2020 Update on Paravanes and a Few Other Things

First, I’m still alive, though it was a close call. No, it wasn’t Covid-19, but something far worse, boredom.

I hate being bored and perversely, the less I do, the less I want to do. Thus, my creative energy that it takes to write these blogs or make YouTube videos seems to have gone into hibernation for the winter. Is it back now? Only time will tell, but since I’ve gotten a few emails asking if I was still alive, I thought I better get off my ass and write.

Second, also got an email complaining about the most recent appearance change on the blog I did a few months ago. They said it was harder to read because of the dark background. Honesty, I had noticed the same thing myself, but was hoping that I was the only one who noticed! See just lazy. Like hearing that strange noise in the middle of a passage and just hoping it goes away on its own (fat chance).

Tell me what you think of this new theme (background) and if anyone has any suggestions &/or improvements, I would be glad to hear them, though the easier they are for me to implement, the more likely it will happen.

Third, living on the Dauntless in the winter in Alaska is very different than crossing oceans or cruising to new and strange lands. More on this later, as it will be the topic in an upcoming blog.

Lastly, below is a blog I wrote mostly about the paravanes in 2016. I did write a summary of what I have done and the final paravane system setup. I will post that in the separate post.

My shopping cart with the new birds

While In Astoria, Oregon, last summer, I was finally able to get two new paravane birds.  Over 25,000 miles and 5 years, I had left the USA with 4 paravane birds, two 26″ and two slightly smaller at 24″ (as measured at the base of the triangle of the bird).  Going to 24″ was a mistake. I was so happy with the performance of the 26″ birds, I thought I would try the 24″ to see if they was as effective, but with reduced drag. Yes, just like a perpetual motion machine!

If I have learned anything over the last 6 years, it is that you can not escape the physical laws of the universe. Work (as in the physics definition of work as the product of Force and distance) perfectly explains the effectiveness of the paravane birds and the drag they produce.

Therefore, If I deploy just the windward bird (being the most effective), if it reduces the roll 80% of what both birds would do, then the drag will also be 80% of the total speed reduction had I deployed both birds. In the same way, the 24″ birds did not induce as much drag, but they also did not reduce the roll as much.

So, last summer, I decided to buy the 28″ birds, while in Astoria, at that glorious store, Englung Marine. With stores in the Pac NW, along the coast from Westport WA to Eureka, CA, it’s a must stop for any boater who wants the best bang for their buck.

I didn’t have a call to use them after the first day out of Astoria, but I did use them just the other day when we were returning to Wrangell from a a few days of cruising and fishing. The wind had picked up to mid to high teens from the south, producing a nasty very short period sea of 2 to 3 feet. With such a sea on the beam, this Kadey Krogen will get into quite a quick, deep roll of about 10 degrees to the lee and 5 or 6 to the windward.

Not terrible for what D and I have been through but a different story for the Vietnamese landlubbers. Also, the boat is set up for living aboard in port, not crossing the Atlantic, therefore, I deployed one bird immediately and was impressed how much the one 28″ bird suppressed the rolling.

 

An earlier post:

Less is Not Always Safer, More is Not Always Better

2019: This was written in June 2016, but never published. The recent Trawler Forum post about paravanes made me look for what I had written already and discovered I had never published this. So , here it is.

June 11, 2016 – The Pacific Rim or Less is Not Always Safer

While the Pacific Rim is my destination, I am actually referring to the movie, Pacific Rim Movie. Not the best of movies, I still find it hard to get my mind around why a giant robot would be effective against a giant monster.  Let’s not even address the premise that this giant robot has to be controlled by two people.

Two people, they must not have done 3 legged races in camp as kids.

But I am sitting here in Largs, Scotland listening to the soundtrack, which is dramatic.

It’s good Dauntless music.

But besides the soundtrack, I do love Idris Elba.  And if you have not watched Luther, make sure you watch it from season 1, episode 1.

But then he really made his  name in The Wire as Stringer Bell. A depressing, but extremely insightful series.

 

I’m waiting for my next crewmates to arrive, Dan & Robin.

Brian left yesterday and of course he took the good weather with him.  From his second day, we had nothing but fair winds, sunny skies and beautiful cruising.

That also allowed us to get Dauntless more organized and in ship shape having sat in the wind and rain for 8 months.  There are still a few projects to complete.  My new goal for the Wallas DT40 heater is to have it completely installed before I reach Alaska.  Stay tuned. (Ha, still not installed, but I’m not in Alaska yet!)

I also had the opportunity to redo my geometry to determine the deepest I can run the paravanes birds without the possibility of hitting the prop or rudder.

Just to show that the laws of math and science have not changed all that much in the two years, the magic number is 17 feet, which is the same number I came up with two years ago.

Now, if you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you will know of my tendency to rant and rave about politicians who make decisions not based on any facts or science, but simply because it looks, sounds, tastes good.

Well, I am guilty of doing the exact same thing in this case.  Which further makes my case that the right number is the right number, more or less does not make it any better, just different.

So in my case, I came up with 17 feet.  This was also confirmed because my friend Larry on Hobo, another KK42, runs his at 18 feet because his poles are about 2 feet longer than mine.

So two years ago (2014), having the magic number of 17, I decide to make it 15 just to be on the “safe” side.  Sounds like a no-brainer right?  Then as I am actually rigging them, I decide to take another couple feet off, to make my no-brainer even better.

What could go wrong?  Am I not being 50% safer?  That’s what a politician would try to tell you.

No, I was being an idiot. Made even stupider because I of all people have taught wave mechanics and what happens to the actual water molecules in a wave.

In last fall’s crossing of the North Sea, it all became clear.   While crossing the North Sea from Norway to Scotland in September 2015, on the first day, (of the 4 day trip), the winds were from the NW at 20 knots, gusting to 37, producing seas 12 to 18 feet.

Crossing the North Sea

But the paravanes were not as effective as they should have been. I realized I was running the birds too shallow.  The paravane bird was getting caught in the rotor of the wave.

Waves are created by energy passing through water, causing it to move in a circular motion, producing a rotor. While the wave progresses, the particles of water in the wave itself, move up and down.  If you watch a leaf floating on the water, even though the waves move, absent current, the leaf stays in place.ocean wave

Therefore, instead of pulling the boat down and thus reducing the rolling motion, all of a sudden the bird is actually being pushed up.  Sometimes this would cause the bird to fly out of the water.  Once I stopped and put another 5 feet on line on the bird, all was good and I got to Scotland.

So less is not always better.

And now, I will show you why more is not always better either.  Having Brian on our 2016 maiden voyage turned out to be, was a godsend.

I had a thinking partner who helped me articulate my thoughts and ideas.

The only moment where two people was a detriment and not a plus was in getting back to Dauntless on the dingy.  I got out, Brian got out, the dingy drifted away.

