Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-02-2016, 00:47   #1
Registered User
 
seasalt2012's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Gulf Coast-Bay Saint Louis-South Mississippi
Boat: 1976 Bayfield 25 -Gozzard Designed
Posts: 17
My first Solo Distance Sail

Howdy YŠll,
I am the proud owner of a Bayfield 25. A great little boat, lacks on speed but makes up for it with good looks and seakeeping ability. I am planning on vacationing to Pensacola, Florida in the spring... and would not mind having my boat there! Most likely just a long weekend type deal.
Anyways, I have ample time off, my fiance'not so much. So, I'll be doing a solo sail all the way there. Its about 110 miles from my harbor to the Condo (with pier and boat slip provided), so at roughly 4 knots that is about a 27.5-28 hour sail.

2 options- ICW or coastal. Both are the same option really until you hit Mobile. Then the inland ICW picks back up.

I can easily stay awake that long but would need a big nap when I get there, and I would rather hit the ground running. My only electronics are a chart plotter, depth finder, radio, an an auto-tiller. The water pump is electric for the motor and ran off the battery. The previous owner rigged this up and it seems to work well.

I have never ran them much due to the fact that I am terrified of running out of battery power to start the engine if needed. I have a single deep cycle battery and a single starting battery, with the alternator charging both. Also, a single solar panel just in case (never really had to use it).

Do you think I can run the auto-tiller for a certain amount of time while I catch some shuteye?(30 mins max). I figure I can see 2 miles, and determine what obstructions and/or traffic are ahead. I'm mostly worried about running out of battery power, and getting off course.
Do you have any other advice for me? I appreciate the help!
__________________

__________________
Golden Shellback. Unlimited Tonnage Licensed Merchant Mariner."If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there."
seasalt2012 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2016, 01:39   #2
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 8,524
Images: 14
Re: My first Solo Distance Sail

What size is the deep cycle battery and is it in good condition? Which auto pilot do you have, presumably a tiller pilot from Raymarine?

Does the yacht have a diesel engine or outboard?

If ICW is an option and you have time in hand, why not plan a stop half way? That way you are not going to fall asleep and stay asleep longer than intended.

Have you had this boat for a while or is it new to you?

Pete
__________________

__________________
Moody 31 - April Lass
Pete7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2016, 01:47   #3
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 8,524
Images: 14
Re: My first Solo Distance Sail

Maintaining 4 knots with a yacht LWL of 20ft could be tough, but if it's a diesel then you could run the engine on tick over to just keep the speed up. This then charges the batteries to run all the electrics.

Scrub the bottom just before you go to keep the speed up.

Plan the meals in advance so they only need warming up and take lots of snacks in a tupperware box kept in the cockpit to nibble on.

Don't forget the camera and video the trip.

Pete
__________________
Moody 31 - April Lass
Pete7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2016, 02:06   #4
Registered User
 
seasalt2012's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Gulf Coast-Bay Saint Louis-South Mississippi
Boat: 1976 Bayfield 25 -Gozzard Designed
Posts: 17
Re: My first Solo Distance Sail

Pete,
Thanks for the reply!
As for the boat, I have had it 1.5 years. She has sat in harbor most of that time. I purchased her to live on while the Fiance'(Then Girlfriend) had an internship in Miami. So, instead of staying in Texas by myself during my time off (I work 1 month on, 1 month off on my current vessel), I purchased the bayfield and keep her close to Family in Bay Saint Louis, MS.
I have had her on a dozen day sails, and one sail to/from Cat Island (26 miles round trip).
She has a Yanmar YSE8 diesel that runs. It didn't for a long time and I traced the problem to old fuel and a failed lifter. After those were replaced it took another while to get the fuel system primed.
Now, that I live in Bay Saint Louis permanently, I am able to give the boat the proper attention she deserves.

New bottom job coming this month, so she shoudl be clean. I can probably motor sail the whole way, seeing as that yanmar burns next to nothing!

The auto pilot is a raymarine autohelm 1000. Batteries are IDK how old, but they stay on a charger/maintainer to keep them at 100 percent. The several times I have had the boat out I have never had a problem with the batteries.

Thats a good point about breaking up the trip, anchoring for the night. I'm sure I can make Dauphin Island pretty easy. But, I want the trip to be as efficient as possible!

