Preparing To Get Underway

Family Coming to Visit

We are having visitors to VB next week and one family member who has never sailed with me wants to go out. I explained that it is a two hour trip to the Ft. Pierce Inlet, and two hours back. If the weather permits, we can spend some time day sailing in the Atlantic. Now I don’t know how strong everyone’s sea legs are, but at the first sign of sea sickness we are heading back inside.

What most people do not understand is you don’t just get onboard and go for a ride. I had to put the furling jib back on because I had it off for hurricane season. I made sure all batteries and jump start systems were fully charged. I checked out the engine and every thing seems OK at the dock. I checked jib halyard, jib sheets, out haul lines, reef lines, furling lines, and traveler lines. I also relabeled all snap blocks. Checked the weather forecast and it is iffy but I will be ready to go. I also had scheduled the yearly engine maintenance for next week but I can put this off for a few days.

Next, I will need to stock provisions for a day sail. One thing I will not do is drink alcoholic beverages while sailing. When you check Florida statistics, a large number of boating accidents are alcohol related. There will be a lot of boat traffic on the Inter coastal Waterway because many boaters who were down for the winter are starting to head back North.

In addition, once we are onboard I have a four page pre-sail check list I will have to go through with the crew. Make sure crew understands how to use the VHF radio in case of emergency is just one item on the check list.

These people will be ready!

Memorabilia Galley

Almost Six Years Ago

Click on an image to begin

Choosing A Marina

Based on my own experience and comments from professionals around the web, when selecting a marina for your boat there are quite a few things to consider. As a matter of fact when planning this post it was L O N G!!! So it was decided to provide an overview in this post and for those who want the long list of items, they can open/download the 6 page PDF file that is included, and get the Full Monty😎

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It all boils down to this, – “Like buying a boat, choosing a marina can be a series of compromises and any number of factors should be considered, including cost, location, condition and amenities.”

RIGGING

Sunday II is in the water and now she is waiting for her rigging. The Hunter sailboats have long been known for their unique sail layout. It is know as a B&R rig. Here are the highlights.

“Designed by the late Lars Bergstrom and Sven Ridder, the B&R rig eliminates the need for a backstay to allow for a more efficient mainsail shape. Fixed backstays are often omitted from the designs of today’s performance-oriented boats to allow the mainsail to incorporate a full roach design — a more aerodynamic shape both for racing and cruising performance.

The B&R rig has 30-degree swept spreaders, creating 120 degrees between each rigging point. The result is a tripod arrangement, used for years to support huge radio towers, that has excellent strength for sailboat rigs.

While conventional rigs often lead their shrouds inboard to allow for the large genoa overlap, Hunter takes them far outboard to the hull. This wide chain plate base significantly reduces the compression loads to the deck and hull, while allowing for tighter sheeting angles. The smaller headsail sheets are inside the spreader base.

The latest advancement to the B&R rig is the addition of mast struts. These struts stabilize the lower section of the mast, allowing compression loads to be spread and reducing the point loading at the mast base. They create a strong point for the boom and spinnaker pole loadings. The struts also allow us to use a smaller mast section reducing weight aloft to decrease the heeling and pitching moments, making for a more comfortable ride. Additionally, they provide a secure handhold when going forward.

The B&R rig is also supported with the addition of reverse diagonal rigging. For example, the diagonals beginning at the top of the mast strut and ending at the tip of the spreader support and stabilize the lower section of the mast by creating a triangle with the upper shroud. This allows us to induce the mast’s pre-bend prior to stepping the mast. Similar to a sailboard, the pre-bend is loaded within and does not deliver pre-bend compression loading to the hull and deck.

The B&R rig is designed to be pre-bent to further add rigidity to the mast section and eliminate the need for adjustable rigging (like backstay adjusters, babystays and runners). This design should prove more reliable than a rig with adjustable backstays or runners, as there is less chance for error.

The large main, small jib sailplan on these Hunters also eliminates the need for large overlapping head sails, since the driving power comes from the much improved shape and size of the mainsail. This allows for an easier tacking small jib, creating good performance and more comfortable sailing — and less work for the crew. It is far more aerodynamically efficient to reef the main than furl the head-sail. Plus it provides better balance from the rig and more control for the rudder.

