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Old 09-02-2009, 14:03   #1
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Please help with first coastal passage

Day of reckoning suddenly and unexpectedly is coming on Feb 20. I have to move my boat from its Long Beach/ Los Alamitos Bay berth. I plan on heading to Shelter Island in San Diego. I had thought the trip to be maybe 4, 5 hours at the most. LOL. Steve -- the man I bought my Willard from -- laughed when I told him the time. Long story short is that what I thought a short day trip is clearly now much more involved. He graciously agreed to help me move the boat.

I have done tons of things to the boat, and while Steve is quite confident all things will work out, I am sorta in a anxiety attack about all this.

Bottom line is that I would like some suggestions on things to make sure are either done or that I have. I have alot of cool stuff on board but I am not as positive that I have the right stuff on board for what looks to be maybe a 20 hour passage. I have a few lists going and I am paranoid I am going to miss something vital. And then everyone will die for lack of an AA battery. Or for lack of a wooden plug. Or for lack of a handy mallet to hammer in the plug. That is the growing mindset I have and it is is getting wayyyyyy out of hand.

I thought I would jot down my thoughts here and ask questions as I start the prep process. My stomach is pretty much in a knot about all this.

1. I will have three crew to help. 2 of us know little, Steve knows a lot having sailed a long time and helped with several offshore deliveries of larger sailboats and regularly crews on tall ships.

2. I have SSB and fixed VHS. I am planning on buying one handheld. Do people usually carry one handheld? Or is the fixed one sufficient?

3. I have good pfds with tether/harness/. I am assuming one clips themselves to the wheel at night? If so, what is that hardware called and where can I get it?

4. I am using MacEnc and my laptop for my chartplotter. I bought back up paper charts. but there is no chartplotter at the helm, and the compass at the pedastal is not lit. Do I need a lit compass at the helm?

5. I was reading West Marine's prep list for coastal sailing. What is this about a "Life Sling?" Do people here use them? I was going to buy one with 5:1 purchase -- but decided before I max out my credit cards for a 20 hour trip, I would post here and ask. Is this lifesling a good idea?

6. horseshoe Buoy to throw to someone? or is the lifesling the same idea?

7. Spare alternator belts (Perkins 4 108) and spare fuel filters, correct?

8. I calculated the approximate distance to be about 140 nautical miles. (Los Alamitos bay to Shelter Island). Assuming 5 knots average speed, I get a travel time of about 28 hours? Does that sound about right?

9. There could be a current along the coast -- where do I go on the net to access information about coastal currents? I would like to know if my 5 knots is too low or too high an expectation.

10. Steve just says to bring sandwhiches. To me this is a safety issue. Does not warm food help all night sail people to keep warm and stay alert? or am I being too something or other?

11. In constructing a course, how far from the coast should I figure we ought to go before heading south? Do people just stay in sight of land as they sail?

For two years I have been renovating -- now I actually have to go somewhere. Never did make it to Catalina!

I have more concerns, but this is a start for me.

Thanks

Michael
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Old 09-02-2009, 14:13   #2
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Get a 3/4 day weather window and Go( or you could Harbor hop half way). Its nothing, you will have fun and learn.
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Old 09-02-2009, 14:20   #3
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Chill out and follow Steves lead. If he has the experience then follow his lead and let him check out the boat before departure. His experience will tell him if the boat and equipment is up to snuff. Any experienced sailor worth his salt will not knowingly stand into danger. Relax and enjoy the trip it will change your life.
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Old 09-02-2009, 14:30   #4
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Good advice so far. Just remember you wont starve in a day so sandwiches should be fine. Always nice to have plenty to drink, not alcohol, not to much coffee, but some. Relax...
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Old 09-02-2009, 15:04   #5
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Michael, its cool to be anal, but relax. Here's a couple answers: Handheld- nice to have but not necessary. Spares- all belts, ALL FILTERS several times over (four of each, min.), and tools within reach to change them and bleed diesel. Print and laminate bleeding instruction and UNDERSTAND THEM. Lifesling- go ahead and splurge. Food- sandwiches, COLD FRIED CHICKEN (toss bones overboard), peanut butter crackers, snacks and cold drinks, plus warmables if you have a microwave aboard. Buy dinner on arrival for everyone. Unless weather suggests otherwise, 5 -10 miles offshore is plenty. Make sure to get out of sight of land for a while...you'll like it. Take a spare handheld battery powered GPS (keep it in the oven), and a pole with a trolling lure or two. Dress warm in multi-layers. Man, I wish I was with you. Have a great sail, Chris
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Old 09-02-2009, 15:06   #6
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I see your point. Steve has watched in amazement as I have labored on one system after another on his old boat. And you are right: with his experience he is not going to get on something that is going to sink two hours after leaving port.

