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Old 22-12-2021, 11:13   #31
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Re: Who Winter Sails Subzero?

Lots of sound advice. My suggestion: read up on the effects of hypothermia and especially it's warning signs!

Pay particular attention to your hands. They can literally stop working within minutes in the cold, so practice line handling etc with gloves until you are comfortable using them. Also be aware that gloves like to get caught on equipment and can 'suck' your hands into harms way and result in a serious injury, last thing you want, especially if your sailing short-handed or with inexperienced crew.
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Old 22-12-2021, 11:46   #32
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Re: Who Winter Sails Subzero?

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Originally Posted by Stewie12 View Post
I used to turn on the gas fire and sit in the companionway and let the autopilot do the work.
Absolutely. Plus if there aren't any cockpit seats, buy a cheap closed cell foam camping mat as a temp solution.

Us on Christmas Day motor sailing unfortunately because there wasn't enough wind. Oh and a positively barmy 5'c. Xmas dinner was in the oven cooking
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Old 22-12-2021, 11:58   #33
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Re: Who Winter Sails Subzero?

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Originally Posted by bccoast View Post
Our new boat sale and paperwork will be done in a couple days and need to move our boat from Puget Sound to Vancouver. Would be great to wait for better weather but we have a couple weeks off work and the new omicron is heating up and want to get the boat into Canada before lockdowns are back at the border.

Forecast is calling for temps below freezing with snow/sleet/rain forecasted and the occasional break. With the short days, have a number of routes planned including stopping for a covid test in Port Townsend or Bellingham on way back. Expect it to take 4 - 6 days and will try and stay in marinas. We do have diesel heater that works well and will bring an electric when plugged in.

I have never sailed in winter so bought some new Helly gear and have layers that should be ok underneath. All I have for gloves so far is snowboard/ski gloves and mitts, looking for some sailing ones too.

Looking for any advice or tips for sailing in winter conditions, what potential problems should we be aware of???
Less than 6 hrs motoring from PT to Vancouver. 30 mi?
The only thing I see as a heads up is if the snow gets so hard you'll have to use Radar or chart plotter to see your way.
You'll be in the Straits of Juan De Fuca, open water, shipping lanes.
It's a nice motor or sail, supposed to be a bit snowy over the holidays.
Got a red dot heater below?
They help a lot underway.

Not so sure how well you'll be able to pick out Radar targets in heavy snow.
If you've got AIS, you'll have some Watch.
Careful on deck as snow is extra slippery on deck.
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Old 22-12-2021, 12:07   #34
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Re: Who Winter Sails Subzero?

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Originally Posted by bccoast View Post
ok, now I am worried

any tips on fuel and systems?


Also thanks for your earlier post. lots of good points in that one.

We had a full survey a couple weeks ago including haul out and sea trial and everything checked out good including separate engine mechanical inspection and lab tests. Last oil change was 18 months ago but only had 4 hours on it since.

Was going to put some diesel treatment in before topping up the tank.
Never hurt to add treatment to your tank.
Don't worry about gelling though, your not a semi truck, so your tank is in the boat, and a bonus as its runs the diesel thru the injectors, you have diesel I'm assuming.
The return will be adding warm diesel to your tank, this will prevent gelling.
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Old 22-12-2021, 12:11   #35
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Re: Who Winter Sails Subzero?

I sail all winter round out of Victoria, it's fun not having anyone else out on the water and it's crisp and beautiful. I prefer being too cold to too hot.

Aside from wrapping up warm (layers, hat, scarf over face), there isn't much else to it. If you have a diesel heater, keep it running so you have a warm boat to pop into from time to time.

Oh and a premade thermos full of soup or tea is wonderful
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Old 22-12-2021, 12:18   #36
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Re: Who Winter Sails Subzero?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bccoast View Post
ok, now I am worried

any tips on fuel and systems?


A


Yeah. It's the thing nobody seems to think (or care) about and is a big problem.

We were talking to the broker when we bought our boat about old fuel. He points down the channel a bit, and says "that's how far sailboats get." Then he points another 50 meters and says "the powerboats get to there, which is a real problem because they're right at the mouth, exposed to wind, with no engine." What he's talking about is boats that started fine, but died when the bad fuel got moving.

