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Thread: New Boat 4 Sled

  1. #2631
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    I don't know how many of the SHTP fleet are using routing programs aboard for predicting their future course to Kauai. Routing programs can vary from free to expensive. Their suggested route is predicated on "GRIB" files, showing anticipated future wind direction and strength cross referenced to the boat's "polars."

    Their are some issues with routing that are easy to overlook but very important. The first is "polars" are generated for fully crewed boats sailing at 100% of their potential. When I attempt to use a routing program when singlehanding, I have to make my own polars, as most boats in the singlehanded fleet don't have commercially available polars that take into account sailing solo on a "bring what you got" boat that might be 40 years old.

    Another method might be "borrowing" polars from a boat similar in characteristics/speed, and then "dialing" in a correction to your routing program. For example, using a J-105's polars and dialing them back to 85% for an O-30..

    Another issue of routing to Hawaii is mentioned by Stan Honey, who cryptically writes "a Router will take you too far North. Understand why. Still useful."

    If we understand Stan's caveat, he means a routing program like Expedition will take you the shortest, fastest course, which is right on the southern edge of the Pacific High. Kinda like walking on a cliff edge. If you get any further north, you fall off the cliff and into the Pacific High.

    Looking at the 48 hour forecast below, there is definitely a cliff to fall off north of 30 degrees N. latitude, west of 135 W. if the barometer gets higher than 1023 mb. Why I prefer CRINAN's southerly position to RIFF RIDER's, further north.

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    Note to readers of this blog: copying my comments to race participants not allowed.
    Last edited by sleddog; 06-26-2018 at 09:48 AM.

  2. #2632
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    Day 3 (Tuesday, 6/26) of the SHTP. Everyone is reaching along nicely in 15-20 knots of wind from aft of abeam and seas have calmed. No more sneaker waves from astern as came aboard DOLFIN, entering the cabin and dousing Bill's electronics.

    The sun is showing up for solar panels, and skippers are scheming how to go faster. Just reaching with a jib up when the TWA (True Wind Angle) is 130 degrees aft from the bow, and the AWA (Apparent Wind Angle) is 110 degrees is pedestrian, and 1-2 knots (25-50 miles/day) slower than an alternative. Unless of course you are CRINAN, with only one sail, one size fits all angles and windspeeds.

    Alternatives to increasing boat speed in current reachy conditions, slowest to fastest, listed below. If anyone has further suggestions, give a shout.

    1) Lead jib outboard, an outgrabber on the boom does this. Opens the slot. Speed increase .2 knts

    2) Same as above, but use a short pole attached to the front of the mast as an outrigger. The Volvo boats use this. Speed increase .2 knts.

    3) Set a staysail inside the jib. Speed increase .1 knts

    4) hoist a higher clewed, fuller, lighter cloth reaching jib. Speed increase .2 knots. In conjunction with the outboard lead and staysail, you are now .5 knots faster, 12 miles/day.

    But you can do even better. Hoist a spinnaker!

    5) hoist a symmetrical spinnaker on a pole. Speed increase .75 knots. Plus you can sail 10 degrees lower. Disadvantage: hand steering is a must. If the spinnaker collapses, everything gained in the last 15 minutes is lost.
    How long can you hand steer? Dan Newland holds the record: 36 hours. He won the race as a result.

    6) Hoist an asymmetrical, gennaker, or "cruising" spinnaker, with or without a pole or sprit. This is the best deal, as the sail is shaped for a reaching wind angle, is ~1.5 times bigger than a jib, and doesn't collapse as readily as a symmetrical. It trims more like a jib, and is a weapon every SHTPer should have. Speed increase 1.2 knots, as well as opportunity to sail 10 degrees lower.

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    Additionally, the beauty of an asymmetrical is that under autopilot, it allows going below for a rest, chow, or playing with electronics. And no need to hassle with the complexity of hoisting a spinnaker net. Asymms also work well with a snuffer, symmetricals less so.

    Winner, winner, mahi dinner.
    Last edited by sleddog; 06-26-2018 at 06:40 PM.

  3. #2633
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleddog View Post
    Alternate reality.

    In 1994, in probably the windiest SHTP, Stan Honey on his Cal-40 ILLUSION set the then mono-hull SHTP record of 11 days, 10 hours, 52 minutes. With over 125 Cal-40's having participated in various Trans-Pacific Races over the years, no one has beaten Stan's Cal-40 record since, crewed or singlehanded.

    Though I hope I'm wrong, the Tracker estimation that RIFF RIDER will beat Stan's record by 3.5 hours is fantasy.

