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Old 18 May 2011, 07:33   #11
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Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: Wildheart
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A couple of thoughts-

As well as your radar reflector, what about a class B Ais transponder ?- then preople could watch your progress online as well!

Solar charging?

If you use "hulk" type tanks, I have a set-up where I have swappable fuel lines - don't be p!ssing about decanting fuel in the middle of the Irish Sea. You know s*ds Law says you'll be trying to decant, look up and see the bow of a seacat approaching and there's you with nothing in your carb, tank or fuel line.......

Bouncing off the "use the main" reply, I assume your main lump isn't a premix beastie?
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Old 18 May 2011, 08:05   #12
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I just had a thought, 2Knots is very slow so the question is what speed will your boat do on tickover as you may need to change the prop (I can't spell proppelor either)for one with less of a pitch.

I have a Ribcraft 585 with a Honda 90 which has a 17P. This does about 4 knots at tickover. I have a 14P in the my garage which you are welcome to borrow.

I've did a trip to the Isle of Scillies back in April everyone said I was mad, like you I made the preparations and enjoyed every minute of it. Its good to push the boundries
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Old 18 May 2011, 10:53   #13
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Quote:
I've did a trip to the Isle of Scillies
not on anything like a comparison with this
Quote:
see the bow of a seacat approaching and there's you with nothing in your carb, tank or fuel line.......
y'man in the self powered contraption will likely do more than 2 knots for a short time so he will! Do you think you can get yourself and the contraption out of the way in the very short time you will have?

3rd crew member resting--not on that size of boat he won't be

Securitee every 4 hours? I can do 100 miles without breaking a sweat in the cat in that time and I aint gonna hear you til I get within your very short transmission area-just a few miles on that size boat.

Earlier this year that french fishing boat got run over by a SeaCat doing what 36??? knots. At your size and that speed you're a sitting, and nigh on invisible, duck mate.
And has been said you are useless to him (sorry dont mean to be rude). You are vulnerable yourself, you are not big enough to give him any useful help and basically you just become two vessels on a very dangerous and completely pointless trip which may result in you becoming casualties which is your choice but the poor s*d that runs you over or sucks you thru the jet intakes will have nightmares for life
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Old 19 May 2011, 08:08   #14
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Thanks again ...

Thanks to all for the responses. I shall try and remain detached at this stage from the overall wisdom of taking on what is clearly a challenge. I shall share your thoughts on the general wisdom with the other crew and ‘solo’ guy involved, such that at least nothing is being glossed over, and try and use the same to tamper my own enthusiasm.

Some specifics we have considered:

The shipping lanes, esp the ferry crossings, have been / continue to be researched, including ongoing learning via the live AIS data. MMSI numbers are being stored etc. The kayak guys have given us some positive vibes on e.g. CG involvement. We will, of course, be talking to the CG well beforehand, and, if they recommend it, to the ferry companies.

From the sea kayakers, the message was that this crossing is a ‘recognised’ challenge, for which the use of support boats wasn’t ethical (!).

Any launch from Anglesey will prioritise an initial southerly current (ebb tide) to minimise the ferry interactions. Avoiding the ferry routes is why I personally prefer Morfa Nefyn. Both crossings are roughly 60nm. The much more northerly and shorter crossing is still an option depending on the trial runs. Just like the diving I’ve previously coxed for, I see one main aim of the (fast) support boat being to spot / track, intercept and head-off approaching vessels. The solo guy has his own interim ditching options if necessary.

The Icom MA500TR AIS unit is at the top of kit being considered but not yet bought. Icom because it will interface with my radio. Again I can’t give too much away, but the other craft in question will have a radar return significantly higher than that of my RIB. He can get up to 5 kts for shorter periods.

Question: can anyone give a heads up on what roughly what proportion of the smaller (<300 Tonne) vessels likely to be out there have AIS fitted?

I agree that the concept of rest is somewhat of a token gesture, but even with 4 trimix divers** (i.e. with up to 4 cyls each) and Cox I have previously created enough deck space for one person lying prone (spewing diver). We’ll have vehicle support to meet the other craft on the far side, so most of what we will need to carry will be for the actual passage only. But l draw from this a reminder to make the shakedowns as fully realistic and comprehensive as possible – i.e. with a full load even of not needed at that time.

