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Old 17-03-2014, 17:24   #16
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Re: What's Important, What's not.

Barnakiel makes (I think) a worthwhile point.

The truly important things are not tack-ons, but intrinsic: firstly the people and their attitudes, and secondly the boat and how it's put together and how the key systems work

(and how they cover each others lapses- the systems and the people)


In a solo sailing situation, there is no-one else to cover your butt ... so it's nice to work out some strategies to handle key tasks which can be rigged up, and repaired, with what you have on board.

That way, when (say) your autopilot packs up, it's not a major emergency, because it's a convenience item rather than a "Must Have, Drop Dead Without" item.
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Old 19-03-2014, 04:29   #17
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Okay here's my 2 cents. First I think you're making the right choice getting a refrigerator, I have an engle and I love it. You will be at a marina so you don't have to worry about electricity for now. Next I would get good ground tackle. Large spade or Bruce for primary and a large Danforth type for secondary. At least 30 feet of chain and a hundred feet of half inch line on each anchor. Third I would get a good battery bank. 4th instead of the arch I would buy enough solar panels to cover my Bimini, add a rain gutter around and then have enclosure attached to that. I had a vertical windlass that had a winch handle on top and it worked as well or better than the electric windlass I currently own. I also think that an electric autopilot will be more functional for you than a wind vane. Good luck. when you get all that done post again
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Old 19-03-2014, 08:15   #18
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Re: What's Important, What's not.

Thanks for the continuing input. I already have an autopilot, so good to go there as well as good ground tackle. The Bimini mounted solar panels may be an idea vs getting an arch. I'll just have to get a new frame made for the Bimini, which will probably be cheaper than the arch.
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Old 19-03-2014, 08:19   #19
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Re: What's Important, What's not.

Be sure to check for mold inside the dead air space between your head liner and the deck when you run the Cruisair in Virginia. The humidity in the air is high enough to cause condensation. A better battery bank with seperated banks for house and engine and a small honda generator as back up will more than suffice for the first year or two. Arches are handy but on a boat that small maybe not needed. We don't have one because we think they are ugly and the cost. Haven't missed it in 2+ years of full time cruising.
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Old 19-03-2014, 09:35   #20
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... A better battery bank with separated banks for house and engine and a small Honda generator as back up will more than suffice for the first year or two. Arches are handy but on a boat that small maybe not needed. We don't have one because we think they are ugly and the cost. Haven't missed it in 2+ years of full time cruising.
Yep. While the OP's boat is longer than mine, I have the bimini frame against the wind gen supports against the twin backstay tackle, further crowded by the barby, propane bottle, bicycle, outboard, lifering, fishing rod holder, mop handle, wifi extender antenna, dock lines, stern anchor and rode, fenders, with the wheel and pedestal and mainsheet crammed in ... whew. Barely room to breathe, and no solar/radar/tv ant/raincatcher, boom gallows/arch/????.

Looking at my next-slip neighbor with a Bene373, they have everything I mentioned plus the solar and inflatable on davits, all with full enclosure. It's a BusyBeneteau!

For me, the elegance of a sailboat is stolen by all the gear bolted on.

I guess this is why cruising boats keep getting longer or wider but I was just as happy or happier in the old days in SoFL with one 12v start battery hooked to a reading lamp and radio with a warm beer. I guess that sounds awful but the sailing and living was fine.

KISS and importing the comforts of home don't mix.And let's not forget that here on the East Coast, all this gear has to come off for hurricanes, two or more times per season.
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Old 19-03-2014, 10:22   #21
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Re: What's Important, What's not.

Agreed that most boats have too much stuff. We have water and diesel jerry cans, like most cruising boats, tied to boards on the stanchions. Across the stern rail there is the MOM8, a gps antenna, the backstay of course, and a lifesling and outboard/mount. No davits as we keep the portabote tied to the bow stantions when under way. I was thinking of getting rid of the MOM8 because it has to be serviced every year but then would just have to go back to the man over board pole. Our radar is on the mast. Our BBQ has sat in the locker for 2.5+ years as it always seemed too windy when we wanted to use it. Windage and righting ability are also reasons not to use an arch on a small boat. Plus do you want your Dufour to look like a Hunter?
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Old 19-03-2014, 10:58   #22
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Re: What's Important, What's not.

