Kiskaduct

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.

No wind

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.

Experience

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.

Breaking things

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.

Condensation

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.

Other stuff

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)

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.

Living in HCM city

Our first week in HCM (Ho Chi Minh) City has come to an end. The departure and the flight went well, Schiphol Airport was not chaotic for a change. To reclaim VAT, Customs in departure hal stamped 2 large invoices without any objections.
And Emirates is an efficient airline. Baggage immediately labeled to HCM, you only have to walk km in Dubai from one side of the terminal to the other end. We flew a B777 and an A380, lots of legroom. That makes me happy.

A lot of luggage
A lot of Luggage

The queue for immigration in HCM City was long. 2, 3 classes of American teenagers were called to order. They had to line up behind each other and shut up. They were indeed joking around and tired of waiting. In Vietnam, a green uniform with epaulettes and stars on it, means that you have to listen with respect and do what they say.

All of our luggage was there, undamaged. We walked to “Declare Goods” with an English / Vietnamese letter with an explanation etc.
Customs kindly helped to put the items on the scanner belt and without any action we passed. Taxi, hotel, sleep.

We used the first week for a combination of sleeping in, factory visit and shopping. From crockery to cushions, to pots and pans. A bit of walking around, eating out, etc. Life is relatively cheap, if you eat locally and you don’t drink cocktails or wine, you will pay € 20 per diner. Prices can range, a pair of Skechers costs € 60, a pair of Bitis €12. I think they are made in the same factory.
We have a cold from the air conditioning, they are turned on everywhere. Outside it is 32 degrees. According to an old Surinamese custom, you don’t walk directly in the sun and in the afternoon you just have to rest instead of … In Vietnam, also on the northern hemisphere, it is ‘winter’. On a cloudy, windy day you see people with an extra hoodie for the cold (25 degrees)

Delayed

We have been to the factory and had a conversation with the owner of Seawind. He is very interested in our adventure and the North Pacific crossing. And he has pledged to help find solutions if we experience further delays.
There is a delay on SV Kiskadee, as we learned from our second conversation, with the Line Manager and Customer Services,.
We discussed the daily schedule and concrete dates. But also seen that ~ 10 parts are still missing, 9 of which are due to arrive on the 28 of February and one part of the watermaker even a week later.

There is no slack in terms of planning for favorable sailing weather and my wish to visit Gabriella’s graduation ceremony.
Our two crew members also have to rescheduled their journey. We are now waiting for 28 February for a conformation of the planning, before we start re-planning again.

Weather and Current Pilot Chart for the month May
Weather and Current Pilot Chart for the month May

Our next serious date with the factory is the 20 and 21th of March to do an technical inspection of SV Kiskadee. On 24 of March they launch & rigging started. And from the 27 of March we start sailing from HCM to Nha Trang, a 270 NM journey together with the factory people. Formal delivery in Nha Trang around the 2 of April and then departure, provided the weather forecast is good.

In the week of March 2 – March 8 we will go up the Mekong river and via via to Phnom Penh and then Angkor Wat, both in Cambodia. A real holiday trip and the easiest way to activate a new eVisa for Vietnam.

Leuk en Verdrietig

De datum van 6 februari 2023 nadert snel, we vertrekken naar Vietnam om onze sv Kiskadee op te halen. Daarmee ervaren we een gezonde spanning, leuk en verdrietig. Ten slotte werken we al 5 jaar naar dit punt toe.

De beslissing om een Seawind te kopen, 2 maanden voor de algemene lockdown voor Covid. En dan de aanbetaling en het wachten tot de bouw gaat starten. Gevolgd door vertragingen met gedoe in de supply chain van 1/2 januari naar eind februari, misschien wel midden maart.

Zeilen, zeilen, zeilen om meer ervaring op te doen. En het behalen van diploma’s voor ongeveer alles. Van vaarbewijs tot aan ehbo. Lezen, lezen, lezen, leuke verhalen, technische verhalen, reviews over producten. Ach lezen is leuk.

Lijstjes, de lijstjes. Wat te doen en wat mee te nemen en wat vooral ook niet. Onze eerste neiging is alles te kopen, ook dingen die niet direct of zelfs indirect nodig zijn. Lijstjes zijn soms boodschappenlijstjes en spulletjes kopen is leuk, we zullen beslist extra luchtvracht kilos nodig hebben als we naar Ho Chi Minh City afreizen.

De eerste verkenningen om ons huis te verkopen, van een mooie taxatie tot aan de verkoop, net voor het ineenstorten van de huizenmarkt. Het opzeggen van mijn baan, het vervroegen van het pensioen van Therese. Dat zijn grote stappen met gemixte emoties. Als je op de bank zit en het nog eens overdenkt, dan pas zie je alle kanten en moet je echt afscheid nemen. Inclusief wat ontkenning, rouw en berusting.

Algemene trend in dit alles is dat je al die activiteiten ongeveer 3 keer doet. Het idee, de uitwerking met alles er op en aan en het weer downsizen naar een handelbaar volume. De boordapotheek als voorbeeld met dank aan de huisarts en onze lokale apotheek. Maar een hecht setje moet je dan weer zelf bij de medische groothandel kopen. Grrrr.

Een aparte paragraaf voor de bureaucratie. Het uitzoeken of je ingezetene blijft of uitschrijft, Wat, ja dat is een complex verhaal, zie Briefadres, INGEZETENE of uitschrijven. Je hebt een zeiljacht en wilt het registreren, ook nodig voor je MMSI, je verzekeringen, inklaren, je veiligheidsmiddelen etc. Veel dingen die niet mogen of kunnen. Dus, je merkt dat geautomatiseerde systemen geen rekening houden tot het helemaal niet aankunnen dat je een uitzondering bent. En dan is een schip in Nederland registreren terwijl het ver weg gebouwd wordt, praktisch onmogelijk. De frustratie loopt dan op en dat helpt niet. Vriendelijk blijven, vragen blijven naar wat wel kan, het liefst in persoon afstemmen. En er is altijd wel een andere oplossing. Omdenken, omdenken, omdenken!

En dan is er het afscheid nemen van familie, vrienden, je sociale leven, werk. Met meer emoties dan we dachten, het valt niet mee. Ondanks dat we tegen onszelf zeggen: kom, kom we gaan lang op vakantie, het is niet emigreren. (Misschien is zeilen over de wereld nog wel minder vast) We hebben gewoon moeite met afscheid nemen. En dan zijn wij nog redelijk internationaal georiënteerd en gaan echt weg voor iets leuks en bijzonders. Daarom alles samengevat

We vertrekken, met vreugde en verdriet !

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

Preparations and circumnavigation of a Seawind 1260