First Cruise-Lessons (re)learned

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First Cruise-Lessons (re)learned

Postby shrh676 on Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:24 pm

Took our first trip in April/May on our new R-27 OB, from Charlotte Hbr to the Fl Keys, 15 days. Just some observations re cruising in the new boat.

First off, she handled beautifully at all speeds. In choppy conditions (2'-4' waves) we would keep the speed down to 8 or 9 mph, getting around 2.5-2.6 mpg. In smoother water when running on plane at 27-30 mph we were getting 1.6-1.7 mpg, a little less that Yamaha's claim of 1.8, but then we were traveling "heavy". One note on fuel. Arriving back home at the end of the voyage we were down to one bar on the Yamaha fuel gauge. Since there are ten bars, I figured we had maybe 15 to 20 gallons left at most. Turned out we had 28 as it took only 122 gallons to fill up. Some comfort in that I suppose.

Water: We anchor out a lot and so we were concerned that 40 gallons would be pretty limiting and we would go through it quickly. Conserving as best we could, we ended up using less that 5 gallons per day. The big advantage is that we were in Florida and could therefore take "Joy showers"; jump in the water, get out and soap up, jump back in, get out and rinse off with fresh water on the transom, using less that a gallon per person. I understand folks in the Pac NW might not wish to opt for this strategy, but, hey, it's an option. Drinking water came out of the tap and through a Brita pitcher into reusable plastic water bottles and into the fridge. Use one, fill one to replace. Worked just fine.

Food: We ate in restaurants only four times meaning we had enough food on board for 11 days. Meat we pre packaged using a Food Saver vacuum sealer. Restricted ourselves to chicken tenders, sirloin filets, boneless pork chops and bacon. All this fit easily in the freezer except for the bacon which did not require it. Fresh fruit and veggies along with milk, and other items like butter, cheese and jam fit into the fridge just fine. It is bigger than you think. Beverages like beer and tonic (gotta have those G&Ts) went in the cockpit fridge. A gallon size ziplock bag of ice cubes we stuck in the freezer compartment of the cockpit fridge and it lasted a week. We also now have a couple of trays (16 cubes) of stainless steel ice cubes to keep the glasses of rum or bourbon cold. After using, just rinse them off and stick them back in the freezer. They take up very little room and you'll always have ice. A large covered plastic bin fit under the dinette table and served as our snack box filled with bread, chips, ginger snaps, Goldfish (great with those G&Ts) and cereal. We had plenty of milk on hand in the form of Parmalat. One box fit in the fridge door and the others lived in the cupboard until needed. Sailor's best friend in my opinion.

Dinghy: Ah, what to do? The outboard precludes davits so any dinghy must be either towed or stowed somewhere on the boat. Maybe on top? We are too old to be pushing 60 to 70 pounds of hypalon up to the cabin top every day. Hmmm. The solution for us was to tow the dinghy when running at slow speeds and haul it into the cockpit when going fast or docking. We could do this because our tender is just 7'6" long and less that 5" wide. We can haul it over the starboard side into the cockpit in ten seconds and put it back into the water in nine. It has an inflatable keel, so it tows nicely on 50 feet of polypropylene dinghy towing line. (We use two lines for obvious reasons.) We always keep the dinghy inflated when underway, again for obvious reasons. Our dinghy motor is electric and so stows in the quarter berth under the dinette. I'm certainly not going to sleep down there so it might as well.

Electric/batteries: This caused the most concern at anchor because power is limited and consumption is higher than one might think. The two refrigerators are running on battery power all the time, and and with running the inverter for making coffee or using the microwave, we found that even with the solar panel the house bank would run down pretty fast. Two days at most. Therefore, running the generator was an absolute necessity when staying on the hook for several days at a time. Generators are apparently not all that efficient at charging batteries, as we soon found out. The low voltage output is limited and so the generator must run for several hours a day in order to put a significant charge into the batteries. We would typically run the genset for an hour to an hour and half in the morning and for about the same amount of time in the evening. When we got tired of doing that we would pick up anchor and run the engine to get us to another location. That charged everything up just fine.

