Cruising in Europe

I have a Tayana 47…my initial cruising plans are as follows:

I am sailing with the ARC Europe 2002, from St. Augustine, Florida to Lagos, Portugal, via Bermuda and the Azores, this May. I then plan on cruising Gibraltar, Spain, the Balearic Islands, Morrocco,and the Canary Islands in the summer and fall. In November 2002, I will again rejoin the ARC, for the passage from the Canaries to St. Lucia, West Indies, in November 2002. Thereafter, I will spend some time, possibly two years cruising the Caribbean, before commencing a westward circumnavigation, through the Panama Canal, and across the Pacific. My questions, based on the above itinerary, are as follows:

1. Should I join a yacht club here in the States before I leave, in order to take advantage of club reciprocity? Is it necessary?
2. Should I install a European gas tank and fitting for cooking? I currently have 2, 20 lb. propane tanks in a dedicated locker. Shall I replace one with a European (camping gaz and fittings) system. I am not sure if my Force 10 propane stove will work with Butane? Will find out next week at the Miami Boat Show.
3. My battery charger will work with 110v, 50 htz. I will be installing a transformer to bring current down from 220 to 110. I currently use a 50 amp shore power cord. What kind of cord will I need in Europe? My A/C pump is 110/60. Can I run it with 110/50, without significant damage, if I am only using it for a few months at that cycle rate?
4. Will I need a gang plank for my short stay in Europe? I will probably spend time in Marinas in Spain and Morocco, but want to do more anchoring than Marinas generally.
5. I am planning on using an Iridium phone for my e-mail, rather than fitting out my SSB with a modem for such usage. What are you thoughts on this decision?

Thank you in advance for your prompt response to these questions. And more important, thank you for all you guidance and encouragement in my preparations. Sincerely Yours, Phillip

Hi Phillip: Thanks for the compliments…

The Yacht Club is a tricky one. I guess the answer depends on what the YC in question does with foreign visitors. Some are fussy, others are not. If I did anything, I’d join a paper club, like Niue YC (for $20/year).

Re: the tanks, again, wait until you get there. Depends on the area. You might want to get a local tank.

As far as butane–it will work, only it does not burn as hot, so you need a higher flame to do the same work and the tanks will not last as long.

Re: power cords–they vary all over the place. Again, wait tll you get there.

Re: the air conditioning compressor…depends on the motor. Some are just fine on 50 cycle–but they will work 20% harder. If the system is conservatively sized, this is not a problem. You need to ask your supplier.

Gang planks–they are a pain–I do not like carrying them and we avoid Med moorings like the plague. But in the Med that limits where you can go. So, the answer depends on your style of cruising, and how hard it is to get on and off the boat. Again, wait until you get there.

Finally, re: Iridium–make sure you get it working for e-mail before you leave. Lots of people have had lots of problems getting their computers to cooperate. However, once they are working, people seem to be pleased. Good luck–maybe we’ll see you there. Steve

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)

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