How to fix your engine at sea, a Westerly Centaur 50th anniversary special, and more, in the latest issue of PBO. Videos. Dinghies on display at Alexandra. You don't need to spend a lot of money to get an older boat going more Download free PDF of corrections for the PBO almanac Practical projects and tips. Download Practical Boat Owner - August magazine for free from ebookbiz. To download click on the following link.
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Practical Boat Owner t www. Six Greenings crew have Greenings hit a rocky area already been given places on the western side of Cape on board HotelPlanner. The Mark Light, the race director, crew had departed from Cape said it was fantastic to see Clipper Round the World Town earlier in the day on Leg such a positive story emerge 3 of the eight-leg global race. Blain, has died. Together, they under direct control, often seen in his trademark dealt with inquiries all over semi-manned or completely blue denim cap, was always the world, organised rallies, unmanned, and has been happy extolling the virtues of accepted JRA subscriptions built by ASV Global, a leading a junk rig.
I wasnt sure how effective this gadget would be, but it worked extremely well. You need a torquey drill to swing it, but my household power drill proved up to the job.
We rst used it to cut the holes in the bunk boards. Pleased with the result, we reduced the cutting diameter and used it to cut the inner holes in the support rings, this time using a pillar drill, which effectively eliminates the kick experienced when using it in a handheld drill.
The outside of the rings we. A pillar drill helps hold everything rigid and square. Once cut, we lined up the rings under their holes and glued them in position with a lightly thickened mix of epoxy, with temporary screws to hold them while the epoxy set.
Well leave the hatches untted until the plywood is coated and painted.
Fitting the square hatch Cutting the square hatch was simple enough. We marked the rectangle and cut out the corners with a hole saw before using a jigsaw for the straight cuts. We then used a fresh piece of plywood and cut it to shape, fettling the nal t with a block plane. Finally we used a.
The hatch lid is supported in much the same way as the round hatches were recessed, using strips of plywood glued. Rather than temporary screws, we held these long strips in place with clamps while the epoxy cured.
As the epoxy squeezed out we were careful to clean it away, lest our hatch failed to t afterwards. Gluing can use a lot of clamps! We made a new lid and planed it to be a loose t, with sufcient tolerance for later painting.
Next month Scarng timber into long lengths to make stringers, followed by tting them to the hull framework. Creek crawling or Channel cruising?
Vistal recommendation by Practical Boat Owner
Dyed-in-the-wool creek sailor Tony Smith enjoys a cruise along the north Brittany coast on a Hanse and makes a few pertinent comparisons. I spent two weeks on board Sams Hanse , a 31ft Bermudan rig n-keeler. From there we headed west to. Trebeurden, and then to LAber Wrach. From there we proceeded south to Camaret-sur-Mer, then eastward to Roscoff and nally back to St Peter Port, from where I caught a ight home to Stansted and Sam nished off his summer holidays by cruising back to the UK alone.
I found there was far more to big boat sailing than I had imagined The sea in this beautiful cruising area is blue and clear, and when I stepped aboard it suddenly dawned on me that I was now. The only reason I couldnt see the bottom was that it was nigh on a couple of hundred feet below us.
Strangely enough, this not being able to see the bottom lark made me feel at ease initially, as in a lot of areas on the East Coast I cant see the bottom either. However, when this happens the sea is a mere two or three feet deep, and mostly a murky mix of sand and brown mud! So, the rst thing I learned was to add a zero to all my usual depth-sounding gures and read. Inshore, and in many instances offshore, the Brittany terrain is made perilously rocky by beautiful pink granite, and it can be quite intimidating sailing close by in rough weather.
This granite is literally everywhere along the coast, but thankfully the French do love a lighthouse and have distributed them liberally and have even named one of them Ar-Men. Are they trying to tell us something? It is comforting, though, that a lighthouse is. The terrain was full of interest, much of it decorated with the vivid colours of the hydrangea ower which the Bretons adore, and a novel and scenic substitute to my usual sunken sandbanks and the low, marshy coastline of the Thames Estuary.
I made good friends with some fabled old sea-marks out here too the Libenter, a west cardinal buoy, was a welcome sight to see and pass on the port side, and watch. The tidal ranges are huge, and a familiar voice on the coastguard weather broadcasts on the VHF made a sailor from the Thames Estuary feel at home, to a degree but I noticed that here too there was a slight difference, this being that the broadcasters major concern was the size of swells and not the size of wavelets, as I am used to.
When creek-crawling on the Thames Estuary in Shoal Waters, I try to avoid sailing if any weather forecast given over the radio includes a Force 6.
However, after a few days in the English Channel I learned that a Force 6 is positively embraced, and is furthermore needed to push Sams 31ft yacht. My ideal Force 3, which drives Shoal Waters at an average of 3 knots all about the estuary, is next to useless on a footer with a new foil. As we crossed the Channel to France, in my rst occurrence of light airs I found the expensive new sail ogged wincingly, and the preferred option was for it to be hurriedly furled to avoid any unnecessary wear.
