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Old 20-11-2007, 11:46   #46
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Me doth think that jdoe71 might get his feelings a little unduely hurt.
Nah! With what I did for most of my life I had to have a thick skin. I just don't like to see things said as fact that maybe aren't quite right.

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It might not hurt to read my post again, my friend. I stated, "I would sail one ALMOST anywhere". Now, I will qualify that. I would sail almost any production boat over 35', in good condition, that I have personally inspected and sea trialed ALMOST anywhere.
I read your post several times and I thought you were quite fair in what you said. I only have issue with the excessive use of the term "lightweight" and its ilk.

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Although I had no idea at the time that I may be addressing someone that was considering a Catalina 28. I wouldn't sail that boat to Catalina Island from Long Beach on a rough day.
I wouldn't either, it's about comfort for me as well. I've no intention of setting off across an ocean in this boat, or, for the foreseeable future, any other boat. Maybe someday but not now. I am a coastal cruiser type and picked a boat appropriate for that use. We're kind of going in circles here because as I said I agree with much of what you said. I re-stated part of your comments in my post for that reason. You feel these boats, under the right circumstances, with the right crew and within certain limits, are OK for blue water and I agree.

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On long ocean passages, you only get to pick your weather for 3 days MAX. One would do well not to forget that.
That's no different than anywhere else, even 12 hours out the forecasts are wrong as often as they're right. I think the proximity of land makes weather more unpredictable than on the open ocean. But that's another thread.

I wasn't taking a shot at you or GordMay, hope you don't view it that way, I just disagree with the characterization of production boats as "lightweight". People who have circumnavigated have done something worthy of note and it gives you lots of cred in my eyes. The opinion of those with hard won experience is valuable to me. But not everyone wants to or is going to sail across an ocean. I just wanted to try to get the point across that volume built boats aren't necessarily "lightweights" or junk and they are well suited for the role they were intended to fulfill.
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Old 20-11-2007, 12:54   #47
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Nah! With what I did for most of my life I had to have a thick skin. I just don't like to see things said as fact that maybe aren't quite right.



I read your post several times and I thought you were quite fair in what you said. I only have issue with the excessive use of the term "lightweight" and its ilk.



I wouldn't either, it's about comfort for me as well. I've no intention of setting off across an ocean in this boat, or, for the foreseeable future, any other boat. Maybe someday but not now. I am a coastal cruiser type and picked a boat appropriate for that use. We're kind of going in circles here because as I said I agree with much of what you said. I re-stated part of your comments in my post for that reason. You feel these boats, under the right circumstances, with the right crew and within certain limits, are OK for blue water and I agree.



That's no different than anywhere else, even 12 hours out the forecasts are wrong as often as they're right. I think the proximity of land makes weather more unpredictable than on the open ocean. But that's another thread.

I wasn't taking a shot at you or GordMay, hope you don't view it that way, I just disagree with the characterization of production boats as "lightweight". People who have circumnavigated have done something worthy of note and it gives you lots of cred in my eyes. The opinion of those with hard won experience is valuable to me. But not everyone wants to or is going to sail across an ocean. I just wanted to try to get the point across that volume built boats aren't necessarily "lightweights" or junk and they are well suited for the role they were intended to fulfill.
I guess it's all a matter of perspective. When someone mentions "Cruising" to me, that implies long ocean passages to far off islands that are ideal cruising grounds (like the So Pacific) . To me, 3-days out means 400 miles off shore. Coastal weather is no longer a factor.

The thought of coastal cruising never even entered my thoughts. I'm new here and I guess that I should consider that in some of these posts. Most people may be talking about short cruises, like the Bahamas or even the Caribbean (Gag).

50 gal of water and 18 gal of fuel are hardly adequate for long ocean passages.

Here is the reality. Although it is not completly essential, it is best to carry enough fuel to motor any time that your boat speed drops to around 2 kts and you have enough fuel to motor to your destination (if necassary). This is more than a comfort factor. This is a safety issue. In the event that something happens and you can no longer sail, you would be wise to have enough fuel to get you to a safe harbor. As stated above, you can only get close to predicting what weather you may encounter for the 1st 3-days of any passage. If you are only making 5-day passages, you probably won't get hurt. Beyond that, it is a 100% crap shoot. A well planned and thought out passage with an eye to the weather can find you with 50kts of wind and 40' seas on the 5th day. Trust me....I've been there more than once and I am good at weather forecasting.

