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Old 26-04-2013, 05:55   #1
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Preparing a Tartan 34C for transatlantic trip

I am planning a transatlantic trip from NY to Gibraltar next year in June, followed by some cruising in the Med, and wanted to get some feedback on getting my boat, a 1977 Tartan 34C, in shape for that. Comments tailored to this specific boat are especially appreciated, as well as general opinion on their seaworthiness, etc.

Most likely I'll be preparing for a single-handed crossing.

When I bought the boat 1 1/2 years ago she was only used for coastal sailing. I took her down to the Bahamas over the winter and before that i put in all new bronze seacocks, replaced running and standing rigging. Noteworthy equipment that I added or existed already includes AIS receiver, sat phone, EPRIB, roller furler (140% genoa) and ATN Gale sail (storm jib) and a ridiculously over-sized Manson Supreme anchor on 63' of 3/8 chain and 200' of rode. The engine is a party rebuilt Atomic 4 which has been running very smoothly since I had the boat. I actually like the engine a lot and trust it. Lots of spare parts and tools on board. 2 reefs in the main. Bimini, no dodger. 2 x 80 amp-hour wet cells with a 70 amp alternator and regulator. A Raymarine X5 wheel pilot. 8' Walker Bay sailing dinghy with tubes, 4hp outboard. Whisker pole. New VHF and masthead antenna, handheld GPS, OpenCPN with international charts. No radar. No solar panels and wind generator. I am thinking about adding a removable forestay and recut the ATN gale sail for it ($$, is this necessary?). To generate power I thought about adding 2x 120 Watt solar panels. Getting a dodger perhaps. Selfsteering: below-deck unit or a used windvane? I want to keep the cost down but also have a seaworthy boat fit for the trip.

Comments appreciated!

S/V Vesper
Tartan 34C
New York City
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Old 26-04-2013, 08:49   #2
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Re: Preparing a Tartan 34C for transatlantic trip

Extra fuel and water. Never used a Gale Sail but I've read they are a bitch to use in a blow. Some sort of drogue? Solar - yes.
Take a look at the ISAF regs. they are over the top but will give you some good ideas about securing batteries, companionway hatches, etc.
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Old 28-04-2013, 15:11   #3
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lots to think about, here are some thoughts...

storm tri sail on its own track, third reef in main, second anchor, large diaphragm pump, mechanical windless, a great sea berth with lee cloths, for sure the wind vane, backup autohelm
preventer on boom
pay attention to anything that will fall or open if the hull is inverted, cutters for mast if needed

mixed feelings about the baby stay, can get in the way but nice to hold the storm sail

watermaker
jack lines plus attachment points at companion way and at the helm
have boat surveyed with the trip in mind, different from a survey for the sale of the boat
life raft, hand held vhf

echo the isaf regs idea - good start

best of luck to you, i can see that you have put in a lot of thought already

Dan
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Old 28-04-2013, 15:49   #4
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Re: Preparing a Tartan 34C for transatlantic trip

EPIRB
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Old 28-04-2013, 16:00   #5
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Re: Preparing a Tartan 34C for transatlantic trip

In response to some suggestions:


- storm tri sail on its own track - I heard mixed things about this especially when going to windward and many recommend a 3rd reef in the main

- third reef in main - will do

second anchor - 3 anchors on board (44lb Manson, 22lb Delta, (both with 63' of 2/8 BBB chain) 11lb Fortress (stern & kedge anchor)

- large diaphragm pump - one already in the cockpit and serviced, planning to add one down below

- securing batteries, companionway hatches, etc. - Yes, much work needed in the 'think cap-size' department

How about reinforcing the hull structure? The T34 is known to show cracks where the deck meets the forward cabin, for example. Anyone dealt with this before?

Thanks Comrades of the Sea!

- mechanical windless - no plans to add one, this is in place of my gym membership

- a great sea berth with lee cloths - have one on each tack

- for sure the wind vane - looking at either a used Aries or Monitor, or a new Cape Horn. will be worth it I think and they have a good resale value

backup autohelm - I'm in tow minds about this. On the one hand the wind vane will do most offshore steering, on the other hand the AP will be important while motoring and lifting anchor

preventer on boom - already in place

- pay attention to anything that will fall or open if the hull is inverted,

- cutters for mast if needed - yes, for the wires. or a big metal saw for the mast too?