So, we were left with the mainsail, which alone would not drive the boat at the required 6 knots through the water which we need to meet the days ETA.
The answer to this yachting conundrum? Yes, you guessed it,. Before the voyage, I read all the stories of epic passages of adventure undertaken by real men of the sea a group which I was eager to join through narrow channels and between dangerous rocky outcrops such as le De Batz or, in the lap of the Atlantic Ocean, the island of Ushant in the notorious Chenal Du Four.
Boats sailed by these so-called real men pass through the channel on their way south to the Bay of Biscay before going on to cross the Atlantic or, like we were doing, going round to Camaret-Sur-Mer. The north of the channel is home to the iconic La Four lighthouse the one where a lighthouse keeper was famously photographed as he opened the door and looked out while engulfed in giant breaking waves.
This was hardcore cruising indeed: Well, our experience turned out quite differently. As we approached and entered the channel, the whole sea before us resembled a millpond and, guess what, the iron topsail was employed and we motored, without an adrenaline rush or hiccup, under bare poles!
There I was, ready to gargle granite or, if required, fend off a raging sea with my bare hands to favour our safe passage. To say I was upset would be an understatement. My immediate thoughts were that I had experienced more frightening action, with tumultuous currents and a confused sea that literally threw my miniature cruiser from beam end to beam end and pitchpoled her from stem to stern while leaving an 8ft deep by 30ft wide creek halfway down the Dengie coast of Essex. Alas, I came out the same man I was when I went in.
Useful tips Sailing Shoal Waters has Wykeham-Martin furlers on her two tiny headsails, and the topping lift acts as lazyjacks.
Other than headsail halyards, all sail control lines lead aft. Sams Hanse, meanwhile, has a self-tacking jib, the mainsail is tted with lazyjacks and all her lines lead aft a boon for single-handed sailing on a boat of this size. If I sailed for longer non-stop passages on my own little boat then I would have to employ the pice de rsistance on this boat Claude, a windvane self-steering system. It is an Aries, and was surprisingly simple to put into or take out of operation, steering manually if a blanket of weed or, when nearer the coast, lobster pots were spotted on the surface ahead.
I was impressed by how easily Sam could switch from tiller to self-steering and vice versa in a matter of seconds. Navigation equipment There are four main pieces of navigation equipment on board Shoal Waters. These are; a binnacle compass, binoculars, a bean stick sounding cane and a paper chart. You could call it relatively stripped-bare or pure sailing, and in the coastal creek environment it has proved to work reliably well.
On board the Hanse, Sam uses a Yeoman plotter coupled to a GPS, which I found is a good compromise for someone like me who likes to use paper charts along with binoculars or a sounding cane. The AIS was found to not only. En route, I picked up some useful tips to deploy if I were ever to take up this type of cruising I was well versed in the Hanses binnacle steering compass, but beside this the boat has a dedicated chart plotter with AIS data readout and this is tted, unusually perhaps, on the stern above the tiller.
The positive aspect of this is that its within hands reach of the helm when youre in the seated position but for me, the negative aspect is that the helm faces aft when looking at the screen or operating the units zooming in or out features. As with many other modern cruisers today, the Hanse was also tted with Navtex for weather reports, a digital depth sounder, log, compass, wind direction and speed indicator, and GPS track and waypoint repeater.
I noticed that binoculars and sounding. Docklines Bow and spring lines are stored forward in the anchor well on Sams Hanse and are coiled a certain way so they can be looped over one forearm and all carried together as you move around the boat, still holding on with both hands, to cleat them on both sides so the boat is prepared for eventual berthing on either side of the marina pontoon.
Bow lines are of a thicker diameter than spring lines so you can recognise which is which in the dark. Bow lines are also shorter in length than springs, and springs are cut to a length that, when cleated, will not foul the propeller if they were. The stern line has a loop at each end and is hooked over both stern quarter cleats and left ready in the cockpit.
Depending on what side we eventually berth it is simply ipped off the opposite cleat and will be already attached on the side you want it. Arrival at the marina When sailing Shoal Waters, I nd a clear patch in a deserted bay, round up into the wind and furl the headsails, lower the mainsail then walk forward and drop the hook.
With the Hanse, however, the procedure is as follows. While a number of miles out from your destination marina, get all sail down and stowed. Start the engine before tying fenders all around the boat and begin scouring the horizon for any sign of other yachts that might be aiming for the same marina.
If any fall within range of the binoculars lenses the only time binoculars are used on this boat , raise the normal engine revs to maximum and get into port sharpish. Immediately upon arrival in port, make ready the shore power cable reel and run it along the gunwale and out through the bow, ready to plug in.
Bonus tip: Order yours now from chandleries and online bookstores. Just With her lt tank topped up and our reconnection to land rmly made, we can relax and nish tying up at a more leisurely pace.
All lines are fed through pontoon rings or around cleats and led back onto the boat to be adjusted and tied there. Not to be missed For a small-boat sailor like myself, theres a lot to think about with this big-boat cruising lark.
