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Thread: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

  1. #1
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    Default Small Boat on the Inside Passage


    Through a little luck, a little planning, and a lot of hard work, I've secured two months off from work. Starting in August, I'm going to sail Row Bird on a meandering portion of the Inside Passage, from roughly the Broughtons in British Columbia back to Seattle. I'm going to post technical and fact based things here, and feelings about my preparations on my blog.

    The first thing I did was get a whole bunch of charts details on that here I've got a list of other stuff that I'll back post.

    Right now, I'm thinking about anchors (again). I've had a lot of success with an eight-pound Danforth-style anchor and 15 feet of chain, but the more I think about the amount of time I may be on the hook waiting out tide cycles, the more I worry the fluke won't reset itself well.

    I've narrowed down my choices to a nine-pound Rocna or a eight-pound Mantus. I hear they're both good. Mantus is 25% less expensive, but is bolted together, which logically I realize is fine for a small boat. But in the back of my mind, I keep thinking that it will be a problem someday. Right now I'm ready to put my money on the Rocna. What's been your experience?




    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Bruce,

    good for you! I can't wait to hear how your trip goes.

    Rocnas are impressive--I got to test a bunch of anchors at one of Howard Rice's small boat seminars and the Rocna was pretty much best of all I saw (no Mantus was tested). A pesky size and shape to stow, but probably worth it if you're living at anchor for weeks. They're only about $150 in a size for a small light boat if I remember right.

    Good luck getting ready for August!

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Here's an interesting and clever comparison of Mantus to Rocna . The Mantus wins. Besides being less expensive it also stores flat in transit. I wouldn't worry about the bolts, just check them from time to time. The bolt you need to be most concerned about is the shackle pin. There's only one of them compared to several on the anchor.

    Looking forward to your trip.

    Last edited by Gib Etheridge; 06-04-2019 at 10:42 AM.

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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Enjoy and fair winds.
    Trump, a man who can't hold a coherent thought till the end of the sentence.

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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    THANKS

    that was nicely presented

    and the horizontal balance scale tells me a lot

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    I saw that video and a similar one Chris Cunningham did for Small Boats Monthly:



    The thing that I wonder about, is how often is your boat pulling the rode/anchor along at a 10 degree angle, unless you're anchored at 10:1 scope?
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    All anchors work well in sand.
    Ive had my Manson get jammed with grass because of the "roll bar", and its difficult to clear.
    Much kelp or grass where you'll be anchoring?
    If you will be aboard, Id use a fisherman.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    The thing that I wonder about, is how often is your boat pulling the rode/anchor along at a 10 degree angle, unless you're anchored at 10:1 scope?
    This why chain is critical. The catenary created by the weight of chain delivers the strain to the anchor parallel to the bottom. You don't need a 10:1 scope, and in fact the rode shouldn't even lift to 10 degrees where it meets anchor.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Not really impressed with that test as neither anchor disappeared into the sand. Having said that anchor performance under water is very different to in the air.

    Other factors to consider. Soft bottom favors large area. hard bottom favors smaller fluke area and more tip weight to penetrate.
    My personal experience is with the Spade type. Having said that many others here in NZ like the Rocna. Have not had first or second hand experience with the Mantus.

    This is a good place to look for independent anchor info
    https://www.petersmith.net.nz/boat-a...ce-testing.php

    He summarizes a number of different anchor tests from around the world, and excludes those done by marketing teams that are setup to ensure their anchor comes out on top.
    Also has some extra reading for expert's down the bottom.

    One of the European boating mags did a large review some years back but I have not gone looking for the link

    Z

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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Sounds like a fabulous trip departing at the right time of the year for some good sailing with the wind at your back. Are you planning to launch Row Bird from Telegraph Cove or Port McNeil.?
    Weather permitting the killer whales in Robson bight are always a highlight, as are several abandoned Indian villages in the Broughtons ,at least one used to have some totem poles still standing in the eighties. The shell beaches in front of those abandoned communities may still yield some glass trading beads . Enjoy your trip.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by auscruisertom View Post
    good sailing with the wind at your back.
    Good sailing, yes indeed, but the prevailing wind in August/September is SE. I’d consider making Seattle the departure point and cruising northwards to the Broughtons.
    Nice boat, Bruce.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by Zane Lewis View Post
    Not really impressed with that test as neither anchor disappeared into the sand. Having said that anchor performance under water is very different to in the air.

    Other factors to consider. Soft bottom favors large area. hard bottom favors smaller fluke area and more tip weight to penetrate.
    My personal experience is with the Spade type. Having said that many others here in NZ like the Rocna. Have not had first or second hand experience with the Mantus.

