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Thread: What might have been.

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philpott View Post
    What? A windvane? You must have strengthened your transom before leaving? This surely is not the Navik that threatened to tear off Wildflower's back end last time? Remember when you and Wildflower II were berthed in Berkeley Marina during the summer? Over on O Dock? That was the last time I tried strengthening DM's transom for my windvane. What. A. Mess. I made! Gotta try it again soon, though. Please advise.
    Hi Jackie,
    WILDFLOWER had 3 different windvanes during her 33 year lifespan, but never a Navik. The first was a homemade, vertical axis, and doubled as an emergency rudder. The second and third were Sail-O-Mats, horizontal axis. Yes, in the 1978 SHTP, the newly installed Sail-o-Mat did try to remove itself from the transom on Day 3. I strengthened that while curled up inside the back of the boat, only to have the same Sail-O-Mat windvane paddle break off on Day 4, leaving us with just an old Tillermaster AP for the rest of the '78 Race. Little did I know Norton Smith had lost his electric AP in the same '78 SHTP, and alternated hand-steering with sheet-to-tiller steering for the rest of the race on his SC-27 SOLITAIRE.

    Our broken Sail-O-Mat was replaced by the factory with a newer model at cost, and that is what is currently being used in this 2020 SHTP when I refer to "windvane." This windvane has 4 outstanding qualities: 1) it is quiet. 2) it consumes no power 3) it is immensely powerful 4) it can alter course to AWA windshifts with no electronics.

    The Sail-O-Mat also has some drawbacks: ) it doesn't work well in AWS < 4 knots. 2) It's oar does have some parasitic drag at lower boat speeds, but can be easily be lifted out of the water when not in use. 3) though all aluminum and aluminum casting, it is relatively heavy, 45 pounds of metal sitting on the stern of the boat. 4) it doesn't like spinnakers. But watching a windvane tirelessly steer when it's in its element, usually the tradewinds, is a joy to behold: "I couldn't be doing that" says the skipper.

    Though there are apparently newer models, this is the Sail-O-Mat unit we're using from in this 2020 SHTP:
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    Last edited by sleddog; 07-06-2020 at 06:48 AM.

  2. #42
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    Day 9 7/06/20 Noon Posit 26-07 N x 146-33 W 24 hour run 167 miles at 6.9 knots. course made good 243 M / 256 T. Wind 16-18 knots from 84 T, Sky 25% clouds with squalls, Baro 1022 mb. Distance to go 746 miles @244 T

    This has been a good day's run under twins. With the wind almost dead aft, I've tucked in the first reef in the main to let the leeward twin have a little more breeze up high as well as neutralizing the helm. We've also got the genoa staysail up, tacked to the port foredeck toerail, gathering in any wind that might be escaping under the twins' feet. Windvane continues steering. Solar panels have been charging and the battery is full. Flying fish abundant. Water temp 77 F.

    Air circulation in the cabin is good. There's an opening, self draining port in the transom that allows following winds to cool the aft sleeping area, as well as a Hella fan. There's also an opening hatch in the cockpit floor over the head of the aft bunk. The hatch dodger funnels breeze downward into the main cabin. And the foredeck hatch is kept ajar except at night in squall country.

    The cockpit hatch allows me to see the masthead Windex with my head on the bunk pillow, as well as adjust the tillerpilot if necessary.

    I sleep in a flannel sleeping sheet, stitched partway up one side to make it tubelike. Pillows are light, and we carry 4. The aft bunk, under the cockpit, can be partitioned by lee cloths for secure sleeping in a seaway. I sleep head aft to facilitate entering and exiting the bunk. There's a couple of handholds directly overhead, as well as a telltale compass. Nearby are 2 external buzzer piezo alarms connected to the AIS and radar. I can wear either or both around my neck when sleeping.

    Looking ahead at 96 hour forecasts, it looks like the easterly tradewind flow will slowly increase to 18-20 knots, making for a fast finish run, possibly sometime late Friday. The boat speed is being helped along by a prevailing westerly flowing current of .50-.75 knots. The mantra for the next 5 days is "be smart, keep things together, don't rush, no accidents."

    Here's today chart with tomorrow's wind and isobaric pressure forecast. 1.5 feathered arrows means 15 knots average wind, 2 feathered arrows indicates 20 knots. The arrows fly with the wind.
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    Last edited by sleddog; 07-06-2020 at 08:04 AM.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntsUiga View Post
    Yes, I would be interested in any comments from Stan Honey on barometer watches. I have used a Suunto version for about 30 years. The barometric function measures elevation as well as barometric pressure. How does the watch know if I am moving vertically or the weather is changing. The elevation increment is 20 feet so when I drive past an elevation marker on the road, the watch shows an elevation within 100 feet of the road sign. The only weird variation was while driving through AZ mountains and thunderstorms. The watch was about 2,000 feet off and took about a day before it settled down. Ants
    Hi Skip,

    We fit a removable radar some time ago following your suggestion. There are photos at http://honeynav.com/category/cal40/

    We pull the cable down the mast on a leader and it exits the mast just below deck and joins to the cable in the boat at a junction box near the mast. We leave the cable in the boat when racing, and just remove the scanner and display. It works great. Thanks for the suggestion. One thing we do is to remove the bolt in the track that is just below the scanner and replace it with a longer bolt with a large fender washer. The car sits on the bolt and the fender washer pulls tight against the car and keeps the scanner from rocking back and forth with the plan in the car slides.