However, I learned a lot of useful pointers from Sam even if I thought some of these capers only happened around hotel swimming pools, with people claiming ground by placing towels on sunbeds!
Nevertheless, negotiating the countless rocks of the north Brittany coast under motor or with full sail and, as in our nal leg, sailing a footer in a Force 6 for miles non-stop from Brittany to St Peter Port, are experiences I would not have missed for the world. All for only 4. Priced at 6.
They look the same, but one is smaller. Also, be sure to plug in as soon as you step onto the nger berth at the pontoon. If you dont do this the bloke you passed out at sea will, by now, be motoring into the opposite berth and reaching out his arm over you to plug in rst The same promptness on arrival goes for fresh drinking water. Never mind my feeble 5lt canisters; theyd be hopeless for a 31ft cruiser. The cavernous lazarette locker on a footer houses, well, everything you would expect nd in a house, and then some.
But on arrival, my orders were that we just want the water hose, and quick, before that same bloke who tried to nick our leccie socket plugs his in rst and swallows the lot. The procedure is to quickly unwind the at hose from the reel, which isnt as simple as you might think a 15m at hose used under duress can appear to be ft long, and has to be run up and down the pontoon ve or six times to lay it out at before you. Priced at just 4.
Just 6. Kit including timber and plywood: Transatlantic prep, style Peter K Poland remembers the measures required 49 years ago to turn a 25ft Wind Elf Mark II into a practicable and wellprovisioned craft capable of conveying two sailors across the Atlantic Ocean. As I recently interviewed a selection of intrepid 21st century ocean-hopping sailors, I realised just how much we now rely on clever gizmos, gear and electronic wizardry that didnt eve exist half a century ago.
Todays sailors are spoiled for choice especially compared to foolhardy optimists like myself as I planned transatlantic trip in a yacht that didnt even have electricity, let alone all the modern machinery that lives off it. Of course, some sailors still like the idea of basic cruising. This might be forced on them by limited budgets, or they could be purists who get an extra buzz out of scanning the horizon for a hoped-for landfall rather than watching a boat-shaped blob on a plotter screen homing in on a dead cert.
In my case, a basic yacht with minimal gear was the only option. Anthony Brunner and I rst dreamt of setting sail for tropical shores when we were at Oxford in the mids. We had both sailed on family boats since our teens and had done a bit of cross-Channel crewing. Then one cold winter evening as we huddled over pints of beer in a snug pub I said: Why dont we sail off to somewhere warm when we have nished at this place?
Good idea, said Brunner, a chap of few words. Anyone looking for a cheap and capable small cruiser these days will nd it far e sier than we did i the 60s. However, in GRP was in its infancy. Something like an early Invicta 26 or Contessa 26 desirable though they were fell way beyond our budget, so we trawled classied ads and pestered brokers. A Folkboat was high on our list, as were a Vertue and a Harrison Butler Z 4-Tonner, but we drew a succession of blanks: As an unexpected bonus, Peter Bagley handed me a nice cheque after the download had gone through.
Whats that for? I asked. Its the brokerage commission I made on the sale. I think youll need it more than I do, came the reply. Lovely man: Josa ll was a long-keel footer and very much in the Folkboat idiom.
Her more. Prior to departure: We told our respective parents, who probably thought we were mad. However, we soon realised we would need to nd about 2, to download, equip and provision a suitable boat, so the dream died and we both bought suits and went to work, which was easy in those days.
Just dangle a decent university degree in front of any old company and a good job jumped onto the table and the pay wasnt bad. So Peter K Poland crossed the Atlantic in we set about looking for a 7. And of Hunter Boats. He is now they all started saying youre a freelance journalist and mad again. Looking back on PR consultant. A glimpse into our cosy cabin: Her unusual layout was perfect for a crew of two setting forth on a long voyage.
The heads was in the forepeak, along with loads of stowage space. Trotter boxes extended the saloon settees, making secure and comfortable berths. And the galley was aft to port with a quarter berth opposite. Equipped for adventure Our next job was to equip her for adventure.
We had already done extensive homework, reading every book we could nd about ocean voyaging; invariably with Jussi Bjrling or Elvis Presley blasting in the background.
Our favourite book was William Robinsons tempting tale about his 32ft Svaap. Leaving New York in , he girdled the globe in his 20s and visited many tropical islands, but the most useful was Eric Hiscocks Voyaging Under Sail a beautifully illustrated blue water manual covering everything we needed to know.
He became our mentor in print. Stage 1, according to Eric, was to protect. He said they might bore into and then munch their way through our precious mahogany planking. In retrospect, this was probably over the top. Nevertheless, I spent a painful week burning off the paint on Josas bottom then re-covering the beautiful pinkish wood with metallic primer and fresh antifouling.
I also slapped a coat of pain on her topsides. Then we set about modifying the interio to include some sort of chart table and stowage areas to accommodate all the gear we would need to pack in. I solved the former problem by making a simple, removable plywood desk that would slot over the head of the quarterberth.
