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Cruising Compass #44 - Ground tackle primer

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  • Bill Scanlon
    May 31, 2007 - Issue 44 Welcome to Cruising Compass, your weekly fix of news, notes and tips for cruisers and sailors. Help us to continue to grow. Tell your
    Message 1 of 1 , May 31, 2007

      Blue Water Sailing presents Cruising Compass: The Weekly Newsletter for Sailors & Cruisers
      May 31, 2007 - Issue 44
      Welcome to Cruising Compass, your weekly fix of news, notes and tips for cruisers and sailors.

      Help us to continue to grow. Tell your friends about Cruising Compass, or better yet, click on “Email to a Friend” on the bottom of this email!

      And as always, we love receiving your cruising news and photos. Have something to share? Send it to comments@...

      Click here to view the Cruising Shot of the Week! Have a great shot of your own (you know you do!)? Email it to us and prove to the world that your boat does more than sit in a slip!Earthrace is on

      After experiencing many setbacks, including extensive engine repairs in Palau and being involved in the accidental death of a fisherman off Guatemala, biodiesel-fueled Earthrace is well on its way to a world record. The cool, futuristic-looking power trimaran is currently docked in Spain and will make its way to the finish line in San Diego, Calif., over the next month. In order to break the current world record for a powerboat circumnavigation, Earthrace must finish by June 21st. In addition to the world record, Earthrace aims to bring awareness of biofuels and renewable resources to the world. Check out their current position at www.earthrace.net

      2007 Transpac

      The Transpacific Yacht Race may be more than 100 years old, but the crews keep getting younger. This year’s event may be one of the youngest yet with several boats having an average crew age in the low 20s. At 22, Lindsay Austin will be the second youngest female skipper in Transpac history when she takes the helm of the Standfast 40, Cirrus. Roy Disney’s Morning Light crew’s oldest member is 23. This young bunch has been training aboard their Transpac 52 all winter and their story from crew selection through preparation and the actual race itself will be turned into a feature-length documentary that will hit theatres in 2008.

      Transpac race committee expects a large turnout this year; 73 boats have already entered. The start dates for this L.A. to Hawaii race are July 9th, 12th and 15th. If you are interested in the Transpac, you can still enter! The deadline for entries is June 7th. Learn more about the race at www.transpacificyc.org and check out www.pacifichighproductions.com to learn more about the Morning Light Project.

      USCG revives storm flags

      The dreaded double red and black flags have long warned mariners and coastal residents of an impending hurricane. Those flags and the other storm warning flags disappeared from common use in 1989 when the National Weather Service discontinued their use. Starting tomorrow, June 1st—which is the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season—the Coast Guard will be hoisting the flags to warn of coming weather. “[This is] a Coast Guard initiative to reinforce the Coast Guard's role as lifesavers, reaffirm to local communities the Coast Guard's role as experts concerning local boating matters and visually communicate ... the lesson of Hurricane Katrina to take personal responsibility for individual safety,” said Rear Adm. David Pekoske in an announcement May 30.

      Visit www.nhc.noaa.gov for all of the latest storm information and www.boatus.com/hurricane for tips on preparing your boat for a hurricane.

      Following the single- and doublehanded scene

      The single- and double-handed scene has exploded in recent years, particularly in Europe, due in large part to the development of a number of classes that lead upwards towards the mighty Open 60. The Mini 6.50, Figaro Beneteau, Class 40, Open 50... it’s a nearly perfect trail from the affordable for amateurs to the state of the art in transoceanic sailing. While many sailors find a class and stay with it for their entire careers, many move upwards, catching the eyes of sponsors after a good year in the Mini or Figaro, to get a 40, 50 or Open 60 to buy or build. And just as healthy for the sport and classes, some of the ‘giants’ often compete in the classes where they first cut their teeth.

      Much of the action takes place in France, and there are few places where English-only speakers can follow the developments. One of them is the Scuttlebutt Europe newsletter, edited by David McCreary, the ISAF’s first webmaster and the man who brought much of the sailing world online. It’s a free newsletter in text-only format, a fast read over your morning cup, with excerpts and translations from across the spectrum of European sailing news. Published five times a week, you can subscribe at www.scuttlebutteurope.com

      Find out why cruising sailors prefer Blue Water Sailing magazine...Every issue is filled with beautiful anchorages around the country and the world... real stories from real cruisers... valuable cruising advice from experts... the technical information you need to equip your boat for safe and fun sailing... and the best and most in-depth boat reviews... that's what you'll find in every issue of Blue Water Sailing... the only sailing magazine published by circumnavigators.

