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Old 30-05-2013, 17:33   #1
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First "long" cruise, looking for suggestions.

Hello all,

I'm in the process of outfitting my C27 for a leisurely cruise from New Orleans to Tampa. This is going to be the longest trip my wife and I have ever taken so I want to make sure I have all my bases covered.

I've replaced both sets of rigging

I've stepped and updated everything on the mast

I rewired 90% of the boat

New VHF with AIS

New dinghey

New Inboard

New lifelines / Crab net

EPIRB

I'm sure I'm forgetting things but I feel like the boats pretty much ready to head out.

Any suggestions for a weekender going on his first longer sail would be appreciated.
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Old 30-05-2013, 17:49   #2
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Re: First "long" cruise, looking for suggestions.

Welcome to Cruisers Forum Lilypad. Can't think of anything offhand. I make lists cross it off when I get it, and, write it down as soon as I think of something. Good to have you aboard and good luck.
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Old 30-05-2013, 17:55   #3
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Re: First "long" cruise, looking for suggestions.

I say one more base to cover would be the flexible agenda. Don't committ to being anywhere at a specific time. Allow yourself to take a shorter hop or a day off if the weather is questionable. Make sure you are tuned to the moments on the way and not pressed for the destination.
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Old 30-05-2013, 18:02   #4
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Radar? Radad reflector? Lots of traffic and obstructions around NOLA.

Plan for weather info?

VHF accessible from helm? Almost a necessity on the more commecial sections of the ICW. Could be handy around Tampa Bay traffic too.

Charts? Cruising Guides?

...
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Old 30-05-2013, 19:31   #5
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Re: First "long" cruise, looking for suggestions.

lifejackets

tethers (short)

Beer!
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Old 30-05-2013, 19:32   #6
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Re: First "long" cruise, looking for suggestions.

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Radar? Radad reflector? Lots of traffic and obstructions around NOLA.

Plan for weather info?

VHF accessible from helm? Almost a necessity on the more commecial sections of the ICW. Could be handy around Tampa Bay traffic too.

Charts? Cruising Guides?

...
I will not have radar I believe I can do the trip safely without it. I do have a radar reflector.

weather info will be gathered with my Furuno NAVTEX weather receiver. And VHF while in range. charts are on the laptop but I have paper ones as well.

I dont have a cruising guide, any suggestions ?

I am concerned about the commercial traffic.That and the fact that my boat doesnt have a stove in the galley. I have a magna grill on the stern rail but none inside.
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Old 30-05-2013, 20:01   #7
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Re: First "long" cruise, looking for suggestions.

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Originally Posted by CaptForce View Post
I say one more base to cover would be the flexible agenda. Don't committ to being anywhere at a specific time. Allow yourself to take a shorter hop or a day off if the weather is questionable. Make sure you are tuned to the moments on the way and not pressed for the destination.
No better advice. Especially if you have no stove in the galley. It is difficult enough to prepare meals underway with an un-gimbled stove in the galley below. Potato chips, peanuts, unheated canned fare, fruit and other foods/snacks that do not require cooking will do. But, unless your bbq is wind/weather proof and safe to use underway - day hopping may be your wisest choice. May want to at least take a Coleman type stove and fuel you can cook with below.

Good luck.
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Old 30-05-2013, 20:54   #8
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Re: First "long" cruise, looking for suggestions.

Kindle, headlamp, and a thermos full of coffee.
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Old 30-05-2013, 21:23   #9
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I would pick up a sea anchor for your boat's size and line for it with chafe gear, a storm jib, and foul weather gear. You should make sure you plot your location on the paper maps at some frequency, maybe on the hour. Especially when out of site of land. Even with new wiring it can go out for some unknown short somewhere etc. and having your location on the paper would be instantly priceless. If you don't have a life raft as most of us don't I would pick up an inflatable four man raft because they are cheap and stow easily. I know some guys that just relied on one because their boat sank last month in a race to Key West. Tools, hand held lights and maybe one of those red/green navigation flashlights they make for dinghies would be a good backup if you lost power and needed to get through a night. Please take these as suggestions. I only suggest based on my preferences and thoughts about what I would want to have while off shore. Met a couple years back making your trip and got in some nasty weather. Don't know if it was sudden and unexpected or if he thought it would be fine. But the coasties had to pick them up it was so bad (hence the sea anchor idea).