    I’ve only tried a few watch barometers, and watch hand-bearing compasses, and found that none of them worked well enough to be dependable. Those were Casios. I haven’t tested the Garmin but it seems better than the Casios. I use a conventional Plastimo hand-bearing compass, and use a Mintaka barograph below decks, both of which work perfectly. The Plastimo allows you to do a good eyeball-average when it’s rough. The Mintaka is below deck where you mostly need it and is easy to interface to Expedition or whatever so that you can include its strip chart along with the wind direction and speed which is sometimes interesting.

    We’re in Provincetown now, on the tip of Cape Cod, and headed for Portland ME tomorrow.

    ~Stan
    Last edited by sleddog; 07-06-2020 at 08:15 PM.

  4. #44
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    Day 10 7/07/20 Noon posit 25-22 N x 149-34 W 24 hour run 169 miles @ 243M (255T) Wind 17-18 knots from 78 T. Seas 4-6 feet from ENE, 25% cloud with squalls, 1022 mb. 577 miles @ 243 M to Hanalei Finish.

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    Last edited by sleddog; 07-07-2020 at 05:39 AM.

  5. #45
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    Tuesday, July 7,2020, from my Log

    The trades have backed into their usual direction, ENE. which puts the Finish DDW. On this displacement hull, the twins have come into their own, and we're always on the right gybe, especially during night squalls. I've dropped the main, as it was doing nothing for speed except blanketing the twins

    Now the main boom is centered, a big advantage of running with twins is dismissed anxiety of accidental gybe.
    A disadvantage of running DDW with twins is the boat rolls a lot. Now I know what the old seafarer's addage "rolling down the trades" really means. But being my 11th day at sea, my stomach has long since adjusted to motion.

    Previously I mentioned cloud streaks, and the possibility of slightly increased breeze on their perimeters. Another subtle wind shift occurs in the NE trades, the "afternoon lefty". During most afternoons, the tradewinds will back 5-10 degrees from ENE to NE, a good time for a boat with a spinnaker to be on starboard, the favored gybe

    I inventoried my fresh food and everything is under control. Apples wrapped in newspaper, oranges, jicama, cabbage, carrots, cheese, eggs, the second of 2 loaves of bread. Only the last avocado has been consigned to the deep.

    Despite regular meals and in between time grazing, I tend to lose .5 pounds/day on a passage like this to which I mainly attribute the isometric exercise of constant bracing on a small boat, as well as up and down the companion way 4 steps dozens of times/day.
    Last edited by sleddog; 07-07-2020 at 08:26 PM.

  6. #46
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    Thanks for Stan Honey's comment on the wrist electronics. It is safe to say those gadgets are not something to rely on for serious endeavors. Your simple thermometer / barometer is a desirable tool. The current versions have enough added features that a household converter is needed or the nuisance of using 5 AA batteries.

    The simulated scenario gives wonderful opportunities to ask questions. A majority of the SHTP fleet is competitive.

    What sorts of actions are you trying to avoid to maintain that competitiveness?

    Ants

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntsUiga View Post
    What sorts of actions are you trying to avoid to maintain that competitiveness?
    Ants
    Despite best intentions, what happened last night at oh-dark-thirty cost us probably 1-2 miles. I had laid my head down for a nap after scanning for squalls on the moonlit horizon astern. The next thing I know is the boat has gone from level flight to heeling 20 degrees to starboard with significant noises topside.

    I jump up and look out the companionway. We are under a clear squall, no rain, but definite wind increase to 25. Despite the windvane's best effort, the windward twin jib has gone aback, slowing us to 2-3 knots. With the jib aback, the aluminum pole has gone aft far enough to bend around the upper shrouds.

    I take over steering, slack the windward twin's guy, and get the boat aimed downwind while my eyes adjust to what's happened. Swapping for my spare whisker pole shouldn't be too difficult. But then I see the bent pole's bridle and lift has somehow wrapped around the radar dome, 10 feet up the front of the mast.

    It takes 10 minutes to figure how to undo the situation, and another 10 to rig the spare pole. Much of this time is spent hanging on as the rolling has increased. I also have to climb up on the boom and then stand on the lower mast step to get the tangle off the radome.

    Finally all settled back to normal. I'd lost 1-2 knots for 30-40 minutes. Fortunately nothing more serious than the bent pole. Every little bit counts, and this was in the negative department that should not have happened. But did.

    Day 11 7/08/20 Noon Posit 24-37 N x 152-33 W. 24 hour run: 171 miles at 242 M (253 T) Wind 16-18 knots from 75 T, 4-6 foot seas, 25% cloud, baro 1022 mb.