The problem isn't unique to cold weather, the problem is going out with possible old and ruined fuel, and possibly 98% clogged fuel filter, and water in the tanks, etc. You might get 100 meters, you might get 50km, and then the engine stops. If the engine stops in winter, you're going to have a much longer wait for assistance.

I'd change ALL filters, water separator, check the condition of the fuel, check the level of water in the fuel.

Old oil won't stop an engine- old fuel will.
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Old 22-12-2021, 12:26   #37
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Re: Who Winter Sails Subzero?

Congrats with your new vessel.

You have received solid advice from the cool Wx sailors. We are just a bit N of you and do enjoy winter sailing- as well as our safety and comfort. Therefore, following is a brief [yet incomplete] list of our typical winter transit considerations:

Transit planning: Assuming no desire to run without daylight, the planning during shorter days becomes more critical- especially when you must accomdate tides and currents. You already know this.

If you have a 'bus heater' that heats the boat while the engine is running, consider motoring/ motor sailing most of the way. [With the N outflow winds forecast during your transit period, that is a most likely scenario anyway...]

Wx: We find both the US Alaska HRRR and Canadian HRDPS GRIB products are the most accurate for micro climate preditions and wind trending/ predictions on the inside waters of Alaska and Canada.

Gear: Already covered above. We prefer Ocean Rodeo drysuits with fleece unisuits underneath when we have to go outside in inclement Wx. Safer for water imersion even though we are teathered full time. [We are spoiled with an inside helm as well.] Drysuit with Duberry sailing boots, and appropriate gloves [with the smaller glove sized hand warmers slipped in on the back of the hands if/as needed...]

PFDs: Not all inflatable PFDs are rated/work properly is sub-freezing conditions... The extra insulation provided by non-inflatable PFDs is usually welcome in winter...

Safety: 1-10-1 cold water emersion principals: Just be aware of it and think about it if you ever find yourself in the water.

Add a box of hand warmer packets to your first aid kit. Also carry some of the self-adhesive type. Placed over the kidneys they will help keep you warm for long watches in the cockpit.

Lines: If not treated to prevent freezing, watch closely and douse sails while you can if lines start freezing or become inflexible. [Treat in advance with NikWax Polar Proof.]

Freezing Spray: Immediately douse sails and lines if you begin to encounter freezing spray. [Which is currently forecast just N of your transit area for the period of your transit- WeFax image attached below.] Also, watch for ice formation on mast. When it sheds the deck can be a hard hat area...

Deicer: Bring some sidewalk deicer in case the decks ice up [assuming you don't want to wear your YakTracs on the deck...] It can sometimes help if lines have frozen. We keep it in plastic laundry detergent bottles. Heavy duty and easy to dispense.

Fuel: Already covered above. Along with extra filters, if you already have fuel onboard of unknown temperature blend, as a hedge against gelling, carry a bottle of Diesel 911 [one of the few additives that will return gelled diesel to usable form.]

When you take on fuel, ask what the blend temperature rating is. [Up here our summer fuel is blended for -30°C so we don't have to worry about summer fuel in winter.]

If you can, run #1 diesel fuel for your heater. [Less maintainance over time.] Be aware that fuel additives in heater fuel increases heater maintainance. [Espar service bulletins recommend burning straight kerosene (K-1) for an hour on high every 30 days to help keep the burn chamber clean in case #1 fuel cannot be used.]

Living aboard: Desicant dehumidifiers have already been mentioned. They are the best in cool climes.

You will need a way to provide ventilation under your sleeping mattresses to keep them dry. We use Hypervent, but there are numerous ways to accomplish this.

In case any of this is useful. Best wishes with your transit.

Cheers! Bill

PS: We have shared some of our experience about boating in cooler climates over the decades in case you find yourselves bored once you arrive at your destination...
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Old 22-12-2021, 14:43   #38
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Re: Who Winter Sails Subzero?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatyarddog View Post
Less than 6 hrs motoring from PT to Vancouver. 30 mi?
The only thing I see as a heads up is if the snow gets so hard you'll have to use Radar or chart plotter to see your way.
You'll be in the Straits of Juan De Fuca, open water, shipping lanes.
It's a nice motor or sail, supposed to be a bit snowy over the holidays.
Got a red dot heater below?
They help a lot underway.

