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Discussion Starter #1
Advice on Blue Water Cruising

Hi Everyone,

Firstly, great website...loads of good info and advice which I have been reading for the last few weeks.

I would like to start a new thread on my future plans and hopefully have great input from all you experienced sailors out there in helping me make my choices here on end.

I plan on sailing from Newport Beach, CA to Durban, South Africa. Time of journey is not important...making it there is.

My situation:
Will have $1500 per month to live off
Have not sailed before, but always been a keen deep sea fisherman
Realized that I need a 30-40ft boat to complete the journey.
Will be two males friends (6"2, I’m 5"8)
Both of us know nothing about sailing, but learn very quickly!
Have a budget of about $20000-$30000 for the boat.
Realize the problems and seriousness of what this involves!

My questions and please add anything you see fit:
Research says do not buy a Hunter….what is good for such a voyage?
What type (make, model and year) of boat should I be looking to buy? Woulod need to accommodate two men. (Close friends)
What’s the best route to take? I’m in no rush.....
What are the best requirements the boat should have...from initial investigation...head, shower, two double beds, solar, refrigeration, fresh water maker and the usual radios, safety...what else? Don’t want to need for something I should have thought about before!
How long should I expect the journey to last if I decided to cross the Atlantic from Panama?

I know there is loads I’ve missed out on but if we could get the ball rolling…..please say anything you think is relevant...I haven’t bought a boat yet and trying to get my head around everything I would need to undertake to complete this journey/experience and all your valuable input would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Hi Everyone,

Firstly, great website...loads of good info and advice which I have been reading for the last few weeks.

I would like to start a new thread on my future plans and hopefully have great input from all you experienced sailors out there in helping me make my choices here on end.

I plan on sailing from Newport Beach, CA to Durban, South Africa. Time of journey is not important...making it there is.

My situation:
Will have $1500 per month to live off
Have not sailed before, but always been a keen deep sea fisherman
Realized that I need a 30-40ft boat to complete the journey.
Will be two males friends (6"2, I’m 5"8)
Both of us know nothing about sailing, but learn very quickly!
Have a budget of about $20000-$30000 for the boat.
Realize the problems and seriousness of what this involves!

My questions and please add anything you see fit:
Research says do not buy a Hunter….what is good for such a voyage?
What type (make, model and year) of boat should I be looking to buy? Woulod need to accommodate two men. (Close friends)
What’s the best route to take? I’m in no rush.....
What are the best requirements the boat should have...from initial investigation...head, shower, two double beds, solar, refrigeration, fresh water maker and the usual radios, safety...what else? Don’t want to need for something I should have thought about before!
How long should I expect the journey to last if I decided to cross the Atlantic from Panama?

I know there is loads I’ve missed out on but if we could get the ball rolling…..please say anything you think is relevant...I haven’t bought a boat yet and trying to get my head around everything I would need to undertake to complete this journey/experience and all your valuable input would be greatly appreciated.
 

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First question that comes to mind is, how long until you plan to set out? Your thread is titled "Need To Cross etc..." Does this mean you need to go for a specific purpose?

If not then you'll probably want to use your first year at least getting to know your boat and getting the emergency procedures to be second nature, both for you and your friend. As a fisherman you've probably experienced your share of bad weather, but you'll need to retool your skill set for a sailboat. If you don't have time constraints then your time will be best spent practicing with shorter coastal hops in preparation for the big trip, regardless of what boat you end up getting.

On the question of "which boat", there's a list of bluewater boats somewheres on this forum. It's pretty long, but a lot of the boats on the list can be crossed off right away because they're very difficult to find in some areas (assuming you want to buy a boat that's already relatively nearby). And your budget doesn't leave much room to be picky. Make sure you read the caveats at the beginning of the thread. Basically there's no universal answer to the question of which boat... or a lot of the other questions you've posed :)

Lots of things go into making a good bluewater boat and there's no shortage of opinions and experiences archived on this forum, so look around. Most important thing is that you and your crew are comfortable handling her. Best of luck and welcome to SailNet.
 

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Picnic Sailor
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Welcome to Sailnet.

The list Adamlein refers to above can be found at
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/buyin...fshore-cruising-boat-list-january-2008-a.html

I would sugggest having a good read through it, it will give you a starting point on finding suitable boats. Your right you won't find too many Hunters on it.