We started the engine, detached ourselves form the mooring and the dingy was reacquired 10 minutes later.

Had either of us been alone, we would have known the dingy was not secured.

Dauntless on a mooring in Scotland

 

Hundreds of Males, Too Few Females.

I was looking forward to this project, as I like working on the electrical things and I just wanted to also tidy up the wires and the things I’d done over the last couple of years.

I needed to put new female spade connectors on the gauges and switches in the forward head. I also needed to replace the little bilge pump and replace the float switch for the big Rule 200 bilge pump in the forward bilge.

Cleaning up my cabin. This fuse and terminal block is for the forward head and bilge. The Raritan black box is for the old ElectroScan that I replaced with a Purisan.. This was the easy part. I had no corrosion here.

So, I get my two trays of electric connectors, with hundreds of pieces and what do I find: hundreds of males and a half dozen  females.  Sociologists warn of impending disaster when the male to female numbers reach 52% to 48% respectively in society. Because those single males unable to find mates wreak havoc on the society.

All those rogue elephants in Africa, male. Nuff said.

Female spade connectors are needed to connect a wire to the switch or instrument. I need about a dozen just for the forward head. The current connections are all corroded considerably. I know why, but don’t think I’ll mention it, other than to say, my not wanting to throw anything away can be dangerous.

Amazon will deliver the females on Tuesday.

So, I could tackle the paravane bird holders. I’ve tried various things in the last 4 years. Some have been a bit more effective than others, but in the last weeks I’ve gotten tired of stepping over them on the side deck. With the paravane pole taken down, there is not way to secure them.

In normal use, even if I think I won’t need the paravane stabilizers, I will deploy the poles only.  This allows me to deploy the birds without having to go the flybridge again. So, I need a method to secure them, with or without the poles in place.

This has been an ongoing issue. Each half-assed system I make, breaks sooner rather than later.

My solution is very simple, net and won’t get in the way, in the narrow deck space. I must say, that I think my time in Vietnam has enabled me to see simpler solutions. The Vietnamese make do with whatever they have, which is fractions of what we Americans are accustomed to.

The New paravane bird holder, suing eye hooks and 1/16″ Amsteel. Another view
The New paravane bird holder, suing eye hooks and 1/16″ Amsteel

It’s a thrifty culture and probably what I need in my reduced earning years.

To that end, I have also really tried to limit my going out for dinner. Thus, my chicken and brussels sprouts for dinner today. Very good.

My plated dinner, chicken and Brussels sprouts.
My dinner cooking, chicken and Brussels sprouts

 

 

Still Plugging Away in Vallejo, But a New Tale of Adventure and Woe on the High Seas

My fresh water replumbing job was 75% done yesterday, today it’s 50% and even that took a couple of hours. Suffice to say that the floor of closet now looks like Charlie Kruger took to it with a chain saw. No pictures, since many who read this are carpenters or at last know how to work wood and the pictures are not fit for a mature audience.

My beloved grill already for another 5 years

But it does bring back some painful memories. My first wife had asked me many, many times to repaint some chairs we had. Finally, I did. I laid the yellow paint on nice and thick, so the old color would not show through. I was pleased, though they took days to dry. Finally, I presented my masterpieces and she asked me about those drip marks. What drip marks? They weren’t there when I put them to dry. I hope she’s not reading this and cringing.

I stuck to things mechanical and electrical after that.

Who looks at the bottom of the closet anyway?

I have finished some small things though. I replaced both burners and the electric igniter  on my Weber Q300 grill. That grill has spent 5 years on the ocean. I’ve been quite pleased with it.

I also installed the new thermostat in my Raritan water heater. I did notice in my travel this week that both the thermostat and heating element are available at your local Home Depot for roughly half the price. It’s expensive to print the word “marinized” on the box.

The tangle around the prop that was removed today

Last, but not least, I had a diver come by to check my bottom. Well, Dauntless’ bottom. And sure enough, I had a little collection of lines around my prop. I’m so happy. Coming up the California coast, I thought I felt a slightest of vibrations. Almost like a shudder every few seconds. It would not have been noticeable to anyone else and Larry didn’t feel it, but I knew. Even wanting to be wrong about it, I knew. I was worried that I had tweaked the prop. Worse yet I thought I had tweaked it by doing something stupid. Yes, even stupider than the last stupid thing.

We were underway from Ensenada to San Diego, eagerly anticipating the celebration with fireworks and fire boats that was sure to wait us in the old U.S. of A. It had been 4 years after all.

This shows the Maretron Data of Pitch (left) and Roll (right). You can see where I deployed the paravane because the roll was reduced by more than half at about the 28 minutes ago mark. You can see that it also reduced the pitch, but that is not to be expected. It happened this time because of the combination of NW swell and West wind waves as were headed NNW.

The wind was light, 10 knots from the west on our port beam. With the added Pacific swell from the northwest, the boat’s rolling had increased as the day wore on. By early afternoon, the roll was 10° to starboard and about 5° to windward or port. But occasionally the roll increased to 15° & 10°. That’s a difference of 25° and usually is the point where I really notice the roll and so I will put one or both paravane birds out. In this case, I just put the windward bird out. That would dampen the roll about 50% and we only lost 0.4 knots. A good price to pay for a nicer ride.

This picture I took as the boat slowed down, so the bird was back under the water.

Suddenly, close to the USA-Mexico border, the ride of the boat abruptly changed. It became very smooth. I jumped up from the pilot house settee to look at the paravane and see that we had snagged hundreds of feet of line connected to pots, I guessed. I estimated hundreds of feet, since I could see at least 100 feet strung in the air, then to the bird which was well out of the water.

I chopped the power, the boat slowing quickly. But now, the line of the pots was snagged on the bird, but stopped dead in the water, with the pole vertical, we had all the dead weight of whatever that line was attached to.

I got the not so bright idea to go in reverse. Possibly, the line would un-snag itself at that point. It’s worked in the past, but no luck this time.

Larry and I heaved and heaved and got the line up to the bird, at which point, we cut the snagged line away. This line also had several floats on it. Once cut away, the floats and line and floating right next to the hull amidships.

Until now we had done almost everything right. I just needed to be a little patient.  But patience is not a virtue I have been gifted with. I decided to go forward to get away from the floats. Yes, by running over them. Sounds stupid even in the writing. Sure enough, within seconds the line was in the prop. I stopped the motor and cursed at my stupidity.

That done, I put her in reverse, as I have unwound lines that way also. In this case, no and hell no. There came a hellish scream, which I attributed to a float being wound around the prop scrapping the hull.

Wow, as I write this, details came back that I totally forgot about!

