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Old 06-06-2015, 17:00   #1
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1980's

Hi all,

Not sure if this is the right place to post this but I'll give it a shot. For rather esoteric reasons I'm curious what it was like cruising in the 80's (and having lurked here long enough can we eliminate night club jokes--unless they're really, really good of course). Obviously, there were no where near the navigational and communication aids available today but it seems like there was a lot of cutting edge technology being developed at that time. So, if you were in the South Pacific could you communicate beyond VF or ham? Could you get weather reports? Solar panels were available but were they financially practical? What kink of facilities could one expect to find? Overall, how was it compared to today?

Yeah, I know that's a book's worth of stuff (and I've read a few from that era) but maybe it's chance for some salty dogs to reflect on "the good old days", eh?

Thanks in advance and cheers.
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Old 06-06-2015, 17:40   #2
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Re: 1980's

Well we cruised in the Carib for 13 years from 1978 on . As I remember the price for sat nav dropped from 10 k to 2,500 dollars about when we started . I had none . We left Fl with a sextant , RDF , and a compass . The compass was all we needed or used . We had no refrigeration or hot water so our energy consumption was low . The boat carried 29 gallons of water which was plenty . The cooking was done on a pressurized kerosene 3 burner which never gave us a bit of trouble . We left with $2,500 and returned with $125,000 plus a 49 foot ketch that was payed for .
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Old 06-06-2015, 17:48   #3
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Re: 1980's

Continuing ,---- communications was with vhf and cb radio also back then commercial AM stations on the smaller islands would broadcast emergency messages for boats in transit at specified times each day . Wind generator were the choice for those needing more juice , I eventually had two of them . Facilities , in thirteen years we paid for three nites in a marina . Boatyards were all over the place and a DIY haulout was the norm . We spent several years working in yards earning cruising money .
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Old 06-06-2015, 17:54   #4
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Re: 1980's

Continue ---- I giggle when I read on these forums about people buying a boat and spending thousands of dollars on upgrades and arguing about the need for watermakers or the new fancy anchor or what is the best life raft or dingy boat . We lived thirteen years on a boat that we paid the equal of four month wages for and had the time of our life , would it have been any better if I had worked for another year or two to buy a whole boat load of toys ? I think not !
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Old 06-06-2015, 17:58   #5
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Re: 1980's

Excellent--thanks! Was it too dicey to sail the western Carib in those days? What did one do if heading for the Panama Canal?
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Old 06-06-2015, 18:00   #6
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Re: 1980's

P. S. I have been on this forum for many years but I lost my password and even my name [ Pistarckle ] , and I could not remember my old web address And I am to dumb to figger out how to get em back , so I changed my name , do not tell any one !
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Old 06-06-2015, 18:11   #7
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Re: 1980's

What do ya mean by Dicey ? Navigation wise or pirates ?
Navigation , you just did it , read your charts , be careful .
Pirates , B.S , I never seen one or knew any one who did .
The sailors that I knew would have never called for help unless someone was dying , if the engine would not start twas no big deal , you sailed . If ya went aground you busted your butt till ya got off . I do not know who to blame but many people today who could not change a tire on an auto are buying great big boats with very complicated systems and getting in what they think is real trouble and then expect us taxpayers to come and get em !
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Old 06-06-2015, 18:17   #8
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Re: 1980's

Should have been more specific....with the conflicts in Nicaragua and Honduras....and the drug trafficking in Colombia...did people just avoid it or was it more a matter of minding your own business and not venturing beyond the major ports?
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Old 06-06-2015, 18:19   #9
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Re: 1980's

What did one do if headed for Panama ? Here again I do not understand the question . If ya wanted to go to Panama you sailed that way ! Boats back then did not have hundreds of gallons of fuel and water and they expected to sail were ever and how long it took .
Look up the books by Pter Tangivald , I sailed and worked with him some , he went around the world two or three time on a boat he built himself , no motor never a canned good . Pickled his own meats , ground his own wheat . I sometimes wonder what happened to his son Tomas.
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Old 06-06-2015, 18:23   #10
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Re: 1980's

Would you stop in Cartagena for instance?
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Old 06-06-2015, 18:29   #11
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Re: 1980's

If anything you avoided the major ports . Drug smugglers did not bother sailboats , I was only once offered weed to buy . I sit a read many things about peoples worries and I sometime wonder what TV station that they are watching . Many times persons on these forums will say something to the affect that all sailors will leave the Carib or Florida during the hurricane season . Well I can tell ya that thousands and many thousands of sailors never leave or even worry about it very much ! I never left the Carib in the summer and have not ran away from Florida for 60 years or so ! I guess every one in New England runs away south if there is a snow storm coming .
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Old 06-06-2015, 18:36   #12
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Re: 1980's

If some one told me to avoid some place , then I gotta go there !
I was told never to consider cruising Haiti , We stayed over 60 days and it was wonderful . I ain;t been to Cartagena , but I have heard nothing to keep a poor cruising sailor away , a rich cruising sailor should not be allowed any where . Sailors will go to St. Thomas or Martinique and think that they have seen the Carib , baloney they aint seen nuttin . If a European flew into New York , has he seen America
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Old 06-06-2015, 18:43   #13
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Re: 1980's

I gotta be careful here , I will make someone in their 60 foot catamaran angry when they hear other people are having more fun in there 29 foot Bristol or on a 40 year old Morgan . There are still plenty of people cruising far distances in twenty thousand dollar boats . We do not hear about them because if they get in trouble they tend to work it out quietly where a guy in a half million dollar boat will be on CNN or testifying before congress .
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Old 06-06-2015, 18:44   #14
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Re: 1980's

Well if you ask a New Yorker....

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Old 06-06-2015, 18:48   #15
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Re: 1980's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingfoot View Post
...how was it compared to today?...
In the '70's I knew a 21 year old young man who one day picked up some groceries, and a plastic sextant, with manual and tables, and set off for Hawaii in his Trintella 29, teaching himself celestial navigation along the way.
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