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  #1  
Old 02-14-2005
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drmattito is on a distinguished road
solo across the Atlantic

I have a couple of life goals regarding sailing, the Drake Passage, and sailing across the Atlantic. The latter brings me to the question that I want to ask...

Not that I am experienced enough to do this yet, but what boat would people here suggest to sail across the Atlantic solo? I know this is dangerous and don''t want to get into a safety lecture, but if you were to do this, what boat would you choose and why? I am thinking of something between about 35'' and 50'' and I am up in the air as to whether I would want a sloop or a ketch. Any suggestions on a particular boat?
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Old 02-16-2005
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solo across the Atlantic

Instead of getting a 50'' monster - a size that would give professional guys some pause- why not try something more managable ? The French are really into solo sailing. Besides the Vendee Globe, they also have a Mini-Transat singlehanded race (annually?) that goes from France to the Carribean in 21 foot one-design singllehanded boats. The engineering''s been done, the systems work, and run-of-the-mill French sailors do it to the tune of dozens of entrants each time. There are likely used boats available at reasonable prices. It might be worth finding out about these boats, instead of having to adjust a "standard" design to be handled by a single person.
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Old 02-16-2005
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thorJ30 is on a distinguished road
solo across the Atlantic

wow... mini transat boats are a handfull ... I wouldnt do it. Just to old and out of shape...lol

mmuch slower but proven. WHy not a 32 foot Contessa.

Thor
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Old 02-19-2005
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drmattito is on a distinguished road
solo across the Atlantic

Just looked at the boats you suggested. While I could cross the atlantic in one of them, I was thinking of something a little more substantial. I''m not trying to beat a certain time getting across the pond, and I''m not trying to beat myself up doing it. I guess I dont want to be THAT exposed to the elements.

Would anyone suggest a Beneteau, or an Island Packet for crossing the Atlantic? Anything wrong with either of these for the trip? Asking about these two because my father is looking at purchasing one or the other and if I take full possession of it in 10 years or so, I might use it to go across the ocean. On the other hand, if either of these two brands is notorious for problems in heavy blue water sailing, what would you suggest?
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Old 02-19-2005
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solo across the Atlantic

IP''s have a reputation for being solidly built. They also tend to have huge interior spaces that are lovely for dockside living in Florida along the protected bays and waterways. The big interior doesn''t give you much to hold onto as you''re launched across the cabin by a wave. I would also not want to see the bowsprit buried (and ripped off ) in the back of a swell as the big, flat transom gets pushed from behind. Some people think IP''s are best left In Place.

Beneteau has built boats that have crossed oceans. Saint Brendan apparently made it across the Atlantic in a coracle, too. Most Beneteaux (like the mini-transats) would not be my first choice for such a trip. They often have ports, hatches and cockpits much too big for safety at sea. Beneteaux are generally very lightly built, and are more suitable for coastal sailing. Grab a rail and REALLY heave on it. It will bend enough to make you worry - at anchor - if it doesn''t actually break. Push against the furniture and fittings. Thin. Light. Hmmm.

Like cars, some boats after 10 years will be thoroughly worn out, used up, and ready for the scrap heap. Others will still be in fine shape when they''re ten years old. It depends on the builder. It also depends upon the design. Mercedes makes fine cars that last a long time. You wouldn''t pick one of their sports convertibles to go skiing ''back country'' in the ''rockies, however. You''d go with one of their SUV''s with 4 wheel drive. An ocean voyage is a lot like taking a car across a desert. Your life can depend upon the choices you make before you set out. Making the right choices beforehand can avoid much unpleasantness.

Overall, you''re asking the right questions, but there is a lot to learn. Some you can get from reading more. Books by Dashew, Gerr and Knox-Johnson would be good sources to start with. For other things, you need experience.
I had about 10 years experience sailing before I went transatlantic. Looks like you have time for some of that too.
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Old 02-20-2005
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solo across the Atlantic

paulk said:

"IP''s have a reputation for being solidly built. They also tend to have huge interior spaces that are lovely for dockside living in Florida along the protected bays and waterways. The big interior doesn''t give you much to hold onto as you''re launched across the cabin by a wave. I would also not want to see the bowsprit buried (and ripped off ) in the back of a swell as the big, flat transom gets pushed from behind. Some people think IP''s are best left In Place."
............................................


Do you mean that in your opinion the Island Packets are not seaworthy ocean going boats?

I am curious, your opinion goes against all opinions I have heard or read in the press.

take a look at some examples of opposite opinions taken from tests published on line, from well known sailing magazines:


From Bluewater sailing magazine on the IP 42:

Island Packets are pure cruising boats, so the design of the deck and accommodations plan is aimed at safety and ease of handling foremost, and comfort a close second. The cockpit is deep and the seat backs high enough to provide both good back support and protection from deck wash. In the Stream, we took breaking waves on the foredeck regularly and occasionally got caught by a sneaky broadside number that covered us in spray. But our seats remained dry, and under the large canvas dodger it was possible to remain on deck without full foul-weather gear. The side decks are wide and unobstructed. With low bulwarks at the hull-deck joint, security on deck is enhanced while dropped tools and clevis pins stay on the boat instead of bouncing directly into the drink.