I went in the water. I lowered the swim ladder, climbed down the ladder to the lowest rung and stood there, while Larry handed me the boat hook. I was able to snag the line using the boat hook, since it was about 10 feet under the water.

We got that line up to the boat and cut it.

I then backed up again and we were free.

But from then on, I felt this slight shudder. Had I tweaked the prop? I didn’t know until today.

I do have a SALCA cutter anode (model 2000, 2″ diameter) on the shaft, just in front of the prop. I’m sure it has saved me many times and even this time, may have helped. But that pile of lines now on the dock, was wrapped around the prop since San Diego.

In thinking about this incident, I also realize that the paravanes were well designed for incidents like this. I’m sure that is the most force put on that pole and lines since installation. The 3/8” Amsteel Blue line fore guy did its job. To stop the roll suddenly and slow the boat so abruptly, there must have been thousands of pounds of force to the aft on that line. It’s tied off permanently at the bow hawsepipe and cleat. I have it doing 4 turns over the cap rail, with a clove hitch before it’s tied off on a cleat. Thus, the cleat never really sees significant force, even under these circumstances.

Thank you, John Duffy in Miami, for doing such a great job with the paravanes.

I think I’ll have a celebratory drink, since I missed the fireworks and fireboats in San Diego.\

And I’m looking for a decently priced Hookah outfit. I need to be even more self reliant.

 

 

The Shot Across the Bow

Splashed a hundred feet off our bow. Thick black smoke poured from the funnel of the WWII vintage ship as she pushed thru the seas at her full speed of 18 knots.

Which was still double the speed this Kadey Krogen could do. In fact, the only time we would ever see even 15 knots, would be if we went over a waterfall.

Keeping a watchful eye on us

My little imagination had to settle down; returning to reality, I knew why we were being stopped. An hour before, a panga had crossed our bow about one half mile ahead. Seeing our paravane stabilizers deployed, I’m sure he reported that we were fishing or trawling. We do look like a trawler after all.

Therefore, I was not surprised an hour later when the grey shape of a warship appeared on the horizon.

Watching the radar track, they were aiming for us, so I was ready for their call. They hailed us as “the fishing vessel”. We changed to a working channel on the VHF and they requested that we stop for an inspection. 

ARM Farias

From this start to finish, the Mexican Navy was the epitome of professionalism and courtesy. It’s simply the nature of Mexicans as I’ve experienced in all my encounters these last months. No matter where or when, even in New York.

The ship was the ARM Farias, P110, a minesweeper built in Alameda, California in 1942 as the USS Starling (AM-64) and sold to Mexico in 1973.

Asked to heave to, making no way, our ride became very rolly, as the paravanes need to be moving to stabilize the boat. So, I asked to make some way and that request was granted. Larry and I then watched for the next half hour as the Farias deployed their skiff (an 18-foot panga), which then motored over to us.

Stopped just south of Ballenas Bay

We had retrieved our lee side paravane pole and bird, so the panga could offload on that side. The boarding party consisted of about 6 and the lieutenant in command spoke good English. He proceeded to tell us the same boiler plate language that had been said when we were initially stopped, essentially that since we were in Mexican territorial waters, they requested that we agree to an inspection (yes, it was a request that could not be denied, but it’s still nice to be asked, even when we all know what the response must be, “Yes, of course”.

Obvious as soon as they were aboard that we were not fishing, the lieutenant then proceeded to go through an inspection checklist. This did take more than 40 minutes, as they recorded serial numbers of many of the electronic devices on board, even cell phones and radios. I got the impression that this recording of such information was to demonstrate that the inspection had been carried out.

He also did look in our living areas, in the drawers under the bed and in various storage compartments. Almost everything is stored in large plastic containers and tubs. He asked me to open one that was stored in the passageway, under the washing machine. It contained my winter coats. That was the only and only container I had to open, which I was grateful for since we’d probably still be there if I had to open the 20 odd containers of spare parts in the engine room.

I asked if their ship was a minesweeper and they confirmed my guess, adding that is was built in 1942.

I told them they should ask Trump for a new ship. They thought this was very funny. I was serious. If we can spend billions for a wall, the least we could do is give the countries the tools they need to stop any illegal activities. That we don’t, just shows what a farce this whole secure the borders act is.

At the end of the inspection, they did ask, phrased as, “our commander asks if you have a new Mexican flag? As the one you have is too frayed”

In this picture you can see that half the red portion of the flag is gone

This also didn’t surprise me, as having decent national or courtesy flags can be an issue worldwide. And in fact, I did nave a new flag (remember, on a boat, if you need one, you need two) and they were pleased when I replaced it.

So, ended our stop by the Mexican Navy. Very nice, polite and friendly, I thanked them for keeping us all safe.

Vaya con Dios

The new flag

 

 

 

 

 

Morocco to the Canaries

Four days on the North Atlantic, 600 nm, four days, 1 hour, 35 minutes, what could go wrong?

Dauntless is ready to Leave Morocco
Dauntless is ready to Leave Morocco

For one, we found the weak link on this Krogen, it’s me.

In my first year of cruising, I would get sea sick maybe a ¼ of the time. Now in my third year, it’s more like ¾.

What’s changed? Who knows?  I’m older, but usually one’s body becomes more adapted. No, I think the problem is in my brain.

When conditions are rough, I know to take a remedy or put on the Scopolamine patch. Now the patch gives me a bad rash, something it did not do a couple years ago, but it’s also very effective as long as I put it on the night

Sunset over the Atlantic
Sunset over the Atlantic

before departure.

With nice cruising conditions, or I should say, relatively nice, winds and seas less than 15 knots and 3 feet (1m), respectively. In the past I never had to worry, now, if the slightest unexpected event happens, I get seasick.

wp-1480823606020.jpg
Grand Canaria comes into sight

This last episode was one of the worst I’ve ever had.  But I’m not 100% sure it’s “seasickness”.  It’s more like my body gets a whole load of adrenaline and then when crisis is over, my body doesn’t know what to do.

Monday, the 28th, Day 1 of 4.  It was great to get underway again.  Having an extra week in Morocco was not needed. The Moroccans are lovely people though and even that morning the Pilot asked me if I wanted to go out with them that morning to check the inlet. I’m always up for an adventure, so of course I went.  The winds had finally died down, so I was a bit surpised to see 6 to 8 foot waves at the inlet.  But they were not higher, so they declared the port open.wp-1480823606027.jpg

Grand Canaries
Grand Canaries

That started the whole customs, police and immigration process.  Basically, just like checking in, you leave your berth, go to the designated dock and all the above come visit.  It took us about an hour to check in 3 weeks earlier, and it took about an hour to check out.  If that seems like a lot, you should know that in southern Spain and all of Portugal, it always seemed to take half an hour. (the difference between northern Europe, including northern Spain and southern Europe is like night and day; it’s mind boggling).

