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Old 18-09-2009, 14:49   #31
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I sail Maine a lot, and did the P-town to/from Downeast 4 times this summer.

You do not need a sea anchor. You really don't need a life raft, especially if you have a dink. You plan on going ashore, right?

Radar allows you to travel on days you would otherwise be staying put. I like the integrated system with overlay - if it's not on the chart, but it's on the radar, it's a boat. That said, it's expensive, and might not use it much in your home waters. Maine is our home water, we use it enough to justify.

Do you have a laptop? Go to P-town, download GRIB's from sailmail, go when the wind is favorable. Same thing for the return. I'll take 20-30 knots downwind in a heartbeat. I'd rather motor in a dead calm than sail overnight upwind in 20-30 with family aboard. This is supposed to be fun. If you play the weather windows, this is a nice trip. You'll see lots of whales.

Take the drysuit, in case you foul your prop and need to swim. Watch out for "toggled" pots. These are 2 buoys connected by a line shallow enough to cause a headache.

East of Cranberry Island there are very few services, and lots of fog. You need to be self sufficient if you're going to Roque Island, Mistake or Mud Hole.

Don't miss the lobster roll on Frenchboro at The Offshore Store.

Do you have a friend who sails these waters? If so, borrow a copy of Taft and Rindlaubs "Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast". It's a good start. If not, PM me and I'll send you my spare copy.

Blue Hill Bay has fewer lobster pots than other inland waters because it's deep.

Once you're past the entrance, Eggemoggin Reach has basically no pots, and is one of the most beautiful sails on earth. Once you're finished, go to Holbrook, just south of Castine. You can thank me later.

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Old 18-09-2009, 16:19   #32
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I did Monhegan to the canal in June. We did see lots of whales. Of course it's a much better trip going north with the prevailing southwesterlies.

IMHO Sahara's advice is good. One thing I would consider is one of those 15 minute emergency breathing tanks in case you have to unfoul the prop.

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Old 18-09-2009, 16:30   #33
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This is great stuff guys, I'm recording it all.... My boat has an outboard so i don't have to worry about diving to clear a fouled prop... although an extra prop might be a good thing to add to my list.

I do have a decent dinghy (albeit with oars only... I'm looking for a small used outboard) and I'm very relieved to hear you say that I don't need a liferaft.

I may end up getting the sea anchor and long rode anyway just in case. I can use the chain with my regular anchor as a drogue if necessary. I have already been in 2 moderate gales with my boat and in retrospect a drogue might have come in handy. Plus I might just have one other crew on board and it would give us some rest and peace of mind if we had any kind of equipment failure.

Forgive the obvious question, but do I need to buy special "boating" chain from a boating store or can I go to the hardware store? What diameter and material should it be?

Thanks again....

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Old 19-09-2009, 05:48   #34
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Which units did you get? I just bought a 31 footer with tiller. I am thinking of Garmin GPSMAP 3205C and 18" 4KW dome. Comments? Also is your dome fixed? Any issues? Surveyor said recommended self leveling but that is as much as unit!
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Old 19-09-2009, 06:22   #35
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Has anyone investigated the new digital radars, and how much they cost?
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Old 19-09-2009, 12:56   #36
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If you will forgive me for mentioning the obvious- if you are going to do an overnight across the Gulf of Maine you will be crossing shipping lanes. Having a good working VHF and monitoring Ch 16 is an absolute necessity - much more important than radar, sea anchor, life raft, etc. I really prefer a fixed mount for the extra transmit power, but a good handheld is a minimum requirement. If commercial traffic (or any other vessel) has a question about a crossing situation, they will not hesitate to hail you, and you need to be able to respond. I've done this trip without GPS or radar, but would never consider it without VHF.

Too many sailors display the wrong running lights. If you are under sail, DO NOT display a steaming light, thinking that it will make you more visible. That can change you from the stand-on to the give-way boat. Similarly, if you are motoring or motorsailing, show proper lights and act accordingly. If your boat is older and you are unsure of the lights, check them out at night and replace bulbs if need be.

If you go on the proper weather, this can be a beautiful sail. It was the first overnight for both my wife and son, and is now one of their favorite trips, to the point where they want to do it a couple of times per summer just for fun.

Good Luck!
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Old 20-09-2009, 12:44   #37
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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Has anyone investigated the new digital radars, and how much they cost?
I recomend you check out panbo for this one. That goes for you too OrangeCrush.


The sea is always beautiful, sometimes mysterious and, on occasions, frighteningly powerful.
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Old 20-09-2009, 16:48   #38
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you can rent liferafts and epirbs from boat US (or so I have heard). towing insurance isnt a bad thing to have either and it isnt very expensive. I have boat US towing insurance - shockingly expensive to get a tow if you need one and dont have it. it works kind of like triple A of the sea.
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Old 20-09-2009, 19:01   #39
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P26 - right! - I'm afraid a lot of the advice you're getting (including from me) is from the perspective of larger boats. I'll get in the way back machine to 30 years ago when I did this trip in a 23ft Seasprite.

Radar, sea anchor, liferaft are all "nice to have's" that probably don't make sense on a 26ft boat. I'd focus on the some real "musts" and then the "everyday" aspects of Maine.

Anchor - You'll need this one or more times a day so choose carefully. The plow and Bruce are not the best today for Maine. Look at the Manson Supreme, Rocna or Delta. Since you don't have a windlass, use 30-50ft of chain and 200ft of line. You need a second anchor too. I'd get a Fortress or Danforth since it stows flat and works well in mud.

Dinghy - You need an inflatable dinghy (inflatable kayaks in a pinch). I'd get an 8ft that rows at least tolerably. It will serve as a liferaft. Deflate the stern and store it on the foredeck offshore. Tow it when nearer shore

Chartplotter (for your size boat a 5" might be best). They're all good enough. My Seasprite trip was with Loran and an old RDF.

Safety: Maine water is cold. Any man overboard is an immediate life and death situation. Carry comfortable inflatable life jackets, safety harness, jack lines from cockpit to bow, lifesling, prepared lifting tackle, throw-able man overboard buoy. Everyone should carry a knife. Train all crew on man-overboard recovery.

Comfort: Maine is cold even if you don't fall in. Polypropylene long underwear, fleece socks, good boots, gloves, warm hat, lots of fleece. Extra blankets. Soups. Scotch (single malt goes with the surroundings), propane camp lantern (saves battery and the heat helps dry out the cabin)

Problems - Bosun's chair, lots of parts for your outboard, 5-10 gallons extra fuel in jugs tied at the stern, 6 ft 2x4 to use as a fenderboard against dock pilings.

Guides - Besides the Taft guide try to find a copy of Duncan and Ware's Cruising Guide to the New England Coast. A little dated but a joy to read.

A great place to buy things for a Maine trip if from Hamilton Marine - Maine's biggest marine supplier. Hamilton Marine Supplies They do well with Internet orders and have reasonable prices.

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Old 21-09-2009, 15:09   #40
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That's all great advice, except that I would still get the radar.

I can also recommend Hamilton Marine.

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fog, radar

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