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Thread: What Worked? What didn't?

  1. #31
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Although I feel that I was in the company of far more experienced and accomplished (not to mention gracious) sailors during the race some neophyte like me might take something from my experience.

    What worked: Westsail 32. The first 3 days were probably well suited to my boat, the best run during that time was 172 miles...somewhere around a 7.3k average on the third day. I was simply along for the ride and spent most of the time napping. Top speed 10k that I saw. My tiller snapped off at the heel on the first night but the boat just kept on sailing at 6.5k (did come up slightly but only about 5 degrees)
    After those 3 or 4 days I heard I was doing ok, so ran around trying to be a sailor and fell 3 positions in the standings. Sorry Elizabeth Ann.

    Light 4oz genoa from Lee sails worked well poled out until I broke the whisker pole in half. Symmetrical spinnaker from minneys worked well as did the pure white (cheap) symmetrical from Island planet.
    OpenCPN with grib overlay plugin worked well. I figured out how to use it (the grib overlay) about halfway across when it didn't really matter anymore. Before that, I relied on Daniels demonstration of Adrena aboard his boat before the start, and Ken. I'm not ashamed to admit I basically followed Ken to Hanalei and had huge amounts of fun talking to him and others on the radio every night. After the race talking to Lee I admitted that I had just followed her Dad. Her response "Well if he doesn't know the way, the boat does" hahahahaha

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztU10DbuDi0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnoYEsXRK5Q

    What didnt work:The Raymarine evolution A/P was not so great. It only has 3 settings, performance, cruising and leisure. Yes leisure. Using leisure setting resulted in feelings not so leisurely as the corrections were way too slow and small. "Cruising" was also frustrating. The "performance" setting was too aggressive. On the way home I finally figured out that I could fine tune the response with the hard over time setting.

    Would love to hear from Daniel, Brian, Barry and others who have not written about their experience here.

    Thanks again to all involved. Rick, you are my favorite to win the next race. Yes, I know - the kiss of death.
    Last edited by WBChristie; 11-15-2014 at 10:03 PM.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Santa Barbara Sometimes
    Posts
    166

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    Is that a Raymarine Grand Prix tiller pilot? I destroyed two of them in 2012 steering an lslander 36 to Kauai and Oahu, strange change in groan tone followed by black plastic teeth crumbs on the cockpit sole. They seem allergic to spinnakers in squalls. I've had no problem using the type 1 below deck motor on same boat, there and back again.

  3. #33
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    May 2009
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    210

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgmo View Post
    Is that a Raymarine Grand Prix tiller pilot? I destroyed two of them in 2012 steering an lslander 36 to Kauai and Oahu, strange change in groan tone followed by black plastic teeth crumbs on the cockpit sole. They seem allergic to spinnakers in squalls. I've had no problem using the type 1 below deck motor on same boat, there and back again.
    Steve, no they were the standard tiller drives. The grand Prix model is discontinued and no longer in production. I did find one still in stock somewhere but the price was in the region of $1300 so I settled for another standard one. The drive that saw the most use has become quite sloppy at the end of the stroke
    Was the type 1 below deck electric or hydraulic? Did it use a lot more power than the tiller drive that you used previously?

    Also, if you don't mind - could you explain the 3 minute jibes with 2 poles? My jibes were like gearing up for a full scale invasion. I even put shoes on and long pants to minimize carnage to my body
    Last edited by WBChristie; 11-15-2014 at 10:15 PM.

  4. #34
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    Jan 2012
    Location
    Santa Barbara Sometimes
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    166

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    Hi WBChristie,

    My below deck drive unit is the Raymarine M81130, which is electrically driven, see

    http://www.raymarine.com/view/?id=57...id=30&col=5915

    This unit certainly can demand a lot more amps than the GrandPrix, and in fact installing it required ‘upgrading’ the Raymarine brain box from the X5 to the substantially larger and heftier X10 (FYI Brian B’s A/P can handle the peak power requirement and more I think). But in actual usage the below deck drive drew about the same average power as the tiller pilot since, when the boat is balanced, very little energy is required to maintain course and the drive unit is essentially idling. The difference is in situations where the boat is out of balance – eg, a round up in a squall – and then the drive unit will quickly be tasked to put out all it can. The below deck drive can provide much higher force more quickly, thus draw a higher current, than the tiller pilot so can better handle these events. Fortunately, in my experience, speaking objectively, unbalanced situations haven’t happened that often, and when they do happen they don’t take much actual time (though it doesn’t feel that way), so the boat’s power budget is essentially unaffected.

    Two-pole jibes worked for me quite well but maybe it was beginners luck. Or maybe it was practicing and crashing on the S bay in the months prior to the race. Anyway, I was fortunate to be able to sail on Green Buffalo a few times and saw how Jim Quanci had his 2-pole system set-up. It’s essentially a port and starboard pole, each with their own mast attachment, topping lift and foreguy. On Frolic, with a sheet and afterguy on each clew, it is relatively fast and easy to rig the lazy pole on the lazy afterguy (after relieving the outgrabber load from the guy to the sheet), then shift the load to the newly setup pole so the boat is now running with load on both poles, then swing the stern thru the wind and jibe the main, adjust the windward pole if necessary, then complete the spinnaker ‘jibe’ by shifting the load from the newly leeward guy to the leeward sheet, and lower the relieved, leeward pole tip to deck (and then free the lazy guy from the pole and set the outgrabber). Everything but rigging the pole is done from the cockpit. After working out the bugs, this process takes me a few minutes, much faster than I can sock and re-rig the spinnaker, and, for me, it is much ‘safer’ (less to go wrong) compared to jibing with a single pole (especially without a sock which is what I did in 2012). It takes me more time to jibe my poled out genoa!

    There’s an interesting discussion of 2-pole jibes, socks and spin nets at http://www.sfbaysss.org/forum/showth...or-Not-To-Sock
    Jim Quanci (not surprisingly) made a spot-on comment (March 2012):

    “…Had a brisk debate with Stan the other day on socking versus double pole jibes. :-)

    One thing is clear, both socking and double pole jibes work great if you are well practiced and know the proper technique for your boat - especially when the wind and waves are up. If you are not well practiced and aren't sure what the proper technique is both socking and double pole jibes can make for a mess (gordian knot around the headstay, broken pole, etc). … ”

    Steve

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    302

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    Quote Originally Posted by WBChristie View Post
    Thanks again to all involved. Rick, you are my favorite to win the next race. Yes, I know - the kiss of death.
    I was ready to go again before I got home, even with the banged up shoulder, but the little lady Admiral Linda wants me to take a break after the 2012 PacCup and 2014 Transpac. I will do the race again but 2016 is looking more like a race committee volunteer.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    119

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    I completely agree Ken. Focusing on GRIB files completely screwed our Pacific Cup effort. We chased those little barbs all over the ocean while our competitors focused on the interpreted charts and left us behind. I've learned my lesson.

    Jackie, these are available to us from a number of sources for free. I suspect the Air Force version focused on higher altitudes - we'd be interested in surface conditions.
    I keep coming back to this. Gribs vs. charts. I don't think that is the issue. The issue is how you interpret either and remembering the fundamental rule "If in doubt - shortest route." You always have to have a more compelling reason to sail a longer distance than the shortest route and serious deviations from shortest route need to be backed up with convinction that a much longer route is absolutely, positively going to get you there quicker. If there is any doubt, play it safe. My 2 cents.
    Life is not a dress rehearsal.

    Bermuda 1-2 on a Schumacher 28

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