Author Topic: Cruising outfitting Choices  (Read 103 times)

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Offline GDECON

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Cruising outfitting Choices
« on: February 12, 2018, 04:09:53 AM »
For the sake of discussion , I'd like to solicit opinions as to how to set up and  equip a small offshore sloop (26ft, 5400 lbs, reliable yanmar, tiller, transom hung rudder). current main and rollerfurling headsail are to be retired. Your specific preferences ?

Sails ? To get started assume a new main with three reefs and a storm jib are to be included .  Other than that ?

Wind vane and/or tiller pilot ?

Nav gear, Electronics ?

alcohol or propane range ?

Update head or  composting head (airhead, natures head, etc.)

Offline Phantom Jim

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Re: Outfitting from scratch
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 07:19:56 AM »
How about some information about where you are going, how old you are, how long you are out there, what boat?  There some basic things, but a lot has to be considered that are going to be fairly specific to those questions.
Phantom Jim

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Outfitting from scratch
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 10:21:36 AM »
on the storm jib- my working jib has a row of reef points so I can reef it to storm size. I've used them several times. Saves much space on a smaller boat
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline GDECON

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Cruising outfitting Choices
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 08:31:18 AM »
Note: This was also posted elsewhere, so i have merged the two topics. :) CapnK

Had no idea where to put this
For the sake of discussion , I'd like to solicit opinions as to how to set up and  equip a small offshore sloop (26ft, 5400 lbs, reliable yanmar, tiller, transom hung rudder). current main and rollerfurling headsail are to be retired. Your specific preferences ?

Sails ? To get started assume a new main with three reefs and a storm jib are to be included .  Other than that ?

Wind vane and/or tiller pilot ?

Nav gear, Electronics ?

alcohol or propane range ?

Update head or  composting head (airhead, natures head, etc.)
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 09:43:54 AM by CapnK »

Offline CapnK

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Re: Cruising outfitting Choices
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 09:57:56 AM »
Hi GD: Welcome aboard!

When you say "retired", specifically in reference to the furler, are you retiring the furler itself and going to hank-on sails, or just retiring the current sail?

What kind/brand/model of boat is this? A 26'er built in 1965 is a far different beast than one built 20 or 30 years later, or sometimes even only 10 years.

Me - I'd go vane *and* tiller pilot. Mostly use the vane. But hook the pilot to the vane to control it when motoring, or in light air if the vane doesn't work well in those conditions.

Nav gear - Compass, charts & tools, sextant, chrono, baro, binocs, 2x bright LED flashlight (AA/AAA batts), cheap fishfinder, VHF, old phone with charting app, and SSB/FM receiver at minimum.
Depending on energy and financial budget, throw in a good waterproof cockpit mounted GPS, chartplotter, sounder, AIS transceiver. Possible SSB, or radar even, depending on the voyage needs. I think if I was going where ice & fog were regular, I'd like a radar set. But probably only then.

I like propane. Alcohol is reportedly expensive and sometimes hard to find "out there", whereas propane seems to be the opposite.

Composter. Why deal with plumbing. Stinky, poopy plumbing, that is only going to fail - and badly - when it is rough out, of course. :)
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 09:59:27 AM by CapnK »
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Offline Godot

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Re: Cruising outfitting Choices
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 11:49:57 AM »
So many options. And pretty much all of them are right, for some people, and wrong for others. What's right for me may not be right for you. What I think is right for me NOW may turn out to actually be wrong when I head out. The questions you have asked could each easily have their own topic that could go on at some length. In fact, I'm willing to bet there are old threads which did just that!

My choices, on my 29' Bayfield that I am very slowly (it will be a decade or more from beginning to end) preparing for extended cruising... Everything here is subject to change...

Sails: I like roller furling. But I don't trust it. Still, the boat came with it and I'm not going to change. I will replace the sails at some point, though. Three reefs in the main is mandatory. Or, perhaps I'll skip the first reef and just have reefs two and three. I have a drifter which I pretty much fly like an asymmetrical spinnaker. It's a pain. But it keeps me sailing where otherwise I'd be motoring.