There are plenty of boats from 28' through to 50' that would suit the needs of two guys depending on your individual requirements. Plenty of opnions too on which one would be best, ultimately it's your deciision, make it an informed one and don't rush into it.

To state the obvious you also need to gain and build on your sailing experience, I would say as your first priority.
 

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Telstar 28
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Given your rather spare budget, I would recommend you look for a smaller boat, say 30-35' LOA, but reserve about $10,000 of the $30,000 for refitting, upgrading and equipping whatever boat you decide to buy. I would look at James Baldwin's Boat List for a "pocket" bluewater cruiser, rather than the list on this forum which focusses on mainly larger bluewater boats.

I would also highly recommend the two of you take at least a basic ASA 101 learn to sail course. Given that neither of you know how to sail, this is a requirement IMHO. I would also recommend you get whatever boat you're looking to make the voyage in and spend at least six months sailing her on coastal cruises and slowly getting to know the boat, and how she handles in different kinds of conditions.

What’s the best route to take? I’m in no rush.....
There are three routes you could possibly go. First is down to the Panama Canal and then out into the Caribbean and across the Atlantic. The second is around Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America and across the Atlantic to South Africa. The last is west across the Pacific and then through the Indian Ocean to Africa from the west side. Each of these has its difficulties and challenges, and each has its advantages/disadvantages.

What are the best requirements the boat should have...from initial investigation...head, shower, two double beds, solar, refrigeration, fresh water maker and the usual radios, safety...what else? Don’t want to need for something I should have thought about before!
Most smaller boats aren't going to have a shower, then again, most smaller boats don't have the fresh water capacity to handle having a shower. If you're expecting to get a boat with an shower for your budget, you might really want to re-think things. It probably isn't going to be happening.

You don't want two double beds... again, you don't seem to understand what the situation is. What you'll need is two good sea berths. Sea berths, by their nature, have to be fairly narrow. Pilot or quarter berths would be excellent. Most smaller boats aren't going to have two full cabins either. The v-berth, which is the forward cabin will likely be relegated to stowage for the duration of the voyage, since sleeping in a v-berth on an ocean passage can be less than comfortable.

An RO watermaker would be a luxury, and I suggest not relying on it. You should always have sufficient water in tanks or jugs to last out the voyage. If you were thinking of making water as you go, that's not generally a safe idea.

Refrigeration is expensive on a small boat, and requires the boat to have battery banks far larger than would otherwise be necessary. It is not a necessity, and many long-distance cruisers do without it.

How long should I expect the journey to last if I decided to cross the Atlantic from Panama?
Unfortunately, sailboats are somewhat limited in their choices of passages they can make. If you were to look at the normal winds, a passage from Panama to South Africa would generally entail three partial crossings of the Atlantic ocean. You would go from Panama across the Caribbean, to the USA and then East-NorthEast to the Azores. From the Azores you would head south to the Canaries and then south west towards South America, and then from South America, usually from Rio De Janiero via Tristan Da Cunha to Cape Town. While you can go from the Canaries to Cape Town, it is nearly 5000 miles non-stop, and not a voyage to take lightly—going from the Canaries to Brazil is usually a much better bet at 3600 miles.

While you could go from Panama, along the South American coast to Rio, I would advise against that. First, you'll be going through some of the more heavily pirate infested waters doing that route. Second, you'll be sailing upwind against the Northeasterly trade winds, with South America as a lee shore, which is not a safe undertaking. Then you'd be sailing south against the Southeasterly tradewinds with the coast again as a lee shore.

Since you're starting out on the West Coast, going the long way around might actually be easier and faster. Going across the Pacific to the Southern Pacific, Australia and New Zealand then across the Indian ocean to South Africa may make a lot more sense. It would also avoid having to do a Panama Canal Transit, which is getting fairly expensive and increasingly difficult to do in a small sailboat.
 

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Telstar 28
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Please don't start multiple threads on the exact same topic... it's tacky and rude.
 

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That budget is low for purchasing a decent blue water boat. I'm sure it has been done before, but it will take a lot of work to get a boat within that budget up to snuff.