So, Day 1 started out with our checking out.  The customs or immigration lady, who checked us in with her team of three others, checked us hot.  Must say, she was the hottest officer I have ever seen.  But she was all business, all the time.  If you have ever been to the Soviet Union, you can picture what I mean.

The process, though time consuming, was easy and extremely convenient. As we pulled away from the dock, we waved at everyone and headed to the inlet.

Those steep inlet waves test that everything on the boat is stored securely and all was so we headed southwest along the coast of Morocco. While the winds from the south were light, there was an Atlantic swell of 8 to 10 feet, with an 8 to 10 second period. Not bad, but it necessitated us having the paravanes out with the two birds in the

Las Palmas
Las Palmas

water.

Day 1 ended after 24 hours and we did 133 nm.

Day 2 (starting Tuesday at 14:35, the second 24-hour period) started the same, light SE winds, but became stronger through the entire period. Finally, at the 47-hour point, mid-afternoon on Wednesday, the winds had increased to 25 knots.  With our southwesterly course, this meant they were off our bow.  This makes the course untenable as we end up burning fuel to go slower and slower, all the while pitching up and down like one of those mechanical bulls!

Our initial destination had been the Canary Island, Fuerteventura, but with these strong SE winds, we needed to head more west, like 240 degrees. Thus, our new destination became Las Palmas, on the island of Gran Canarias.

So, Day 2, 150nm, (the second 24-hour period) ended with us headed 240 degrees, with winds 160 at 21 knots gusts to 25, producing seas from the south of 4 to 8 feet.

The paravanes work most effectively with seas on the beam, so our ride was actually not so bad with a gentle rolling of 8 degrees to the lee side and 4 degrees to the windward side.

Two hours into Day 3 (Thursday, 16:50), I was in the galley, when I felt the boat motion change. I looked out the salon window to see the windward paravanes bird being dragged on top of the water, clearly broken.

At first I was really calm about it.  I finished filling my water bottle. Then went to stop the boat, retrieve the pole and bird.  Dauntless is quite tame when not underway, in other words, she rolls much more underway w=then when dead in the water.  So, there was no big crisis.

The two spare birds are stored in the lazerette.  The one that broke had been repaired in Ireland, as it had previously broken crossing the North Sea. So, I wasn’t too worried as to the cause.  But as we tried to get the bird out of the lazerette, the fin of the bird became lodged under the generator exhaust hose. And the more stuck it became; the more stressed I became.  I didn’t like the idea of leaving it as it, so close to the hydraulic rudder piston, but after 5 minutes of trying dislodge it, I gave up, took the bins out of the other side and got the other bird that was stored on the other side of the lazerette.

It took just another minute to replace the broken one and we were underway again, finally 20 minutes later, having spent more than half that time, trying to get the one bird out.

Underway again, all was good, but I was feeling very strange. I had to change my clothes, since I spray everything in the lazerette with various WD-40 products. After changing my clothes, I figured a shower would help.  I felt very hot. I shower quickly, figuring that cooling off would make me feel better, but now, I can’t dry myself. It was a bizarre feeling. I didn’t seem able to stand or move.

I tell Micah that I will join him momentarily, figuring if I just relax for a few minutes all will be fine. As I am now sitting on my bed, still sort of wet.  I finish drying myself, realize I need to rest, but want to walk around the boat, make sure all is OK.  As I go to put on my shirt, I became violently ill. First time that’s happened in years, even though, I get sea sick a lot and have that miserable nauseous feeling, I don’t throw up. This time I did.

I realized I can do nothing physical. I tell Micah to make sure everything looks OK and I needed to nap.

I do and three hours later, I am up and OK.

Winds were weakening, but the westerly swell was still there, so we kept the birds in the water. Finally, when I came on watch at 04:00, I decided to pull the birds to make some time (the birds cost about 1 knot of speed).

Day 3 ends, 147 nm, with the winds SE at 10 knots and we’ve been making 6 to 7 knots the whole time.

Day 4 starts with me adding a quart of oil to the engine while underway.  It had been 72 hours and the Ford Lehman uses about a quart every 50 to 60 hours. Winds of 10 knots or less allowed us to run without the paravanes for most of the period, but by early morning, the roll had increased to an annoying level. Our course had been 232 for the last 20 hours and the winds were now 210 at 10 kts, and the seas 210 with 3 to 6 foot waves.  This meant we were now heading into them, but with 40 miles still to go, there was not much we could do.  The waves were also causing an annoying corkscrew motion, a combination of pitch and roll, so I decided to put one bird, the windward bird, in the water.

This past year, since leaving Ireland, I have on a number of occasions, put only the windward paravanes bird in the water.  It still is 80% as effective as both birds, but it reduced our speed a little less, 0.7 knots, versus 1 to 1.2 for both.

And that’s how our passage from Rabat to the Canaries ended.  We pulled up just a mile from the harbor, pulled the bird and we entered the Puerto Deportivo De Las Palmas on Friday at 15:26.

Day 4, 167 nm, 25 hours, 35 minutes, average speed 6.5 knots.

Total for trip: 598 nm, 4 days, 1 hours, 35 minute, average speed 6.2 knots

A couple of videos:

Cruising down the Moroccan Coast

End of Day 1

 

See where we are at: http://share.delorme.com/dauntless

A Two Hour Cruise Took Five

The Sill at Port St. Peter, Guernsey
The Sill at Port St. Peter, Guernsey, from the Inside

And it was a wild ride!

On the Outside Looking In. We wait for the water to rise above the sill.
On the Outside Looking In. We wait for the water to rise above the sill.

Day 08 St. Helier, Jersey to Port St. Peter, Guernsey

Originally, I had planned the route in a most course fashion, just looking at the distance between the islands of Jersey and Guernsey and seeing the number “10” in my mind.  10 nm no problem; two hours.

So we set out, bright and relatively early.  Only minutes into the cruise, the first bugaboo rears its ugly head. Anyone see the issue yet?  Maybe you just read the previous blog?  Here let me remind you, my own words from the previous blog:

Just before landfall, the winds turned westerly and north westerly at 25 knots.  That combined with the much longer fetch, we immediately saw waves a few feet higher. All of sudden we were getting 6 foot waves on the port stern quarter.  That angle of incidence does make the roll more than usual, and we had one roll of 15°.  But not much more than a curiosity, as the port was in sight.

The Maretron Data for the First Hour of our Trip.
The Maretron Data for the First Hour of our Trip.

