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Thread: All over but the notes!

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    517

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    Year-round seminars: No. We’re a club of volunteers, with a smallish group of repeat volunteers at that. Don’t want to risk burnout.
    Cassette E-rudders only: No. Don’t stifle innovation. As Dave says, as long as you can show that it’ll work and is deployable, fine. For example, a pintle-and-gudgeon rudder with a swing-up blade should be relatively easy to deploy. Look at Paul Kamen's soft-blade design too.
    YB: I’m on the fence. Adds interest and (potentially) safety, but that’s a big hunk of money.
    SSB: on the fence.
    MER: The NCORC equipment rules were never intended to apply to Hawaii races. I think they’re a really good document (disclosure: I was on the committee that wrote them), so they’re a good place to start. Weed out what you don’t like. SSS knows what’s best for SSS.
    One honcho: 2014 was unusual with two changes of leadership that I’m aware of. It’s great if one person can carry the ball the whole way, but again: volunteers. Sometimes real life gets in the way.
    - Max
    Last edited by Critter; 07-24-2014 at 02:00 PM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    193

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    The Nawiliwili Yacht Club
    www.nawiliwiliyachtclub.org/
    Nawiliwili Yacht Club, P.O. Box 3661, Lihue, HI 96766.

    Do thank them!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Santa Cruz
    Posts
    52

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mewes View Post
    The Nawiliwili Yacht Club
    www.nawiliwiliyachtclub.org/
    Nawiliwili Yacht Club, P.O. Box 3661, Lihue, HI 96766.

    Do thank them!
    Lucy, thank you for the address. I'll send them a personal TY, but will there be a more formal TY with some SHTP swag for them?

    Thanks, Susan (mouton Noir)

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    193

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    Minimum Equipment. What makes sense for singlehanding to Hawaii?

    4.11. Waterproof handheld with DCS..
    4.18 fixed depth sounder
    4.22 storm window coverings
    4.35 means to communicate with the race committee (with yellow brick?)
    4.52 storm sails

    Just a few things to think about.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Berkeley
    Posts
    29

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    On YB: Consider working with Delorme. Their new Explorer unit I used on the race enabled very easy 2-way messaging, canned messages, SOS, mapping functions, and made for a very nice backup GPS. For the cost of the YB, the competitors could buy their own Delorme unit to keep. One area YB definitely has the lead, however, is the online race-centric interface, even though their finishing times page was wacky. Perhaps there is another online race-oriented solution out there that would work with pings from the Delorme units. I'll look into it.

    SSB: Definitely one of the highlights for me was listening in on the check-ins every morning and evening. Even without Mr. Jeffersons legendary poetry, it was great. Big thanks to Frolic for stepping up as net commander. I will be sure to have SSB if I do the race again. That said, it's likely I would not have been able to do the race this year had it been required.

    RC: One honcho and their cabinet.

    Awards ceremony: Nawiliwili YC for the win. I'm not sure Tahiti Nui should be considered in the future. The vegetarians in the group spent $60 for some arugula and rice. The carnivores didn't sound much happier. The mai tais were $10. I didn't see any resemblance to the menu we received on the Finish Line Festivities handout.

    NYC are really good people, beautiful airy venue, and the sailors should be in their element (near a YC honor bar). Half the fleet might already have their boats there again. I was there Sunday and again last night for the club racing. These guys know how to do a lot with a little and have a great time doing so (anyone else think that sounds fitting for the SSS?), plus the whole club seems very excited to host us in 2016. They would take care of us. I'd be happy to present them with my own SSS burgee if no package is available from HQ.

