Heads up if you're sailing long distance downwind

Heads up if you're sailing long distance downwind

Postby mike cunningham » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:57 pm

During my sail to Hawaii in 2016 I encountered an odd but very significant problem.

I had purchased nearly new Quantum sails from a member of the FYI group. The sails have been great but...

As most everyone knows, one does a lot of downwind sailing on the way to Hawaii from the West Coast. The sails I purchased incorporated batten pockets/receivers at the luff which were installed by sandwiching the sail cloth between two pieces of had plastic comprising the receiver assembly. These were fastened together with six to eight small machine screws. The threaded end of these screws protrude about 1/8 to 1/4 inch from the side of the plastic batten receiver. It never even occurred to me this might be an issue.

As it turns out, days of downwind sailing in a seaway caused these screw ends to chafe substantial gouges into the mast due to the downwind sail trim. Some of these we nearly 1/4 inch deep. Fortunately none of them penetrated the CF layer. My mast has a substantial external "mud" layer surrounding the actual CF laminate. I think this is true for all Freedom masts.

In any event, just a heads up to take a look at batten receivers for any potential sharp edges which might damage the mast when you are sailing deep.
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Re: Heads up if you're sailing long distance downwind

Postby Camino » Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:05 pm

Hi Mike - I’m sure interested in your Pacific experience. On yours did you reach for the first 10-15 days and then have a run in the trades? Did the damage occur with the run then? Were you ddw or off a bit to like 120 and did the damage occur when slating also occurred with the swells? I picturing the mainsail perpendicular to mast. Really good info

Thanks
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Re: Heads up if you're sailing long distance downwind

Postby mike cunningham » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:20 am

Camino,

I kept a poor log of the trip with respect to wind direction/speed, etc. With the lack of sleep during some parts of the race it is difficult to remember specifics. Keeping a better log, perhaps with once every 8 hour entries, is one of my objectives for the 2018 race. Ha Ha, the "objectives for 2018" list is quickly becoming as long as the to do list...drat!!

Anyway, regarding specifics best I can remember. I was reaching at about 70 to 90 degrees AWA for somewhere around six days. Pretty standard point of sail during the first part of the race. I don't think this caused any issues re mast chafe. Wind went aft about 800 or 900 miles out (guesstimate) I was sailing more or less DDW for a couple days in 20 to 25 Kts of wind. This was pretty miserable in a seaway. I got bashed around a lot, leading to my recent handholds project. I think this is when the mast was exposed to the worst abrasion. About 1500 miles in it seemed like the wind started to move a bit more northerly and I was back to a deep reach, say around 120 to 130 degrees AWA. By the time I got 1800 miles out and a couple hundred miles from Kauai, I was back on a broad reach. I think this was a little unusual due to all the tropicals which were spinning during the race in 2016. I fervently hope this is not repeated this year.

I wish I had a record of all my NMEA data so I could reconstruct this properly but that's what I kinda remember.

With regard to NMEA recording, I have a Raymarine STNG network aboard. I also have some legacy Sea Talk Instruments ( Backup AP, ST 60+ tridata) I really wanted to expand the number of instruments I could deploy in the boat. For example I have turned the aft cabin into a cozy sea berth using the stored emergency rudder blade as a sort of leecloth. But I have no instrument visibility back there. I did not want to spend $400 for another fancy i70 instrument, so what to do? I found a very cool NMEA 2000 Wifi bridge which plugs into a spare terminal on the STNG network (it has the Ray STNG connector built in). This thing just works! I can now use my android tablet, phone Chromebook or PC to log into the bridge and get web based instruments and data via the wifi. There are probably similar systems but the one I bought is below and I am really happy with it so far.

OK, OK, I could just get my sorry ass out of the bunk and look at the instruments in the main cabin but, hey, I'm talking luxury first class here.

http://www.yachtd.com/products/wifi_gateway.html

Te other feature of this device is it allows you to record NMEA data so, in theory, I could reconstruct the 2018 trip with great precision.
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Re: Heads up if you're sailing long distance downwind

Postby Camino » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:18 pm

Berry good info on the egress to Hawaii Last years weather was unusual for the race and all hope it’s not repeated this year shtp. Your WiFi attachment sounds really good. I read the manual from your link! I use a raymarine e7 which has WiFi and have raycontrol app on my iPad to control all the e7 features from. I just installed radar and will use WiFi only for data transmission to the e7. My fear is that that will knock out the e7’s WiFi to my iPad and if so I’ll go with your cool WiFi attachment into my ng network. Tomorrow or Friday I’ll run the cable of the radar to my panel and see what happens when I power it all up. Speaking of goof-ups......I’m really praying I connected the radar data cable to the radar correctly It’s just like me to foul up the easiest step Taking the dome off the pole will be apita :cry:

On your f30 did it come with a second main halyard or did you add it? Mine has 1 main halyard and I need a second for offshore - it’s bugging me how to do that...
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Re: Heads up if you're sailing long distance downwind

Postby mike cunningham » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:58 pm

I really thought hard about a plotter upgrade to wireless but wanted to spend the money elsewhere so decided to go the inexpensive route for wifi. I am pretty happy with the helm plotter but I have charts on a backup plotter in the cabin and on two separate devices (tablet and phone) so i have four separate gpses to refer to. As a matter of fact, I din not buy Rays expensive charts for Hawaii. I use my backup plotter and the others for Hawaii. I have paper as well.

The one thing I am missing on the STNG is AIS. I have NMEA 183 AIS plumed to the helm plotter but it does not bridge to STNG. I also have AIS on my Standard Horizon radio but it is not plumbed anywhere else. So I just bought a converter which will move AIS from the radio or from my primary transponder to the STNG network so I can see AIS plots from all my STNG instruments and on the Wi-Fi.
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Re: Heads up if you're sailing long distance downwind

Postby Camino » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:04 am

Mike - your AIS sounds very workable now. On my last boat I had a Standard Horizons vhf with AIS and connected to raymarine e7. It worked for a few months and then went quits! 2 other experienced offshore guys had the same problem. I switched out to raymarine vhf ($) and all worked great. Raymarine seems to be proprietary !
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