View Full Version : Okay, I'm Crazy, Now Help Me Out
09-23-2009, 12:51 PM
I sold my beloved Melonseed this past week, and bought a 25-year-old Wharram. I'm planning to take it to the Chesapeake and practice handling it, then run down the ICW and winter in FL and practice some more. It has radar (with a CRT) and a Raymarine autohelm.
The seller is suggesting chart books. I'm wondering about a GPS with some nav capabilities, doesn't have to be huge. Was looking at the Garmin 478 as one possibility. I'm going to be learning nav-skills as I go. Have a Robb White article on using a sextant (I loved many things about his writing, one was his ability to get to the bones of something) that I want to have a copy of and try out when I get time, but also know I'll be inaccurate at it for a while. I thought I might want both the books and the GPS for now.
Another thing I want to do is refurb the Wharram, and am wondering about understanding places I might beach her down in the Keys and do some carpentry, rewiring, and painting.
Another thing I want to do soon is put some solar/windpower on her, wondered if any of you have recommendations for doing that stuff on a budget. I am thinking of stopping at boatyards down the ICW and seeing if yard owners will sell stuff off of overdue boats, but I don't know what's good.
I'm looking forward to all this, but know I'll have to endure some learning experiences.
One other thing I'm curious about, just because I think too much, is whether anyone ever made a lapstrake catamaran. I did some googling, but found nothing of interest.
Thanks for any suggestions, and I hope I don't end up being flayed alive like those guys who didn't need a NA to design their boat. :)
09-23-2009, 12:58 PM
How' bout some pics of your Wharram?
One other thing I'm curious about, just because I think too much, is whether anyone ever made a lapstrake catamaran. Nathaniel Herreshoff's Amaryllis
09-23-2009, 02:00 PM
First of all, one of the most important things about multihulls, they must be LIGHT. Cats lend themselves well to solar power more so than wind generators....
You didn't say what size cat but use whatever is LIGHT.
Why do you need a radar? Anything that you're gonna hit you could probably jump overboard and push the boat off after the board(s) retract.
09-23-2009, 02:28 PM
GREAT! Post pictures of the Wharram...
FYI: good site => Has some VERY high powered wharram folks !
09-23-2009, 03:19 PM
I have been down the ICW and back and while a GPS is certainly worth having these days (the where $1000 and up when I was making the trip and did not make sense!), I would focus on the chartbooks for a few reasons:
1. On much of the ICW there is not much question about where you are (at least if you are at all paying attention). So, the GPS's ability to tell you where you are instantly is not as relevant. There are certainly places where this is not true and where more careful navigation is required.
2. It is often nice to be able to look ahead at what is coming up later in the day so you can plan where to stop for the night, see what bridges are coming up, and so on, and I find that much easier to do on paper charts.
3. For much of the ICW it would be nuts to try to enter every waypoint to allow the GPS to tell you what course to steer, so you are going to be steering by the chart, which I find easier to do using a paper chart than a GPS screen.
At least on the ICW a sextant is going to be pretty much useless. Since you need a sea horizon to use one it is really not relevant until you head offshore. That said, when the occassion presents itself it is certainly worth practicing with the sextant if you want to learn to use one. There should be more chances once you get to the keys.
Even 20 years ago I found much of Florida to be fairly unfriendly to low-cost, live-aboard boaters. So, I'd be a bit concerned about counting on finding a spot to beach the boat to do some work.
The lowest cost way I know to get some electricity "from nature" is via a small solar panel. The key to making this work is keeping your electrical needs down. Figure out what you really need and how much you need to run it and you'll have an idea how much power you need and thus how big a solar panel you need.
09-23-2009, 05:02 PM
I like having a small laptop with cheap GPS attached and using a charting program that will download the free NOAA raster and vector charts. The dedicated charts plotters are hard to justify for the money. I use a Garmin GPSmap 76 with Garmin BlueCharts as the GPS and it is a backup (albeit tiny) chart plotter. My little ASUS netbook with Coastal Explorer does the charting and bazillion other things. The Garmin Blue Charts are way to expensive and the licensing scheme drives me crazy, figuring it out and keeping it straight but if I could only have one thing it might be the Garmin GPSmap with BlueCharts. It is a tiny waterproof 12Vdc/battery chart plotter that floats. The newer GPSmap color displays are well worth the extra money due to the superior readability compared to the older/cheaper B/W displays, I have both and dread using the B/W display.
