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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
G'day guys :)

I've browsed around here heaps recently, but finally took the step and signed up!

First, I have some small boat sailing experience years ago, but nothing like deepwater sailing. The reason I'm asking this is because I've come across something I can't stop thinking about...

I'm in Fiji at the moment, and chatting to a bloke in a bar the other night who happens to be selling the Columbia 34' I've been staring at for a days. kitted out, new gear, ready to go, except the engine has carked it (rusted out raw water intake).

He's happy and willing to spend a month or so with me around here teaching me everything I can learn. The issue is that I'd really need to work a bit before I can replace the engine.

My question is: Is it realistic to sail from Fiji to east coast Oz (probably via Vanuatu) with no motor? Would it be difficult, or seriously unsafe? Part of me says that people did this for many, many years, so if there's a good reason not to, please explain!

Wifi is hard to come by sometimes, but I'll check in on this soon. Cheers for the help!

-Sam
 

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Living the dream
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The Pardeys could do it, but with limited sailing experience it would be very risky although, come to think about it, so is that Russian guy in the South Pacific at the moment.

All in all, I'd say "no way!" but it is possible if you're bold/foolhardy/crazy enough. Also don't forget that you'll need a reliable electrical charging source to run all you comms and nav gear. I'd also make sure what's left of the boat is up for the job if funds are tight.

Sent from my GT-P1000 using Tapatalk 2
 

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islander bahama 24
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A small outboard on a transom mount would be a good idea and get sailing experience until you are ready to cross to oz and to save the funds for a new raw intake is that what's wrong with the motor or is it the head or block that's rusted out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Cheers for the quick replies -

It has both wind and solar for power, and a 500w generator. And a VERY small (4hp) outboard for the dinghy (useless?) - I had thought of the transom mount as a stop gap.

Am more than happy to spend a few months island hopping around fiji, thought that might be a good idea to get outside storm season as well...
 

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It is a rather large boat to be sailed without engine. Sure it can be done but it would take considerable skill to get it in and out of port. How many stops are you planning to make? What size crew?
 

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A 4 horse would do you in calm waters with a proper mount. Have moved my P35 with a 4 in a pinch.
In answer to the "can"- yes, but fairly risky with limited experience. Sailing seems to be one of those things that the more skill you acquire the more conservative you get as you are more aware of the "there but by the grace of God" experience.
Good luck!
 

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Beneteau 393
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Hi Sam,
I wouldnt go near it with a barge pole.

Theres plenty of boats out there for sale that actually work. Why risk your life in some very rough waters? Not to mention a small reef or two around every land you are heading to.

How old are you? How many years could you have of joyous life, compared with tossing it away now?
 

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islander bahama 24
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Cheers for the quick replies -

It has both wind and solar for power, and a 500w generator. And a VERY small (4hp) outboard for the dinghy (useless?) - I had thought of the transom mount as a stop gap.

Am more than happy to spend a few months island hopping around fiji, thought that might be a good idea to get outside storm season as well...
The outboard on the transom mount would be a stopgap measure until you could obtain the necessary parts to repair the main inboard
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the honest advice.. Sounds like I figure out if I can get it fixed before leaving, or not bother with it. If it's just the intake it may be possible.. was just so tempted by everything else, and the price.. but I guess I need to be realistic :(

Cheers everyone :)
 

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islander bahama 24
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Thanks for all the honest advice.. Sounds like I figure out if I can get it fixed before leaving, or not bother with it. If it's just the intake it may be possible.. was just so tempted by everything else, and the price.. but I guess I need to be realistic :(

Cheers everyone :)
Just curious what was the price he wanted
 

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You don't need an engine for that boat. I'd sail from Fiji to Oz, no problem. Rolling in the calms is the biggest issue - I hate that.

Nothing unsafe about sailing without an engine. What I would never do is untie from the mooring with only an engine. That is asking for trouble.
 

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Beneteau 393
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You don't need an engine for that boat. I'd sail from Fiji to Oz, no problem. Rolling in the calms is the biggest issue - I hate that.

Nothing unsafe about sailing without an engine. What I would never do is untie from the mooring with only an engine. That is asking for trouble.
Right.... Ummmmmm..... Yeah, I agree with you... The Great Barrier Reef is an easy one for anyone to sail through. Well, except for Captain Cook. He didn't have an engine (or it wasn't working, I forget which) but he was an idiot. The man could barely chart Newfoundland, took the goose a few tries to find Australia and even then he missed Sydney Harbour. A goose he was. I could have told him "Don't hit Endevour reef!" But would he have listened?
 

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More then a few cruisers with engines have had trouble sailing in Fiji. Take a wander around the boat yard in Vunda Point and check out all the hull, keel and rudder damage from all those charted/uncharted bommies...not to mention the reefs...
 

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Right.... Ummmmmm.....Great Barrier Reef...Captain Cook
Maybe you could enlighten us as to why the Great Barrier Reef is dangerous to sail thru? And why it is even necessary to sail thru? Was Cook's main problem lacking an engine or lacking modern charts? Is there some reason that a sailor is more apt to have trouble with reefs than the typical cruiser motoring?

aeventyr60: From Vunda Point, Fiji to Sydney Harbor there is one trivial reef opening to sail thru. Its a huge pass. No bommies anywhere along that route. What's the trouble? Automobile junkyards don't seem to deter people from driving cars.

seaner97: Relying on the grace of imaginary friends may one way to sail. A chart, basic sailing skills and a good boat works for me. It's just not that hard.

Just because many clueless cruisers or unlucky sailors have come to grief does not mean our OP will simply for the lack of an engine.
 

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Right.... Ummmmmm..... Yeah, I agree with you... The Great Barrier Reef is an easy one for anyone to sail through. Well, except for Captain Cook. He didn't have an engine (or it wasn't working, I forget which) but he was an idiot. The man could barely chart Newfoundland, took the goose a few tries to find Australia and even then he missed Sydney Harbour. A goose he was. I could have told him "Don't hit Endevour reef!" But would he have listened?
Didn't they eat him? Wouldn't have happened if his engine was working.
 
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