What's the big deal... - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-14-2006
.
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
yachtsea is on a distinguished road
What's the big deal...

What's the big deal about off coast cruising?

About a year ago my brother returned from iraq, and decided it was time to start laying the groundwork for his long dreamed sail around the world. I got sucked into it too. Problem was, niether of us had ever sailed before. We both took some classes at the navy marina, and he bought a boat to live on. After lots of day trips, a few overnight excursions, making lots of mistakes and even getting cought in some bad weather a couple times, I dare say we've become halfway decent sailers. Scratch that, I feel confident in claiming we're both down right competant.

But we've never been off shore for more than a few consecutive days. And I'm left wondering what's the big deal about the bigger passes? Carry some more food, dont get cought in a huricane, bring the ipod charger - what else? Whats really that much harder about sailing across the oceon than down the coast?
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 08-14-2006
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 80
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
infonote is on a distinguished road
I never did offshore sailing for long days, but it is all about being with nature. Also offshore navigation is much more difficult. You have to use navigation aids like compass, sextant and GPS etc.

It is all about being one with nature, like our ancestors where.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 08-14-2006
sailingdog's Avatar
Telstar 28
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,291
Thanks: 0
Thanked 10 Times in 10 Posts
Rep Power: 13
sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Bluewater passages aren't necessarily any more difficult than coastal ones, but they do require a different mindset and skill set. Also, open ocean passages are very different from coastal cruising, and each has different problems.

On a bluewater passage, you have a bit less to worry about in terms of collision risks, as there is generally far less traffic on the open ocean. You also don't have to worry about groundings, sandbars, rocks, lee shores, or other land-based issues as much.

Weather becomes much more of an issue, as you don't have any where to hide. In some ways, unless you're caught by a really fierce storm, being on the open ocean is far safer than getting caught in the same storm along the coast. The really strong storms, like hurricanes, North Atlantic gales, and such are truly a test for the bluewater sailor though. Even getting caught on the fringes of one of these can test your skills and your boat.

Navigation becomes more of an issue, especially if you're using GPS for it, as you really need to have and use manual backups, in case of failure, as there is no real way to determine your position on the open ocean, other than with a sextant, if your electronics fail.

Dead reckoning and a good understanding of the currents, leeway and such all becomes much more important. If you're 3000 miles from an island, like Hawaii, being a little off on the navigation can mean you'll miss it completely—currents, leeway, compass errors, etc, can all make it all to easy to miss an 100 mile-wide target at the end of 3000 miles.

Granted, if your GPS doesn't fail, and you don't have electrical problems, then this is not much of an issue, but going bluewater, you need to be ready for those types of failures and problems.

Floating hazards are a bit more of an issue, as floating hazards near populated areas are usually quickly dealt with—on the open ocean, there is no one to deal with them. Also, there are fewer people to spot them or warn you about them. In coastal waters, before a floating hazard is removed, you'll usually hear a "Securité" call about it, warning marine traffic to its prescence.

Understanding ocean swells and wind fetch generally becomes much more important, as the distances the waves build over is far greater—you can be seriously affected by a storm that is hundreds of miles away.

Some people don't deal well with being out of sight of land. The motion of the boat is a bit different than it is near the coast. You have to be more self-reliant as help is not a short distance away, but possible hours or days away. If you don't have an satellite phone, SSB-radio or an EPIRB, often you are going to have to be very self-reliant, as you won't even have any way of calling for help.

That said, the winds on the open ocean are generally far more constant than they are near the coast, where the land and buildings can affect the direction of the wind. A good solid self-steering system is often considered a necessity for long off-shore passages generally.

Wind vanes are nice because their ability to steer in bad conditions is generally far better than autopilots—as the wind strength increases, so does the power of a wind vane steering. They also don't use any electricity. That said, the wind can shift and if your not paying attention, the wind vane can carry you a long distance in the wrong direction.

Autopilots are a good complement to windvanes. They work better in light conditions and also work when motoring, which most wind vanes do not. Most can steer to a GPS track or compass course. However, they do use electricity and are prone to failure in the harsh saltwater environment of a bluewater passage.