Auto-steering: I use tiller pilots currently. I have three of them. My favorite is an ebay special Simrad TP32. Not all the features work on it; but it is much faster than my TP10 or the old tiller pilot that came with the boat (I can't recall the brand...but it was a pretty old model). Eventually I want a wind-vane (my favorite of the moment is the Cape Horn; but that could likely change before I'm ready to part with a bunch of green paper). The tiller pilots all occasionally get overwhelmed. Plus, they use sometimes limited electricity. Not all that much, when the sails are well balanced; but enough that it could conceivably be a problem on occasion. Plus, being electronic, they are bound to fail. Quite likely, they won't be repairable underway. In the end, though, SOME form of autosteering is mandatory.

Navgear/electronics: Currently I have a nice little Lowrance Elite 4m Gold gps/chartplotter. It is small, was quite affordable when I bought it six years ago, and does the job. It's not fancy and has long been discontinued. I doubt I could get charts for it today. I also sometimes run a laptop running openCPN which is great, except that it takes a lot of Angry Pixies (see the Youtube channel Sail Life for the reference). I'm considering building a little Rasberry Pi system for openCPN. I have Navionics on an old iPad which I like a lot. Probably, navigation via personal electronics will be the norm in the coming years. There are so many advantages to it. If only the iPad where waterproof.  Lots of choices. Some paper is prudent. How many paper charts that are necessary will be an intensely personal decision. Most of us have several GPS enabled devices, now-a-days; but a sextant might be a nice backup if the electrics should all die, or the satellites should fall out of the sky.

A VHF radio is pretty much mandatory. Mine has an AIS receiver built in which is great. AIS transceivers are coming down in price all the time, so there is a good chance one of them will be in my future. I recently picked up my Technicians ham license and will likely upgrade to something more useful in the near future, so I've been playing around with the idea of having a HAM radio/Marine SSB on board. They are expensive, though. If the bank account is fat enough, maybe. Otherwise, probably not. Same for RADAR. I'd like to have it; but I doubt I'd use it much, so it is hard to justify the price.

Galley: regards Propane or Alcohol, they should both work fine. Pressurized alcohol stoves have a bad reputation regards flare ups and difficulty of use. The non-pressurized stoves are dead simple and about as safe as you are going to get with an open flame. Propane is familiar, easy, hot. But it needs solenoids, hose, vented lockers (or rail mounts), perhaps a propane sniffer, and a certain amount of paranoia. Propane is cheap, while alcohol costs more (apparently, a LOT more in some places) and may not be as available. Carrying a few gallon gallons of alcohol (get it from a hardware store) seems easier to me than lugging a pressurized propane can around. In the end, I'm torn as to which is better. It might depend on how far afield you plan to go.

Head: I switched to a composter early in my ownership of Seeker after I accidentally overfilled my holding tank. When I opened the pump out port, it geysered up out of the boat at least a foot. The very cute girl manning the pump out looked amused. I tore the whole thing out as soon as I could and went with a Natures Head composter. It was very expensive; but I am very happy with it. There are cheaper alternatives. I think the C-head is less costly and certainly smaller. Or, you can build your own. It might take some experimentation to get right; but they aren't all that complicated. Bonus: pulling the holding tank opened up some space in the forepeak for additional stowage. A not unimportant thing on a small boat.


Adam
Bayfield 29 "Seeker"
Middle River, Chesapeake Bay

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Cruising outfitting Choices
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2018, 12:02:44 PM »
as for steering- don't forget, or sell short, sheet to tiller. I carry the materials aboard all the time. Letcher sailed alll over using the technique. I've used it offshore for days.Here's a very short video of Tehani off shore using sheet to tiller

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PhBRB1qkpk

Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Cruising outfitting Choices
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2018, 12:06:38 PM »
and another short one , sailing in Mississippi Sound

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NokZpCJIuBg
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline Phantom Jim

