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  #11  
Old 08-18-2013
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Re: Choosing the Perfect Boat

There is no one perfect boat...
except in fiction, of course.
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Re: Choosing the Perfect Boat

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Originally Posted by rgscpat View Post
There is no one perfect boat...
except in fiction, of course.
Granted. So let me rephrase the question. Which boat would you choose for that particular journey? Remember it has to be fast with very few stops.
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Re: Choosing the Perfect Boat

Here's a try at a more "real" answer...

I'm surprised you haven't heard from more multihull fans. If the weight is carefully managed and the boat is designed as more of a racer-cruiser than just a cruiser, and the boat has sufficient attentive crew, it could be quite speedy. It would have to be dialed back some if it has a smaller crew; a smaller crew has more of a challenge in balancing speed, safety, and fatigue. The speed of multihulls can be weight sensitive, with the degree depending upon the design and purpose of the boat.

Following are very general thoughts about the speed of crossing an ocean on more or less "normal" sorts of sailboats that might be cruised -- someone else may be able to be much more specific and thorough but this might work as a first primer for a writer:

Cruisers crossing oceans can think of the speed of their boat in terms of a reasonable expectation for (sea/nautical) miles made good in a 24-hour period. This typically assumes use of some form of autopilot or wind vane steering, somewhat conservative sail selection, and reducing sail at night or whenever weather is potentially threatening.

Some boats might expect something like an average of 100 nautical miles of progress per 24-hour period; much larger, faster, lightly loaded, better crewed and/or equipped boats that are more designed for speed might do as much as 200 or so.
(Extreme ocean racing boats have of course done better but that's outside the realm of these thoughts.) (For many big ocean crossings, the nominal shortest distance will be on a "great circle" route, but there can be good reasons to deviate from it.)

The average expected performance is normally vastly much slower than the boat's theoretical speed. That might be because of variable (or sometimes no) wind (or lots of headwinds), adverse currents or waves, lack of crew to sail the boat aggressively (such as frequent sail trimming and adjustments), lack of fuel to run the motor often if the wind is light too often (or a dislike of running a motor often/need to save fuel for making electricity or conserve for emergency use), need to slow the boat to reduce discomfort or damage in some conditions, occasional needs for repairs, diversions from the shortest-course track to avoid bad weather or to find better wind, port visits, or any amount of "etc."

There is also some science to being in the right time and place; winds, currents, and storms tend vary (in direction, intensity, and likelihood) by location and season and sailors can use weather routing software or services to pick (and subsequently adjust) routes and departure dates for the best chance of speed and safety. (Jimmy Cornell's book about world cruising routes has been a long-term traditional "Bible" for voyage planning.) Attentive sailors may be downloading and analyzing carefully some very detailed weather information throughout a passage.

And sometimes the success of a passage comes down to plain old luck, of which there are at least two kinds. Well-prepared skippers seem to get more of the good kind. Poorly prepared skippers get more of the not-so-good kind (accidents, breakage, worn-out gear, and ignorance tend to be slow.) But, anyone can get either.
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Re: Choosing the Perfect Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgscpat View Post
Here's a try at a more "real" answer...

I'm surprised you haven't heard from more multihull fans...
This is ALL excellent information, exactly what I was looking for when I joined this forum. Thank you so much.
You're still not telling me which boat you would recommend for this journey. Marseille, Gibraltar, Panama, Hawaii, Marshalls, West Micronesia. This is a plan for four stops. The person who has chosen the boat knows three things: they care about the safety of the person who is going to sail it, this person is exceptionally talented and they will need to go fast.

As for multihull, I have wondered the same thing as well but have been told that cross ing the Pacific solo on a Cat was as rare as chicken teeth. Of course there is a second person on board to assist with watch etc. BUT the person who selected that particular boat had to assume that a solo was likely.
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Re: Choosing the Perfect Boat

What's fast? And why would you want to speed through these areas? These are awesome cruising grounds. Do you need to get back to work?
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Re: Choosing the Perfect Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeB View Post
This is ALL excellent information, exactly what I was looking for when I joined this forum. Thank you so much.
You're still not telling me which boat you would recommend for this journey. Marseille, Gibraltar, Panama, Hawaii, Marshalls, West Micronesia. This is a plan for four stops. The person who has chosen the boat knows three things: they care about the safety of the person who is going to sail it, this person is exceptionally talented and they will need to go fast.
Well, in order to obtain more specific recommendations, you would have be more specific as to this exceptionally talented fictional character's BUDGET...

Just like in real life :-)
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Old 08-18-2013
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Re: Choosing the Perfect Boat

Obviously if getting from Marseille to Micronesia as quickly as possible was of primary importance, you'd head the other way, through the Red Sea, and take your chances with pirates. So I'm assuming the stops in Gibraltar, Panama, Hawaii, etc. are important to the story even though it about doubles the distance.

Since money is no object and they are starting in Marseille, I'd look at bluewater builders in Europe, assuming they are buying new. If they are buying new they can have the manufacturer increase tankage and even storage, if necessary.

The Finns & Swedes make great bluewater yachts. I'm choosing the Hallberg-Rassy 372. It's CE rating is A - unlimited ocean voyages. Under sail it can easily achieve 8 knots or more. Sail area is 788 sq/ft but can be increased to 1202 with a code zero, great for light air. Standard water tankage is 114 gallons but the main character installs a water maker. It's standard range under power is about 850 nautical miles.

With an aft cockpit and rigid windscreen, the crew is well protected in heavy weather. The owner also had an electric halyard winch installed for easier single-handed sailing and had a Dutchman installed on the mainsail. Another option installed is a Max Prop folding propeller.

It should be fast, comfortable and rock solid, capable of going anywhere but shallow water.

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  #18  
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Re: Choosing the Perfect Boat

If I were quite rich, a "Beowulf"-like Deerfoot/Sundeer (several models) would be lovely -- 68 or so length overall, designed for a couple to handle, but relatively tough boats and definitely faster than the average cruiser. More info is on the Dashew's site.

If I were moderately rich and leaving Marseille on a French boat, it could well be a Super Maramu built by Chantier Amel -- various iterations of the Amels in the 50-foot-plus range, more of a solid cruising design that advertises a "cruising systems" approach. Not designed for speed per se, but the long waterline/greater size than many cruisers, and the design for ease of handling should mean pretty decent passage speed.

If I were not so rich, I could imagine turning an old race boat into a bit more of a cruiser -- but some of these boats are rather high-strung for a short-handed crew to handle. Some of the bigger J Yachts boats that were designed as racer-cruisers might do.
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Re: Choosing the Perfect Boat

like mentioned above,there is nor ever will be a perfect boat! if speed is your issue I suggest fly the friendly skys ,the bigger the boat,wider etc,the more comfortable and roomy but slower, on the other hand its kindof like the tortoise and the hare, is an extra knot or two really a big factor?
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Re: Choosing the Perfect Boat

My suggestion:
* Take sailing classes at a local school with cruising boats.
* Have this conversation with your instructor during a lunch break.
* When the class is over go on a captained trip using one of the cruising boats that is capable of such a voyage and get to sail it a little bit yourself.

The book will read much more authentically if the boat that you write about is one that you've sailed on. It isn't that important that it is a specific make and model, it's more important that when you write a little bit about sailing that it sounds like you've sailed similar boats before.
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