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Old 10-14-2010
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Detailed question / novice / appreciate any feedback

Hi everybody,

I am writing a novel, and in the novel I'd like to have the characters sail in a sailing vessel (read: no electricity, think 1800's type sailing vessels) from San Francisco to New Zealand. I know very little about sailing, so much so that I don't even know where to begin research!!

Any help you could provide would be appreciated!! Thanks all.
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Old 10-14-2010
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I think many of us do not know what say.

I would, however; like to quote Stephen King; "Write what you know."
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Thanks Jackdale, but I'm just looking for the right direction to do the research - which all authors do.

Specifically, I'm looking for information regarding what size vessel would be required to make a trip of this magnitude, how long it would take, what type of weather (any season).

Like I said, any help would be appreciated.
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this might get you started.
Sailing Ships in the 1800s

New Page 3

Ships: a Timeline

obviously nothing earth shattering, just a simple google search. you might want to see if there is a local maritime muesum in your area... sounds like you have your work cut out for you, good luck.
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Also i would def. read this:

Amazon.com: Sailing Alone around the World (Penguin Classics) (9780140437362): Joshua Slocum, Thomas Philbrick: Books
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I might also suggest that you find a local port with a tall ship that is open for public visits. Spend some time with a guide, learn the "lingo" and get an understanding of ship board life.

I would suggest reading "The Way of the Ship" by Derek Lundy. He chronicles a voyage by a collier (coal carrier) from Britain to Chile.
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I would recommend you volunteer on a Tall Ship... that would give you a much better understanding of the mechanics and language used on such a vessel.
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sailingdog has a good point. also, much terminology hasnt changed for eons, so if you think through your circle of friends you may be able to find a buddy or a friend of friend with a boat you could go out on. if not, and you have a marina/yacht club w/bar around if you go hang out and chat up the fellas (and maybe buy a beer...lol) you might just finagle your way to a day on the water.
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Just rent "Master and Commander", and the Pirate movies... That should do it.

Actually the series of books by Jack Aubrey are very good.
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... and Richard Henry Dana's "Two Years Before the Mast". The Hornblower books as well.

I think it's Patrick O'Brian who you're looking for Barquito
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