I hope that helps a bit.
__________________
Sailingdog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 08-14-2006
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 198
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 9
Newport41 is on a distinguished road
Being self reliant. The USCG isn't gonna help you if you get in the shits in the middle of the ocean. You can't go down to the machine shop to get parts for the engine in Somalia. If you can't fix everything on board then you're not really ready. You have to be a plumber, electrician, sail maker, mechanic, doctor, shipwright, diplomat, accountant, search and rescue, firefighter, fisherman....the list never ends. Cruisers tend to help each other out, so you're not always alone but you have to do a lot of things yourself. I think a lot of peole make it into a bigger deal than it is but offshore sailing is different in the lifestyle and personality it requires more then the basic sailing ability. Good luck with the plans.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 08-15-2006
.
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 12
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
yachtsea is on a distinguished road
Wouldn't it be eaiser to be self reliant on a smaller boat? Execpt for less space to carry provisions, why is it considered a little out there to do long distance bluewater stuff on a sub 30' boat?
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 08-15-2006
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Brussels
Posts: 249
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
chrondi is an unknown quantity at this point
Dear Yachtsea,
are you really suggesting for yoursel offshore sailing without an extensive experience on a boat under 30 foot long? Well, try to become a sailor first and then start this kind of dreaming. Otherwise, in my view the whole discussion is ... nuts!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 08-15-2006
Dyslexic, Not Daft !
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 28
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
jorjo is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrondi
Dear Yachtsea,
are you really suggesting for yoursel offshore sailing without an extensive experience on a boat under 30 foot long? Well, try to become a sailor first and then start this kind of dreaming. Otherwise, in my view the whole discussion is ... nuts!
On the other hand, If you knew everything there was to know in advance you'd never do it...

The worst thing that can happen? You Die. On the otherhand, if you avoid doing so, YOU REALLY GET TO LIVE LIFE TO THE FULL OUT THERE !

Just avoid getting injured or killed and the rest is easy
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 08-15-2006
CharlieCobra's Avatar
On the hard
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bellingham, WA.
Posts: 3,503
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 10
CharlieCobra has a spectacular aura about CharlieCobra has a spectacular aura about
Buy two things. A good VHF and a decent GPS.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 08-15-2006
Cruisingdad's Avatar
Best Looking MALE Mod
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Washington State
Posts: 9,904
Thanks: 3
Thanked 107 Times in 53 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Cruisingdad is a jewel in the rough Cruisingdad is a jewel in the rough Cruisingdad is a jewel in the rough
SD did a great job on write up so I will try and not repeat anything he said.

Well, I hope it really is no big deal. I would hope that after reading what you have read, and asking the question you just asked, you will not take an offshore passage lightly.

I have seen 15-20 foot breakers five feet from my head with dolphin swimming in them. I was eye to eye with dolphin standing in my cockpit!!

I have been up on the deck in a pitch black darkness scrambling to hold onto the mast and boom to reef the sail.

I have motored for 27hours in a sea so flat it was a mirror... and never saw another boat.

So you are asking: So, what's the point? The unknown. The best and the worst is out there. Preparation and learning all you can learn. Be prepared for any and every possible dissaster. There is no coast guard out there to help. No cell phones. No VHF. Unles you have a HAM or Irridium, forget any conversation with anyone.

You go down on your boat out there, the odds of surviving are very, very small to none at all.

That is the big deal. It is real and nature at its best and its worst. Learn everything you can learn and prepare for everything you can prepare for... and I hope you never have to use them.

All that being said, it is awesome and worth the risk. Of course, I am happy sitting on my boat and watching the sunrise in a crowded marina.

Fair winds...
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 08-15-2006
sailingdog's Avatar
Telstar 28
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,291
Thanks: 0
Thanked 10 Times in 10 Posts
Rep Power: 13
sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad
I have seen 15-20 foot breakers five feet from my head with dolphin swimming in them. I was eye to eye with dolphin standing in my cockpit!!
Thanks CD. Man, I wish you had a photo of this...that would be amazing...
__________________
Sailingdog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How big is too big for a novice sailor? mdf007 Boat Review and Purchase Forum 9 05-13-2009 11:04 AM
Starting out big Jeffamc Learning to Sail 10 11-15-2003 06:43 AM
Boats that feel Big (Tartan 30) jbarros Boat Review and Purchase Forum 2 08-26-2003 07:25 PM
Big crew, small boat? Jeffamc Crew Wanted/Available 2 08-22-2003 04:47 AM
How big is too big to start out? Jef212 Learning to Sail 22 03-19-2002 12:38 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:49 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.