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

CONNECTING-SHROUD-2048

Experience: Wild Ride

My Hartley 38, Moet, is pounding into massive Pacific Ocean seas. One week of continuous storm conditions has taken me 700 miles south of Fiji, heading for New Zealand. Every few seconds the bow lifts out of the water and hangs in midair for a moment while I tense my muscles, ...read more

01-LEAD-nSterling-ProCombi-S-2

Know-how: Inverter, Charger Combos Offshore

With solid-state inverters and domestic AC devices becoming increasingly efficient, it only makes sense for many sailors to install the necessary 120V AC power for the many appliances now finding their way onboard: including washing machines, TVs, microwave, laptops, chargers ...read more

IMG_5308

Chartering in the British Virgin Islands

Not for nothing are the BVI known as the “nursery slopes” of sailing charters. There simply is no better place to ease yourself into a first-time sailing vacation; for that matter, such is the appeal of these islands that many charterers return year after year. The islands ...read more

IMG_7831

Racing and Bareboat Chartering in the BVI

If not all who wander are lost, then not all who charter are content with sailing between snorkeling spots and sinking a few Painkillers at beach bars. Some want a dose of hard-sailing action blended in with their sunshine and warmth—the kind of action you can only get from ...read more

01-GMR19FP45_1194

Boat Review: Fountaine Pajot Elba 45

With new catamaran brands springing up like mushrooms, France’s Fountaine Pajot is something of an oak tree in the market, with a story that goes back to its founding in 1976. It is also one of the largest cat builders out there, sending some 600 boats down the ways in 2018. The ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Take no Chances This is my stern with the engine running slowly in gear against the lines. We all know that when we’re charging batteries this lets the engine warm up thoroughly. However, I have a ...read more

190910_ROSS_PORTSMOUTH_0187-2048x2048

Cup Boats Hit the Water

Emirates Team New Zealand may have been the first to launch a new-generation America’s Cup boat, but it was the New York Yacht Club’s challenger, American Magic, that had the last (first?) laugh. Just a few days after ETNZ’s radical-looking AC75 hit the water in mid-September, ...read more