The spare charts lived inside it while the. Island SC. Next stop Madeira!
I also made a removable canvas trough that was slung on bits of curtain rod and battened to the hull frames outboard. This held almanacs, plastic sextant, packets of fags and other essentials. Faced with the problem of providing stowage for all the gear and stores needed for crossing an ocean, we aimed to combine economy, simplicity and ease of dismantling at a later date.
Eric was keen on netting pouches that took up little space, allowing fruit and vegetables to breathe and accommodating a wide variety of other clobber. A London-based chandlery called Thomas Foulkes came up trumps, supplying us with terylene netting at 10s 6d a length.
We cut the nets to size, roped the sides and bottom, threaded shock cord along the top and xed them ush to the hull sides in the forepeak and behind the saloon settees. These pouches were a great success. They were easily accessible, looked good and took up no space when not in use. We stored anything at risk of getting wet in l h. Boats Anthony Brunner mid-Atlantic as a large wave looms up behind him. We lled the cockpit with a lump of polystyrene to r duce the risk of being pooped so we lounged r ther than sat hen steering.
In addition to these nets, Foulkes also sold us some war surplus parachute material that we chopped about and turned into a wind scoop to direct cool Caribbean breezes through the forehatch and into Josas cabin when she was at anchor.
To our amazement, it worked a treat. To stow smaller items spare shackles, screws, sandpaper, copper tingles, paint etc we press-ganged three plastic milk crates. Smaller items went into jam jars or tobacco tins that slotted into two of the crates. We sawed the interior partitioning out of the third, making room for bigger items. Then we stacked the crates on top of each other and secured them in the forepeak, where they took up very little space and held a prodigious amount of easily visible bits and pieces.
We then had to work out what food and water to take and where to stow it. In those days, watermakers were not available besides which, we had no electricity to run one so we based our sums on Erics recommended half a gallon a person a day. Josas steel tank held just 10 gallons, so we needed to squeeze in 40 more. Once again, the farm came to the rescue and we scavenged a selection of plastic molasses containers.
These were lashed to the settee fronts and sat on the cabin sole. Best of all, they cost nothing. We also had to nd space for a lot of smelly parafn: Josa lived off the stuff. It fuelled the wicks in her navigation lights, a primus-style cooker, a cabin light and a tilley lamp.
We hoisted this in the rigging at night if feeling vulnerable when there was shipping about or when at anchor. Several gallons of parafn were stored in metal cans inside a cockpit locker. Petrol, however, was not an issue. Our Stuart Turner engine gave up the ghost after an initial trial cruise from Emsworth Many meals emerged from this trusty pressure cooker. Wed have gone hungry without it!
Its smelly tank stayed empty. More practical people might have brought Stuart Turner back to life; but mechanical engineering was not our forte. Unless you have struggled with one of these recalcitrant petrol machines, you probably wont realise how lucky you are with todays reliable diesel donks. A stroke of luck Needless to say, we spent a lot of time fretting about what and how much food to take.
Neither of us was prone to seasickness and we had the healthy appetites of year-olds. We had read about ocean voyagers who lost weight or succumbed to serious malnutrition, but had no intention of following their example.
So we thought of a sensible amount and doubled it, reasoning that tin cans in the bilge make good ballast, while re-stocking in foreign parts would be more expensive than in the UK especially since at that time UK law only allowed people to take 50 per head per annum out of the country.
We then had a stroke of luck. As we were working on the boat in Emsworth, our broker friend Peter Bagley drove up in a. Somewhat embarrassedly, he s d ve got something you chaps might nd useful as he opened the boot. Theyre all dented. I picked hem up cheap at a local food factory. What a star! Some till had the labels attached, so we followed Erics advice and removed hese, writing the contents on the tin with indelible marker pen.
Those without labels became lucky dips. Then the whole lot went into lockers under the settees. Other stores included fruit juice, butter, jam, dried milk, assorted d d vegetables, a variety of cereals, three dozen cartons of Long Life milk, six bottles of Robinsons delicious concentrated lemon squash, four dozen lb bars of chocolate not enough , six bottles of scotch, six of gin and 2, fags.
The latter three were duty-free and dirt-cheap. A nice customs man locked them away under seal, saying the cupboard could only be broached when well offshore.
We glugged our rst Scotch crossing the Chichester harbour bar. Eric also warned that a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables could lead to scurvy, so we lled sandbags with 75lb of spuds, 25lb of onions, 10lb of carrots, 14lb of lemons, 10lb of oranges and 14lb of grapefruit, then the whole lot was stored in the nets in the forepeak. We later added an enormous stick of green bananas bought in Funchal market in Madeira that ripened fortunately not all at once as we rolled our way down the Trade Winds to Barbados.
We never bothered with vitamin pills. Last but not least, Eric said fresh eggs were a good idea. So we bought many dozens and followed his advice of dipping them in boiling water for three seconds to seal their pores.
