Boston to Bermuda singlehanded in an O'Day 34. Crazy?? - Page 4 - SailNet Community

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  #31  
Old 03-15-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tartan34C
Camaraderie,
In youth there is ignorance and because of that you find arrogance. But today you wouldn’t catch me dead doing some of the things I did when I was younger.

The bigger problem is the skill of the skipper. Even as a teenager I realized that I needed to learn how to sail single handed offshore before I did my first trans-Atlantic. Try some coastal sailing or even sail with someone else to get some experience before going off on your own. Until you know what to expect you can’t prepare or plan for a trip like this. It’s a good first trip but no offshore trip is suitable for on the job training unless you are very very lucky.
Well said Robert...
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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)

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  #32  
Old 03-16-2007
Here .. Pull this
 
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I don't think that the issue is really the boat. It's not the strongest make out there but it's far from the worst. The concern would be with how well the skipper knows her, and the sea.

It's not likely that you are going to hop on the boat and arrive in Bermuda after six beautiful days in a row on the Atlantic. It's more likely that you'll arrive dog-tired and a little wet after eight or nine days.

So - if you want to do it - more power to ya!

BUT - check the boat over yourself. If you have to hire a rigger to tell you the boat is okay, then you don't know enough to be able to fix whatever breaks out there...and stuff will break for sure.

Then, wait for some really bad weather and go sailing near your home port. If the idea scares you, then you're really going to poop your pants when you're two hundred miles from anywhere and the waves get big and choppy.

Also - learn how to use a sextant. Batteries die and GPS is no longer available. You are responsible for staying out of the shipping lanes. The big boys are not too concerned, or even aware, if you are dead ahead.

And be prepared - Bermuda is VERY VERY expensive...
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  #33  
Old 03-16-2007
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With most coastal cruisers (and I haven't looked up the lines or the numbers on this particular vessel type), the problem isn't "is it strong enough to do the trip?" but rather has to do with the motion of a lighter-displacement boat designed to keep going in light airs when it hits steady 25-35 knot winds and long rollers of eight to 12 feet.

If it's a spade rudder fin keeler, it might not heave to well at all, and while it might move smartly under the right sail set (and who's steering actively when you are taking in a reef?), it will probably want active helming to avoid broaching or going wildly off course, particularly if you are sailing close-hauled and need a bit more foresail to punch through waves.

Portlights and hatches may be an issue. The stock deadlights of many production boats WILL leak or even give out when hit the wrong way by a ton of water. The hull might survive, but if you are pooped and your plywood 1/4" companionway drop boards shatter and let a ton of water below, you and your boat might suffer the death of a thousand splashes, so to speak. And again, who bails while you steer, check for chafe, adjust lines and keep a watch?

Lastly, there are certain calculation that can give an idea of how "whippy" a boat might be at sea. Some boats and skippers do fine, even with the caveats listed above, only to fall prey to persistent sea-sickness due to the rough, "snap-rolls" some fin keelers can produce. Either that or they can get injured when a boat falls off a wave or rolls 50 degrees and they break an arm.

All this is definitely worst-case scenario, but the trip you are proposing (counter the usual Gulf Stream current and with a shoal-surrounded destination) is among the more challenging you could tackle, certainly as a first solo trip.

I would recommend trying to do deliveries on similarly sized fin keelers. Now is the perfect time of the year, as many cruisers in the Caribbean are heading north soon. At least if you are in a crew of four, you can take a break and know you've got backup of a presumed but likely level of competence.
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Old 03-16-2007
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Thank you all very much for all the advice... I really appreciate it. It's good to hear a range of opinions and a lot of you bring up good points. I especially respect CruisingDad comments about putting USCG in possible harms way when someone does something obviously stupid and gets in trouble.

I will mull it all over... and be getting my boat ready. Regardless of Bermuda, I've got a lot of sailing to do this summer!

If I do head to Bermuda, I'll post on here how it ends up going.

Thanks,

-Mike
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  #35  
Old 03-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woolswtr
Thank you all very much for all the advice... I really appreciate it. It's good to hear a range of opinions and a lot of you bring up good points. I especially respect CruisingDad comments about putting USCG in possible harms way when someone does something obviously stupid and gets in trouble.

I will mull it all over... and be getting my boat ready. Regardless of Bermuda, I've got a lot of sailing to do this summer!

If I do head to Bermuda, I'll post on here how it ends up going.

Thanks,

-Mike
Fair winds. Please do consider sailing on crewed, well-found boats first around 200 miles out, in preferably harsh weather. It's 100% of the experience at 10% of the risk of doing it alone in a boat possibly not up to the task.

In the meantime, the U.S. East Coast isn't often a lee shore, so get out there and shake some stuff loose. You have from Boston to Nova Scotia some beautiful and technically challenging (tides, lobster pots, nav hazards, fog) sailing that is also well-served with "outs" should you get in over your head...so to speak!
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  #36  
Old 03-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente
Fair winds. Please do consider sailing on crewed, well-found boats first around 200 miles out, in preferably harsh weather. It's 100% of the experience at 10% of the risk of doing it alone in a boat possibly not up to the task.

In the meantime, the U.S. East Coast isn't often a lee shore, so get out there and shake some stuff loose. You have from Boston to Nova Scotia some beautiful and technically challenging (tides, lobster pots, nav hazards, fog) sailing that is also well-served with "outs" should you get in over your head...so to speak!
Well said... getting actual time in on the water in heavy weather is experience that every bluewater sailor should get long before doing a bluewater passage.
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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)

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  #37  
Old 03-20-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Generally, it isn't any one thing that really screws you over btw... it is a lot of little things going wrong that really screws you.... While people have made bluewater passages in an O'Day, it wouldn't be my choice of boat for doing so. I'd take a Flicka, Bristol Channel Cutter, Cape Dory 28, Alberg 30, or Southern Cross 31 over the O'Day for that type of work...
What about a Bristol 29.9?
That's what I got, can't afford a n'other 'un, and would like to drive it from Norfolk to Bermuda one of these days.
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  #38  
Old 03-20-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wumhenry
What about a Bristol 29.9?
That's what I got, can't afford a n'other 'un, and would like to drive it from Norfolk to Bermuda one of these days.
Properly equipped and maintained I would take a 29.9 on that trip.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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  #39  
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The Bristol 29.9 is a very solid boat... and definitely capable of that kind of journey. If it was in good shape, the crew would probably be the limiting factor.
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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)

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  #40  
Old 04-02-2007
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Hi Wool,
The Bermuda crossing can be quite rough. I've only had three days when I fervently wished I had never set foot on a boat and the worst one was on the way back from Bermuda to RI. After a night of 55 - 75 knot winds the wind "dropped" to 45 and shifted 120 degrees. We were getting slammed around in the boat (an Island Packet 38) in a wicked cross-sea of 15' to 20'ers. We were all bruised and sick, but there was never a question of the boat being able to hold up.

Best of luck, and keep on sailing!

Jeff
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