    In '94, Stan also beat the first O-30 by 5 hours boat for boat, Bill Stange's INTENSE. Stange had previously held the mono-hull record of 11 days, 15 hours, since 1988 That's pretty incredible.
    Skip -- I do not mean to take anything away from Stan's Cal-40 record, its an impressive one, but I think Redhead (fully crewed) had a time of 10 days, 19 hours, 31 minutes in the 2016 Pac Cup. But the Pac Cup is a shorter course by a few miles as the crow files, Also in 2016 Nozomi finished in 11 days, 8 hours and 56 minutes, double handed.

  4. #2634
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    Thank you Sled Dog, immensely enjoy your thoughts & explanations! And like MotoGP, the technical host can add great value to the spectators.

    Boat handling at this point: If I were a O30 or SC27, hand steering to get her on a plane, cracking off to catch a wave ride & help my southerly push. My rise in adrenaline would help offset fatigue. Would still need to cycle back & forth between hand steer & autopilot for rest/sleep.
    Last edited by Submarino; 06-26-2018 at 05:29 PM.

  5. #2635
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Rogers View Post
    Skip -- I do not mean to take anything away from Stan's Cal-40 record, its an impressive one, but I think Redhead (fully crewed) had a time of 10 days, 19 hours, 31 minutes in the 2016 Pac Cup. But the Pac Cup is a shorter course by a few miles as the crow files, Also in 2016 Nozomi finished in 11 days, 8 hours and 56 minutes, double handed.
    Thanks, Ian! I stand corrected. Impressive beyond words.

    Ian is too modest to mention he and Mark sailed a Moore 24, MAS!, from SF to Kaneohe in an astounding 10 days, 14 hours, 30 minutes, winning the Pacific Cup overall. Another Moore, EVERMORE, finished in 11 days, 9 hours, 48 minutes.

    In 1949, my father was weatherman about the 98 foot schooner MORNING STAR when they broke the "unbreakable" Transpac record and set a new standard of 10 days, 10 hours, 13 minutes. I remember as a kid seeing a congratulatory telegram (e-mail of the day) to the skipper and crew of MORNING STAR ending with "your record will never be broken."

    I had the good fortune to be aboard the 72 foot ketch TICONDEROGA when we did break MORNING STAR's record, pushed along by Tropical Storm Beatrice, in 1965. We were in a boat-for-boat race with the famous ketch STORMVOGEL when the shit hit the fan.

    Amongst other excitements, the spinnaker halyard winch ripped off the wood mast, taking itself and the pinrail to the masthead. The 34 foot, 300 pound, spinnaker pole also ripped off the mast, and shot through the mainsail, leaving us under mizzen alone doing 15 knots. In the dark, we stripped the 400 pound torn mainsail off the boom and wrestled it below, to restitch and put back together.

    We thought the race lost, little knowing STORMVOGEL had broken her boom, and 3 other racers had lost their rigs.

    100 miles out of Hono, who should break out of a squall just to leeward but STORMVOGEL. They were surfing waves much faster than the 50 ton TICONDEROGA, and again we thought the race lost.

    In those days, navigation was by celestial only. Guessing STORMVOGEL didn't know their course to the finish, we dropped our spinnaker, hoisted the jib top and altered course 20 degrees to port. The rouse worked. STORMVOGEL dropped her spinnaker, dropped off her surfs, and crossed behind, 100 yards astern

    Knowing the finish at Diamond Head was really 30 degrees to starboard, Big TI's crew surreptiously snaked the spinnaker down the leeward rail with no crew movement. At the cry "Hoist", up went the spinnaker (we had repaired the mast track with a charm bracelet of galvanized shackles) and off TI went on course.

    STORMVOGEL's crew was rightly confused, and took 15 minutes to reset. Slowly they began overhauling TI again under two spinnakers (one on the mizzen), but no main on their shattered boom.

    It was a horse race down the Molokai Channel, STORMVOGEL just astern of TI, her running lights glowing over our shoulders in a midnight squall.

    One last jibe for the finish was to be in 35 knots of trades, big seas, pitch black night, and with a jury-rigged spinnaker pole lash up. Whomever pulled off their jibe successfully would break MORNING STAR's record, win the Barn Door, and sail into history.

    We started the main in on its little winch, a 10 minute affair. With the main amidships, the cry went up "Trip!" We'd never done a dip pole jibe, using the then state-of-art 2 pole jibe. The pole tripped all right, but the reel halyard topping lift winch brake failed and the pole fell into the water, and smashed aft against the windward chainplates.

