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post #25 of Old 04-25-2013
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Re: Amuse me, sailing small boat offshore.

I'm not an expert, and I haven't crossed an ocean by sail yet, so take this for what its worth.

You've got 3 large variables here, the design of the boat, the condition of the boat, and the experience of the skipper. The design has to be strong enough for the conditions, and it has to be conducive to the necessary equipment and storage needs. The condition of the boat is just as important. A boat designed for very rough conditions can fail horribly if the condition isn't maintained. Then the experience of the skipper in knowing how to outfit the boat, how to handle it in all conditions, and how to fix anything that breaks. Having a boat that was designed to handle the expected conditions, in very good condition with an experienced skipper increases the odds of a safe and successful voyage, but doesn't guarantee it. For a couple of examples of what can go wrong:

Boat not designed for offshore, in medium condition, somewhat experienced crew: EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE (tm) - Lessons Learned: Sailing to Hawaii...The First Attempt by Arnold Rowe

Boat designed for offshore, very experienced single-hander, but apparently the standing rigging was not in good condition (dismasted): Chile navy locates solo US sailor in South Pacific

Boat designed for coast cruising, in poor condition, inexperienced crew: What to do When Your Boat is De-masted - Navigate the Sea

It sounds like you don't have much experience, your current boat wasn't designed for offshore, and you're unsure of the condition and if it can be equipped properly. That's 3 pretty big strikes against success. However, that shouldn't stop you from daydreaming! I sit on my Com-Pac 23 and dream about crossing oceans too, but if I were seriously going to do it now, I would be looking for a different boat that was designed for offshore conditions and I would be looking for some offshore crewing experience on other (more experienced) people's boats first.
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