There are few things more depressing in cruising than having to live with an unreliable engine. Colin takes a look at the options for rebuild or repower and what all this is going to cost.
Colin is using his enforced time ashore to think about the greater cruising community and what the future may hold for us all.
Colin completes his four-part series on going offshore cruising in a boat for less than US$100,000, with a look at materials other than fibreglass, and then winds up with a summary ending on a positive note.
Many secondhand boats out there are being sold as ready to go offshore. But what about the vital underwater appendages the loss of which often results in abandonment or worse? Colin shines the bright light of reality on this vital subject that no one else likes to talk about.
So now that we have decided to focus on boats that have been well taken care of and not butchered by inept amateurs, we still need to be realistic about potential flaws in materials and construction and what it would really take in time and money to fix each. We can have no better guide than Colin as we figure that out.
To that end, Colin turns his attention to seven basic construction areas where problems can turn a refit into a horror show we definitely don’t want to star in.
Can we go offshore cruising in a fully refitted, safe and comfortable boat for US$100,000, all in? Colin and John think so, but making it work won’t be easy and will need careful planning and lots of sweat. Colin kicks off the series with some things for us to think about before we even start looking for a boat.
Sure, we all like a snug sheltered anchorage but when we are trying to make the miles in a hurry using a less sheltered passage anchorage can save a bunch of time and distance. Colin shares how to pick a good one and the precautions to take when we decide to anchor out there.
In the final part of Colin’s series on coastal passagemaking, he and his crew cross to Scotland and wend their way through beautiful, but challenging, tidal straits to the finish. Colin then provides us with a succinct summary of the lessons learned, winding up a series that provides all of us the tools to plan and execute even the most difficult passages in a seamanlike manner.
When last we left Colin and his crew at the end of Part 3, they had just crossed the Celtic Sea and finessed both the tide at Lands End and and their Landfall in Ireland—all good results based on the planning that Colin covered in Part 1 and Part 2. Now, in Part 4 they make some early starts and bring Scotland in sight.
In Parts 1 and 2, Colin shared how he plans for a complex coastal passage. Now he puts all of that into practice and in the process shows us that there is no one right way, but rather we must always be flexible and exercise good judgement.
In the first chapter in this five part series, Colin shared his overall planning process. He now moves on to a more detailed look at the features that almost always control how we approach and execute a passage: headlands and capes.
Many voyagers worry most about ocean passages but, in fact, the dangers are far higher on a coastal passage. Colin, who has made countless passages along one of the most challenging coasts anywhere, is eminently qualified to guide us through the coastal passage planning process.
Colin’s in-depth, real-world test and review of the SARCA Excel anchor, based on a season of use in a cruising ground that is notoriously difficult to anchor in.
Colin shares some techniques he was reminded of while spending the summer cruising the south coast of Newfoundland, a challenging place to anchor if ever there was one.
Colin carries on with the story of their 2018 cruise: A nerve jangling approach, deserted anchorages, a spooky abandoned village and managing a boat mechanical problem of the type that seem to plague us all sooner or later—a tale of real cruising.