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Old 26-05-2015, 02:04   #661
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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Originally Posted by NevisDog View Post
Now I'm really wondering why you sought advice on the Hylas, as you seem to already know far more than anyone else on this forum and have already made up your mind. Remember the advice here was "not a boat I would choose" - and that from a very experienced cruiser who is familiar with the conditions you can expect to encounter. Very strange.

Anyway it all assists me in comparing yachts that might meet my requirements, so thanks. I only hope someone else out there found something useful too.
I don't remember anyone actually answering the question " whats it like to live on a Hylas 54 for a month or so with snow and ice on the decks" Yes in terms of would the Hylas handle the conditions assuming judicious decisions were made when to sail or not and what route to take I have made my mind up that the Hylas would be suitable.
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Old 26-05-2015, 02:38   #662
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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I don't remember anyone actually answering the question " whats it like to live on a Hylas 54 for a month or so with snow and ice on the decks" Yes in terms of would the Hylas handle the conditions assuming judicious decisions were made when to sail or not and what route to take I have made my mind up that the Hylas would be suitable.
I can tell you what its like to live on a boat with snow ( can't talk about ice...haven't been there... air temp on the west coast rarely gets below 0*C ) on deck.... not too bad actually as snow provides insulation.

But living in a cold wet climate like Patagonia you really want to be on a boat that you can easily insulate.... many modern boats don't fit the bill there.

Soft option is to live at or near ambient as I do... most won't want to do that.

And handling a 54 foot boat in and out of caletas on a daily basis would not be a lot of fun.... people do it but the 'new chums' don't seem to enjoy it all that much

However.... if you knew the answer why did you ask the question?
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Old 26-05-2015, 03:09   #663
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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I can tell you what its like to live on a boat with snow ( can't talk about ice...haven't been there... air temp on the west coast rarely gets below 0*C ) on deck.... not too bad actually as snow provides insulation.

But living in a cold wet climate like Patagonia you really want to be on a boat that you can easily insulate.... many modern boats don't fit the bill there.

Soft option is to live at or near ambient as I do... most won't want to do that.

And handling a 54 foot boat in and out of caletas on a daily basis would not be a lot of fun.... people do it but the 'new chums' don't seem to enjoy it all that much

However.... if you knew the answer why did you ask the question?
Thanks for that, I have been in cold snowy conditions for the odd week or so on smaller boats 34 to 40 ft but of a more traditional design, less volume smaller cabins etc with either or both blown air and radiant diesel heaters in the main saloon with blown air outlets elsewhere. The Hylas relies on reverse cycle air con with a generator to power it which I can't envisage running 24 / 7 perhaps the addition of smaller blown air units would be a possibility but it's a big boat and I wouldn't want to selectively heat just parts of it, condensation etc. I know that Hylas boats have cruised North Alaska and was hoping to get some feedback from someone that had. I doubt that anyone has been to the Kerguelen or Crozet islands which would be on the list but their remoteness would make them a challenge for virtually any boat so it would be a suck it and see venture. Other than that it would be a month or so around Patagonia, Alaska, perhaps visiting Greenland and Iceland again and if so the East coast of Canada. In between the South Pacific islands and who knows where else.
Boat handling always brings it's own individual challenges you either adapt, enjoy it, hate it or get on with it it's the reward or penalty of owning a boat and daily movement would not be on my agenda.
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Old 26-05-2015, 03:38   #664
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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Other than that it would be a month or so around Patagonia, Alaska, perhaps visiting Greenland and Iceland again and if so the East coast of Canada. In between the South Pacific islands and who knows where else.
Boat handling always brings it's own individual challenges you either adapt, enjoy it, hate it or get on with it it's the reward or penalty of owning a boat and daily movement would not be on my agenda.
A month won't do the job in Chilean Patagonia.... P Montt south? 6 weeks if you keep moving. I've known people go through the Channels like **** through a goose... ticked the boxes but did they get value for money? maybe not..

Getting to Chile is not too hard if you cross from NZ or Tahiti or Pascua....and aren't trying to go from NZ down and around the Horn directo.

And as long as you are not in a hurry and move when you choose.... thats fine.. but I have seen boats like the Hylas trying to go 'up channel' stuck for long time because --- if they could unmoor--- the fear of the unknown and the prospect of having to tie up in sub optimum conditions at the end of the day scared the tripe out of them
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Old 26-05-2015, 13:11   #665
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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... long ocean passages ... may call for partial rhumb line then great circle (or vice versa). This is then modified by prevailing weather patterns and in the case of higher latitudes, families of lows, whose steering pattern can be seen at higher 500mb levels. These prognoses give the captain a good idea of when an eta at a notoriously rough spot or confluence (like the Horns) is not advised. So you slow down or take a longer working tack to avoid the worst weather and position yourself at the best weather window for the Horn.
I'm still getting used to the idea of folk no longer considering a sextant as an essential piece of kit - such blind faith in electronic wizardry never used to be considered seamanlike. Sailing once with a bunch of naval ratings, long before weather-fax became generally affordable, I was suitably impressed when they audio-recorded the fax broadcast and deciphered the dots and dashes to reproduce the isobars - such teamwork! And now I suppose weather-fax is relegated to the museum.

