Cruising Compass #44 - Ground tackle primer
- May 31, 2007 - Issue 44Welcome to Cruising Compass, your weekly fix of news, notes and tips for cruisers and sailors.
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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
The Transpacific Yacht Race may be more than 100 years old, but the crews keep getting younger. This years 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 Disneys Morning Light crews 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 1stwhich is the official start of the Atlantic hurricane seasonthe 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... its 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 ISAFs first webmaster and the man who brought much of the sailing world online. Its 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
Get two issues FREE with no obligation by clicking on www.bwsailing.com
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
The official start of summer is approaching (June 21st is the summer solstice) and what better way to celebrate then to go sailing! Thats 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
Contact Froli's direct distributor, Nickle Atlantic, LLC toll free at 888-463-7654 or visit www.FroliSleepSystems.com.
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. Thats 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 dont 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 Lukewhich 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.
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....
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Its 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
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 regionvery handy if youve ever had to call a bridge, but didnt know its name. Check it out at www.cruisersnet.net.
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
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.
Bill ScanlonUSCG Master 50 GT Inland Waters
- No correct answers for last weeks 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.
Towing & Sailing Endorsements
Lic. # 10929261984 Catalina 30"Ruby"Std. Rig Hull# 3688Winthrop (Mass.) Yacht ClubNavigare necesse est, vivere non est necesse
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