Hi. Just received awesome pics and story of sailing a Pathfinder in Peloros Sounds, Marlborough, NZ. He is happy for me to post on my blog. Unsure how to get video up but here are the pics.
"Hi Brian and Leo,
In the vid we are sailing Kaiarahi across the northern end of Hikapu Reach, with Nydia bay behind us. About ten minutes later the main (its already reefed) came right down as the wind funneled down the reach hit us.
I ran the dividers over the map, and reckon we clocked up about 125 km all up - about half and half motoring/sailing, on around 11 litres of fuel which was actually a pleasant surprise.
Day one was from Havelock to just inside the south side of Kenepuru - there is a wee campsite up in the bush.
Day two was as far as Chance Bay (brilliant anchorage, crap beach. Going down Hikapu Reach we got to fully reef the main in pretty unpleasant conditions - the PF sat head to wind with just the mizzen and no hands on the tiller while we sorted out the main, just like JW said it should. Absolutely brilliant. We actually spent about a third of the sailing time just on jib and mizzen it was so windy. It wont point very high like that, but it does feel totally safe, and still gets along OK on any other point of sail. the GPS said we hit 12.5km/hrona broad reach like that.
Day three we went out to Norwest Bay, then back to Chance Bay for the night. We had some really good sailing that day. We didnt go out as far as we could as the wind was from the south the whole week, and I wasnt looking forward to motoring all the way back into a head wind.
Day four was Chance Bay back to Kenepuru. We didnt get quite as far up the sound as Portage, and definitely came closer than we ever have to capsizing. The wind swirls around a lot in Kenepuru sound, and we got stuck with an unintended gybe from a massive wind shift, that turned into a big gust that had us climbing uphill back across the boat in the space of about 10 seconds. It probably felt worse than it was though - I dont know if it even got the rail under the water. The cruising guide does warn you about this!
Day five we motored around Mahau Sound then back to Havelock then home.
Lessons for next time:
Pack the boat more carefully - we had way more stuff than we needed and with the cabin I was a bit too casual about just chucking stuff in without tying it down.
I put the entire chilly bin in the freezer the night before we left, and the stuff at the bottom was still frozen (mushy, but only just) 5 days later.
Take a dinghy - the "beaches" aren't very wooden boat friendly and getting ashore was a bit of a drama. Throwing the anchor over the side and paddling to shore would have been much less hassle.
Plug the ends of any tubular spars, unless want to listen to the wind warbling away through long metal pipes all night.
Loosen off the stays slightly at night, unless want to listen to the wind turning the whole boat into a gigantic string instrument that drones at night - occasionally it will harmonise with the wind warbling away through long metal pipes all night :-)
A pathfinder will cope happily with worse conditions than you think you'd feel comfortable with if you reduce sail early, and it is a pretty dry boat under most conditions.
I think the only time the whole trip either of us felt the slightest bit queasy was the very first day.
Anywhere on the chart with marine farms AND cruising club moorings is just about a guarantee of a decent anchorage
If you can afford a 4 stroke outboard and it fits the well, go for it.
4.5hp is plenty by the way. On mine (4.hp two stroke suzuki) 3/4 throttle = 9.5km/hr full throttle = 11.5 km/hr with lots more noise and heaps higher fuel consumption. All this was into a head wind, and against the tide.
Brian - when you glass the bottom, start wetting out the cloth from the MIDDLE and work out toward each end - if you start at one end you will have likely used up all the stretch in the cloth, and will have some nasty wrinkles that you cant get rid of by the time you get to the other end. I found squeegees worked best for spreading the resin around.