remember, the sun is not your friend, just ask John McCain. With the prevailing winds in many of the islands, the awning needs to be built strong to hold up, however.

If you don't want to run your engine to charge the batteries, you might want to look at windpower and photovoltaics.

Aloha
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Old 14-10-2008, 17:04   #23
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Bimini's are nice and having a connector is better, but awnings are where it is trying to get to. Awnings can't be used under sail or really in stormy weather. You need one when you are just anchored and the weather is sunny. You can drop the temp in the boat by 10 degrees F in very hot weather just by getting the sun off the deck. Use the boom to hang the awning and maybe add a few of those tent poles that fold up to guy out the sides. Nothing worse than sun in your eyes while drinking a cold one watching the sunset. Sunsets in the Caribbean are the real action at anchor. Bikinis on the bow at sunset are usually in the wrong direction. Much better in the morning.
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Old 15-10-2008, 17:00   #24
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No-one's mentioned.....Plenty of CASH
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Old 15-10-2008, 17:32   #25
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Ya plenty of cash for da rum mon.
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Old 16-10-2008, 02:41   #26
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SP, sound advice from all.


A WIND GENERATOR is also useful, especially during passages (and lets face it, when it is overcast there is often wind). Even though the tendancy is to anchor out of strong winds, the offshore night thermals can also provide a decent boost in many anchorages.

WATERMAKER - nice, not only in arid areas such as the Bahamas (I know, not part of the Caribbean), and some of the smaller islands off the coast of Venezuela, but also to ensure clean, palatable water without the need for transporting jerry jugs.


Brad

so two questions:

on the wind generator, heard from a lot of people that the noise associated with the generator can be a bit annoying. anyone have any experience with this? are people just complaining for the sake of complaining or is this a legitimate concern?

watermaker, how much fresh water do these actually make and at what speed? is it possible to support of crew of three for passages of a few days (clearly having some jugs of water on board as a back-up)?

thanks again for all the replies; very helpful information.
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Old 16-10-2008, 05:19   #27
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Older wind generators from Air-X made a lot of noise and are irritating. Now almost all of the units for sale are very quiet.

As to watermakers, they can make whatever you want to pay for. There are a lot of threads here on watermakers. Personally, I think these are very low priority. Have been sailing the Caribe for 7 years and have never had a problem obtaining water. Passages use very little water since cleaning, cooking and dishes goes way down in comparison to a nice anchorage. Another problem with watermakers is that some of the better anchorages have water that is really hard on watermakers.

If you are going to be in the northern and/or western areas of the Caribe, you might want to consider a rainwater catching system. Won't do a lick of good in the deep southern Caribe, like VE and the ABCs.
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Old 16-10-2008, 05:35   #28
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Bradley. I agree with you on wind generators. As to watermakers, I have a 10 year old Pur (now Katadyn) 160 that still functions perfectly. Do I need 160 gallons a day? Nowhere near. However, it uses no more electricity to produce a gallon of water than the 40 gallon a day units - it just allows you to replenish your water supply more quickly.

And you are correct about water catchment systems - off the coast of Venezuela, including the ABC's, a water catchment system won't get the job done most of the year. Do you really need a watermaker? No. But if you can afford it (or have bought a used boat already so equipped), it is still a nice piece of gear. Bear in mind, of course, they do use up a fair bit of electricity.

Brad
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Old 16-10-2008, 08:38   #29
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Starfish, any thoughts on solar panels vs. wind generator? how much power do your solar panels actually provide?
I'm a big fan of the solar over the wind gen, but many people have both. I had two Kyocera 150 watt panels with 4 Golf cart batts and really never had to run the engine. There would literally have to be a week of no sun. During daylight hours I'd sometimes see 14-15 amps from the panels. Even on cloudy days the panels would make a few amps.

In real terms I would make 100 plus amp hours daily on a typical day.
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Old 16-10-2008, 08:47   #30
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starfish had mentioned earlier that good ground tackle is important. any anchor types that work best in the carribean? what type of bottom is most prevelant in the anchorage areas?
I've had several people echo what HUD said about the Delta, though I don't have one yet so have no personal experience. They seem very trustworthy, but the bottom is very different in the Carib versus Bahamas so anchor choice is largely determined by your bottom.

A lot of the Carib is steep to, so it depends on where you're going as to conditions and ground tackle. I'm not that familiar with the windwards, so couldn't advise on the anchorages there. The western Carib is mostly sand/marl and shallow.

As a general rule, you can't have too many anchors! If you're going to get a Delta (or any other anchor), get the next size up from what the manufacturer suggests. You'll be glad you did when the squalls come through in the middle of the night.
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