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Old 07-02-2010, 06:18   #16
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In a pinch, I feel I can tackle almost anything… But some items (like removing my appendix) or sanding off antifouling…. I prefer to leave to others
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:47   #17
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the opposite of self sufficient

Just last week, I heard a call on VHF at Staniel Cay for some "engine advise". The sailor had a Yanmar with a loose alternator belt, and he "had no idea how to tighten the thing. Was looking for the local Yanmar Service Dealer." I was laughing too hard to answer, but someone did get him squared away.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:15   #18
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In a pinch, I feel I can tackle almost anything… But some items (like removing my appendix)…. I prefer to leave to others
Eventually health issues will make us all dependent on others. But I tell my children when they find me dead on board to place me carefully on my favorite wooden dingy, throw in lots of combustibles, and set the sail for the open ocean. When I get about 100 yards out take a flaming arrow...and you know the rest.
Or if they can't part with the dingy- just make sure it is deep enough and they follow the local rules for burial at sea.
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:59   #19
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It is very easy to be self sufficient,at least as far as the boat goes,just leave off all the amp hungry gadgets the cause the vicious cycle of more batteries and more means to fill them which in turn sink ruin your boat further and further below its waterline detracting from its seawortyness and performance as well as make the thing look like a floating yard sale.
About a decade ago a young south african couple wintered over with us in minnesota having sailed from cape town to the carribean,up the east coast and in through the great lakes.Their boat was a wood hollman and pye design 28 ft sloop which had been built in the uk in the 1960s and sailed to africa,what impressed me was how simple it was,the only thing that gave it away as a serious voyaging boat was the wind vane,period,no solar array,no wind generator no radar,no jerry cans of fuel or water strapped to the lifelines,they had an engine which was used sparingly,the boat could actually sail because it wasnt burdened with unnecessary weight,i dont think they even had a house battery,no electronics except a log,no gps,just a sextant.
In the spring they shipped the boat by truck to seattle and sailed up to the Alluteans then down to mexico,then across the pacific to new zealand where they settled,this was their original destination.
They were self sufficient and anyone can be if they dont get sucumb to peer pressure,you can do the same with a fiberglass boat,they are easy to repair and keep going, or you can spend more on mod cons than you paid for the boat to produce a cruising machine reliant on others to keep it going.i am a boatbuilder but no way could i repair my autopilot or gps or vhf or or or.
Steve.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:22   #20
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Good post Clock...except the peer pressure part...that has nothing to do with it for me and I would venture to say 99 % of cruisers..Its more wife pressure....Hee! Hee!...
Now that was not totally true...I like my comfort as well and I know lots of you men do as well...refrigeration for cold beer and all that jazz...Pressure water anchor wash-down..Chart plotters are just a down right awesome invention...cooling fans for sleeping.

All can be done without as I posted earlier..all can be self repaired with the right tools, parts and knowledge or at least diagnosed as to rather its toast and heaved over board or not...

Being self sufficient has little to do with how your boats equipped....I don't call waiting to be towed into a marina by some one else because you choose not to have an engine in your boat as being self sufficient for example...so its all a matter of individual choice how one looks at it.

Its all good...we are all hopefully equipping our boats to the enjoyment level necessary to get us off the dock and actually use the boat for what it is...an escape form the confines our two feet are capable of taking us....nothing more then that.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:57   #21
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Now, I'm just guessing of course, but if Slocum had GPS available I think he would have used it, at least until it broke or he ran out of AA's. I'm all for leaving port with all the toys, but not sweating it when they break.

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Old 07-02-2010, 11:30   #22
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gosh, no batteries, no gps, no engine? I guess if you are really, TRULY a self sufficient purist, then you wouldn't succumb to the temptation of using someone else's charts, and only use your own hand made ones....
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:38   #23
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As some of you may know, we were lucky enough to have purchased Hal & Margaret Roth's last boat "Whisper" a Wauquiez Pretorian 35. All of Hal's tools and spares were left on board, and after going through all of it there is no doubt in my mind that they were self-sufficent. They had not circumnavigated in this particular boat but they had been to the Arctic twice and the Med in it. Hal and Margaret had circumnavigated in their Spencer 35 of the same name and Hal had done two BOC's (around the world single-handed) in a Santa Cruz 50, so he knew what he needed and it was on board. So, I'd say yes it is still possible and there are people doing it.

Just as an aside, as reported in one of Hal's last articles, he really did have 41 screwdriver onboard. I counted them.
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:39   #24
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gosh, no batteries, no gps, no engine? I guess if you are really, TRULY a self sufficient purist, then you wouldn't succumb to the temptation of using someone else's charts, and only use your own hand made ones....
I've seen some of the charts drawn by Captain Cook from his exploration of the South Pacific, Australia, and New Zealand. They are awesome, and they are accurate. But then it's a lot of trouble to make your own charts. A steel hull would be a good idea if you make your own charts.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:09   #25
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I'll let my teenager sand the bottom...

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In a pinch, I feel I can tackle almost anything… But some items (like removing my appendix) or sanding off antifouling…. I prefer to leave to others
but I keep her away from sharp tools!
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:15   #26
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But I would be willing to bet you could addapt...

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Originally Posted by clockwork orange View Post
It is very easy to be self sufficient,at least as far as the boat goes,just leave off all the amp hungry gadgets the cause the vicious cycle of more batteries and more means to fill them which in turn sink ruin your boat further and further below its waterline detracting from its seaworthiness and performance as well as make the thing look like a floating yard sale.