The IP 420 is strong in the straight-on cruising realm of sailing: large tanks, comfortable motion, easy to sail alone or as a couple, durable, forgiving in rough seas, a great galley and a trustworthy design concept. ...

In the performance realm, it is worth noting that this boat has the ability to undertake offshore passages at relatively high average speeds.
...
We’ve seen IPs all over the world, from the Eastern Med to the South Pacific and Indian Oceans. With their full keels, attached rudders and protected propeller apertures, the boats are suited to real self-sufficiency. Ample tankage gives these boats range, while simple sailing systems make them safe and convenient for couples sailing on their own.
After 650 miles, among the only items on our list of recommendations for the boat, aside from additional light-air canvas, was the unobtrusive "chart table needs fiddles."

From Sail Magasine on the IP370:

"As with other Island Packets, the 370 will surely be right at home offshore in a good breeze and will be well suited to reaching through the trades. When the wind kicks up on a coastal passage, a boat this solid will feel mighty good."

... Here''s where a buyer makes the big decision: Do I need to go as fast as a racer/cruiser, or am I happy to poke along in comfort and safety? If you prefer to sail aboard a beautiful offshore-capable vessel, this is your style of boat."
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Old 02-21-2005
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solo across the Atlantic

And no article written in a magazine has anything to do with the three color advertising on the inside cover. How come there never seem to be any articles on boats that aren''t advertised by big outfits? Yachting used to do a piece each month on a custom design being built somewhere. Do they still? Reading between the lines can be fun too, since they''re not permitted to say anything negative. From the Sail article: " When the wind kicks up ... a boat this solid will feel mighty good. " So until the wind picks up to 30, perhaps it doesn''t feel so good? And so on. Accounts written by people with an axe to grind (or mouths to feed) need to be taken with a grain (or two) of salt.

I have not been aboard every boat in the IP line. The ones I have seen have seemed well put together. They also seemed to have cavernous interior spaces with long streches between something solid to hold on to. This is a problem in a seaway, and I don''t like it, as a feature. Shannons are much "tighter" down below, and perhaps safer to be aboard because of it. The IP freeboard and cabin profiles seem to be pretty high in general, making me wonder about windage. I''ve run at 8 knots under bare poles in what the anemometer said was 50 knots of wind, so windage concerns me, especially if there''s a lee shore involved. The masts seemed relatively stubby, making me question their ability to sail in light air, trying to push all the heavily-constructed hull, equipment and supplies. Perhaps not all of them are like this, but a "sea-going" yacht, as mentioned in the Bluewater article above, without fiddles on the chart table tells me something about the use the factory expects their boats to get.

As is mentioned above, St. Brendan sailed from Ireland to Newfoundland in an open boat made of leather stretched over a wood frame in the 6th Century. His would not be my preferred craft, though he apparently made it across and back. A Beneteau would not be my preferred craft either. An IP might be better than either of these, but IMHO there are still better options out there. Halberg-Rassey comes to mind. Shannons. Some of Bob Perry''s designs (Passports, I believe?) Nautor/Swans. Hinckleys. There are books on this topic -- that would be a good place for DrItalia (sp?) to start checking this out, and forming his own opinions.
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Old 02-21-2005
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drmattito is on a distinguished road
solo across the Atlantic

I want to thank everybody for giving me some advice. I just came upon this message board a couple of weeks ago after my father and I made the decision to get back into sailing.

While I do have many years of sailing experience, the vast majority of those years took place when I was a child and a teenager, sailing on Galveston Bay almost every weekend on a 36'' Heritage West Indies.

While I have done a few weeks of heavy blue water sailing on a 50'' sloop in the leewards, I simply dont know enough about all the boats out there just yet. I do know that my favorite sailing is in fact bluewater long distance, and that is one of the main reasons for for my initial question.

I''m glad that I found this online community. You will probably see many more questions from me in the future.

Not trying to end the discussion of the solo across the Atlantic post however, any more info would be great.
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Old 03-02-2005
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Davidwarner is on a distinguished road
solo across the Atlantic

I too dream of crossing the Atlantic solo (east to west) and would like to do it within the next 5 years in a boat less than 20''. My experience is very limited and I know it would be a great risk and a bit fool hardy. But it can be and has been done many times by people with little experience and useing small boats. Robert Manry in his 13.5'' clinker built sloop is one that comes to mind. www.famousmallboats has a list of just some of the more notorised examples. Other than Manry it seems that many of the people (mostly record breaking attempts) use small craft that have been specialy built. I would prefer to find a well built production boat for my attempt.
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Old 03-02-2005
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dman is on a distinguished road
solo across the Atlantic

OK... no someone else takeover!Why do we have to push things,everything to where the point is killing oneself.I can drive to town with one eye closed now someone wants the challenge of driving blindfolded to see if it can be done.Just an observation.
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