Ah yes, now, as we left port, the winds and seas were unchanged.  But we were now going the opposite direction.  For the first hour, the current was with us, but the winds were against, so we those nasty, steep, short period waves.  The surfing safari we had the day before, now became the ride on the wild mouse.  I cannot begin to tell you the number of times I actually left my feet. As I stood behind the wheel, trying to get the right combination of speed and course to reduce the pitching.  A wave actually hit the anchor, we were going 1000 rpms, but I reduced it to idle after that.  The Maretron data (ignore the speed thru water, as I have not been able to calibrate it) shows in that first hour the boat pitching.  It’s hard to see in these pictures, but it clearly shows a series of three waves where the rhythm was such that the normal pitch up, had been 2° suddenly increases to 5° and then culminates in a 8° pitch up.  Let me tell you, at 8 degrees, I’m thinking not of boat, but of an airplane, and that we should rotate now, and gear up.

I slow down even more, just above idle. After an hour, we go to the western most point of Jersey and could change course to NNW.  Now the seas were 6 to 10 feet, but they were on the beam and the paravanes take care of business pretty well.  As you watch the video, it may seem like a lot of rolling, 4 to 6 ° in each direction, an occasional 8° roll, BUT compared to pre-paravane days, that’s nothing, as in in the past, I simply would not have been able to take this course or I’d have had to alter course by 60°.

The extent of the pitch was new however.  I had only had pitching like that once before, in Long Island Sound.  In those days, seemingly eons ago (OK only 18 months), I had tried to temper the ride by reducing speed, but I never quite reduced it enough.   On that occasion I had the rpm’s down to 1400, the waves were 8 to 12 feet and Dauntless would go down the face of one wave, and as we pitched upward the top of the next wave would get sheared off in the wind and go flying over the fly bridge, not even hitting the pilot house!

Earlier that morning, I had come through the Cape Cod Canal, having spent the night anchored off of Plymouth, Mass.  I must have been about a half hour behind the only other boat I saw on the water that day, another Krogen.  But as we turned west into Rhode Island Sound (an extension of Long Island Sound) I lost track of him. I finally pulled into the bay to go up the Narragansett River and “Coral Bay” was already anchored there.  I recognized the boat, because we had also been in the same anchorage in Maine and Steve had come by to talk.  We talked again after this ordeal, but neither one of us had the strength to get the dingy down to visit. Poor Dauntless, another day in where she was ridden hard and put away wet.

So all these memories are flooding back as we slog off the coast of Jersey.  Therefore I knew now to reduce the rpms to idle if necessary.  An hour and half after we had left the dock, we finally turn NNW for Guernsey, I realized that from here it was 10 miles, but not even to the Port of St. Peter our destination, but to some point south of the island.

Thus, my anticipated two hours trip became 5 hours.

The French sailboat Anfre, with Christian and Matin, stopped by Dauntless.  They had left after us and had taken four hours.  We had a great visit though and they have helped me plan the next two days to Honfleur to better plan on the currents.  Also using Coastal Explorer, I have finally figured out how to better use the current tables.

Tomorrow, we have an 8 knot current to deal with off the Cape of La Hague, check out the current gauge, Argoss-WE 500-1355.  Clearly, our departure time is predicated on that, but remember the sill.  Our harbor must also be open to get out.

I’m playing with the big boys now; I better get to sleep early!

 

 FYI The Delorme InReach turned itself off yesrterday.  The AIS information is up to date if I am in a port. Also, having trouble uploading pictures for this post.

Dauntless Summer Cruise 2015 Days 04 to 07, Trebeurden, Lezardrieux & Jersey

Trebeurden, a nice town, but we had to hike a mile uphill to see it.  Very touristy.  Not really my cup of tea, but especially for Larry and Karla, it’s nice to have a rest on terra firma.

What we Saw Coming in to Trebeurdan
What we Saw Coming in to Trebeurdan

After 10 months, I finally got the water maker up and running.  I had needed to replace the aux pump and wanted to rewire it a bit, to use a relay closer to the power source.  This also enables me to have a switch on the helm to turn it on and off.

I had done the electrical weeks ago, but the pump fitting were giving me fits.  Between national pipe thread (NPT), garden hose thread, plastic fitting, brass fittings, American fitting and European fittings, I was at my wit’s end.

I didn’t like the first solutions I had come up with which had made it look like something Rube Goldberg would have designed.  Finally in Trebeurden I found a coupler fitting and that led to an elegant solution.

The new auxiliary pump, centrifugal, is very quiet and made to run continuously. That’s thanks to Parks at Hopkins-Carter Marine in Miami.

Having to find a new dock in Miami last winter, while stressful at the time, ended up being the best thing ever. My helper, the other Richard, got to see some of the Miami boating environs and I ended up meeting some really helpful and nice people: Parks and my Nordy friends, Ed & Rosa.  A wonderful result on all accounts.

So Saturday morning, we got up and were underway to Jersey.  We didn’t make it.

An Old Lighthouse Light
An Old Lighthouse Light

For the first 4 hours, our average speed was 4 knots.  At that rate, we would get to Jersey the day after tomorrow. Not really but it felt like that.  So I decided to find an interim stop.  I did, Lezardrieux, promptly nicknamed, Lizardville.  As soon as we turned upriver to the town, about 5 miles, our speed shot up to 9 knots.  We arrived just in time to miss the lunch hours, meaning a wait until 19:00, 7:00 p.m., to eat.  I don’t like eating late anymore, convinced that part of my weight loss has been due to not having evening meals for the most part.

The forecast was for a storm to be moving through on Sunday, but you know me and forecasts.  I wanted to get to Jersey because the window of opportunity was getting ever smaller.  Therefore, we are underway now to Jersey, in moderate winds, 16 knots gusting to 25, but the seas are relatively flat, at 2-4 foot.  Yes, I have come to accept that 2-4’ is relatively flat.  Our roll has increased to 8°.

We now have a counter current, so although I am making the supreme sacrifice by running at 1800 rpms, where fuel burn is 2.0 gal/hr, our speed is still only 5.8 knots.  If my Navionics currents are correct, we should have a helpful current going our direction in the next two hours.

Our intended destination, St. Helier on the Island of Jersey, is a port that has a sill to come over.  The sill, like a cofferdam, keeps the water in the basin, otherwise the harbor would be dry at low tide but now, this means the harbor entrance is only open 3 hours on each side of high tide.  So, it’s also closed for 6 hours.  I’m running faster to try to get there before it closes.

I’ll let you know how it turns out.  But you can probably figure it out as it happens just by watching our route at the Share.delorme.com/dauntless website.

The Sill to the Marina Harbor
The Sill to the Marina Harbor, St. Helier, Jersey

Ummm, turns out I had rebooted the InReach and then did not realize it was not transmitting, so no joy that way.  However, I did get an email from MarineTraffic telling me Dauntless had arrived in Jersey!

