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Old 23-05-2014, 07:05   #16
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Re: Top ten suggestions for tropical sailing

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Try and find physical (mineral) sunscreen rather than chemical. ie. Zinc rather than OxyBenzone and all others that are unpronounceable.
IMO
Thanks for that. Yes Zinc oxide it is, where available.

There seems to be misconception on this board that the tropics require more sunscreen than high latitudes.

In high latitudes, as in high mountains, the UV radiation is generally higher and the days longer than in the tropics so we are quite familiar with sunscreens - perhaps this is something for those that are thinking about travelling in the other direction to think about.

Of course in the tropics I would expect to require more sunscreen based on the fact that there would be more acreage of skin exposed

Just a note to try and keep this discussion on the track to the answers that I am looking for. I have tropical experience, but mostly land based - I am really looking for suggestions on how to prepare a boat for tropical live-aboard cruising.
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Old 23-05-2014, 14:52   #17
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Re: Top Ten Suggestions for Tropical Sailing

Most of my cruising is higher than true tropical (less than 23.5*), but we spend our greatest lengths of time between 24* to 30* and I think some of our ideas might apply.

1- Refrig/freezer: Be very attentive to good insulation of the box. Nigel Caulder has published some of the best information for this. I like the cold plate freezer with a vented barrier to reduce the cold flow to the refrigerated side. Far less energy is required for the 12v systems that use just a small fan for heat exchange and an efficient Danfloss compressor. We keep about 4cu.ft. refrigerated & 2cu.ft. frozen. ...and certainly top-loaded so your not spilling out the precious cold at every opening.

2- Ventilation: lower latitudes are blessed with the easterlies above the still latitudes near equatorial. If you will be anchoring out most nights you will have a good breeze from the bow. We promote the acess from the bow with scoops that extend enough to not allow most rains and we let the flow out further aft. V-berths are far better than quarter or aft berths for most ventilation. We don't normally need to use any precious 12V on fans.

3- Sun Protection: We're not in it as much as possible. Hats, light loose clothing, biminis, bow shades. We use some suncreen lotions, but mostly we use shade.

4- Salt protection: We bathe in the ocean at our stern each evening or late afternoon with a dish detergent that lathers in salt water like the "JOY" brand. Don't let the salt water dry on your skin, but rinse with your valuable fresh water. We keep rinse water in buckets on the stern, often rain replenished. We are very careful to never take our salty selves or saltwater wet materials below. Once you have salt on your fabrics below thay will remain uncomfortable an clamy in the heat.

4- Insects: We rarely use any sprays or repellants,- 'just don't like them. Most of our choices to avoid the biting insects is a choice of anchorage. We usually find a place behind a barrier beach without a lot of mangrove or dense foliage and/or far enough away from the shore. An extra half mile of dinghy ride can be well worth not needing the screens that block a good portion of ventilation, but we're quick to use the screens when needed. Velcro tapes on the screen edges and on the frames under our hatches work best for us.

...... take the ciguatera cautions very seriously. One of our son's cruising playmates died from this at about age six back in the mid-80's.
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Old 23-05-2014, 18:25   #18
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Re: Top Ten Suggestions for Tropical Sailing

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Most of my cruising is higher than true tropical (less than 23.5*), but we spend our greatest lengths of time between 24* to 30* and I think some of our ideas might apply.
That sounds like a very comfortable range of latitude to aim for Precisely where I am heading June/July (-22 to -34 actually).

Thanks for you detailed reply.

I can't afford refrigeration but if I think I'll end up spending longer in the tropics then I'll work towards it.

I've done months on salt water showers, with no fresh wash down, but that has been in antarctic salt water (warmed) which does not contain as much salt in suspension. We have a fresh shower that can be used in the cockpit or on the scoop - a garden sprayer

Definitely like your approach to staying out of the sun and avoiding the bugs rather than combating them with chemicals etc. Have a large roll of white sunbrella here that is destined to become a kind of Bimini shade errrrr thing. Hunting for some lightweight ripstop to make wind scoops from. Already have installed some extra dorade vents.

Will try to do our fishing further out. I'm a fussy fish eater anyway with a preference for wahoo and longfin
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Old 23-05-2014, 18:34   #19
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Re: Top Ten Suggestions for Tropical Sailing

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...................... I can't afford refrigeration but if I think I'll end up spending longer in the tropics then I'll work towards it. .................
Twenty of our 43 years of liveaboard cruising were without refrigeration. I don't recall those as times of suffering!
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Old 25-05-2014, 12:53   #20
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Re: Top Ten Suggestions for Tropical Sailing

An awning would be my #1 addition for cruising in the tropics. Keeping the sun off you and the boat makes the boat way way more livable and lets the wind cool you. Cruised a year in French Polynesia and boat was comfortable at anchor throughout.