In '96 I decided to sail from NZ to Brisbane Australia in February (cyclone season). In my experience, crossing the Tasman Sea can be it's kindest in the summer (same with sailing to Hawaii) if you track the cyclones carefully for 30 days in advance and pick a time when there is a cyclone far north of NZ and heading East. I have done it many times and that's what I saw. Cyclone Bola was near New Caledonia (1500 miles NNW) and heading E at 10kts. We left Aukland and the 1st day out cyclone Bola headed south at 25kts. I wasn't too concerned because it was rare for a cyclone to go due S in that region and even more rare for them to last that far S. If I continued, we should've had time to get on the other side of her track. We motored for 24-hours, with no wind before she struck. To make a long story short, Bola hit us on the 4th day and we lied to a parachute sea anchor for 18 hours, as the cyclone stalled east of our position (later went on to beat-up on NZ). After the storm, we motored for 2 more days and anchored at Middleton Reef for 10 days before we got wind again. On that and other occassions, I had to make the decission to motor for days on end to limit our exposure.

When sailing on a small sailboat, limiting one's exposure is a key aspect when on long passages. The longer that one is out there, the better the chances of one getting a good lashing (remember the 3-day weather window??).

My rule of thumb was to carry enough food and water to last us a minimum of 2 times as much as needed for the voyage at hand and enough fuel to motor a minimum of 1/2 the passage length (I once made a 7200 mile (59 day) passage from Cape Town So Africa to Annapolis Maryland for my daughter's wedding. In a case like that, we just never motored until we got within motoring distance of our destination.

Having 50 gal of water may be adaquate (we had tankage for 300g). Having tankage for 18g of diesel could be problematic (we had tankage for 120g) and reduce one's options. What normally transpires is, you see several boats leaving port with jeri-cans lashed to the deck and more stored down below. Not the best option. I've done it on deliveries but I didn't like it.

The problem with most production boats is that they just simly are less efficient and more hazordous when weighted down for the normal needs of extended, long distance, cruising. The boat does not handle well with a lot of weight and the stresses are increased in every aspect of the hull and decks.
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Old 20-11-2007, 14:25   #48
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Lots of accurate comment & relevant criticism here. Thanks all.

To me “cruising” suggests moving the boat to different locations, whilst living aboard - whereas long ocean passages define “passage-making”. Of course passage-making is cruising, of the long-distance variety.

When I suggested that most production ("BeneCataHuntaLina’s”) are “lightweight’ boats, I was referring to their intended duty cycle/loading/intended use, not their displacement.
I happily & safely cruised a small, lightweight production boat (C&C 29 MkII) for 10 years – and considered circumnavigating her. My decision not to (circle) was more based upon personal choices, supported by technical constraints (a 28.5 Ft boat shouldn’t carry TransPac stores)*, than concerns about the boat’s “safety”, construction, or survivability. These boats can, and do make fine coastal & semi-protected cruisers.

The main thrust of my comments was intended to convey the idea that NO BOAT should have her tankage significantly increased, without expert guidance.
I think it’s fair top extrapolate the designer’s intentions, assuming that a boat with 25 Gallon fuel capacity (like our “Southbound”), was probably not designed for passagemaking voyages.

A careful look at a boat’s ‘PPI” should give further evidence of her designer’s intentions.
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Old 20-11-2007, 15:25   #49
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There is one other thing that I forgot to address about the Catalina and other fin keel/spade rudder boats.

Hoving-to in a big sea is an entirely different thing from hoving-to in 25kts and 15' seas. I don't even attempt it anymore. On all deliveries, I carried a parachute sea anchor. On the production boats with spade rudders, I deploy the parachute just before I determine that it is too rough to sail (that varied from boat to boat) usually around 40kts for anything under 40'. I would far rather spend 12 hours comfortably anchored behind that parachute than 4 more hours of discomfort and the possibility of gear failure and/or injury by pushing on.

My experience has been that vessels with fin keel/spade rudders can and will actually tack through the wind, when hove-to in big seas. When the boat comes over the crest of a wave, she will get hit by wind and try to make headway. Normally, just before she gets head-to-wind, the sails will luff, she will lose power and fall off to leeward. However, when you are in big seas, sometimes, you lose wind in the trough. When this happens and the vessel has way on, she will sometimes pass right through the eye of the wind (or lack there-of) before she gets wind again, enough to blow her bow back down. If/when that happens, you have about 1 second to react before the boat gets blown down, flat in the water. Then things get ugly fast. I have had that happen on 2 occasions. Full keel and/or modified keel boats are too slow to tack for that to happen. Fin keel/spade rudder boats will tack in the blink of an eye and are un-safe (IMO) to hove-to in big seas.

