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Liz and I have been members of the OCC for about a year and a half. We are also the OCC Port Officers for Hawaii, and have enjoyed helping some other members with some logistics for planning a trip to Hawaii. We found the Port Officer for the Caribbean side of Panama to be a big help when we transited Panama. OCC has Port Officers In most of the world you plan on visiting, and I think you will find them a useful resource. Bottom line is that we feel membership is well worth the meager cost.
Let me know if you need any more info, or if we can be off assistance if you decide to join.
Steve and Liz
OCC Hawaii Port Officers
Aloha SM 72
Ko Olina, Hawaii
On Aug 3, 2018, at 07:27, 'Mark Erdos' mcerdos@...
Thank you so
much for the feedback.
Cindy will say
I need no encouragement to go and knock on another boat (Amel or otherwise). I
am that pest in the anchorage who will introduce himself.
Do you think
the OCC group will be of use beyond the Panama canal and west?
We have been members since our qualifying trip in
1981. The OCC is a virtual club in the sense that it doesn't have a
clubhouse and its 2000 odd members ( maybe more now) are scattered
across the globe. It produces a newsletter every 6 months or so and a 200 odd
page journal twice a year with cruising stories from members.
The choice of 1,000 miles between points is obviously an
arbitrary one, as is the size of the boat, but they were chosen by the
originator of the club over 50 years ago and have served well. It puts the O in
You will now find port officers in most countries, a
voluntary role often filled by someone who has swallowed the hook but still
wants to be involved in the cruising world. We have used them to good effect in
finding stores, reliable technicians etc in new ports.
Like any club member, when you see an OCC burgee in an
anchorage it's irresistible to meet them for a beer and in contrast to almost
every other club they might come from one of 20 or more different
I am sorry that the rules suggested to you that the OCC is
bureaucratic---it's very far from that. Amongst its members you will find
some of the most adventurous and free spirited folk afloat, some of whose whose
achievements will amaze you. Rallies where boats sail
together are a rare feature in the club. Normally an OCC rally has meant
meeting in an anchorage for a drink, rather than a cruise in company. I suspect
that a significant majority of OCC members prefer to do their own thing ,
occasionally meeting to share their experiences.
Sharing experiences is what the OCC is all about. There is a
small number of dinners or BBQ's or whatever held each year in
different countries, particularly but not only the UK and US East coast, but I
suspect that most members only ever meet other members in a cockpit somewhere.
On one extraordinary day we were one of 4 OCC boats who met in Caleta Beaulieu
in the Beagle Channel. We all knew each other but it was pure chance that we
all happened to be close by at the same time.
Arguably, OCC membership really comes into its own
not in the Med or Caribbean , which are socially crowded places, but in
some far flung anchorage where you least expect to see another boat , but
there is yacht with an OCC burgee at her port spreaders. You make
friends for life like that--just as you would if you came across another Amel
in such circumstances.
Ian and Judy, Pen Azen, SM 302, Greece
Interesting to see you are OCC Port Officers.
A couple of months ago I looked into joining the OCC but really
struggled to see the value. The forum seem light and I assumed it was because
of lack of members. Some of the subjects hadn’t been posted in since last year.
I had a hard time with the qualifications that sort of appeared
a bit snobby to me such as “must have completed a non-stop ocean passage
between two ports, where the distance between the ports is not less than 1,000
nautical miles measured by the shortest practical Great Circle route, as
skipper or member of the crew in a vessel of not more than 70ft (21.3 m) LOA” I scratched my head and wondered why
you couldn’t join if you had done a 999 mile passage on a 71’ yacht J - or - An Associate Member must
have made a clear commitment to achieve the qualifying passage in a
realistic and reasonable time-scale. The time allowed is at the discretion
of the General Committee and shall take account of all the circumstances of
each individual applicant, but it shall not normally exceed three years. Anyway
this really sort of put me off.
We reconsidered joining when we looked at joining the Suzie Too
OCC rally. But our golden rule of sailing on our own schedule prevented us from
doing so.. We are heading in the same direction as the Suzie Too but will not
go as far north of Panama.
Sorry for the long-winded note but I am wondering if you have
found the membership beneficial and to what extent do you use it? Any other OCC
members, please chime in.
With best regards,
Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275
Currently cruising - Bonaire
I want to thank everyone who helped diagnose our
steering problems, and let you all know the final outcome. After our complete
steering failure from Panama to Hawaii due to broken teeth in both steering
racks, we assumed that replacement of both racks and pinion/steering shaft
would resolve the problem, but that proved not to be the case. We have now
replaced both steering cables, and our steering perfect.
When we removed the steering cables from the boat and racks, we found that one
cable worked smoothly by hand, and the other was nearly impossible to move. We
inspected the bad cable externally, and found no sign of any damage... When I
get time, I’ll attempt to cut the sheath off the cable, and determine what
actually failed. Once the new cables were installed in the boat, the steering
was smoother than it has ever been, and we have the required 1.5 turns in each
When we first replaced the racks and pinion, I couldn’t imagine we had a
problem with the cables, as they look incredibly robust. We learned a lesson on
this one, and if anyone suspects a problem with their steering, I’d recommend
replacement of all components. The cables and racks are made by Ultraflex of
Italy, and can be supplied by Amel for about $1200 plus shipping. That price
also includes a new pinion.. Our pinion was in serviceable condition, but we
did not want to mate the
new racks with a slightly worn pinion. If you have an older hull number like
ours, you will probably find the original Ultraflex cables are M41 23 FT, and
the new cables supplied will be M61 25FT. They appear to be the same cables
except the new ones are 2’ longer and have a different style adjustment nut
near the quadrant. I suspect sometime not to long after hull 72, Amel decided
that a 2’ longer cable made for a slightly smoother cable run. Also, the end
pieces that screw onto the cables and then insert into the racks were
originally of a plastic material. At some point in production, Amel started
manufacturing a metal end piece, and changing them out in the racks supplied by
Ultraflex. We were able to buy the end pieces from Amel for about $50 each, and
replace the ones provided with our new racks. If you have an older SM with the
plastic end pieces, it would not be a bad idea to change them.
We could not find a lot of good information on the forum regarding how to take
the steering apart. The first time we changed the racks and pinion was a bit of
a learning curve. By the third time we completely removed the steering from the
boat to change the cables, we were fairly good at it. It is not a bad job once
you know what you are doing, and we could now easily remove the entire steering
system from the boat and reinstall in a day. Removing the cables requires at
least 2 people. I’ll try and write something up and post it when I have time.
Anyone with a fairly old hull number that has seen a lot of sea miles should
consider replacing their steering. We had convinced ourselves the steering
would last forever, but learned the hard way, that is not the case. My other
recommendation is while on a nice day sail, rig your emergency steering, and
see how it works. You will find the boat actually fun to steer with the tiller,
and it would be nice to know you have all the parts available, and know how to
put it together.
On another note, Liz and I are the OCC Port Officers for Hawaii, and for anyone
considering sailing here, please contact us, and we can provide you some useful
information. Thanks again for the help in diagnosing our problem, and now we
are going sailing.
Steve and Liz Davis
Aloha SM 72
Ko Olina, Hawaii