But while I am calling the budget low, it is still a lot of money. Maybe it would make some sense to spend some time on boats of that size (by volunteering to crew for local racers) before you make that kind of investment.
 

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On the hard
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That and the fact that you'll be bucking the trades all the way across if ya try to go straight there. You'd be better served to go East towards England and then drop South.
 

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Swab
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That budget is low for purchasing a decent blue water boat. I'm sure it has been done before, but it will take a lot of work to get a boat within that budget up to snuff.

But while I am calling the budget low, it is still a lot of money. Maybe it would make some sense to spend some time on boats of that size (by volunteering to crew for local racers) before you make that kind of investment.
Oh I think I could find a suitable boat and make the trip safely on that budget. A rank newbie, however, could spend ten times as much and still make the headlines while failing, in a spectacular way, to reach his destination.

Due diligence, Warren, and good luck.

Latest video added March 27th
 

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excellent suggestion sailing Dog. If i were to go east towards Eng and then drop south....how long would this take? Just trying to get a feel for the time it takes to sail that distance?
 

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I would take tempature into consideration too. Once out of Calif. going west most of your time will be warm, and in tradewinds. Baja Calif until you reach Cabo can be a cold, damp, wet, miserable place at times, I know! I myself would go the South Pacific, Indian Ocean route......i2f
 

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As pointed out the budget is tight and the learning curve is steep....but hey you must like a challenge or you wouldn't choose to do such a thing.

You haven't stated you inclination to do boat repairs or rebuilds. In this market there might be an opportunity to get a boat that requires work to get going (i.e. project boat.) for almost nothing or cheap. Are you willing to spend a year doing a refit? This in it self is a risky prospect if you have no experience as the cost of a refit can be more that the cost of buying a boat that already has the work done so be cautious there...but if you can find a boat that has most of the equipment needed, but requires more labour type fixing, it might be possible. Likely the smaller end of the spectrum will be more viable.

The refit experience would be a way to get to know your boat from the bottom up.

I encourage you to go our sailing with as many people you can and do a sail and learn to get some good training this is fun and will give you the foundation to do the trip your sites set on.

There are many threads on the types of boats and basic equipement needed for the most economical cruising route. You might want tocheck out the book Sensible Cruising: The Thoreau Approach by Don Casey and Lew Hackler or Plot Your Course to Adventure by Roger Olson or anything by Lin and Larry Pardy as they seem to cover the budget cruising ideal which is avoid the gadgets and KISS philosophy.

Another great book to read is World Cruising routes by Jimmy Cornell which is a cool book that would show you the route and times of year you can travel.

Additionally you might want to find a book called 20 small sailboats to take you anywhere.

Fair winds!
 

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A lot of this depends on what boat you end up getting. A basic rule of thumb is that most boats can safely do 100 NM per day on average. This helps account for those days where there is just no wind. With a larger boat, the number might be a bit higher, with a smaller one, it might be a bit lower.

To give you an idea of what the passage would be like:

Panama to Miami: ...1300 NM
Miami to Azores: ....2800 NM
Azores to Canaries: ...800 NM
Canaries to Rio: ......3600 NM
Rio to South Africa: .3400 NM

That's basically 12,000 NM of sailing, approximately four months of voyaging, not counting days waiting for weather windows or re-provisioning or repairing the boat. This doesn't even count the trip from California, down to Panama, or the Panama canal transit, which together can be at least a couple of months.

Going the westward route:

California to Tahiti: ...........3600 NM
Tahiti to Rarotonga: ............700 NM
Rarotonga to Tonga:.............900 NM
Tonga to Fiji:.................. ....500 NM
Fiji to New Caledonia: ....... ..750 NM
New cal. to Torres Strait: ...1600 NM
Torres Strait to Bali:...........1700 NM
Bali to Mauritius:................3500 NM
Mauritius to Durban: ..........1600 NM
Durban to Capetown: ...........750 NM

That's about 15,600 NM of sailing. But you don't have to come down the western coast of Central America, which is almost 3000 NM, or do a Panama Canal Transit... so it might actually be faster. It is also probably a bit easier in terms of sailing, since most of the legs are far shorter. However, you do have the challenge of rounding Cape of Good Hope against the westerly trades.

