Bluewater with no engine? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 119 Old 01-04-2015 Thread Starter
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Bluewater with no engine?

G'day guys

I've browsed around here heaps recently, but finally took the step and signed up!

First, I have some small boat sailing experience years ago, but nothing like deepwater sailing. The reason I'm asking this is because I've come across something I can't stop thinking about...

I'm in Fiji at the moment, and chatting to a bloke in a bar the other night who happens to be selling the Columbia 34' I've been staring at for a days. kitted out, new gear, ready to go, except the engine has carked it (rusted out raw water intake).

He's happy and willing to spend a month or so with me around here teaching me everything I can learn. The issue is that I'd really need to work a bit before I can replace the engine.

My question is: Is it realistic to sail from Fiji to east coast Oz (probably via Vanuatu) with no motor? Would it be difficult, or seriously unsafe? Part of me says that people did this for many, many years, so if there's a good reason not to, please explain!

Wifi is hard to come by sometimes, but I'll check in on this soon. Cheers for the help!

-Sam
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post #2 of 119 Old 01-04-2015
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Re: Bluewater with no engine?

The Pardeys could do it, but with limited sailing experience it would be very risky although, come to think about it, so is that Russian guy in the South Pacific at the moment.

All in all, I'd say "no way!" but it is possible if you're bold/foolhardy/crazy enough. Also don't forget that you'll need a reliable electrical charging source to run all you comms and nav gear. I'd also make sure what's left of the boat is up for the job if funds are tight.

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post #3 of 119 Old 01-04-2015
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Re: Bluewater with no engine?

A small outboard on a transom mount would be a good idea and get sailing experience until you are ready to cross to oz and to save the funds for a new raw intake is that what's wrong with the motor or is it the head or block that's rusted out?

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post #4 of 119 Old 01-04-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Bluewater with no engine?

Cheers for the quick replies -

It has both wind and solar for power, and a 500w generator. And a VERY small (4hp) outboard for the dinghy (useless?) - I had thought of the transom mount as a stop gap.

Am more than happy to spend a few months island hopping around fiji, thought that might be a good idea to get outside storm season as well...
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post #5 of 119 Old 01-04-2015
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Re: Bluewater with no engine?

It is a rather large boat to be sailed without engine. Sure it can be done but it would take considerable skill to get it in and out of port. How many stops are you planning to make? What size crew?

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post #6 of 119 Old 01-04-2015
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Re: Bluewater with no engine?

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Originally Posted by ReefMagnet View Post
The Pardeys could do it2
The Pardeys used an oar for propulsion in some situations on their first vessel.


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post #7 of 119 Old 01-04-2015
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Re: Bluewater with no engine?

"some small boat sailing experience years ago" doesn't sound like enough preparation for a 700 mile open ocean passage. Planning to have a crew?

A rusted seawater intake doesn't sound like much damage.

This legit?


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post #8 of 119 Old 01-04-2015
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A 4 horse would do you in calm waters with a proper mount. Have moved my P35 with a 4 in a pinch.
In answer to the "can"- yes, but fairly risky with limited experience. Sailing seems to be one of those things that the more skill you acquire the more conservative you get as you are more aware of the "there but by the grace of God" experience.
Good luck!
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post #9 of 119 Old 01-04-2015
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Re: Bluewater with no engine?

Putting an outboard on that boat would be ... not to efficient. Fix the engine before you buy the boat (set up an escrow account or something like that). You'll be better off.
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post #10 of 119 Old 01-04-2015
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Re: Bluewater with no engine?

Hi Sam,
I wouldnt go near it with a barge pole.

Theres plenty of boats out there for sale that actually work. Why risk your life in some very rough waters? Not to mention a small reef or two around every land you are heading to.

How old are you? How many years could you have of joyous life, compared with tossing it away now?

Sea Life
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