Letters To The Editor - PassageMaker

Letters To The Editor

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Anchor Scope In her anchor-dragging story, "The Perils of Amateur Cruising" ( PMM April '08), Kay White states they used a 7:1 scope by putting out 60 feet of chain in 7-8 feet of water. Putting aside whether 7:1 scope would be sufficient in a thunderstorm for a vessel with as much windage and displacement as a 42-foot Grand Banks, it appears they overlooked an important factor in calculating their scope: the distance from the waterline to the anchor roller.

For a boat such as theirs, this distance might be 5 feet or more. For purposes of calculating scope, this distance needs to be added to the water depth at high tide (assuming a snubber line is not attached to a strong point just above the waterline). A 7:1 scope would have meant seven times 13 feet (the assumed high-tide depth of 8 feet, plus another 5 feet to the roller) and so would have called for 90 feet of chain, not 60. Roger Martin Urbanna, Virginia Kay's article definitely opened the door for us to share and discuss some practical and safety aspects of cruising. There are many who have not experienced the challenges of anchoring before, and this has been a good refresher as to understanding scope, snubbers, weather monitoring, and more. It also serves as a reminder to all cruisers to always watch the weather and to closely evaluate your anchoring grounds, equipment, and scope before you settle in and turn off the engines.—Natalie Friton Cruising Cat I am writing in regards to a letter in the April '08 PMM in which Don Drake wanted to know where he could get plans to build his own cruising catamaran. My relatives in New Zealand have built two power cats themselves in the last 25 years. The first, Twyll Dyn, was built 25 years ago and is a plywood boat 42 feet long with dubious aesthetics. I spent many fabulous weeks living aboard this boat. Though a bit ugly, we were the ones sent out to determine if the sea was too rough for the charter boats in the fishing tournaments we entered. They sold Twyll Dyn when they launched the second, Bwana II. Bwana II is a 63-foot power cat of fiberglass and Divincell and is now 13 years old. Bwana is sleek and beautiful with smooth curves and beautiful lines—very aesthetic. These boats were designed to be used for sportfishing around New Zealand and as such go out in all sorts of weather and waves for up to 2 weeks at a time. Bwana II has many weeks each year staying at the Three Kings, about 100 miles off the northern tip of New Zealand, catching and releasing up to 20 marlin a day. They have put over 13,500 hours on the engines. I think that 13,500 hours in 13 years in the waters around New Zealand proves that a home-built boat can be safe and reliable. Both these boats were designed by Malcolm Tennant to be built by ho..

Anchor Scope

In her anchor-dragging story, "The Perils of Amateur Cruising" (PMM April '08), Kay White states they used a 7:1 scope by putting out 60 feet of chain in 7-8 feet of water. Putting aside whether 7:1 scope would be sufficient in a thunderstorm for a vessel with as much windage and displacement as a 42-foot Grand Banks, it appears they overlooked an important factor in calculating their scope: the distance from the waterline to the anchor roller.
For a boat such as theirs, this distance might be 5 feet or more. For purposes of calculating scope, this distance needs to be added to the water depth at high tide (assuming a snubber line is not attached to a strong point just above the waterline). A 7:1 scope would have meant seven times 13 feet (the assumed high-tide depth of 8 feet, plus another 5 feet to the roller) and so would have called for 90 feet of chain, not 60.
Roger Martin
Urbanna, Virginia

Kay's article definitely opened the door for us to share and discuss some practical and safety aspects of cruising. There are many who have not experienced the challenges of anchoring before, and this has been a good refresher as to understanding scope, snubbers, weather monitoring, and more. It also serves as a reminder to all cruisers to always watch the weather and to closely evaluate your anchoring grounds, equipment, and scope before you settle in and turn off the engines.—Natalie Friton