    This is a good place to look for independent anchor info
    https://www.petersmith.net.nz/boat-a...ce-testing.php

    He summarizes a number of different anchor tests from around the world, and excludes those done by marketing teams that are setup to ensure their anchor comes out on top.
    Also has some extra reading for expert's down the bottom.

    One of the European boating mags did a large review some years back but I have not gone looking for the link

    Z
    On anchors, yes, I agree that Peter Smith's tests are very thoughtful. Well worth watching.
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    Good sailing, yes indeed, but the prevailing wind in August/September is SE. I’d consider making Seattle the departure point and cruising northwards to the Broughtons.
    Nice boat, Bruce.
    Thanks for the idea. I've considered doing the trip both ways, including doing a loop. I have up to eight weeks. My biggest goal is to take my time and to really soak in the places, making art along the way. Sailing when I can, rowing or sketching at anchor when I can't.

    No matter what I've come up with, there's always someone who has a contrary experience about the best way to go... I've also come to understand that there's not a lot of wind in August either way, especially if I start in the south. Does that match your sense?

    I figure the main thing for me is to just go.

    I've based some of my decisions on a really interesting book called Taken By the Wind: The Northwest Coast: A Guide to Sailing the Coasts of British Columbia and Southeast Alaska by Marylin Johnson. She has compiled dozens of windroses and other information based on historical data from different reporting stations. You can get a preview on Amazon- it's a unique book, very thoughtful. It describes all the technical parts of making this voyage with wind and using tides in different portions of the passage.
    Last edited by Bruce Bateau; 06-05-2019 at 11:50 AM.
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bateau View Post
    I figure the main thing for me is to just go.
    That’s perfect. Not having a schedule and being free-spirited about where you go/end up is a great attitude for small boat cruising, and it’s nice you’ve got such a big chunk of time to play with.
    Yes, the Gulf Islands can be particularly void of wind at times in the summer.
    Are you going to keep your blog updated as you go?
    Perhaps our boats will cross paths out there this summer.


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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Sounds like a great trip and as you say you don't have to rush which will make it much more relaxing.
    I'm envious
    Z

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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
    Are you going to keep your blog updated as you go?
    Perhaps our boats will cross paths out there this summer.
    I'm kinda torn about the blog during the trip. I'm working really hard to make my trip low-pressure, low-tech. But I love the storytelling and I'm sure there will be a point in a long voyage where I could use the encouragement. I'm bringing limited electronics, so I figure if I pull into port or a marina and they have wifi and I have the inclination, there maybe a few little updates, otherwise blackout until the fall! Maybe my wife who is keeping the home fires burning might help me out. Part of the depth of the voyage from me will be isolating myself from daily doings, aside from what happens on the boat or with the weather... I don't want to look at e-mail and responsibilities awaiting me and thinking about those things, but we'll see.

    And YES, I looked at your blog and look forward to seeing you and Quinque on the water- Maple Bay is now on my list!

    I'll post about my electronics later.
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Hmm... I think you are wise to be considering limiting your electronics exposure, Bruce. I find a lot more satisfaction in writing a journal during the trip, and using that as notes to do Internet posts and magazine articles after the fact. Remember to be there while you're there. That's the whole point.

    Just my own opinion...

    Tom
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    www.tompamperin.com

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Yeah, in this age, it's almost expected that we're never physically and mentally in the same place. There's an amazing amount of marketing that makes us feel obligated to be "on" all the time via electronics at work and socially. Being off will be nice.

    I think there's a place for electronic things- they're exceptionally good at capturing images that are hard to put into words- though it is worth the effort to try. I especially like coming back from my cruises and doing a short, note: short, presentation/discussion about journeying with friends and colleagues. I try to share enough to inspire and give a flavor of the adventure and leave people wanting, rather than to share everything that I personally thought was cool.

    To that end my electronics for the trip are:
    * A DSLR camera from about 2008- good enough for a nice picture, not so good that if it gets doused I'll feel bad.
    * A nice point and shoot as back up.
    * A cell phone, mostly turned off (though, thankfully I understand it won't work on large portions of the trip!)
    * An InReach satelite unit that can send out an emergency signal, basic text messages, and can give a GPS location. (I don't intend to use it frequently).
    * A LuciLight solar lantern/phone charger.
    * A headlamp!

    That's it. No electronic charts/chartplotter, no tablet, no laptop, no dedicated GPS, no smart watch.

    -Bruce
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    What an awesome trip you have in mind. Look forward to reading about it in the fall!!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bateau View Post
    Yeah, in this age, it's almost expected that we're never physically and mentally in the same place. There's an amazing amount of marketing that makes us feel obligated to be "on" all the time via electronics at work and socially. Being off will be nice.

