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PatiCat Cruising Plans
Table of Contents
Overview - updated August 2005
Well, we sold our beautiful catamaran PatiCat at the end of 2004. Our kids are in high school now, and we are firmly tied to land until they at least go off to college. My wife and I plan to buy a new catamaran when our children move out, and are currently planning to do a circumnavigation.
We will evaluate which boat we select as we get closer to this next adventure, but we still have fond thoughts of our Voyage 440. In terms of technology, we will want the latest in the following areas:
- Water makers - technology continues to advance here, so we will want more water using less power, with less maintenance required.
- Auxillary power - we will need more power when we go because I will want more technology and more conveniences on board. Also because we will be travelling to areas where other things like air conditioning become a requirement. In addition to solar power, I may consider new technology like fuel cells.
- Computer integration - last time I did not go for full integration with my laptop and onboard navigation systems. Next time we will definitely have this so I can better document the trip, and have better information for navigation.
- Electronic data sources - I definitely hope better global Internet connectivity choices are available in a few years than the current 2400 baud Iridium, or more expensive Intelsat choices. In addition, we will probably have XM satellite weather and radio services.
- SSB - we will still use SSB for radio networking with other cruisers, emergencies, and as a backup to other electronic communications
- Logging our trip - we will use technology to allow people to see our position live (using say Google Earth). And to view our tracks of previous passages and our anchorages. We will also have a blog (not unlike paticat.com but using new improved blogging technologies).
- Digital cameras/Underwater photography - technology will only continue to advance in these areas, and this time we will take a lot more of both kinds of photography (and I won't forget to take LOTS of photos of our boat undersail and at anchor - I can't believe how few photos of this type we had after our trip)
"Your going across the ocean? I'm worried!"
This happens almost every time we bring up this subject. Let's explain the steps we're taking to help ease your concerns.
- We use pilot chart data collected on passages since 1871.
- We pick the best times to go based on the percentage chance of storms, ideal temperatures, the right kind of winds, the height of waves, etc.
- Before we leave, we can hire a weather consultant who specializes in sailing passages and tells us when is the best time leave. He gives us a detailed 8 day forecast before we leave.
- We of course will have plenty of food, water, spare equipment, safety equipment, etc.
- We plan to travel with other boats when possible - as we did with Shearwater on our trip down to the Caribbean
- We will have long range radio and a satellite phone which can be used to get continuous updates on weather, including calling the weather consultant who can update us on his forecast and our route.
- If a storm were to approach, we have the ability to travel over 200 miles in a new direction in 24 hours. We have two engines, so even if there is no wind we can do this. This means if even a hurricane were to develop, we could easily move out of its way in 24 hours!
- We now have some experience too - having taken our boat on several trips as documented in these web pages.
© Copyright 2002-2008 by Frank Taylor. All rights reserved.
Last modified: Tue Jul 08 18:08:05 2008