The wind stayed out of the southwest until the final hour into Port St. Helier.  This meant the fetch was small and the waves stayed in the 2 and 3 foot range, with only an occasional 5 footer, in spite of the 15 gusts to 25 knot winds.  Just before landfall, the winds turned westerly and north westerly at 25 knots.  That combined with the much longer fetch, was immediately saw waves a few feet higher. All of sudden we were getting 6 foot waves on the port stern quarter.  That angle of incidence does make the roll more than usual, and we had one roll of 15°.  But not much more than a curiosity, as the port was in sight.

As we pulled into the harbor, I saw the three RED lights signifying the marina basin was closed.  Not only was it closed, but the water inside the marina was three feet higher than the water Dauntless was in.  We have tied up at the “waiting” dock.

So my tide calculation was only off by about 6 hours!  Se La Vie.

All’s Well that Ends Well

If you cannot find me via the Delorme, you can also try Marine Traffic, but a caveat.  If you google MarineTraffic Dauntless, please be aware that we are not:  The Greek bulk carrier, nor the Tugs in the UK and Singapore and not even the British war ship.

So if you are like I and are easily confused, just google “Marine traffic 367571090”, which is my MMSI number.

We went into town and had a great, early dinner.  I’m beat. So nighty, night.

Dauntless Summer Cruise 2015 Day 03 Scilly to France

We got up early to take advantage of the calm winds and little boat traffic.  Dauntless rolled a bit last night on the mooring ball, so I put the paravanes out.  They decreased the roll a bit, certainly dampened it, like shock absorbers on a car, but these particular fish (or birds) are made to be moving through the water for maximum effectiveness.

Cirrus South of Scilly
Cirrus South of Scilly

As we got south of the Scillies, I realized that while it was 90 nm to Plymouth, France was but 120 nm.   With fair skies and still under the influence of the Azores high, it made sense to me to press on across the channel to the continent.  I discussed our options with Karla and Larry and they concurred.  A direct route to France also meant we could avoid the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) off the English Channel and the area north of Brest.

So instead of turning due east for Plymouth, we set off ESE towards the north coast of France.  The port of Trebeurden is our goal, with anticipated steaming time of 22 hours.

After a few hours of beautiful weather and looking at our expected arrival time, I decided to lower the engine rpms to 1500.  Not only will that save us about a half-gallon of fuel per hour, but our ETA would have been 04:00 at the faster speed, and is now, about 05:30.  A better arrival time, as it will be light.

It’s 18:00 now and as the day progressed diurnal heating produced some stratocumulus clouds and winds from the WNW at 15 gusting to 23.  So the almost flat seas we had in the morning, gave way to wind driven waves of 3 to 5 feet hitting Dauntless on her stern starboard quarter.  We have gradually increased our rolling from plus or minus 1 to 2 degrees to +/- 4 to 6°

Still, that’s half of what it was  for the last few hours of our cruise into St. Mary’s Harbor in Scilly.

For dinner, I made a tasty dinner of hamburger and crudité.   The hamburger ground by my butcher in Waterford.  It’s hard to imagine that I spent 8 months on and off in Waterford and now won’t be back for four months.  But I did meet an Irish sailboat in St. Mary’s.  We had gotten into a discussion about the “legs” on their boat which was beached on hard sand, held vertical on its keel by said legs.  That gave me some ideas of how I could make that work on Dauntless.  Probably just 4”x4”s with a notch for the rub rail, then bolted through the hawse pipe.  A project for next winter.  They were taking her to the west coast of Ireland and will winter over in Dingle, so I promised to come visit next winter.

Unlike yesterday, time today has seemed to fly by.  And yes, I kept the patch on.

For the past two hours I have been watching the parade of ships heading for the TSS north of Brest.  I have also managed to figure out the Raymarine radar a little better and finally noticed after two years that the gain also had an adjustment for wave state.  I could keep the gain much higher, if I also adjusted the wave state.  A win win.  And to think, some say I’m a slow learner! (win-win turned out to be tie-tie, as I adjusted it not to see waves, turns out it also didn’t see fishing boats).

The Dauntless Helm with Radar, Chart & AIS Information
The Dauntless Helm with Radar, Chart & AIS Information

A beautifully flat day, azure sky and sea, with just some mare tails cirrus. As the afternoon and evening progressed, the winds started picking up slowly, but surely.  By evening, increased westerly winds had produced 3 to 5’ waves and the roll was 6° to each side.  As one of the lessons learned from the Atlantic Crossing, I now run off the tank on the windward side of the boat.  The lee side seems to remain heeled for slightly longer times, so I don’t want the engine sucking water through the vents.  Yes, I had not gotten around to moving the vents yet.  I did think about it a lot though!

Under these conditions, it’s not an issue, and possibly only an issue under heavy seas with only paravane in the water.

I had also adjusted the ComNav Autopilot to be less sensitive, so that it made fewer corrections constantly.  I will have to call them someday and discuss if my interpretation by reading between the lines of their user manual is correct.  Basically, under open ocean conditions, meaning no need to keep a rigid heading constantly, I set the sea state to very high (rough seas), so that it doesn’t try to adjust heading every second.  Under these conditions, I will hear it operate every few (3 to 6) seconds.

Our Planned Apprach to Trebeurden
Our Planned Apprach to Trebeurden

On the other hand, under truly rough, 12+ seas, I set it to totally flat conditions, so that as soon as it senses the stern coming around it acts.  Then the adjustments are almost constant, but it does a great job of steering the boat through the worst conditions.  I have tried to hand steer under such conditions and frankly the ComNav does a better job.  In the 20+ foot seas on the last day into Ireland, as I cowered on the bench in the pilot house, the ComNav reacted so well, I never saw any green water over the rails.  Maybe I should ask them about a sponsorship!

During the early evening hours we had a little excitement as we were crossing the main eastbound traffic lanes.  While not in a TSS, the ships having come around Brest in the TSS 30 miles to our west, will reenter the TSS about 30 miles to our east.  Therefore they pretty much stay in the same track.  Makes it easier for us, as one can figure out where the main traffic lane is and the direction ships will be heading.

We only encountered a few west bound ships, but an hour north of the east bound lanes, our AIS and Coastal Explorer showed the parade of ships heading east.  They were cruising at 14 to 18 knots, while we were doing 6.5 knots.  That gave me plenty of time to plan our crossing.  There was only one ship that was a factor.  It was a big Chinese ship that the AIS said it was doing dredging operations (something must have gotten lost in translation), but to me looked to be one of those floating dry docks. Massive bridge at the bow and a massive stern and almost nothing in between.

What it really Looked like
What it really Looked like

I adjusted our course to be perpendicular to his course and I could see that he adjusted his course a few degrees to starboard also.  The picture is what CE depicted. The closest anyone got was about a mile, though later on we passed a fishing boat about a quarter mile away, but I had been watching him for more than an hour so…

By midnight winds were westerly at 15 gusting to 22, seas 4 to 6 feet and roll 7°. This kept up until we reached the harbor.

