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Old 21-11-2007, 12:29   #16
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Pat, do you see a difference with people who have been out cruising for years, vs. the people just starting out?

I had set up my boat with PS2 and flat screen, like rebel_heart, and thought about adding all kinds of other stuff.

Once I lived on board for some time, I realized you don't need a damn thing on a boat other than an engine (maybe), some lights, good weather (and a way to predict it) and maybe some sails.

The PS2 was really dumb (for me - not for others). I NEVER used the thing. We used it only as a DVD player once in a great great while.

But I think... if you've been living on your boat, away from docks for a couple years, it all sorts itself out. All the gizmos break and you find better ways of making things more reliable - by ditching the gizmos and moving toward manual type devices.

At least that was my experience.
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Old 21-11-2007, 13:01   #17
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Sean,

You're quite right. You never really know what you want or what you need until you live on a boat for a good period of time. It is a mistake, sometime a costly one, to outfit your boat for the cruising life based on input from others or based on magazines whose main income is from advertisements. Initially I thought I wanted an engine driven fridge because my only experience was with charter boats that all had Seafrosts. Luckily I came to my senses after sailing a bit and opted for a 12v job. Imagine being at anchor for a couple of weeks and running your engine once or twice a day to keep the fridge going! A friend of mine took the engine driven route and spent hurricane season in Venezuela in a marina. They segregated all the engine driven fridge boats in the most undesirable section of the marina.
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Old 21-11-2007, 13:10   #18
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Is this why all the boats I look at in the 28-31 ft range have roller jibs??

Doesn't anyone change sails anymore? Have they become that reliable?
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Old 21-11-2007, 13:18   #19
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The only time my headsail roller furler failed was because of my inexperience. Halyard wrap on a Harken due to the sail not being hoisted up far enough. This was twenty five years ago. I guess it wasn't really a failure of the gear, rather a failure on my part. Failures of roller furlers are very very rare.
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Old 21-11-2007, 13:35   #20
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Imagine being at anchor for a couple of weeks and running your engine once or twice a day to keep the fridge going!
I thought engine driven might be a reasonable option since a person would probably be charging batteries daily anyway. But you're able to generate sufficient power through wind/solar that you don't need to?
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Old 21-11-2007, 13:42   #21
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deepblueme,
there are several probable answers to your question.
most small boats are for coastal use and roller furling is not a worry, they can motor home if they encounter a problem.
stowing sails in a small boat takes up alot of space many are not willing to sacrifice.
roller furling has come a long way, most feel comfortable with it.
some think going forward to change sails is dangerous and they are safer staying in the cockpit.
you make better time if you are too lazy to change sails with every change in the wind strength.
having a full quiver of sails is expensive.
more modern boats are almost always equipped with roller furling.

i'm still hank on, wondering at times if i'm anachronistic.
some reasons i have stuck with hank on:
friends that recently almost dismasted due to faults in thier rollerfurling attachment that jeopordized the forestay.
tales of jammed furlers.
there's not alot to do when sailing and changing sails gives me a sense of usefulness. i also dislike the all lines led to the cockpit idea as a trip forward to reef or change sails has often resulted in my catching something amiss that i would not have noticed from the cockpit.
i like having the right sized sail for the wind strength and dislike the shape of roller furled sails when they are rolled up. (i've heard there has been great improvement in this area however).
roller furling is alot of windage and must be taken down for hurricanes; i think its alot of windage at anchor also.
having a back up if one sail is damaged.
i've always had hank on sails and still distrust roller furling.
there are different types of roller furling and to be honest, i don't know much about them. some you raise and lower different sails in a slot, which would at least solve the ripped sail or wrong cloth weight/size dillemna.
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Old 21-11-2007, 13:47   #22
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Pat , I think you make a good point. Odly enough as I cruise south towards the Bahamas (In Oriental NC for T-Day) It is clothing and provisions that is causing the problems. All the "Installed stuff" is fine but the consumables cannot find their place. This will work itself out.

Having sailed mostly bare bones boats for many years I am enjoying all the Gizmos. Peace of mind is a valuable commodity.
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Old 21-11-2007, 13:48   #23
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jdoe71,

I can last about four days solely on my batteries but I have a wind generator which works pretty good. In the rare times when the wind is insufficient I have a Honda EU2000i which I fire up. If I had solar panels in addition to the wind generator I would seldom need anything else but the panel are a bit pricey and it adds up, three panels, mounting hardware and regulator so I opted for the Honda which costs about the same as one good panel. I would think that in four or five months in the Bahamas I might have to use the Honda about ten times at the most.
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Old 21-11-2007, 14:06   #24
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The only time my headsail roller furler failed was because of my inexperience. Halyard wrap on a Harken due to the sail not being hoisted up far enough ... Failures of roller furlers are very very rare.
At one time “old salts” derided Roller Furling gear as "roller-fooling" or "jib-snarling", Since then, furlers have become far more reliable and efficient, which is why they are now nearly universal on cruising vessels.

The number one problem, sometimes encountered with modern Furlers, is Halyard Wrap, in which the halyard gets looped around the forestay.
If you ever experience resistance when furling the headsail, look up at the halyard swivel and make sure the halyard has not wrapped (or partially wrapped) itself around the headstay.