I agree about avoiding time schedules if at all possible but at the same time make sure to leave a float plan with anticipated dates with extra time you can easily make and check in with the people you leave it with along the way as you have service.

Lastly I would do a couple weekends after the new equipment you listed as new installs should be tested before trusting your safety to them.

Good luck and fair winds...
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Old 31-05-2013, 07:52   #10
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Re: First "long" cruise, looking for suggestions.

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Originally Posted by CapnBrown View Post
I would pick up a sea anchor for your boat's size and line for it with chafe gear, a storm jib, and foul weather gear. You should make sure you plot your location on the paper maps at some frequency, maybe on the hour. Especially when out of site of land. Even with new wiring it can go out for some unknown short somewhere etc. and having your location on the paper would be instantly priceless. If you don't have a life raft as most of us don't I would pick up an inflatable four man raft because they are cheap and stow easily. I know some guys that just relied on one because their boat sank last month in a race to Key West. Tools, hand held lights and maybe one of those red/green navigation flashlights they make for dinghies would be a good backup if you lost power and needed to get through a night. Please take these as suggestions. I only suggest based on my preferences and thoughts about what I would want to have while off shore. Met a couple years back making your trip and got in some nasty weather. Don't know if it was sudden and unexpected or if he thought it would be fine. But the coasties had to pick them up it was so bad (hence the sea anchor idea).

I agree about avoiding time schedules if at all possible but at the same time make sure to leave a float plan with anticipated dates with extra time you can easily make and check in with the people you leave it with along the way as you have service.

Lastly I would do a couple weekends after the new equipment you listed as new installs should be tested before trusting your safety to them.

Good luck and fair winds...
Discussions involving sea anchors always attract vigorous debate. Suggest you do thorough review of pros and cons. More important than a sea anchor in my view is knowing your boat can heave to safely in adverse conditions. 18-20 knots is a good wind strength to practice heaving to. Alternate tacks. If your boat has a tiller push it to weather - steering the boat up into the wind and waves. Wheel steering, do he same. Depending on your boat, you may be able to heave to as most 'how to' instructions suggest - jib backed with main amidships. My boat will only heave to with the jib down, main amidships. With the jib backed she falls off and sails away... Wave direction and shape affects boat speed, level of safety and comfort. But, if you can monitor the direction your boat is travelling on the gps - you'll probably want the boat moving nearer to the direction of your destination. If you are near hazards, fall onto a tack that takes you away. Be aware, current can determine the direction your boat travels no matter which tack you are on!

No need to spend money on expensive West Marine type foul weather gear! You only need something adequate to keep you dry and warm. Breaking the wind is most important due to the effect of wind chill. Layering is good because you can add or take off a layer of clothing if too warm, add if too cold. Inexpensive rain gear - top and pants will usually do provided they are breathable.

Suggest you review threads on this site discussing pros and cons of various types of dinghies and life rafts. Also very controversial.

Happy sailing!

armido
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Old 31-05-2013, 08:00   #11
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Re: First "long" cruise, looking for suggestions.

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Originally Posted by lillypad View Post
Any suggestions for a weekender going on his first longer sail would be appreciated.
I think you better get going before you run broke.

New Orleans to Tampa is only 400 nms not 4,000
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Old 31-05-2013, 08:10   #12
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pirate Re: First "long" cruise, looking for suggestions.

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I think you better get going before you run broke.