1) Air Conditioner. I picked up a Cruisair from a forum user. Plan on using this while hooked up to shore power.

2) Enclosure. My canvas is about ready to be replaced. I currently have a dodger and bimini. I am planning on getting a full enclosure and dodger made. I'm thinking this will help with insect problems, and in stormy weather I can still sit in the cockpit. Will have it designed where I can role up the rear and sides of course. You can get a bimini and dodger that zip together. IF money is a consideration do this first and see if you really need more. or you can have them made with the side curtain attachments for purchase later.

3) Refrigeration. I have an ice box, but do not desire to convert it. Looking at getting a small 12V refrigeration unit. DO you mean like an Engel cooler? That might be a good idea. Remember though, getting refrigeration throws you into a whole bunch or other expenses/charging systems. You need to replenish maybe up to 75 amps a day.

4) Windlass. Looking at getting this due to the help it gives for a solo sailer. Yeah, handy, especially electric vertical with all chain.

5) Boom Tents. To keep sun off the fore deck and under the boom to reduce heat. I do have lazy jacks on the boom though, is this still possible
Problematic in a squall. Maybe just try an airscoop on the forward hatch for a while.
6) Water Maker. Looking at getting an RO Water Maker from Cruise RO. In the Chesapeake bay, not so much, but do plan on touring the Bahamas in the winter. I only have a 35 gallon water tank, which I understand is not a lot whatsoever. I figure I can use this to keep top offed.

7) Stern Arch for Solar Power, Wind Power, Radar etc.

8) Purchasing of Solar Power, Wind Power, and Radar.

9) Windvane
Not needed at all unless you are crossing oceans. Great soft dingy killers too.
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Old 20-03-2014, 12:14   #23
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Re: What's Important, What's not.

As someone who works in a boatyard, that's alot of stuff to try and cram into a small space. Don't forget you have to perform maintenance on all that ! I would say forget the watermaker for certain. We don't see those until boats get into to 40+ range. Just use Water jugs, and if you are concerned about an 'All is Lost' type situation, you can always bring along some kind of survival water filtration device.

Since you are in the sunny south, ditch the wind generator and keep the solar. For backup remember you can run your engine to charge batteries with. Use a cooler with ice for your fridge, and at that forget about the solar as well. What do you need electricity for anyways ? People have cruised for centuries without refrigeration and when at shore just use a cooler. I mean you're going to the liquor store every day anyways aren't you ? Just pick up a bag of ice while you are there.

Keep It Simple, or deal with the unnecessary frustration.
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Old 20-03-2014, 13:18   #24
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Re: What's Important, What's not.

Simple is important when away from civilization, however...

When anchoring by oneself, it would certainly be handy to be able to drop and/or retrieve the hook while still in the cockpit. That means electric windlass with remote.

As for water, it's always available stateside. In the Caribbean, availability is certainly less, and can cost anywhere from free to 50 cents per gallon. My suggestion is several opaque water jugs (and I suggest a couple 2-1/2 gallon jugs when picking water up while in the dink, and a couple 5 gallon jugs when water is close by. I have also learned that the 6 gallon jugs that I have get a whole lot heavier after a few minutes than the 5 gallon version ). We have used sterilized jerry cans with a couple drops of chlorine added (in the abandon ship equipment) and this water has stayed fresh for over six months. Plus, you can always wash with salt water and rinse with fresh. Same as with clothes. Bring along a couple of big buckets for laundry. Salt wash, salt rinse, fresh rinse. Works great.

Bring adequate bottled water just in case something happens to the fresh water storage. Sometimes the fresh water you will get is from cisterns, and I have had the water turn colors all of a sudden. Have a backup stash.

