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Old 03-31-2008
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tjaldur tjaldur is offline
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In my opinion the most important feature of a ship sailing in the ocean is weight. Not because weight in itself is important, but because weight is important considering payload. To do the most popular trip among Europeans, particularly sun-hungry Scandinavians like my self, the trip from The Canary Islands to the Caribbeans take 3 - 4 weeks. That means a lot of fresh water, food, diesel, tools and materials to do some repairs, etc. The ship must take this payload without significally changing the wet area.

A frigidaire may be important on such a long trip. That means facilities for producing electricity, like windmill, generator etc. Sleep is very important, that means the ship must be comfortable enough to secure sleep.

My personal choice is a 37 feet rebuilt fishing-ship, with a 16 metric tons displacement, built for fishing in the North Sea/North Atlantic. The rig is a gaffrig with a jibtopsail, jib, foresail and topsails above the gaffs. In all 7 sails. With the sailarea distributed among 7 sails, the rig itself is quite low and and the center of gravity accordingly low.

Granted this rig is not the best for fast sailing, particularly by the wind, but in my opinion, the best for traveling. I have not been able to make the ship heel more than 5°, in 30 kts wind, rather it drifts sideways. The ship needs around 25 kts wind to reach hullspeed. If the wind gets stronger than 25 kts, than I reduce sailarea accordingly, usually starting with the topsails, then the jibtopsail, then jib, then mizzen.
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