It may even be safer to lie-ahull in some conditions. However, a parachute sea anchor does away with all of that nonsense. To me, going to sea without a sea anchor is worse than going to sea without a GPS for some others. The difference is, a GPS won't do you much good when the smelly stuff hits the fan.
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Old 20-11-2007, 16:04   #50
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On the production boats with spade rudders, I deploy the parachute just before I determine that it is too rough to sail (that varied from boat to boat) usually around 40kts for anything under 40'.
How do you rig the parachute? Do you have it rigged off the bow or do you use a bridle with a line towards the stern to keep the boat lying with the bow slightly off the wind. These boats also tend to hunt around on anchor and I've read they do a similar thing on a parachute. Any thoughts on that? What's your thoughts on drogues? Maybe that's a different thread too but I like to hear this from people who've been there.

Cruising definitely means different things to different people. I like GordMay's definition, though we're not quite fully living aboard yet we're heading that way.

Thanks for the info in both posts, very interesting.
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Old 20-11-2007, 16:30   #51
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How do you rig the parachute? Do you have it rigged off the bow or do you use a bridle with a line towards the stern to keep the boat lying with the bow slightly off the wind. These boats also tend to hunt around on anchor and I've read they do a similar thing on a parachute. Any thoughts on that? What's your thoughts on drogues? Maybe that's a different thread too but I like to hear this from people who've been there.

Cruising definitely means different things to different people. I like GordMay's definition, though we're not quite fully living aboard yet we're heading that way.

Thanks for the info in both posts, very interesting.
Deploying a parachute in severe conditions is not a chore for the light-hearted. I have read stories about people rigging up the parachute with a bridle (one line going to a winch or cleat in the cockpit). All I have to say is, "Ya....right".

Picture this, you are sailing in 45kts of wind and seas are breaking everywhere. The forecast is for worsening conditions. Now, the skipper must decide what storm tactic he is going to use. You mentioned a drogue. I have used one succesfully, on occasion and they make running downwind in heavy winds more manageable. However, if conditions worsen and you now want to stop and get some rest, you've gotta get that thing in AND deploy the parachute. This means turning up into the wind (from a downwind position......yuk....must be timed carefully and you don't usually get 2 chances) with nothing but a storm jib or storm tri-sail. You have to get the pressure off of the drouge in order to get it in. OK......now the drogue is in, you've probably been pooped about 3 times in the process and you are about to get up on the foredeck to rig the parachute.....oh ya.....and bridle. Best to just cut the drouge away, after turning up wind.

All that stuff is way too much drama for me anymore. When I leave port, I remove my bow anchor. I rig my parachute anchor with 15' of 1/2" chain securely fastened below. I have 400' of 5/8" nylon anchor rode attached to that and it is all but the last 30' stowed in the chain locker. The line then comes aft, outside the shrouds and the bag with parachute is secured in the cockpit.

If I never use it (which is 80% of the time).....that's a good trip and it isn't in the way of anything. If I want to use it, it's there and rigged and I don't have to risk my life doing it in adverse conditions (in most cases, people wouldn't risk it).

If the weather gets bad, I simply pull up into the wind until the boat is stopped. I throw the bag overboard and furl my jib as the wind blows the bow down. I then scramble up and release the stop on the anchor line. I pay out line as the parachute fills and make sure that the road pays out smoothly. I wear a heavy pair of leather gloves and I can usually keep the bow to weather, almost instantly. When the 1/2' chain pays out, I put a snubber on it and relax. I don't even have to keep going forward to check for chafe.

I have set out 60kts of wind and seas that I couldn't begin to estimate for 18 hours like that. When the wind settles, it is easy to pull in with the trip line and I am on my way, well rested.

The parachute opens automatically and the bow comes right up into the wind when the line tightens.

I have never had a breaking sea get past the parachute and I have never had problems with accessive yawing, even on a fin keel/spade rudder boat. Although, it is less comfortable and they do tend to "Sail around more.

The anchor rode acts like a rubber band. It will get streched out in the gusts, then the boat will sail up in the lulls. That's just the nature of some boats. I've never found it dangerous, although when you get blown over a little, you feel it but it merely seems relatively shocking because you are so comfortable, most of the time. I am ALWAYS amazed at how comfortable it really is laying to one of those things. It always shocks me.
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Old 20-11-2007, 17:58   #52
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Deploying a parachute in severe conditions is not a chore for the light-hearted. I have read stories about people rigging up the parachute with a bridle (one line going to a winch or cleat in the cockpit). All I have to say is, "Ya....right".

