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Old 22-02-2012, 19:29   #1
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Location: New Orleans, La
Boat: Pacific Seacraft, Crealock 37
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Crealock 37 Outfitting

Getting ready to go cruising finally, the real thing. Before we go, we need to finish up with installation of davits, auto pilot, vane, wind gen, windlass and watermaker. Im hoping to get some feedback from others as to what worked for you and what you would recommend avoiding or doing differently.

This last bit of outfitting is going to take quite a bite out of the cruising kitty, but I dont want to have to make improvements once were in the Bahamas or Caribbean.

Suggestions?
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Old 22-02-2012, 20:50   #2
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Re: Crealock 37 Outfitting

I'm not a fan of davits. Wouldn't trust a dinghy hanging off the stern for more than a daysail in protected waters. Just too much opportunity for the weather to turn just a little nasty and you lose the dinghy and hopefully not the deck the davits are bolted to. You can tow the dinghy for such short sails. It's not that big a deal to stow an inflatable, inflated on deck for short passages or to carry a hard dink on deck. They also are very hard to use with a self steering vane as they both take up the same realestate, especially on a canoe stern.

I've got a Raymarine X-5 wheelpilot and it's performed like a trooper under power and lighter wind sailing. Did 30+ straight hours returning to SF when I had a gear failure 180 miles offshore. They wheel drive unit isn't particularly powerful so won't steer my boat with it's very heavy helm at speed under sail. If your helm is light should work fine even under sail. Friend has the same pilot on his Catalina 36 and he uses it all the time in the blustery winds of SF Bay. Beyond the X-5, price and robustness are limitless, it's just more money.

I like a vertical windlass with a rope capstan and chain gypsy. Find the rope gypsy really handy for warping into tight berths like med style mooring and kedging off when the bottom rises to meet yours. With a vertical windlass, you don't have to worry about a farlead for off center line winching, they will pull from any direction.

We didn't have any problem with running out of water. Had 80 gallons in two tanks and never used even 40 gallons on a passage. In the tropics, spent hours in the water so never needed a shower. Refilled the tanks with captured rainwater from our awning. Never hauled water in more than a year of cruising. Turn off your pressure water system, add fresh and saltwater foot pumps and your water usage will drop to very little. If you are anticipating being a big water user and venturing to arid areas like Baja, might think about a water maker. They take a lot of electrons to work so should have a very good wind/solar system or expect to run your engine a lot to make much water.

I'd add solar panels to your list of needs. If an anchorage is comfortable to be in, you won't get much output from a wind generator. They really need 10 plus mph wind to generate much electricity. A couple of 130 watt solar panels will go a long way to fulfilling your electrical needs and four will probably make you entirely self sufficient. Would still go with a wind gen for its ability to generate power when the wind does blow especially on passages and/or the sun don't shine.

We have had really good performance from our WindPilot Pacific Plus on our current. It's an auxillary rudder system so can act as a backup rudder should something happen to the main rudder and it's hardware. The vane will steer the boat even in boat speeds to one knot force 1 winds. Unfortunately, they are quite pricey unless you can find one used like we did. Pendulum servo vanes may work for you. A Monitor didn't on our current boat. Just not enough force to turn the wheel until boat speed exceded four knots. It's a matter of of how much force is needed to turn your wheel. WindPIlot, Monitor, Aries, Cap Horn, Fleming, Sailomat all make quality products. Ease of mounting would be my number one priority.

Good luck on preparing your boat. It seems to take a lot more money and time than anticipated to get a boat ready for a cruise. Keep in mind that you'll never get it perfect and a lot of your 'must have equipment' will end up on Ebay once you are out there. The hardest part of going cruising is untieing the dock lines.
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Old 22-02-2012, 21:12   #3
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Re: Crealock 37 Outfitting

I like the name of your boat. Its got a little something extra to it.
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