Category Archives: Prep, parts & Maintenance

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Navigating Mexian Food Regulations for Sailors

There’s often confusion among sailors about Mexican regulations on food when entering or leaving the country. The guidelines for what’s permissible are not clear and there isn’t a official Mexican government website but look at https://embamex.sre.gob.mx/finlandia/index.php/traveling/customs-information

Generally, fresh or frozen meat, fish, seeds, and fresh produce are prohibited. Processed or canned items are acceptable. Homemade goods are not accepted.

Check-in Regulations

Checking in from the North, such as in Ensenada on the Pacific side, is straightforward with no physical inspection and minimal paperwork. However, entering from the South, like in Chiapas, involves stricter procedures. Expect a thorough inspection, including a drug-sniffing dog, due to concerns about plant diseases and pests from Central America. Items like eggs, nuts, meat, and fresh produce will be confiscated. It’s advisable not to provision in El Salvador for Frans Polynesia with future stops in Mexico. Fortunately, supermarkets like Soriana, Walmart, and Sam’s Club are readily available in Chiapas.

Check-out Regulations

When departing Mexico for destinations like Galapagos or French Polynesia, provisioning in Chiapas with packaged goods, fruits, fresh or frozen vegetables, dairy, and liquor poses no issues. While there’s a physical inspection, it mainly focuses on contraband like drugs or human trafficking.

If heading to El Salvador, Costa Rica, or Panama, abide by their regulations, particularly regarding fresh produce. Consider making a hearty omelette while sailing and restocking in the next port, where supplies are plentiful and also reasonably priced.

Tips for Chiapas Departure

When checking out in Chiapas, attention to detail is crucial. Officials are stringent and scrutinize forms closely, even asking for a captain’s license. Ensure all documents are in order, and be prepared to clarify any discrepancies. Regarding the dinghy and Temporary Import Permit (T.I.P.), customs officials had a discussion with themselves. The outcome is: Dinghies shorter than 4.5 meters are considered part of the sailboat and do not require a separate T.I.P. Provide proof of ownership, such as purchase receipts or insurance papers or formal registration documents, to expedite the process.

Lastly, exercise caution when sharing information on social media platforms and messaging apps to avoid misinformation. I shaw some pretty wild statements, just partly true.

Boat Work in Canada

After our crossing to the Pacific Coast with a lot of mileage and severe weather, we where in need of some maintenance and repairs, spare parts and improvements.

James Conan, ronan.associates-at-gmail the Canadian representative of the Seattle Seawind dealership contacted us and helped us with all kinds of contacts, advice, arrangements etc. Thanks James

James arranged a meeting with Philbrooks Boatyard (PB) in Van Isle Marina at Sidney B.C. Our liancé, project manager is Daniel Thompson, daniel.thompson-at-philbrooks-period-com, who talked us through our wishes, helped us with the planning, did the estimates and introduced us to a lot of his fantastic colleges etc. etc. A few tips and tricks to maximize the experience:

  1. Prepare your work list in advance and send it to Daniel at least two weeks before arriving in Canada, 
  2. Make sure there is room in the PB planning, so if you arrive at Van Isle Marina, they can start right away,
  3. If you want to apply for the work to be tax free, (12% in summer 2023)
    • you need to be a non-Canadian vessel;
    • Van Isle Marina must be your first port of entrance, yes there is a customs dock;
    • ask PB to obtain the waiver before starting any work,
  4. Any expertise not available, like a certified gas technician, will be arranged by PB;
  5. You can ‘shop’ at the PB supply room. Marcus, the guy in charge, is a walking encyclopedia, well connected to any supplier. He managed to find my a few exotic Lewmar parts, busses for my water pump, soft cradle for my outboard etc etc.
  6. It helps if you are on board and helps with the jobs, to build up your own knowledge, less hours and expectations-execution, results close to each other.

We like the Canadian way of doing things. Knowledgeably, skilled, no language barrier, hourly rates are better than US WA rates, good work ethics, friendly.

We like Sidney B.C because their are 2 Chandleries, A Yanmar dealer, UK  sails for  a repair and Blackline, also a Boatyard with a rigging department to help us with some issues

We liked PB for their work and reasonable docking prices. We did some extra projects.

