I sailed a Seasprite 23 which is almost the same boat with an even smaller cabin
from Cape Cod
to the Canadian border - and back, often 50 miles offshore
If the mainsail
looks worn, buy a new one. It will feel like a whole different boat and be able to make good progress offshore upwind. Be sure you can put in two reefs
. This boat needs to be reefed early and often. I would often put one reef in while in the harbor and then shake it out if the wind
really was too light.
As suggested, have a good jib
around 110 overlap. People typically put big genoas on these and try to partially furl them in higher winds getting terrible sail shape. All they get is heeling force.
don't have winches to raise so the sail, so you have to pull really hard on the halyard
. The luff (front of the sail) should be tight.
Always sail with the lower leeboard in the companionway
. A good size wave can overflow the cockpit
and sink this boat in seconds. With both boards in and the companionway
shut you can handle just about anything in this boat.
The boat is VERY good offshore because the the low topsides present little windage or area for waves to hit and the full keel will keep it moving through seas. It feels like a much bigger boat offshore.
Rig two lines in the cockpit
to hold the tiller as an "autopilot". The boat balances very well. The lines will keep it on course long enough to get a drink or take a pee.
Cruising in a boat this small is a lot like camping (without the dirt). There's very little storage
but much more than in a hiking backpack.I was cruising with a friend. One of us slept forward and one in a quarter berth. The other quarter berth held a large cooler and milk crates with food
supplies. The unused side of the forward berth held clothes in duffle bags. It worked fine. Don't even think about having 3 aboard overnight.
We cooked on a propane
camp stove in the cockpit (disconnected the propane
cylinder after cooking
and stored it above deck)
Have a piece of Sunbrella that can be put over the boom to be a sunshade at anchor
in the Bahamas
. It should tie to the rails ending about 2ft above the deck
(for ventilation and view). You may need some tent poles to make it work. It needs to be sturdy enough to not flap too much in the wind
doesn't have to be new but it does have to reliable. Be sure to get a long shaft outboard
. I had just 6hp which drove the boat at hull speed
. No electric
start needed. But think about an alternator
to charge batteries. There is very little unshaded space for large solar panels
. The best bet might be to put a 100 watt panel at the stern on a post or two with its forward edge attached to the backstay.
The toughest trailering challenge is stepping the mast
. It's bigger than it looks. There's usually no crane at a launching ramp. We used a couple of 2x4's to make a V shaped mast
sheer. (see drawing) Each leg attached to a shroud
chainplate.The jib halyard
was attached to the apex of the sheer. We lead a line from the sheer through a block tied to the bow cleat and back to a winch
the sheer towards the deck
and the mast goes up. To keep the base of the mast from sliding and to act as a simple tabernacle (hinge), install two small eye bolts - one in the deck just aft of the mast step and one in the aft base of the mast. Tie a small loop of line through two eyebolts.