    I think there's a place for electronic things- they're exceptionally good at capturing images that are hard to put into words- though it is worth the effort to try. I especially like coming back from my cruises and doing a short, note: short, presentation/discussion about journeying with friends and colleagues. I try to share enough to inspire and give a flavor of the adventure and leave people wanting, rather than to share everything that I personally thought was cool.

    To that end my electronics for the trip are:
    * A DSLR camera from about 2008- good enough for a nice picture, not so good that if it gets doused I'll feel bad.
    * A nice point and shoot as back up.
    * A cell phone, mostly turned off (though, thankfully I understand it won't work on large portions of the trip!)
    * An InReach satelite unit that can send out an emergency signal, basic text messages, and can give a GPS location. (I don't intend to use it frequently).
    * A LuciLight solar lantern/phone charger.
    * A headlamp!

    That's it. No electronic charts/chartplotter, no tablet, no laptop, no dedicated GPS, no smart watch.

    -Bruce
    Bruce,
    You might want to consider something with a little more capacity in the way of solar charging and storage. Depending, of course, on whether your point-and-shoot is USB-rechargeable and whether you are using your cell phone to connect to the InReach for text messages, as I do. My Inreach typically lasts a couple of days, and I turn it off at night. I have found, in the same waters, that if you get a couple or three cloudy days in a row, you will appreciate the storage capacity of a larger panel and battery to tide you over until the sun returns.
    Alex

    "“He was unfamiliar with the sea and did not like it much: it was a place that made you cold and wet and sick” " Nevil Shute, Trustee From the Toolroom

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Starting your trip from the North makes more sense to me . If the weather becomes too soggy in September you can always pack up down island or in the SAN Juan Islands.
    August and September still have a good number of days of NW winds which from memory tend to be lighter. While living in Port Hardy I still remember cruising the Broughton’s in August picking up several small salmon while sailing down Knight inlet.
    If you are planning to fish one of those pink plastic divers combined with a flasher will produce good results, or alternatively a hand line and a buzz bomb should get you a feed.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by auscruisertom View Post
    If you are planning to fish one of those pink plastic divers combined with a flasher will produce good results, or alternatively a hand line and a buzz bomb should get you a feed.
    You'll need a lure too. A Luhr Jensen Coyote Cop Car spoon will usually do the job.

    If the coho are jumping all around you casting and retrieving a Buzz Bomb works very well.





  24. #24
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    I was in Port Townsend last weekend watching the Race to Alaska send off. Several boats similar to yours, although almost every one had solar panels and some electronics, it sounds like you have worked hard at preparations and I wish you a trip of a lifetime.
    Can't wait to live vicariously through your experience.
    Ron Jones

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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    Bruce,<br>
    You might want to consider something with a little more capacity in the way of solar charging and storage. Depending, of course, on whether your point-and-shoot is USB-rechargeable and whether you are using your cell phone to connect to the InReach for text messages, as I do. My Inreach typically lasts a couple of days, and I turn it off at night. I have found, in the same waters, that if you get a couple or three cloudy days in a row, you will appreciate the storage capacity of a larger panel and battery to tide you over until the sun returns.
    My point and shoot is indeed USB rechargeable, though I can usually get it to go a week or so just fine. I'm more concerned about the InReach. I'm assuming you leave yours on all day? Do you use it for navigation or just to leave a GPS track of your travels? I'm also not totally immune to the charms a down-home marina with a shower and electricity to charge up every now and then.

    What solar systems are people using? The ones I've seen at my local shop are pretty expensive and the sales people didn't enthusiastically recommend any of them...
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by auscruisertom View Post
    Starting your trip from the North makes more sense to me . If the weather becomes too soggy in September you can always pack up down island or in the SAN Juan Islands.
    August and September still have a good number of days of NW winds which from memory tend to be lighter.
    The idea of starting up north in August where the weather can be rougher and working towards milder southern, rain-shadow areas was definitely part of my rationale. It also helped that a buddy agreed to drive me up to the north end. We're going to launch from Alder Bay RV Park & Marina. Alex tells me they're pretty laid back there and less fancy than Telegraph Cove.


    Quote Originally Posted by auscruisertom View Post
    If you are planning to fish one of those pink plastic divers combined with a flasher will produce good results, or alternatively a hand line and a buzz bomb should get you a feed.
    I love the idea of catching some wild food. Salmon are OK- that's a lot of fish for one guy to eat. Catching a real crab is more meal sized! I'm inexperienced with fishing. Any advice would be valued.
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bateau View Post
    My point and shoot is indeed USB rechargeable, though I can usually get it to go a week or so just fine. I'm more concerned about the InReach. I'm assuming you leave yours on all day? Do you use it for navigation or just to leave a GPS track of your travels? I'm also not totally immune to the charms a down-home marina with a shower and electricity to charge up every now and then.

