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Old 04-06-2019, 02:01 PM   #1
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First Cruise!

This week we're on our first cruise of the year, and first real cruise of our trawler! The plan was for a week long shakedown/vacation learning the boat, testing our skills, and relaxing during spring break from school. We planned to hit some favorite spots in the San Juan's we know well, to keep complications to a minimum. The boat is capable of staying out for a week or more at a time, so we didn't plan any marina stays. Our familiar dog-friendly haunts would be some state parks and other public lands we've visited nearly every summer for many years. Our expectations were rain and cold for the week, anything more than that would be a bonus.

Everything started Sunday, when we had finally finished up a couple key projects and were ready for the boat denaming, renaming, and christening...

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Pretty sure we made the proper supplications and invocations, and revealed the boat's name...

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Monday was sunny and beautiful, but I had some projects to finish before we left - namely finishing installing the waste pump out deck fitting and hose for the new holding tank I'd built for the forward head. The drive out to the marina was especially relaxing, setting the tone for the week for me...

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After spending most of Monday on some additional work, organization, and packing, we got off the dock late in the day. We went to a familiar haunt - Eagle Harbor on Cypress Island. We were able to test a new system we installed - we added a Nemo gateway from Rose Point, tying together the existing Garmin 4212's, ComNav 1001 autopilot with our new AIS transceiver and our laptop with Coastal Explorer on it. Dang it if the autopilot didn't drive us to Eagle Harbor based on the route we had in CE, even steering cross-current across Bellingham Channel!

We arrived just before dark, and it was just us and two sailboats.

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The sailboats left just after daybreak, and we enjoyed the bay to ourselves for a few hours until we left for Sucia.

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...more to come in additional posts!
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Old 04-06-2019, 02:26 PM   #2
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Congrats sir! Priceless feelings. I'll be feeling like that next weekend.
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Old 04-06-2019, 05:50 PM   #3
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Day 2 and 3

Tuesday we left Eagle Harbor for Sucia. We had originally planned to anchor in Shallow Bay, but the winds forecast for Wednesday pretty much dictated we abort that plan (strong SW) and we aborted for our old mainstay at Fossil Bay.

We took the easy road and grabbed a mooring buoy.

A note on moorings - I had looked at several past forum discussions on picking up moorings here in the PNW, where we have mooring buoys at state parks and state owned lands. They have a central channel where the anchor chain comes right up through the middle to a large eye ring - you grab the ring and can pull it up to you if you're strong enough. The first weekend we used the boat we thought it was a bit of a challenge to lift all the way up to the relatively high level of our bow. We have a Hook n Go mooring hook that came with the boat - it turns out its only for lunchtime/temporary use. Our first thought was to use it to grab the mooring, then later fish a line through from the hawsepipes. It turns out the Hook n Go is actually pretty difficult to use to snap onto the floppy eye rings in the mooring buoys. We skipped the HnG at Sucia and just went old school, hook the mooring, pull it up, and feed the line through. It worked well, and since we anticipated winds we did a line from each hawsepipe to the buoy and back - except I'm not sure we can reliably have one person do it. I'm likely going to buy the admiral a Hook and Moor.

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We ended up being the only boat moored in the bay. There was a sailboat and a few small fishing boats at the docks but in total not very many people around.

The day before was my birthday, so we caught up on steak for dinner up on the flybridge at the teak table and chairs Santa brought the admiral this year.

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We had a great time on Sucia - had some decent weather at times, and some storm. On Wednesday we hiked all the way to the other end of the island, found a couple geocaches, got rained on, blown on, but then the sun came out and it was really nice. I was sitting upstairs watching the sunset, and caught this little shot I'm calling "Sucia Colors"...

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BTW, when we were on our hike Wednesday we stopped by Shallow Bay when the winds had picked up, definitely a good move to avoid that bay - the winds were really pounding that side of the island.

...more to come...
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Old 04-06-2019, 06:33 PM   #4
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You’re living the dream! Bravo Zulu!
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Old 04-06-2019, 09:57 PM   #5
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Where you left off with this story you're anchored at my all time favorite place--Sucia Island. Can't wait for the MTC.






MTC-More To Come. :-)
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:10 AM   #6
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Nice looking burgee!
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Old 04-07-2019, 11:30 AM   #7
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Congrats! Lots of fun times ahead. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-08-2019, 11:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GFC View Post
Where you left off with this story you're anchored at my all time favorite place--Sucia Island. Can't wait for the MTC.
Its long been one of our favorites too. Our kids basically grew up there every summer. When we were talking about what to do this first cruise, I asked Josh where HE wanted to go, after all he volunteered many many hours working on getting it ready to go. He said "Sucia and Stewart." So that's what we did!
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Old 04-08-2019, 11:46 PM   #9
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Nice looking burgee!


I haven't solicited a lot of help from TF, but you cannot believe the number of hours I've spent looking at past discussions this group has had; by combining what I've learned here with other sources I've been able to develop a pretty darn good understanding of my boat and the work I've been doing on it.