We like Sidney B.C. because Victoria Int. Airport is extually in Sidney, easy bus right to Victoria, shops, grocery, a few nice restaurants etc. And the summer weather in B.C. is top. For us none US/Canadian buying a local (prepaid) SIM made everything so much easier in communication. From calling a cab to a reservation. 

 It’s a great place to start some motor-sailing the famous Gulf Islands and surroundings.

Crossing the North Pacific

After a delivery from the Seawind factory in Ho Chi Minh city and via stops at Philippines, Taiwan and Japan, we are now prepared to do a crossing, big circle navigation from mid Japan to Vancouver in Canada.

Straight line it’s an ~ 5000 NM trip, big circle 4200. We think it will be a max of 5000 NM including tacking, avoiding a depression etc. With an average of 132 NM a day it will be a maximum of 37 days crossing without any landfall.

Crossing Choshi  - Vancouver
Crossing from Mid Japan to Vancouver

Preparation

The preparation is not much different then any, except you need to think harder about food supply, fresh, frozen etc. The freezer and fridge are full with fresh produce, yogurt, cheese etc. We were very pleased with frozen vegetables in addition to fresh. Fresh water is never an issue thanks to the water maker and the big tank on Kiskadee. Our Solar panels keep filling up our batteries to 100% even on a rainy day.

The usual stocking of diesel (light oil in Japan), we added 4 jerrycans of 20 liters. We calculate the amount of hours you can run your engine. With a 1600 rpm on one engine we use 1,6 liters an hour, and do about 3,5 knots of boat speed. Our Webasto heater uses 0.6 liter an hour. So there isn’t enough diesel to do long mothering, 2 * 125 hours or 875 NM. That is 17,5% of the distance. It is called a sailing vessel. 🙂

Weather Forecast

The first step is to look at the historical data when to cross. Luckily all that hard work is done by Jimmy Cornell with Pilot Charts and his well know book World Cruising Routes.

So crossing toward Japan is preferably done in March and April, latest in May, because the Typhoon season starts. And this year, perhaps of the really hot weather, they are early and powerful. The crossing of the North Pacific, Japan – Canada / US, is always a sailing trip between lows and highs with either a lot or no wind. Depressions are getting in from the Russian mainland, coming from (North) West going North East. The other path are the remainders of Typhoons, storms coming from the middle Pacific, going to Philippines or Taiwan and then up North East to Japan, Mid Japan. They tent to go East (or North East). The water around the Kuril and Aleutian Islands is still to cold to feed these systems.

The passage from Mid / North Japan – Middle Aleutian Islands is a nice one because their is a strong global current pushing you in the right direction. It is an alley between the most depressions and it avoids the big summer high pressure area between Midway / Hawaii and the east coast of the US. Its a great circle navigation and shorter than a direct straight line.

Doing it

We had an option to leave Choshi, Mid Japan to have a favorable wind direction for almost a week. Combined with the strong Kushiro current. The down side, within 7 days the leftover of the Typhoon Mawar, a deep storm depression was going to pass us at 400 NM.

6 knots of current
6 knots of current

So on day five the storm took a path more North than the previous forecast. We adjusted our course to straight north, getting closer to Hokkaido and put an extra 100 NM between us and the outside of this depression. Winds at one time up to 30 knots, but current, waves and wind in the same direction. Big waves 3-4 meter but with more than a boat length between them, not uncomfortable. Its was a night with tension, the passing of the center and the turning and lowering of the wind took a long time.

Current we are motor-sailing with 6 knots of wind and the forecast is that will be the case for the next 2 days. Progress is good, we past the first 1200 NM.

Build, delivery, commission and after sales

This is a long read on the process of a delivery, especially for new Seawind owners in he process of buying, building a Seawind. Some comments are generic, so apply to all models, others are specific for our 1260 model. It’s reflex our experience and is subjective to our believes.

A general remark must be made upfront. If in a review 5 to 10% of topics are discussed, it’s means it is an excellent job. As a student, quality manager, program manager I would be delighted with such a good score.

The build stage

I really like the design of our Seawind 1260 with a lot of practical solutions. Looking at her proportions, the shape of her hull, the length, she is a good sailor for a catamaran. Her jib is to small for her main, fully trimmed you need a ~ 8′ angle on the rudder to go straight. To be solved be adding a genua or screecher.

The starboard aft bedroom is small, but a wonderful place on a bumpy ride with high waves. One shortcoming, it is missing a rear window for better ventilation.