    Holy shit, yiii doggies, we cranked the pole out of the water in one piece and swung it forward. But where's the bowman to connect the new wire afterguy? Oh dear, he's underwater as TI curtsied in a steep Molokai Channel breaking swell, dipping her entire 12 foot bowsprit, with bowman hanging on for dear life.

    Somehow things got connected, the main eased on the new jibe. TI ran straight and true for the searchlight at Diamond Head, never broaching. The big ketch would run on rails with her sweet hull and full keel, and we'd previously watched in awe how she'd sail for minutes at a time with no one at the helm.

    Close astern, we could see STORMVOGEL jibe her two spinnakers. Too late. Big TI broke the searchlight beam and swept across in the finish in 9 days, 13 hours, 51 seconds. STORMVOGEL finished 5 minutes later.
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    The race wasn't over. 7 new"tupperware" boats, Cal-40's all, were racing for the overall win. PSYCHE, #3, finished in 12 days, 5 hours, winning the King Kalakaua trophy originally offered by King Kalakaua in 1886 to promote a sailing race from the mainland to Honolulu.

    Seems like yesterday.
    Last edited by sleddog; 06-26-2018 at 06:44 PM.

  6. #2636
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    Though hard to tell from the p- nut gallery, it appears we have a boat-for-boat slot car race at the front of the fleet. DOUBLE X has found another gear and closing fast, 10 miles behind RIFF RIDER.

    30 miles further south, CRINAN continues to impress, ready to assume the lead if/when the two leaders fall off the isobar cliff.

    And not that far back, JOUJOU, PASSAGES, and FUGU. all 30 footers, are within a few miles of each other, distance wise to the finish.

    My predictions? Don on CRINAN will catch the first fish of the race on the red feather. Did he remember the Panko and lemons? Dave on PASSAGES will pull his sexy loose luffed twin jibs out of the bag and find downwind happiness while catching up on sleep. And Carliane will continue her run for the maitais and plumerias on the southern route, watching the boats ahead tempt fate with their approaching proximity to light winds.

    Good sailing and good night.

  7. #2637
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    BobJ wrote on another thread:
    "These folks are dancing with the devil. PassageWeather has the high breathing in and out but staying mostly stationary. I hope so..."

    Exactly so. The EPAC "Pacific High" can overnight change it's shape, intensity, location. It's like a big scoop of living jello; soft on the edges and ready to slide hither. You could say so much as flying fish gliding or an albatross attempting to take off might influence the High and you wouldn't be far wrong.

    The EPAC High is nicely drawn on NOAA weather maps. Again, mostly fantasy, much of the drawing based on inaccurate ship reports often from a bored bridge officer peering out his window from 10 stories up.

    For example is this morning's Surface Analysis for 0500 PDT, below:
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    There is the Pacific High, 1029 millibars of pressure, near 37N x 145W. Looking closely, there are two ship reports just East of the center of the High. The northern one is reporting 1025 mb (the 3 digit number) and > 30 knots of wind from the S (3 barbs on the arrow.) The southern ship report is for 1026.7 mb, with reported < 5 knots of wind from the NE.

    What is a weather forecaster to do? Maybe these reports get averaged out. But NOAA goes to a lot of trouble to collect them, many dozens every hour using the Voluntary Observing Ship Program (VOS). https://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/ship_obs.php

    Back on the race track, there is a new fleet leader. PJ on the O-30 DOUBLE EXPRESSO had a good night, averaging 7.5 knots on a broad reach, a full knot faster than RIFF RIDER, who is now 13 miles back.

    Winds and seas have lightened considerably, now in the 14-18 knot range from the NNE with 6 foot seas. Good for drying sodden gear on the clothes line. Are there any reports of spinnakers?
    Last edited by sleddog; 06-27-2018 at 09:50 AM.

  8. #2638
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    Quote Originally Posted by Submarino View Post
    Boat handling at this point: If I were a O30 or SC27, hand steering to get her on a plane, cracking off to catch a wave ride & help my southerly push. My rise in adrenaline would help offset fatigue. Would still need to cycle back & forth between hand steer & autopilot for rest/sleep.
    Joe brings up an interesting point. On an ultralight boat in the SHTP (30% of the fleet), getting the boat to surf or plane by flying the spinnaker and taking off on waves, sometimes radically off course, is both fast and fun. But needs hand steering. Modern auto-pilots are good, but not that good.