These distances are roughly based on traditional sailing routes between commonly used ports.

excellent suggestion sailing Dog. If i were to go east towards Eng and then drop south....how long would this take? Just trying to get a feel for the time it takes to sail that distance?
 

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Oh I think I could find a suitable boat and make the trip safely on that budget. A rank newbie, however, could spend ten times as much and still make the headlines while failing, in a spectacular way, to reach his destination.

Due diligence, Warren, and good luck.

Latest video added March 27th
I respect Vega's decision. I believe he has made it work on a small boat which he has taken from US to HI. However, and a big however, he strikes me as an experienced sailor.

Not only are sailboats expensive, but the gear for them is expensive. I dropped over 7k just on my solar array. I do no tsuggest you get one that large, but I am simply trying to give you a feel for the sheer costs in outfitting. A watermaker alone will be many thousands of dollars. Add in (though you don't have to) radar, chart plotter, auto pilot (or windvane), a spare set of sails, spare parts, a truck load of maps, ssb, epirb, etc... and you have likely just exceeded your entire boat cost. THis does not even include the price of the boat.

I am not telling you this to discourage you. Quite the contrary. I am telling you this to prepare you for what lies ahead. Greatwhite has suggested some good books. I think it will give you a start in the right direction. I am also of the opinion that jumping off on a trans-pacific voyage before you have become a very accomplished sailor and know your boat very well is a recipe for personal and financial disaster. There are very experienced sailors who have been lost in the pacific... and has been pointed out, most certainly a group of unexperienced with fine boats that have met the same fate.

Go to yachtworld and do a search for boats up to $50,000 (I know, more than your budget) and see what you can get in the 30-40 range. Others here may be able to tell you specific boats that are good to search for. I am not educated on those size boats so will refrain from commenting.

Good luck in your search. Please feel free to ask any other questions as you need.

Brian
 

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There are a few places in the world where you can get boats for a much smaller percentage for it's actual worth. Places where dreams die, and fall apart for those that realize it wasn't for them. Cabo Mexico comes to mind. I bought Imagine in St. Maarten, and at this time Florida probably has many for sale, because of the economy.

I could not justify hanging onto my sloop any longer me being over 3000 miles away from her. I sold her for half her value with a ton of cruising gear. New sails, furler, canvas, etc. etc. She just needed some polishing, and she was ready to go most anywhere.

Look through the Latitude38 ads. They are even electronic these days

Latitude 38 - The West's Premier Sailing and Marine Magazine

New and Used Yachts for Sale - YachtWorld.com
You can do a very advanced search here......BEST WISHES in finding a boat to serve you well......i2f
 

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Big Chicken Baby
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That is quite an ambitious journey given your budget and experience.

Personally, I wouldn't set out on an ocean crossing in a top of the line, no expense spared boat unless I had spent quite a bit of time on the boat and knew it inside and out. That being said, I would consider a long passage like that in a boat that might not conventionally be considered a blue water boat if I had spent a LOT of time on it, knew all of its quirks, short comings and stengths, had sailed in all sorts of nasty conditions and felt very, very confident in my skills.

Yes, people with little experience have set out on big ocean crossings with little experience and survived. Then again, there are people who taken a direct hit from a lightening bolt and survived that as well. Doesn't mean I'm going to run around a golf course during an electrical storm holding an iron over my head.

There is no substitute for experience and this is not something where you get a do over- if things go badly, well game over as it were. What about crewing for someone else first? Have you taken any of the ASA courses?
 

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Another thing to consider, and I will borrow this phrase from Camaraderie as it is his: How much more luck will you need to make it?

An experienced crew on a Valiant 42/50 crossing the Pacific would need some extraordinary bad luck not to make it through. A guy on Catalina 22 who just started sailing would need some extraordinary luck to make it a few days out. I think a lot of this comes to your comfort level for safety. It is not to say that both boats would not make it, or that the Valiant would not survive and the Catalina 22 would come through smiling... but the luck needed to get there would be vastly different.

I agree with the above: THere is so much to see right here in this hemisphere (and which can be done in a larger margin of safety), I would really put forth my boat search to a boat that would be a good live aboard and "coastal" cruiser. But... that is just me.

- CD
 

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Telstar 28
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CD, can you merge his two threads... :)
 

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Telstar 28
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thanks JRP. :D
 
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