Coming to a really annoying part: the dinghy support “things” at the rear. There is no way the dinghy will stay at its base. We did multiple elaborated tricks high, low, tilted and with ropes, more ropes redoing the ropes etc. No good on a ride with high waves. I think the easiest way for the factory is to do rings just above and below of the support thing or redesign the whole thing.

Home work on the LED spots
Home work on the LED spots

The last one is almost comical. When putting on all 4 groups of light in salon and cockpit you generate enough light to go squid fishing. The solution is simple: don’t put them on and buy a soft focus table light. But ‘warmer’ leds or a dimmer at 1 or 2 groups is a better long term solution.

The option list

Oké, the option list, it is your enemy as well as your friend. So, let me try to explain this one. The whole option list is a commercial thing between yacht companies. The base price is important for ranking etc. Your specific usage of your Seawind is the distinctive factor. Big difference between a live aboard, doing 20 to 40,000 NM like us, or weekend sailing and on holidays.

So 30 to 50% of the option list is needed for every kind of use. I put an extra column “Need” on our own option list. Yes the web site does a good job of explaining the options. But only a Seawind expert know what the real value is. So you need assistance. Three sources of information Seawind/Corsair Marine International, Dealer of an fellow owner. Keep in mind dependencies like dinghy and outboard requires outboard crane and bracket. I did a separate post on options.

We added last minute, 2 weeks before launch, the outboard crane option, a set of sheets for my own ParaSailor, 3th reef with was somehow not on our option list, 2 extra fenders, 2 extra 25 meter 16 mm mooring lines, a 2.5 meters 8 mm chain for the dinghy. Communication and tracking was the hardest part. In total we had 4 variations on top of our first long option list. The outboard store away bracket was ordered to late and didn’t fit in the launch schedule.

Delivery

This is the interesting part because with delivery you are dealing directly with the factory and not with a dealer. It isn’t there expertise and there is a language barrier. Also all kind of needed marine supplies are not as widely available in Vietnam as in the US or Australia.

I did a pre-check, with a survivor list, 2 days before the launch while Kiskadee was still in the factory in District 7 in HCM. Good exercise, excellent idea to get familiar with the placement of pumps, thru hulls, wiring, fuses. I spotted several items missing, not completely installed or not fully embedded in Silka kit. I think that Q&C from Seawind would have picked up thus items as well. The manual is not up to date, none of the diagrams in the Annex displayed my situation correctly or completely.

Part of the delivery was the 3 day sail/motoring from Bien Dong Port (HCM) to Nha Trang, Ana Marina. We had Phil Harper as delivery captain and his interference with the factory and local people through the factory, made it a successful commission. We had some minor issues which were resolved in Nha Trang after receiving parts by night bus from factory. All Phil’s doing.

Commission

We finish the commission with these issues solved:

  1. False gas alarm beneath the stove, fixed in HCM, at least for a week. Now filed as an issue to be solved in the future,
  2. We had a Triton display with funky menu keys, replaced in Nha Trang,
  3. We had a disconnected first block from the main sheet. It was in the same place as the outhauler, re-attached to the boom in Nha Trang,
  4. A very late activation of IridiumGo, PredictWind etc. I solved myself all connection issues and got the set working for a 100%.
  5. In the grey area, there is updating firmware/software to the latest version for Zeus3, Triton (difficult access), Nac and Radar. All where on the latest version, but Phil had all software on his laptop. Vesper Cortex I didn’t update, some issues with that update. Getting your knowledge up to speed before commissioning is quit essential, I think.
  6. The Spectra manual is overwhelming but day-2-day use is easy. Seawind struggle with it as well. We will write a separate blog on it. The installation is without the tank switches and I am not sure my Z-ion filter is installed. That is an open issue for when we reach Japan.
  7. We had several times a guided practice of reefing, unreefing, and especially a motor maneuver exercise in the Ana Marina harbor
  8. To sign off the delivery / commission Phil and I went trough the factory list for half a day and we double checked all items.
Working through the delivery list with Phil Harper and Eddie Smit
Working through the delivery list with Phil Harper and Eddie Smit

Luckily our last crew member came in a day later and he was able to take my original boat registration, captains license, SRC license etc which were still at the support office in HCM (Oeps) and some much needed 6 and 8 mm lines as well.

We wrote a separate blog on buying house hold and bed linen and cutlery and … All is available in Vietnam.

