It isn’t easy to sail the North Pacific. Going from Japan to Vancouver is a challenge, even to a well build Seawind1260 like our Kiskadee. We know that before doing it and experiencing it while doing it.
It’s roughly a month of sailing and you will experience both storms and very calm weather. The conditions are hard, the water temperature is 6-8⁰ Celcius, 15⁰ on daytime, 10⁰ at night. The Webasto could get the temperature up to 17⁰ but you need to run it long and hard. Consumes 0.6 liter per hour. Port tank only. About 50% of the days where foggy, flying water or raining, a few days really sunny.
Calm weather is annoying because you can’t motor-sail all of the time, doing 1400 – 1600 rpm on one engine you burn 1.4-1.6 liters an hour for 3.5 knots of boat speed. So a day of motor-sailing burns 35-40 liter, 16-17.5% of a tank. We were not able to do a stable drift on autopilot. Not enough speed for the AP to maintain a course and constantly rudder alarms. You can’t look the steering wheel by a friction nut, so a construction with elistics and rope is needed.
To munch wind
Bad weather is also annoying but for a different reason. You worry about the boat. Big winds, up to 30 knots, big waves 3 meters plus. Going on a broad reach, its very doable, long waves from behind, sometimes surfing. 90 to 120 is very oncomfortabel, a screwdriver wobble. And more into the wind, a course of 40 to 50⁰ is frightening if the wave length in between is to short. Big bangs of water to the hulls, underneath the bridge deck and to the watertank. So the main thing to do is depower, slow down your speed. Almost no Jib and put the boom outside and lose a lot of wind. Any speed over 7 knots is uncomfortable.
So up to 20 knots of wind we sail with all sails up, except when we are doing 30-45⁰ AWA and waves are short to each order. First reef then give a more stable boat going over the waves in stead of through them. We discovered that all weather models under estimate the wind strenght in the night by 3 to 4 knots. And more gusts. So the well known first reef by night and reduced job. The jib add a knot of boat speed between fully and 50% deployed, but is the first action to stop Kisadee slamming through the waves.
We had 2 times the furling badly shaved and replaced, shorted and the third reef line, already shaved, snapped during a storm with ~27 to 30 knots of wind. We anticipated the snapping of the third reef and had a second construction setup at the front and back at the boom. The outer hauler shaved and snapped. The parasailor tacklines and barberhaulers lines get broken mantles which we repaired.
Shaving is a major problem, all reef lines to the back off the main, especially at the batten pockets, all halyards at the lewmar clutches, all barberhaulers where they touch the sheets, furling line on the furling drum window. Three solutions, daily inspections, duct tape on lines at shaving points and no tension on lines like reefs, topline, furling line etc when not in use.
User errors like breaking a lewmar clutch when running a line directly to a winch in stead of first to a running block. Losing a stopper at the Jib rail by losing control of the furling line and no tension on the jib sheet in high winds. The block wasn’t secured, pin down, so the stopper took multiple hits and broke off. A broken and glued back stopper for the self trailing disk on the small winch on port side. A ring of the dighy snapped off, too much tension in the wrong direction with a hard polyester line. But all repairable.
Our biggest challenge is condensation. 10⁰ difference in temperature between out and inside and a lot of most is a real challenge. Not only windows and hatches, but complet hulls, inside cupboard’s, walls everything condensates. We generate to much most, by wet clothes, cooking, breathing. Airing is not a solution, we would like to stay a bit warm inside. So microfil clothes and wringing on an 2-hourly base. And everything is damp.
We long for a sunny and calm day to open hatches and and let warm and dry air into the boat.
We had our starboard engine running hot twice. The problem was an air leak at the gross filter between the housing and the top, hold together by a wing nut. A little petrol jelly and a hand tightening did the job. We learn the first time to look at the filter before looking at the impeller Wich was fine.
We had multiple errors on Vesper Cortex, Iridium Go and B&G MFD, NAC3 aka the autopilot. Running them constantly longer then 1 to 1,5 weeks generates software problems. The solution is simple, ones a week reboot all appliances. Do some hand steering.
(first published 21 June, limited internet)