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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > A trip from NJ to S. America--Type, journey length, boat details?
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Thread: A trip from NJ to S. America--Type, journey length, boat details? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-14-2012 03:46 AM
Nione
Re: A trip from NJ to S. America--Type, journey length, boat details?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazystrause View Post
You should check out this video.

Hold Fast from Moxie Marlinspike on Vimeo.

This was immensely helpful for my writing, a wonderful resource! It caused a small problem, though. Ever since watching, that tingling desire to get out on the water has become this overwhelming urge . . . so . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff54 View Post
Maybe if you post your location someone nearby will offer to let you look around his or her boat.
I'm in Philly.

But no car, so I can only get to places near where public transit can reach. At a stretch this would include NYC and a few places in NJ.

This statement is in contradiction with my usual Online Rules. But . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
If I were you I would first go physically look at some 35'+ sailboats. Sailors love to show off their boats, go ask 'em some questions.
. . . I tried to do this. How do I even get near the boats? Everything is behind big metal gates with lots of security cameras, and if I say I'm thinking of getting a boat (which I suddenly am, though it can only happen in a Hold Fast type of way) and want to see what kind of place it could live at, they don't allow me to wander without an escort, which isn't very conducive to engaging random sailors in conversation. Suggestions? (Or friends in the area? )

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
The weather is it's own character as are the boat and the ocean.
You really owe it to yourself to at least hitch a ride on a sailboat in the 30 - ? foot range to see what it is like during the day time. At night it is a little more intense as you lose the visual horizon while the boat continues to move to the ocean swells (a calm ocean has 3' - 6' swells). Seeing the Milky Way and the stars at night is phenomenal if it is not coudy, as is the phosphorescence trails the boat leaves behind in warmer waters.
Thanks for (in addition to all your other information!) pointing that out. It's vitally important, and without the firsthand experience I wouldn't have noticed them properly.

You're right, I do--first to the book, but now also to myself. It sounds amazing. I'm trying to be patient, feeding my interest with blogs and books and videos, waiting for the regular season to start and clubs to have open houses so I can make friends and contacts, but my trademark virtue is currently eluding me--Sailing has literally invaded my dreams. And the story--Well, I write because I can't not. My stories are never patient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
OK, I will play, since I am a writer too, but not fiction.
Thank you! This is of great help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WDS123 View Post
A fellow with handle Joshua Slocum could Provider some insight - he sailed NJ -Brazil a few times with his Wife
Great. I'll PM him once I have enough posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
You should. Post a "crew wanted" listing. If you survive the trip, you will have many accurate details for your book.

BTW, don't volunteer to be the "prisoner", even though you may have that experience with any crew position.
Hahaha! Unfortunately, for now writing isn't my only occupation, so available time is pretty limited. Upon seeing your suggestion I rocketed over to the listings to post . . . and then saw not only the ratio of crew:wanted, but notably the qualifications of those even who call themselves "beginner." Once my upcoming schedule is clarified I'll certainly give it a shot, as I *am* willing to work an unpleasant job for this experience, but considering my level of hands-on experience (zero) and the number of responses a very amenable-seeming and hard-working Central American with that same amount and no time limitations has gotten (zero), my hopes are not high.

Out of curiosity, is the likelihood of being taken on affected by gender?


Thank you again, everyone, for your excellent tips, links, and information!
03-13-2012 02:40 PM
ottos
Re: A trip from NJ to S. America--Type, journey length, boat details?

You might find this thread interesting, particularly the videos.

Happy writing!
03-12-2012 06:33 PM
killarney_sailor
Re: A trip from NJ to S. America--Type, journey length, boat details?

OK, I will play, since I am a writer too, but not fiction. We sailed from Chesapeake Bay to the Caribbean in early November a couple of years ago. Some thoughts:
- lots (~150 boats a year) head to Caribbean each year from US in November.; Two reasons for date, it is after the normal hurricane season (although you can get the odd hurricane in November); also most insurance does not cover you until Nov 1 south of Cape Hatteras (North Carolina)
- most go from the Chesakeake, although some leave from further north; further north you are, the nastier the weather although you can (and do) get pasted further south
- generally people aim for the British Virgin Islands and then head further east and down the chain of islands
- in your subject line you mentioned South America; that is hard because of foul currents south of Trinidad; if you wanted to go to Brazil for example the approach would have to be different
- someone mentioned the Gulf Stream; it is a concern but does not extend all that far; check on line and you can see where it is and how wide it is
- the reason for heading towards Bermuda is that you want to get far enough east before getting into the trade winds (google it). In general an L-shaped route makes most sense since you end up going across the trades, which is good, rather than into them
- since your protagonists want to be unobtrusive, it would make sense to hide in the small crowd of boats heading south - ie don't look suspicious
- assuming the above, you could have them go to the BVI and then do a couple of overnights from there; It is easiest and check in and out of the French islands (Guadeloupe and Martinique) since you only have to sit down at a computer and do it yourself; most other islands you are dealing with officials
- don't know if you are looking for them to go an uninhabited island - those are really rare and even rarer to have one with an anchorage
- as to the boat they would take, do your shopping at yachtworld.com - the boats for sail there typically have lots of pictures
- if I am a 'money is not a problem' kind of guy, I might look at a Hallberg-Rassy 43 or slightly bigger (might as well not suffer on the trip)
- it is not like buying a used car and driving away, the boat has to be properly-prepared for a journey like this and well-provisioned; the boat you buy might have been prepped for ocean voyaging and then the owner got ill - that is not too rare unfortunately; now your people only have to go shopping before leaving
03-12-2012 06:21 PM
jameswilson29
Re: A trip from NJ to S. America--Type, journey length, boat details?