Tools and Spares

Part of the delivery is a whole bag of tools, some spares etc from Seawind, ask for the spreadsheet. We brought with us to Vietnam a drill and multi tools on batteries, a set of torx screwdrivers, small hamer, magnetic tip pick up, multimeter etc. But not a can of TFL or Dielectric spray, which ais hard to find. Same applies for some Collonite products to clean up the surface rust on your stainless steel. I shall try to make up a list off things we bought in the first 4-8 weeks in Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan and Japan.

After Sales

Some good, some less. We discussed our commissioning from Vietnam in the summer of 2022. They had a strong advice. Go to Subic Bay in the Philippines, there is a good Marina and we can flight in a mechanic with spares if necessary. So we went, its was a dirty, noisy bay, the marina was expensive with no yard facilities. During the crossing we developed a small leak and the advice was to get the ceiling down in the port hull. We expected a mechanic with knowledge and skills, which did not happen.

Water on the bow and over the salon
Water on the bow and over the salon

In hindsight, the leak is small, 30 drips a minute, only occurring when in rough water with a lot of water over the bows. But expectations of assistance was very different on our sight. We try to reproduce the leak, no luck. Our next option is to do a repair in Japan or delay it until Seattle.

We depleted our house bank (by using the anchor windlass in the morning and we didn’t turn StarLink off in the night). Trying to recharged them, we closed a relais on EasyView and then we charged only 1 battery. In our support group with the factory mister Hien was added. His first app was the solution. Super, solved that day and very valuable info as well.

Marking the anchor chain with 20 meters marks
Marking the anchor chain with 20 meters marks

Conclusion

The leak is annoying, it makes our hull damp, we need every change of ventilation and its hard to find. It will not influence the safety of the boat. The gas detector is just one of those things which happen. Silence the alarm by switching off the LPG fuse. The gas valve is closed because the solenoid is off. We put a mobile detector in the cupboard if we use the BBQ or Stove. We primarily use our IKEA induction plate.

Seawind provide a good build, quality and finish wise. Our delivery and commission was a good experience and sets us on our maiden voyage with no issues.

The support/after sales department acts within reasonable time and sometimes you have to remind them of an outstanding question.

We continue to sail happy and safely from Vietnam to Seattle, passing 14 time zones during this journey.

It giet oan

A famous frysian saying to indicate the 210 kilometers skating match on natural ice, “It is going on”. So we did. Finally our SV Kiskadee, a Seawind1260, was launched and we were part of the factory sail to commission her in Nha Trang.

Ho Chi Ming City – Nha Trang

A three day, 2 night sail from the Saigon Delta to the Northern city of Nha Trang. First serious sea trail for SV Kiskadee and part of the commission protocol from the factory. Skipper mr. Phil Harper and Mr. T, both from the factory and our self as crew.

A beautiful and difficult sail because of an overwhelming number of fishing vessels. The first full day, bumpy with 20 knots of wind. Reefed against the current. We alternated a two man watch, 3 hours up, 3 hours down. The second part was with less and less wind, motor sailing for at least a whole day. Arriving at night at 20 hours.

Commissioning in Nha Trang

We needed a complete 4 day hand over. Checking six pages of items. For most of the items out of our chairs into a compartment, bildge or behind the coach. Fixing things like getting all coms and navigation integrated, on the professional accounts. Checking software versions, all latest, 🙂 Putting the parasailor up for the first time, we had the turn the boat.

A few repairs, installing a new B&G Trition, adjust the first block on the main sheet. Instructions on Spectra watermaker, heater, washing machine etc. And the first oil change on the Yanmar engines and Saildrive.

And doing motor maneuvering for Therese, I listen carefully and got a lot of tips to. On Tuesday we had a handover and now we are the owner, in charge and responsible .

Kiskadee profile

Nha Trang – Sub Bay Philippines

With our crew, Jon, Will, Therésè and Eddie we departed on our first journey, a 900 NM partly upwind course to Subic Bay in the Philippines. We prepared as much as possible, combined our experiences with a new yacht, in a new area, with a lot of fishing boats and big fast running cargo ships. Not scary but some time indeed excited.

Half way our journey we enabled our track and trace page based on our Iridium Go.

Delivery date set, finale month in Vietnam

Okay, as stated in our previous post our delivery got prosponed to the end of March. But today we are happy to say: All missing parts arrived, the finish of Kiskadee is getting there, and all yellow tape/cardboard is protection for finished items. And most important, a reconfirmed schedule.

