seaworthiness

seaworthiness

Postby mike cunningham » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:12 pm

Looking for some thoughts regarding the seaworthiness of a freedom 30 shoal keel. Particularly weaknesses and how to address them.

I have owned my 30 for 16 years and i have seen, touched, and fussed with just about every item on the boat. She is bone dry and solid. Maybe not the prettiest, shiny thing out there.

Now, having said this, i want to participate in the singlehanded transpac in 2016. There is a lenghty debate over at the sfbaysss forum about the suitability of various boats for this race. People have gone in everything from a cal 20 to a volvo ocean race capable sled.

I have plans to deal with the companionway, storm sails, emergency rudder, etc. But there is little i can do about fundamental design weaknesses. Or, maybe there is.

In any event, i would like some feedback re what steps can be taken to increase likelihood of success. I realize good seamanship is a huge factor, the focus of my question is what can i do to ensure the boat is as ready as she can be.
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Re: seaworthiness

Postby sailmon » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:20 pm

Great question (and aspiration). I'm curious about what you see as the fundamental design weaknesses.
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Re: seaworthiness

Postby GeoffSchultz » Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:28 pm

Much of what you're asking has to do with what you plan to do with the boat. Are you planning on cross-ocean passages or coastal cruising?

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Re: seaworthiness

Postby rvivian » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:59 pm

Congratulations Mike!!

Your considering a big adventure with that 2200+ mile open ocean single handed race from SF to Hawaii.

I've never attempted anything like that but will be very interested in what you do to prepare the boat and how you figure out storage of equipment, food and water for a 15 to 20 day crossing. Please post pictures and details of what you do to prepare for the trip.

Are you planning on sailing her back too?
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Re: seaworthiness

Postby mike cunningham » Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:11 pm

sailmon wrote:Great question (and aspiration). I'm curious about what you see as the fundamental design weaknesses.



I was thinking of her beam vs stability and flatish bottom which pounds rather alarmingly when going to weather in a seaway. These may be just fine but i have not done a lot of open ocean sailing, mostly coastal california. Perhaps i am overly paranoid but being paranoid doesn't mean they arent out to get you.
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Re: seaworthiness

Postby mike cunningham » Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:16 pm

rvivian wrote:Congratulations Mike!!

Your considering a big adventure with that 2200+ mile open ocean single handed race from SF to Hawaii.

I've never attempted anything like that but will be very interested in what you do to prepare the boat and how you figure out storage of equipment, food and water for a 15 to 20 day crossing. Please post pictures and details of what you do to prepare for the trip.

Are you planning on sailing her back too?



If i actually do the race then, yes, i would plan to sail back. This is a huge undertaking and i am just sorting out whether the boat and i have what it will take.
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Re: seaworthiness

Postby gamayun » Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:00 pm

Good luck, Mike! I'm considering this race, too, in my F38. I don't know anything about the shoal keel and seaworthiness of the F30, but the Freedoms seem to be tough, capable boats though not exactly "blue water" -- whatever that means. The bottom contour, as mentioned in another post, is one reason for dismissing it as offshore capable, but I'm happy with how mine handles. There are several things I'm considering for both the downhill run there and what could be a rough return that might be similar for you to consider. I'm guessing you'll fly the spinnaker, which should help balance the boat. If flying without it, I would want to know how she handles with just the big main and small jib on big sea state. I had a lot of weather helm in those conditions coming back from the Lightship one time and I could not have handled the boat for more than a few hours like that. The AP could not handle it at all so you need a robust AP and maybe spares because I hear many break down during the race. If you don't have a windvane, you'll need sufficient batteries to run the AP and the first days out of SF can be very foggy if relying on solar alone. I have a different mainsail now with a much deeper reefing point so maybe this will help my downwind sailing, but the AP still needs tweaking and upgrading. Whatever you do, do as many of the ocean races as you can to test the boat under as many scenarios as you can find. The worst conditions you'll face will be near the California coast. Someone told me once that since these boats were built 30 years ago for East Coast conditions, it's possible that the rudder is undersized. I don't think this is the issue for my 38, but I am planning to do a haul out soon and will be asking some of these questions.