So it seems we are saying that vessels can nowadays undertake a voyage for which they would once have been considered unsuited, simply because weather routing can ensure they will encounter only fair winds? Have boats become 'blue' because we have the ability to receive weather routing data far from home? Or is 'blue' no longer a necessary ingredient for offshore voyages because of modern technology? Have I correctly understood the argument?

I had no idea attitudes to seamanship in small craft had changed so much during my absence ashore - I feel such a dinosaur.
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Old 26-05-2015, 15:09   #666
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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Originally Posted by NevisDog View Post
I'm still getting used to the idea of folk no longer considering a sextant as an essential piece of kit - such blind faith in electronic wizardry never used to be considered seamanlike. Sailing once with a bunch of naval ratings, long before weather-fax became generally affordable, I was suitably impressed when they audio-recorded the fax broadcast and deciphered the dots and dashes to reproduce the isobars - such teamwork! And now I suppose weather-fax is relegated to the museum.

So it seems we are saying that vessels can nowadays undertake a voyage for which they would once have been considered unsuited, simply because weather routing can ensure they will encounter only fair winds? Have boats become 'blue' because we have the ability to receive weather routing data far from home? Or is 'blue' no longer a necessary ingredient for offshore voyages because of modern technology? Have I correctly understood the argument?

I had no idea attitudes to seamanship in small craft had changed so much during my absence ashore - I feel such a dinosaur.
No I don't think you have...
You can get the 500mb charts via Wefax and if you wish to spend time learning how to use them they can be very useful in working out what may happen.
Even without them and just the sea level progs you can get a good idea of how and where to go. Mind you the South Pacific is far simpler than the North Atlantic. Down in the bottom of the Sopac its pretty much a case of deciding where the highs are sitting and where the lows are tracking... go too high and you will be becalmed... too low and you may even get below the lows and find yourself in Easterly gales. You can't really change your plans on a daily basis but you can modify them as you go along. In summer the mid 40's seem to be the sweet spot.
I find the idea of slowing your boat to get a window at the Horn a bit odd..... your just going to cop that wx a day or so sooner... might as well just keep on going. Getting a bit off topic here but a mistake many make is staying too far north for too long when approaching the Horn. The majority of lows don't just track on over the Andes... they take the soft option and go down around the Horn. This means the prevailing summer wind along the Chilean Patagonia coast is NW'ly... find yourself in a NW gale and big sea superimposed on a heavy SW swell and you may find yourself living in 'interesting times'. Best to get down to the latitude of the Horn by about 120/110 W.
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Old 26-05-2015, 16:35   #667
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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Originally Posted by NevisDog View Post

(...)

So it seems we are saying that vessels can nowadays undertake a voyage for which they would once have been considered unsuited, simply because weather routing can ensure they will encounter only fair winds? Have boats become 'blue' because we have the ability to receive weather routing data far from home? Or is 'blue' no longer a necessary ingredient for offshore voyages because of modern technology? Have I correctly understood the argument?
In a way, yes. Think about short coastal hops in areas where the patterns are better foreseeable and reports from the windward side are better known.

Boats have not become blue for that, but they did get a bluish cast perhaps. (This opinion is NOT to be used for navigation)

Then again we have to think offshore. When the distance is long enough, even on what is considered the easy routes, one can get pasted provided they sail enough. And the smaller (=slower) the boat the bigger our hopes of seeing the full fury of the ocean once (pun intended). One can get pasted even with all those gay arrows onboard.

I am not sure British W coast sailors in the XIX century would have seen a Bagoon as a viable seagoing craft. But it may be a relatively safe sport to take one across the North Sea even if the driver is way less than a seasoned seaperson. It sure will not hurt to look up those grub files or whatever their name is. (Provided there are wx reading skills to match the amazing coloured arrows technology, which is not always the case)

Well. This is my draft opinion. They did get more bluish, not blue, in this sense.

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Old 26-05-2015, 17:07   #668
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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Originally Posted by NevisDog View Post
I'm still getting used to the idea of folk no longer considering a sextant as an essential piece of kit - such blind faith in electronic wizardry never used to be considered seamanlike. Sailing once with a bunch of naval ratings, long before weather-fax became generally affordable, I was suitably impressed when they audio-recorded the fax broadcast and deciphered the dots and dashes to reproduce the isobars - such teamwork! And now I suppose weather-fax is relegated to the museum.

So it seems we are saying that vessels can nowadays undertake a voyage for which they would once have been considered unsuited, simply because weather routing can ensure they will encounter only fair winds? Have boats become 'blue' because we have the ability to receive weather routing data far from home? Or is 'blue' no longer a necessary ingredient for offshore voyages because of modern technology? Have I correctly understood the argument?

I had no idea attitudes to seamanship in small craft had changed so much during my absence ashore - I feel such a dinosaur.
I look at it this way....
Horseback riding used to be important ....now not so much.