Not so sure how well you'll be able to pick out Radar targets in heavy snow.
If you've got AIS, you'll have some Watch.
Careful on deck as snow is extra slippery on deck.
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Sorry, my mistake, thought you wrote Victoria...
Your going a bit further than 30 mi.
Where will you cross The strait of Georgia?
Seems your fastest point to Clear customs is Victoria, or Pender Isl.
Then ?
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Old 22-12-2021, 15:45   #39
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Re: Who Winter Sails Subzero?

Hire a delivery skipper if you can find one. New to you boat, limited experience and those conditions sounds like insanity. JMHO
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Old 22-12-2021, 16:14   #40
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Re: Who Winter Sails Subzero?

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Hire a delivery skipper if you can find one. New to you boat, limited experience and those conditions sounds like insanity. JMHO
Cadence has a point. When schitt goes wrong it goes wrong fast. More stuff can go wrong in subzero- in fact it WILL.

Stick a bowline in water then the freezer. Then try to untie it while outdoors in your undershorts, you’ll get the idea. In fact you can probably plan to skip untying anything, even with a marlin spike, and just plan on cutting it.

No offense, but you’re not ready for this. A paid professional skipper to assist is a very good idea. If it turns out to be a walk in the park you can berate me. I think you’ll be happy you had a pro on board.
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Old 22-12-2021, 16:20   #41
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Re: Who Winter Sails Subzero?

OP,
Sailing out of Bellingham for 35 years in all seasons.......BUT just checked Predict Wind and the models are calling for a Frasier River outflow setting in for early next week. In Bellingham, we call it a Nor'easter. If it is as forecasted, extremely dangerous marine conditions will exist from Guemes Channel to English Bay. Even the San Juans are not immune. Now, historically, the NWS and Environment Canada have a spotty record on the duration of this condition.

For however long it lasts, it will be miserable, especially aboard an open cockpit sailing vessel. My worst one involved 48" of snow in Ferndale, whipped into 12 foot drifts by 35 knot winds, closed SeaTac for 24 hours.......there are no marinas, north of Anacortes that will have reliable shorepower, either.

With strong SW winds forecasted through Monday, you may get as far north as Laconnor on the Swinomish Channel or Cap Sante/ Anacortes.

Suggest delaying this excellent adventure. Absent the Nor'easter condition, Winter sailing this part of the Salish Sea is preferred, actual wind!
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Old 22-12-2021, 18:51   #42
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Re: Who Winter Sails Subzero?

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OP,

Suggest delaying this excellent adventure. Absent the Nor'easter condition, Winter sailing this part of the Salish Sea is preferred, actual wind!
This may be the advice you didn't want to hear but it's advice I'd say is best to listen to.
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Old 22-12-2021, 18:51   #43
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Re: Who Winter Sails Subzero?

Quote:
Originally Posted by japarker11 View Post
OP,
Sailing out of Bellingham for 35 years in all seasons.......BUT just checked Predict Wind and the models are calling for a Frasier River outflow setting in for early next week. In Bellingham, we call it a Nor'easter. If it is as forecasted, extremely dangerous marine conditions will exist from Guemes Channel to English Bay. Even the San Juans are not immune. Now, historically, the NWS and Environment Canada have a spotty record on the duration of this condition.

For however long it lasts, it will be miserable, especially aboard an open cockpit sailing vessel. My worst one involved 48" of snow in Ferndale, whipped into 12 foot drifts by 35 knot winds, closed SeaTac for 24 hours.......there are no marinas, north of Anacortes that will have reliable shorepower, either.

With strong SW winds forecasted through Monday, you may get as far north as Laconnor on the Swinomish Channel or Cap Sante/ Anacortes.

Suggest delaying this excellent adventure. Absent the Nor'easter condition, Winter sailing this part of the Salish Sea is preferred, actual wind!
Having heard the Marine forecast. That area going to be 30 35 knots wind.
Fore sure, pre plan where you can duck out.
Good advise, delay.
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Old 22-12-2021, 18:59   #44
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Re: Who Winter Sails Subzero?

If it's only had 4 hours running in the last 18 months, I too would have real concerns about any fuel that was in the boat.
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Old 22-12-2021, 19:27   #45
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Re: Who Winter Sails Subzero?

First off, delay your departure if the weather looks uncooperative. Secondly seeing some posts and their locations it should be clarified that the location maybe be sub-zero Celsius (35 F); Very unlikely that it will be sub-zero Fahrenheit (-18C).
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