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Old 22-05-2014, 17:39   #1
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Top Ten Suggestions for Tropical Sailing

I'm currently sorting my boat for a new adventure. For the first time in my life I'm planning some extended time in the tropics where it's going to be hot and sticky and where the windy-meter reads something other than 35 knots close-hauled.

Nearly all of my sailing has been in high latitudes (southern high latitudes) and my boat is set up accordingly. I have a heater and no fridge for example.

I'd like to request suggested top-ten lists for boat equipment, set-up, systems for tropical sailing. Whatever it is please suggest it.

Chris
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Old 22-05-2014, 18:05   #2
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Re: Top ten suggestions for tropical sailing

Lots of cabin fans.
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Old 22-05-2014, 18:07   #3
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Re: Top ten suggestions for tropical sailing

Get an bimini and lots of suncream lotion. I pile the stuff on and still get burnt. Lethal jellyfish are common at times of the year in Australia-check that out where you are.
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Old 22-05-2014, 18:42   #4
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Re: Top ten suggestions for tropical sailing

Here are some helpful hints from a good friend of ours:

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Old 22-05-2014, 18:45   #5
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Re: Top ten suggestions for tropical sailing

Here's my list in no particular order...
  1. Bimini for cockpit sun and rain protection
  2. Dinghy other than inflatable PVC. Or a good cover for a PVC dinghy.
  3. Solar Panels for charging batteries
  4. Refrigeration for cold drinks and keeping food fresh.
  5. Cabin ventilation maybe including wind chutes for hatches
  6. Sail covers to prevent UV damage to sails
  7. All chain rode for anchoring adjacent to coral and reef areas
  8. Personal sun protection including sunscreens, protective clothing, decent boat shoes (especially if you have teak decks) and lots of hats of the clipon variety.
  9. Polarised sunglasses for eye protection and bommie spotting
  10. Snorkelling and fishing gear

Almost forgot another important thing. A stern rail BBQ. No one likes cooking inside the cabin when it's steenkin' hot.
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Old 22-05-2014, 18:47   #6
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Re: Top ten suggestions for tropical sailing

Cabin fans, Bimini, whole boat awning for anchoring, more opening ports / hatches if practical, windscoops.
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Old 22-05-2014, 18:56   #7
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Re: Top ten suggestions for tropical sailing

55 gal drum of sunscreen
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Old 22-05-2014, 19:18   #8
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Re: Top ten suggestions for tropical sailing

Mosquito prophylaxis. It's not only Anopheles (malaria) you have to be concerned with, (which are night feeders), but Aedes, which are day feeders (chikungunya and dengue).

Also find out about prevalence of ciguatoxin in the fish of the areas you will go to. Some reef fish have it, it is caused by a dinoflagellate (sp?), and ciguetera, what you get from eating an intoxicated fish, can be fatal. Ciguatoxin accumulates in one's liver, and is slowly excreted till you are non symptomatic, but is mainly retained in ones liver, so you will always be vulnerable to it. Until you become symptomatic, You think you never ate a ciguatoxic fish, but in fact, you can't tell if your "dose" is cumulative from many previous fish or a large dose from a large fish.

We tend to want to strip off when it gets hot, and if there's a good breeze, you can be safe that way where its quite hot and humid; but, if it becomes still, the mozzies will come looking for you. Then, light colored clothing is the hot setup, plus bug juice...and screens, for all openings into the interior of the boat, including dorades. Once in the well screened shelter of the boat, we wash off DEET, it really feels yucky on the skin, IMO.

You will also want hatch dodgers of some sort to allow fresh air in when its raining. The fans mentioned above will circulate it, but you need good airflow for comfort and also against mildew and other molds.

In addition to chemical sunscreen and bimini or cockpit awning, it is wise to cultivate the habit of wearing a large brimmed hat. You will get lots less skin cancers to have to remove, if you are light complected.

Ann
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Old 22-05-2014, 19:31   #9
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Re: Top ten suggestions for tropical sailing

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Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
Here's my list in no particular order...
  1. Refrigeration for cold drinks and keeping food fresh.

Almost forgot another important thing. A stern rail BBQ. No one likes cooking inside the cabin when it's steenkin' hot.
OK on all of that. UV is a massive problem in high latitudes so sail-covers and sunglasses are essential anyway. As is sun block.