(**Open circuit trimix diving to depths up to 70m and up to 40 miles offshore possibly gives you a an insight to my personal risk levels. I can’t imagine I would spend every minute of any eventual crossing thinking about not dying, like I have done down there!).

There is nil history of sea-sickness or any other travel sickness from the key players involved. But we will obviously go armed with what mitigations we can just in case.

Jerry cans will help me preserve that deck space better than I think bladders would. It took me a several years to get a transfer method I was happy with, but now reckon I can get 20L in in well under a minute. But we’ll play more with this on the shakedowns, and I am continuing to research fuel options.

You’re right to infer I’m cautious about this, and that it’s a jump up from what I’ve done before. Fortunately, my crew will be more experienced.

I like the idea of the RIB only passage first. (But nearly didn’t admit to that because of the likely reaction here!)

Looks like the consensus is to plan on using only the main engine (4 stroke, not premix). Happy to go with that. Still wish I knew more about the prolonged low speed behaviours and consumptions – but that’s what shakedowns are for.

I already have 2 props and will check pitches etc – but clearly thought is also being given to the return leg.

The original plan was for a Channel crossing – but despite nearly 2 years effort, the (mostly French) bureaucracy wasn’t cracked.

Finally, ‘proper’ / better support boats would clearly be better. Indeed paying for the same on a professional basis isn’t completely out of the question. I’m self funded by the way. We’re definitely open to listening to constructive and more concrete options for actually achieving this.

Thanks again for all the feedback.
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Old 19 May 2011, 11:02   #15
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Every two years there's a rowing challenge from Arklow to Aberystwyth - I seem to remeber their support vessel criteria were quite sensible - and included at least 2 boats - a RIB type vessel to enable the Longboat crews to swap, and a larger (cabin) vessel to allow crews to recuperate and to protect them if required. It would be an idea to have a chat with them about their experiences - bearing in mind that the Celtic crews move a lot quicker than 2 kts!!

Celtic Challenge 2010
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Old 19 May 2011, 12:01   #16
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Having played devil's advocate on this thread, if ya go I wish you good weather and all best luck. One way or another it will be an experience and I hope it all goes ok with you and the man in his contraption. We will of course all expect a full report and loadsa piccies afterwards.
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Old 28 August 2012, 04:56   #17
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We're still here ...

The challenge I previously referred to in this thread suffered for the last 12 months or so when the main man (Chris) got a work promotion, and his vastly increased work hours precluded adventuring (although he did squeeze in a successful Devizes to Westminster 'ultra' canoe race!).

However, Chris has now removed those work barriers, and for the last few weeks things have moved on consideraby.

This includes a dedicated website which is now up and running - so the full details of his highly unusual (unique?) craft be found here:

Irish Sea Crossing for WBA, RNLI

A 'go' date will, of course, be completely weather dependent - but as of 1st Sep, the two of us at least (plus non sea-going helpers), will be standing by fully ready to go at only a few hours notice.

The plan has reverted to launching from Trearddur with a notional aim point of Greystones (mainly due to the long shingle beaches either side). Roughly 55nm.

The two main 'non-ideals' at this stage remain that a) my small-ish RIB is still the only support boat, and b) even for my RIB we might have a showstopper in springing other experienced crew (we have a list already of about 10 'known' volunteers) from their normal lives at such short notice. Plus of course it's not now mid June ...

So needless to say we'd still love to hear from anyone who thinks they could play a part. If any other RIB fancies joining us, even partial distances would be hugely welcomed.

I'll be honest and say I've thought quite hard before posting this update - so please keep any flak constructive (or at least amusing). And please give generously to the two named charities!
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Old 28 August 2012, 05:16   #18
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I wish you all the greates of luck - Hope everything goes according to plan.

If i had a bigger RIB and more experience I'd have come ...
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Old 28 August 2012, 05:30   #19
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well after the summer we've had you should be due some good weather. Did you ever do your solo test run?
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Old 28 August 2012, 05:55   #20
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Solo test run: I've done lots of 'daytime' testing for fuel economy* and electrical load at idling type speeds. But not yet anything so epic - I have resurrected the idea with my potential crew though. The big Irish trip on here a while back unfortunately clashed perfectly with other hols.

*measured at only 0.25 galls per hour at 800 rpm (idle speed), i.e. almost trivial compared to the assumed 'Plan B' scenarios.
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