west baja--- how small is too small ? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 05-29-2003
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west baja--- how small is too small ?

ok, so after repeatedly almost selling my boat, I''ve given up, and realized I''ve just got to love her and learn from her, and use her for what I can safley, and wait to do the other things.

She''s 19 feet on deck, and 16 at the waterline. 800 lbs in the keel, and a wee bit tender with the 150 up, but does ok in most stuff (never had her over about 18 knots, but she was doing fine.) With the 100 on she''s bairly phased by anything.

I''m hauling her, checking all throuhhulls, painting, restepping the mast due to corrosion, and making sure everything is in tip top shape.

Now, I know people have circumnavigated in inner tubes and crossed the atlantic bare backing a rubber duckie, so my question is not if, but if it can prudently be done.

Los Angeles to Cabo, up the sea of cortez, and then trailer her back to San Diego.
2 people. Figguring 3 months for the trip, with a 1 month margin of error (budgeting for 4 months) with room for stopping for days at a time in any town that catches our fancy, and still have time to make it ok on more sail and less motor.

Do you guys think it can be done safley? tips? advise?

Or should I just wait until I can afford a "real" boat before venturing outside of American waters?

Thanks.

-- James
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Old 05-29-2003
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Stede is on a distinguished road
west baja--- how small is too small ?

James,

Congratulations on your first single-hand! It really is quite a rush isn''t it! ha!ha! I single-hand my 26 ft.boat most of the time.I''ve done some pretty long trips with her offshore,with the longest being 62NM.I''ve also single-handed some 38ft.boats in the Caribbean. To answer your question about "how small is to small" I have to ask you a question. How many screw ups have you had? How many times have you run her aground and figured out by yourself how to get out of it,drug anchor in the middle of the night,got caught out in a storm,decided to go when you knew in your gut you should stay? The list goes on and on.What I''m getting at is how are your seamanship skills? Yeah,there have been people that have crossed oceans on very small boats and made it. Most had very good seamanship skills, while others were just plain lucky.If your boat is very seaworthy,I believe she can do the trip you''re asking about.The other part of the equation is....you. Are you seaworthy enough? I''ve prepared my boat and myself for years to single-hand her.Safety is always the number one priority with me on doing trips, but yet I''ve still taken some major poundings by storms that weren''t forecasted and other minor disasters. I was able to overcome them by the seamanship skills I''ve developed over the years with time spent on the water, and learning from my screw ups. Being out in open water on any boat single-handling,or with small crew isn''t the time to learn.I''m sure anyone on this board will tell you that things can get real ugly,real fast out there. If you''re not prepared for it, it won''t matter what size of boat you have. Prepare your boat for safety..there are plenty of sources to gather information from..the net,USCG,etc.Develop strong navigational skills.Prepare yourself by doing trips, each being a little longer than the last.Determine the best time of year to do the trip in the area that you''re considering. Learn as much about weather as you possibly can.Follow weather forecasts religously. When possible,always try to have back up plans when plotting courses (i.e.-places to run and hide when things do get ugly) Stock your boat, and go. The good news is that it''s all about boating, which is all good! Take care!
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