Holding tank: We went nine days between pump outs, and when we finally did the tank was pretty full. I would say that is the absolute limit for two people. That's enough about that topic.

Nit picks: Not many. Storage is limited so you have to be creative, but that is more of a challenge than a problem The windshield wipers were not up to the task. I think there has been a thread on Tugnuts on this topic. I'll have to go back and see what the suggestions were. That's about it. Knock on wood.

Best things on the trip: The cheeseburger at Burdine's in Marathon. The Lighthouse Restaurant at Faro Blanco marina also in Marathon. Snorkeling at Looe Key where 6 foot long a 300 lb goliath grouper rested in the shade under our boat for 45 minutes and where we saw the biggest variety of coral and fish by far than any of the other three spots we went to. Running across the Florida Bay in flat water from Marathon to Cape Sable at nearly 30 mph. It's fun to go fast. Going ashore at Lignumvitae Key S.P. and getting a personal tour from the only ranger there. Interesting place. Figuring out where we're going to go on our next cruise. Lots of possibilities.
shrh676
 
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Re: First Cruise-Lessons (re)learned

Postby Matty on Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:15 am

Lots of helpful information in your post. We have only done short trips so far and look forward to a longer trip such as you describe. many of our planning thoughts are the ones you mention on storage, water and towing. I am looking into a "towdster" device I saw online. Looks simple. Made in way that you can turn and back up without a problem. Also looked into Magic Marine Tow device. Nice device but still not sure if that will work with the outboard. They say it will but when you look at how our wake goes I have my reservations. Also it is about 4 times the price. Towdster seems more flexible in how you want to use it. I have to look more into the product and call them to see if they are still selling them.
I am not getting the mileage you are at 30 MPH. I am much closer to 1 MPG. I have to look at my bottom. Probably not real smooth. Use to keep it on a trailer and at the dock but now up on lift.

As you probably know the fuel gauge issue is always interesting on a boat. Not very reliable. I am trying to see how accurate the gauge on the 7612 is compared to the one Yamaha digital. But I would be worried about going down to 1 bar in any case.

Thanks for all the info.
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Re: First Cruise-Lessons (re)learned

Postby Maggie Anne on Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:41 am

Great practical information, thanks. Just one thought on the fuel usage, early on I was running the outboard trimmed fully down, with the objective of lowering the bow and was getting 1.7 mpg at 4400 rpm. I then found that trimming up to say 3-5 bars (midway) on the trim gauge produced a big improvement in fuel usage, back to the 2.0 mpg that the factory specs indicated.
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Re: First Cruise-Lessons (re)learned

Postby Larry1030 on Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:25 am

I agree with the previous post. After using our 2019 27OB for the past three months and running at various speeds and trim angles I have found that the vessel runs best at 4300 rpm (28-30 mph) at 3-4 bars of trim angle on the motor. Consistently achieves 1.9 to 2.1 mpg If wishing to run slower I back down to about 2300 rpm and get the same mpg. One disadvantage to the 27OB is that the vessel struggles to run at any speed between those two no matter what trim angle you apply to the motor. In between those speeds the vessel just can't reach it's plane and the motor struggles at reduced mpg.
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Re: First Cruise-Lessons (re)learned

Postby Cutwater28GG on Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:58 am

That’s not unique to the 27ob. Just a case of on plane efficiency vs displacement efficiency. There will be a gap between the two
Gavin - 2012 Cutwater 28
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Re: First Cruise-Lessons (re)learned

Postby shrh676 on Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:16 pm

Also agree with trim angle settings. We ran with the trim up to three bars when running fast on plane. When we did so in smooth water we could realize fuel economy of around 1.7 mpg or better. In choppy conditions into the wind fuel economy would fall to 1.5 mpg or so. Again, we were traveling with full tanks and quite a bit of gear/supplies. We have achieved 1.8 mpg plus locally on calm days.
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