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Old 26-08-2013, 10:44   #16
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Re: Planning a Trip to the Bahamas

You have a great little boat. Other than crossing the gulfstream, your needs shouldnt be any different than local sailing. The Vang is unnecessary, but one with a snap shackle is great to use as a preventer to hold the boom to one side or the other.. but really for the Bahamas... not to worry.
Def want a second anchor and rode just in case. I wouldnt prioritize an epirb for the bahamas either, but it's all about your comfort factor I suppose.
Explorer charts for sure. Depthsounder and GPS.
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Old 26-08-2013, 11:34   #17
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Re: Planning a Trip to the Bahamas

I lose so much wind without the boom vang... I've entered the boat in a couple races and I sail 3 or 4 times a week and it's noticeable to everyone who watches or rides along. Additional to the fact that we lose speed, the boom is even more dangerous and unpredictable without the vang. The cost of the vang is minuscule compared to the other things I need.

I have a Garmin GPSmap 441s chart plotter and a friend is lending me a handheld GPS on top of that and the chips are in it for the Bahamas. I'm looking for explorer charts.

I'm also being lent an inflatable dinghy, but I will need an outboard motor. I'm thinking I won't need anything over 3 hp, right? I don't have very much space on deck so it HAS to be inflatable.
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Old 26-08-2013, 14:33   #18
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Re: Planning a Trip to the Bahamas

if i may suggest....

if your current anchor is just marginal, make it your second anchor and go get yourself 100' of chain (1/4" high tensile probably ok) and a real anchor - i suggest a 25lb manson supreme. i've never used more than one anchor ever so i rely on a really good primary. that doesn't mean i won't ever need a second anchor, so i carry two more.....

a small inflatable with a 2 or 3hp o/b is fine. with your draft you won't be anchoring very far offshore of almost any island. if you're interested, it's still possible to buy small two stroke outboards in the bahamas. the yamaha dealer in marsh harbor offered me brand new 2hp yamahas for $750; unfortunately, he had to order it in from nassau and wouldn't get it for a few weeks. now that i'm back home i wish i had waited...

a boom vang is easy to make up and worth having. i've got mid boom sheeting which, having used for ten years, i'm convinced sucks. but i really have no other alternative so i just live with it...
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Old 26-08-2013, 15:03   #19
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I have an appropriately sized Fortress. I think its a fairly solid option. Ill add either a Manson or a Rocna . I really dont have the space for 100' of chain so I was probably going to supplement line with 15' or so of chain. Most of my friends say that would suffice?

I'm keeping my eye out for a small engine. A friend has a 4.5 but that's more than I need. I draw 2'11 so I was even thinking about using oars. Space is exceptionally limited.

I don't know what to do about a stove. A friend has an alcohol one burner but shouldn't I be looking for propane? How readily available is alcohol in the islands?

Are solar panels better than a wind turbine? I have two batteries and a battery charger but unfortunately my alternator doesn't charge them while my engine runs. I have a measley 1 cylinder 8 hp Yanmar diesel. Upside to this is massively reduced fuel consumption. In over a year I've used less than one tank (7.5 gallons).

My deck is unbelievably slippery and I am repainting it but am not sure what product to use. Any suggestions?
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Old 26-08-2013, 15:19   #20
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Re: Planning a Trip to the Bahamas

...uhummm...have you considered working for a chandler or maybe a boatyard junkyard?...you need a lot of stuff...just make sure you have a gasoline powered generator...it's only money...

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Old 26-08-2013, 15:24   #21
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Re: Planning a Trip to the Bahamas

get more chain if possible. it's not just for protection against coral and rocks. it's also protection from some idiot running his outboard too close to you and accidentally cutting your line. nice thing about the fortress is that you can fold them up and keep them stowed below. bad thing is, like most danforth type anchors, they may not reset themselves on the change of tide.

i use oars fairly often, but i've got a hard dinghy. inflatables are notoriously difficult to row in any kind of wind or chop.

for a stove, seriously consider a coleman camping stove. years ago, people i sold my old 27 footer to went to the bahamas for a year and used just that, although they had somehow hooked it up to a 20lb tank instead of using the little 1 lb bottles. they only connected it when cooking, then disconnected and kept the gas bottle in the cockpit. stove alcohol is not available in the bahamas.

