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busytommy 07-29-2003 05:44 AM

29ft cruising

Just obtained a Compass 29 (Aussie built) full keel sloop, and intend to cruise the pacific and possibly back through indian ocean to mauritius (originating from Australia), ultimately to such I am curious as to others that have done this on a 29ft or smaller boat and their experience. I intend to do this with my wife and 4yo son.

Any feedback is much appreciated.

Best regards,

Tommy (Viva Vita)

rsojka 08-19-2003 08:33 PM

29ft cruising
Have you read any of the Pardey books like Cruising in Seraffyn or the other books they wrote. Seraffyn is a engineless 24 foot full keeled boat. Check it out. Rock

Spunt 11-20-2003 08:43 AM

29ft cruising
Check out Robin Graham''s book "Dove" And Tania Aebi''s book "Maiden Voyage". I know Tania went up the Red Sea to the med and i know Robin had no access to the suez canal and spent time in Australia (his boat was 24ft and Tania''s was 26.

jbanta 11-20-2003 11:24 AM

29ft cruising
As I recall both were full keeled and neither got away with making the trip without repairs. My boat is a 29 Lancer. She was built in 1978 and here hull is heavey enough for such a trip and I wouldn''t be so timid that I would never take her off shore, But before I did I would up grade all my standing rigging and add a steering vane, and afew more heavey weather sails. Oh yes I would put a sail drive back in her NOT the Peice of **** OMC she came with but a nice new deciel. THen I would feel as secure as I would in any small craft attempting such a trip.

Magic_Moments 11-20-2003 06:08 PM

29ft cruising
My boat is 29 feet, but I don''t think it could do an ocean crossing unless it was all good weather. There are many capable boats such as a Pearson Triton at 28'', several of which have sailed all over.

The Pardey''s have a website at and I think their current boat is 29 feet.
I think Robin Graham used 2 boats and the second was an Allied Luders 33 built in 1968. It is for sale in Hawaii right now listed on Yachtworld. Graham sold it in 1971.
Link to Dove ;checked_boats=1131046&slim=quick&


Jeff_H 11-20-2003 06:14 PM

29ft cruising

The original Dove was a fin keeled Lapworth designed Cal 24. That boat wore out and was replaced. I can''t recall what it was replaced with. Tanias boat was a Contessa 26 which is a folkboat derivative. Both are wildly more robustly constructed than the Lancers which by most standards were not especially robustly engineered or constructed.


jbanta 11-22-2003 06:43 AM

29ft cruising

I would agree with you that there are more ruggedly built boats than my Lancer. Still after removing the saildrive from her this last season I was pleased to find a full inch of hand layed fiberglass between myself and the water at one of the lowest points on the boat. And having that much right in behind the keel, I had to smile. I have confinence in her that she can handle alot more in the way of seas than I could muself. I will never be taking her more than a few miles off shore. 99.75% of my sailing will be inland or in the protected waters of the Puget Sound / Gulf of San Juan. I have asureity she can handle a trip to Portland if I ever get the wild hair. In short there are few boats made that can''t be made to handle blue water. Not that it is warranted but it can be done safely. I have even heard of Macs taking on the waters from the West Coast to Hawaii. Sounds crazy to me but it does show that even a thin hull boat like that can do alot if configured correctly.

paulk 11-24-2003 01:21 PM

29ft cruising
Try reading "Adrift" as well. Sobering.

WHOOSH 11-25-2003 02:23 AM

29ft cruising
Tommy, there''s surely nothing wrong with your intended plan provided you insure the boat is capable of the offshore work and upgraded accordingly where it isn''t. There is a huge history of small boats being taken long distances - for starters, you might read John Guzzwell''s account of sailing his self-build TREKKA, a Laurent Giles design I believe. Because the boat was built for the voyage, he did a circle with few problems and TREKKA was 20'' LOA. John Letcher did a series of Pacific runs in his little 26'' self-built ALEUTKA. Dave ??, who has been featured with his family time and again in Cruising World, rebuilt a Cal 25 (a very light-weight, round the buoys weekender) from the hull up and did a circle, ending up with a family of 4 aboard! Or enjoy reading John Neal''s account, very early in his life, of taking MAHINA, a Vega 27, deep into the Pacific and back to Seattle. Log of the Mahina would be one good reference as it''s now available cheaply, has an appendix of what he did to upgrade the boat, and it shows how missed details (Vegas didn''t have an adequate bulkhead support under the mast) will be found by the ocean. (You might also read his follow-up book, doing 3 Pacific runs in a Monsun 31 built by Hallberg Rassy). Friends of ours in the 80''s left on a Robert Harris-built/Taiwan-built Vancouver 25, sailed all around the Atlantic and Caribbean, and were last heard of heading for the Phillipines from our U.S. Trust Territory. I could go on...

There are a LOT of cruising boats cycling thru Australia and by now weaknesses will have been found. Consider finding a few of those folks to talk to, look over their boats and gear, and do some sizing up relative to your Compass 29. You''ll need to think about the main structural components: the hull/deck monocoque structure (will a heavy green wave landing right smack on top of the cabin be rebuffed by the ports, hatches, deck structure, companionway?), the rudder, rudder post and steering linkage(s), the rig. And you''ll have to sort thru the basics before worrying about all the nice gear trinkets: reliable self-steering, decent range of healthy sails, a workable galley, a couple of true sea berths, robust & versatile anchor gear, and decent cockpit & sun protection.

This prep work usually ends up being a multi-year process; don''t scrimp on it with the family going along. You''ll have a ball and will find the effort well worthwhile. Good luck to you!


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