Topic: Re-Fit Done!

Hey Everybody,

Just wanted to let you know that I finally finished the re-fit of my boat.
I uploaded photos of it to my website: www.maxedoutvoyages.com if anyone is interested in checking it out.
Just click on the Photo Gallery tab at the top of the homepage.

Best Wishes,

B

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Re: Re-Fit Done!

I saw your pics on your website. The refit looks good. I read your FAQ page and thought I should pass along a few tips I learned on my voyages.
- An indoor head is next to useless at sea but still very useful in harbour. Especially at a crowded dock.
- While you may be intending on anchoring out to save costs, there are many places where that is not an option. Many places do not have sheltered bays, only harbours and there may be no place to anchor in the harbour. Other places like Horta have nice docks and still charge you to anchor out even though anchorage is terrible there. Meeting new people is one of the great things about voyaging (especially solo) and if everyone is docked...
- Do not rely on flying fish as a source of food. I only got them close to the equator and they were generally too small to eat. The larger ones quickly flopped back in the water or made it clear across the boat.
- An extra pump at the sink that is connected to a thru-hull is useful. You can pump seawater to rinse dishes and save fresh water without having to go outside and risk your life or the bucket by trying to dip for water while sailing at full speed.
- Others have told me that gathering rainwater is only practical with long showers with little wind. Most rain heavy enough to try to collect comes with enough wind to make it next to impossible.
- GPS can be a great tool other than just blindly following a line on the screen. It can tell you the current/tidal flow, alarm with you anchor drags, show the direction the boat is travelling not just where it is pointing. Sometimes you want to know exactly where you are. A day old fix would not have helped me when I has trying to enter the Straits of Gibraltar at exactly the right time to avoid 5 knot currents or approaching New York in fog while staying in the exclusion zone between the shipping lanes.
- An AIS receiver is a useful tool to avoid getting run down. Much cheaper than radar.
- Thieves on land or in an anchorage want to get away quickly and do not want to leave empty handed, so have a cheap bottle of booze and a second wallet handy. The wallet has lots of singles, expired credit and AAA cards.
- I found that rather than heaving-to, it was better to set the storm jib, pull it in tight and pinch up until you are just moving. This keeps the boat stable and the nose into the waves.
- Be flexible on your food. Each country has different things available. Many places, especially small out of the way places do not have any process foods (canned soup, sauces) only what we think of as ingredients.
- Paint the boats name on both sides at the bow. Other boaters will identify you mainly by your boat name. (ie The new guy in Maxed out. Drop by Maxed out for drinks at 4) and it is very hard to walk down a dock and find a boat with the name hidden on the stern. If people dingy through the anchorage they only have a 50 - 50 change of finding you. Of course it helps when you tell them you are the smallest boat. They remember that.

Re: Re-Fit Done!

Hi John,

I really appreciate your ideas and suggestions!  Thanks a lot!
When you decide to heave-to, does the Contessa do this with just the mainsail sheeted in tight, no headsail and the rudder over about 15 degrees like Larry Pardey describes in his monohull boat of similar size and keel design (I forgot the name of his first boat)?  Or maybe a better question is..........how do you set up to heave-to in moderate conditions?

Re: Re-Fit Done!

I tried main (3 reefs) in tight, headsail sheeted tight to windward and rudder half over. It worked ok, but the boat headed up to about 40 deg and then fell off to about 60 deg. There was nothing wrong with that, but I found that the boat was more stable with the storm jib sheeted tight and the boat pinched up to the point that the sail did not flog, but the boat just made speed for minimal steerage. There was no chafing due to the jib sheet touching the windward shroud. The boat pointed closer to the waves and more consistently. In this configuration there was also less sail area. I can see the Pardey main sail only working well as long as it does not fall off too much or round up to the point of flogging. Definitely worth experimenting. But do that when the conditions are bad enough to give valid results but before the conditions are too bad. The other thing I carried and used once is a sea anchor parachute from Para-tech. I got caught is a gale in the gulf stream on the way to Bermuda. It was a wind against current situation that produced 30 ft waves. The chute kept the nose directly into the waves for 36 hours.

Re: Re-Fit Done!

Sea anchor off the bow or the stern?????

People swear by their favorite, and damn the other.

Re: Re-Fit Done!

Sea anchor off the front. It's a 9 ft diameter parachute shape, so you drift backward very slowly and the nose is held directly into the waves. This is important in conditions with breaking waves.

Re: Re-Fit Done!

I bought a Para-Tech Sea Anchor that I plan on using if the conditions get bad.  Larry Parday used a 8 and a 9 foot diameter sea anchor on that first boat of his that was similar in size/weight/keel design to the contessa 26.  Para-Tech insisted that I buy the 12' diameter sea anchor.  When I mentioned the 8' and 9' anchors that Larry had been using to good effect on his boat to Para-Tech, they said that I needed the 12' diameter Para-Tech because it was a different design (and flatter) than the old "hemispherical" military surplus ones that Pardey was using.  This made sense so I returned the 9' one and got the 12' one.  It's good to hear that John used the 9' to good effect though..........I suppose, either would be fine.  You would definitely want to deploy this from the bow to protect the Large Cockpit Contessa from being pooped.

Re: Re-Fit Done!

John.......thanks for your input on heave-to........its good to hear about your experiments.

B

Re: Re-Fit Done!

I am not sure if the paratech design has changed. I bought mine in 2002 and bought the one suggested in their chart showing boat displacement vs chute diameter. Make sure you have something to present chafing of the rope where it touches the chocks.

10 (edited by bertinol 2015-02-27 18:01:41)

Re: Re-Fit Done!

... and don't forget the tripline with a small float attached.

It's a long pull otherwise.

Re: Re-Fit Done!

I had a very small float that was useless. To retrieve the chute I had to lead the rope back to a jib winch in the cockpit and winch in 225 feet. But I would have been happy even if I had to cut it loose. When people climb out of a raft into the rescue ship and watch the raft float away, they do not think, "oh no I am losing expensive my raft", they are happily thinking, " that thing worked great and saved my life, I am going to buy another". Same with the chute. Its nice to get it back, but really it can be thought as a one-time-use disposable life saving item.