Camera will be brough for sure, and I will document the trip. I'm taking the boat on a shakedown overnighter to Cat Island again pretty soon to make sure all is functioning.
__________________
Golden Shellback. Unlimited Tonnage Licensed Merchant Mariner."If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there."
seasalt2012 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2016, 03:13   #5
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,189
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate Re: My first Solo Distance Sail

With your engine being diesel no worries about running out of power while motoring as she'll charge at the same time.. while sailing your panel will do the same till the TP knocks it down to 11.5..
If you use the TP full time just start the engine every 3hrs for an hours..
TP's will operate happily for weeks at a time.. as long as they are fed..
Travel dawn till dusk for efficiency and check which sections are affected by strong tides in narrows to time arrivals favourably..
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2016, 04:30   #6
Registered User
 
seasalt2012's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Gulf Coast-Bay Saint Louis-South Mississippi
Boat: 1976 Bayfield 25 -Gozzard Designed
Posts: 17
Re: My first Solo Distance Sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
With your engine being diesel no worries about running out of power while motoring as she'll charge at the same time.. while sailing your panel will do the same till the TP knocks it down to 11.5..
If you use the TP full time just start the engine every 3hrs for an hours..
TP's will operate happily for weeks at a time.. as long as they are fed..
Travel dawn till dusk for efficiency and check which sections are affected by strong tides in narrows to time arrivals favourably..
Boatman,
I was thinking about bringing along one of those booster packs (battery cables and power in one) just incase I do run it too low, I can get it up and going again. Good thinking on anchoring overnight, I would rather sail 24hrs/day though.
Maybe I'll nap during the day and stay awake for the 1800-0600 time period
__________________
Golden Shellback. Unlimited Tonnage Licensed Merchant Mariner."If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there."
seasalt2012 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2016, 04:33   #7
Registered User
 
Snore's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: St Petersburg
Boat: Tartan 33
Posts: 1,880
Re: My first Solo Distance Sail

As the super conservative guy around here, what is "plan b".

Can you/have you hand started the engine?

How many watts is the solar panel?

For a few hundred dollars you can buy a second battery, switch, etc and have a two battery boat.

That said, sounds like a fun first trip.
__________________
"Whenever...it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea..." Ishmael
Snore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2016, 04:40   #8
Registered User
 
thomm225's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hampton Roads
Boat: 1974 Bristol 27
Posts: 3,450
Re: My first Solo Distance Sail

Why not just test the autopilot over a long weekend without charging the battery with the alternator before you go on your trip if it would make you more comfortable

I have a Simrad TP10 autopilot which uses .5 amps. I have a 100 watt solar panel feeding two 12 volt batteries in parallel thru a $12.00 controller and my system can easily run the autopilot, VHF, depth, GPS and keep the batteries charged indefinitely. I also use my computer, charge my phone and jetpack for internet, and run an inverter at each days end. I run a fan all night in Spring, Summer, and Fall off the ac inverter also.

When anchored (and sometimes while sailing) I'll turn everything off (except autopilot when sailing and maybe the radio) so the batteries can charge. Sometimes I'll turn everything off while sailing, let the depowered autopilot hold the tiller and make slight adjustments with the main from time to time to hold course

I don't have a start battery. I don't have an alternator. I don't hookup to shore power when I return.

My solar alone should run all my electronics easily. What size solar panel do you have?
__________________
thomm225 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2016, 05:01   #9
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Re: My first Solo Distance Sail

Thomm's advice re testing the auto pilot is excellent.

I think u should do the overnight outside.

I use 20 minute sleeps.

You will learn something out there. You will learn nothing in the ICW.

Mark
__________________
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2016, 05:06   #10
Registered User
 
Ribbit's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 655
Re: My first Solo Distance Sail

The biggest enemy of diesel engines is not running them long enough with a decent running load.

Given you have had issues with the engine that you are now on top of, I'd take the opportunity to pretty much treat the engine as if running in from new. If you now have a new, clean oil filter, and new clean engine oil, along with clean air and fuel filters, then I'd take along another oil filter and fuel filter, and enough oil for a change and top ups. Increase engine speed (after 2+ hours of gentle running) keeping revs reasonable for periods of time, and watch the temperature gauge. If signs of overheating, throttle back, and run more reasonable revs (2+ hours again) until it cools down. Repeat this process as necessary. If starting to overheat persists, you have an issue to track down.

So I'd motorsail the first day (whether needed or not), anchor up overnight (treat it as a service stop), check everything (including fuel filter) after the engine is cooled down in the morning, top up as necessary, and motorsail again the rest of the journey. Check again for temperature increases with more revs, after the engine has been running for a couple of hours. Slowly work those revs up the range.

Change oil and filter after you arrive. Sail as normal before headed back, then motorsail with a halfway stop just like your outward journey. Keep checking for higher temperatures (beyond normal) as you go.

To me this is too good of an opportunity for you to miss, and your engine will love you for it. If running temperatures show no issues, that should give you a solid base and reassurance with it to go on with.

I'd also take the opportunity of having a new, second battery, with a battery switch, as that will be really cheap insurance and provide peace of mind. If you haven't got a volt meter, they are cheap, and you can tell at a glance what state your battery charge is in (I know fancy and complex is nice, but a volt meter will tell you straight away if you are approaching 12.2v [50% charge - don't go under it if you can avoid it], and you can do something about it before damaging the battery with an over discharge - which also damages so called deep discharge batteries). Heck the electrical testers (worth having anyway) are cheap enough and easy to use, but a voltmeter on your panel will always be in the place you left it.