i have solar panels. no windcharger. it's my choice because, once you hook up the solar panels, you're done. with a windcharger there always appears to be some kind of maintenance involved. i was going to suggest a honda gas generator but at $800 it's another expense and also occupies space in the lazarette, as well as gasoline and a 120volt battery charger (unless you already have one). i have a honda 1000 which powers my standalone 35 amp charger when necessary, but it's easier to find storage space on a 37 foot boat.

my friend just painted the deck of his morgan 25 with topside paint with some kind of sand added to it. i think most of the paint manufacturers sell it. google around for 'deck non skid' or some such thing and you'll find it. just add it to the paint according to directions and paint away...
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Old 26-08-2013, 15:39   #22
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I have no room for a generator lol. I know all the boys who work in the boatyard so they help me with instals and any other work. They also keep eyes out for parts and are full of years of sailing wisdom.

How useful do you consider the solar panels? That was my plan for the deck. A friend has some extra grit so all I need is paint. Luckily for me, small boat, less paint needed.

I figured the alcohol was a no go so I will look into a camping stove, but wouldn't it be impractical considering the boat isn't always level?
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Old 27-08-2013, 06:48   #23
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Re: Planning a Trip to the Bahamas

I agree with Onestep on the chain. 15 ft isn't enough. You are going to be spending a lot of nights on the hook. You'll sleep better if you have more chain. 100 ft is probably overkill for your boat and where you'll be anchoring. I would suggest maybe 50 ft as a minimum.

I don't think the 4.5 OB is too much. It's only about 50 lbs so the difference in weight won't be too bad. I think you'll like having more range with the dink to explore, etc.

I also think given your electrical needs you can put together a solar rig that will be sufficient at far less cost than a wind generator. Solar panels are pretty reliable, but I would be concerned about only having 1 way to charge your batteries. This is an area where you want some redundancy. I would check into why your alternator isn't charging. Shouldn't be too expensive to repair or even replace if necessary.

What yard do you work out of?

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Old 27-08-2013, 07:07   #24
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I'm on Dataw Island in SC.
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Old 27-08-2013, 07:20   #25
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For a stove I would suggest a Max Burton butane burner. We tried a Coleman double burner on our first trip and did not enjoy the propane tank/ hose and all that. Sucked up lots of space, stunk and felt unsafe.

We bought our Burton on Amazon, it's a single burner and comes in a hard case for storage when not in use.

Works on aerosol type butane cans ( also purchased on Amazon). One can lasts quite a long time and they are easy and safe to store. We bought the twelve pack and with about 3 weeks out on the boat have used 3 cans. We keep them tucked inside our outboard/fuel locker so if one did happen to leak it would vent out the open transom and not into the hull.
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Old 27-08-2013, 08:32   #26
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But is butane available in the islands?
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Old 27-08-2013, 08:57   #27
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Good question as our was surfaced shipped. Guess a lot depends on duration of the trip. I imagine you could plan around it and take what you think you would need. I would feel pretty safe doing two months on 12 cans but everyone is different.

Related, how hard is it to get charcoal and or red meat in the Bahamas? We use our rail mount grill a lot. Of course there is always fish....
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Old 27-08-2013, 09:20   #28
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I'm worried about relying on something unavailable where I'm going...
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Old 27-08-2013, 09:34   #29
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Quick google search show Direct 2u in Nassau sells butane stove canisters so they are available.
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Old 27-08-2013, 09:57   #30
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Re: Planning a Trip to the Bahamas

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Originally Posted by The Garbone View Post
Quick google search show Direct 2u in Nassau sells butane stove canisters so they are available.
The problem is cruisers seldom stay long in Nassau. I would think it's difficult to get in the out islands. Just available in the major centers. Propane is the universal fuel everywhere else. Running out of cooking fuel would be a disaster for most folks. Go with propane if you can.

As for equipping the boat, good ground tackle, adequate charts and a hand bearing compass are all you need for a trip to the Bahamas. A depth sounder helps but you can learn to read the water fairly easily and with your shallow draft, depth of water should not be much of a problem.

Most folks have refrigeration nowadays and with that comes a multitude of complications and increased costs. Electrical power generation is about the number one topic when cruisers get together. Ice is not readily available and if you do not have a fridge and can live without one, it would really simplify your first trip.

Don't forget to take enough food for your dog! It's much cheaper in the States.
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