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Post subject: Cruise/Delivery Report  PostPosted: May 19, 2011 - 08:32 PM

Joined: Oct 15, 2010
Posts: 31

Status: Offline
Last Monday I left Annapolis to bring our new to us Cape Dory 28 Cruiser down to our home in Oriental, NC.

This post gives some detail about how the boat performed and some of the sights along the way.

Ours has the almost original Chrysler 275 hp engine- a long block was replaced about five years ago.

The boat performed flawlessly over the 3-1/2 day trip. I cruised at 3,200 rpm which gave her 12-13 kts, less with full fuel and water, a bit more as fuel burned off. Someone said that a downeast hull has a perfectly smooth power vs speed profile. What he was saying is that there is no obvious transition onto plane. But with a Navman fuel flow meter I could see a tiny hump.

The NM/gal milage stayed pretty constant at about 1.2 from 2,500 rpm up to 3,500 with a bit less milage at the lower rpms. It seemed to me at about 3,000 rpm (11-12 kts) the boat was "planing" if you can use that term with this hull. The water sound changed to a rush. I settled at 3,200 as this was 12 kts and I felt like any more wasn't necessarily good for the engine.

And FWIW it doesn't improve milage to go slower until you get down to 7.5 kts. There you are in displacement mode and milage improves as speed drops.

I put about 25 hours on the engine and burned about 1/2 quart of oil. Not too bad given that it was putting out about 125 hp. This would be the equivalent of pulling a heavy trailer with this engine in a truck at 70 mph.

One addition that I made just before I left was to add an anchor roller. I purchased the Kingston BR-22L from Defender. This turned out just right. I temporarily bolted the aft 6" to the bow of the CD after removing the nav light. With a 20# Bruce installed it left about 4" behind the shank- just enough room for a small cleat. Anchoring in 8' of water means I have to only pull up about 28# of anchor and chain weight when the rode is vertical. My back can just handle that but only with the roller in place which lets you step back and pull at about a 45 deg angle.

During the next few days I will strengthen the mount by adding a piece of 3/4" Starboard to distribute the load better.

The first day on the Chesapeake was light winds and seas and the going was easy. But when I woke up the next morning in Deltaville the wind had picked up to 15 kts and the seas were 3-5'. This wasn't a lot of fun. The boat didn't really hobby horse, but every 10 minutes or so I would fly off a particularly big wave, crash on the bottom of it, the prop would cavitate for a few seconds, and our speed would drop by a couple of knots. This went on for about 4 hours until I got behind the jetties at Hampton Roads.

In those conditions average fuel consumption dropped to 1.1 NM/gal, but the boat kept going. I wasn't comfortable but the boat could handle much more.

I pulled in to Coinjock a pooped puppy. But a big steak at the Coinjock restaurant eased some of the pain.

The next morning was decision time- to continue down the ICW or to branch off to the east and go through Ocracoke along the Outer Banks. Since I had never been there before and this is one of our potential cruising destinations from home, I took the eastern route. It was easy. 95% of the trip was in open water (and the winds and seas were light) so you could just set the autopilot and sit back.

Getting in to Ocracoke was a challenge. I stared at the chart for 5 minutes before I figured out what was going on. The main channel inbound to Ocracoke but also outbound to the inlet had the greens and reds reversed from what you would have expected if you were figuring red right returning to Ocracoke. Then there was a cross channel about half way in that also had greens and reds reversed from what you would expect, but this too was part of the channel to the inlet. Only when you got close to Ocracoke was there a branch channel to the harbor which was red right returning. The only fly in the ointment was one last red marker which seemed out of position. This puzzled me until I got close enough to see that it was a red/green and labeled SI, whatever that means.

Ocracoke was pretty nice. I expected to anchor but at $20 to dock at the NPS docks with the Golden Age pass, I couldn't pass up that bargain. The ferry terminal is close at hand and if a 6:30 wake up whistle upsets you, then don't dock there but I was away by then.

The last run in the morning was an easy 3 hours to Oriental.

All systems worked well, except for the Lavac head which I will have to figure out. The Origo stove worked well on alcohol or 120V power.

And finally let me put in a plug for Active Captain and OpenCPN. AC is an internet application that displays NOAA charts with info on marinas, anchorages and more which has been added by their user community. With the internet connection I had at Coinjock I was able to check that I could get fuel at Ocracoke (I did call the next morning to confirm as this would have been a real bummer if I couldn't refuel).

AC lets you plot routes, measure their distance and if you are clever, download them to your GPS/chartplotter. I wasn't that clever and I have never liked following a preprogrammed route, but I will have to give it a try sometime if I can easily download the route to OpenCPN.

OpenCPN is a freeware application that is every bit as good as Coastal Explorer, Nobeltech or what have you. For the price of a $300 netbook, a $40 hockypuck gps and a $50 inverter I had a chartplotter every bit as good as the commercial programs. The display is a netbook and it won't handle full sun on it like a real dedicated chartplotter, but the price is right. And with the enclosed helm station of the cruiser it was rarely a problem.

So the boat is home in its slip in Pierce Creek. I don't expect to ever do much long distance cruisng again with this boat. 30-40 miles is my limit. This whole trip cost a cool grand for gasoline- $4.90 per gallon at Deltavile was the top. Wow!!!! It was ethanol free, however.

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