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McGuire's Florida Sailing Trip

Dave and Deidra McGuire
We 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) PY23_Florida_Bay_2.jpg (26548 bytes)
PY23_Christmas_Lights2.jpg (26551 bytes) The 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 23 

Rig_after_mast_is_stepped.jpg (31660 bytes)

I will send photos of the rig when I get my film developed this week. (see Article)

Dave McGuire,  PY23 1977 Swing/Outboard version

PY23_in_snow.jpg (53318 bytes)
An unhappy "Five-O" hunkered down in the snow!


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