What Blue Water toys ?

redbreast

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Hi all, we are trying to plan a couple of years out Blue water cruising . New Zealand , Fiji etc . The boat at the moment does not have Generator or air con or water maker. It is 50ft long monohull with a wind generator and solar panels.
Any views please.?
 

snowleopard

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Lots of refrigeration. That implies generating capacity. A diesel generator is the most reliable but a big array of solar panels would be a good approach. You won't keep pace with a wind generator at anchor and a powerful one is noisy.

A watermaker is unnecessary in the Atlantic but I believe they are more useful in the Pacific.

I'd also pay a lot of attention to sun shading and ventilation. A dinghy you can go a reasonable distance with in choppy water is a must, not the dinky little things most people have at home. If it planes, so much the better.

If you're heading down the trades you'll need an effective and easily-handled running rig. Make sure you can reduce area easily without calling the watch below.
 

seabright

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Just arrived in nz - you are in for a great trip.

Toys = complexity = problems. My advice is to live the simple life and try and keep your energy consumption down. We had a wind genny and solar panels. Wind generators no use on downwind trade passages but great in windy anchorages.

Lots of people had lots and lots of problems with inboard diesel generators. Generally it seemed that the cooling systems weren't up to the warm water especially around panama. The is made worse by the fact that they are generally tucked up in a little tiny tiny space. People were delighted with portable honda things though.

Our best toys were:

Hydrovane
Solar panals
Extendable spinnaker pole - fantastic and stops all that flapping on your head sail (s).
Empty plastic bottle with hole in lid for those starlit showers

Have a great time
 

Troutbridge

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I have an Ampair convertible wind/water generator. It works wonderfully in the towed mode but is not an efficient wind generator. If I was fitting-out again, I'd go for a D400 wind generator because it has a low start-up speed (allegedly producing 3 and a bit amps in 10kts of wind) and an Ampair towed generator. They do one which is designed to be used in rivers in a fixed location but can be mounted on boats via a pole. That seems to me to be better than the one I have, which is trailed on a 30 metre line. Drag might be a problem, but at 6kts through the water it produces 6 amps (the same as the one I have).
Make sure your fridge has enough insulation (most don't) and I would agree with the comment about the Honda/portable generators I had a fixed generator on my last boat and it was a sod to remove when it went wrong. At least with a portable you can carry it into the shop for repairs (it probably will go wrong).
A good Trade-wind rig is a must, as is a good awning. Watermakers are nice (not cheap) the main benefit being that you can have showers whilst they work and preserve the 'emergency' supply.
Air con I personally wouldn't bother with (you really need a generator for that) due to complexity, just make sure you can get a good airflow through the boat. Enjoy!!!
 

jamesjermain

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Fully agree with the need for lots of refrigeration and even freezing capacity - it really makes long distance cruising civilised BUT...

As has been said, inboard generators have overtaken water makers as the most unreliable and hated bit of kit on blue water cruisers. Trouble is they are virtually essential so make sure you get a good one and get it installed properly with due regard for subsequent servicing and repair and, above all, good ventilation/cooling. Portable Honda types are OK but not really designed for the sort of continuous use you will be subjecting it to - carry one, if you have space, as a reserve.

I would strongly recomment considerable back-up including a pair of oversized alternators, one of which can be disconnected when not needed. Solar panels are a must, a wind generator will just about keep pace in Caribbean anchorages but not the Med. An Aguagen delivers a huge amount of current when running down the Trades but carry a spare spinner or two 'cos the can tangle and break and also there have been reports of shark attacks.

A good dinghy is also well worth it but make sure yours is the tattiest looking in the anchoragte and DONT put your boat name on it. (Thieves will know you're ashore)
 

ChrisE

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I'd add to JJ's post that the dinghies we use in the UK are far too small for use for long distance cruising. I'd aim at over 10 and preferably over 12 foot with an outboard that gets the dink plus two up on plane. And I'd endorse the tatty dinghy and add put some paint on the o/b as well.

We spent a year out with a tinker tramp which is perfectly ok in European anchorages where the distances travelled are small. We quickly got fed up with long wet trips across a mile or two of choppy anchorages that was fairly common on our travels. The bigger dink also means that you undertake longer exploratory trips at your chosen spot.
 

Jeannius

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Diesel generator - getting petrol can be a pain. Cheap, basic watermaker, no electronics... mine cost $3600 for 20 gallons an hour. I'd have air con for at least one cabin - as much for its dehumidifying abilty as for cooling. Lots of solar panels and lots of wind generation.

Raymarine autohelm... Totally reliable ST7000 series

I'm told we need a washing machine but I'm not sure myself.
 
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