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  #1  
Old 05-15-2009
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Question Alaska to Costa Rica

We bought an Albin Vega 27' and fixed it up.
Motor not running, we will put an outboard. No idea how to sail but do not want to give up boat traveling to Costa Rica.
What do you guys think about just motoring the boat to Coate Rica?
How long would it take?
Any experience sailing from Alsaka to Central America?
Any advice?
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  #2  
Old 05-15-2009
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Motoring to Costa Rica on an outboard? Probably cheaper to ship it and fly in. What will you do when you run out of fuel offshore?
Don't know how to sail yet? Bad idea to learn in the open ocean, especially on a boat that is not functioning properly.

A sailboat is designed to sail. A sailboat that can not sail is not fit for puropose.

Learn to sail locally. Take as many courses as you possibly can and get experience in as many weather conditions as you possibly can. Get your boat in tip top shape, THEN think about cruising to South America.

You do want to do this as responsibly and safely as possible, don't you? Even if you hug the coast as much as possible, you aren't just endangering your life if you go out ill prepared. You are endangering the lives of your crew as well as anyone you would call upon to aid you if you get into trouble- be they Coasties or fellow sailors.

I'm a newbie sailor and the more I learn, the more I realize- I have an awful lot to learn. Good luck.
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Old 05-15-2009
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I'd point out that an outboard, as an auxiliary engine, on a boat not designed for it, is generally not a great idea, and usually not very effective, especially in heavy weather.

I'd also point out that the West Coast of North America is a nasty lee shore and requires you to go fairly far off shore to do it safely. It has very few ports that are accessible in heavy weather and can be very, very treacherous. While the Albin Vega 27 is a very solid and reliable boat, if properly cared for and maintained, a minimum of sailing experience is really a requirement for a voyage of this magnitude.

I'd second Mimsy's suggestion that you take courses locally and get as much experience in...working your way up to making a trip down the coast...rather than just jumping into it and probably ending up a statistic.
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Old 05-15-2009
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West Coast Sailing Advice

If sailor takes all precaution and goes over safety precedures for every possible scenario over the next week and brings basically the safety equipment like harnesses and brings life raft and food and water supply, water purifier, a good main sail and a back-up mainsail and a storm sail, a gps unit with computer tracking, maps/ charts of the whole West coast. I have some seatime I was working on a fishing boat and doing nightwatch on it.
For sailng, although I read about it, I might take a few lessons. Tighten the rigging, two new batteries (one deep-cycle). I have a sextant and books. I want to head south and stop at every town with the idea of doing it in one season.
What would you advise as far as weather openings.
Rather than just saying we should not do it, what would a plan for this trip look like as far as optimal time to go and where to stop.
Has anyone done such a journey?
How much more unsafe is the ocean compared to a freeway in NYC in an old car in good shape?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbinSailor View Post
If sailor takes all precaution and goes over safety precedures for every possible scenario over the next week and brings basically the safety equipment like harnesses and brings life raft and food and water supply, water purifier, a good main sail and a back-up mainsail and a storm sail, a gps unit with computer tracking, maps/ charts of the whole West coast. I have some seatime I was working on a fishing boat and doing nightwatch on it.
For sailng, although I read about it, I might take a few lessons. Tighten the rigging, two new batteries (one deep-cycle). I have a sextant and books. I want to head south and stop at every town with the idea of doing it in one season.
Reading about it isn't the same as doing it. You need to know it well enough that when the nasty weather sets in or a problem occurs, you can deal with it without hesitation. Most problems only get worse if there is a delay in dealing or resolving them.
Quote:
What would you advise as far as weather openings.
Depends on how far you're planning on going in a single leg... the longer the intended distance, the narrower the window will be.
Quote:
Rather than just saying we should not do it, what would a plan for this trip look like as far as optimal time to go and where to stop.
Has anyone done such a journey?
Again, this depends a lot on the boat, the captain, the crew, the weather, the time of year, etc. Yes, it has been done before. Yes, people have also died trying it.
Quote:
How much more unsafe is the ocean compared to a freeway in NYC in an old car in good shape?
The ocean is probably safer, but in many ways less forgiving. If your car breaks down, you won't drown or sink... If your boat has a problem, you very well may. If nothing goes wrong, the ocean is safer... but if you make a mistake, the mistake is far more likely to kill you. For instance, if you fall off the boat and the remaining crew isn't skilled enough to get back to you and recover a MOB....you're likely dead.
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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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Old 05-15-2009
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I never said you shouldn't do it, I said you should learn to sail first.
How long it will take you depends- weather, number of crew, condition of the boat, etc.
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AlbinSailor—

Take a look at the past few years...

Ronnie Simpson bought a boat, tried to learn everything he could in a very short period of time, and left on a circumnavigation...only to have to abandon ship a short while later. BTW, he never even got the boat, which was 47 years old or so... surveyed after buying it—but could afford to buy HD camera equipment to document his voyage.

Heather Neill bought a boat, spent a long time working on upgrading it to be the ultimate Flicka, but didn't spend any time working on her boat's captain... set off on a circumnavigation... turned back a day later and hasn't been to sea since AFAIK.

Donna Lange was a grandmother when she learned to sail. She worked her way up by day sailing, weekending, coastal cruising, making short passages, then finally doing her solo circumnavigation. She got the boat and herself ready... both are necessary.

No one is saying that you can't do this... just that you would be wise to work your way up to doing so.
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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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Old 05-15-2009
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AlbinSailor,

Nearly any vessel can be sailed nearly anywhere, but that would be by someone with the skill to do it. From your post I get the idea you don't understand the magnitude of what you suggest.

Unless you are already running for you life. Take the lessons, and then work your way forward to sailing south. It's not a simple matter of twisting a few turnbuckles, and reading a GPS........i2f
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Old 05-16-2009
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Hey Listers,

I think this guy is pimping us!!! If not, then he's seriously on crack!
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Old 05-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbinSailor View Post
We bought an Albin Vega 27' and fixed it up.
Motor not running, we will put an outboard. No idea how to sail but do not want to give up boat traveling to Costa Rica.
What do you guys think about just motoring the boat to Coate Rica?
How long would it take?
Any experience sailing from Alsaka to Central America?
Any advice?
I did it the other way around in 2006. Where exactly in Alaska are you now? Alaska is a big place.
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