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Old 17-12-2017, 19:17   #16
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Re: Where do 4 line handlers (plus yourself) sleep on a 27-foot boat?

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I made it thru in one day with an engine that could hardly produce 5 Knts. A boat your size can raft up for the locks and go full throttle to the next lock. It might be a one day affair. ____Grant.
Boat speed has very little to do with getting through the Canal in one day. The slowest boat that I've taken through did it in one day. Almost all the others, except one, required two. The other boat that did it in one day was an unusual handline night transit.
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Old 17-12-2017, 20:23   #17
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Re: Where do 4 line handlers (plus yourself) sleep on a 27-foot boat?

Boat speed was very important, in that if I could not keep up a certain speed I had to raft up and be towed by a faster boat(tug,etc at great expense). My poor old Perkins didnt like high RPM and I just barely made the schedual. I had other yachties for line handlers and a pilot. A small boat (limited speed) may not be able to do a one day trip. ____Grant.
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Old 17-12-2017, 20:28   #18
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Re: Where do 4 line handlers (plus yourself) sleep on a 27-foot boat?

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Boat speed was very important, in that if I could not keep up a certain speed I had to raft up and be towed by a faster boat(tug,etc at great expense). My poor old Perkins didnt like high RPM and I just barely made the schedual. I had other yachties for line handlers and a pilot. A small boat (limited speed) may not be able to do a one day trip. ____Grant.
My point was that the majority of handline transits are two days. This has nothing to do with the boats speed, it has to do with lock scheduling. I've done 9 handline transits and two were one day, all the others were two day and done in plenty fast boats.
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Old 18-12-2017, 10:56   #19
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Re: Where do 4 line handlers (plus yourself) sleep on a 27-foot boat?

Sleep 4/5 on 27 footer? Stacked or vertical! Even the deck is a little small for this. That raises another question-- why on earth do you need more than two on the lines?
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Old 18-12-2017, 11:50   #20
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Re: Where do 4 line handlers (plus yourself) sleep on a 27-foot boat?

Does a "gratuity" improve the scheduling?
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Old 18-12-2017, 12:00   #21
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Re: Where do 4 line handlers (plus yourself) sleep on a 27-foot boat?

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Sleep 4/5 on 27 footer? Stacked or vertical! Even the deck is a little small for this. That raises another question-- why on earth do you need more than two on the lines?
Regulations. You need one person for each line. Even if you're rafted up.

Now that my overheating problems have been solved, my Beta 14 does just fine at higher RPMs. I still don't know if I can hold 6 kts fully ladened with crew and supplies, though. 5kts, maybe.
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Old 18-12-2017, 12:49   #22
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Re: Where do 4 line handlers (plus yourself) sleep on a 27-foot boat?

I had 7 people aboard my Vega for a day sail. 5 adults and 2 children. I don't think I would use the word cozy to describe it. I was the largest person at 5'10'' 165lbs and the boat felt every movement of the passengers. If somebody dropped a deuce in the head I defiantly would be the one sleeping outside, rain or shine. Not much room eh? This is why I've been told (wife) to buy a bigger boat!
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Old 18-12-2017, 12:56   #23
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Re: Where do 4 line handlers (plus yourself) sleep on a 27-foot boat?

"Dropped a deuce in the toilet".... ha ha. Never heard that phrasing before. Pocket cruisers are never designed for the herd. I am squeamish also. My boat barely accommodates 2 people.
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Old 18-12-2017, 13:13   #24
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Re: Where do 4 line handlers (plus yourself) sleep on a 27-foot boat?

Sleeping with a bunch of guys in a tight enclosed area is just not my thing. I had to sleep with my head outside of the igloo during my Winter Survival Training cause somebody kept "crakin one off" all night long. I guess I will never be able to take my Vega thru the canal cause I'm too anti-social. Is it possible to truck it over the road?
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Old 18-12-2017, 13:26   #25
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Re: Where do 4 line handlers (plus yourself) sleep on a 27-foot boat?

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Does a "gratuity" improve the scheduling?
No, not at all. The Canal is run very professionally. Handline are fit in as best they can, but the entire focus is to move the high paying commercial traffic. Handlines go through at a loss.
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Old 18-12-2017, 13:33   #26
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Re: Where do 4 line handlers (plus yourself) sleep on a 27-foot boat?