Also stay out of Marinas, they are damned hot because of the lack of airflow. Nothing but air conditioning works there.

Have never had refrigeration. Managed to survive quite well living off the local economy. Just need more frequent trips to the store for vegetables. Fresh veggies seldom last more than a week even with refrigeration. There are easy ways to preserve food like drying, for one, that can extend your range outside civilization to many months if you are are seeking the remote life like we did.

We spent hours everyday in the water snorkeling and spearfishing. Gave up on freshwater wash downs except from passing showers. We just spent too much time in the ocean to try and wash the salt off. Got used to being old salts quickly and didn't miss freshwater wash downs. When we finally got to Papeete after 6 months in the Marquesas and Tuamotus, felt strange to take a freshwater shower and soon got out there to where we could spend time in the water again.
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Old 25-05-2014, 13:19   #21
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Re: Top Ten Suggestions for Tropical Sailing

Assuming the boat is fully found and sound:
  1. Bimini + dodger for cockpit sun and rain protection
  2. Hypalon Dinghy and planing motor.
  3. Battery charging scheme; solar and hi output alternator, or just the latter.
  4. Refrigeration
  5. Cabin ventilation ; windscoop and quiet fans.
  6. Autopilot
  7. All chain rode and windlass.
  8. Dingy Davits if boat is big enough.
  9. Snorkeling and fishing gear
If you go without refrigeration that simplifies things a lot. Just have a decent alternator for minimal charging! A water maker would be nice but not necessary either.
Many trips are just short so Davits are a real nice thing, you can be off and going in 10 minutes with them. also to deter theft at night.
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Old 25-05-2014, 13:33   #22
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Re: Top Ten Suggestions for Tropical Sailing

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
  1. Bimini + dodger for cockpit sun and rain protection
  2. Hypalon Dinghy and planing motor.
  3. Battery charging scheme; solar and hi output alternator, or just the latter.
  4. Refrigeration
  5. Cabin ventilation ; windscoop and quiet fans.
  6. Autopilot
  7. All chain rode and windlass.
  8. Dingy Davits if boat is big enough.
  9. Snorkeling and fishing gear
If you go without refrigeration that simplifies things a lot. Just have a decent alternator for minimal charging! A water maker would be nice but not necessary either.
Many trips are just short so Davits are a real nice thing, you can be off and going in 10 minutes with them. also to deter theft at night.
Nice list, thanks!

Yes we'll be going with no refrigeration and no water maker (500+ litres of fresh water tanks). Already have solar panels and of course the alternator; I also have wind generator and will keep that going until it eventually dies completely.

I don't have davits, and have to say I don't like them - I've seen too many wrecked dinghies and davits where a big wave has dumped on them (big boats included). That said I have a hard dinghy that stores on the cabin top (I know that is also a compromise) and we flick that over the side on a spin halyard which takes only 10mins including lashing / unlashing.

Chris
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Old 25-05-2014, 14:02   #23
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Re: Top Ten Suggestions for Tropical Sailing

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Nice list, thanks!

Yes we'll be going with no refrigeration and no water maker (500+ litres of fresh water tanks). Already have solar panels and of course the alternator; I also have wind generator and will keep that going until it eventually dies completely.

I don't have davits, and have to say I don't like them - I've seen too many wrecked dinghies and davits where a big wave has dumped on them (big boats included). That said I have a hard dinghy that stores on the cabin top (I know that is also a compromise) and we flick that over the side on a spin halyard which takes only 10mins including lashing / unlashing.

Chris
Sounds good. You did cay Caribe not round the world so davits would be high on my list but not everyones! If you don't have them be fastidious about hauling the dingy up every night. A week in the water behind the boat and it will be heavily slimed as well as tiny sharp barnacles. This requires taking the dink to the beach, taking everything off including the motor, turning it over and scrubbing it, putting everything on and then lashing it to the boat. Usually a 2-3 hour job for me. I never wanted davits until I got them with a boat. One of the most useful devices I ever had on a boat now!
Blown out of an anchorage at night? the dink is in the davits... just go!
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Old 25-05-2014, 14:17   #24
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Re: Top Ten Suggestions for Tropical Sailing

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Sounds good. You did cay Caribe not round the world
No, never said Caribe and won't be going anywhere near. Polynesia will be the first tropical stop.