      Get two issues FREE with no obligation by clicking on www.bwsailing.comOcean passage course

      Learn about offshore passagemaking while on an actual offshore passage! The Annapolis School of Seamanship is offering an ocean passage course from Bermuda to Annapolis, Md., June 11th – 17th. The class will be aboard a Swan 48, and the students will have the opportunity to learn and gain experience in all areas of ocean voyaging. To learn more about this and other Annapolis School of Seamanship courses, check out www.annapolisschoolofseamanship.com

      Summer Sailstice!

      The official start of summer is approaching (June 21st is the summer solstice) and what better way to celebrate then to go sailing! That’s what the organizers of Summer Sailstice thought, so they created a sailing holiday that falls on the weekend closest to the solstice each year to encourage people to take their boats out and go sailing! This year, the event takes place June 23rd – 24th. Visit www.summersailstice.com where you can pledge your sailing intentions and by doing so, be entered to win one of many cool prizes. Prizes include sailing school classes, boat stuff, even a Moorings charter vacation.

      Sail Virginia 2007

      As part of the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, Sail Virginia will take place June 7th – 12th. During this time, the Norfolk waterfront will be turned into a historical nautical village that will include 50 tall ships, parades, ceremonies, music, theatre and special exhibits. Take a look at www.sailvirginia2007.com

      Give your cushions a lift and experience superb sleeping comfort with the award-winning Froli Sleep System. The Froli system is easy to assemble and, because of its modular nature, can be fitted to any size or shape bed. What's more, the comfort level is adjustable from very firm to soft to accommodate individual preferences. The installation lifts your mattress approximately 1inch and of course, the added ventilation keeps your bunk dry and helps eliminate mildew.

      Contact Froli's direct distributor, Nickle Atlantic, LLC toll free at 888-463-7654 or visit www.FroliSleepSystems.com.Ground tackle for extended cruising

      There is always a lot of talk and some controversy about what a cruising boat should carry for a complete ground tackle system. But the simple fact is that a truly self-sufficient cruiser who plans to anchor out for months on end as he or she cruises about the world will want to carry aboard an array of anchors, rodes and other anchoring gear to allow him to meet whatever anchoring situation that is presented.

      It may sound like overkill, but a well fitted out cruising boat will want to carry three primary anchors of differing types, a storm anchor and at least one stern anchor. That’s five. Hooking anchors like a plow, Bruce, Delta, etc. will most likely serve as the day-to-day primary, since these work in the widest range of bottoms from rock and gravel to mud. We suggest you carry two hooking type anchors.

      A third primary should be a fluke type that will set securely and not drag in soft sand or oozy mud. While the manufacturers of fluke anchors claim you can use a lighter model than you need in a hooking type, we suggest you carry a fluke anchor that is both robustly made and of equal weight to the hooking types. The reason is simple. Fluke anchors don’t roll over and reset easily when the wind changes, so you often will be putting side loading on the shank, which can and will bend it.

      A storm anchor has traditionally been a large fisherman type –such as those made by Paul Luke—which can be disassembled and stowed in the bilge. A fisherman is a good choice, particularly if you will be anchoring over grassy bottoms. A second choice might be a large and very strong fluke type since you will want to find a sheltered cove or river in which to weather a storm and these most often have soft bottoms.

      For a lunch hook or stern anchor, don't go with too small an anchor since this fifth anchor may, one day, have to serve as a primary. We would choose a hooking type and figure out a way to have it stowed and ready on the stern with its rode coiled nearby in a locker.

      Most cruisers use all chain rodes on their primary anchors and a chain and rope rode on their secondary anchor. Hoisted and lowered with a powerful windlass, an all chain rode makes the anchoring process simple and easy. When adding a second anchor during a blustery night, a chain-rope rode is easier to handle in a dinghy and allows you to run out a lot of springy scope to help absorb the shocks of the boat snubbing on the rodes.

      Two hundred and fifty feet of chain is about right on the primary and three hundred feet of heavy nylon line and 20 or more feet of chain works well on the secondary. You will also want to carry 300 feet of really heavy nylon and extra chain so you can rig the storm anchor independent of the primary and secondary. Two hundred feet of nylon and 10 feet of chain will work fine on the stern anchor.

      Three other anchoring tools will make the whole system complete. A chain lock on the primary anchor chain that is mounted forward of the windlass will take all of the strain off the windlass. A nylon anchor snubber with a chain hook at one end should be rigged to absorb the shock of the chain straightening out. And an anchor kellet, such as the Kiwi Anchor Rider, will almost double the holding power of either your primary or secondary anchor.