Delivery collage of Kiskadee on 9th of march
Delivery details of Kiskadee

Jon and Will are the two experienced crewmembers and they join us on our maiden voyage and beyond, all the way to Vancouver. A crew of 4 is so much more relaxed then dual handed sailing for long stretches. They will arrive last week of march and join us in Nha Trang, the delivery and embarkment seaport.

Another aspect of getting finished, all live aboard stuff is bought. Respect to my wife who resisted the temptation to buy the whole hypermarket. Our favorites are:

Live aboard goodies

So in general our schedule is:

  1. Getting up to speed on weather forecasts, currents, local notifications, looking at the forecast, checking it with historical data;
  2. Looking at our things-to-do list, introducing a new category “not doing it”;
  3. Technical acceptance while Kiskadee is still at the factory on 20th of march;
  4. Launching, rigging, factory trails, 22-26 march;
  5. First Handover and sea trial to Nha Trang, 28 march – 1 april;
  6. Aftercare, fresh provisioning, crew onboard, final acceptance, 2-5 april;
  7. Start our journey at the 6th of April.

Our selection of options

We do receive questions about what options we selected and why when ordering our Seawind 1260.

Arch and davits are part of the Solar update
Arch and davits are part of the Solar update

Our goal is to live aboard and have a circumnavigation for 5-7 years. A lot of destinations are remote and rural, low on resources. We are fairly well DIY. 

So in search of a suitable catamaran, we are very happy with Seawind. The quality of build, used brands, options and new equipment from the previous generation. I can perform maintenance on a Yanmar 3YM30AE, a non common rail, non fully electronic regulated, non turbo, diesel. I also opted for the Suzuki 2 stroke outboard instead of the Honda with a full electronic ignition.

Oké options, https://smit-jens.nl/cruising-yacht/equipment/ is our list. And we finally added the Westabo diesel heater as well. The option package is balanced and not that expensive because of all installations, factory guaranty etc. The basis is to produce water and electricity ourselves, be able to navigate in any circumstance and have adequate safety options. 

Yes to options

  • So, yes we opted for radar. Upgrade to Zeus3s and of course the auto pilot
  • So we were thrilled Seawind started supplying Vesper Cortex instead of B&G VHF.
  • Yes for Iridium and Predict Wind integrated into B&G navigation station. Because of our route we opted for the iridium package otherwise we would go for Starlink. (aug. 2022)
  • A maximum upgrade of Solar, Lithium and inverters. Included a Galvanic isolator. The aft arch is part of the solar update. Arch and Davits are essential for us.
  • We upgraded to Spectra after reading of Rainman issues and added a Galley Charcoal Filter as our primary source of drinking water.
  • Upgrade the sails, mast steps and MPS Deck Fitting Kit (for Parasailor, bought separately). Third reef.
  • Anchor options, on which I am not completely satisfied. I am a bit old fashioned so tie raps and no chain counter.
  • Fans, screens and blinds, extra cupboard, extra outlet sockets. Heating for comfort and partly for dehumidifying.
  • Built in washing machine.
  • We added an Ikea single induction plate, 1200 watt. Redundancy and a different energy source to our gas stove.
  • Oven, BBQ and electric toilets are a bit more luxurious.
  • Yes to a 340 Highfield, 15 HP outboard, Life raft etc.

No to options

After doing a current balance sheet there is no room for an airco without replacing the two rear 250 watt solar panels with high capacity 430 watts panels, extra converter, adding a third lithium battery etc. etc. Or a generator, the most failed and noisy appliance in the sailing community. So no airco. Fans, mosquito screens and windows that open. 

We will go easy on household appliances, if you are not careful you will bring a coffeemaker, tea kettle, bread maker, microwave, yoghurt machine, a dozen chargers, electric toothbrush, laptops, tablets, tv etc. Part of our journey is a simpler life, all that stuff weighs another 100 kg and there are alternatives. Mostly do it the old fashion way, bread in the oven or pan, hot water and a coffee filter.

