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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; Yesterday 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; Yesterday 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; Yesterday 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; Today 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.

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