Circumnavigation attempt in a 26m?

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    Anonymous

    Circumnavigation attempt in a 26m?
    , Wed Jan 20 2010, 10:18PM

    Hello all,

    You can call me Burlap (old nickname, long story), I used to sail lots, raced C&C’s in Lake Ontario as a teen.

    I live on the Wet Coast now (Vancouver-ish) and I am looking forward to purchasing and outfitting my 26M this spring.

    My shakedown will be in the Geogia Strait off the BC coast but sheltered(ish) by Vancouver Island.

    My first trip is already planned and pretty much set: Down the West Coast of N. America (probably about 50-100 miles offshore to avoid the Americans exaggerated territorial water claims) to Nicaragua to hang out with an old friend who has land pretty much right on the beach.

    If all goes well I will be heading to the Carribean (via Panama Canal OR trailer across Nicaragua ), where I will probably winter next year.

    Then up the East Coast and into the St. Lawrence to Niagara Falls (hometown) for a quick visit to my family.

    From there, If I believe in my boat as I believe in myself, I will begin my sponsored, awareness and fund raising campaign circumnavigation attempt.

    Mods planned are: 2 x 125W solar panels with ballast charging system and 4 battery bank, RayMarine AutoPilot, Irridium Satellite Uplink, EcoloBlue Atmospheric Water Generator, Alcohol stove and heater, slightly heavier rigging and window/hatch reinforcements, wieghted daggerboard wing.

    Now… I know I am going to get a lot of “You’re crazy” , “The boat isnt made for it” , “It’s suicide” and all that jazz.

    But my question is: To those who have made long trips AND/OR blue water trips in their 26M what are the top few items / issues / critical mods that you would recommend?

    Re: Circumnavigation attempt in a 26m?
    Windchime, Thu Jan 21 2010, 11:43PM

    Hi Burlap,

    I’m not going to give you the “you’re crazy”, or “the boat isn’t made for it”, jazz, as you put it. If somebody wants to do something, I say, “all the power to ya”. Man would never have gone to the moon, if he was afraid to fly. And what was there before Slocum.

    It sounds like you know your way around sailing, and are keenly aware that there are a lot of additional hazards and dangers for a Mac in an extended blue water voyage, and that it’s beyond her designed standard performance capabilities, and getting insurance would be unlikely, and…, and …

    I would not encourage anyone to take a Mac on an extended open ocean trip such as the one you are suggesting. But … if one was determined to go, I would say; plan for the worst and hope for the best, know you and your boats capabilities, know when you’re over your head before it’s too late, have fun and sail safe!

    And if one was still considering this, they might think about;

    1. Beef-up the standing rigging. (Thicker shrouds and stays, heavier tangs, stronger spreaders, add chain plates).
    2. Heavier than factory winches. (or at least add backing plates)
    3. A wind vane in place of, or as well, an the electric autopilot (may take a little doing to mount on the M transom)
    4. Weather fax. (the saying that “a regular sailboat can ride out a storm” – but “a Mac can out run one”, may only hold true for coastal cruising.
    5. Radar with AIS
    6. Mac’s have such a thin hull for open pounding sea’s and flotsam. Consider adding some extra glass or resin to the hull.
    7. Strong manual bilge pump.
    8. All the standard blue water safety gear. Epirb, life raft, etc.
    9. Fresh water tanks (will help with ballast when positioned)

    Here is a link to someone who has gone to Alaska in a Mac.
    http://chinook.home.dyndns.org:8080/comcast/~cecka2/chinook/alaska_2005/

    I have been in contact with someone else who is planning a trip to Alaska. If you PM me, I will forward your email address to them so you can swap ideas.

    Good Luck in your planning,
    All the best to you, and sail safe!

    Darry Major
    Commodore

    Re: Circumnavigation attempt in a 26m?
    , Fri Jan 22 2010, 12:50AM

    Thanks for your support and advice.

    As for the wind vane auto pilot I am probably going to pack one for backup but I have a potential sponsor company that makes one of the finest electronic autopilot and navigation systems around (AIS, radar, gps charting and course plotting) which includes a digital wind vane.

    I am actually looking into how much is will cost to have the hull layered thicker during manufacture at the Mac factory.

    Thanks for the heads up on the winches and tackle; I had that in the back of my mind as well.

    And as you say, I am very well aware of the specified limitations of the Mac, but I am also aware of the traits of the Mac that might just make it especially capable in the right hands with the right mindset.

    Roger has already told me outright he cannot condone the idea; no matter what mods are made to the boat. I understand that no matter how seaworthy the boat he would be opening himself up to liability if he officially condoned it.

    So as you said it always comes back to the sailor, dreamer, astronaut or whatever…

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