Gear at the 1500

The Caribbean 1500 was a success in 2005. It seems like everyone had a great time, and for the most part, everyone was safe and happy. If you’ve been wondering how everyone else survived, here’s your chance. SAIL sent out a survey to participants after the cruise in order to get a feel for what type of equipment was used and whether or not it worked well. The results are in, and it looks like
Author:
Updated:
Original:

The Caribbean 1500 was a success in 2005. It seems like everyone had a great time, and for the most part, everyone was safe and happy. If you’ve been wondering how everyone else survived, here’s your chance. SAIL sent out a survey to participants after the cruise in order to get a feel for what type of equipment was used and whether or not it worked well. The results are in, and it looks like there are a few MVPs. Take a look to see if you’ve got the most reliable cruising equipment out there.

Watches:

-watches were generally three to four hour shifts with six or nine hour breaks
-in bad weather, watches were shortened by an hour or so
-in one case, watches were done by two crew members for six hours at a time: the crew member with the day off cooked for the rest

Weather receiving software

-Ocens with WeatherNet was the most popular choice
-Maxsea and Globalstar were also recurrent
-email with CaribWX was a lifesaver on Daydream

Computer/navagation

-Raymarine chartplotters with Cmap chips were the mode for the cruise
-Windows XP was coupled with Maxsea and WeatherNet
-a Toshiba with a Raytech Navigator and a Cmap PC Planner

Radio transceiver

-the ICOM (710, 602, 706, 718) was widely used by sailors: tuning to the correct frequency was a little complex, and the mic was temperamental in bad weather
-the SEA32255B is another radio that performed well

Satellite telephone

-the Globalstar was used the most. Its performance was perfect when getting data, but the transmission of voices dropped out from time to time in inclement weather. The GSP
-1600 was convenient with its hands free feature and external antenna
-Qualcom worked well too

Instrument package

-Raymarine was the pick for the trip. The only glitch was the fact that the knotmeter fell out of calibration a couple of times
-B&G Hydra200 is another recommendation

GPS Units

-Everyone had at least one and up to three fixed GPS units (only one boat went without)
-Two, three, and four handhelds were aboard each boat except for a few that carried only one

Food Variety

-pre-cooked casseroles and lasagnas were the most popular for dinner
-snacks were fresh and dried fruit, nuts, trail mix, cookies, cheese and crackers, granola bars, peanut butter and crackers, etc.
-canned goods provided only misery for most boats
-an abundance of snacks is necessary: especially for the night watches
-the boat whose crew ate hot meals for a majority of the nights seemed the most satisfied all around

Alternative steering system

-pretty much every boat had an extra tiller
-rope drogues and autopilots were also taken aboard
-warps with chain boards were also popular (see Bill Springer article in Feb. ’06)

Electrical power generation

-120 and 140 amp alternators were used on board
-solar panels were used on almost all boats, but the engines had to be running two to three hours a day in order for them to function correctly

Mainsail track and car system

-Harken Batcars were the most popular choice
-in-mast furling (either Profurl, Selden, or Hood) proved to be lifesavers
-Monitor and Lewmar tracks and cars were also a good choice

Watermaker

-most crews and captains were very pleased to have a watermaker on board
-a few good brands are Spectra Catalina 300 (automatic) Little Wonder, PUR 80, Spectra 12V, and the Sea Recovery

Equipment failures

-most of the problems were small, like a clogged fuel filter, a bolt on an autopilot sheared off, and the helm electrics got damp. These were all fixed or tolerated
-one rudder was broken, which served to be a bigger problem

Best Equipment performances

-the autopilots had the best performance all around (Autohelm 6000 and 7000 especially)
-owners of the SAGA 43 and Hunter 426 were especially pleased with their boats’ performances
-rigging and lights proved to be dependable

Unnecessary gear

-extra anchors
-washer and dryer combo

Advice

-pick a talented and responsible crew
-an in-mast furler is essential
-make sure to have lots of spare parts and the tools that go with them

Have any suggestions that didn’t make it in? Email them to edit.assist@primedia.com.

Related

pupplank (1)

Defender Product Spotlight: PupPlank

The first rule to living around the water is to teach your children to be safe. Pet owners feel the same way. All pet owners harbor a fear of their favorite four-legged friends drowning, and teaching a pet how to get out of the water is no easy task. An animal must leverage ...read more

2048x

Know-How: Helm Stations

Walk around any boat show, and you’ll see a number of differences in the way designers and builders have decided to locate the steering stations aboard their cruising cats. Each position has its good points and bad, among them visibility, protection from the elements, ...read more

Jerome

Point of SAIL: Jerome Rand

In the first episode of Point of SAIL, the SAIL magazine podcast, Principal Editor Adam Cort talks with circumnavigator Jerome Rand about his adventures, past and future. For more information, visit Jerome's YouTube channel July 2020 ...read more

01-NEW-shutterstock_727520281

Cruising: Belize on a Multihull

In my experience, every charter has a kind of a theme to it, often encapsulated in a single moment. For me, during a recent weeklong charter off the coast of Belize that moment came toward the end of our first day out. We’d left the Sunsail base (sunsail.com), located part way ...read more

01-LEAD-View-of-the-Bow

Know-How: Marlinspike Seamanship in the Arctic

I was crewing aboard a boat named Breskell, a 51ft cutter-rigged, cold-molded, mahogany sloop. We were voyaging from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Port Townsend, Washington, via the Northwest Passage. A few days before setting sail, the captain, Olivier Huin, asked me to secure ...read more

Prop-Coat-Barnacle-Barrier-Quart-No-Background

Gear: Prop Coat Barnacle Barrier

Prop Coat Barnacle Barrier 1792 is now available in a quart-size can and, as always, can be used on all underwater metals, including saildrives, shafts, strainers and folding and non-folding props. Two or three coats are recommended, after which the coating will purportedly ...read more

DY_171021_6877

Boat Review: Seawind 1600

Seawind Catamarans introduced its 52ft 1600 model in Europe last year, where the boat promptly started winning awards. The more jaded among us may look askance at such things, especially when it comes to a bluewater-rated catamaran billed as a providing a combination of ...read more