If nothing else, the forum discussions prompt me to think about issues before I encounter them. And I find there is so little bickering/cliquish behavior, it is a pleasure to consider myself a part of TF. The fact that we were able to do the things we've done with and to the boat is a testament to the group here and their willingness to share and help each other. That burgee is literally flown with pride!
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Old 04-09-2019, 01:02 AM   #10
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Day 4-6 and some Fuel Burn data

Thursday we headed from Sucia to Stewart Island. Again, a longtime haunt of our family.

I'd mentioned in a previous post the kids spent a lot of summers at Sucia and Stewart. This was mainly due to the boat we had, our finances, and my ability to get time off from work.
  1. 1 The boat was heavy and under powered for its size. 12,000 lbs with twin 307 gas engines. It burned a LOT of gas, even at 7 knots. I could count on 1 gal per hr per knot of speed up to 7 or 8 knots. so 6-7 gph.
  2. 2 I didn't have a lot of money for a lot of gas and extras when the kids were young, and certainly not for a different boat. The speed, range, and operating costs of Great Escape were limiting.
  3. 3 During most of the time the kids were young, I could only count on a 2 week vacation during summer time. I had some additional time off, but the nature of my work limited how much time I could get off at once.

Hence, we spent a lot of time doing circuits of the San Juans. We could stay our a max of 3-4 days before we ran out of ice, water, clean clothes, etc. It was usually 3 days at an island, then a marina for 1 or 2. Then another 3-4 days at an island then a marina for 1 or 2, then home with 1 or 2 nights out on the way.

Back to our story of our first cruise on Northwest Dream: As we were preparing to leave Sucia we realized we were on day 3 of a cruise, and had no foreseeable reason to go in to a marina. We had plenty of water left, a fridge operating that could keep our frozen and fresh food for the week, and plenty of clothes. We decided to stop in Roche Harbor for lunch. Not because we had to, or needed something. Just because we wanted to have some lunch out. It was a heady feeling! After a stop at Roche for lunch (the Cubano sandwich is tops) we arrived at Reid Harbor. Not another boat anchored, tied to a mooring, or at a dock at the state park. I love off season! We settled in for the night and were prepared to stay a couple days. The gale warning for Saturday had even dropped off the forecast.

Friday morning the gale warning was back, and now they had added a small craft for Friday afternoon. The wind direction would have us taking a lot of wind; not particularly worrisome but would be at least annoying as the wind would be pouring into Reid harbor from the southeast. We went ahead and decided to be comfortable for our last two days of vacation, and went back over to Roche and tied up at the dock for Friday night and Saturday. The southeast wind still blew hard even there. We ended up putting out extra lines and fenders, and took down the bimini. Boats at the marina were getting some minor damage from the winds - the boat across from us had the bimini tear (or tear more, we're not sure.)

I had some quality time organizing, labeling, and putting away the tools, supplies, and parts I have stored in one of the aft cabin lockers, and we relaxed.

I feel a little bad we didn't get out and test our mettle in the winds, and didn't even touch the anchor during this trip, but hey, it was partially a vacation too.

One cool thing: After pumping all the fuel into the starboard tank during the last phase of our tank cleaning and PM project, I filled it 10 gallons at a time, marking the sight gauge as I went. I was able to determine the bulk of the tank is 1 gallon for every 1/8 inch on the sight gauge. During our trip back from Roche Harbor to La Conner I very accurately measured time, distance, and fuel used.

The boat is a 42 ft trawler, that is virtually identical to the Defever Downeast trawlers. That 42 includes bowsprit and the swim step. When we were out on the hard, I accurately measured our waterline at 34 ft 8 in. We believe it weighs about 28,000 lbs dry. Its powered by twin 120 Lehmans through 2:1 Velvet drives. The props are both Michigan Wheel 24 x 16.

At 1400 RPM (we have checked with an optical tach and corrected the indicated RPM) in still water the boat does right on 6.4 kts with very little wake. (This is almost exactly SqRt of LWL * 1.1) At that RPM, fighting large (2+ kt) currents in Speiden and Guemes channels, I have the following fuel burn data:

Time 6.5 hrs.
Trip distance 36.5 NM
Fuel Used 13 gallons.
Burn rate 2.0 GPH.
NMPG 2.81
Avg Speed 5.6 kts


I was SHOCKED to see 2 GPH. I did go intentionally slow to A) check for just how economical we can get and B) see if we can stand going that slow. (The answer is H*** YES!)

I ran the numbers based on the Lehman engine specifications chart I have in a poor PDF copy of an owner's manual, and it shows that 1400 RPM is about 69.5 HP, at .39 lbs/HP/hr. or about 3.88 GPH for fuel at 55 deg F. I'm not sure why my practical experience would be so much different from a factory calculation though.

Now, add in noisemaker and heater fuel and the total fuel bill will be much higher. My initial figures for the trip out was close to 5 GPH TOTAL, including a slightly higher speed and way too much genny time. (This was adding the main engine fuel to the genny and heater fuel, and dividing it by the main engine run time.)

On future trips, I might run the genny/heater off one tank and the mains off the other to accurately measure the relative use of each.

All in all, we spent time loving the boat, letter her know it, and learning about her. And I didn't take a work call or email for almost 8 days.

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Old 04-09-2019, 07:59 AM   #11
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Sounds like a great first cruise, even with a few storms. Some beautiful photos.
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:29 AM   #12
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Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great trip! Love the pictures.
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