Dawn was breaking as we approached.  We had to stop to get the paravanes in, while it only took a few minutes, it was disconcerting to be stopped just hundreds of feet from the large rocky outcrop.  So I was much relieved to get underway again even though Dauntless hardly drifted at all.

Previously, I had carefully plotted a course into the basin based on our pilot charts, and my C-Map and Navionics charts.

The Basin Entrance with Underwater Sill
The Basin Entrance with Underwater Sill

But the reality ended up being a bit different. Our planned path was full of moored boats. So on to Plan B, I kept our speed just above idle, about  4 knots, to minimize the damage if we hit anything.  I picked up the three green lights our pilot charts told us meant the gate was open.  But our pilot chart had also told us the gate was always open during neap tides and as I remembered seeing the waxing (light on the right) quarter moon last night, I knew it was a neap tide.

The Gate We Passed Through. D is just past the gate on the left.
The Gate We Passed Through. D is just past the gate on the left.

Creeping slowly forward, the sign board seemed to indicate 2.5 meters, but always leery that I am missing the obvious, I was still worried about the mysterious sill.  We passed over the sill into the marina basin and didn’t scrape anything, but it was an anxious moment.

A big assed catamaran was on the one available “T”.  I went past him to see if we had any options, we didn’t.  I turned around and headed for a slip just inside the gate.  The slip is short, only 20 feet, so our rear half is hanging out.

The wind was behind us, so that was a bit of a mistake, it made the docking more stressful then it needed to be, but finally, 23 hours after engine start at St. Mary’s, we were finished with engine and had landed on the “continent” for the first time by boat.

Dauntless at Dock
Dauntless at Dock
The Trebeurden Harbor from Above
The Trebeurden Harbor from Above. Dauntless is docked in the basin to the left, out of the Frame.

All’s Well that Ends Well

Closeup of Our Crossing
Closeup of Our Crossing. Those are 30 minute Heading Vectors.

 

Maretron Data for the Previous 24 hours.  The Telltale says the Highest wind was  24 Knots, but I reset that frequently.
Maretron Data for the Previous 24 hours. The Telltale says the Highest wind was 24 Knots, but I reset that frequently.

 

 

 

Rigs, Riggers and Fabricators

Background, How I found John the Rigger and Red the Fabricator

John the Rigger
John the Rigger

In December, I had come down to see my friend Paul, who lives in Coconut Grove.  He introduced me to John Duffy, the Rigger.

John and I talked about what I wanted and I gave him the 120 pictures I had taken of Larry and Lena’s Krogen 42, Hobo. I also gave them the files Kadey Krogen had given me of the blueprints done long ago.  A few weeks later, he called to say he had sat with Red, the fabricator, and he gave me a quote of a little less than $10k.  I was ecstatic since the numbers I had been hearing for installation of paravanes (flopper stoppers) was in the high teens to mid $20s.

They did say they wanted a rig that was lighter, elegant and took advantage of the materials now available.  Admittedly, this did make me a bit nervous, as I was happy to replicate Hobo’s rig.

We decided I’d come back to Miami the beginning of February to start work on this project.

Planning

By mid-February, planning was underway.  John and Red had visited the boat a few times and took some preliminary measurements. In late February, they came and told me they had a design that would not utilize an “A” frame as Hobo had, but instead a number of guys and stays, the Fore guys, the “up-down” guys and the line attaching the fish (aka bird) all using 8 mm Amsteel blue. The aft guy would use 3/8” Stayset and John would add two stays to the mast, as well as a compression fitting with two large pulleys (they have another name) for the up-down lines.  This would also allow the up-down line to transfer stress from one pole to the other and at the same time both the mast and pole would be under compression.

Underway with poles out
Underway with poles out

I was a bit more nervous, as it got further and further away from the design I thought needed to be done.  But at this point I also felt either I trusted  that John the Rigger and Red the Fabricator knew what they were doing, or I didn’t, and in either case, my course was clear.

My friend Richard was with me and he helped, in that I had someone to talk to who understood my angst, thus allowing me to talk it through.  In short order, I told John, “Go for it,” and decided I was all in.

Now, it’s end of February.  Having decided I was all in, I wanted to get this show on the road.

For the next three weeks, John would come by periodically, take some more measurements or install some fitting and disappear again for days.  He told me Red was working on the fabrication and both Red and John promised I would be able to leave Miami by April 3rd. (two weeks away, at this point).

Installation

It’s two weeks before my drop dead date (well, someone is going to die).  So far, John has installed just two chain plates for the two mast stays.  I’m nervous, very nervous.

Ten days before some more action. John assures me that Red has completed all the fabrication and now the installation is just a piece of cake. I’m crossing my fingers, but still nervous.  John claws up the mast to install the compression post and pulleys.  I start to see he knows what he’s doing.

My drop dead date is the following Friday, a week away. John comes out, brings a few things, and says he’ll start installation Monday.

Monday dawns sunny and bright (I’m in Miami after all).  I awake eager with anticipation, like a first teenage date.  John comes by, ready to install– no, he is going to meet Red at the solar panel warehouse.  I ask to go along, if for no other reason than he will have to return.  The warehouse is not far from the boat, and the price on solar panels is so good, I decide to buy 4.  This is something I’ve been thinking about and it has never a question of doing, only when to do it.  At $110 for a 110 watt mono crystalline panel (47”x26”), this is too good a price to pass up.

We get back to the boat, unload the panels and John tells me he’ll be back tomorrow.  I’m past the point of worrying.

Fish in the water
Fish in the water

Well, just as advertised, all the installation was finished by Thursday, giving us Friday to adjust some lines.  I was very pleased and upon reflection I realized that the long drawn out process really worked to my benefit, as I was able to understand and absorb what was going on piece by piece.

So something that just a month earlier I had looked at as like magic, now, I knew what every part did and how to adjust or replace as needed in the future.

The installation went so quickly because I was only 80’ from the entrance to Hopkins Carter marine Supply. http://www.hopkins-carter.com/

I literally ran in there to get stuff probably 50 times a day Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  I will write more about them, but needless to say, being there made this process so much easier.

The Stabilizer Rig

In the end, Dauntless ended up with a rig that clearly was designed by Red and John with a sail boat attitude in that pieces not only had to be strong, but also light.  They made it clear they did not want to clutter the boat with heavy hardware and brought a sailor’s perspective to it.  Red had also worked on real trawlers and he also clearly understood the stresses the boat is under when rolling and having to stop that roll.

Also, when I told John of my adventures, having one bird in the water, not two, he confirmed the rudder deflection (5°) confirmed the amount of stress the bird puts on the boat.  He also told me that’s why he added the two additional forward stays to the mast.  How he could know that I would test it asymmetrically on the second day, I can only guess.