    What solar systems are people using? The ones I've seen at my local shop are pretty expensive and the sales people didn't enthusiastically recommend any of them...
    Bruce,
    I don't use my InReach for navigation, just GPS tracking and text messaging. I turn it off at night.

    I have a Goal Zero Nomad 7 folding solar panel, paired with a GoalZero Venture 30 battery. The battery is 29 Wh capacity. The combination has been enough for my needs.

    Marinas are good, but you might get weathered in/windbound and unable to move for for a few rainy, cloudy days. That's when the spare capacity is welcome.
    Alex

    "“He was unfamiliar with the sea and did not like it much: it was a place that made you cold and wet and sick” " Nevil Shute, Trustee From the Toolroom

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    That's why I prefer to use non-rechargeables like AA batteries for my camera (and radio when I take one)--you can carry the capacity you need without needing to recharge. But most modern electronics probably don't give you that option. Even in cameras it's getting pretty rare.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Bruce,
    you've got a really nice outline for a solo cruise!
    A couple of things I'd recommend (from working on the water in that area, & from a couple of 10 day canoe camp trips in the Broughton Group).
    1) Count on there being at least a few days of grey/rain & potentially some serious wind, particularly into Sept. The main point being having sufficient amp hours for your emerg electronics, even if going with solar.
    2) I don't see a portable marine VHF in your list - it's the primary com unit for the area and lets you check weather + cruise ship traffic. The latter is important because those big monsters really fly, and having one round a headland and close on you in a narrow channel at 15 - 20 knots can be scary. It'll also give you pretty decent access to help should an emerg occur. There's lots of traffic up there this time of year. Mine has a rechargeable plus can use AAs, so I'm (almost) never stuck.
    Hope this is helpful,
    Dale G.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Sounds like a nice cruise, I'll be following this. Stuff the electronics, just enjoy the sailing. The rest of us will just have to be patient. As for anchors... I started sailing in the very early 80s and have yet to work out what is the ideal anchor, but I don't believe that the 'new generation' of anchors is anything other than marketing hype. Go a fisherman and learn its strengths and weaknesses.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    The only electronics I use are hand held VHF and GPS. The VHF is good for emergencies, of which I have experienced none of my own but been able to assist another when I saw flares, and the GPS is the best in heavy fog. You can call in your position on the VHF giving the GPS coordinates if you get in trouble. AA batteries are best. Keep it simple.

    Oh yeah, a depth sounder is good when trolling, and sometimes it's fun just to know how many miles of water there is below me, get's me thinking about sea monsters way down there, kind of like the troll under your bed that will drag you under if you let your feet hang over, but you won't need one for what you're doing, all of the monsters were killed off when they blew Ripple Rock and have never come back.

    In a slow boat in a crowded area like that you might want to add radar reflection. If nothing else it will make you feel better in the fog, that and an air horn. There can be a lot of fog in Fogust.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Also, if you catch a big salmon you can share it with another boater(s). Whack the tail off (no rib bones) and give them the rest, gutted of course. Non-resident licences were expensive last I looked. You can get one online, and you need one even to take just one crab. Don't forget the salmon stamp. Don't eat bivalves, PSP.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    Bruce we are planning to be up in that area with Skookum Maru (40' Ed Monk cruiser if you don't read that thread at all) in August as well. Perhaps we will cross paths. Regarding blogging, etc. while cruising, I'm with those who prefer to keep the experience separate from the subsequent writeup so I can enjoy the trip without trying to compose a narrative at the same time. I keep a ships log using my phone during the day that I copy into the paper log book at night. I also take many, many photos on my phone. The combination gives me time, location, weather, events and imagery all in one place. Then at the end of the trip I have everything I need to tell the story. I keep the phone on "do not disturb" while cruising so I don't have to deal with outside interruptions when there is a cell connection. That turns the phone into just a handy device for recording events. How well that would work for a sail-and-oar cruise might depend on whether you can use the phone while underway given weather and the demands of the boat though. Another option might be to use a recording app with a voice transcription feature. But that might be getting too far away from the spirit of the journey...?
    - Chris

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  35. #35
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    Default Re: Small Boat on the Inside Passage

    To just go, that’s the important part. Enjoy.
    Trump, a man who can't hold a coherent thought till the end of the sentence.

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