Still, it is my responsibility to cover contingencies as much as I know how.
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Old 09-02-2009, 15:11   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christian Van H View Post
Michael, its cool to be anal, but relax. Here's a couple answers: Handheld- nice to have but not necessary. Spares- all belts, ALL FILTERS several times over (four of each, min.), and tools within reach to change them and bleed diesel. Print and laminate bleeding instruction and UNDERSTAND THEM. Lifesling- go ahead and splurge. Food- sandwiches, COLD FRIED CHICKEN (toss bones overboard), peanut butter crackers, snacks and cold drinks, plus warmables if you have a microwave aboard. Buy dinner on arrival for everyone. Unless weather suggests otherwise, 5 -10 miles offshore is plenty. Make sure to get out of sight of land for a while...you'll like it. Take a spare handheld battery powered GPS (keep it in the oven), and a pole with a trolling lure or two. Dress warm in multi-layers. Man, I wish I was with you. Have a great sail, Chris
There are many different type of lifeslings. Can you recommend a specific model? I can get one, I just want to get the right one.

Take a pole??? You mean like fishing? I have not fished since I was 10 -- and that was for catfish at Devils Gate dam. And even then I did not know what to do with the fish.
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Old 09-02-2009, 15:26   #8
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This is perfect:West Marine: Lifesling2 Rescue System, USCG-Approved Product Display

After you get the man overboard reeled in, if you don't think you are powerful enough to grab the harness and yank them up on deck, you will need a way to winch them up. West Marine sell a block and tackle set which you can clip various places such as the end of the swung out boom. Look around the boat for ways to winch a 250lb. guy up onto the deck...hopefully you already have a way without splurging for the block and tackle set-up. As for the rod...trolling can be a blast. Catch fish, identify, squirt Bacardi 151 in gills if edible, fillet and grill...maybe this can wait 'til second overnighter...
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Old 09-02-2009, 15:39   #9
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Michael,

28 hours is a good guesstimate of that passage. I have made it 100 times, it's no big deal.

If the world comes to an end out there, you can always call for a tow on your VHF.

The biggest problem that you have is your timing. Rule #1 .....never.....ever...force a time for departure on an overnight passage. This is winter and we are in a winter storm pattern right now. That could all change by the 20th but make sure that you have a place to put the boat in case it is not safe to leave the harbor at your planned time.

Don't worry about the current. It is very unpredictable in the winter. What little current that you may have will be southerly at less than a knot. I would leave at about 9:AM and plan on arriving SD around noon the next day. Stay well off of Pt Loma. There is a sand bank that goes out nearly a mile and makes for a big sea break. I'd stay out about 1 1/2 to 2 miles.

As for provisioning, you are correct about having plenty of food. My general rule is 3 times as much as you need. If you get out there and have engine trouble and are becalmed, you don't want to have to call for help due to a lack of food & water (this is a more common occurrence than you can imagine). If you have plenty of food and water and it takes you a week to limp into port, that should be OK if you have provisions on board.

There's probably a 99% chance that your passage will be uneventful to boring. Just don't ask for trouble and everything should be fine. You've had some good advise so far.
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Old 09-02-2009, 16:14   #10
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Just relax and have fun.

Statistaclly you have nil chance of being killed or loosing you boat on its maiden overnight voyage.

So spare your wallet all the junk and 3 Sheets to the Wind! Slam back a rum, walk with a limp, scream Ahhhhhh me Harties! And remember its YOUR boat, not steves!




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PS Give us a report on how it went
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Old 09-02-2009, 16:31   #11
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On any offshore passage overnight, you need to make sure anyone topside is clipped in with a good quality inflatable lifevest/harness/tether arrangement. When you come up into the cockpit from below, you clip in.

Run jacklines on deck from the cockpit to the bow, both sides. Also in the cockpit. A horseshoe buoy and LifeSling are great (I have both), but the First Rule of Sailing is "keep the crew in the boat". That means "clipped in".
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Old 09-02-2009, 16:37   #12
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The good news is that the trip is relatively short - so a great learning opportunity but not too long to really drive you crazy.

VHF - Good to have access from helm either with remote mike/speaker off unit below or handheld recognizing distance will probably be less

Navigation - a handheld GPS is good investment as backup and for use at the helm which will be great at night

Harness/Tether - yup, keeping everyone onboard sounds like a sensible plan - ask the crew, they should bring their own PFD/harness/Tether, then add jack lines for clipping on & identify a place(s) in the cockpit for clipping in - hopefully the weather window mentioned earlier will minimize rough seas but accidents happen so why not avoid MOB.

