Archive for 2005
I currently have a Raytheon R40X unit but it is an old unit (while very good) that is "dumb" and cannot talk to anything else. I can’t decide whether to replace it outright or add a 20 mile Foruno on a pole at the stern. I intend to world cruise the boat beginning in 18 months. Any thoughts? The boat is Gulfstar 50 Sailmaster that I have been updating for the voyage, and while she is older, she is a very beautiful heavy cruiser. Thanks again, Jim
I have B&G autopilot circa 2000 at the pedestal (in the network series…i.e. network PILOT), network DATA at the nav table, wind, and a repeater at the bulkhead. I also have network WIND. I have an old Raytheon (as was) chartplotter(not working), and there is an old Raytheon plotter/radar (RL9) mounted on the pedestal reading from a Raytheon antenna mounted on a pole. It gives a reasonable radar signal.
My yacht is a classic 1970 Swan 40 Sp&S. design. She is now in Antigua.
My B&G instruments work perfectly. They are all Network B&G instruments I have an older Raytheon GPS antenna also mounted on the pole. I do not know if it gives NMEA(0183) output. My nav station is run by my laptop running Maxsea software and connected to a Globalstar satphone.
I propose to buy a small fixed GPS reader to be mounted at the nav station to give position…I assume it might be able to read the signal from the existing GPS antenna though if not I can replace it with a suitable antenna, and give a NMEA signal to my laptop computer. Ideally I should like this to be a B&G GPS (if there is one in the network series). Please advise if you know of one.
Should I buy Networknav? Any info comments? Where can I buy…any second-hand from upgrades? I need a good GPS receiver as I understand it.
I want to keep the B&G instruments I have. I want to make a system from what|I have that will speak thru NMEA to my laptop. Will Maxsea read any NMEA signal and overlay it on any of the charts loaded electronically. What output signals will MaxSea give to autopilot? Do you have any observations/advice?
It is no secret that we enjoy good food. And we see no reason why we should change our eating habits on a long passage. If anything, food preparation and consumption is one of the things we look forward to at sea, and something which helps to pass the time in an enjoyable fashion.
The other day I was talking to my longtime friend and cruising buddy, Cheryl Schmidt, about provisioning. She and her husband Jim are preparing their 73-foot ketch Wakaroa (an early Deerfoot design) for their annual four- or five-month cruise. A typical passage for them would be a five-day trip from Auckland to Fiji. We are sea trialing our new non-sailboat, Wind Horse, in New Zealand and will be leaving for Fiji ourselves in about a month’s time.
Jim and Cheryl Schmidt, with our daughters Elyse and Sarah, in New Zealand in 1977.
Cheryl always pre-cooks enough meals for five or six days at sea. She freezes them in individual-size containers that she can take from the freezer to the microwave. The Schmidts like to spend a lot of time in the cockpit, and it’s easy for her to pop down below and heat up dinner – they can even eat out of the containers. A variety of plastic containers are available in supermarkets – you don’t need the expensive kind – the throw-away type works just fine for this, as long as it can go from the freezer to the microwave. She usually prepares comfort foods: soups, chili, lasagna and homemade chicken nuggets. She bakes cookies (as do I) and carries the pre-washed cut salads that are now available. For eating salads during the passage, she carries stainless steel bowls. This trip can be boisterous.
The normal nature of tsunamis is such that they are preceded by a long-range trough. This causes an atypical drop in water level. This occurred during the recent Indian Ocean situation, and was responsible for much of the loss of life at Hilo, Hawaii, many years ago when it was hit (many of those drowned at Hilo were out on the reefs looking for shells in the unusually low tide).
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Ground tackle is probably the single most important system on the boat in terms of safety, comfort, and peace of mind. Our approach is based on a steep learning curve-which we survived-but which we would not want to repeat. The bottom line is this: we assume that we’re stuck in an anchorage where we cannot leave, the winds have put us on a lee shore, and bottom holding is poor. Our ground tackle systems are engineered to give us the best chances of a happy outcome in this type of scenario. The side benefit is that we are totally secure in anything less than awful conditions, and we can anchor on much shorter scope the 99% of the time conditions are favorable.
For some time we’ve been confused by e-mail data rates and cost, as it applies to boat-based communications. Recently, Mike Parker, a new Sundeer owner and old-time glider guru, brought us up to speed on this subject. Here’s what we learned.
The tremors began at 7.58am. The long, low-frequency shakes lasted two minutes. It wasn’t the shattering, sharp jolt one expects from a California quake, but it felt ominous. The tremors lasted long enough that I had time to put a bowl of water on the floor to verify the shakes. Sure enough, the water was rippling.
Hello “out there”. First and foremost, thanks to those of you who have rung or e-mailed over the last few days concerned about our welfare. The situation along the coast here in Thailand, particularly Phuket, is fairly disastrous, as most of you will know, since I understand the coverage has been understandably extensive with some dramatic and horrible images of the mayhem caused by the Tsunamis.