And it comes to…

The big question on options is what are your sailing plans?  Can options be swapped later on? And talk to Seawind, putting in plumbing and wiring in the build stage, even if you don’t buy the option straight ahead. For example air ducts for heating. And of course everything is budget driven…

Biggest Mistakes (April 2023)

  • Iridium Go package, the PredictWind app integrated into B&G is a 4 year old version, not updated ever since. Your Iridium Go is to download weather onto your phone, tablet, PC via the Offshore app. Calling, Mailing, Texting are the only other functions available if you are able to get a separate app on your Android or iPhone working. Multiple disconnects etc. In this way also a very limited safety device. Currently I would buy a Starlink Global Roaming (april 2023) and an inReach device for safety (in addition to EPIRB and PLB3)
  • I would, in second tough, also add the bow sprit and the deck hardware for a screecher as well as the screecher itself.
  • Talk to the factory to extend the support of the solar arch sideway to accommodate a dish.

What is a Galvanic Isolator?

It’s all about shore power and underwater metal corrosion, for example your sail drive on our Seawind. I struggled with the concept. Why buy a galvanic isolator? A post from Charles Fort was helpful.

When SV Kiskadee is plugged into shore power, it is electrically connected to everyone in the marina via the green wire, the grounding conductor. All boats are part of one galvanic cell.

Galvanic Corrosion

The weakest metals, like your aluminium sail drive and anodes will corrode because there is always current in a galvanic cell. The weakest metals with the most surface will function as a ground connection to earth, for the whole dock.

It’s one electric circuit. So your anodes are also contributing to the corrosion protection for all the other yachts plugged in. Your fresh, unpainted anodes will be sacrificed for all your neighbors.

Galvanic Isolator

To solve this problem there is the galvanic isolator. Its successor is an isolation transformer, more expensive, more weight, electronically monitored, but functional the same. When connected to shore power on a regular basis, you need a galvanic isolator installed in your shore power system.

Look for a marine rating when buying a galvanic isolator. The isolators must be rated for system amperage. If you have a yacht with an older isolator installed, or if you experience at any time a high power surge from shore or lighting or … test your galvanic isolator. Here is a simple instruction with a multi meter.

Corrosion types

Worn anodes are still the primary cause of corrosion on engine, hull, sail drive, propeller and rudder. If anodes seem to be suddenly wasting away, you may be a victim of galvanic corrosion. Shore power and no protected of a galvanic isolator is probably the second common cause of corrosion. Local rusty spots special on stainless steel components are either surface contamination or a leaky, shafted 12v AC wire to a sidelight etc. Also easy tested with a multi meter. Metal corrosion is sometimes hidden or out of sight. Can be prevented with painted coatings, PVC busses, isolating kit or using the same metal.

Metal Corrosion

Chain & Anchors

Actually this story is more about the chain than anchors. And all obervations are infuenced by the weight of your yacht, deep or swallow anchoring, multi hull and a few other parameters.

Take our SW1260, supplied for a circumnavigation, she weighs, all in, about 26.500 lbs or 12.000 kg and is in most tables a 42´ heavy. Calculations and reference tables are done with 30 knots, 7 bft, wind.

LightMediumHeavyChainWeight /m
46’–50′41’–45′37’–40′5/16″ or 8mm
PC/BBB/HT
1,4 kg
51’–60′46’–54′41’–48′3/8″ PC/BBB ~
10 mm grade30
or 5/16″ G4
~ 8mm grade43
2,1 kg
1,4 kg
Diameter of chain based on the 1/16¨ per 10´ or 9´ or 8´ length rule
( Light, Medium, Heavy)

Maxwell HRC8 Windlasses

The standard windlass is a Maxwell HRC8 which is able to handle 5/16″ BB, 5/16″ ISO G4, 8mm DIN 766, 8mm ISO 4565. For 10mm, 3/8¨ chain a H10-model is necessary.

Chain Length and Grade

Oké let’s start with the basics, old fashion is a 7 to 1 ratio on chain length to depth. With modern anchors, it’s 3 to 1 for calm and or swallow anchoring up to 5 to 1 for a rougher, deeper anchoring, is oké. So the upgrade from Seawind to 80 mtr is on a lower limit. I prefer 100 meters of chain.