Food - as "host" you want to make sure the crew is taken care of = ask them for favorites & any no-nos...........as far as Hot Food - you might want to try instant soups, mashed potatos , chili -where you just pour hot water into styro container & close.......better than you might think especially at sea. All sorts of energy bars, trail mix, etc can be a change of pace. Have plenty of bottled (5 gal containers) water - stowed away - smaller (16-20 oz) exercise type (nipple top) water bottles can be labeled for each crew member to cut down on cups in use and spilled liquids

Enjoy the voyage - sailing off shore at night is great especially if the moon is out
Fair Winds
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Old 09-02-2009, 16:45   #13
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Michael .. step back take a deep breath..sure is a lot of anxiety you got there... gulp a glass of wine... then get a good nights sleep and a good weather window and go sailing..

Comments in red below...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MV View Post
Day of reckoning suddenly and unexpectedly is coming on Feb 20. I have to move my boat from its Long Beach/ Los Alamitos Bay berth. I plan on heading to Shelter Island in San Diego. I had thought the trip to be maybe 4, 5 hours at the most. LOL. Steve -- the man I bought my Willard from -- laughed when I told him the time. Long story short is that what I thought a short day trip is clearly now much more involved. He graciously agreed to help me move the boat.
no idea how big your boat is, or what its hull speed is... but a rough guide would be 4-5 miles per hour.. not speed miles. so you are looking at a minimum of 5 hours.. probably 7 .. plan your weather window accordingly. Especially if the wind turns light and you want to sail the whole way, rather than motorsail.. you have both options.

I have done tons of things to the boat, and while Steve is quite confident all things will work out, I am sorta in a anxiety attack about all this.
that work done correctly, no shortcuts to fail? then dont sweat the small stuff.. before setting out.. make sure the seacocks on sinks and head are shut.. the one for the engine open.. one less thing to worry about.


I thought I would jot down my thoughts here and ask questions as I start the prep process. My stomach is pretty much in a knot about all this.

1. I will have three crew to help. 2 of us know little, Steve knows a lot having sailed a long time and helped with several offshore deliveries of larger sailboats and regularly crews on tall ships.
you have a 'captain' who has experience.. listen to him and learn.. enjoy yourself..

2. I have SSB and fixed VHS. I am planning on buying one handheld. Do people usually carry one handheld? Or is the fixed one sufficient?
I have both.. keep the fixed below on channel 16
as required.. (it is supposed to be turn on) and the handheld on whatever working channel I know I need.. or channel 16.. and keep the handheld topside with me. make sure it is waterproof. waste marine had a fairly inexspenvie version that is equive to some of the more pricey Icoms.. check out practical sailors
recommended products.. you want a hanheld GPS.. Garmin makes great ones.. normally I do not like garmin but they pack thier product amazingly well.. even an Etrex can get you where you are going all you do is punch in the waypoints..

3. I have good pfds with tether/harness/. I am assuming one clips themselves to the wheel at night? If so, what is that hardware called and where can I get it?
NO you do not want to clip yourself to a moving object.. If you are topside at night, or offshore get jacklines and run a one from the aft cleat to the bow cleat on both sides.. then clip on.. or if you have something stable to clip on near the helm. whatever it is it should not be moving or have that potential.. and it should be secure.. you don't want whatever you are clipped to, to rip out should you fall overboard..
4. I am using MacEnc and my laptop for my chartplotter. I bought back up paper charts. but there is no chartplotter at the helm, and the compass at the pedastal is not lit. Do I need a lit compass at the helm?
NO, you can use a flahslight with a red lens.
YOU really need to learn to use papercharts.. firs there is the thrill of knowing where you are with a chart..
next if you laptop does a toes up, like say mine did.. lady hit it in starbucks.. knocked it off the table with her purse. broke the lcd screen.. that could be a trip breaker.. but with paper charts you have that option of continueing on.. never, ever, ever.. solely rely on
electronic charting.. although I love it immensely.. my first choice.. but I can navigate with paper..
you also might want to go visit google earth and check out the arail (sp?) shots of the area and coast you are passing.. My favorite chart program is, The Capn..
5. I was reading West Marine's prep list for coastal sailing. What is this about a "Life Sling?" Do people here use them? I was going to buy one with 5:1 purchase -- but decided before I max out my credit cards for a 20 hour trip, I would post here and ask. Is this lifesling a good idea?
What you should be reading and complying with is the USCG regualtions for safety... and have everything that complies with the law.
Yes I Prefer a lifesling although, if you have a horseshoe you are legal.. do you have life jackets (typeIII at least) for everyone aboard? flares, whistle, mirror, horn, fire extinguisher?