Coastal Explorer recently started keeping track of the NOAA charts updates and downloading and installing the updates. That is a pretty HUGE nice thing, keeping charts updated. Coastal Explorer is up to $300+, and you can do it cheaper with the FREE program 'SeaClear' but chart managing is a bit of a chore and there are a bunch of nice bells and whistles that are not on the free program but it is a rock solid functional free chart/plotting program for FREE.
Having said all that a Wharram would be happy coming down the waterway with a just coast pilot and ICW chart book and Skipper Bob guide and Reeds. Don't have to have the ton of gizmo's. Heck, you can pull off to the side in a million+ places and anchor safe shallow and free when the monohull 5+' draft are sweating a place to stay and there are none to be found.
09-23-2009, 10:01 PM
Thank you for all the suggestions. I need to look into one of those computer GPS programs, see if I can find something for my old Powerbook, or I'll find a cheap netbook and dedicate it to nav.
I'll try to link to a couple of photos from his CL ad until I get mine sorted out...
Looks like one of the prettier Wharrams. Congratulations! Rick
09-24-2009, 08:18 AM
I can attest to the importance of charts having gone down the ICW. Watch out for tidal currents below Wrightsville, NC. The shallows should be easier to deal with in the Wharram.
09-24-2009, 08:22 AM
I second the idea of a handheld gps. It's an important nav tool. There are ICW charts, sometimes available cheaply. I highly recommend bringing paper charts. They give a big picture with no warm up.
09-24-2009, 08:26 AM
Look's great, looking forward to more details....
'Powerbook' sounds like macintosh..... Not as wide a selection of Nav programs.
Good Site/forum to ask Mac-nav questions:
One of the better Mac nav programs: full featured w/ AIS, GRIB Wx etc (raster chart version $60)
Thad Van Gilder
09-24-2009, 11:14 AM
hey seedy, that's not the wharram at worton creek marina on the chesapeake, is it?
09-24-2009, 11:26 AM
Think about a two hand held gps solution with charts.
I would suggest a garmin and a iPhone. You can get most info from a garmin. The iPhone would give you flexability to call, check up on weather and download charts in addition to gps funtionality. Moreover portable solar chargers are readily available at inexpensive prices.
Buy a good used iPhone via eBay. Make sure battery is new. You will avoid costly set up charges and you can get data plans that won't lock you in.
It's also nice to carry your music, medical records and other vitals in a compact solution. Email and banking solutions will be more managable in tighter quarters too. Being able to get and give will make it seems less of a solitary life adventure.
09-24-2009, 11:43 AM
YES!! iPhone with iNavX & AyeTides is a wonderful mini chart plotter and micro nav computer for weather, email, etc etc etc Have not thought about AIS on the iPhone ?? The ability to just automatically download and use the NOAA raster charts is almost seamless easy.
Except for not being waterproof and not floating it's great!!! I keep my iPhone in a zip-lock snack sized bag at all times and the plastic does not interfere with touch screen or phone use. On a recent international sailing trip I was able to do text messages when we got within 5-7 miles of the coast. Text-Msg was by far the most economical way to do international communication except for finding wifi at the nearest 'sailor's bar' when we got to port and then e-mail. International data roaming turned into an expensive nightmare. But I digress....
09-24-2009, 11:56 AM
Good grief, learn as you go? The price of navigation mistakes can be serious.
09-24-2009, 12:30 PM
No it's in NJ on the Delaware side. Is the one at worton for sale?
hey seedy, that's not the wharram at worton creek marina on the chesapeake, is it?
09-24-2009, 12:32 PM
WillW, thanks for the warning. I've done a lot of stuff that way, how about you? Prefer trying new things to staying in the house or in a rut.
09-24-2009, 12:34 PM
Thanks for the iPhone idea, will look into it. Not enthused about AT&T, would some of that would work on a iPod Touch if I had a signal for it?
09-24-2009, 12:48 PM
don't go anywhere without paper charts. relying on electronics is a asking for trouble. by all means use them, but make sure you can still get around if the batteries go out or the equipment gets wet.
09-24-2009, 12:51 PM
Found myself stuck in the mud for 24 hours recently.