Have a great trip.

PS Make sure all the drive belts are correctly tensioned before you go - and take spares. Along with enough tools.
__________________
Ribbit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2016, 05:22   #11
Registered User
 
thomm225's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hampton Roads
Boat: 1974 Bristol 27
Posts: 3,450
Re: My first Solo Distance Sail

Did you add in wind, current, and waves to your 28 hours? You could get delayed and miss a lot of the weekend.

Many times when we raced the Sea Buoy Race out of Pensacola, the current was a strong East to West as we exited Pensacola Pass

This current I don't believe was associated with the tide. Maybe some spinoff of the gulf current or something. Maybe a local can explain.

Also, the prevailing wind is SSW-SW beginning anywhere from 11am - 1pm and it increases as the day goes on. (at 7am it's usually NE)

Sometimes out by Horn Island and Ship Island over your way, it can really get to cranking by 3:30pm. I have pitchpoled on the return races from those Islands. (they serve beer and chicken on the island at the end of the race out so the sail/race back is always interesting since the beer is free)
__________________
thomm225 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2016, 05:33   #12
Registered User
 
seasalt2012's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Gulf Coast-Bay Saint Louis-South Mississippi
Boat: 1976 Bayfield 25 -Gozzard Designed
Posts: 17
Re: My first Solo Distance Sail

thomm225 I do believe that I have a 25? watt solar panel. I'm not quite sure it was already rigged when purchased boat. It stays under the cockpit hatch until I wan to pull it out. I wish I had a picture, but I am currently offshore. It is about the size of my escape hatch on the forward part of the cabin. It has a charge controller hooked to it, and each battery (I have 1 starting 1 deep cycle) has it's own small display battery monitor. I also keep a volt/ohm etc. meter onboard just incase.
But, Plan B will be the jumpstarter pack.

Ribbit Good advice on running in the engine. She needs to be run, see as she sits most of the time. I will bring all of those along with me. I am planning on changing the oil before my cat island shake down cruise (26 miles round trip) and I will run the engine and auto tiller and keep an eye on volts underway. It is going to be light airs anyways, 3-8 knots forecasted, and the bayfield doesn't like light air. She is a tank. So motoring may be best. Plust it will give me a chance to find that damn exhaust leak.

MarkJ I would rather coastal sail also as mentioned above! I took a buddies C&C from mandelville LA to Lafayette via ICW and it was a pain. Best part was sailing across lake Ponchartrain but after that it was motor the whole way. At times only making 1 knot against current.
__________________
Golden Shellback. Unlimited Tonnage Licensed Merchant Mariner."If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there."
seasalt2012 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2016, 05:48   #13
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 8,524
Images: 14
Re: My first Solo Distance Sail

Don't bother with the battery booster pack, just wire in a a portable volt meter so you can see that it is charging and the state of the battery (edit, I have just seen you have a volt meter already.)

Do have a read of this, the whole website is full of really good stuff:

Measuring A Lead Acid Battery State of Charge Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
__________________
Moody 31 - April Lass
Pete7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2016, 05:52   #14
Moderator
 
HappyMdRSailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: North Mississippi
Boat: 48 Wauquiez Pilot Saloon-C22 Chrysler Sunpiper- 19 Potter-Preparing to cruise w/my girl
Posts: 5,980
Re: My first Solo Distance Sail

SeaSalt...

Your 110NM/4kt will likely not be the same answer as your calculator !

You have no work schedule, so I'd really suggest breaking it up and enjoying the trip...

Pressed delivery schedules are really not that pleasant...
__________________
In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair...

Mai Tai's fix everything...
HappyMdRSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2016, 06:12   #15
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,189
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate Re: My first Solo Distance Sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMdRSailor View Post
SeaSalt...

Your 110NM/4kt will likely not be the same answer as your calculator !

You have no work schedule, so I'd really suggest breaking it up and enjoying the trip...

Pressed delivery schedules are really not that pleasant...
Ahahahahhahaaaa... That's for sure..
Remember a friend in the UK telling me if I took the Great Circle route Beaufort,NC to Falmouth on a Hunter 37c I'd be across in 3 weeks at hull speed.. should they meet me...
Took 40 days to make the Azores...
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
sail

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Long Distance Solo Sailing Mark Johnson General Sailing Forum 187 16-02-2017 19:43
First Solo Sail - How Could it Be Better? Dinghy101 General Sailing Forum 11 27-10-2009 02:21
First Solo Sail theonecalledtom Seamanship & Boat Handling 16 04-07-2009 23:31
First solo sail around Antarctica? TAREUA General Sailing Forum 4 28-11-2007 17:49



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 23:54.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.