You should. Post a "crew wanted" listing. If you survive the trip, you will have many accurate details for your book.

BTW, don't volunteer to be the "prisoner", even though you may have that experience with any crew position.
03-12-2012 06:09 PM
Nione
Re: A trip from NJ to S. America--Type, journey length, boat details?

You are all wonderful! Thank you! This has really helped get me moving in the right direction.

Of course I'll keep checking back daily. Now I really want to get out on a boat! :-)
03-12-2012 12:14 AM
crazystrause
Re: A trip from NJ to S. America--Type, journey length, boat details?

You should check out this video.

Hold Fast from Moxie Marlinspike on Vimeo.

03-11-2012 11:57 PM
WDS123
Re: A trip from NJ to S. America--Type, journey length, boat details?

A fellow with handle Joshua Slocum could Provider some insight - he sailed NJ -Brazil a few times with his Wife

Slocum hasn't posted in a while, but he is The best source.
03-11-2012 01:36 AM
Geoff54
Re: A trip from NJ to S. America--Type, journey length, boat details?

I agree with everything that CalebD said + some random thoughts:
Not many pleasure boats, sail or power, leaving the northeast / mid Atlantic coast that time of year.
How long? You don’t give a very specific destination and without trying to plan an actual trip I’ll pull a number out of a hat – 3 weeks.
What's the minimum you need? Food, water, fuel (typically you run the engine for an hour a day for hot water and to charge the batteries) and some means to navigate (charts and gps would be reasonable).
What’s a sailboat like? Wow! Go to www.hanse.com select a boat and then select 360. You can view the inside and the cockpit interactively. Go to Welcome to Conch Charters, your charter provider in the British Virgin Islands select fleet and look at the videos of the boats. Go to Boats for Sale, New and Used Boats and Yachts - YachtWorld.com search for sail from 35-45 feet, pick a few at random and look at the pictures and descriptions. You really need someone to help you just to get the terminology correct. Maybe if you post your location someone nearby will offer to let you look around his or her boat.
Good luck
03-11-2012 01:04 AM
CalebD
Re: A trip from NJ to S. America--Type, journey length, boat details?

One thing you did not mention is the Gulf Stream - the generally northern flowing warm water current coming out of the Gulf of Mexico. Most sailors try to minimize their time fighting against the Gulf Stream by going farther out in the ocean, to Bermuda almost to get past the current and then head south for the Caribbean Isles. The other choice is to go further south and head off across the Gulf Stream for the Bahamas and then southeast towards PR and the VIs (the so-called Thorny Path).
Another problem with your scenario is that with 2 sailors and one prisoner trying to mostly sail towards S. America is that with only 2 reliable crew they should take turns standing watch/steering the boat. While one is on watch the other would usually rest for about 4 hours at a stretch. Someone also has to keep an eye on the 'prisoner' unless he/she is handcuffed or otherwise restrained (tied up - sailors like rope and knots) leaving little time for either crewmen to rest. The 'prisoner' would also have to make ablutions as this trip, if done totally offshore with good winds could take 2 - 3 weeks starting from NJ. They would need food, water and what not for that time as well.
It is a bit difficult to describe what standing a 4 hour watch would be on your vessel (not the 19' you linked to BTW) without knowing what equipment it carried. I think we are talking about a 30+ foot sailboat for 3 people.
On one blue water trip I helped with there was Radar, an autopilot hooked into a chart plotter, SAT phone, multiple GPS as well as VHF radio on a 50' Beneteau. The owner could have sailed it by himself but I was along to spell him on watches every 3 hours so he could rest up for his next shift at the helm. The off-watch crew would also be the one to prepare meals and clean up as obviously the helmsman would be concerned with the sails, the 'vector made good' or course and watching out for shipping and the weather. Many boats also carry a computer and either using SSB radio or a SAT phone they can download weather forecasts on the open ocean (look up 'grib files') as a forecast is only good for a few days, if that.
There is also a slight chance of a late hurricane or TS in the Atlantic in November although the hurricane season is largely over by then. Weather like that would certainly make life miserable for your fictional crew and captive.
The weather is it's own character as are the boat and the ocean.
You really owe it to yourself to at least hitch a ride on a sailboat in the 30 - ? foot range to see what it is like during the day time. At night it is a little more intense as you lose the visual horizon while the boat continues to move to the ocean swells (a calm ocean has 3' - 6' swells). Seeing the Milky Way and the stars at night is phenomenal if it is not coudy, as is the phosphorescence trails the boat leaves behind in warmer waters.
There is really too much to include in this reply.
I'd suggest reading a few blogs by folks who are doing some ocean traveling by sailboat. Here is one that comes to mind:
Sequitur
03-11-2012 12:16 AM
jameso
Re: A trip from NJ to S. America--Type, journey length, boat details?

well, it's fall (getting cold) boats will be on the hard (out of the water) or winterized. Random harbor, maybe walk up to a salty looking guy in a well turned out trawler and make him/her an offer they can't refuse, the ower is going to insist you transfer ownership, I should think, but if that can be arranged then fuel her up, buy some food and head south
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