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- Primary: CQR #45 and Danforth #25
- Backup: Fisherman's anchor
- FX-37 Fortress storm anchor
- FX-11 Fortress stern
- #5 Danforth dingy anchor
|We carry a 45# CQR
and a 25# Danforth on the bow
ready to go (see a story to see why). Based on our experience and discussions with others, the CQR or
equivalent Bruce would be our first choice and the Danforth or equivalent
spade anchor would be our backup. See Earl Hinz's book "The Complete
Book of Anchoring and Mooring" it is the best! Always
keep at least 2 anchors ready to deploy when close to shore. Also we have a
stern anchor on 1 1/4" webbing on a reel and a couple of
- Simpson Lawrence SL 555 Sea Tiger
|Our anchor is 45# and the chain is 3/8"BBB. A
windlass should be powerful enough to lift your anchor, plus 100' or so of
your chain hanging from the bow using one arm or foot. Our manual
windlass has been adequate, but an electric windlass would be a great
convenience - the downside is the weight and cost of bigger batteries, heavy
cable running the length of the boat, an motor and solenoid to maintain. If
our boat required a 60# anchor, or 1/2" chain, I would definitely
install an electric windlass.
- Rule 500
- Rule 3500
- Ultra automatic
- Rule Super switch
We started with Rule pumps and switches, and
have concluded they are generally of poor quality. Our one complaint
to the factory was met with denial and deception. Nonetheless, they
are widely available, and if checked periodically can provide an adequate
protective system. We tried a similar West Marine pump to no avail, it would
not lift the water out of our 5' bilge. Our deep bilge system currently consists of:
- A small (Rule 500 gph) pump with an
Ultra switch to keep water lower than 1"
- A large (Rule 3500 gph) pump and
Rule switch about
8" off the bottom of the bilge as a high volume back-up.
- A high water alarm (Rule Super Switch) meaning "All pumps have
- Wilcox-Crittendon Headmate
|A low-cost head,
yet it has provided satisfactory service for 14
years so far. We change the valves and
seals about once per year.
||When we left we had a
standard packing gland with the perpetual need to tighten the nuts in an
position only accessible by midgets with strong hands. We have
installed a dripless seal by Chatham Engineering in NZ; jury is out but we
like it so far.
||Our PowerSurvivor 35 has been dependable; one rebuild
in 8 years. The low output means that it must run 3-5 hours per day to
keep up with typical consumption (By being very conservative, we used 2 gal/day
on the 30-day passage to the Marquesas). I would look very seriously
at the energy-efficient Spectra.
- (2) 4D Sonnenschein Gel Cell
- (1) #27
Sonnenschein Gel Cell
Rolls and other batteries during several
years of living and cruising on the Chesapeake.
Since buying a set of gel-cells ( Sonnenschein or
Prevailers) we look at them periodically and
otherwise forget them except when we tell them we
love them. We replaced them after 9 years of
us in Cairns, Australia as a precaution since they
seem to have lost some of their capacity. We
recommend them highly.
||The Ampair 100 has been dependable, but its output is
very low. The new AirMarine has a lot of satisfied cruisers, although
it is noisy. The Ampair will probably add 30-40 amp-hours per day to
your batteries in a normal trade-wind anchorage while the AirMarine would
add more like 60-80. We found that traveling down-wind (as we all like to
do) takes 5 knots off the apparent wind and lowers generator output by
25-40% in the trades.
||We have a Siemens 55
watt and a Solarflex 33 watt panel. We would
go with the biggest Siemens that we could fit to the
boat next time.
Amp-Hour + monitors house bank voltage, current, and
state of charge. I would prefer one that
monitors both House and Start banks.
- Brookes and Gatehouse
(B & G)
|We installed a B&G
Network instruments in the Virgin Islands after the lightning
strike. Included were Wind, Depth, Speed, Nav and a Data repeater.
We have been happy with the functionality, but their reliability has been
- Wind anemometer - replaced 4 times in 8 years
- Depth - repaired once,
has been erratic. We find that when
marine growth collects between the sensor
and the housing hull vibrations from
motoring cause erroneous readings.
We decided to install some independent back-up units, in particular:
- Depth - we have installed a basic, inside-the-hull 'Standard'
depth gauge with separate power leads.
- Wind - We now carry a hand-held Kestrel anemometer to measure
wind speed at deck level; not critical but nice-to-have.
||The radar has come to have many uses:
- Watch for ships - can usually see them at 5-6 miles
- Watch for small boats - small wooden boats normally visible at 1 mile
- Track movement of ships so we can take evasive action
- Spot and track squalls so we can avoid them
- Spot breakers on low atolls or near beach
The transmitting tube (or magnetron) has a finite life and needs to be
replaced; ours was very weak after 10 years and a new tube improved
installed the C.A.R.D. radar detector before we
left the US and have found it of marginal
utility. We normally see ships before it
detects them, even if they are running with
radar on (which is infrequent).
- ICOM 735
100W ham radio
HF Radios - We started with an ICOM 735 100W
ham radio (modified so that it can transmit on
any frequency in an 'emergency') and have been
very happy with it. Later we added an ICOM
710M Mobile Maritime SSB (modified so it could
transmit on ham frequencies in an 'emergency').
The Marine SSB is more sensitive, rejects local
noise, and is much less user-friendly. A
combination Ham/SSB with a big tuning knob like
SGC 2000 is probably the ideal.
-This tool is invaluable for seeing what weather
systems are coming, and predicting wind speeds
and directions. We went through a SEA
unit (water-damaged, but difficult to use),
a FaxMate, PC HF Fax on our
laptop, and now a Furuno Fax-207. Without
reservation we recommend the Furuno. It
is reasonable to program, good quality output,
uses easy to find paper and, most importantly,
supplies its own receiver so that you don't tie
up your SSB/Ham radio - we love it.
