Mike Lindskog, Houston, TX asks:
Subject: Hi Scott
I come from a background where when it comes to ocean passages the smaller
the cockpit the better. You and Mary have enough ocean miles under your
keel now to have probably a pretty good opinion.
Are you at all concerned with the size of your cockpit if you should take
a large wave on-board and fill it, especially while you are heavy with
extra fuel? Has this ever occurred? Have you made any modifications to
help it drain more quickly in such a scenario?
We're following your Indian Ocean passage closely!
Scott Flanders from Egret responds:
Mike, it sounds like you are a blue water sailor. BW sailors routinely have water running down the side decks and occasionally get pooped. We don't. If the seas are such we could have a possible heavy water strike we would be facing them having abandoned course. This is how a powerboat hoves to. Egret has never had any serious water on the foredeck and if it were it would be shed immediately. I'll explain. First, in seas like this you will be pitching heavily. If a breaking wave lands on the foredeck almost all of it immediately goes overboard over the purpously low forward bulwarks. The remaining small amount of water gets shed by a combination of two very large freeing ports per side in the back of the foredeck as well as being pitched overboard. Enough water volume couldn't remain aboard to stagger the boat with bow weight.
As far as the cockpit and side deck, there are 4 of the same large freeing ports at deck level and two more on the port side behind the Portguese bridge. Egret has never had anything but nuisance water in these areas.
Heavy fuel makes the boat roll more. We have to be careful not to be running down large seas and get turned into a broach situation with a heavy foredeck. In actual practice it isn't difficult to figure out a combination that is safe and comfortable until you can shed the extra weight. It is also a rare occurance to have deck fuel. This is our third time in 9 years and within a few days the emptying begins and you are back to your main tanks within a week except for a relatively small amount. We know now the first two were not necessary but did not know for sure we didn't need the extra or as much extra.
It will be interesting to record the fuel burn when Egret reaches Mauritius. As of the other day she was averaging slightly more than 4nm/gallon for the trip. If this continues we could have done the 3400nm trip on her own tanks. Of course we would never take that chance or even slightly close to taking a chance.