Being your own professional weather forecaster used to be important ....now not so much.

I don't think modern cruisers ignore the traditional seamanship skills, they just prioritize with far more info available... than in the past.
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Old 29-05-2015, 07:01   #669
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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I look at it this way....
Horseback riding used to be important ....now not so much.

Being your own professional weather forecaster used to be important ....now not so much.

I don't think modern cruisers ignore the traditional seamanship skills, they just prioritize with far more info available... than in the past.
I don't think the bulk of modern. Cruisers are even fully aware of many of the old navigation skills because they are not needed. No one "navigates" anymore, its just a big video game that combined with GPS works out everything for you. Makes it easier than driving a car for gods sake. When I hear people talk about navigating I just smile, no one but a handful have or even want the basic skills or have the right to even use the word navigate!
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Old 29-05-2015, 07:20   #670
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

I think that's a bit harsh.

Most cruisers I know have learned the principles of basic navigation/DR...ETC ...BUT the rub is....
With modern aids, they don't have the incentive to practice and become proficient.... So it sits in the background as an unused memory
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Old 29-05-2015, 07:56   #671
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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I don't think the bulk of modern. Cruisers are even fully aware of many of the old navigation skills because they are not needed. No one "navigates" anymore, its just a big video game that combined with GPS works out everything for you. Makes it easier than driving a car for gods sake. When I hear people talk about navigating I just smile, no one but a handful have or even want the basic skills or have the right to even use the word navigate!
You mean those new fangled tools like sextants and paper charts. After all the Vikings did a pretty good job of navigating to North America without them.

Inshore I tend to spend most of my time using pilotage, but occasionally I have to do some navigation with a mixture of paper and electronic aids so I will use the word to describe what I do, even if you don't like it.

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Old 29-05-2015, 08:06   #672
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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You mean those new fangled tools like sextants and paper charts. After all the Vikings did a pretty good job of navigating to North America without them.
Latitude hook
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Old 29-05-2015, 08:10   #673
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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Latitude hook
and some serious attitude
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Old 29-05-2015, 16:28   #674
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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... No one "navigates" anymore, its just a big video game that, combined with GPS, works out everything for you... no one but a handful have or even want the basic skills or have the right to even use the word navigate!
Assuming this to be partly true, for someone not currently cruising -
- How often might the big video screen crash, on average, forcing you to revert to DR on paper?
- What might cause such a crash?
- Are some systems more robust than others? (Probably another thread somewhere.)
- 5000 miles from here to the Horn, downhill: is the system of receiving weather charts so reliable that a yacht considered non-blue can be encouraged to make the trip?
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Old 30-05-2015, 01:06   #675
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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Assuming this to be partly true, for someone not currently cruising -
- How often might the big video screen crash, on average, forcing you to revert to DR on paper?
- What might cause such a crash?
- Are some systems more robust than others? (Probably another thread somewhere.)
- 5000 miles from here to the Horn, downhill: is the system of receiving weather charts so reliable that a yacht considered non-blue can be encouraged to make the trip?
I sailed with mainly Raymarine stuff from ST 40 through to ST 60+ first radar was an RC something another coupled with it's small plotter a huge step forward. The biggest problems I ever experienced were with the early tiller pilots and water ingress. The later wheel pilots coupled under deck to Mamba drives gave me no problems over thousands of miles. The ST 60+ wind instrument was initially a bit flakey but once sorted ( wiring problems, using an existing wiring harness in an attempt to short cut masthead work) behaved perfectly. I also had an old BG hydra system without radar on a boat that never missed a beat. I suspect most of the problems revolve around installation and needless to say I installed every instrument and system I ever purchased. The last E series plotter I had did crash once but a simple switch off and on resolved the issue never to reoccur.

SSB once again properly installed is very reliable both for comms and receiving WX. I have no experience of weather routing software so can't comment as to the ability to receive and plot Grib files etc. To answer your question should a "non blue" boat be encouraged to make the trip reliant on electrics the answer must be no but the key word is reliant as many "non blue" boats have done the trip without any electrical aids.

I can't imagine any offshore sailor that utilises electronic navigation aids that does not keep a log and has the requisite charts to at least allow a DR position with progressive circles of uncertainty to be plotted. Many will cary a sextant, some will use it for the pleasure of doing so, some like myself will ( would ) use it occasionally just to ensure that with a little head scratching and patience they can plot a reasonably accurate position at least a sun run sun plot. A great number will not carry or know how to use a sextant but does that make them poor sailors? I doubt it. Technology evolves and we would be foolish not to take what advantage we can but as always a plan B is advisable.

Forgot to mention sat phone, my only experience was with a hand held iridium which was a pain in the arse to use in texting but OK in voice mode, I had no success in linking it to a PC to down load Grib files either. As for PCs on boats I would not want to rely on one as the sole means of data handling, fare to vulnerable, I prefer a fixed and dedicated installation, I think the drives are to vulnerable on a PC.
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