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The Sailboat Cruiser ~ Issue #51
July 02, 2019

The Sailboat Cruiser

The Sailboat Cruiser is the free monthly (OK, monthly-ish) newsletter of 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 #51 - July 2019

What's in This Issue:

Wise Men Learn By Their Own Mistakes...

The next line of which runs 'and Wiser Men By Others.'

I was reminded of this pearl of wisdom some years ago while chatting to a French sailor in Martinique. I couldn't help noticing the way he held his heavily bandaged finger awkwardly while supping from his glass of red wine.

Apparently, while attempting to remove a treble hook from the hand of his crewmate, he managed to impale his own finger on a second treble on the same lure.

Being in mid-Atlantic at the time, the prospect of sharing each other's intimate moments for 1,500 miles was a depressing prospect.

Eventually, being unable to get to a more suitable implement with which to separate themselves (like the wire cutters in the toolbox below deck) they had to resort to the pointed end of a nearby filleting knife, causing an injury that required medical attention when they got ashore.

Quite how they decided which one of them was to be on the receiving end of this rather barbaric approach was not explained!

Next time, he told me, he would either remove, cut off the points, or tape up all other hooks before attempting first aid. Good thinking!

Better thinking perhaps, would be to avoid using multi-hooked lures altogether.

And that set me thinking...

Which trolling lures are best suited for fishing underway and which ones are best avoided altogether?

A Changing Attitude to Risk

It was different when I was a youngster. Like most teenagers, I
  • knew everything, and
  • would live forever
or so I believed at the time.

Now, being much older and a little wiser, I realize that I may not have been entirely correct in my youthful confidence.

Was this wisdom gained through being proved wrong so many times and having witnessed my own mortality from far too close a range on several occasions? And perhaps it explains why I now

  • Put a reef in the main before I sail out of the lee of a protected anchorage;
  • View an approaching squall with a degree of foreboding;
  • Am less than enthusiastic about a trip to the masthead.
Or, as Mary suggests, perhaps I'm just turning into a wimp.

Spares and Equipment for Long Distance Cruising

It's said that the only way to be sure of having sufficient boat spares and equipment to hand is to tow an identical yacht astern.

Not a very practical solution, but Murphy's Law dictates that you'll otherwise have a spare part for everything but for the thing that's broke.

Clearly the spares you'll need to have aboard for an ocean voyage will be much more extensive than when cruising within easy range of on-shore chandlers and other sources of assistance.

A typical spares list for long distance sailing...

A Problem with Single Line Mainsail Reefing

It's no secret that I'm no fan of in-boom or in-mast roller reefing mainsail systems. For the size of boat that I'm ever likely to own, a simple slab reefing system - jiffy reefing - would be my choice.

The single line version of this system allows you to pull a reef in without leaving the cockpit - provided of course that both the topping lift and the main halyard also lead back to the cockpit.

For boats with larger mainsails, the single line system is made slightly more complicated by the incorporation of a tackle inside the boom, which provides a 2:1 mechanical advantage to make pulling in a reef more easy.

But a recent cruise on a 47 footer with this system demonstrated its shortcomings...

A sudden 30 knot squall had seen us pull two reefs in quickly - a simple task with the 2:1 mechanical advantage.

But now the squall had passed through; we needed to shake those reefs out.

We soon discovered that the 2:1 mechanical advantage was now working against us - so much so that a crew member had to go to the mast and create some slack in the reefing line by pulling it through the boom by hand. Only then could we get the reefs out. Not good...

The Best Data Roaming Plan for Cruisers?

Even with a wifi enhancer, picking up a shoreside hotspot can be something of a hit-and-miss affair.

Having to keep up and running when Mary and I are cruising aboard Alacazam in the Caribbean, I need a solid connection to the internet.

In recent years, I've relied on using local SIM-cards in my smartphone, using the data allowance to create an onboard wifi hotspot. But the standard data packages are rather miserly, purchasing more can get expensive.

However I've just discovered that Vodaphone now provide a SIM-Only deal that is ideal for cruisers in the Caribbean.

They call it The Red Entertainment Plan, and it's worth a look.

This Month's Mystery Boat

No ideas from anyone on what last month's mystery boat was, so we'll have to leave that as a mystery - unless you know differently of course.

But let's see how you get on with this one:

I took this pic of 'Seawings', a handsome canoe-sterned cutter, in Bequia's Admiralty Bay in March 2019.
Any ideas anyone?

If so, please let me know by clicking here...

Used Sailing Gear & Equipment

It's always worth taking a look at what visitors to are getting rid of. Remember that one man's junk is another man's gold!

Among other items this month, we have:

  • A Taylor Made Buoy;
  • A North Sails Genakker, Sock & Bag;
  • An Offshore Cruising Library;
  • A 40lb Bruce Anchor;
  • A pair of Lewmar 42ST Winches;
  • A Polypropylene Water Tank;
  • A SimRad Go 12 Chartplotter/Navigation System;
  • A Solid Brass Porthole;
Take a look at these and all the other stuff at used cruising gear for sale...

Cruising Boats for Sale

If you're thinking of selling your cruising boat - or know someone who is - remember you can advertise it entirely free of charge on - which is what the owners of these boats have done...

'Windancer', a Sailmaster 26;

'Tehani-Li' a Tayana 52;

'Living Dreams', a Prout 37;

'Endorfin II', a Caliber 47 LRC;

'Pax Vobiscum', Fast Passage 39;

'Down the Hatch', a Macgregor 26X Trailor/Sailer;

'MaƱana', a Taswell 49AS;

'Esther', a Swan 36;

'Wind Spirit' a Newport 30 Mk3;

'Blue Aegean II', a Dufour CT 12000 (46ft) Ketch;

'Wild Goose', a Tartan 3000;

'Strella Encore', a Hylas 54;

'Zen', a Cheoy-Lee 46;

'Miss Fe', a Spray 33 Steel Cutter;

'Maranatha', a Bruce Roberts Mauritius 43;

Want to check out a whole load more?

Then take a look at the full list of monohulls for sale here and multihulls for sale here...

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 my eBook 'How to Avoid Buying the Wrong Sailboat'

More 'Likes' Please 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...


Visit's Facebook Page...

And finally...

If you know anyone who might be interested in the contents of this newsletter, please forward 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!

Dick McClary

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