    Brian

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    119

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    I got a tremendous amount of pleasure from the SSB net, whether it should be required is a whole nother question. I bought mine used for $800. and it seems to work fine but I have tons of power on Scaramouche. There is some rule of life that rules, like stoplights, are always added never removed. I would favour not making it a rule but let newcomers know how much pleasure it affords.
    One thing I think should be considered is to have some system in play whereby the term `seaworthy` is taken seriously. If someone wants to enter the race in a boat that is clearly designed as a day sailor they should be warned at the get go that their boat will under go a rigorous inspection to ensure that it exceeds its original design parameters. Capri 25`s should clearly not be sailing to Hawaii. Doug prepared his boat very very well and made basic structural improvements and still had a lot of trouble. Sorry to pick on Capris but they are obviously a lightly built daysailor or perhaps weekender. I can`t help worrying that the whole event will be compromised if someone dies because of an inappropriate boat. Obviously the inspection procedure is not adequate to catch this sort of thing. `there are not many things that can float and hold a man that some fool has not crossed an ocean in`
    It is a question of mature judgement and knowledge but most participants would probably agree that Brian`s Dana 24 is a perfectly good boat for the race and that Kevin`s Capri 25 was not suitable for the race. I have no problem with Kevin sailing to Hawaii in his boat but the whole race would be compromised if he did it under the auspicious of the SSS and died or needed rescue. I`m talking about the basic boat not being suitable for ocean conditions, ie cockpit size, cockpit drains, water tight integrity, rig, etc.
    I`m sure this subject has been tossed around endlessly but unfortunately I`m not in the club and I think it is the elephant in the room. I would be interested to hear what Doug thinks of this rant or Barry or Kevin.
    Like everyone else here I do want to thank the committee. I had the absolute time of my life (well except for the sailing part but that`s just me). I can`t say how happy I am to have done the race again. Really enjoyed everybody involved both on the RC and the participants, Thank you

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Absolutely second the Nawilliwilli Yacht Club for the awards dinner instead of Tahiti Nui. We missed Sunday's BBQ but when we prepared Maitreya for the return trip in 2012 they were extremely welcoming and nice. And as Brian mentioned last week with the money we save by not having an expensive dinner and drinks we could maybe get a bus to drive folks back to Hanalei. Thanks for all the camaraderie and support on behalf of Jak who is sailing back with Gary while we speak.
    Corine

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Santa Cruz
    Posts
    52

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    Quote Originally Posted by standardhuman View Post
    I'd be happy to present them with my own SSS burgee if no package is available from HQ.

    Brian
    Brian, nice offer, but it just dawned on me that I can send the one from Mouton since she didn't finish the race. I will include it with my thank you note to them. Glad to know you had even more fun with them! Nice.
    As Corinne said if we use them for the banquet it would be nice to try and lease a bus or rent a van(s) with designated drivers. If there are vegetarians in the group (who knew???) there must be people that don't drink!!!! Perhaps starting it earlier, maybe around 4, then there could be more time after to just hang out and smooze.

    Just my two cents from a land lubber. Susan (Mouton Noir)

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    San Jose
    Posts
    15

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    Here are my thoughts.
    Firstly the argument that a small boat cannot power an SSB is dead wrong. On receive it draws at most only an amp or two. Similar to a VHF. In transmit, although on the highest power mode it can draw a PEAK current of as much as 25 amps, if used at the intermediate or lower powers, the TOTAL amp hour cost for a gabby check-in is only a few amp hours. Many small boats (e.g. Big Dot, a 24 ish foot boat) had stellar SSB without needing huge power generation capabilities. Most of the issues people have with SSb are due to ignorance, not the nature of the technology. As far as requiring it, I am torn. We had one contestant go nuts and abandon a perfectly good boat (Space Cowboy- how aptly named...) in one of the races I did because he became convinced that aliens had planted a bomb on board. Really. I am convinced that had he been in regular contact with other racers, that reason and sanity would have prevailed (although given the boat name, maybe not). In another race, the General dismasted, and we were only able to find out about it due to a jury rigged antenna and SSB. In that case, he got sail-by visits from a number of boats who donated spare fuel and best wishes, and who could, if it had been needed, offer a tow or a ride to Hanaleii. These days the cost of an SSB is much less than that of a sail, if a little preplanning is done and EBAY is consulted often. After the seminar I gave on SSB installation, I found a huge pallet of ICOM 710 SSBs being sold for $600 each. Throw in a KISS radial ground (which has been proven to be extremely effective and easy to install) and a NEW tuner, the total cost to install an SSB is probably less than $1200. And for the cheap among us, it can be resold on EBAY or at Blue Pelican for most, if not all of what it cost afterwards. There is a certain type of person who throws an absolute fit each transpac over anything that smacks of safety requirements, especially SSB. A factor which does not seem to be considered is the liability of the SSS in the event of a serious disaster during the race. My opinion, not universally shared, is that if we have a fatality or "celebrated" big money rescue, the TransPac and possibly the SSS will not survive. WE already go to pretty good lengths to encourage good seamanship and proper equipment, with generally good results, as David's experience with the USCG (on Domino) has shown. Although modern satellite technoogy (Iridium, YB, Delorme, EPIRB etc) does offer some serious value, they are (with the exception of Iridium phone systems) just not capable of summoning specific help when needed. You know that something is wrong, but not necessarily WHAT. As the Vendee Globe and other world class singlehanded events have shown, the best or nearest rescue is likely to be a competitor. With an SSB net, the competitors connect with each other at least once a day, usually twice. Using a few sat phones in the group, any distress issues that the race committee is aware of can be communicated directly to the so equipped boats, and thus, over SSB (and VHF where useful) to the fleet. Without this sort of net, one might sail right past a fellow competitor in distress without ever knowing about it.