- mixed feelings about the baby stay, can get in the way but nice to hold the storm sail - the ATN Gale Sail is not fun to rig in a blow. Not a good piece of equipment in my opinion. On my last trip to the Bahamas I choose to furl the 140% genoa in conditions when I shouldn't have. This lead to some trouble sometimes and inefficient sail shape always. Having an inner forestay with a storm jib attached to it already ready to be hoisted without much effort sounds heaven to me. What do others think?


- watermaker - on my list to buy is a used hand-operated emergency watermaker from ebay for about $300 for the ditch bag, needs new diaphagm. Also, planning to add a second water tank under the port quarter berth. was thinking of a flexible tank for easier installation. What experiences do people have with this offshore where there is potential for a lot of chafe?


- jack lines plus attachment points at companion way and at the helm - already in place


have boat surveyed with the trip in mind, different from a survey for the sale of the boat - I was thinking about that but it would have to be the right surveyor with lots of offshore experience, or even an old salt. Any idea how to find one in the NYC area?

- life raft - not sure I believe in their superior usefulness. I mostly share this opinion: http://www.bethandevans.com/seamanship.htm#30.
I am planning to use my 8' Walker Bay hard dinghy with flotation tubes and sail kit for this purpose. Will need to fit it with a tight and sturdy plastic cover.

-hand held vhf - have two with GPS

-echo the isaf regs idea - good start -yes, looks good!

- Extra water -see above, currently ahve 40 gallon fresh water tank, will also have 2 x 5 gallons 3/4 filled in jerry cans attached for emergency

- extra fuel - not sure about this as the A4 is pretty thirsty (~1.2 gallons per hour at crusing speed), current tank is 26 gallons. Will save this for landfall and motoring away from bad weather zones, but will just chill out during calms

- drogue - yes, was thinking a sibngle drogue may be sufficient as opposed to Jordan series drogue.
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Old 28-04-2013, 16:55   #6
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Re: Preparing a Tartan 34C for transatlantic trip

Sounds like you are in pretty good shape. I would not do a flexible water tank,almost impossible to clean properly if needed,plus you have to plumb it. Why not use the space for multiple jugs and bottles of water,then you have flexibility and not 'all your eggs in one basket' if you get some not good water.
Good luck and enjoy, Bruce.
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Old 28-04-2013, 17:36   #7
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Re: Preparing a Tartan 34C for transatlantic trip

With the small fuel supply you have, it would be good to think in terms of being able to function with minimal electrical drain. A windvane rather than a second auto pilot, maybe a masthead tricolor nav light instead of 3 deck level bulbs. Masthead can be seen for a much longer distance, which is a plus. If you have a gas stove with an electrical shut off switch, make sure you have the plumbing fittings to bypass the solenoid if you loose your electrics. Good idea to have a single burner back up stove also. Foot pumps for your water supply. Put your compass light on a separate circuit from your running lights. If you are single handing, you dont need the compass light while you are sleeping, and if you are actually on watch, you dont need your running lights (if you have power problems) if you are watching. A good exercise would be to go someplace pleasant and anchor for a weekend with THE MASTER SWITCH TURNED OFF. You will learn how functional your boat is without electricity. Solar panels are great, but they are subject to breakdowns just like anything else.____Just my 2 cents worth._____Grant.
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Old 28-04-2013, 17:45   #8
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Re: Preparing a Tartan 34C for transatlantic trip

One more thought ,depending on the installation, Atomic 4s can be hand cranked. Ignition will work on pretty low voltage, but it might not turn your starter, or your starter may have taken a dump. If you have the handcrank you can get the little bugger running again.___Just more thoughts.____Grant.
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Old 28-04-2013, 18:47   #9
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Re: Preparing a Tartan 34C for transatlantic trip

Thanks, this is all very good advice. Replies below:

- Why not use the space for multiple jugs and bottles of water - great low-tech idea with utmost flexibility, will do that!

