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Author Topic: Cruising in Central America  (Read 1091 times)

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Cruising in Central America
« on: August 07, 2004, 03:22:37 PM »

I've only been sailing about a year, and bought my 86 c34 (SABBATICAL)3 months ago. Can a C34 realy sail from Houston, TX to Costa Rica? Would I have to hug the coast all the way, or is she capable of crossing the gulf? Did your boat need extensive retrofitting? I thought I might have to wait until I could afford a bigger, "blue water boat" before making such a passage.

I hope that my questions don't sound to terribly naive, however, I am going to attend a 3 month "Professional Mariners Training" course at the Chapman sailing school in Florida for a crash course, and to try to get some answers to my endless questions. I have the ASA 101 certificate, have read a dozen books and sail every weekend... but I feel that I need the more advanced knowledge and face-to-face training for the inevitable life or death situations. Weather still stumps me. Navigaion still stumps me. I don't know if I need a GPS, chartplotter, radar, sextant, water maker, all of these, anything else, or none of these!!!

Come hell or high tides, I'm gonna go cruising. I've got the burn! I LOVE MY C34!

I'm very glad I found this site.
J.R. Tamayo

Stu Jackson

  • C34IA - Secretary
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2004, 08:57:33 PM »


Glad you found us.  Cruising is a great goal.  Most of us only get a few weeks or so at a time.  We've been lucky to have spent more time on the boat than at home for the last month.

To make your goal a reality, with a C34, you need to do a few things.  Everything else is your choice, but these are for your health and safety

1.   Do an Energy Budget

2.   Replace the stock alternator with internal regulation with a new alternator and external “smart” regulation

3.   increase the house bank capacity to at least four times daily energy budget use (i.e., 100 AH per day = 400 AH house bank)

4.   Learn to bleed your engine
which also gets you to:

5.   Learn to heave-to

6.   Replace your alternator bracket on an M25 if necessary

7.             Have all tools and spare parts aboard

All the rest should go to enjoying the fine sunsets...

We were out for 4 days more or less without running the engine, with a 315 ah house bank, full refrig going (5 amps, 50% duty cycle, 24 hrs. per day = 60 ah, usually uses less).  Lamp oil lanterns for cabin and anchor light.  Very little electricity use.  Total engine running time at anchor for 3 days was 1 1/2 hours, and probably could have done without that engine time.  Three hours motoring to the anchorage, knew we were going to mtoro at least 3 going back, no problem with our separate starting battery, which was never needed.)

Enjoy, and keep us posted.
Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."


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Cruising in Central America
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2004, 04:00:56 PM »

Stu, thank you for your wisdom-filled and inspiring reply.  Gonna have to post pone the southerly lattitudes for a bit...our emmediate plans have changed.  We're actually going to ship SABBATICAL to your neck of the woods, to a marina in Marin County. We were trying to get into Southern California, but there are no slips available (especially for live-aboards).  I'm actually looking forward to some cooler climes (it's 100 w/100% humidity in Houston right now!).

Fair winds, following seas,

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