Also, when the bird is in the water, the angle between the line the bird makes to the pole is about 45°, which means that the stressed are divided equally between the fore guy and the up-down line to the mast and the other pole through the compression post.

We decided not to put a permanent chain plate on the bow, as I wanted to be able to adjust the lines, so we used the bow and stern hawsers for the guys.  I did have to readjust the port side guys by about 6 inches.

The largest waves we have seen so far were 4 feet.

Tomorrow, 16 April will be the real test

The installation of the solar panels is almost complete.  The rest of the work I have had done in Stuart, the new Fridge/freezer, the almost new Splendid washer/dryer, and the Katadyn 160E water maker are all ready to go.  Also, many small projects, like the wooden frame that covers the generator Racor (which had already been hit twice by the 30 lb. hatch cover).  We also got permanent wiring and control for my winch and new lines for the boom pulley, as well as the wiring for the 240v to 120v transformer.

I sold the Sea King satellite system, which won’t work in Europe, and my too-large dingy, which didn’t work for me.

The cold front that is affecting the entire east coast from Nova Scotia to the Bahamas will also be affecting our planned trip tomorrow.  With good weather, I had hoped to take a NE course from Stuart FL direct to Beaufort NC.  That won’t happen now.  Stay tuned, but it will probably be a slow crawl up the coast.

You can follow Dauntless on Marinetraffic.com and search for Dauntless mmsi # 367571090.

 

 

An Experimenter

Ever wonder why I get into so much trouble or have so many shenanigans?

By heart, I’m a scientist.  At a relatively young age, I decided to be a meteorologist.  Even at the University of Washington, when I had the opportunity to meet a lot of kids like me studying to be engineers of some type, I still eschewed engineering, believing meteorology was more “scientific”.

What a dope.

Only some years later, working on a forecast through the night, I realized that in practice, a synoptic meteorologist, is a weather engineer.  As we take the science of the atmosphere and put it to a practical use.

Oh, for the hubris of youth.  Sometimes I do miss the certainty that comes with inexperience and knowing everything.  In a world for me that was once black and white, there are now only shades of gray. Even that, though a better place, and heaven knows the world could use for less absolute people, does have some drawbacks, which I may expound upon at another time.

So on this sunny Sunday morning, 6 April 2014, leaving the environs of Port Palm Beach, fate had me do an experiment, that admittedly, I had decided beforehand not to do, (much like going out on deck, at night alone. I vowed never to do that and my first night at sea, single handing, that got thrown out the window.  Remember, no absolutes!)

Anyway, back to the story.  As I hauled up my new Delta 55# anchor, which worked like a dream, made even better because Hopkins Carter has the most competitive prices, and even less expensive than even Jamestown, with no stink’in shipping.

I decided to deploy the poles, but leave the fish on the rail.  That way, I would not have to go to the fly bridge to deploy them while underway and I needed to adjust the port side aft and fore guys, as port side pole was running about 6 inches too far aft for my liking.

The fish on the rail
The fish on the rail

That done, power on, look around to make sure nothing is in front of me and I see that one of the fish already fell into the water, but the other is obediently waiting as directed.

So the experimenter in me takes over.  To retrieve the fish, I would have to go up to the fly bridge and retrieve the pole to vertical, go down and pull in the fish. Forget that. I decided to see what would happen with one fish in the water.

Power on, Dauntless, like a Top Fuel Dragster, gets to 5 knots in about 20 seconds.  As I am moving north, turning towards the east to go out of the inlet (see picture), I decided to stay on the south side of the inlet, as there are bunches of sport fishers, dive boats, skiffs and all sorts of south Florida water life, including a few jet skiers, coming from Palm Beach to the north also turning into the inlet to exit into the ocean.

Palm Beach Inlet
Palm Beach Inlet

After carefully measuring the additional rudder, 5°, I need to keep the boat straight with only one fish in the water, I look to my left and see this multitude of boaters racing out of the inlet at Warp 10. F.. this, I throw the other fish in the water, and should a jet skier run into it and get decapitated, let heaven sort out who was right and who was wrong.

Going back to the helm, I confirm the 5° deflection is gone and I see the humongous wake rolling up on me, maybe 4 to 5 feet high.   I watch in fascination as it hits the port side of Dauntless and just like that disappears, just like that, they were gone, like Keyser Soze.

We rolled a few degrees. unlike yesterday, before I deployed them a wake rolled me 25 degrees, to each side, that’s 50°

My side decks are dry while underway. Another first.  Even with that wake, it took just a cup full of water thru the port scupper. Normally my side decks, well not mine, Dauntless’are continually bathed in sea water.

 Paravane Stabilizers aka Flopper Stoppers

Robert Beebe’s book, Passagemaking Under Power,http://www.amazon.com/Voyaging-Under-Power-Robert-Beebe-ebook/dp/B001NABXPW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1396820429&sr=8-3&keywords=robert+beebe convinced me from the beginning that we needed a stabilized boat.  And even though the edition I read was co-authored, updated by Jim Leishman, a Nordhavn disciple, Passagemaking Under Power makes clear that passive stabilization, flopper stoppers (FS) or paravanes, as some call them, are superior to active hydraulic stabilizers mainly for three reasons:

  1. Dependability,
  2. No drag when not needed
  3. They also work while anchored or not moving

So I knew we needed them.  In searching for a boat, when we came back to the Krogen 42 idea, I realized that while we needed FS, they could be added after and that the boat layout (two heads) was more critical, as well as the overall condition (I knew I could not deal with a project boat, one that always needs something fixed or replaced).

Julie and I loved Pay to Play, when we first saw her and we ended up buying her a year and a half later.

So up and down the coast we came and went, I’d ask people, but most only were familiar with active stabilizers that while easy to use, push a button, would cost above $40k.:eek:

Having run aground three times in the first month, while I did expect that frequency to decrease, I knew it wasn’t going to zero in this lifetime. So, it just also confirmed that I needed paravanes.

The Numbers

Here are the numbers so far and as I compile more data, my experience has been that these numbers after only two days will always be in the ball park and pretty representative. If not, I’ll let you know.;)

A small (2 foot) beam sea produces an average roll of 10 to 15 degrees in each direction, with some rolls 15 to 20° (40° total) and 1/8 of the rolls greater than 40°.:eek:

Fish (aka paravanes) in the water, this gets reduced to a few degrees each direction, with the bad ones to about 10° !

Overall roll is reduced by at least 75%.

The fact that I was hit with a 4 to 5 ft. wake this morning, and we didn’t roll at all, says it all.

My life is transformed.

Pictures are at http://dauntless.smugmug.com/

I’ll write about The Rig and Rigger next

Dauntless' new Paravanes