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Thread: What Worked? What didn't?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Default What Worked? What didn't?

    After the 2010 Transpac racers offered some notes from their experiences. Is there any chance that 2014 participants can be tempted to share the same here?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    302

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    The Generals barometer worked and Lightspeeds Expedition software did not. Relying completely on software routing technology can backfire! My lesson learned, is you need to do the race to know how to do the race!!...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Santa Barbara Sometimes
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    I second Rick’s comment: the 1st race is a learning experience. But so is the 2nd, I think, time will tell. That said, comparing my 2012 and 2014 experiences, what felt like the things I did differently that helped me the most are:

    • Lighter boat (truck loads removed, no harpsichord, etc… F=ma I’m told)
    • Better balance of seamanship and racing
    – Forget comfort & accept sail and gear damage
    – But if done well, with good luck, faster
    • Realistic strategies (Frolic is not a sled)
    • Lots of attention on relevant weather and my barometers (versus celestial which is fun but not fast)
    • Better sleep habits (2 hr timer vs 1 hr)
    • Beefed up gooseneck, etc (stuff that was edgy in 2012)
    • Powerful below-deck autopilot drive (I destroyed two grand prix tiller pilots in 2012)
    • Better spinnakers and gear (I learned a lot from Green Buffalo)
    – More chutes, more sail time
    – Two pole jibes (wow!)
    – Outgrabber

    It’s hard to quantify but I've no doubt that the interaction I've enjoyed since 2012 with SHTP vets, several who I now count as friends, really helped. It’s a great group and I feel fortunate to be a member!

    But the real kick in my pants was the last paragraph in Lee Shore Blues – a must read :-)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    119

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    As usual, I should have kept my mouth shut

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Fremont, CA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hodgmo View Post
    I second Rick’s comment: the 1st race is a learning experience. But so is the 2nd, I think, time will tell. That said, comparing my 2012 and 2014 experiences, what felt like the things I did differently that helped me the most are:

    • Lighter boat (truck loads removed, no harpsichord, etc… F=ma I’m told)
    • Better balance of seamanship and racing
    – Forget comfort & accept sail and gear damage
    – But if done well, with good luck, faster
    • Realistic strategies (Frolic is not a sled)
    • Lots of attention on relevant weather and my barometers (versus celestial which is fun but not fast)
    • Better sleep habits (2 hr timer vs 1 hr)
    • Beefed up gooseneck, etc (stuff that was edgy in 2012)
    • Powerful below-deck autopilot drive (I destroyed two grand prix tiller pilots in 2012)
    • Better spinnakers and gear (I learned a lot from Green Buffalo)
    – More chutes, more sail time
    – Two pole jibes (wow!)
    – Outgrabber

    It’s hard to quantify but I've no doubt that the interaction I've enjoyed since 2012 with SHTP vets, several who I now count as friends, really helped. It’s a great group and I feel fortunate to be a member!

    But the real kick in my pants was the last paragraph in Lee Shore Blues – a must read :-)
    What type of autopilot did you use?

    Thanks,
    Todd

  6. #6
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    Jan 2012
    Location
    Santa Barbara Sometimes
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    Frolic has Raymarine electronics, with the X10 autopilot computer and type 1 below-deck motor, but they are there almost accidentally and I don’t necessarily recommend them. While the Raymarine has so far been OK, there are probably better choices for blue water racing. For example, Green Buffalo uses an Alpha system (two aboard) and Jim seems very pleased with his redundant system. Ken Roper uses tiller pilots on Harrier. The best choice of course will depend on your boat. A J/92 weighs a lot less than an islander 36 and has a very different underbody. I don’t know anyone who has a broader knowledge of autopilots and their best application than Brian Boschma, and I recommend getting his advice on that topic.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    235

    Cool Raymarine tiller pilot

    The only equipment failure on Harrier was one Raymarine tiller pilot 4000 (might have been a 4000GP).
    But it really just wore out. Stopped working after 4 days, but what failed was the little plastic (!) gizmo
    in the drive unit. Replaced the AP with a like unit (a relatively new one, but not unused) and it worked
    fine the rest of the way...11 1/2 more days. As a matter of fact, it worked all the way back to LA too.
    I do carry spare motors, but never have had to replace them. Keep the water out with a cover and
    silicone grease on the thruster so the seals are kept functional. My supply of "tiller type" pilots is fairly
    extensive....Some Navicos, but mostly Raymarine. The latter interface with my sailing instruments so I
    can sail in "wind mode" when it suits me. I have an Atoms wind vane, but didn't carry it on the race.

    I do get weather fax with a XAXERO software connecting SSB transmissions to my laptop. Had very
    little luck with this on this race until I replaced my recalcitrant SSB rig (poor receiver performance). So
    I had good wx faxes on the way back...tee hee. My barograph is pretty sensitive and kept me in the
    wind the whole way over on the race.

    Didn't tear up any sails or rigging in either direction. Only used one 3/4 oz GP chute and it held up fine.
    Probably because I had 4 other chutes and also used my nylon twins a lot.

    If I weren't getting so damn old, I'd look forward to #14 with essentially the same gear and boat.

    Fair Winds to all Ken

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    119

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    Alone in a strange town with too much wine, I will add my thoughts. Like Frolic I did a lot to lighten Scaramouche this year. Unlike Frolic it did not improve my performance. I was first to finish only because the hotshots like Jim Q and Alex didn't enter. Now I'm hoping Brian B will step in and explain all this but.....When I entered the Paccup in 2010 it was explained to me that if you lighten the boat, you're cheating. The boat is rated 'as sailed' which I think means you must weigh the same in the race as you did when weighed. I got my weight from a travel lift operator who said the weight was approximate even when the straps were vertical but because of my forefoot the straps were anything but vertical so it was very difficult to determine the weight. A boat like Frolic is one of a series and I have no idea how the PHRF determines their 'as sailed' weight. The PHRF seems to be nonsense to me anyway as in the Northwest my rating is 114, in NorCal it was 80, and on appeal changed to 90.
    So if a person was considering entering the race and was concerned about doing well it is important to sail at the weight you are rated at and to have a boat that you have some hope of sailing to its rating. Or you could do like I did and just make a ton of great friends, drink too much wine, have the greatest family reunion ever, and suffer thru a couple of weeks in that hell ship known as Kauai.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    2,718

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    For the SHTP you can (and should) take excess weight out. However, you can't remove stuff that is standard from the factory. Skippers have gotten in trouble for removing the door to the head or a table, if it was factory-installed. This is because your boat's PHRF rating is for a stock boat.

    So if your WhizBang 32 came standard with a compressor to inflate your life-sized crew doll, you have to race with the compressor. I hope that helps.

    This all got weirder with Pacific Cup, especially this year.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post

    So if your WhizBang 32 came standard with a compressor to inflate your life-sized crew doll, you have to race with the compressor. I hope that helps.

    This all got weirder with Pacific Cup, especially this year.
    Wow, what could be weirder in the Pac Cup than a life-sized crew doll with inflater ?

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