New Orleans to Tampa is only 400 nms not 4,000
+A1...
And its coast hopping well within good forecast range most of the time... so forget the sea anchor.. just run for cover before it hits... memory serves E gales are rare as hens teeth this time of year.. so lee shore is minimal..
A single burner gaz camping stove fixed is ok to cook on.. just change to an easier course for a bit or heave to... yes you have to stand there holding the pan but its worth it for the hot meal...
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Old 31-05-2013, 08:43   #13
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Re: First "long" cruise, looking for suggestions.

My post was cut off. Not a clue why.

Anyway, to finish what I was saying - suggest you review threads on this site discussing dinghies and liferafts. Also a very controversial subject. Few people would opt for my choice - a kiwi kayak - but as long as I can get in and out of the kayak I'll use one. This has been my choice for the last 18 years.

Fair sailing and good luck!

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Old 31-05-2013, 08:49   #14
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I will not have radar I believe I can do the trip safely without it. I do have a radar reflector.

weather info will be gathered with my Furuno NAVTEX weather receiver. And VHF while in range. charts are on the laptop but I have paper ones as well.

I dont have a cruising guide, any suggestions ?

I am concerned about the commercial traffic.That and the fact that my boat doesnt have a stove in the galley. I have a magna grill on the stern rail but none inside.
You can make this run fine w no RADAR, and I have, but I prefer to have RADAR. Rig your reflector and just leave it up all the time. Also, be sure you have a good means of making sound signals and know what signals to make... Ive crossed ships along the coast there w just VHF and sound signals in near zero vis.

Areas of most big traffic are NOLA, Mobile, and Tampa.

You can do this entire route w only one overnight run...the rest you can do as day trips...so IMHO dont go overboard on the "offshore" saftey gear...this is at most a short near coastal run. Be safe though of course.

Do keep in mind that the GOM can be a hazardous body of water due not only to commercial traffic and the oil patch, but also due to locally variable weather (sometimes very intense) and currents. Respect it.

Not to worry about limited galley on this route...lots of great eats on the Gulf Coast. However, you might pick up a small camp or back packing stove...much better for making coffee or boiling water than a grill.

Given that you have AIS you can at least track the big boys, but the shrimpers I doubt run AIS (most of my time on the GOM was pre small boat AIS). Remember they drag long trawls behind them and have right of way so stay well clear. RADAR is most useful at night or when vis goes to crap which it can along this area due to heavy rain or heavy fog (infrequent but watch for it in the forecast).

Learn basic commercial vessel nav lights...larger vessels, towing (potentially very dangerous), and trawling. If you dont know what it is then just stay well clear (like 2nm minimum).

Learn how to negotiate bridge openings (another reason to have VHF at the helm or at least a good hand held). And locks if you plan to transit waterways around NOLA.

Re cruising guides. Get the ICW guide (Waterway Guide) and Clayborne Youngs guide for FL. I dont know of any for the N GOM coast, but others might.
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Old 31-05-2013, 08:51   #15
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After our recent 2 week trip some of the things that stand out.

2 hand held waterproof vhf radios. Great for using on ding etc and our primary VHF went out of service when we suffered a high speed pass from a 50 ft power boat. Dude was going at least 20 knots down a narrow part of the ICW, did not even slow. We had to turn into his wake and took enough water over the bow that we took water down the forward hatch. Went to Say a few choice words on my primary VHF and discovered it not working, the slamming had knock a plug loose on the fuse panel.

Back up GPS. Our primary failed 9 days out and we had to use iSailor my iPhone.

A Folding cart for getting goodies and such at marinas and not having to carry them miles back to the boat.

Make sure you have good ground tackle and extra dock lines fenders etc and 2 boat hooks.

For a stove we have a fairly cheap Max Burton single burner stove that runs on butane aerosol type cans. The thing works awesome and I keep the open butane cans stored outside in the outboard well.

If you look at my Homepage in my profile you can see our some of the interesting things about our trip with our C27.
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