- With the small fuel supply you have, it would be good to think in terms of being able to function with minimal electrical drain. - Agree absolutely. Replaced all bulbs incabin with LEDs. have 4 oil lamps, no refrigeration, hand pumps for water in galley and head. On passage, the only current draw is ther masthead tricolor LED, integrated AIS receiver/VHF, compass light, cabin lights, GPS (needed for AIS unit), and the auto pilot for now (which is the biggest drain), but going to get a wind vane.

-stove - I have a two burner Origo alcohol stove. Enough for me. Will add a single gimbaled propane burner for heeling times

- Put your compass light on a separate circuit from your running lights. -good idea

- A good exercise would be to go someplace pleasant and anchor for a weekend with THE MASTER SWITCH TURNED OFF. You will learn how functional your boat is without electricity. - good idea. will do this on a weekend when the girlfriend is not around ;-)

-Atomic 4s can be hand cranked - another good idea. I'll look into this. Access is easy on the T34. the engine is right in the cabin with unobstructed access from the sides and the top.

Thanks for all your advice, gentlemen. Please keep it coming.
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Old 29-04-2013, 09:12   #10
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Re: Preparing a Tartan 34C for transatlantic trip

AIS and radar with a loud proximity alarm. You will have to rest, and you don't want to be run down by a freighter while asleep.
Check your centerboard and pennant. There are several 34C's in the yard I use, and both owners have had centerboard issues.
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Old 29-04-2013, 09:42   #11
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Re: Preparing a Tartan 34C for transatlantic trip

I lived in the UK for a few years and did a lot of sailing on friend's boats and I remember them saying petro ( gas ) engines are not legal on inboard engines. I would not bet on this but worth checking out to be sure. another thing about water storage: I have used those wine bladders from boxed wine to store water and I think they are wonderful. they form to odd shapes in the hull and fill in a lot of voids. easy to fold and store when empty. nice to use for ice packs if you have a freezer. did a lot of sailing on a T34c good solid boats.
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Old 29-04-2013, 09:54   #12
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Re: Preparing a Tartan 34C for transatlantic trip

IMO you have to have radar if you're single handing across the pond. Old salts may argue otherwise but I've been in conditions and circumstances where radar has saved me from getting run over and it strikes me as just plain prudent.

You have to have a dodger. It will cut the exhaustion factor in half and in fact provides a good handhold when exiting the cockpit and going forward, if well designed.

You have not mentioned survival gear other than the EPRIB. It will not do you much good if you're floating in the middle of the atlantic with nothing more than a lifejacket on. At the very least consider a gumby suit if not a full life raft. Ditch bag and comprehensive medical kit go without saying.
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Old 29-04-2013, 09:57   #13
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Re: Preparing a Tartan 34C for transatlantic trip

I am aware of two T-34c's that have crossed the pond in the past few years. One eastbound, another westbound. (Actually, according to this article Polizeipresse: Polizeiinspektion Cuxhaven / Wesermarsch - POL-CUX: StA Potsdam / LKA Brandenburg beschlagnahmt ca. 17kg Kokain im cuxhavener Jachthafen / Einbrecher in Neuenkirchen und Wanna / Einbrecher auf Campingplatz Sandstedt, there's a third, but I'm guessing they're not available to help.) If you ask your question on the Tartan list (tartansailing@yahoogroups.com) or on the T34c site -- Home - TARTAN 34 CLASSIC ASSOCIATION -- you may be able to connect with someone who made the trip recently in the same boat.
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Old 29-04-2013, 12:39   #14
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Re: Preparing a Tartan 34C for transatlantic trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailr69 View Post
I lived in the UK for a few years and did a lot of sailing on friend's boats and I remember them saying petro ( gas ) engines are not legal on inboard engines.
So there are no power boats in the U.K with inboard gasolene engines? I bet there are.
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Old 29-04-2013, 22:30   #15
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Re: Preparing a Tartan 34C for transatlantic trip

I second the motion of a dodger being a requirement.____Grant.
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