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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 12-29-2008
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General question

Sorry, don't want to waste anyone's time with my total lack of elementary knowledge of sailing but I thought this might be a good place to learn.

I'm contemplating writing a work of fiction in which a petty criminal, in way over his head, attempts to smuggle about 2 tons of cargo half way around the world. How plausible would this be in a boat that could be sailed by one person?

I figured flying it would require too big a plane and too much logistical support. This guy is pretty much on his own.

Also, my humble apologies to "Landlubber" for sort of copying his nickname. I should have known it would already be taken but the name fits my predicament.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 12-29-2008
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You won't know until you try.

C'mon, slacker, suffer for your art.
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Old 12-29-2008
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It is entirely plausable for an EXPERIENCED sailor. Not so for the inex...
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You need to talk SimonV. No joke, he would be your reference if you want a expert who did it. West coast USA to Australia single handed.
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Old 12-29-2008
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Well illegals smuggles more than 4000lbs of pot & coke all the time on small boats, so it doesn't sound unbelievable.


What's the cargo in your story ???
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I should have prefaced the question by saying that this is something that would have happened 30 years ago (cargo is gold). Has the technology changed significantly enough in the last 30 years that it would affect the answer to the question?
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bubb2 has a spectacular aura about bubb2 has a spectacular aura about bubb2 has a spectacular aura about
The gold may have tarnish in 30 years.
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Thanks everyone for chiming in. Another question: What kind of craft would we be looking at in terms of nomenclature? Obviously not a dingy. I know that much. And how do I get ahold of Mr. SimonV?

Thanks everyone.
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Ahhh...gold is heavy...could be used as ballast in the keel instead of lead.
Big problems:
30 years ago...no electronic navigation. Would need to use sextant and charts.
Can single hand a boat that large...say 35-40 feet full keel sloop...but need experience in sailing at least smaller boats to even attempt it.
Also need to be sailing in the right direction at the right time of year which may influence your plot.

If yer gonna do it...don't make a botch of it like Patterson recently did with SAIL!!
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Well since the cargo is gold, the subject can afford to buy a state of the art at the time, fiberglass boat in the 40-45' range. A Cal 40 would have been an ideal candidate to smuggle 3,986.67 lbs of gold. They were very fast, had a cavernous bilge to hide the loot and could be rigged to singlehand. Of course the bilge is so deep due to the internal ballast that customes agents would probably never find the gold, especially if it was painted dull gray or better yet, glassed over like the lead ballast was.

Of course, 2 tons would bury the waterline on about any 40' boat 3-4 inches. Nothing a little paint couldn't fix.

Happy writing.
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