This summer, I plan on sailing Kvark to Sweden. Starting from the westernmost tip of Estonia and finishing the first leg in Gotland, Sweden.
Kvark will do about 7-8 km/h in 10 m/s side wind. Total course length when drawn with a ruler is 210 km. When considering tacking, one multiplies this number with square root of two (from the diagonal length of a square), getting 296 km. Sailing time will therefore at worst be 43 hours(!). One would hope that winds are favorable and a single tack will suffice. Then we’re talking a mere ~32 hours sailing. For reference, we sailed to Finland in ~15 hours.
This duration raises some issues:
- Getting rest;
- Being visible to tankers;
- Eating warm food;
The first point combines well with the second. You cant keep watch when you are sleeping. And you cant sleep with nobody holding the tiller.
Self steering? Kvark is very difficul to trim, she wants to turn windward. She would benefit from moving the center of effort forward. I’m thinking of adding a bowsprit to bring the foresail effort forward. I’m also thinking of an electric autopilot, though these cost. Or simply take along a friend.
As for visibility. I will be adding lights to the boat. A 135 deg white light to the stern and a combined greed-red light to the bow. I could simply do away with a mast-top 360 deg white light, however I would have to run a cable from the top of the mast and this would all add weight above the waterline. She definitely does not need more weight in the mast, as she is wobbly enough already. I was thinking of changing masts for a lighter one. Different topic!
A radar reflector would also do good. However I have read that the “tube” variants are not very effective. There is a pretty decent review of the different types here. They should, however, be more effective than nothing at all. Again, my issue is that I want to add no weight to the mast. An active radar reflector would be cool, however this will cost.
I think I will try to find someone to join me on the trip. Then we can change keeping watch, steer the boat and keep an eye out for tankers.
Warm food will be the simplest task to solve. This means simply buying a gas stove and putting it on a gimbal. For this, there is space inside.