They remained edible to the very last, stored in a big box we made from ICI purlboard. This later doubled up as an admirable insulated coolbox. Safety gear We also needed to equip our little yacht with some safety gear to help us and our families sleep at night. My mother and grandfather both presented us with liferafts.
Since my mothers came in a neat yellow GRP canister, we selected this one to be mounted on homemade wooden chocks screwed to the deck near the mast. My grandfather returned his valise version to the shop, giving me a Harrison deck watch for accurate timekeeping needed when using the sextant instead. Since we had no way of communicating by radio, we invested in an emergency beac that could be red up after we had jumped into our smart liferaft.
Its instructions assured us that a passing ship or aircraf would hear it, note our locatio and then send someone to res us. Would this have worked in mid-Atlantic? Who knows? Bu h sight of the liferafts jolly yellow blob on our deck and the emergency beacon shock-cord d beside the companionway alw reassured us when the weathe turned nasty.
For day-to-day d k prancing, we bought safety ha But I am afraid these were soo abandoned after successive ab p stops when we rushed to the bow to change a sail. Twin headsails set on long tack strops' with the mighty yellow blob our liferaft in the foreground.
Get stuck in Navigation was also a challenge in those pre-GPS days. We followed Erics instructions. download a sextant a plastic Ebbco in our case , get an accurate timepiece, invest in a radio that can pick up time signals on short wave a cheap little Ferguson transistor model did the job , study Mary Blewitts book Celestial Navigation for Yachtsmen, download the right almanac and tables Our initial effort off the Nab Tower in at seas was not encouraging it put us near Guildford. But we consoled ourselves with the fact that we never wanted to be closer than 60 miles to land as we made our way south then west, so this would do.
And we hoped to improve with practice. Which we didnt. Dead reckoning came courtesy of an ancient Walker log that we towed astern. This was the big variety that rotated on the end of a yellow rope, with internal. Our two-pole lash-up worked spl headsail rig. Note parafn naendidly with the twin v lights PKP driving.
Our meandering course was sailed with the help of a war surplus bomber compass and a luminous Bosun grid model.
However, we did go high-tech by investing in a handheld battery-powered Seax RDF. This would be our last resort means of locating important places.
I seem to recall it cost around 20 a lot of money in You waved it around pointing it in roughly the right direction and if there was anything within range the Seax would beep at you through simple headphones. Powerful beacons such as the one at Barbados airport obligingly beeped when we were still over miles out.
We heard it at about the same time as we saw our rst seabirds ying in the sky and rst sugar canes oating in the sea, and miracle of miracles it agreed with our last sextant position. The twin-headsa il ri along against a g pulling us blue sky Twin-headsail rig Eric also told us that a twin-headsail rig was essential when running downwind in heavy seas and strong following winds and this is one thing that time has not changed.
Anyone setting sail on an ocean voyage today who cannot stow the mainsail and roll merrily downwind under twin poled-out jibs is missing a major trick. Luckily an uncle donated an old genoa to our cause. We then had to work out how to set this alongside Josas existing headsail. She came complete with a conventional spinnaker pole and a clapped-out kite that we shredded off Madeira , and we picked up a second wooden pole that slotted and was lashed onto a vertical bolt temporarily.
We also found that the motion was d b d each across rolling seas if we paired the mainsail with a genoa tacked near the base of the mast and set ying to windward on a pole. Unconventional perhaps, but this way it pulled like a train instead of continuously emptying then relling with a bang.
Consequently, we could hank the windward jib to the forestay, set the leeward one ying and pole them out on either side. It worked a treat. On rare occasions we even succeeded in leading the sheets back on either side to stern-mounted blocks and thence to the tiller in such a way that the headsails steered the yacht This was doubly welcome, because our homemade self-steering vane system proved to be totally useless.
So unless the jibs did some driving, we were forced to handsteer. All the time. Day and night. Which could be tiring. I still vividly recall some very special solo night watches as I sat in our small cockpit, surrounded by ashing white crests illuminated by a huge yellow moon, while kamikaze ying sh hurtled in from the dark, making aerial attacks on our brave little boat.
We gave much thought to our rig, and how to get the best out of it to keep up good speeds. Brunner could not leave his job until May, which meant we could not set sail until June and any experienced mariner will tell you that July and August are not the months to sail across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, because these months herald the beginning of the hurricane season.
Precarious trips Eric suggested that if you have to risk sailing in this part of the world at this time of year, head south fast.
Practical Boat Owner - April 2019
And keep going right down to the Cape Verde Islands before turning right and heading west. This way you should be to the south of any hurricanes path and be able to use its rotating winds to scoot even further south if it decides to head towards you.
This advice seemed to work. We made one rapid precautionary change of course south as a scary, oily swell rolled in from a different direction and the northern horizon turned a hideous colour. Whatever it was, we escaped it. Our general rule of thumb was to sail at 3. Since our self-steering system did not work, almost all helming was by hand. In the end, we averaged NM a day between Madeira and Barbados, which is not bad for a well-laden 19ft-waterline boat. Of course, the headsails had hanks as opposed to a nice modern furling system operated from the cockpit while the mainsail was reefed with a primitive old Wykeham Martin roller device on the gooseneck.
