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Old 11-09-2011, 20:04   #16
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Lay It Out, Man

hoppy, you mention a "passage" but are silent on any other details, so you're getting advice that is all over the chart. Can you provide some specifics, like
  1. your beginning location, destination and the distance between the two, and whether this "passage" involves open water or is a coastal hop
  2. your plotted compass course, in relation to the prevailing wind direction
  3. a quick run-down of the safety equipment you referred to
  4. what equipment you'll be using for piloting/navigation
  5. whether or not you've done this trip in daylight before and are familiar enough with your destination that you are confident it will be familiar to you when arriving in the dark
  6. whether at the end of your trip you will be picking up a mooring, anchoring, or something else
I'm sure you'll get much more focused and useful feedback if we know more.

Fair Winds,
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Old 11-09-2011, 22:01   #17
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Thanks for the advice and comments.

I'm sailing in the Greek islands which are all pretty unfamiliar to me. Many of the isands are lacking navigation lights so in one sense it will be sailing a bit blind. Some of the islands have fish farms that are either poorly or not marked on the chart. For tge past 3 weeks the sky has been cloud free and i would be looking to do the sail in similar conditions. The wind around here can get up to around F7 and isolated F8 and the plan for the night sail is partly to take the opportunity to make some miles back to the marina if the evenings forecast is for lighter conditions.

I probably will set off before dusk and will plan on a journey were i arrive after day break so i dont have to worry about poor visibility.

Thinking about the "cat naps" ithink i will skip that and just try to sleep the day before and red bull to "give me wings"


For navigation i am using an ipad which i have a waterproof case and can mount at the helm. I also have the iphone with navionics if i get desperate and i have my garmin gps map at the nav station, i have an iAIS which is always displayed on the Garmin and using the iais wifi, display targets on my ipad/iphone. Probably to keep myself amused, when i have nav lights on islands i will tae some barings and manually plot my pos.

Whilst solo i have been in the habit of wearing my lifeacket in the cocpit when the wind is blowing in case i need to quickly harness up and go on deck

I'm not sure if i will do it over the remaing 3 week i have on board, but i want to be repared just in case
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Old 11-09-2011, 22:10   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbuck
[*] a quick run-down of the safety equipment you referred to
i have an epirb, liferaft, flares, dsc vhf radio, hand held waterproof floating vhf, lifejackets/harness, jacklines fitted along the deck, several mob devices on the back (pointless for solo)
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Old 12-09-2011, 05:11   #19
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Re: Tips for first overnight solo sail

If F7 is common in the area, make sure you are well reefed for the night passage, last thing you want is to be messing about at the mast in the dark. Even if you have single line reefing led back to cockpit, bank on something getting fouled up which means a trip onto the deck
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Old 12-09-2011, 05:28   #20
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pirate Re: Tips for first overnight solo sail

1/ Know all your waypoints..
2/ have some qualiity fruit/chocolate energy bars and some savoury snacks to hand...
3/ Water, Red Bull and hot coffee/chocolate catered for...
4/ Music to Stargaze To......
5/ Have a great time Hoppy....
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Old 12-09-2011, 06:26   #21
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Re: Tips for first overnight solo sail

plan a routine.. say.
Top of the hour- update logbook
bottom of the hour- update chart
quarter to and quarter past the the hour- snacks/meals/drinks etc
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:01   #22
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Re: Tips for first overnight solo sail

Mate, I carry a personal epirb, with an instant gps positioning built in, a waterproof VHF handheld radio, a strong strobe/led flashlight, plus the mobile phone in a waterproof case. All, in case I fall off of the yacht!! All this in a bum bag.

Of course, an auto inflating offshore life jacket, with a strong harness and two tethers, so one is always connected to the jack lines, or to tether points, if in the cockpit.

All of the rest of the advice from other posters is excellent.