RVS chain
Example of a chain, 8 mm RVS (318) grade 60, beautiful, strong and expensive

I think that the standard chain Seawind offers is Grade L aka PC/BBB/grade30 and again on the lower limit. In my opinion grade43 should be the standard and I prefer grade70. See the table for strength and weight and prices. (In Holland, prices in Q1 2022)

grade (8 mm)WLL in kgBLL in kggewicht kg/m€/m (ex VAT)
308203250 1,48,47
4312004400 1,47,77 – 9,83
70320070001,49,87 – 20,50
50-60
(RVS 316)
300062001,437 – 40
30 (10 mm)127551002,311,61
WLL = Working Load Limit, BLL = Breaking Load Limit

So my strategy is upgrading to the Seawind option of 80 mtr standard chain. It will last a year. Afterwards I would order 100 mtr (DIN 766, Ø 8 x 24 mm) chain grade 70 or 43. Far stronger and enough length for my sailing area, the Pacific. Buying a 8 mm higher grade chain is always less expensive than upgrading to a HCR10 Maxwell and 10 mm chain, grade 43.

Anchor

Modern plow or scoop anchors (Excel, Delta, Spade, Mantus, Manson perform well compared to an older plow like CQR or a claw anchor like a Bruce or a Danforth anchor like a Fortress.

I would strongly advise to upgrade from the standard 45 lb CQR anchor to a 48 lb Sarca Excel No 5 galvanised anchor. The Excel anchor is well known for its good initial setting on a relatively short chain and its holding power. The big question is what is the right size anchor, I find this article on the UK site of Jim Green helpful.

LOA (mtr)10-1212-1515-17
Weight (ton)3,5-77-1515-21
Sarca weight (kg/lb)16/3522/4830/66
Sarca type456
Sarca Excel Supplier Recommendations

I am comfortable with the Sarca Excel #5 and find it a balanced solution with a Maxwell HCR8 windlass and a 8 mm chain, grade 43.

We opted for the secondary anchor, a nice 35 lb Delta to be used as stern, tandem or temporary anchor.

Other important stuff

Buy an anchor swivel, always a pleasure to position the anchor on the bow roller. Most swivels attach directly to the anchor, using a bit of blue lock-tide. On 8 mm chain you use a 10 mm swivel. Almost all modern swivels like Mantus, Ultra, Lewmar are stainless steel and corrode your anchor and chain. Swivels are expensive. Rex Francis, designer of the Sarca Excel is not a fan of swivels because of lesser resetting of the anchor and lateral forces breaks swivels. Something to think about.

Buy the Anchor Bridle, it´s not an option. To release the tension of the chain from the windlass, you need an anchor bridle. I prefer nylon double braided because of its quality to stretch and flex.

Length indicators, 1 white tie wrap = 10 mtr of chain, 2 tie wraps etc. Or buy any fancy indicator.

Have a 8 and a 10 mm high quality Bow shackle with you. Always handy when something brakes. I also like a Kong Stainless Steel Universal Chain Lock

And I always carry a spare chain hook. A RVS hook will get bent and forged one breaks.

Shopping in Vietnam

We did an early visit to Vietnam. Let ´s get familiar with shopping. What to buy here and what to bring with us as luggage.

Lessons learned so far

  1. Shopping in Vietnam is oké. A lot of shops, supermarkets, stores etc. From food to crockery, cutlery, pots and pans, from trousers and shirts to underwear and socks, from storage tins to flour, pasta, rice, canned food. All is available and reasonable priced.
  2. Shoe sizes for men up to EU 43 ~ US men 10
  3. No customer marine shops, so for sailing gear and wear, from a windbreaker to a life jacket, bring it with you.
  4. We were advised to bring your own bed linen, duvets and towels because the stuff sold in Vietnam is partly polyester. Although in the Japanese store Kohnan they had micro fill, down and bamboo filling duvets and pillows and 100% cotton towels.
  5. Importing stuff to Vietnam aka sending a shipment is expensive, 10% VAT and ~ 20% import tax. The way around is to let Corsair Marine import your stuff. They are allowed to buy ´in transit´, all equipment must be new, billed to Corsair Marine and there is an administration fee.
  6. The current is 240 volt, European plugs, so is our home and our Seawind.

We are still looking for a few items

  • Coffee maker / machine, like our current Inventum KZ718D, the alternative is a thermos and coffee filter and a electric watercooker
  • We are still searching for poly carbonate or acrylic glasses and coffee cups. There were not available in the Lotte Mart. But can be ordered online.

Lotte Mart

Lotte Mart is a big supermarket. Nearby in district 7, but in district 11 near the airport even a hypermarket on the second floor. For questions, just post and we shall try to answer them.