If the halyard leads parallel to (or too close to) the foil, and especially if the halyard is slack, it can get caught up, and wants to rotate with, on the foil. The halyard then binds tight on the foil, preventing it from rotating.

Never use a winch to furl a headsail. If jamming/wrapping occurs repeatedly, or if the furling line is forced by using a winch, the headstay itself may sustain enough damage to fail completely

There are two common approaches to eliminating halyard wrap, the halyard restrainer and pendant:


- A Halyard Restrainer simply mounts to the mast, and pulls the halyard away from the foils, so that it doesn't wrap around the foils.

- An Upper Pennant increases the height of the halyard swivel, so the halyard isn't quite parallel to the foils. Adding a pendant is easy, but it is important to make sure the pennant is at the top of the sail and not on the bottom. If the pendant is mounted at the bottom, there is a danger of blowing out the luff of the sail.

Less common is a furling system that intermittently jams; partially furling, jamming, and then furling again, etc. You might complete the furl, in the end, but the furler operation isn’t smooth or consistent. What is happening is that the halyard is starting to wrap at the top, locking up the furling system, and then unwrapping when you ease the pressure on the furling line. The solution is to check your upper halyard swivel position, and to make sure it is high enough to keep the halyard from wrapping.
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Old 21-11-2007, 14:08   #25
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One thing that surprises me, is that people think taking off cruising will make their life simpler, or easier. Or for that matter quieter (take a moment to listen the next time you're sailing in a three foot chop and five foot swell). Sometimes it is. Cruising life is waaaay better than living and working in the city, but the latter isn't really going to present you with the dificulties that sailing on the ocean will. Your house doesn't require a steady stream of good judgement calls not to be destroyed. City life is pretty much weather proof, climate controlled and insulated. If you can't stand yourself in a town full of distractions, why would you think you'll prefer a steady diet of yourself?
Gizmo's that add to the pleasure of sailing are anything but frustrating to me. It's supposed to be fun. Surfing the internet in the middle of a long passage is opposite of what I want out of offshore work, but it doesn't bother me that others get comfort from it. Funny stories about all the stuff that breaks on passages are my favorite kind.
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Old 21-11-2007, 14:23   #26
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There are an infinite variety of cruising styles and none of them deserve contempt. If you are talking about cruisers as distinguished from other sailors, then most of them are 50-70 years old. And this is the biggest reason for the floating condo trend. We're old and set in our ways. Yes, full time liveaboard cruising necessarily involves downsizing and simplifing your lifestyle, but the gray hairs demand a certain comfort level that we would have laughed at 20 years ago. We want to be as self sufficient as possible, but we don't do camping anymore. Yes, simpler is better, but on my next boat I want an icemaker in addition to the refer/freezer. If it breaks and I can't fix it myself, I'll pay someone else to do it. Of course, we will also have a watermaker. We had one 6 years ago when we were only 52. I've done all the jerry jugging I care to do; our cruising style requires lots of water and these devices are high maintenance; but it's worth it to us.
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Old 21-11-2007, 14:42   #27
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Now, I don't advocate the Parde method of cruising. But after a few years of reading and helping people get out there. Why do we want to have the latest and greatest gizmo?
If changing from land based to a boat home is supposed to be about down sizing and making life simple. Our boats are becoming ever more complex.
This seems counterintuitive to me.
Thats progress.
Man has this intrinsic need to make things easier for himself... he goes so far as to design complex machines and systems to do what he is to lazy to do himself.

Some might argue , its part of our evolution good or bad
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Old 21-11-2007, 15:28   #28
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Never use a winch to furl a headsail.

YIKES!! Just picturing that makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck!

IMO: The furling system should be so easy (even in high winds because you know how to use it) that a child can pull the furling line to reduce sail area or roll the sail all the way up. If it's not, you need to adjust a few things (replace bearings, lubricant, etc...)
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Old 21-11-2007, 22:30   #29
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Pat - I get where you are coming from but I'll throw in my uber-consumer anecdotes as well.

For me - sails, ice for the beer and sleeping under the stars or even in the rain once in a while is fine. But I'd like my family to come along and enjoy the experience. They have different priorities.

When we were flying a lot my wife said, "Just remember. For you it's about the flying. For us it's about the destination." That changed a lot of things for us. Shorter flight legs and longer down times.

In the boat it is about the journey so I addded fans. Real ones that move a lot of air. It gets hot down there. I added an inverter - run the laptop all day if you like. I added a fridge - messing with ice is a hassle, although we haven't freed ourselves from it yet. For all that I added battery capacity and am now searching for the right solar solution.

I just bought a pair of 9" LCD DVD players. The kids will be a lot happier to chill out in the afternoon watching a video on the way home rather than asking, "Are we there yet?" every 10 minutes.

So yes - It's getting complicated but we are all loving it more. Where does it stop? Who knows?
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Old 21-11-2007, 23:30   #30
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A few of us were talking about a similar argument you hear often about bow thrusters. One side takes up the stand point that they if you need one, you mus'nt be able to stear you boat very well and you need to learn to drive it better. Well my reply was, yeah I bet if the technology was available way back, Cpt Cook would have had a bow thruster. (I don't have one by the way, but I think they are good)
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