I always, always, lift the dink when it's not going to be used for an hour or two. Seen too many lost one way or another by leaving them in the water.

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Old 25-05-2014, 14:25   #25
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Re: Top Ten Suggestions for Tropical Sailing

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No, never said Caribe and won't be going anywhere near. Polynesia will be the first tropical stop.

I always, always, lift the dink when it's not going to be used for an hour or two. Seen too many lost one way or another by leaving them in the water.

Chris
Yeah, sorry, not sure how my brain flipped to the carribean... haha... maybe it never left!
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Old 25-05-2014, 14:57   #26
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Re: Top Ten Suggestions for Tropical Sailing

Definitely get a gas BBQ. A Cobb is another option. You won't want to be cooking in the galley too much.

I wouldn't go without my fridge but don't need a freezer. In some areas ice for the cold box can be expensive. There have been a few years where I swear we spent more on ice than fuel.

A sun awning which covers the coachroof helps keep it cooler and if you don't have a bimini you can run the awning all the way to cover the cockpit. The wind scoops are very effective at anchor. Like others said--avoid marinas as they can be deadly hot.

In hot climates laundry is a bigger--& lesser issue. Sunscreen, salt & sweat are best washed away at the end of the day to help keep your (hard to wash in a bucket) bedding fresh as long as possible. The good news is you can wear fewer & smaller clothes.

Screens on hatches & companionway, and a fly swatter may be in order.
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Old 25-05-2014, 15:17   #27
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Re: Top Ten Suggestions for Tropical Sailing

A freshwater rinse in the cockpit or swimstep is a great addition. I almost always just bathed in the sea and followed with a fresh rinse. Saves water.
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Old 25-05-2014, 15:21   #28
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Re: Top Ten Suggestions for Tropical Sailing

little chay:

Changes to the boat have been adequately covered:
1) ventilation
2) shade underway and at anchor
3) coral proof anchor rode (by the way, some of the Societies Anchorages are very deep, on the order of 60 to 80 ft. deep); you may find it the only places you have to extend your chain with rope rode.

With your white sunbrella, you can make a combination cockpit awning and rain catcher.
We never have had a bimini, and instead fabricated a 1/2 size under way awning that shades one side of the cockpit, and shift it as the sun changes.


Especially in Tahiti, there are reliable rain showers so that you can both keep up your tanks, and handle laundry requirements. I suggest teaching yourselves to use hand towels for drying off your bodies. It is so much easier to wash and wring them out than full size bath towels, when you are doing laundry in a bucket. If you haven't had to wring sheets out by hand before, we wrap them around a stanchion and twist them up, also towels, and once, a sleeping bag. It gets more water out than just twisting between your hands. (The physically stronger one does the wringing.)

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Old 25-05-2014, 15:54   #29
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Re: Top Ten Suggestions for Tropical Sailing

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With your white sunbrella, you can make a combination cockpit awning and rain catcher.
We never have had a bimini, and instead fabricated a 1/2 size under way awning that shades one side of the cockpit, and shift it as the sun changes.
Thanks for that. Yes an underway shade is what I have in mind Got any pics of your set-up?

The boom in sheeted to the hard-dodger roof and I plan on covering the area from the main-sheet aft to the backstays. This will give useful direct shade for the cockpit and secondary shade of the dodger roof. Planning to put a rain spout in but not sure how do this yet.

Planning removable side and aft screens for use at anchor.

We don't even carry full sized towels
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Old 25-05-2014, 16:09   #30
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Re: Top Ten Suggestions for Tropical Sailing

Littlechay:

If you add bolt rope track to the aft end of your dodger, and put bolt rope on the forward edges of your awning, that's how you secure the forward edge. We use bungie cord to our radar arch to secure the aft end, and with a soft dodger, our fwd attachments are zipped in. Very simple, easy, fast to remove.

The full cockpit awning was designed by Jim, and was made from 4 triangles (to give shape). We trial-hung it to find its lowest point and I sewed a funnel shaped bit of sunbrella to mate to the hose, and sewed a lifting loop on the top side, so we could raise it as an awning, only lowering it for water catchment.

We also have a downwing rain awning, made of clear PVC with three zips, P, S, and center to stay dry sailing downwind, all homemade, designed by Jim, with input from me.

You will need, also, a companionway screen (too keep out bugs). Mark J has made his into a burglar-proof deal. Ours was all fabric, with a U shaped zip for coming in and out.

Sorry, pix not practical now, got some boat jobs we gotta do, but if you PM me, I'll try to put something useful together for you.

Ann
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