Safe sailing.
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:42   #23
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Re: Tips for first overnight solo sail

I think the advice offered by surfmachine is excellant; however, as a practical matter if you fall off of a boat you are single handing, a serious risk is that hypothemia will get to you before help. Strong attachment points, jacklines and a tether should be first priority. The backup plan of surfmachine though is a very good last resort idea. Under the circumstances you described, I would be putting in at least one reef at night even if I had a crew on board. A high water alarm in the bilge is also a good idea as a second set of eyes for flooding. They don't cost a lot of money, a cheap one run by a nine volt battery can be found somewhere since I once had one before hardwiring. Also, I didn't mention this in my prior post, but it is a good idea to really check over last impeller replacement, belts, fluid levels, fuel and bilge pumps before leaving the dock too. At sea you won't likely be using the head a galley sinks, toilets much, so have the seacocks off to avoid the potential of a drain or sink falling below the waterline if things get rough. If your boat has washboards in the companion way entrance, you might want to leave a couple of the lower ones in. These are my rambling and not necessarily orderly thoughts, but good luck again.
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Old 12-09-2011, 18:45   #24
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Re: Tips for First Overnight Solo Sail

Hi, of course, I am sailing in tropical waters where the sea temp is 32C!
Rarely single handed, only 1 crew at present, use the vhf to attract attention of sleeping crew via onbaord vhf.
Have a bilge alarm, automatic, plus washboards handy in companionway.
Just doing a 9 hour offshore passage to Asu island, daytime, 3 nmiles offshore at present, no wind, sea glassy, 4.5 knots. eta 9 hrs from now, amongst the coral on an offshore island, at 3pm local time.
Safe sailing
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Old 12-09-2011, 19:02   #25
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Re: Tips for First Overnight Solo Sail

take a bimbo,or multiples,greece is full of them at the moment,being the end of the season.
sailing solo when you don't have to is just pure masochism.................
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Old 12-09-2011, 19:21   #26
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I dont know about the lifejacket a pepirb. I sort of wonder if it is better to wear a lead weight and get it over and done with quickly if i went overboard solo

Thanks for all of the suggestions. I'm starting to go cold on the idea right now as my headsail is litteraly coming apart at the seams. A seam near the clew started coming apart and if i had not spotted it early i can just imagine the whole clew just tearing off. I only spotted it because of light coming through the sail which probably would have been missed at night, at least until it is too late.

The sails ar 9 years old and are constantly giving me grief although this has been a mixture of ham fisted handling (learning how best to use the single line reefing and getting it wrong) or the UV strip coming away. Now that the integrity of the headsail is in question, sailing at night is off the agenda.

I had hoped the sails would last out the season and then replace them over winter, but it looks like i need to baby them and keep a close eye on them and probably make the occasional visit to sailmakers for repairs.

Tomorrow i start heading to an island with a sailmaker... Again!
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Old 12-09-2011, 19:42   #27
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Re: Tips for First Overnight Solo Sail

good decision,don't let ego govern common sense.........live a long life with plenty of friends......
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Old 12-09-2011, 19:45   #28
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Re: Tips for First Overnight Solo Sail

Unless you are in a hurry, take in a reef while it's still light, especially if windy conditions are forecast.
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Old 12-09-2011, 19:51   #29
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Re: Tips for First Overnight Solo Sail

Egg timer
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Old 12-09-2011, 19:59   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon
Unless you are in a hurry, take in a reef while it's still light, especially if windy conditions are forecast.
Because of the wind accelleration zones around the islands I have been reefing down quite early or reefing more than necessary when the wind has picked up. So i probably would have reefed in for night unless the wind was lighter than normal with a forecast that it continues and i am avoiding islands.

I reccently added marks on my main halyard for my 3 reef points. It has made reefing the main so much easier and now that i have this worked out feel more confident i wont screw up the main again, but then again as it is the same age as the headsail it may jst come apart as well. I must get some flouresent thread to mark the halyard for a future night sail.
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