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Old 02-09-2016, 21:43   #1
Jd1
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Offshore Related Questions

When looking at an offshore trip and you check out the weather, what do you look at and how much weight does a particular aspect weigh in a go/nogo contemplation.
Obviously you want to make sure you got no hurricanes going on but do you look for a minimum wind speed as well? What is your maximum wind speed that you feel comfortable with? Any other aspects (let's assume it is the right season to go)

For this discussion, let's say I am going from Vancouver Island to Hawai.

Secondary question: Assuming you have a comfortable amount of fuel on board but not enough to motor the entire way, at what boat speed would you call for an engine assist? Are most people hard line sailors that would have to be becalmed to even think of starting the engine or would the majority say anything under let's say 2 knots and the engine goes on ?

Bonus question: Does on ever get used to the constant rolling/rocking motion of the boat? I am currently doing an around Vancouver Island trip and the outside (western) portion of the trip got pretty nerve wrecking after a while with having to constantly look for handholds as one moves about because the boat is in so much motion. I spent the nights in coves/bays/inlets so I had some relief from the constant rolling but I am not sure if I could get used to a trip of many days were the rolling goes on 24 hrs / day.
I had, by my estimation, up to 15 ft waves but most of the swells were in the 4 to 6 ft range. Even that makes 'going on with regular life' very difficult.

Thoughts ? Comments ?
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Old 02-09-2016, 23:44   #2
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Re: Offshore Related Questions

I like to leave in a decent patch of weather, say under 20 knots for a day or or three, to get into the rhythm of being back at sea. And I'd far prefer the gribs to be showing under 33 knots into the distant future. You do get used to being at sea. Typically it takes me about 3 days to get into the groove sleep wise. After a few weeks you hardly notice the roll.

Crew strength and Boat condition/type are big factors to consider, also the reality of the fact that you can't wait forever for a perfect forcast, and the boat will never be 100% and if you think it is you are probably deluded and are in for a big shock when stuff starts failing.

On the motoring question I usually motor when the sails start slatting repeatedly. This is normally around 2-3 knots of boatspeed. But depending on other factors I might drift and pull down all sails in calms, or I might motor to maintain a higher speed if it looks like their is a tactical advantage for doing so.
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Old 03-09-2016, 00:44   #3
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Re: Offshore Related Questions

FWIW, I've just completed the same thing (a shakedown cruise around Vancouver Island that involved 3 days of either broad reaching or zooming downwind in 25-30 knots) two weeks ago. When I was discussing it with someone far more experienced, I was told that, away from continental shelf, the motion would be quite a bit gentler than what we have experienced.
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Old 03-09-2016, 00:53   #4
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Re: Offshore Related Questions

About motoring: the answer to that question changes a lot once you get yourself a spinnaker or a code zero, and figure out how and when to use it

Btw, doesn't your tiny fuel tank / 4 days motoring range (same as mine) pretty much force you to avoid motoring unless absolutely necessary on a long passage?
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Old 03-09-2016, 01:27   #5
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Re: Offshore Related Questions

As stated above.... try and sail with three or four days of good weather with the wind going your way.

No wind in a sloppy sea and swell will get you motoring so you don't go insane.... likewise in very light conditions and a swell it can be hard getting a genniker or spinaker to stay filled.
Maybe motor now and again to charge the batteries if relying on solar and the sun has gone bugger off.

Bonus answer.... a decent boat well sailed will not be rock and rolling but just have a nice seakindly motion that will lull you off to sleep..... you may however find yourself walking with a Western Ocean roll when you get to the far end....
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:18   #6
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Re: Offshore Related Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedHerring View Post
About motoring: the answer to that question changes a lot once you get yourself a spinnaker or a code zero, and figure out how and when to use it

Btw, doesn't your tiny fuel tank / 4 days motoring range (same as mine) pretty much force you to avoid motoring unless absolutely necessary on a long passage?
Thank you for your previous post re things settling down a bit further offshore. Very nice to know!
My tank is good for 40 hrs of motoring and I average 5 knots at that throttle setting - tiny as you so rightly state. The question was more of a theoretical nature as a lot of my trip at the moment involves motoring and I was curious how that is normally handled or if that is an issue. I have no intention of taking my current boat offshore for multiple days.
I looked into an asymetric spinnacker but have come to the conclusion that I do not have the wherewithall to run it as a single hander. Anything below 10 knots relative wind is motoring wind for me so going downwind requires at least 15 knots of true wind to make 4 knots if I am lucky (with a 135 geny). Kinda frustrating. I looked into a top down furler but boy they are spendy ! There is no way that I am going up front on a deck that bounces even moderately. I am over my gymnastic days
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:21   #7
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Re: Offshore Related Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
No wind in a sloppy sea and swell will get you motoring so you don't go insane.... likewise in very light conditions and a swell it can be hard getting a genniker or spinaker to stay filled.
Bonus answer.... a decent boat well sailed will not be rock and rolling but just have a nice seakindly motion that will lull you off to sleep..... you may however find yourself walking with a Western Ocean roll when you get to the far end....
There was a lot of sail flopping involved on the outside leg
I am still working on the 'well sailed' portion

Thanks!
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