So, changing or shortening sail involved precarious trips to the mast or stemhead on a wet and rolling deck which became even riskier in the dark. Nevertheless, we still maintained a rule that the off-watch crew would only be called if the yacht was sinking or it was time to eat and we could always stop the boat by following Erics advice to heave to and take it easy rather than play the hero. Indeed, many modern cruising sailors might nd that heaving to can occasionally make life easier wh sailing short-handed or with a boatful of brats.
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Eric also said that we should do everything possible to avoid chafe and wear and tear, so w slipped plastic tube over our galvanised rigging and greased then cocooned our galvanised rigging screws.
In general, we avoided setting the mainsail when on a deep run to reduce the risk of damaging it against the shrouds and spreaders. Against all the odds, we drifted into Carlisle Bay i Bridgetown, Barbados a the sun rose on our 2 th day out of Madeira.
Despite our inexperience, w hadnt broken a ything on the boat. Af er dropping anchor a d swooning at the s ht of palm trees s etching along a sandy b ch about 50 yards a ay, we dived below to have a late breakfast and a stiff drink. Then something banged on the side of the boat. We shot on deck and found a smiling, bearded Yank called Rick Heatherly sitting in a small rowing dinghy. Where have you guys come from? Emsworth in England, we replied, feeling rather pleased with ourselves.
Youre a bit late, arent you? Youre about the 50th yacht to arrive this year and will probably be the last. Dont you know the hurricane seasons coming? Youd better hop in the dinghy then Ill drive you to my house.
Have a shower, meet my girlfriend, eat some supper and drink rum. You can spend the night. Your littl ht ill b it f h. Chore for a calm day mid-Atlantic trimming the shoots off our stock of spuds. A suitable anchorage can let you rest and await a fair tide: Heres our pick of some useful specimens for next year ts an age-old dilemma youre beating west in a rapidly faltering tide, and the approaching headland is looking no more appealing.
What you need is a place to wait out the foul tide and get some rest. While a town quay or marina and the accompanying pubs might be a tempting diversion, heading into port could add a number of miles to the trip and extend it by up to a day and thats where passage anchorages come in. Many of these will have been used over the centuries by working sailing vessels awaiting a fair wind or favourable tide.
While they wont have the same shelter as your favourite hurricane hole, or the facilities of a town quay, in the right conditions they can let you catch up on sleep, wait for a tide and continue your journey refreshed and with minimal diversion.
But how do you spot them? The good news is that most major headlands will have a nearby passage anchorage or somewhere that vessels. Passage anchorages offer a useful respite from a stiff beat especially if youve just missed a tidal gate Most major headlands will have a nearby passage anchorage.
Finding a good passage anchorage With practice you should be able to identify a good passage anchorage from the chart. That means, in the case of Start Point, that anything from north-westerly to westerly is OK but if theres any south in the wind youll start to get some swell working around the point, and a diversion to Dartmouth might be on the cards. Avoiding kelp is a given and sand is best. Study the chart carefully.
Practical Boat Owner — January 2018
Gently-shelving seabeds can scoop up and increase the swell: Carefully check the forecast for your stay. As youre likely to be staying a maximum of six hours, chances are everything should be ok but, on the other hand, thats a long time to roll your masts out in an untenable anchorage. Dont forget that night breezes and the interface between sea and land breezes can change what looks like a great anchorage into a dangerous one so beware!
Steep cliffs can, in the right circumstances, lead to katabatic. You can nd that at low water, an anchorage among rocks can be as calm as the best millpond. The key is to look for rocks with steep-to edges, with deep pools in their lee and make sure you can escape from the pool if necessary at low water.
Halfway through the ebb is a good time to. Some of these might have been lled with moorings, marinas or development, but theres a good chance that most still exist, whether or not theyre well known and used. Sources for passage anchorages Most pilot books offer scant advice on passage anchorages, preferring instead to dwell on places where you can spend a secure night.
However, there is information out there: Most of these will, youll notice, mean that theyre sheltered when youre heading upwind and planning to beat around the headland.
Nothing quite beats dropping the hook and gaining a few hours respite from the upwind slog. South Coast Hurst Want to get the best push west out of the Solent but also need as much west-going tide the other side? Hurst Castle might seem a little exposed, but theres a good anchorage just inside the swirling tides and protected by the shingle spit. Old pilot books are another good resource: It includes regular mention of anchorages from shermens haunts to passage anchorages the section pictured cites the area west of Start Point but you can use its suggestions as options, assuming the wind is in a favourable direction and that you use an up-to-date chart to verify the information.
In the example of St Catherines Bay in Jersey, the exit into a strong cross-tide would become even more fraught should the breeze start blowing onshore. A carefullyplotted series of waypoints will give you a safe escape route into the dark should you need it.
