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Lisbon -> Canaries, Cutter Stay

nickrj

New member
Joined
21 Jul 2006
Messages
492
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Hello all,

I'm not sure why I haven't ever posted in this forum... I think I bypassed it direct for the Liveaboards because I thought this was all about planning the Jester Challenge race, and not necessarily for small boat singlehanders... Anyway, Mac77 asked me to maybe post something here, and sitting onboard in the marina, I found a WIFI hotspot, and had little else to do!

For those interested, I am sailing back to Australia on a Contessa 26. I've sailed from Southampton to Amsterdam back down to where I am now, in Gran Canaria. I did it in many small hops, except of course Biscay and the Lisbon to Canaries trip. I've written about my experience on my blog, so I don't really see the point of double-posting, however maybe I can mention a few things I haven't spoken about before.

Firstly, the issue of sleep is a recurring problem for me. I recently spoke with some notable singlehanders, from four time circumnavigators to Vendee Globe racers, and their sleep tactics are rather interesting. A lot of us I'm sure attempt to adhere to the '20 minute rule', which is all about supposedly spotting a tanker on the horizon within the alotted time, so it won't have enough time to hit you. I adhered to this rule on my Biscay crossing, which was difficult on a number of levels, but I won't go into them. However, for my Canaries trip, I really had difficulty justifying ten days of 20minute naps. At times, especially when being becalmed, I slept for several hours without a lookout. While this may be leaving a lot to fatalism, I am beginning to think tanker collision is statistically a complex occurence.

Above mentioned singlehanders are more interested in REM cycles and sleep patterns, in order to keep their sanity, and to keep their boats running quickly, than they are about horizon checks, and I find this very interesting. Consider the chances in non-shipping lanes, of two boats (yours and a tanker) being in the same lat long grid, at exactly the same time. I have met several solo sailors 'on the circuit' who in actual fact (and I find this pretty insane myself) that go to sleep for eight hours every night... This all brings up the issue of Radar and AIS aids, which will then in turn bring up issues of power generation and wave/rain noise on said equipment. AIS is probably the smartest thing one can do, however for me, collision with an ISO container is what really gives me the heebie jeebies. Luckily we sail in slow old boats though, right? Let's hope none of us have to do a collision test to justify that comment!

Also, on a slightly different note, I am considering putting a cutter stay/inner forestay to A) provide additional strength, and as a 'backup', and B) to run a second headsail in tandem for my coming downwind trip. With all this in mind, I then looked out of my port window, and spotted a cutter rigged boat. This made me wonder: Given boat balance, over-powering etc, if I were to run an inner-forestay, what would the effect be of running a small sloop as a cutter? Regardless of this potentially silly cutter idea, I'm still quite set on an inner-forestay for safety and for a perfect downwind setup... Does anyone have any thoughts?

Cheers! nick
 

Independence

Member
Joined
7 May 2007
Messages
527
Hi Nick,
I'm at the very begining of blue water learning but thought I would share with you what I have learnt so far.

I've had 2 trial runs at sailing single-handed, one in 2005 during a 5 day trial in preperation for my attempt to the Azores in 2007 and then 8 days in 2007 when I left for the Azores but never got there!!

I found I was practically awake for the first 2 days not necessarily by choice but due mainly, no doubt, to my adrenalin. I was very grateful this was the case on both occassions. After this period I took regular 10 minute naps from time to time and later extended these to 20 minutes or so. I'm not sure how recommended or wise this stratgey might be but it seemed to work for me demonstrated by the fourth day when I was able to start reading a book. I'm guessing that everyones sleep patterns will be very individual.

I looked at fitting an inner forestay on my Jaguar 25 for similar reasons to yourself. I wasn't able to fit an inner forestay very easily so that it was far enough forward and was told by a sail maker that the sail wouldn't function as a result. I was always torn about going up on the fore deck in particularly rough weather and have since abondoned the idea. I'm sure you'll get plenty of commentary from people a lot more experienced than me so thanks for raising the topic.

Good luck with your project.

Paul
 

Saddletramp

New member
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
1,036
Location
London
Re: Lisbon -> Canaries, Cutter Stay

High Nick, thanks for posting. I'm sure you will get some good responses on here. We do tend to go for quality rather than quantity though.



This recent thread has comments on fore stays and a photo of attaching to the stem. Note the comments about ensuring the attachment is linked to the hull for strength.
http://www.ybw.com/forums/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/1713901/an/0/page/0#1713901
 

andlauer

New member
Joined
15 Mar 2007
Messages
310
Location
Paris France
Re: Lisbon -> Canaries, Cutter Stay

Bonjour Nick
I was reading the forum from your friends Marie and Laurent on a Sangria.
http://www.transatdelaurent.fr.gd/
They are speaking about an Autralian they met in the Azores sailing back home!!!!
Sea is small !
Eric /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 

purplerobbie

Active member
Joined
20 Jan 2007
Messages
1,437
Location
ked Away
The problem with fitting an inner forstay is that it has to be quite close to the top of the mast unless you want to fit running back stays.

You dont want running backstays if you are doing big down wind runs

Do you have hank on sails? if you do you might be better looking at twin forstays.
or if you have twin groves in your furling gear get a luff tape fitted to the other sail you intend to use.

If you boat is a cutter rig then ok but if not it will cost you quite a bit to make it a cutter rig.

Rob
 

nickrj

New member
Joined
21 Jul 2006
Messages
492
Location
Transient
Re: Lisbon -> Canaries, Cutter Stay

[ QUOTE ]
Bonjour Nick
I was reading the forum from your friends Marie and Laurent on a Sangria.
http://www.transatdelaurent.fr.gd/
They are speaking about an Autralian they met in the Azores sailing back home!!!!
Sea is small !
Eric /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif

[/ QUOTE ]

Nooo, wasn't me! Unfortunately I missed the Azores! I wonder who this other Australian is that is sailing home though? Crazy world!

n
 
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