When I transited in 1994 they were pretty insistent about smaller boats being able to maintain the minimum speed - 5kn IIRC. That may be the biggest problem for the OP.

Like @Benz I piled a combination of volunteers on board my CG31. In my case it was 3 backpackers and one female Air Force member from a local base that came with me. Originally I had agreements to exchange services with other cruisers, but they over-committed and went on another boat at the same time. I would not use backpackers again - they were clueless about line handling and lacked physical strength; the best of the lot was the woman airman, who had been doing weight training. Other cruisers do make good handlers; just find some that are willing to commit and follow through. Still, I would probably just step up and hire the pro's if I were to do it again, for their reliability, experience, line handling, and just strength.

When rafting, unless the boat is in the middle (not necessarily a choice) the handlers will need to be strong. As it happens the holes on the bottom of the lock are 5 wide, so the upwelling in the middle flows off to both sides. The ideal is to hold the raft in the center, but get a little off to one side and the handlers on the other side will have to work hard to keep the raft near the center. The larger the raft the greater the loads. There is also a potential coordination problem - the handlers on the side moving towards the wall have to slack off so the other side doesn't have to pull against them (plus the pull of the water sideways); being on separate boats, with different skippers and advisors, it can be a struggle to coordinate. This happened to me, and my under-powered handlers were overwhelmed (both physically and emotionally) while the other skipper started yelling orders at my crew (it was his crew that pulled us off-center to begin with, before the filling started). I had a really sharp advisor who told us to ignore the other boat and just do our jobs. Only egos got damaged, but I wouldn't do that again. To be fair, the other skipper was in a bind: if my handlers failed it would be his boat that hit the wall, but there was no excuse for his behavior - we never got close to the wall. I would have to know and trust the other skipper(s) before I agreed to raft again.

It might seem that tying to a tug would be the easy way to go, but that is actually the source of most of the damage claims. The problem is that the tug's bulwarks (beside the yachts) will rise up, and any breast lines will be strained. The answer is to use only spring lines (lines that lead fore/aft more than abreast) and NEVER cleat them off - be ready to play them as needed.

Back to the OP's question: some handlers will probably want to sleep on deck, as it will be cooler and less stuffy than down below. If you can rig canvas or a tarp to keep any rain off you should be good.

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Old 18-12-2017, 13:58   #27
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Re: Where do 4 line handlers (plus yourself) sleep on a 27-foot boat?

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. . . . Is it possible to truck it over the road?
Good question. 27ft is small enough that towing is pretty easy, maybe even possible with a pickup truck and decent trailer.. Anyone have input on the truck option?
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Old 18-12-2017, 13:59   #28
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Re: Where do 4 line handlers (plus yourself) sleep on a 27-foot boat?

To answer the question in the title of your thread:
1st congrats to your Vega 27, a well respected boat in Europe. 4 Young men in my Sailing Club crossed the Atlantic in 1973 with a Vega. So I think for one night on Gatun Lake there is no problem (imho) to find space for five. 2 sleep in the cockpit, give them the back cushions from the Saloon and 2 sleep in the Saloon, Yourself sleep in the focsle. The adviser will quit the boat for the night and will come back or send an other one early next Morning. Transiting the canal is no complicated story: just have look to your linhandlers and the ones on the lock walla as the later are sometimes careless or try to make a joke just to make the yachties nervous.
Good luck and cold blood!
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Old 18-12-2017, 14:00   #29
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Re: Where do 4 line handlers (plus yourself) sleep on a 27-foot boat?

I'll tell them I can make the minimum speed, and when I don't it's definitely going to be because of stronger than anticipated currents. Definitely.

I think I'll feed my crew a diet low in fiber, as I don't want anyone using the head for that purpose with 4 people aboard. There is no door, nor curtain presently isolating the head from the rest of the boat.I suppose I'll add a curtain for this occasion, but if someone chooses to drop a deuce, it's going to be all hands on deck.

Airmen would be great line handlers I bet, as they're used to obeying orders without question.
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Old 18-12-2017, 14:07   #30
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Re: Where do 4 line handlers (plus yourself) sleep on a 27-foot boat?

By the way, I transited the canal in April 2005 with my catamaran in the center of a raft: to my port side a 45 foot Reinke steel boat, on my starboard side a Jeanneau Sun Fast 38 foot if I remember right. Absolutely no problems even my cat had only two 18 HP Volvo Penta MD 2020.
Good luck again
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