    The boat handling part comes when changing between poled out jib(s) and spinnaker, often a time consuming and involved change, especially at night and when the seas are up. A change-over can often take 15-30 minutes, even with practice and good conditions. When things go wrong, they really go wrong.

    For example, some of the things that might need to happen when changing from poled out jib to spinnaker are changing from whisker pole to spinnaker pole, changing halyards, flaking and securing a doused jib, deciding if its worth hoisting a net, etc.

    One reason I advocate hanks or roller furling on the jib is the greater simplicity in handling and stowage provided over just a plastic headfoil and jib luff tape.

    Before the 2008 SHTP, I spent a day stern tied to a mooring off the Santa Cruz Wharf, practicing switching back and forth between spinny, poled out jib, and twins, all the while going nowhere and not worrying about traffic. I got my sail handling methods much reduced in time and simplicity. But it's still a chore on a bouncy foredeck. I appreciated greatly WILDFLOWER's 28" high lifelines.
    Last edited by sleddog; 06-27-2018 at 06:56 PM.

  9. #2639
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    Hi Skip-

    the satellite scatterometer data is also useful stuff for deducing sea level wind speed and direction, I have to believe that NWS is using that data in addition to sounding rockets and ship reports to work out what might be going on out in the middle of the ocean.

    https://manati.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/...ASCATData.php/

    I'm sitting here in Nawiliwili at the other end of the race course, watching for a nice weather window to have a pleasant sail around Kauai and over to Hanalei. Right now there's an east-west ridge north of the islands that is keeping the tradewinds elevated - 20-21 gusting 26 from the ENE is what's happening here and the sea state looks wicked, supposed to be 8-9' chop out there and sure looks lumpy when I walk up the hill to see. Appears the ridge is a result of a frontal system hanging out north of the High - the front is forecast to move north and the pressure gradient is due to ease Thursday, with the forecast calling for a pleasant 10-12 knots of easterly breeze on Saturday; that's when I'll go around to Hanalei.

    For the offshore racers it looks like they are going to see the ridge extending SE from the High swing over them as the High shifts northwards - all this should be the result of that same front moving NE.

    Of particular interest will be what happens to the trades early next week if the National Hurricane Center has it right as regards two systems south of Mexico that are forecast to become storms (or stronger). The long range models have those new, transient Lows driving NW and eventually dying but not before create some compression between the Low and High, with re-enforced tradewinds resulting. It will be interesting to see if any of this happens; if the trades do come up the back half of the fleet should have strong running conditions in to the islands.

    Do you look at the Navy FNMOC model runs? They have some ensemble model data that is publicly available (at least as graphics), and it is interesting to compare them to the GFS data, and then compare that to the WFax from the forecasters at NWS.

    https://www.fnmoc.navy.mil/wxmap_cgi...au=000&set=All

    I wonder if Don has his fish yet! And it just rained on me, we have lots of squalls going through at the moment. When it's light trades and sunny, not so many rainy squalls. When the trades are in the 20's lots of squalls and lots of rain...

    - rob/beetle

  10. #2640
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger beetle View Post
    Hi Skip-
    the satellite scatterometer data is also useful stuff for deducing sea level wind speed and direction, I have to believe that NWS is using that data in addition to sounding rockets and ship reports to work out what might be going on out in the middle of the ocean.
    https://manati.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/...ASCATData.php/
    Do you look at the Navy FNMOC model runs? They have some ensemble model data that is publicly available (at least as graphics), and it is interesting to compare them to the GFS data, and then compare that to the WFax from the forecasters at NWS.

    https://www.fnmoc.navy.mil/wxmap_cgi...au=000&set=All
    - rob/beetle
    Hi Rob,
    Thanks for your analysis and on-site Kauai weather. It should be fun for BEETLE to rendezvous with the SHTP fleet and support committee!

    I have looked at the scatterometer views. Not as good as the old one which gave a full Pacific Ocean view, rather than just narrow strips, almost invisible without a magnifying glass.

    Yes, I have also looked at the Navy FNMOC charts. Their forecast office is nearby in Monterey. I visited once as a guest. All the forecasters were in small booths. As my presence was announced in the room, the forecasters closed curtains over their work, apparently not wishing me to see the location of the naval ships they were forecasting for.

    Now when you attempt to get to the Navy FNMOC weather website online, one is greeted with

    Your connection is not secure
    "The owner of www.fnmoc.navy.mil has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website."

    Does anyone know what that is about?
    Last edited by sleddog; 06-27-2018 at 07:30 PM.

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