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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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post #2 of 15 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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post #3 of 15 Old 10-14-2010 Thread Starter
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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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post #4 of 15 Old 10-14-2010
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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.

How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean ~ Arthur C. Clarke

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post #5 of 15 Old 10-14-2010
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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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post #6 of 15 Old 10-14-2010
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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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post #8 of 15 Old 10-14-2010
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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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post #9 of 15 Old 10-14-2010
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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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post #10 of 15 Old 10-14-2010
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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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