Refrigeration or Freezer? Don't have either and won't have for a while but maybe a portable job until I build in one or the other - I'm thinking freezer

BBQ is on the list - Will be looking for one in Brazil next month; any suggestions? Is it worth getting a propane one? I've seen/used a few but on bigger boats therefore bigger BBQs - I don't fancy carting charcoal around
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Old 22-05-2014, 19:35   #10
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Re: Top ten suggestions for tropical sailing

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Also find out about prevalence of ciguatoxin in the fish of the areas you will go to. Some reef fish have it, it is caused by a dinoflagellate (sp?), and ciguetera,
We haven't found a good book on tropical reef for ID and eating.. any suggestions from anybody?

I'm OK with oceanic fish; catching, butchering and eating not familiar with reef critters.
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Old 22-05-2014, 19:40   #11
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Re: Top ten suggestions for tropical sailing

I've only ever had fridges, but having said that, have left open the option to turn one of our currently unused fridges on the boat into a freezer at a later date although I've never really found the need for one so far. My concern with the freezer is mainly power draw; The heat and humidity ups the duty cycle of an electrical refrigeration system.

BBQ definitely get gas. I've had a marine charcoal BBQ for years and it's never been on the boat. Food tastes better, but imo it's too much hassle plus I've heard that damp charcoal can spontaneous combust which does concern me a bit.
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Old 22-05-2014, 19:45   #12
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Re: Top ten suggestions for tropical sailing

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We haven't found a good book on tropical reef for ID and eating.. any suggestions from anybody?

I'm OK with oceanic fish; catching, butchering and eating not familiar with reef critters.
Rule of thumb: If it's a big reef fish and especially if it's red, probably best not to eat it.

Ciguatera accumulates in fish and some species are much more prone to carrying it. Local knowledge is your best reference.
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Old 22-05-2014, 19:45   #13
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Re: Top ten suggestions for tropical sailing

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We haven't found a good book on tropical reef for ID and eating.. any suggestions from anybody?

I'm OK with oceanic fish; catching, butchering and eating not familiar with reef critters.
Grant's Guide to Fishes is our favorite for the Coral Sea area.

But be aware that cigueterra (sp?) is a terribly capricious evil. It is not species specific, nor is it territorially consistent. That is, a given fish species can be toxic in one area and non-toxic in a nearby spot. And the old method of asking locals for advice isn't very effective, for they get it too!

Pelagic fish, caught at sea, are ok, the same species, caught inside the reef area may not be. Frankly, our three bouts of this disease have pretty well killed our desire to eat fish in the tropics. With the retained toxins that we harbour, a meal from a badly infected fish would likely kill us. It's a bugger!

Jim
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Old 23-05-2014, 06:35   #14
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Re: Top ten suggestions for tropical sailing

A hammock.

Its an essential purchase at home before you sail to the tropics.
You need to unroll it in the shop, check for size and durability, try to find one rigged up so you can lounge in it for fit before purchase. When lying in a hammock in a shop close your eyes and think of balmy tropical nights as you swing gently between two palm trees.

Because thats the best use of it you will ever get.
Theres never two trees the right distance apart, let alone coconut palms and if there is you worry about being coined on the nut by a nut. Or the beach is full of screaming children crawling underneath you waiting for coins to fall from your pockets. So you set it on the foredeck chafing the genoa UV strip, bumping the inner forestay and sagging towards the deck as the 20 knot tradewinds blow your book to buggery and the ice out of your Mahi Tai.

On either the boat or on the beach as soon as you get comfortable your wife/gf etc will yell: "is that all you do all day? Go clean the f'ing dishes and get back in the bloody bilge!"

Oh, yes, the chandlery is the place for tropical cruising.... Dream on and then go home and get a life!



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Old 23-05-2014, 06:55   #15
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Re: Top ten suggestions for tropical sailing

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post



In addition to chemical sunscreen and bimini or cockpit awning, it is wise to cultivate the habit of wearing a large brimmed hat. You will get lots less skin cancers to have to remove, if you are light complected.



Ann

Try and find physical (mineral) sunscreen rather than chemical. ie. Zinc rather than OxyBenzone and all others that are unpronounceable.
IMO
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