Is it possible?

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Is it possible?

Postby aimless on Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:28 pm

Hi,
I love pocketship. It's the coolest looking sailboat and also seems very rugged. I was wondering if it would be capable of 'gunkholing' down the pacific coast of Baja and maybe even crossing over to mainland Mexico? I guess the real question is how many miles can pocketship make in one day? Also, is it possible to stay at sea overnight on pocketship? I've checked some of the sailing blogs and most of the anchorages are less than 50 miles apart with the final two legs being more than 100. In a pinch couldn't you just beach pocketship?
Thanks,
Jay
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Re: Is it possible?

Postby Diving Duck on Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:10 am

Sounds feasible if you know what you're doing and are extremely cautious about weather, etc. Check out Tattoo's fall 2012 cruise a couple posts below yours.
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Re: Is it possible?

Postby aimless on Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:24 pm

Thanks for the response! One thing is for sure, I have no idea what I'm doing but that's never stopped me before. :) I did check out tatoo's cruise post and it sounds like a lot of fun. I love all of the improvements he's made to pocketship, especially the boarding step and boom tent.

I'm sure it sounds like a crazy idea but anymore input would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Jay aka aimless
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Re: Is it possible? Maybe!

Postby tattoo on Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:43 pm

Jay aka aimless,... Probably not for a solo sailor. Maybe with a sailing mate. When under way (sailing or motoring) it is very difficult for a solo skipper to do anything (on Tattoo) other than man the helm and other tasks within the confines of the cockpit. Like handling the sheets and main’sl halyards. Even just raising & lowering the main’sl was difficult (as a solo sailor) until I installed Tattoo’s lazy jacks. I haven’t had the nerve to try to take in a reef while under way. Although I have a tiller clutch, if I move forward to make fast a reefing pendant on the luff, there’s a major change in the boat’s trim that causes her to go off the desired course. Maybe the reefing pendant on the leech could be put in while keeping her on course, but even that would be difficult in any wind more than a gentle breeze. So, when I have needed to take in a reef (or two), I start up the engine, head into the wind, lower the main’sl & furl the jib, head for shallow water with at least some protection from the wind, and throw out the anchor. At that point I tend to the reefing and then sail off the anchor. I have found that I can manage to shake out a reef while under way. Usually the wind has let up a bit and my time forward is much less if just releasing the luff’s pendant and a reef point or two. If John or others with more experience have a procedure for a solo sailor to take in a reef while under way in a good breeze, I’d like very much to know it.

For an extended crossing you’d need another person as crew. Always one crew member on watch minding the sheets and tiller while the other rests or sleeps. You'd have to depend on wind and/or fuel to make 50 to 100 miles. See my post Tohatsu 6.0 Long Shaft performance. . by tattoo on Tue Aug 21, 2012.

As for solo cruising, I wouldn’t want to be very far from protected waters, where I could escape if conditions warranted. For that purpose I’d want at least a 4 to 6 hp engine with torque to spare against wind and waves. My Tattoo has a 6 hp Tohatsu Sail-Pro extra-long shaft. With its low-pitch prop, the engine can get up to 4960 rpm (5000 is needed to develop its rated hp). In typical wind and wave conditions on the Chesapeake the engine pushes Tattoo at about 4 to 5.5 knots at rpms of 3200 to 4500. Even on the Chesapeake where crossings are usually less than about 15 nm, I would want that kind of reserve power.

Tattoo’s cruising accommodations are very tight, especially in the cabin. The bunk space (height) under the cockpit deck is only high enough to allow partial flexing of your knees, making rolling over in the bunk difficult. I’ve managed to sleep ok in the cabin, but I do much better in the cockpit. It’s cooler in the summer, but exposed to rain and dew. I solved that problem with the “gaff” tent with side panels. The whole package weighs about 18 to 20 lbs, can be deployed (or stowed) in about 15 minutes. It is stowed on the cabin floor on the side where I installed a shelf (with drawers under). By the way, Tattoo’s gaff tent would make it possible to bring along a cruising mate (spouse, friend, grandchild, etc) who could sleep in the cabin bunk or on the other side of the cockpit.