Coming back from Hawaii, the main things I am considering are fuel capacity and good capability for weather forecasting. Probably a little less than half the fleet will install SSBs for checking in on the nightly nets and for getting weather faxes. It's not required equipment, but based on those who've done the race with it and without it, the SSB will enhance the quality of the trip because you're more "connected." I don't know if it's possible for the weight of your boat, but you might also check to see if it can be shipped back in the cargo hold as most of the 20-30' boats will do. The weight is an issue for the lift at the loading dock in Nawiliwili, which is an all day sail, but we'll probably have the awards ceremony there. It is also costly, but if you're considering taking 3 weeks off from work, it could be worth it, not to mention the extra wear on the boat. However, someone who was in the 2012 race said the trip back with a friend was really relaxing compared to going to Hawaii because they were not pushing the boat so hard. Many people say that the trip to Hawaii is a downwind cake walk and coming back is a nightmare. When I was asking about getting around Point Conception a couple years ago, everyone told me how horrible it was going to be, but when I did it, it was smooth as glass. Clearly there's a wide range of experiences and perspectives...

It would be sooo very cool to have TWO Freedoms doing the race in 2016 8-) I hope you are talking with the other SSS members about your boat and planning for the qualifier in June. It takes a while to get to know them, given the independent sociable loners that they are, but they have tremendous knowledge and are willing to give their time helping others in this silly endeavor of ours.

Hope to see you at the SSS Corinthian skippers meeting on Wednesday!

Carliane
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Re: seaworthiness

Postby gamayun » Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:23 pm

I just thought of a few more things. One is the mast creaks pretty badly when going to weather. I am planning to get the partners checked/replaced during the haul out because I'll be taking down the mast to rerun antenna and nav light cables. I'm hoping that will fix it. Though this might not be a structural issue, per se, it sure is psychologically tormenting!

The other is replacing the shaft seal. It seems to be working just fine, but I don't know the age of it and the harder I continue to sail the boat, the more these little things start to break that have not been upgraded over the years. This is one thing that would leave a big hole in the boat if it fails.

I am also going to change the two-blade fixed prop to a folding prop. I have found that if the current prop is spinning in neutral, it gives me almost a half knot increase speed under sail. Everyone says to fix the prop, but Yanmar says the prop should spin on the 3GM30F; however, once the boat speed gets up to 5 knots, the sound is tormenting as well. The idea of that prop spinning like that has always made me uncomfortable, but more importantly, a half-knot boat speed over 2200 miles is a LOT of time...
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Re: seaworthiness

Postby mike cunningham » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:23 pm

Thanks for the detailed reply Carliane,
Are you the owner of that beautiful 38 with the blue hull at south beach? I hate going there because I will look at that boat and be ashamed and want to dash right back home and start cleaning and polishing.

Since no one has said I am a fool for wanting to sail to Hawaii in a 30, I guess I should take that as a positive.

I don't currently have a gunmount but plan to fit one before 2016.

I have not experienced the mast creak even on heavy days but wind up getting a lot of ground up foam at the mast step as a result of chafing taking place inside the mast as the wires and halyards move about. Need to sort that out.

I am going to be late to the cointhian skippers meeting but plan to be there eventually. I'll see if I can find you and introduce myself.

Mike
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Re: seaworthiness

Postby gamayun » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:54 am

Ah no, I'm the blue hull at Treasure Island. Wish I were at South Beach. The Freedom you've seen there might be in charter, if it's the one I'm thinking of. I've seen it out sailing, but never racing. Mine needs a serious scrubbing, but it's a beauty when you're at least 20 feet away ;)

Your comments made me think of one other thing (I guess I can go on like this forever). My boat did not have the gunmount when I bought it. Instead, it had this really tiny asym with an extremely crappy sock that was impossible to keep from getting tangled when dousing. Though I had looked at the gunmount setup on a 32 in Florida owned by Rick, another forum member, and thought it to be very cool, I decided that it wasn't for me. The main reason for coming to this conclusion is the problem I've had with the cambarspar. Twice now I have had the cambarspar pull out of the jib pocket and thrash wildly over the side of the boat. One time it was due to my desire to see how the boat would handle (while single-handed no less) 32 knots of wind with full canvas up. It was not pretty. Now, I have an ATN sock and a larger spinnaker that I can douse and raise from the cockpit. The jib stays up so the spinnaker can't wrap around the headstay. I haven't used it offshore yet and only once in the bay, so I can't really give more feedback than that. The other thing I still need to figure out is how to deal with the cambarspar, which one of my SSS friends said is known as a "widow-maker." Lovely term. I have seen some posts here about turning the headstay into a roller furler, but I am not yet convinced that this the way to go so I keep sailing and thinking about it, and talking to lots of people about their ideas. Would love to hear your thoughts or what others have done to ensure the cambarspar stays put.

Thankfully, I don't have foam coming out of the mast. The wires don't knock either so I wonder if the foam was an after-market thing? What an annoyance that would be.

Hope to meet you Wednesday. Just ask any SSS member when you get there. They should know me.

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