Dinghy cruising camping tips.

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seasquirt
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Dinghy cruising camping tips.

Post by seasquirt »

And - another good case for me needing a small Trailer Sailer:

I did a 12 day 11 night sailing camping trip of about 250 Km long, in my 10 foot long plywood sailing dinghy, a sawn off Heron.
Having to find a new sheltered camp spot every evening, clear and level some ground, peg a tent, and an extra tarp over the top of my leaky modern backpacker's tent (rubbish in real weather), set the bed, and arrange all my stuff I can't leave in an open boat, and then sit cross legged cramped hunched over a metho stove, to get a hot coffee and some dinner warming, at the end of a long day's sailing, gets a bit tedious. And in a long drawn out gale and heavy rain, lying in my coffin shaped tent for hours and days, lying damp / wet, leaks and condensation, cramped, unable to move without getting outside in the rain, except for furtive expeditions with the spade when a break in the rain allows, isn't a holiday. All my canvas soft bags went moldy, and damp sand and traces of mud was beginning to stick to everything, since nothing could dry; cold damp sandy feet in a sleeping bag is rather annoying.
Packing up every morning is a chore, especially if breaking camp and stowing everything quickly in between rain clouds, with nothing allowed to dry.
And having no motor to overcome fast running waters, steep choppy waves, and sailing gear failure, is a recipe for potential adventure, at least.

Lying huddled in my tent, and completely zip up, hooded, nose hole to breathe, insulated sleeping bag, and still freezing, I dreamed of sitting back in a comfy seat, or on a raised bunk, in a dry cabin, with a decent hot coffee, glass of port, with food cooking on the other side (not in my face), room for my legs somewhere, and looking out of the windows of a warm cabin, at the atrocious weather outside, music on, or computer, etc. Maybe make some waves of our own if with a partner. Stand upright and move about easily in the covered steering position, without needing to shuffle gear about to get foot room. A good sized outboard motor to be able to motor past 6 knot tidal flows, and 40 knot winds to get to safety, or just to give up and go home.

But then:
A chemical toilet stinks and doesn't sound appealing to me - that's my biggest dislike of TS's. Not a big enough use, or boat size to warrant an incinerator head or composter. What are the alternatives. Not everywhere you can go ashore with a spade and dunny roll.


Sail Camp trip tips:
After enduring days of adverse weather, and being unable to move camp, or resupply, except for rain water, I came up with the following formula for consumables per person.

Work out how many days long of a trip you plan to do, list food and other consumables needed, being generous; then double it, and add another 1 week for contingency planning - like for a week of very bad weather, or an unplanned extra mouth.

Metho stove fuel: one litre per person per 2 week minimum. This gives only 1 hot meal, and several hot drinks per day.
Water: 2 litres per person per day minimum, on top of the boat's required 4 L, then add enough for 1 extra person for that duration.
Food cans: one large (400g - 450g) per person per day; supplemented with something fresh if possible; and heaps of museli bars.

At the end of a nearly 2 week trip, which was supposed to be a 1 week trip, I ran out of sugar - many coffees; and milk - many coffees; I ran out of metho stove fuel - many coffees and extra meals; I forgot to pack tea bags for when the milk and sugar are gone; I took 21 litres of fresh water, and had about 2 L left; mobile phone credit ran out from keeping in contact with others, and I couldn't recharge credit; my mattress seemed to get thinner and less insulating from the ground when over used; the FM radio built into my mobile phone was out of range, and useless to hear the weather reports. The hand held UHF radio battery didn't last long, even without using it to transmit, and then it got wet. Mobile phone wasn't a smart phone, so couldn't look up phone numbers for information or assistance, or recharge mobile phone data/credit online. No credit card anyway. If it was a dry storm in summer, I may have also run out of water.

I got 2 litre plastic milk bottles, tipped out a bit for expansion, and then froze them solid over days, and packed them in the cooler, with ice on top; they lasted over a week still mostly frozen. I marked F on the lids, to use them last. That worked well. Powdered milk is used up fairly quickly if you make it up to be 'milky', rather than 'good enough'; and it reverts to lumps in a thermos flask after a while - yuck.

A 'dry bag' for biscuits and dry goods leaked, so most opened things suffered to varying degrees. Crackers with no crack! I use clothes pegs to seal off things like biscuit bags, folded or twisted and pegged, to seal and contain them a bit. Don't trust that an unopened food bag/wrapper is watertight - Some of my cold Arnotts Mint Slice bikkies became soft centres while floating unopened in the Esky ice water, not ideal, but still yum.

After just 12 days of eating canned foods, (which usually included some veges in the tin), my health and skin condition was deteriorating, so if you have room, pack some veges for a fresh cooked meal now and then. Probably constantly being wet or salty didn't help. Bananas don't travel well for long, carrots and potatoes will last a while, leafy greens will not last so eat them first. Maybe put some vitamin supplements in the medical kit, and the abandon ship bag.

