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  #1  
Old 12-01-2009
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Sailing from France to Australia

Hello, I am looking at buying a boat in France to bring back to Australia and was wondering if anyone could comment on the reality of the following idea.

March - Pick in France & Prep in the med
April - Play in mediterranean
May - Sail North Atlantic Ocean
Jun - Sail Caribbean Sea
July/Aug - Sail Pacific Ocean
Sep - Arrive Australia

The aim is to pickup in France, have a little adventure at the same time as focusing on having the boat in sydney for Oct.

Any comments would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Dean
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Old 12-01-2009
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Sounds like it might be fun in the right boat. Keep an eye out in the Caribbean for possible weather in June. Don't know about the Pacific.
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Old 12-01-2009
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Sounds do-able but looks more like a delivery than a cruise... that's a pretty aggressive schedule, and on a trip like that "schedules" can be hard to stick to...
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Old 12-01-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deandavis1 View Post
Hello, I am looking at buying a boat in France to bring back to Australia and was wondering if anyone could comment on the reality of the following idea.

March - Pick in France & Prep in the med
April - Play in mediterranean
May - Sail North Atlantic Ocean
Jun - Sail Caribbean Sea
July/Aug - Sail Pacific Ocean
Sep - Arrive Australia

The aim is to pickup in France, have a little adventure at the same time as focusing on having the boat in sydney for Oct.

Any comments would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Dean
Not very realistic in terms of the time needed. If it was a very fast boat and you had absolutely no problems it is just doable if you skip the Med. Play around in the rias of the Atlantic coast of Spain and Portugal instead. But I would see you at sea any time you had a decent weather window if you were going to make Aus. by September.

BUT and it is a BIG BUT JUNE JULY AUGUST and SEPTEMBER is HURRICANE SEASON. OK June in the Caribbean is a fairly low risk month but the next three in the Pacific - well rather you than me!
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Old 12-01-2009
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Thanks for everyone's input. I put this together yesterday and this is the beginning of researching the feasibility. I hope to buy and pickup a new jeanneau 45DS. So the first March is really about setting up the boat and becoming familiar with it.

TQA, thanks for your advise re Hurricane I had a quick glance last night and thought that would miss it in the Atlantic. Need to look harder at the Pacific obviously.

Cheers
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Old 12-02-2009
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As has been said in other posts, I agree that your time frame is seriously optimistic. Here's why.

I "delivered" my boat from San Deigo to New Zealand. We left SD on 6 June, we stopped in the Marquesas (4 days), Bali (5 days) and Raratonga (4 days). We stopped because:
  • Marquesas - we had been at sea for 24 days and needed a break and maintenance.
  • Bali - it was too beautiful to just sail past
  • Raratonga - maintenance and we then still had 1600 miles home to Auckland
We arrived in NZ on 18th August. Total trip time 2 and a half months. Stopped time 13 days. Total distance 6000nm (approx)

Now consider your trip.

You are leaving the Med in May, crossing the Atlantic, weaving your way through the Carribean, transit through Panama, then basically the same trip we did across the Pacific but further. And then on from NZ to Australia.

So approx 13000 miles (more than twice our distance), a canal transit (could be two weeks), probably three times the stops (more long distance voyages, more maintenance and rests needed) in addition to the canal transit.

And you want to be in Aus in September? Only 6 weeks longer than our trip?? I believe you're either setting yourself up for a bad hiding or you're going to take two months longer than you think.

You should consider something like Virtual Passage Planner to have a decent look at what you're up against in terms of weather, distance etc. It may cost a few dollars but it will give you a way better feel for your task. See it here:

Digital Wave - Products

There may also be a few free-ware downloads that will be useful.

Then go to Noonsite.com and have a look at the options you have for stopping along the route and get some up-to-date info on Panama. And know up front that no matter how good your boat is when you leave, you will have somethin to fix at the end of EVERY leg of your voyage.

Finally, it has been said on this forum and others that the one thing that has no place on a sailing boat is a schedule and definitely not a tight one. I have no idea what your constraints are but if you HAVE to get back for employment reasons or other drivers, be aware that you are in an environment that is often out of your control and forcing an issue at sea could end up getting you killed.

I can't recall ever completing a voyage in the time I comfortably set for myself. I have no reason to believe that you will either.

If you do the trip your way, good luck. My advice is slow down and enjoy the trip - you may never get the chance to go back.

Really.
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Last edited by Omatako; 12-02-2009 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 12-02-2009
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Did you check the other way around. Travel in the Med, pass to Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Pacific?
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Old 12-02-2009
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I really appreciate this conversation. omatako lots of good points.

I did think about the other way around but thought the pirate issue too much of a risk. Thoughts?

Last edited by deandavis1; 12-02-2009 at 05:09 AM.
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Old 12-02-2009
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Dean,

As others have said, that is a very aggressive schedule for the distances you plan to cover. In a new boat, too! Which assumes that the factory will even deliver it on schedule. What happens if the boat comes off the production line a month late? Now you will be transitting hurricane alley as "the season" really ramps up.

Also, even though the boat is brand new, it will require quite a bit of work and prep to get it ready for a voyage like this. Stock production boats rarely have the necessary equipment for long distance cruising, and even if yours does there will be a "shake down" period during which you'll discover some things don't work as planned or even at all. You'll need time to fit and re-fit.

Those comments apply to any boat. But regarding the 45DS in particular, what is your plan for fitting storm shutters over those enormous windows? What kind of self-steering do you plan to fit?

My final thoughts are that it would be far less expensive to ship the boat back, in case you are planning the trip to save money on delivery costs to Aus. If it's for the adventure, then that's a different story of course. Also, I would ask Jeanneau if there is any difference in warranty coverage between shipping and sailing the boat back.
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Old 12-02-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celenoglu View Post
Did you check the other way around. Travel in the Med, pass to Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Pacific?
As it happens, I also did a voyage from South Africa across the Indian Ocean to Seychelles then on the Indonesia.

I would not recommend this to anyone. The Indian is the lumpiest most uncomfortable sea to traverse even going east-west. Going west-east all the winds and currents are against you unless your timing is perfect. It was not a nice voyage and one I personally would never repeat.

Also, there is no support. You're surrounded by countries who are relatively poor and in any case don't give a rats a$$ whether you live or die. SAR support simply doesn't exist. There are those who will say one shouldn't plan a voyage with SAR intervention as a part of your thinking but it is daunting to know that if anything serious goes wrong (and it can even with the best of intentions) you are seriously on your own.

And then of course you have the piracy issue and we all know of two Brits who would not recommend that voyage.
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