Cruising Cat

I am writing in regards to a letter in the April '08 PMM in which Don Drake wanted to know where he could get plans to build his own cruising catamaran.
My relatives in New Zealand have built two power cats themselves in the last 25 years. The first, Twyll Dyn, was built 25 years ago and is a plywood boat 42 feet long with dubious aesthetics. I spent many fabulous weeks living aboard this boat. Though a bit ugly, we were the ones sent out to determine if the sea was too rough for the charter boats in the fishing tournaments we entered. They sold Twyll Dyn when they launched the second, Bwana II.Bwana II is a 63-foot power cat of fiberglass and Divincell and is now 13 years old. Bwana is sleek and beautiful with smooth curves and beautiful lines—very aesthetic.
These boats were designed to be used for sportfishing around New Zealand and as such go out in all sorts of weather and waves for up to 2 weeks at a time. Bwana II has many weeks each year staying at the Three Kings, about 100 miles off the northern tip of New Zealand, catching and releasing up to 20 marlin a day. They have put over 13,500 hours on the engines. I think that 13,500 hours in 13 years in the waters around New Zealand proves that a home-built boat can be safe and reliable.
Both these boats were designed by Malcolm Tennant to be built by home builders, and the plans are geared for that. I believe that if Mr. Drake were to contact Mr. Tennant, he would find there are lots of available plans for building a cruising catamaran yourself (www.tennantdesign.co.nz).
As an expectation of time, Bwana II took two people two years working full, full, full time to build. Friends and family came over occasionally to help lift this or steady that as it was being put together. It is a boat built from cored fiberglass panels. All panels were made using vacuum-bagging techniques, then these panels were joined together to build the boat. This is very similar to building a steel or aluminum boat but welding with epoxy instead of an electric arc. They used locally available shower stalls, cabinets, etc., where such were available and cheaper than they could build themselves. It is a sportfishing boat for hard use and easy cleanup without all the wood trim, multiple toilets, and other fancies many people might expect in a boat that size.
Craig Graham
Belvidere, Illinois

Project Expenses

I enjoy your publication immensely. I find myself curious about the costs of some of these projects. I wonder if, when reporting on these re-dos and installations, you could include a cost figure. Not necessarily specific figures, but perhaps a ballpark number. I'm sure many of the readers would appreciate guidance such as that.
Seymour Baden
Grand Baron
Edgewater, Maryland

The cost of cruising, whether in relation to a boat purchase, a specific trip, or any boat project, is always a number that's hard to pin down. However, we agree with you that having some dollar range helps put the boat, the trip, or the project in context. These are questions we do ask, and we include the figures as often as possible and as often as those involved are willing to share. We'll do our best to continue to provide all the details you might need to follow in someone's footsteps.—Natalie Friton

Flooring Solutions

I was just at the boat expo in Oakland, California, and boarded a couple beautiful boats that had this carpet/rug in the rear that looked like teak decking, but it was a rug with snaps around it. It was just like you can imagine: larger, lighter brown and tan lines with smaller darker lines in between. Why I didn't stop and ask where it was from is beyond me, but now I'm home and looking online and can't find anything. Oh, wait—come to think of it, I remember why I didn't stop and ask about it. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see what will become my next boat calling to me, the Ranger Tug R25. Yeah, baby! Any help on the rug/carpet would be great. Thanks. Oh, and is the R25 just about as amazing as I think it is, or is there something you want tell me? Come on, spill the beans.
Eric Down
Santa Cruz, California

As a follow-up to your letter, we corresponded with Jeff Messmer of Ranger Tugs, who saw the same product you did at the Oakland show. It's made by Syntec Industries, and they can be reached by phone at 706.235.1158 or online at syntecind.com. There are, however, other creative flooring and decking solutions available as well. Under Way Custom Marine Flooring has a variety of options in carpet, vinyl, and other synthetic materials. For a teak-like look you might check out PlasDeck (plasdeck.us), though it doesn't snap quite as you describe.
To read the full scoop on the R25, check out our February '07 issue, which has a complete boat tour of this fine little vessel.—Natalie Friton

Introducing Cats To Cruising

Thank you for saving my marriage of 35 years. Today I received a bundle of back issues of your magazine (thank you, Lisa, for the effort). Tomorrow is the start of our ANZAC long weekend, where we commemorate and thank our fallen soldiers; a dawn service followed by the obligatory beer and rum chaser, then onto our 36-foot houseboat for three days. Unfortunately, torrential rain is forecast.
Our two golden retrievers have now gone to the all-you-can-eat buffet in the sky, leaving two older cats that have never been on the boat. Can anyone please help by suggesting ways to acclimate the ferals to boat life? All they do is eat, sleep, and fill kitty litter boxes. Any advice would be appreciated.
Eddie Kedzierski
Speers Point, Australia