Although it kicked my ass, I found having the garmin and iPhone, I found myself feeling in touch. I was able to get acurate tide information that was better than the charts and the Coasties were giving me. I also uploaded pictures I took to share my misery with my freinds. I also was able to figure out the best windows for taking on the challanging situations.
The used iPhone will be cheaper than a new touch. Furthermore you can turn off the data plan at you pleasure/expense. Since a 3g 8 gig new phone runs 99 dollars now with a 2 year contract. I expect you can find a good used one for a tight budget without obligations that would hinder the free spirit. Moreover you would be able to make a 911 call without having any service connected to the phone.
09-24-2009, 01:41 PM
Nice 34' Wharram! There's plenty of places to hold up when you get to St. Augustine, Florida. You can even park in front of the old fort, Castillo de San Marcos. Vacant beach near a large marina nearby too! Come on down!
09-24-2009, 02:01 PM
Paul, thanks for those photos. Impressed by how versatile he was and how lovely and gossamer Amaryllis is.
Paladin, It already has radar. It is not particularly light, but I agree that it's best not to add weight if possible. That said I am considering a pod in the middle which would give me more room for solar and more room in general. Right now it has one battery and a little Yanmar generator, so I'll have to do something soon after motoring down.
Rick, thanks for the kind words. I want to go over her a bit, perhaps do a bit of fairing on the hulls and redo the way the ports are attached, but in general I agree that she ain't eye-watering. If I can fit the pod in there smoothly I'll try to keep it that way.
Ted, I get the point about the iPhone and and the apps staying in touch, just prefer VZW's coverage. But I'll look into the data idea, didn't know it could be done that way and it would at least be helpful at first. Thanks for the idea, I just tend to avoid dealing with telcos unless I have to.
Ken, that is a fun-looking boat. Is it yours? Trade you rides... :^)
Another thing that keeps popping up is dinghies. I keep thinking I'd like something to row, wondering about skin-on-frame with a light floor in it. Painted a godawful safety orange/yellow that no one would steal. :^)
09-24-2009, 03:18 PM
Trade rides for sure! I've been wanting to check out sailing on a Wharram. I met James Wharram at the 2008 WoodenBoat Show at Mystic Seaport – what a character he is and what a pioneer! Does your Wharram feature nude female sunbathers too?:D
Seriously, PM me as to when you'll be down here and we'll try to make it happen. I can give you the full guided tour of St. Augustine too, if you 're interested. Yes, Xena is a fun boat but she'll lean a bit more than your Wharram.
09-24-2009, 04:11 PM
Need an iPhone rather than a Touch because of the Touch does not have a GPS. If you go the iPhone route the $99 iPhone_3G is false economy. The extra $99+ to move up to the newest 3GS is well worth it. It is a far superior piece of hardware with a MUCH improved feature set. (faster processor, more memory, electronic compass, much improved camera, etc). The ability to do internet most anywhere means you will have current weather forecasts anytime you have cell signal.
Since you have expressed an interest in things celestial. The app=>Starmap when used on the new iPhone 3GS utilizes the GPS, compass and accelerometer to figure location and orientation and then displays the portion of the sky the phone is pointed at. Awesome app that can really raise your celestial awareness. I have the original iPhone and use Starmap constantly when playing celestial games
09-24-2009, 08:15 PM
GPS is handy, but a good pair of binoculars is of more use on the intracoastal. But by all means, cast off the docklines and learn as you go. There are mile-by-mile guidebooks available for the ICW that are more usefull than charts for some sections. They'll give you the bridge opening schedules and other guidance you won't find elsewhere.
Thad Van Gilder
09-25-2009, 06:10 AM
the one at worton might be for sale...
Its just sitting there. I saw it when I went in to inquire about winter storage.
where in jersey is your wharram? Was yours made by Tom Jones?
09-26-2009, 09:50 AM
Ken, I'll let you know when I get close, looking forward to it. Thought I'd wait on the women until I got to my destination to save on expenses. :^)
George, thanks for the info on the iPhone.
Woxbox, I am taking a couple of binoculars along, am betting that the recommended books include one of those by-the-mile's.
Thad, it's in Cedarville, was built by a friend of Tom with a rig designed by Tom. Has a fore-aft beam between two of the crossbeams, the mast is in a tabernacle.
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