    There are no guarantees. Singlehanded sailing is actually quite dangerous. Some of the entrants take the prospects of a difficult, long ocean passage (and often a worse return) seriously and prepare their boats appropriately. Others, especially ones on their first race, follow the letter of the rules (grudgingly) but do not seem to "get" the big picture with respect to the dangers and the power of a realy bad sea state over a long period of time. People laugh at the amount of gear and tools I carry, but my decisions to carry those things and to install the communications equipment I have are driven by a number of truly horrible and dangerous situations I have been through at sea. There is an argument that "light is fast". This is true, to an extent. I have seen quite a few boats espousing this philosophy barely make it to Hawaii at all in races i have sailed (in REASONABLE weather conditions) due to failed electrical systems, sails, halyards, and so on, with ineffective backups and few if any spare parts and tools. For god's sake- even Yves Parlier, one of the gurus of ultralight extreme sailing, carried enough tools, carbon cloth, resin, and supplies to COMPLETELY REBUILD and RE-RAISE an Open 60 carbon mast that was dismasted and shattered at sea.

    My point is this. There needs to be some common sense about this race. It is NOT a day race X 14. It is NOT a gentle spinnaker run down lovely trade wind swells, giggling all the way. It is sticking your head (and boat) in a blender and hoping that boat preparation, skill, character, and perhaps some luck are enough to make it there, competitively or otherwise. In the past, the SSS TransPac rules have attempted to insure that boats that went out the Gate at least had the minimum of gear and spares that common sense and experience have shown are required to really have a realistic chance for survival in the event of things going badly wrong. Clearly, unless you are a raving paranoid like me you cannot take everything you "MIGHT" need, but the way that some people resist even having the essentials always baffles me. If someone like Webb Chiles (a hugely talented and experienced sailor) wants to sail to Hawaii with the minimum possible boat and gear, there is nothing to stop them- just go! If they want to do it in a race, then they should be prepared to abide by not only the letter, but also the spirit of the race regulations. If they do not, and die in the process, they will not have to bear the long term consequences- their families, their fellow competitors, the race committee, and the SSS will, and all will be hugely affected.

    Here are some specific recommendations (sure to generate howls of outrage):
    SSB should be highly encouraged, possibly required. If required, a detailed handout on acquisition, installation, and power needs should be sent with the race entry form, as ignorance is the major factor preventing people from using them. I have prepared a fairly complete presentation which I am willing to expand and provide for this purpose.

    The seminar seeries should be started earlier and expanded a bit. I think that sending either printed handouts on critical issues (emergency rudder, electrical systems, SSB) or links on the SSS Site should accompany each entry. Late preparation or failure to appreciate the priorities and not having good information on starting points makes it hard for first timers to get everything sorted out well.

    A "gumby suit" should be REQUIRED aboard all boats. These may be obtained at reasonable cost on EBAY. Even if bailing out into a life raft, it would be very easy to die of exposure before being rescued. If the life raft doesn't make it, a person has probably a 48 hour life expectancy floating in the ocean at our latitude (or south), and if holding an EPIRB, stands a good chance of being rescued (especially by a competitor if some way to notify them was in place).

