Florida Sailing Trip
Dave and Deidra McGuire
are back from Florida. We returned Sat after a couple very pleasant
weeks, mainly around Key Largo.
(wife Deidre at the helm in Florida Bay - left)
We learned a lot about the boat. We started cautiously,
going fairly quickly from a reefed main and working jib to a full main
and genoa in 15-20 MPH steady winds (gusts to 25).
| I couldn't
be more pleased with the stability and general seaworthiness
of the boat, although we could have used a few more feet of
length in some of the waves. We got fairly handy with
the mast stepping, both raising and lowering it under power
in winds up to 15 MPH when necessary (we ducked through
Adam's Cut to find shelter from the Gale that came through while
we were there, going from the Bay side to Largo Sound to avoid
the North wind). GPS showed the boat moving from 6 to 7.4
MPH with a 7.5 HP (depending on current, wave, and wind).
Best speed under sail was 6.9 MPH, well heeled. Easy speed
was over 6 MPH in any wind of 15 MPH or better with the Genoa.
The boat beat to windward over 5.5 MPH against fairly heavy
chop. Initial impression is that it seems to sail best
when heeled about 15 degrees, but I would appreciate any info
you could share on this. (Sailing Florida
Bay - Right)
microwave probably was the biggest disappointment. It
was nice when we had shore power, but the small alternator
on the Merc 7.5 couldn't keep up on the water. It was
just enough to keep up with the 12 volt cooler, which was a
big winner. It kept things nearly as cool as a regular
refrigerator in the 80 plus degree days. The other big
winner was the Nobeltec navigation software that hooked to my
laptop, which sat on the butcher block cover to the sink, out
of the weather and in view from the helm. It enabled us
to sail Florida Bay, exploring off the waterway and approaching
new marinas at night comfortably. (left
- Christmas "Sailors style")
| I plan
to upgrade the motor. Honda has a new 9.9 HP extra long
shaft with a 12 Amp alternator that they have just listed on
their web site. I think the extra long shaft would be
great. Our first jaunt into the ocean immediately swamped
the motor (long shaft). I ducked into some mangroves and
partially raised it, which then allowed it to cavitate.
Any waves over 3 ft were a problem. Not the best weather
for comfort, but I would like to be able to be safe in whatever
weather we are stuck in.
I also was thinking of the little single cylinder Yanmar
diesel. Installation would require quite a bit of work
though, and it would cost some cabin space right where we
currently have the cooler. Beyond this, it probably
would introduce more noise into the cabin. But I think
I could get it to fit. The biggest question is the shallow
V bottom aft of the keel. I assume the through hull
seals are set up for a flat bottom where the drive goes through.
Do you know if anyone has tried to install an inboard on a
I will send photos of the rig when I get my film developed this week.
Dave McGuire, PY23 1977 Swing/Outboard version
An unhappy "Five-O" hunkered
down in the snow!