6. horseshoe Buoy to throw to someone? or is the lifesling the same idea?
both worth the same way.. although I feel the lifesling is superior.. esp if you have the lifting setup that is sold seperately.. if no one has mentioned that can be used on the boom to get someone aboard..

7. Spare alternator belts (Perkins 4 108) and spare fuel filters, correct?
More importantly in what shape is your engine.. does it start on the first crank? or second? how does it sound when runnning.. once you know your boat, you can always tell that minute change in sound that heralds someting ...
don't forget food, lots of water.. gingerale (for someone who gets a queasy tummy)..
check the oil level before you leave..
8. I calculated the approximate distance to be about 140 nautical miles. (Los Alamitos bay to Shelter Island). Assuming 5 knots average speed, I get a travel time of about 28 hours? Does that sound about right?
all depends.. wind, currents.. lwl, and hull speed are you sailing, motoring, motorsailing.. lots of factors..
that might be optimistic.. try 3 knots.. a worse case scenario if you are motoring at lower speeds..
We did a 136 mile trip st pete fla to the dry tortugas in a regular basis.. it was always either two nights and a day or two days and a night.. 36 hours. 40 foot sailboat.. that help? Last trip down it was on the backside of a front.. we went south by the coast, waiting for the front to pass, then grabbed its backside and hauled butt south.. fast lumpy ride. Return trip nice moderate winds. still took us 36 hour..

9. There could be a current along the coast -- where do I go on the net to access information about coastal currents? I would like to know if my 5 knots is too low or too high an expectation.
http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/

10. Steve just says to bring sandwhiches. To me this is a safety issue. Does not warm food help all night sail people to keep warm and stay alert? or am I being too something or other?
it is a preference.. I have a wide mouthed stainless thermos and a stanley.. I put a pair of egges in a pot of cold water.. bring to boil.. then gently slide the eggs in the thermos, and dump the boiling water on top..drop a couple of teabags in the water.. this only works IF the eggs don't crack.. have hot water and instant soup.. some people survive on cold food, and sandwiches.. I do not OTOH.. if you are not used to sailing or eating on board.. sandwiches might work..
if you feel queasy caffiene is not your friend. NO red bull.. or amp..
I singlehand, so I tend to set things up topside so that I do not have to go below and make everything I can do double duty..
Do you hae a pair of fingerless sailing gloves?
11. In constructing a course, how far from the coast should I figure we ought to go before heading south? Do people just stay in sight of land as they sail?
That is a big question.. I am not familiar with pacific sailing..
1. stay away from rocks.. and shallow areas.. you realy need to sit down and study study study your charts.. use a pencil and draw your basic course.. that will take you
a. - deep enough water
b. - away from contrary currents if they exist
c. - any downdrafts that a moutianous coast can offer..
example.. in east coast fla I can sail within a mile or so of shore.. but off charleston sc.. the rocks extend out more than 10 miles offshore..

For two years I have been renovating -- now I actually have to go somewhere. Never did make it to Catalina!

I have more concerns, but this is a start for me.
mIke my email is kosmikbubbles@gmail.com
If I can help in any way let me know.. my experiences is in the Atlantic, Carib and Med but whatever I can do I will be glad to ..
'bella
S/V Maja

Thanks

Michael
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Old 09-02-2009, 16:51   #14
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You can use a spare halyard to winch the Lifesling in. Or if you have a boom vang that is removeable you can use that on the end of the halyard.. (shackle at each end). After a cold night watch a couple of widemouth thermos' with beef stew or... will be very welcomed. I assume it is an old Willard. The most likely probem you may have is that fuel churning around int he fuel tank and then the Pre filter. If you dont have two pre-filters before the engine that you can choose one or the other, be sure to have extra filter elements ready. Water pump impellor on board?
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Old 09-02-2009, 16:54   #15
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Also, If you have done work on the Bilgepump or routed hoses from it, be sure you have a high loop before the exit or a check valve. I once did a nice neat job of installing a new large pump and wire wound expensive hose in my boat. Went on a sail a couple of months later and intuition told me to check the bilge.The water was one inch below the floorboards! When the boat "squatted" while motoring, the bilgepump outlet was letting water in at an incredible rate. seems wierd, but it happened.
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