      The Crossing

      By Katie Sanstead

      Katie and her husband Bob have recently returned from cruising the Caribbean aboard their Island Packet 420. Every few weeks, we will present another piece of their voyage

      It was a short sail from Lake Sylvia to Government Cut, Miami. We snuggled up to Fisher Island and dropped the hook about 4:30. It would serve as our jumping-off point to the Atlantic. Ted and Bob emptied the starboard lazarette, and climbed into the hole to fire up the watermaker.

      Delighted that this task was not in our job descriptions, Kathy and I sipped a ruby red wine and watched the sun set behind the behemoth buildings of the Miami skyline. Grilled chicken, fettuccini Alfredo and fresh broccoli satisfied our appetites. Another bottle of wine was opened to accompany the compulsory chocolate.

      Bob had set the alarm for 4:00 a.m. but had trouble sleeping. We were all pretty excited and anxious to get going. The misty moon sleepily rose, playing peek-a-boo with puffy black clouds....

      Click here to read more.Life Raft & Survival Equipment sells 10 brands of Life Rafts and services over 25 brands. Rental life rafts are also available for short-term needs. In addition to product variety we offer unsurpassed knowledge of safety products and regulations, excellent service and a commitment to building long-term customer relationships. Call Teresa at 401-683-0307 for all of your rental needs. We ship virtually anywhere. Visit our website at www.lrse.com to register for an informative, free newsletter on safety and the newest products.

      Bored of bread? Want to give your meals a new twist? Try a wrap! This recipe is quick, easy and uses ingredients that you most likely have aboard already. The result is a thin flat bread that is similar to a tortilla. Use it to wrap up sandwich fixings, leftovers or make it Mexican with refried beans, cheese, rice and salsa. The best part is that these are baked right in a skillet so there is no need to heat up the cabin! A rolling pin is the best way to roll out the dough (the new silicone ones are great), but a wine bottle works as well.

      It’s a wrap!
      • 4 C flour
      • 1 1/4 C hot water
      • 1/2 C oil
      • 2 tsp baking powder
      • 2 tsp salt
      • optional: dried herbs such as basil or oregano
      Sift flour into large bowl and add remaining dry ingredients. Mix well. Add oil and water. Knead together to make a dough. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Roll the dough into small walnut-sized balls, and then roll out as thinly as possible with the rolling pin on a floured surface. Fry each wrap in a lightly oiled pan on medium heat. When brown specks appear, flip and fry other side. Store in airtight container.

      The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net

      If you are a cruiser in the southeastern United States or Bahamas, or are planning a cruise there soon, you must check out this useful site. The SSCN is a website set up by cruising guide author Claiborne Young. It offers up-to-date information about cruising the Carolinas through Florida and the Bahamas. From the home page, click on the different regions on the left-hand side for info posted by cruisers who are actually there. The SSCN also has a great bridge directory that lists the names, opening schedules and construction updates for all the bridges in the region—very handy if you’ve ever had to call a bridge, but didn’t know it’s name. Check it out at www.cruisersnet.net.

      Keeping track of loved ones, key personnel and on-water assets is always at the top of the list for large yacht owners. When jet skis can’t be located or an expected call from a tender isn’t received, visions of a breakdown, an empty fuel tank, and worst of all, an accident, come to mind.

      Jeppesen Marine has teamed with Seetrac Tender Tracking to introduce the safest and best way to instantly know the location of jet skis, wave runners, and tenders. When security and safety are at stake, Jeppesen Marine and Seetrac Tender Tracking deliver peace of mind. For more information, visit www.nobeltec.com

      Security onboard

      You are cruising toward the north coast of Venezuela for the tropical hurricane season and know you will have to be wary of theft and possibly being boarded by light fingered locals. What are three precautions you can take to make your boat, your dinghy and yourselves safe?

      Send your answers to comments@.... A winner, who will receive a Blue Water Sailing hat, will be selected at random from all of the correct answers.
      • No correct answers for last week’s Mindbender, so there is a second chance to win a cool BWS hat! You can read the question in Issue 43 by scrolling through the Archives menu.

        Good luck!

      Bill Scanlon
      USCG Master 50 GT Inland Waters
      Towing & Sailing Endorsements
      Lic. # 1092926
      1984 Catalina 30
      Std. Rig  Hull#  3688
      Winthrop (Mass.) Yacht Club
      Navigare necesse est, vivere non est necesse

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