Its also worth checking that the deep pool youre currently in wont become isolated and trap you at low water, or that theres no room to swing should the tide rise.
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On passage south towards the delights of Saint-Malo and Baie de Saint-Brieuc from Alderney or Cherbourg, youll often struggle to get past Jersey in one tide. However, St Helier is a long diversion once you factor in the extensive shoals off Jerseys south-east corner, so there are some bays on the east coast.
One is Bouley Bay, which is a lovely spot if a bit rolly. A quieter alternative is St Catherines Bay, where moorings. Sound in and anchor clear of the moorings, and you are but a few minutes away from being able to resume your trip.
South East Coast Dungeness Sailing vessels bound down-channel often used Dungeness as a passage anchorage to await a fair tide. Tides change from spring tides to neap tides and back to spring tides over a day period.
Tidal Range Whether a tide is neap or spring or an intermediate is determined not by the height of high water but by the difference between the height of high water and the next or preceding low water. This is called the tidal range. Spring tides have a large range and neap tides a small one.
The mean sea level remains roughly constant. At springs, the high water is very high and the low water very low, while at neaps, the high water is much lower and the low water much higher.
With the introduction of international standards for electronic charting, there is a trend for all hydrographic authorities to adopt the same terminology for tide levels. In other words, there would be two high waters in 24 hours, each being 12 hours apart. In fact successive high waters are about 12 hours and 25 minutes apart, so why is this? As the Earth moves along its orbit around the Sun and the Moon moves in its orbit around the Earth, this takes longer than 24 hours.
Therefore, on an average, each high water is 12 hours and 25 minutes later than the last. High Water Time For any given location, the time of day when high water springs occurs is roughly constant. Likewise the time of the local high water neaps is also roughly constant. Look at your local tide tables to see what these times are for your home port, and you then have a valuable planning tool. High water neaps occur at approximately 6 a.
Most authorities use a datum called chart datum CD , which to all intents and purposes is the lowest astronomical tide LAT for that length of coastline or that particular port. However, MLLW may be used as the tidal datum for tidal curves in the United States of America and is not as low as lowest astronomical tide. The reason for using LAT is that there will always be at least the depth shown by the soundings, even at low water. Any higher datum will inevitably mean that sometimes there will be less water than the charted depth.
There is a common misunderstanding that chart datum is constant for the whole of a chart, but this is not so. Coastal effects could cause the lowest astronomical tide to be significantly different at two places close together on the same chart.
The table indicates that there is a 2. Using Chart Datum Now we have a load of definitions to think about, what use are they? We need to be very careful when checking depths, heights and clearances under obstructions as not all hydrographic authorities use the same standards. You must check the notes on any chart, or the current list of symbols and abbreviations to see what standard applies to the charts you are using. Charted depths below chart datum LAT are added to the tidal height to find the actual depth the sounding at any given time.
Drying heights above chart datum LAT are subtracted from the tidal height to find the depth at any given time — by the very nature of the beast, this depth may actually be above the present water level. These are projected for at least 12 months in advance and often considerably longer. They are based on historical records which allow real tides to be matched to astronomical data. Formulae are then deduced that match the data so that projections may be made for future dates.
Tidal data cannot take account of transient metrological conditions. Atmospheric pressure of 10 millibars 0. A strong wind blowing from a constant direction for several days can also raise or lower the water level considerably and it is not unknown for meteorological conditions to change the predicted tide level by as much as 0.
It could be argued, then, that the pursuit of super-accuracy in tidal calculations is not appropriate for most situations. Secondary Ports It is uneconomical to have tidal curves and full data for all harbours and anchorages. Using these differences, the times of high and low water and their heights can be calculated from the tide times of the standard port and its tidal curve. Because each provider may use data from different authorities, there may be apparent discrepancies between different products.
The differences may seem large at first glance, with times of high water sometimes differing by as much as half an hour, but when you look at the heights involved, these show that they are less than 0. There are several tidal programmes available for hand-held computers and some ordinary GPS receivers are able to display tidal curves. Many can be programmed with the draft of your boat to give an instant reading of the clearance under your keel.
You will need to consult your instruction book to see how to do this with any particular system. Although the curves will be similar, the method of extracting the actual heights for times other than high or low water will differ and may not be obvious to someone used to a different method.
This is the principle used by clocks and watches that indicate the state of tide. The UKHO has developed an excellent and simple method of obtaining the height of tide at any time. For full details of this method see Appendix 3. This method is easy, but accurate only for smooth curves.
Secondary Ports The UKHO tidal curves make it very easy to adapt the curve for the standard port into the curve for the secondary port, using a graphical solution. With practice the procedure is quick and easy, although to be honest, many yachtsmen are put off using it, maybe because they are striving after unnecessary accuracy. Most of the others require mental gymnastics if you need to know tidal heights at times other than high or low water.
For detailed instructions, see Appendix 3. What you need to know is how much the tide will fall from now until the time of low water. If you are staying over more than one tide, remember to check the lowest low water over the period that you expect to anchor.