Follow this link to see our decision making
process that led us to select these items and
||Wait for the latest technology before you leave - they just
get better and cheaper. We discarded perfectly good SatNav and Loran units
as these systems were being discontinued (Congress saved Loran at the last
minute, too late for us). We carry two handheld backups, one connected
to our iPaq organizer that can handle electronic
C. Plath sextant from the '50's resides shiny in
a box ready to go if the GPS constellation were
to go off the air. It would take a few
days to freshen up our celestial skills.
This system, as well as several other electronic
charting systems are common in the anchorages
today. CMap is an expensive commercial
system, and there are 'demo' versions around the
cruising community that operate smoothly with
do not depend on electronic charts and always
have paper charts in addition to the electronic
ones. Sometimes we use a paper chart for
navigation and the electronic charts for
harbours and anchorages (depending on accuracy
of the electronic one). Sometimes it's the
other way around.
- 12V Adler
Barber Cold Machine
We have had the 12 VDC
Adler Barber Cold Machine for 15 years, and have been happy with it - one
control box failed in the US and another one in Turkey. We have seen many cruisers with holding plate
engine-driven units running their engines at dockside since that was their
only way to run the compressor. Our conclusions are:
- 12 VDC is the most versatile type.
- If an engine-driven type is used, it should also be able to be run
from an AC power source (110 or 220 VAC).
- If a generator is installed, it should be able to charge the unit
through direct drive or AC power.
This wheel drive system is advertised for yachts
up to 17,000#, and thus is undersized for Long
Passages. We tend to use it when motoring
or sailing in light winds when loads are light
and response time is important. The
bearings froze after 3 years and required some
maintenance in Oman. Performance has been
This wheel steering system is solid and
dependable. We replaced the pedestal in
'93 due to corrosion after 18 years. The
current pedestal uses aluminum bolts for
installation and shows no sign of
corrosion. We check the cables occasionally and
have replaced them once. Edson provides
excellant documentation with their products.
||This has been a
workhorse and notched up our Pacific crossing
without breaking a sweat - we are very happy
with it. In Oman we hit a float and broke
some parts that had been weakened by crevice
corrosion. Welding has put it right, but
we are alittle concerned about concealed
have installed an Autohelm TillerPilot that we
can use as a
jury-rig - it basically substitutes for the
vane and tells the windvane where to steer, and
the servo mechanism does the hard work.
This worked all the way up the Red Sea.
||We started with a 150% when we left the US, cut it down
to 135% and had a 125% one built in NZ. For off-shore work with a
2-person crew, we would recommend a high-cut genoa, no bigger than 125%.
||Even though this amounts to only 10% of our sail
area, it is one our best sails - easy to deploy and furl, adds ˝ to 1
knot most times.
||Full battens are a real blessing - adds shape to the
sail, avoids flogging, and only adds marginally to weight aloft - highly
||Only applicable to ketch or yawl, this is a versatile
sail; good in place of main for heavy winds. We need it when beating or
close to the wind but it gives us too much weather helm off the wind.
||We prefer a 170% drifter - had an MPS for a
little more than a year but found it too hard to control. We have chosen
not to carry a spinnaker because of lack of storage space and difficulty
in using it.
small sail is bent onto its own track and is high
cut and loose-footed. Sheets run directly to
over-sized blocks on the deck. We have not
used it so far.
- Storm Headsail (aka
a tiny hank-on storm sail that we could deploy on
the inner forestay. We have not had to use it
|| Shannon went through a phase (after
Chichester's trip on 'Gypsy Moth') where they installed dual side-by-side
headstays on their yachts. Hull #1 came with a single headstay and we changed to their
new configuration. This worked very well coming across the Pacific
where most sailing was downwind and we could set 2 headsails. We have
reverted to a single headstay and believe that the current trend towards dual
fore and aft headstays, plus an inner forestay for a staysail is
the best configuration. We also believe that mechanical fittings
(Norseman or Stayloc) are superior to swaged fittings.
standing rigging is conservatively-sized stainless
main head-sail furler is a ProFurl NC-42 with 2 luff
grooves. We have been very satisfied with it
to date. It is a little stiff to start
furling, but a small winch helps get it started.
With two grooves we could fly two headsails down
wind, although we have not done this yet.
inner forestay has a Mariner furler designed for
hank-on sails. This allows us to furl the
sails when we don't need it (e.g. off the wind) and
to change to a small stom sail if required.
Dodger and Connector - Sunbrella
|We found these to be indispensable in the tropics, so get as much
protection as you can afford. Ours has a grab-rail along the aft edge in the
cockpit. We would recommend grab-rails along the gunwales as well.
||Judi sewed a sun awning/rain catcher from Stamoid
material before we left the US, and after 9 years it blew apart in a Sumatra
in Singapore. We now have a new and better
one. Our recommendation for the tropics is
"larger is better" and we are very happy with the Stamoid.
Decks get hot, and the more you can shield them from the sun, the cooler it
will be below. The awning has thru-hulls with hoses to route rain
water to our tanks. This rain catcher has been very useful, however if the
wind blows over 15 knots or so (and most rain squalls are over 15) it flaps
around too much to catch rain.
||We have a
combination of US Divers and other manufacturers equipment. We feel it
very important to have at least one set of scuba gear on board for
emergency repairs and retrievals. Ideally, each person on board should
have PADI or equivalent certification, otherwise it may be impossible to get
||Use ONLY Dive lights
as no others tolerate marine conditions.