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Re: Cruising outfitting Choices
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 03:12:43 PM »
I will address two aspects that I am pretty confident about: toilet and cooking fuel.
Toilet:
•   There are two aspects of this, cruising in US/Canadian waters and cruising elsewhere.  If you are in US/Canadian waters most of the time, a composting toilet would be my first choice on a boat around 26 feet.  I would have the “sawdust toilet” in particular because of the very small size and the ability to store the sawdust (horse equine pellets) in sufficient quantity for months of toilet uses without needing to replenish. 
•   If you are making passages or cruising outside of the US/Canada, I would have a simple direct discharge toilet.  These are what is used everywhere else in the world and nobody bats an eye.   The sawdust toilet is not designed well for offshore cruising.  The other composting toilets work well but they are probably too large to install on a small boat.   If you return to US/Canadian waters, it is simple to thoroughly and sanitarily pump out the system and disconnect it from the through hull and use a sawdust toilet while in waters that prohibit direct discharge.

Cooking fuel:
•   I like propane and small cooktops are readily available and that would be a very good choice.  Twenty pound tanks can be hung from the stern pulpit area and thus vent overboard should they leak.  These need basic safety controls because propane will settle into the bilge and explode!
•   Kerosene/mineral spirits are a very good fuel but the cooktops are pretty pricy unless you can get one used. They are touchy to get started good but cook very hot and probably use the least amount of fuel per BTU.  Mineral spirits and kerosene are readily available world–wide and store easily and compactly.  Kerosene/mineral spirits need alcohol to prime the burner although a propane torch works like a dandy to preheat the burner.
•   Alcohol is a good cooking fuel but is expensive and reportedly difficult to get away from US shores.  There are two types of burners: pressurized and evaporation.  The pressurized units work like the kerosene cookers and needs to be preheated and the alcohol in the pressurized tank is available to preheat the burner.  Evaporation cookers cook like a large chafing dish.  It does work, but it will take a long time to cook basic pasta.

So, take your choice and pay your price.  A small boat probably has room only for a cooktop.  The simplest and easiest to use is the evaporation alcohol.  Island Packet sailboats originally had Origo two burner stoves in their IP31s.  I have cooked many meals on them and found them slow but good enough.   There should be some used units floating around.  Perhaps you could find a used Kenyon Homestrand 2 burner cooktop (pressure), either in alcohol or kerosene.  The modern trend is convenience and ease of use, which may not fit on your small boat.

A suggestion: read how those folks cruised 40 and 50 years ago.  They had it down and they usually did not suffer from lack of food.
Phantom Jim

Offline GDECON

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Re: Cruising outfitting Choices
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 06:12:50 PM »
  The boat in question is a JJ Taylor Contessa.  Suitable for young girls and old men

Offline Phantom Jim

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Re: Cruising outfitting Choices
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2018, 07:19:38 PM »
Good pedigree.  She will take care of you.
Phantom Jim

Offline Lars

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Re: Cruising outfitting Choices
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2018, 08:37:02 AM »
I owned a contessa for a few years and sailed it accross the gulf a few times. these are fine little boats but proved to be too small for the two of us. I was looking to replace our albin vega that I sold like an idiot with another vega and could not find one when the contessa came up at my marina. I would go with a bulkhead mounted stove like charlie uses on the boat. ours had an origo 3000 in the galley but i found it awkward to use even at anchor. I carry no storm sails at all anymore  my mainsail has a single reef   this is the deep third and brings the head of the mainsail to about spreader level. being a traditionalist my entire life until a few years ago I now like a roller furling  small headsail 110 or so that rolls up well. After having had furling gear it is now a must have on a small boat. I carry 3 Tillerpilots and a windvane.  fixedmount garmin Gps and open cpn on an android. Single sideband. I can not tell you the last time I used paper charts and don't expect to ever use them again. i would however have harbor charts of wherever i were going. I do have  a davis 25 sextant and sight reduction tables but they are no longer on board. I would carry them on a open water trip of any length. The contessa does not like to be heavily loaded and carrying bare essentils is what i would suggest. i would also use some composting homemade bucket head and use bucket and chuckit at sea