Picture this, you are sailing in 45kts of wind and seas are breaking everywhere. The forecast is for worsening conditions. Now, the skipper must decide what storm tactic he is going to use. You mentioned a drogue. I have used one succesfully, on occasion and they make running downwind in heavy winds more manageable. However, if conditions worsen and you now want to stop and get some rest, you've gotta get that thing in AND deploy the parachute. This means turning up into the wind (from a downwind position......yuk....must be timed carefully and you don't usually get 2 chances) with nothing but a storm jib or storm tri-sail. You have to get the pressure off of the drouge in order to get it in. OK......now the drogue is in, you've probably been pooped about 3 times in the process and you are about to get up on the foredeck to rig the parachute.....oh ya.....and bridle. Best to just cut the drouge away, after turning up wind.

All that stuff is way too much drama for me anymore. When I leave port, I remove my bow anchor. I rig my parachute anchor with 15' of 1/2" chain securely fastened below. I have 400' of 5/8" nylon anchor rode attached to that and it is all but the last 30' stowed in the chain locker. The line then comes aft, outside the shrouds and the bag with parachute is secured in the cockpit.

If I never use it (which is 80% of the time).....that's a good trip and it isn't in the way of anything. If I want to use it, it's there and rigged and I don't have to risk my life doing it in adverse conditions (in most cases, people wouldn't risk it).

If the weather gets bad, I simply pull up into the wind until the boat is stopped. I throw the bag overboard and furl my jib as the wind blows the bow down. I then scramble up and release the stop on the anchor line. I pay out line as the parachute fills and make sure that the road pays out smoothly. I wear a heavy pair of leather gloves and I can usually keep the bow to weather, almost instantly. When the 1/2' chain pays out, I put a snubber on it and relax. I don't even have to keep going forward to check for chafe.

I have set out 60kts of wind and seas that I couldn't begin to estimate for 18 hours like that. When the wind settles, it is easy to pull in with the trip line and I am on my way, well rested.

The parachute opens automatically and the bow comes right up into the wind when the line tightens.

I have never had a breaking sea get past the parachute and I have never had problems with accessive yawing, even on a fin keel/spade rudder boat. Although, it is less comfortable and they do tend to "Sail around more.

The anchor rode acts like a rubber band. It will get streched out in the gusts, then the boat will sail up in the lulls. That's just the nature of some boats. I've never found it dangerous, although when you get blown over a little, you feel it but it merely seems relatively shocking because you are so comfortable, most of the time. I am ALWAYS amazed at how comfortable it really is laying to one of those things. It always shocks me.
I very much appreciate the first hand details.
I note you don't wait to attach it all later. I often wondered why I have read of others setting it up after weather deteriorates.

Questions.

How much longer is your trip line than the partachute rig?
What do you use to weigh the parachute?
What do you use for floats, if any?
Have you ever used oil to calm the breaking seas?
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Old 20-11-2007, 18:42   #53
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I very much appreciate the first hand details.
I note you don't wait to attach it all later. I often wondered why I have read of others setting it up after weather deteriorates.

Questions.

How much longer is your trip line than the partachute rig?
What do you use to weigh the parachute?
What do you use for floats, if any?
Have you ever used oil to calm the breaking seas?
My trip line is 75' long. I attach one of my largest fenders to it and it blows back towards the boat while the chute is deployed. Once the wind dies down to a manageble condition, I merely start the engine and motor (slowly, so that you don't over-run your anchor rode) up on the trip line fender. The trip line is attached to the center of the cone in the parachute. As soon as I reach the floating fender, I pull it aboard, followed by the trip line, followed by the inverted parachute which I stuff directly into the bag. I go forward and put all of the rode down the anchor house-pipe, secure the rode so that it can't get away and she is ready to deploy next time (if you have crew, they can stow the anchor rode while you pack the chute. You don't have to be neat, you just stuff the thing in the bag as it comes up. It's really easy that way.

If it's easy, you will use it and be really happy that you did. If it's hard, it probably won't get deployed and could actually cost the loss of the ship, if you become overwhelmed. Sometimes, when you are in prolonged weather, it's nice to just to just take a break and you will if it is easy and it will add confidence to your use of this amazing tool.

You don't need anything to "weigh the anchor down". It fills with water and weighs about 100 tons. It isn't going to surface. However, it does lay just below the surface and it is fun to watch. You will sometimes see fish and even Dolphin swimming in it like it's a toy swimming pool.
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Old 20-11-2007, 18:49   #54
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Thank you.
No oil then I guess huh?
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Old 20-11-2007, 22:37   #55
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Thank you.
No oil then I guess huh?
Oh....Sorry, I missed that. I actually tried that once....many years ago (pre-paruchute anchor), while hove-to. Not sure if it did anything or not. They say that it keeps the sea from breaking by creating a slick but the fact is, the mechanics of hoving-to creates a slick of it's own.

BTW, the parachute also causes a slick. The parachute being drug through the water like that causes enough disturbance to actually flatten the seas behind it, a lot.
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