I flattened all my batteries (I had dozens of AA and AAA's for camera, GPS, torch, etc.), and the big lithium ion car starter re-charger battery I use, was almost dead. It was essential, to keep my mobile phone power charged for safety, and to run a small USB battery charger for the AA and AAA batteries.

My backup 12 V gell cell battery was useless when I found out that the cig. lighter plug USB power converter I brought for it was rubbish, the LED indicator lights came on, but it didn't deliver any power at the slot. I didn't check it 'properly' before packing it.

Another failure was the flash looking stainless steel can opener I took. Can openers have been made for over 100 years, but mine made in that - you guessed it - garbage manufacturing place, died after 2 cans. What a P.O.S. !! Luckily most cans I took were ring pull types. Otherwise, I didn't take a big strong knife, so I'd be in trouble. Take a big strong knife. And a reliable can opener.

My old school metho stove occasionally spat out flaming metho on start up, burning me, and making a couple of small holes in the plastic tent floor; not very safe or convenient in a very small plastic tent. A safe cooking method is a must. At least metho doesn't explode, it just takes a while to cook with it.

I did take a bag of spare dry clothes sealed in plastic, including socks and jocks, T shirts, pants and shirt, windcheater. It was for in case I capsized, and in the end was the only dry equipment I had left, as everything else was damp, or wet, or soaked, just from days of rain. Even my sealed bag for cameras, electronics, and dry food eg. biscuits, had water in the bottom, which got into my UHF radio and some foods. In the past, tupperware was excellent for sealing up sensitive gear, I should have used it again.

Durable wet weather gear, and a waterproof hat (not a hood) is recommended, like a southwester type hat. Hoods block your view when looking around, and if flopped back or blown down, the back can catch the rain, which then goes down your neck and back when you use it, negating the basic function of it. Insulated wet weather gear is even better in winter, and more layers is less likely to leak.

A 500 ml or thereabouts wee bottle/jar with a large lid, is a safety item. An overseas marine rescue person said that of the men his crew found drowned, over 90% were found with their pants' fly open. A rope trailing from the stern may also help, in a different way.
A wee bottle also helped when I was rained in for days, in a small tent, and in the boat when surrounded by other boats.

For new modern synthetic tents with sealing tape on the inside of the stitching, immediately remove all the sealing tape, and use liquid urethane sealing compound, brushing it into the stitching on both sides of the tent, inside and out, to seal it properly. That sealing tape only sticks on for a little while, and then leaks and comes off. If the synthetic waterproof lining shows any signs of wear, it will leak, as it is only a thin layer on the underside surface, and not embedded through the fabric - get rid of it.

Good old canvas is heavy, and bulky, but strong and reliable, and is easily repaired. With a fresh painting of canvas sealer, an old tent will last another 20 years, not just 20 days.

Happy Camping.
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Re: Dinghy cruising camping tips.

Post by Furstin »

Sounds great.

An extra 6 foot will change your life, go to 18 and can almost be comfortable.
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Re: Dinghy cruising camping tips.

Post by Even Keel »

Google poo tube. Not pleasant but better than sharing a confined space with porta potty. You might be able to store it in one of your boyancy compartments.
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Re: Dinghy cruising camping tips.

Post by Furstin »

We used a camp toilet seat with bag fitted, tie up and into a flare container.
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Re: Dinghy cruising camping tips.

Post by seasquirt »

Thanks for the suggestions. Those are both good ideas, Even Keel, and Furstin. I looked up the 'poop tubes' on the I'net, pretty simple, so many excessively detailed instructions for such a simple thing. I had forgotten about the total wilderness backpacking equivalents. A fire extinguisher type bracket could hold a poop tube on the transom, so it's usually down wind and out of the way; and if someone steals it - good luck !
Furstin I did have a Hartley TS 16 once, with nearly enough room inside, but too much outside for me to push around alone off a beach etc, so whatever I get will have to be very light, so probably not as big as 18, as much as I would love a Careel or similar.

I was re-stocking camping kitchen gear today, almost doubled the sugar container size, packed a wad of tea bags into a sealed container, topped up the honey, which got me through when the sugar ran out, and topped up the cocoa powder. Drink powders like Milo and Aktavite etc. have ingredients which go off, plain cocoa powder lasts a lot longer, but can go moldy eventually, as can old coffee.
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Re: Dinghy cruising camping tips.

Post by Castle 610 »

Seasquirt..where did you do the trip?
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Re: Dinghy cruising camping tips.