They were self sufficient and anyone can be if they don't get succumb to peer pressure,you can do the same with a fiberglass boat,they are easy to repair and keep going, or you can spend more on mod cons than you paid for the boat to produce a cruising machine reliant on others to keep it going.i am a boatbuilder but no way could i repair my autopilot or gps or vhf or or or.
Steve.
Steer by balancing sails, to the extent practical. Then hand-steer.
Navigate without GPS
and so on.

True, there are electronic items that are non-repairable, which is OK as long as our dependence on them is limited. They are not items who's failure ends a cruise.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:22   #27
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Doug,the couple i wrote of did have an engine and A battery,they were by no means just getting by,the boat had already sailed from the uk and had everything they needed, they just didnt add a lot of stuff they didnt need or couldnt fix and after the miles they had covered by the time i met them the only thing they planned on adding was a handheld gps. Im pretty sure they did not consider themselves purists,they had everything they needed. As for comfort we all have our own requirements that need to be weighed against the negative aspects they bring to the table.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:23   #28
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As you describe self-sufficient it makes me think of the days before any electrics. Boats of wood and men of iron. But the problem with being self sufficient in those daze is a lot of sailors died trying. No offense to the ladies but it was rare to see a woman at sea on anything less then a transport vessel.
It has to be said that there were many more women sailing before the relative ease of the twentieth century than are given credit. The great navigator Paintapu of Kiribati; the women like Mary Lacey (Ships Carpenter) and Hannah Snell (Marine) who sailed in the Royal Navy; Freya Eriksdottur who (almost) certainly went to Newfoundland with the Vikings; Mary Patten who commanded and navigated her husbands clipper ship round the Horn as he lay dying. Those are just some of the few whose names we know who were active, capable sailors, and certainly not just freight.

I'm quite sure that Slocum would have used the best aids available to him: he was a commercial mariner, after all.

What stops many women cruising is (i) the attitudes of men and (ii) attachments to family ashore. Those are way bigger than the technical demands of fixing things.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:26   #29
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Our experience among the cruising community was that broken toys could not be ignored by almost all the toy happy boats. It was unbelievable the hardship, forced passages, long periods in stinky, hot commercial harbors, cruising grounds not covered that people put themselves through just to get their toys fixed. One boat had the refrigeration fail on the passage down to the Marquesas. They checked into the Marquesas but left immediately for Papeete so they could get the refrigeration fixed. Six months later, when we finally had to get our visa renewed, we saw them on the Quai. They'd been sitting in Papeete for the entire time waiting for parts to fix their 'systems.' For those of you who think the Quai in Papeete is a fun place to be, think again. It's a polluted stinky commercial harbor deep in the tropics,, little wind so their is nothing you can do to escape the heat short of air conditioning., and fronts on the busiest street in the islands so you had traffic noise at all hours of the day. While they had been sweltering and miserable seeing little that they couldn't have had at Marina Del Rey, we'd been leasurely cruising through all the Marquesas Islands, a few of the Tuamotus on our way to Papeete. We'd caught and eaten lobster till it was coming out our ears, speared most of our protein, met a bunch of interesting people both cruisers and locals, hiked into remote valley to explore the stone statues and remnants of the Marquesan past, collected copra with the locals in the Tuamotus, and generally had a great time. These people were the extreme but a ton of other boats cut short their time in really interesting anchorages to get seemingly minor electronic/mechanical systems fixed in 'civilized' areas.

The simpler your boat is, the more time you are going to spend actually cruising. GPS is a must have in electronics. We sailed in the good old days of Sextant and taff rail log and the experience was fine. The problem was we almost never knew exactly where we were unless we we were anchored next to a land mark. We were always lost, it was just a matter of degree of lost. After a 20 year hiatus from cruising, was totally blown away by knowing exactly where I was at any time I cared to check. Other than an Epirb for summoning help in a real emergency, everything else is just really nice to have toys.

At the end of our cruise we had a ham radio but found that to be a two edged sword. Getting on the daily nets got to be a drag. Nearly having the French Navy sent out searching for us simply because we didn't get around to checking in for a few days ended our participation in the net. It was nice to be able to get information on areas where we were headed but often found the information tainted by the prejudices of the responder. Our parents enjoyed talking with us occasionally and we had one contact in California we really enjoyed just talking with but other than that, the radio ended up just taking up space. The engine got us into anchorages we would have had trouble sailing into but would hardly call it a necessity. Find it curious how over powered most of the current boats are.

Today, think self sufficient cruising is more a state of mind. Not encumbering yourself with the toys and learning how to maintain what you have will get you around the world without much drama.

Aloha
Peter O.
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Old 07-02-2010, 17:53   #30
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A self-sufficient sailor today would need to know how to fix electronics, engines, generators, rigging, composite sails, composite hulls and a thousand other things not even invented in the time of Slocum and Pidgeon.

Is self-sufficiency alive and well in the cruising community, or is it a fantasy? What does it mean to be a self-sufficent sailor in our time? Do you know any self-sufficient sailors? Is it still possible with a modern yacht?
Well, if you insist on all the toys, then probably NO.

However, just like back then, one can sail a relatively simple boat. Remember when Pardeys wrote their book all the tools were already around.

Alternatively, if you do need all the toys, you can be nearly self-sufficient, if you are techie enough, have all the skills and very deep pockets to buy the spares.

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