    This year there were boats in the race (Capri 25) which should NEVER sail outside the Gate. I have all respect to Doug and Kevin for their rather amazing seamanship in sailing the boats to SF and in Doug's case, finishing the race. But these boats are truly terrifying to those of us who have had the misfortune to experience really bad weather. Going out the Gate this year, we saw bad conditions. 30+ knots and nasty seas for several days. Please believe me when I say that these are actually pretty mild conditions compared to the sort of things that are possible off the California coast, even in June. Perhaps Peter on Scaramouche can amplify on this if anyone desires. I know I sure can. In any case, the ocean can destry any boat, given the right circumstances, but boats like a Capri 25, as fun to sail as they are, would be literally ripped apart by conditions that boats built and properly equipped for offshore sailing would survive. Again, no slight intended to the Capri 25 or the two entrants who sailed them. My recommendation is that a clause be inserted into the rules that allows the race committee, at its discretion, to consult a qualified naval architect (Antrim, Wiley, etc) for a decision as to whether or not a specific boat is designed for offshore sailing (construction, scantlings, rig, etc), and that the judgement of the (disinterested third party) be final with respect to accepting an entry. There are small boats, such as Maris (Dana 24), Moore 24, Express 27, Santa Cruz 27, Olson 30, etc which have a long proven ability to get out there and endure bad conditions. No one would suggest that a J24 was suitable for ocean conditions. Clearly there is a fuzzy line here, but we need SOME way to say "Sorry, but NO" to a prospective entry who does not properly understand the seamanship issues of a transpac. The withdrawl of the Mumm 30 after a rather brutal qualifier is a good case in point. I have no idea if the MUMM 30 is a good sea boat or not, but my impression is that after getting beaten up for a few days, the skipper realized that the boat was not right and had the great guts and integrity to withdraw.

    Finally, I also second the proposal that much closer ties to nawiliwili Yacht Club be cemented and that we take them up on their gracious offer to host the dinner after. A further suggestion for those who dislike the drive is that we charter a couple of busses for those without cars or who want to drink a little more. The venue is superb, we can go late and drink and schmooze with each other and also the hosts, who actually sail a LOT, ad who are very congenial and interesting people. Even with a few busses, I bet the cost would be $30, and the drinks would be "at cost" (they make good drinks there, too... I discussed this with jim Saylor (google Saylor jeweler kapaa, and hold onto your eyeballs) and he and larry Conklin know someone the really trust who would probably cater the event for around $20 per head. With a LOT better food and a REAL dessert!

    Finally I want to again thank the Race Committee, Ben and Lucie, Brian Boschma, Dave, and all the others who did so much to make this happen. My experience with this race spans about 25 years, and it is unique and wonderful. Somehow it always seems to work, thanks to poeple who step up and sacrifice themselves. It is a really hard job, and something of a burnout (from my observation). like herding cats. Really BIG, clever, anarchistic cats who LOVE to argue......

    Michael Jefferson
    S/V Mouton Noir

  10. #20
    pogen's Avatar
    pogen is offline Sailing canoe "Kūʻaupaʻa"
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Thanks Michael for the detailed response.

    I'm sure we will find though that experienced, knowledgeable , and well-meaning people can differ a lot as to matters of required gear and suitable vessels.

    If it wasn't a real dessert, what was it?

    Here is how to make a f'n awesome MaiTai, by the way.

    Classic Mai Tai ("panty remover" version)

    2 oz Ron Zacapa 23 dark rum
    2 oz Ron Methusalem "Platino" white rum
    1.5 oz Cointreau
    3 oz fresh squeezed lime
    1 t. orgeat syrup (or more, to taste)

    Shake vigorously with ice. Pour into double Old Fashioned glass or Tiki mug over more ice. Pour a float of

    1 oz Lemon Hart 151 Dark Demerara rum

    Garnish with cocktail straws, crushed mint leaves (traditional), or slice of orange or lime with a little umbrella stuck into the fruit.

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