Post by seasquirt »

Hi Stephen, It was one of the several I did down the Coorong in the last few years. Sometimes seeing how far down I can get, sometimes hanging where the fishing action is, closer to the river mouth and eastern barrage areas. I have sailed as far south as across the Tea Tree Crossing access road, at high tide on 0.9m deep water, on the road's depth marker post. And on the fresh water side in a Bonito 22, between Goolwa and Milang and surrounds many times.
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Re: Dinghy cruising camping tips.

Post by Castle 610 »

Thanks
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Re: Dinghy cruising camping tips.

Post by Furstin »

Look at a Princess 18.

500kg dry weight, heaps of room. 5hp pushes them.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/W8qIP0bYJApasqAw2

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Re: Dinghy cruising camping tips.

Post by seasquirt »

That's a good suggestion Furstin, thanks, the Princess is unique looking first up, but many good points. I like it a lot, and it looks like a yacht, not a dinghy. I did some research on prices and problems, and read about spongy front decks, and potential problems with the keels mentioned but not explained. I understand the decks suffering after decades of use, does that affect the mast stepping ? And does the mast stress the deck, or deck/cabin sides transition ? If you have info on these issues, please do tell. They seem a reasonable price too, from time to time.
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Re: Dinghy cruising camping tips.

Post by Furstin »

The mast step is a laminated pre stressed beam.
Re sponge deck... it's a matter if finding one without issues. Ours was fine. It's usually in a spot that's had repeated compression like mast raise or more likely front if foredeck area ime. I felt the ones I looked at with it were treated hard.

We did lots in our boat, after our glass ts16 it was a palace lol.



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Re: Dinghy cruising camping tips.

Post by davem »

Furstin wrote: Jun 15th, '22, 13:20 We used a camp toilet seat with bag fitted, tie up and into a flare container.
I have some experience with this as I dont like the space taken up by a porta-potti & its' associated risks. I have tried super duper toilet bags (read $), smell free bin bags and the like but havent really been impressed. Honestly was really unimpressed with the wafting.. tried kitty litter but didnt seem to make much difference.

My solution - a poo tube from left over 90mm pvc pipe. 100mm pipe would be better but heavier. A 10L bucket with some slit garden hose around the lip to take the edge off when seated. Kitchen bin bag in the bucket for use. When done, remove as much air as possible from the bag and tie off. Nothing really new here..

Next step is to double bag. Not another bin bag (doesn't work. I tried). I now have a collection of the bags that premium Aldi muesli comes in. Heavy non-permeable plastic with zip lock. Similar bags are used for frozen fruit. Bag and store in poo tube. There is still some smell in the poo tube when you open it but wont knock your socks off like what used to happen. On short solo trip I didnt bother with the tube and just left a couple kicking around the floor of the cockpit. Really innocuous. Dont get them mixed up with your food stash.

I'm all ears if anyone has anything better.
seasquirt wrote: Jun 15th, '22, 23:22 A fire extinguisher type bracket could hold a poop tube on the transom, so it's usually down wind and out of the way; and if someone steals it - good luck !
Hilarious. Imagine the dry roasting after 3 days in the summer sun ? I have been thinking of making my tube bullet shaped (add a nose cone) and towing it ! Regardless, I think my tube has a new name, 'good luck' !
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Re: POOP TUBES

Post by seasquirt »

Thanks for your input davem.
Bucket loo - we have to carry at least 1 bucket on board anyway, but usually hope to never have to use it, but it can be dual purpose, just keep it clean, and still hope to never have to use it.

After reading a few I'net sites, here's some other similar waste suggestions:

90mm diameter plumbing parts are much cheaper than 100mm, with similar fittings available.
Double bagging a shopping bag is common, with air squeezed out, often with zip-lock bags, but pre-prepare the second bag with some: kitty litter/spill cleanup granules; ripped up newspaper; laundry detergent powder - absorbs and de-odourises;
Many suggest double bagging, and also a dark outer bag, for less visuals - usually backpackers.
If burying later, use waxed paper first, the wax will bio-degrade in the soil, carry only the plastic bags out.
Use disposable gloves and put them in the second ziplock.
Mountaineers do it in mid air.

So I'd suggest: a paper towel liner in case of little holes, inside a small kitchen tidy type bag with tie handles, (from the seat or bucket used), air squeezed out, rolled up and handles tied, inside a large sandwich sized second zip lock bag containing some kitty litter/spill granules, and some scented laundry powder, remove air and seal, optional second zip lock bag without granules, and then drop into a 90mm diameter PVC tube and seal the lid.
Pre-prepare the laundry powdered bags in bulk for the trip, and have kits ready to use.
Flat bread zip lock bags could also be used, if you make wraps, or use pita bread.

Trailing it behind is a good idea while making way, if very secure and and easily seen. Don't want it getting tangled at anchor, or run over with a propeller.

Imagine the disappointment of a shark or big predator fish chomping into a bullet shaped poop tube being trailed behind. Don't make it look like a fish, seal, or penguin.

Any more suggestions from anyone ?
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