Add the charted depth to the height of tide or subtract the drying height from the height of tide to find the depth of water. Here we use the depth calculated as above and compare it with the draft of the boat plus the safety allowance. Often we need to find the earliest and latest times we can pass over a sandbar into or out of a harbour.
For this we need to know between what times the depth of water will be at least our draft plus allowance. Can We Get Under the Bridge? In this calculation we use a different datum. If we used LAT, there would always be less clearance than that shown on the chart, except at lowest astronomical tide, LAT or its equivalent.
This would be potentially dangerous. In France they used mean sea level. Now all new charts should use highest astronomical tide HAT. A high-voltage cable will have a bigger allowance than if it were low voltage. All we have to do is add the difference between HAT and LAT to the charted clearance, subtract the height of tide and we have the clearance above the water level.
We can, if we need to, find the times between which we can pass safely under the obstruction. Tidal Flow The Speed of the Bulge The Earth spins within the tidal bulges, giving the appearance that the bulges rotate around the Earth. At 45 degrees latitude, high tide rushes towards us from the east at miles per hour. Where there is a constriction to the flow of the tidal bulge, such as in the English Channel, this speed is considerably modified with the bulge taking around 6 hours to travel from Dover to Falmouth, a distance of about miles, a speed of around 40 miles per hour.
What Causes the Tidal Currents? The prime mover is the difference between the heights of tide at any two places. Water wants to flow downhill, which is exactly what it does. Thus you would expect there to be zero current at high water as the tide changes direction. This is called slack water. The same applies at low water. Consider a river estuary: There may be a river current of three knots, flowing towards the sea.
The flood tide may be flowing at two knots upstream, so although the tide is rising, the current is still flowing out to sea at one knot — opposite to that which you might expect. The speed of the tidal current will be strongest at spring tides and weakest at neaps because the slope of the water is steeper at springs as the high water is higher and the low water lower. Because the Channel Islands are situated in a large bight and the English Channel becomes very much narrower at this point, a large, rotating, tidal eddy is set up which at times runs counter to the current set up directly by the tidal bulge.
Currents Caused by Wind Tidal currents can be modified by wind. A strong wind blowing for some time sets up a general movement of the surface water due to friction. This wind driven surface current 51 can counter or add to the tidal current, and needs to be considered when considering the tidal set and drift the tidal effect on the boat when planning a passage. Wind Against Tide Where a wind driven surface current is running counter to the tidal current, a significant change in wave shape will occur.
Where the tidal current is large and the wind strong, conditions can change from uncomfortable to dangerous very rapidly. Even though the difference in tidal heights is small, a restriction to the flow by such things as islands can cause acceleration to the small tidal current to a much larger value that needs to be taken into account.
Amongst other places, this effect can be seen in parts of the Mediterranean Sea. Finding the Value of the Tidal Flow Various hydrographic departments will have built up a database of tidal flow at specific points during the tidal cycle for neap and spring tides. These are known as tidal diamonds. A table is included with specific values of tidal set spring and neap values and direction for each hour before and after high water at the stated reference port at the position of each diamond.
The time of high water is not for the position of the diamond or even for the nearest port.
The reference port may not even be on that chart. It is chosen by the hydrographer to give the most helpful and representative reference time of high water for the area under consideration.
Tidal Atlases Many charts, pilot books and almanacs contain tidal atlases showing the tidal currents. A small chart has tidal flow arrows marked on it, together with the speed of the current.
There is 1 chart for every hour, so there will be 12 charts, enabling the user to estimate the tide at any time in the tidal cycle. The actual values used in tidal atlases are obtained using the tidal diamond data. If you need to know the information for a particular point such as when diving, use the diamond. Tidal Speeds and Directions Generally, there will be two values for the tidal speed, one for spring tides and one for neap tides.
Often these are shown without a decimal point, so 23 is not twenty-three knots, but two point three. Where two figures are shown, the greater is for spring tides, the lesser for neaps and a mental interpolation is sufficiently accurate — in other words, a good guess.
Tides, unlike winds, flow to a compass point, so a north-westerly tide is flowing towards the north-west. On many tidal atlases the boldness of the arrow signifies its speed. Each chart will be named for a specific hour before or after high water at the reference port.
The currents shown are the average for that particular hour, and apply from half an hour before until half an hour after the nominal time.
Tidal Reference Port The reference port for tidal atlases need not be for any port particularly close or even within the charted area. The reference port is always stated on the tidal atlas.Tidal Reference Port The reference port for tidal atlases need not be for any port particularly close or even within the charted area. Also, be sure to plug in as soon as you step onto the nger berth at the pontoon. Check the subscription page or www. A suitable anchorage can let you rest and await a fair tide: Here we use the depth calculated as above and compare it with the draft of the boat plus the safety allowance.
A carefullyplotted series of waypoints will give you a safe escape route into the dark should you need it. Trotter boxes extended the saloon settees, making secure and comfortable berths. The large, unsealed hatch provides access to the next section.
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