I have made numerous modifications aimed at cruising comfort. My cruises have been limited (so far) to a max of 3 nights. Maybe “roughing” it is ok for younger folks, but, for me (starting my 80th in January), being comfortable and getting adequate rest is essential. I take along a “beach chair” that I can deploy in the cabin or on the cockpit cushions while at the helm or relaxing at anchor. It has fairly good back support and has an umbrella to keep your head in the shade. It can easily be moved to the other side of the cockpit when coming about. If a bit unstable when the waves act up, [then] it may be quickly stowed in the cabin. I consider cruising SOLO as inherently HAZARDESS, especially when one is tired. Avoidable mistakes are usually made when one is mentally fatigued. Don’t overdo, end the day early!
Pete McCrary, launched Tattoo Oct '10.
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Re: Is it possible?

Postby Diving Duck on Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:47 pm

Jeez, now you've got me worried. Let me point out that I have been sailing four times and two of those were lessons in the Skerry I just built. Only one of those sailings was in salt water, in a protected bay. So the bottom line is I know nothing! I was just putting in my two cents. From what I have read, though, a small boat like the Pocketship is more suitable in safer waters like the inland waterways on the East Coast. It's a lot wilder where you are talking about, is it not?
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Re: Is it possible?

Postby Diving Duck on Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:52 pm

I was composing my previous reply urging caution just as Tattoo was sending his very sensible post. Please defer to people like him who know what they are talking about. :)
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Re: Is it possible?

Postby Diving Duck on Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:02 pm

This question is more for Pete McCrary (Tattoo). In addition to the lazy jacks, would it be feasible to install a tiller-to-wheel conversion beside the companionway? It would have to be the type that allows you to use the tiller also, so you don't have to stand in the companionway all the time, only when there is a need to reef or make other adjustments. It would also have to be cheap!
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Re: Is it possible?

Postby tattoo on Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:19 pm

Tiller to wheel conversion? Probably not. Lots of complications. And you still need two hands to [at least] tie a simple reef knot.
Pete McCrary, launched Tattoo Oct '10.
tattoo
 
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Re: Is it possible?

Postby Diving Duck on Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:21 pm

This thread is probably getting a little far-fetched. I was thinking of the old pirate movies where they tie a rope to the wheel. :D
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Re: Is it possible?

Postby John C. Harris on Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:22 pm

There are all shades of sailing skill out there, but if you can't singlehand a PocketShip in stock configuration, you can't singlehand anything. Now now---I don't mean to be arch, but the boat heaves-to nicely for hoisting sails, and once underway it's just a tiller, mainsheet, and jib sheet, all within reach of the helm. Personally, I'm ALWAYS singlehanding PocketShip, even if there are four people aboard---it's just easier than barking orders. As I've described on this bulletin board, I have often set the spinnaker solo, including in whitecaps. (Admittedly that's not for punters---I've gotten the spinnaker wet a couple of times doing that stunt.)

Yes, having a simple tiller clutch would make singlehanding easier sometimes. Like this one:

Image

I haven't gotten around to installing mine, though. Another thing that would definitely be nice is "jiffy reefing," a clever collection of blocks and lines that allow you to pull in a reef with much less fooling around.

But gosh, when I built PocketShip the intention was to sail it solo to the Bahamas! I'd still do it, on a good weather report, safely and happily.

For my thoughts on coastal cruising in PocketShip, here's a thread from a few years back:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=380&start=0

Good time to reprise my "Seaworthiness" definition!

Seaworthy. Adjective. In a boat or ship, the condition of being crewed by sailors competent to know the limitations of the boat and themselves, notwithstanding any claims by the designer or builder.
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