Having traveled with cats on board, I can share with you how ours were adjusted to life aboard, though many readers do cruise with pets and may have their own solutions and advice. First, I would take them to the boat several times to let them explore and become acquainted with new surroundings, without starting engine(s) or generators.
Find a place for the litter box, and put it back in the same place for every visit. If the cat has a favorite blanket or pillow for napping, bring it along.
When they seem OK with being aboard, start the engine and let it run awhile. My experience suggests that the cats will dash for a hiding place and may stay there for some time. Eventually, however, they will come crawling back to you.
I would make the first cruise with pets on board a short-to-medium event. Build up to long-distance cruising.
I have found that cats often sleep while the boat is running, which means they want to romp all night.
The hardest thing to deal with is a cat's inherent curiosity. Once they recognize the boat as home base, they'll want to go ashore and explore. They may wander far away, they may not be aboard when you want to leave, etc. Once, I made a 100-mile round-trip to retrieve a cat that had jumped ship just before we left the dock. Keeping an extremely curious and adventuresome cat aboard may be difficult, unless a boat has screened windows and doors.
I think that every cat I have seen on a boat seemed to be OK with the experience. This may be because owners of troublesome cats simply leave them home after experiencing one cruise with a critter that couldn't adapt to the noise or the sea and could not resist the impulse to jump off to see what's ashore. Cats that are true house cats may have no difficulty adapting to the smaller space of a boat. Those cats that spend time outdoors, like mine, may go nuts while confined. That's why he doesn't come along any more. Hope this helps.—Bob Lane

Dinghy Search

Do you know who produces a 12- or 13-foot-long sailing dinghy? I have been looking for some time.
Robert De Micheli
San Francisco, California

The itch to sail is not one that goes away once you've had the chance to take off in a nice breeze. And it's a great activity once the mothership is anchored. There are a variety of sailing dinghies you might consider, some of which double as rowing dinghies and tenders. For a true sailing dinghy, Dyer Boats (dyerboats.com) makes a 12-1/2-foot daysailer; another popular model is a 12-footer made by Trinka (trinka.com). In the multipurpose category, Walker Bay (walkerbay.com) has several to look at, and Whitehall Rowing and Sail (whitehallrow.com) offers a variety of sizes and models, from slide-seat rowing dinghies to sailing dinghies. And if you've seen our April '08 electronic newsletter, you could always follow in the footsteps of author Alan Saunders and make your own!—Natalie Friton

FUBAR Clarification

Because of my knowledge and interest in the FUBAR Odyssey, it was the first article I read in your April issue. As usual, you and Robert Lane did a great job. We are privileged and very proud to have Bruce Kessler as an active member at Del Rey Yacht Club. However, I'd like to clarify that Del Rey did not award a trophy to Bruce.
At the Del Rey Yacht Club's opening-day ceremony, Bruce was presented two awards. First, he was given the Yachtsman of the Year award from the Association of Santa Monica Bay Yacht Clubs. Then he was awarded the prestigious Charles A. Langlais Trophy by the Pacific Coast Yachting Association for "exceptional and meritorious service to the sport of yachting."
Martin Livingston
Vice Commodore, Pacific Coast Yachting Association
Marina Del Rey, California

Future PMM Reader!

I thought I would send you a photo of one of your youngest readers! This is our youngest daughter, Martha, with the February 2004 edition, looking quite engrossed in the magic of PMM.
I have every edition and look forward to each new issue with child-like excitement. Thank you for the informative articles and unique quality we have all come to associate with PassageMaker. Keep up the good work!
Our season is short along the Northeast coast of Newfoundland—generally running from late May to October—but we have some spectacular cruising ground. Looking forward to a new season.
Jody Woolfrey
Baliwick
Botwood, Newfoundland

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