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· Telstar 28
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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?
It would require a bit on knowledge and skill on the part of the petty criminal, especially as you say this is set in the 1970s or so... when instant satellite navigation fixes from GPS weren't readily available. :)

As, Cam has pointed out. Gold, due to its physical similarities to lead, would make wonderful, if expensive, ballast. Getting the gold hidden in a sailboat, especially an older, full-keel design, would require some work, but nothing that a determined person couldn't do by themselves.

The real problem is in getting the sailboat from point A to point B without sinking it or getting lost. :) The character would have to have at least some basic sailing experience... a lot of the navigation and such could be muddled along the way, as proven by Tania Aebi during the first part of her circumnavigation. :)
 

· Telstar 28
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Also, opens up the possibility that a nosy crew member on the ship that is carrying said boat will look and find the gold and steal it out from under you. :)

Just stash the gold in the keel, sump, water tanks, whatever...

And then SHIP the boat to wherever ya wanna get to!:rolleyes:

Course that takes all the drama out of the story; Big storms, things breaking, pirates, etc.:laugher

For not too many thousands of dollars you can ship it across the ocean, probably for what you'd spend on outfitting the boat to actually sail it across.
 

· Telstar 28
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RTD is correct, density is far more important than molecular weight for solids. For gases, the molecular weight and density are basically related, so it doesn't matter... since a mole of gas takes up a fixed volume.
 
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