With the large main creating additional main-sheet and leech loading, Hunter has placed the main-sheet atop a cockpit arch on many models. The main-sheet loads are placed at the same location as the leech loading to reduce the bending loads on the boom. The main-sheet loading is also reduced, allowing for easier control of the mainsail. The arch also serves as a handhold while in the cockpit as well as an attachment point for a Bimini top. “

Launch

Sunday II was trucked from Alachua, Florida, where she was manufactured, to St. Augustine, Florida. In St. Augustine she had her bottom painted, rigging set and placed into the water for sea trials.

While she was being built, I visited the manufacturing site one day and observed the Marlow Hunter construction process. I wish I had spent more time with the Quality Control person.

There are 3 pictures in the gallery, “Sunday II Delivered to St. Augustine” that show her on the truck and in the shed having the bottom paint applied. Because of the possible galvanic action caused by the metallic composition of the sail drive and copper based paint, only bottom paint approved by Marlow Hunter could be applied. Failure to comply would result in a void warranty. Add knowledge of galvanic corrosion (also called bimetallic corrosion is an electrochemical process in which one metal corrodes preferentially when it is in electrical contact with another, in the presence of an electrolyte) to your knowledge base if you want to be a boat owner.

Yanmar is the manufacture of the engine that is installed in Sunday II and they have obviously had some problems with the sail drive being “eaten” away or they would not have put this notice in their manuals. (Another reason why you should read the manuals that are provided with your boat)

There is a 6-minute video of the Travel Lift placing Sunday II into the water in St. Augustine, Florida

READY, SET

The decision had been made to purchase a new Marlow Hunter 33 and the budget had been set. OK, now you know the boat you want! Find it and start negotiating.

A trip to the Miami Boat Show to see the new Marlow Hunter in the water was helpful. And, as a side benefit there were a few brokers there. So a broker was decided upon and a contact date and time was set.

Choosing a broker is also an important step. He/she must be knowledgeable AND he/she must be someone willing to spend time with you. If the broker has the “if you have to ask the cost, then you shouldn’t be buying a boat” attitude, then find another broker.

My broker was recently licensed but was part of a larger firm with lots of resources. She had been around boats for most of her life and was very energetic and helpful. She was aware of my bottom line, in the water number, and she was able to modify a Marlow Hunter special package to fit my needs and budget.

I had decided not to have an air conditioner installed because of the cost, and my priorities, and when one of the major partners in the brokerage heard about this, they decided to include the A/C at no cost. And I accepted!😃

I was more than pleased with the service I received from the brokerage firm that handled the sale of my new boat. The Sunday II.

Ready

After the decision has been made to purchase a boat, there are lots of things to do to get ready.

First and foremost, what is your total budget? You need to establish a bottom line amount that you are willing to spend on this purchase. This is basically the total amount you are going to give to the dealer/seller PLUS the amount you will need to spend after the boat is in the water, purchasing items to make the boat safe and sail-able.

Once you know your budget, these questions are a lot easier to answer: Size, sail or power, new or used, make and model? Again, there is a plethora of information on the web to help (or confuse) you on each of these questions.

Sunday II was a brand new boat. The Marlow Hunter 33 was the cursing boat of the year in 2012 and the ASA used the Marlow Hunter 33 for their training courses. And it could fit within my budget. (In a later post I’ll explain why I would not buy another Marlow Hunter) ☹️

Once you have a general idea of the size of boat you are looking for and an estimated time line for the purchase, you might want to stop by a marina(s) and get your name on the waiting list for slips. Choosing a marina is a whole POST in itself!!!

To Boat or Not To Boat – That was the Question

My first boat was purchased in 1973 and sold in 1986. Then I went without a boat while my son grew up, went to collage, and married. I retired!            In 2012 the decision as to whether or not to get another boat arose and this was the primary question that had to be answered: Could I handle it?

From past experiences I knew that boating required a lot of knowledge and also physical conditioning; so I decided to take an on the water boating course and a Google search indicated many choices. I decided on the American Sailing Associations Basic ASA 101 course because it promised to be the “most rigorous, safety-first education instruction available”. And that is what I was looking for.

The two-day course was offered out of Tampa, Florida and the boat was a Hunter 33. Now isn’t that special. After successfully completing the 101 course, the professional instructors assured me I was ready for a boat if I so desired.

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And I did!