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Thread: Thinking About 2018 SHTP

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Live in Phoenix, boat in San Diego
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    238

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanikai View Post
    Not sure how much doing short-course (<20nm) races, singlehanded or crewed, compares to a 2000nm slog to Hawaii, . . .
    Yeah, I'm definitely not interested in racing around the buoys inside SD bay, and will be looking for the longest races I can fit in. That said, I doubt it's possible to really understand sailing to Hawaii without actually sailing to Hawaii. Time and chance permitting, I expect to find out.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    San Jose
    Posts
    15

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    Hi,
    You have a robust boat well suited for ocean sailing, and it sounds like you have the gear to manage a long passage, and can probably maintain and fix it. That is a good part of the difficulty. We frequently say that the hardest part of the TransPac is getting to the start. I suggest getting the 2016 Rules and Requirements from the website if you have not yet done so, and reading them carefully. There are always things that end up needing to be done! One thing that cruisers sometimes have to learn is how (and how much) to push the boat. Getting to Hawaii in under 21 days is not horribly difficult from a speed point of view (circa 100 nm per day, or average speed of 4 knots), but in reality, many things can contribute to a slow passage. Broken gear (especially autopilot or rudders), bad weather or calms, and general mental burnout/depression can all take a real toll on boat speed. Even if your objective is not to win, but to have an adventure (which is JUST FINE!!), pushing the boat is a good skill to have. The boat will not just sail itself to Hawaii, so if you are going to do it, do it as fast as the situation permits. This is where a racing background helps. Instead of just sitting there going slow, get off your duff (speaking generally, not to you specifically) and make the boat go faster. Need a reef- put one in. Need more sail- put it up. Sounds easy, but trust me, it is a lot harder than it sounds.

    One issue that a heavy boat has is not enough sail area, especially in light wind, or deep running. I highly recommend twin 125% or so jibs poled out as a minimum downwind rig. 2 poles is really essential in my opinion, as is a well used, debugged way to deploy them. A spinnaker is very helpful, if you can set and douse it safely and with confidence. Snuffers (ATN), top down furlers (assymetrical), remote blows for guys, and Massive chafe protection for poled out lines are really good things to get right. Minney's Yacht Surplus is your friend. I also highly recommend a spectra staysail or Solent stay with halyard that you can use for either a heavy air jib (60-70 %) or a soft furler. Removing jibs from a wire stay at sea in heavy conditions is damn tedious and can be dangerous singlehanding.

    People do the race successfully with a huge variety of schemes for doing things. There is no "best way" to do stuff. Preparation and practice is kind of important, although I personally never seem to do enough of it. Anyway, there is a huge amount of experience in the SSS and people are generally VERY helpful. I hope you will do the race. It is a LOT OF FUN!!!

    All the best,
    Michael
    S/V Mouton Noir

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Live in Phoenix, boat in San Diego
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    238

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    Michael:

    Thank you for the great information and perspective. Of course I'm interested in the adventure, but the more I have thought about actually entering the race, the more I want to try and compete. I've got a lot to figure out about sail combinations. The boat has a whisker pole on a track on the mast, but in more than a year and a half of sailing her, I've never poled out the head sail underway! The a-sym has the ATN snuffer; it is good from an AWA of about 150 degrees off the bow to well under 90 degrees off the bow in light wind; and it is pretty easy to rig and launch. So I've basically just thought of the pole for the 125% genoa as a back up system. Now I'm going to start playing around with it and see what it can do for us. Also going to add a back stay adjuster, and tackle to adjust the jib sheet blocks without having to get out and stand on the sheet. Going to try to learn how to push this 12,000 pound girl for all she's worth.

    Lee
    s/v Morning Star
    Last edited by AZ Sailor; 12-19-2016 at 01:55 PM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    56

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    You boat is very different than what I took to hawaii but if you are trying to "compete" consider thinking in terms of energy management. Specifically yours. If you are in better shape that will help a lot.....and anything you can do to make your boat/sail changes/sleeping/eating///////etc demand less energy the more you will have to making the boat go fast.

    Part two is tactical.....getting your boat in the right place (trading distance for wind). This is where you will need to know your boat (what you can do in your boat) and some way of obtaining weather information as you go.

    Best of luck,
    Chris (Ventus)

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Live in Phoenix, boat in San Diego
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    Thanks, Chris. As Webb Chiles says: "Make yourself as strong as possible and your boat as easy to sail as possible."

    The boat came to me with SSB and Pactor modem, and I recently joined Sail Mail. Their email client program makes getting gribs and NOAA forecasts pretty easy. Reading the other thread going on right now about sail selection tells me I've got a lot of learning and testing to do in that area. Blast reacher? Jib top? I had to look those up.

    So, you did the SHTP once, think you'll do another?

    Lee

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    56

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    If you can find someone with a similar boat with significant offshore time....their advice is gold. I tortured Bob J with questions and the advice was worth its weight in carbon fiber.

    Sail selection is a great exercise in weight, space, likelihood of need, expense.....etc. I made a last minute decision to get a code zero. Lots $ for sail and associated rigging and changes. I had exactly one hour where it would have been useful (I was sleeping soundly).

    Repeat?......ask me in the fall. I am not a hard core competitor....so a repeat would be focussed on enjoyment. Things like a SSB, better food and being in better shape......

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    235

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    Good advice from M. Jefferson...and he's done the race a number of time in two boats. However, insofar as his twin headsail info is concerned, I prefer to use only one pole when using twin headsails off the wind. I pole out the upwind sail, but sheet the leeward sail normally. The upwind sail funnels air into the leeward sail, which sees the wind as if it is coming from abeam. I sheet it in as if we were beam reaching. Looked at from above, the "footprint" is similar to a spinnaker. Works well at 150/160 degrees off the wind. BUT...as I mentioned in a previous recent post, carry at least one extra pole! I carry two spin poles and a telescoping whisker pole which is within 2 inches short of my "J" dimension...so I can use it as an emergency spinnaker pole also, when it's slid to its shortest length. The whisker pole should also have an uphaul/downhaul capability.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    56

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    It is worth having a set up that allows you to sail dead down wind. You may not choose to use it, but having that as an options can be quite useful.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    235

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    True enuf...A "normal" spinnaker has always worked for me on the ONE SHTP occasion that I decided to do DDW for a short while.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    2,198

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrier View Post
    True enuf...A "normal" spinnaker has always worked for me on the ONE SHTP occasion that I decided to do DDW for a short while.
    Oh, Sir! Now you're just showing off.

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