You would also be surprised how little water is required for a shower. Down south, we use a sun shower in the cockpit and about a quart of water is sufficient per person. My long-haired college student daughter excepted.

Yes for the bimini. You will need the sun protection in the Caribbean. It can be brutal. Also include a wide-brimmed hat and a long sleeved shirt for when out all day. A screened enclosure will help when the nasty flying critters are biting, though the "no see-ums" can penetrate much of the so-called mosquito screens.

Figure out an energy efficient anchor and cabin lights, and without refrigeration, a single modest solar panel, along with an adequate battery bank, should cover you 90% of the time.

Finally, a big anchor, good charts, accurate compass and a reliable dingy/motor (particularly in the Caribbean) will round out the list.

I try to locate as much as possible of my equipment out of sight. That is, not on the stern rail or lashed on deck. More seamanlike, and less likely to take a walk or get blown overboard.

Have a great cruise
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Old 20-03-2014, 13:41   #25
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Old 20-03-2014, 14:24   #26
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Re: What's Important, What's not.

Move on the boat and then decide whats important . Put the most important things first .
Near the top of the important list would be freedom from debt. Whats important is to have the boat stay where you anchor it . Anchors , chains, only a wimp would want a windlass on a 31 foot boat .
If a refrig is important then solar and wind gen is important .
A watermaker sounds important but is it worth the couple thousand dollars plus all the energy it will take to run it . My wife and I cruised 13 years in a boat that held 29 gallons .
Do you want to go cruisin or do you want the most complicated boat at the dock ? Are you prepared to hire a full time maintenance man .
Boy , I sound like a grouchy ol bastard .
I do not know where you can use all those deck tents and safely leave the boat for any amount of time . In the Carib. we call them the Great Flat Sail .
Near the top of my list for a CRUSING boat would be simple stuff that I can fix , a semi-fast dingy boat , couple water jugs , case of diet Pepsi .
Most of the fun times that we remember is going ashore , talking to locals , buying fresh vegetables , begging 10 gallons of water , getting to know some of the locals .
I would not think that a hot shower is worth the thousands [ yes thousands ] of dollars it will cost to buy and maintain .
Keep it simple or spend all your time fixin something !
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Old 21-03-2014, 05:19   #27
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Re: What's Important, What's not.

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Boy , I sound like a grouchy ol bastard .

I would not think that a hot shower is worth the thousands [ yes thousands ] of dollars it will cost to buy and maintain .

that explained it, no showers over time make people go crazy
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Old 21-03-2014, 10:28   #28
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Re: What's Important, What's not.

One thing going for an alternator charging system (other than not having all that crap hanging off what was once a sailboat!) is every day you run to charge your batteries you also heat the water in your hot water heater. The hot water lasts until the next run time. For a shower you go for a swim and rinse off with the stern shower that is fresh/warm. It's a simple cheap system, beenused by hundreds of cruisers for years. It might be a good place to start.. you can always add a solar panel or two later....
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Old 04-05-2014, 20:14   #29
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Re: What's Important, What's not.

We have a small window unit that sits in the companion way and a Honda eu2000 that does well in our Dufour 31. Just picked up a nice used dinghy and motor and plan to head back to Pensacola again this summer!
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Old 04-05-2014, 21:03   #30
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Re: What's Important, What's not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
One thing going for an alternator charging system (other than not having all that crap hanging off what was once a sailboat!) is every day you run to charge your batteries you also heat the water in your hot water heater. The hot water lasts until the next run time. For a shower you go for a swim and rinse off with the stern shower that is fresh/warm. It's a simple cheap system, beenused by hundreds of cruisers for years. It might be a good place to start.. you can always add a solar panel or two later....
I can dig fresh water showers but I don't think cruisers for hundreds of years , have been pumping fresh water from their tanks for showers. Now if you have some extra fresh water have at it & hot is nice.
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