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The Sailboat Cruiser ~ Issue #32
December 31, 2017
The Sailboat Cruiser
The Sailboat Cruiser is the free monthly newsletter of sailboat-cruising.com and sets out to bring you the news, views and general musings of, well, me - Dick McClary, a sailboat cruiser and creator/owner of the website.
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Newsletter #32 - October 2016
What's in This Issue:
Left laying around on the ground as they often are, all sorts of nasty liquids and micro-organisms can find their way into the hose, intent on contaminating the water before you squirt it into your drinking water tanks.
Some marinas and boatyards are incorporating back-flow devices into the hose to lessen the risk of contamination, whilst others are just removing the hoses all together.
Either way, you may well decide that the best solution is to disconnect the boatyard hose (if there is one) and use your own.
But hold on a minute, as once you've got one you're stuck with it, and you'd better maintain it properly and use it regularly' or it will die and require treatment both expensive and intensive to bring it back to life.
I know this because I've got one. Just a small one which makes about 1.5 gallons/hour and draws 4amps while it's doing so. Even so it was expensive to buy - larger capacity units are very expensive.
Ideal for us, I thought, with just the two of us aboard. But now, I'm not so sure...
"What would happen if one of us died halfway across the Atlantic?"
It was a good question. A low probability of occurrence perhaps, but a very high impact if it did. A real risk nevertheless, and one which would have to be considered along with
all the others.
This is what we came up with...
The Ocean's not a bad last resting place for a sailor.
Well? What would you do?
Incidentally, our agreement had an unforeseen benefit - Mary was on her very best behavior all the way across.
You can read all about it in Mary's eBook
'First Time Atlantic Crossing'.
Not being overjoyed at the prospect of climbing the mast to replace failed nav light bulbs, I bought a LED combined tricolour/anchor light for installation at the masthead.
It's been a great success - it has never failed and draws very little juice from the battery, but I've left the pulpit and pushpit bow and stern lights with incandescent bulbs because:
But, and here's the point, why bother with a tri-colour at all?
Individual LED port, starboard and stern lights only draw a couple of watts apiece, so with all three on they'd only take half an amp in a 12volt system - even less if the bow light was a bi-colour.
Surely, that would
have been the smarter way to go?
Running Rigging and Selecting Winches and Jammers.
Writing them took me back to the agonising we went through when building Alacazam over whether to bring all the sheets, halyards and other control lines back to the cockpit, or leave a number of them at the mast.
Because Alacazam was to be a cutter, there were quite a few lines that would have to be dealt with by the cockpit winches:~
That gives us 14 lines to play with in the cockpit, leaving the following which could either be left at the mast or brought back to the cockpit:~
If that lot all ended up in the cockpit, it would become a snake pit. Clearly some of it would have to remain at the mast. Here's how we sorted it all out.
It not difficult to see the benefit in be able to reef the main from the cockpit, but to do so the following lines would need to be brought back:~
But that would still mean that someone would have to go forward to hook on the luff reefing cringles. Well, if you're going to do that you might as well do all the mainsail reefing at the mast - I'm an all-or-nothing sort of bloke - and before you ask, I'm not a huge fan of either single-line or in-mast/in-boom reefing systems.
The solution it seemed, was to bring three more lines back to the cockpit which would pull down each of the luff reefing points.
So, 8 more lines to be brought back to the cockpit to reef the main. Our 14 cockpit lines would increase to 22.
We looked at the others:~
The other halyards
With the headsail on a furler, the jib halyard would only be adjusted at the beginning and end of a passage. The second jib halyard would spend most of its life unused, so there was little benefit in bringing these back.
The staysail is hanked on and needs to be pulled down by hand when the halyard is let go. That too can stay at the mast then.
Hoisting the kite requires a degree of foredeck work - attaching the clew and halyard, dealing with the snuffer etc - so there's little point in having its halyard anywhere other than at the mast.
The pole has to be attached to the mast, so its uphaul and downhaul are also best left at the mast.
We liked the idea of reefing the main from the cockpit, but we'd need to fit a number of turning blocks, organisers and jammers to enable us to do so.
In the end we decided to leave it all at the mast, where it works just fine. But the stronger the wind blows and the older I get the more of a challenge reefing the main becomes.
So do I regret leaving it all at the mast? Sometimes.
Am I thinking about bring it back to the cockpit? Well, maybe.
If your cruising ground is in the higher latitudes then you'll probably want to haul your boat out during the autumn to avoid the rigours of the winter weather.
In tropical regions it's not snow and ice you need to worry about; it's much worse - hurricanes, or depending on your location, cyclones or typhoons.
These malevolent monsters can occur during the summer and autumn months, so the prudent boater will looking to haul out in late spring.
Either way, your first concern will be in having your boat hauled out of the water safely and without damage, but there are a couple of things to attend to first...
Among other items this month, we have:
Take a look at them
by clicking here...
Want to check out a whole load more? Then take a look at the full list secondhand cruising boats for sale...
Don't forget...If you're thinking of looking at a secondhand sailboat, or just want to be aware of what to look for - and when to walk away no matter what - then you really ought to take a look at Andrew Simpson's eBook Secrets of Buying Secondhand Boats...
It's full of sound advice from an acknowleged expert and could quite literally save you $$$$$thousands!
Sailboat-Cruising.com has a Facebook Page!
Clicking the image here will take you right to it, where you can browse through many more posts and articles.
Please take a look, and feel free to make a post - and don't forget to 'Like' us of course...
And finally...If you know anyone who might be interested in the contents of this newsletter, feel free to email it to them. It's not secret!
And this newsletter can be a two-way thing. If you've read anything you'd like to comment on, or perhaps there's an event you'd like to see announced in a future newsletter, then please let me know.
See you next month!
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