    80 miles ahead off the port bow lies Hawaiian offshore weather buoy YODAS 51000 reporting wind 17.5 knots average, 15.5, gusting 19.4. This buoy is anchored in 15,600 feet of water and swings on a radius of 3 miles. How'd they do that?

    Today we are 407 miles from Hanalei. At 7 knts BS, that's about 59 hours, or 8 PM Friday evening finish Hawaiian time.
    Last edited by sleddog; 07-08-2020 at 07:57 AM.

  8. #48
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    Day 12 7/08/20 Noon Posit 23-37 N x 155-26 W. 24 hour run: 165 miles at 240 M (253 T) Wind 17-20 knots from 81 T, 5-7 foot seas, 25% cloud, 1019 mb
    If all goes well, this our last full day at sea. 241 miles to go at noon today. At 7 knots, could take ~ 34.5 hours gives ETA of 10:30 pm PDST/7:30 pm HST, a nice time to finish, sunset with the late afternoon tradewinds in force.

    My guess is HEDGEHOG will finish this morning, likely breaking 12 days.

    We are already receiving Hawaiian AM radio stations, as well as VHF weather: "Hawaiian Waters, 40-240 miles offshore: Today: winds E-15-20, seas 6-8'; Tonight: through Saturday E-15-25, seas 6-8"

    We're currently experiencing tropospheric ducting, giving further than average VHF reception distances, sometimes hundreds of miles.

    "HEDGEHOG, HEDGEHOG, WILDFLOWER calling channel 68, over"
    "WILDFLOWER, HEDGEHOG, weak copy, we are behind the cliffs."
    "Hi David, behind the cliffs means you are anchored at Hanalei, Roger?"
    "Roger, we finished early this morning, 7:35 am PDST, 4:35 am Hawaiian."
    Good sailing, Cap! Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow evening for a sundowner. WILDFLOWER out"
    "HEDGEHOG out."

    HEDGEHOG's time for the 2120 mile GC course was 11 days, 19 hours, 25 min. for an average of 7.5 knots. Actual distance was 2250 miles which computes to 7.93 knot average speed.

    Here's today's GFS forecast for tomorrow. Looks like a fast sailing angle with AWA of 155. WILDFLOWER's posit at noon today is the red dot in the upper mid-right corner.

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    A fun ships' crossing this morning about 0800. The Matson container ship MAHIMAHI passed about .5 mile astern enroute Long Beach to Honolulu, where she'll arrive early this evening. I spoke with the mate on watch and he said he'd done 2 LA-Honolulu Transpacs, both on Santa Cruz 50's. Small world.
    Last edited by sleddog; 07-09-2020 at 03:32 PM.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleddog View Post
    My guess is HEDGEHOG will finish this morning, likely breaking 12 days.

    "HEDGEHOG, HEDGEHOG, WILDFLOWER calling channel 68, over"
    "WILDFLOWER, HEDGEHOG, weak copy, we are behind the cliffs."
    "Hi David, behind the cliffs means you are anchored at Hanalei, Roger?"
    "Roger, we finished early this morning, 7:35 am PDST, 4:35 am Hawaiian."
    Good sailing, Cap! Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow evening for a sundowner. WILDFLOWER out"
    "HEDGEHOG out."

    HEDGEHOG's time for the 2120 mile course was 11 days, 19 hours, 25 min. for an average of 7.5 knots.
    Well, I'm not surprised. Mr Hedgehog has what he calls "trade secrets". Question du jour: What was Wildflower's PHRF?

    Wait! I withdraw that question. Since I have an original copy of the program right here in front of me, I see that

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    no PHRFs were provided in the program. Although the Race Conditions and Rules read thus: "Measurement: Ratings for this event shall be based on the latest version of the P.H.R.F. handicapping system. Yachts not currently listed will be measured". and "Time Allowance: Adjusted time winner will be computed from the P.H.R.F. Ocean Handicap List"

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    Last edited by Philpott; 07-09-2020 at 03:19 PM.

  10. #50
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    Day 13 1200 Posit 22-37 N x 158-21 W. 24 hour run 172 miles run at 241 degrees. Wind 18-20 knots from 88 T.
    25% cloud, 1018 mb. Hanalei Finish is 67 miles ahead. ETA 9:40 pm PDST or 6:40 pm HST.

    It was a fast night with wind 18-20 knots on a broad reach on port gybe. Squall formation took the night off.
    Though I can see cloud buildup ahead, likely over Mt. Waialele on Kauai, we are still too far away to see dirt.

    Captain's Dinner celebrated last evening with carrot, raisin, apple and mayo salad; instant rice and Trader Joes Jaipur Vegetables in a pouch; tapioca pudding with Triple Ginger Snaps, and a beer.

    The instant rice and veges are a one pot affair. I heat the pouch of veges in boiling water. Then remove the pouch, lay it aside, and add the rice to the leftover boiling water. When the rice is done, I fluff it, then stir in the veges. Usually I eat directly from the pot. But this celebration called for a real plate and utensils.

    Attachment 5615

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