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Oldest Around, Solo, Non-Stop

11018 Views 73 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  JonEisberg
Anyone following Dr. Stanley Paris? Cool boat! Dr. Stanley Paris ? Kiwi Spirit, a custom designed 63-foot yacht

I wish him luck.

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The more important question to me: Why the heck would anyone want to sail 27000nm non-stop? I just don't get that.
A lot of non-sailor friends wonder why people sail boats at all. They wonder why we spend so much money and time maintaining our boat and sailing them when we could be at home watching TV on the couch. Whether someone goes out for a Sunday afternoon day sail, sails on an AC racer, or sails non-stop around the world- it is what satisfies them and it is all good.
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Yep I get that - but I've spent 5 weeks at sea alone on a tough sail east-bound across the Indian Ocean and I said then that only if my life depended on it would I ever do that again.

So I had to ask the question . . . .

This fellow is obviously headed for Southern Ocean territory - eeehh , that's a tough call. If half his systems are down after 1200nm in the Atlantic, he's in for some stick.

And even the best support team in the business ain't gonna be of any value down there. Ask Abby Whatsherface - despite her pro support team and $¼m rescue effort, her a$$ (but not her boat) was saved by a smelly old fishing boat.

But that event does highlight the value of a high-profile voyage. The Australian government sent a passenger jet with a team of specialists 2300nm to see what they could do (From a passenger jet? Geez, I could have told them for just $20k :p). When I got into trouble 800nm from Australia they told my wife "Sorry but he's out of our area - we can't help him, he's on his own".
I question why folks climb mt Everest. It is not only freakin cold, but you have a constant headache from the low oxygen level. On top of that quite a few peeps die trying each year. And for what they pay for this experience, you could have a nice boat. But I do not think sir Hilary would agree with my train of thought.

And if Abby Southerland had used an s&s 34, she would have had a much better chance with her lap, as Jessica Watson had done.
Well, I wouldn't place any bets on what Sir Edmund would think of the 'Climbing Rallies' up Everest, today... :)

Not necessarily... And she would have lessened her chances of breaking "The Record", which is what these things are about, after all...

What ultimately did her in was running late in the season, and leaving Capetown dangerously close to the onset of the southern hemisphere winter... a dicey decision, no matter what she was sailing...
Yes, and the reason she was running late is that the boat could not produce enough electricity for the electronic auto pilot, among other high tech issues. I believe the auto pilots were failing and thus she pulled into Cape Town. These delays led to a late meeting with the Indian Ocean. That high tech carbon fiber mast that already had a bunch of southern ocean miles probably did not help much either. If it had not broken, perhaps she could have kept going. Now Jessica's boat used a wind vane -all low tech, note that an open 40 cannot sail by wind vane, speed too fast. Kinda like the turtle and the hare.

And I still would not climb Everest, whether just me and Hilary, or with two hundred paying customer.
Does anyone know the brand and model of the autopilots he is using?
Built by nke. The mob, through AP, will turn the boat around and come "pick you up", if you believe that.
NKE? Wow. They are used by the Vendee Globe folks and they are pushing their boats I lot harder. I must say I am surprised.
Agree, I looked at their web site and they must have a good history of reliability. Kiwi must just have a bad batch. Needed to burn those things in for six months to be sure they don't break prior to departure.
A "bad batch"? Like, a tin of blueberry muffins that came out of the oven burnt? Hmmm, sounds a bit unlikely, to me... :))

A problem with the installation sounds more likely, to me... After all, an AP wired correctly should shut down when the breaker is tripped at the main panel, no?
Jon, do you ever wonder why, when there is a electronic product recall, they give you serial number range? Could that be a batch number?

Also I see where some nke aps have built in 12vdc to 12 Vic power supplies and include power conditioning. This may account for the delayed power shut down of the electronics. Looking at nke manual, the ap has 2 power supplies, one to hyd pump and other to the computer. They must. Be tuned on/off in correct sequence. This could also be part of problem. Not familiar with the unit.

And if you think failures of nke ap are that rare, do a search of nke ap failures. There are many, some leading to crash jibes and knock downs. They may be excellent, but everything breaks at some point.
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Good point... Your guess might be better than mine, in that regard :)

Again, another good point... However, according to Paris' account, it seemed to take an abnormally LOOOONG time for him to finally disable the thing... There's a Poltergeist aboard KIWI SPIRIT, perhaps? :)

Of course... However, I still rate them as highly reliable as autopilots go, especially given the demanding applications they typically see...

BTW, a Google search of "NKE autopilot failures" produces 69,000 hits...

Substitute "Raymarine" for NKE, the number spikes to 388,000...

I agree the nke must be the best and most reliable considering the Vendee folks trust them to steer a boat in the southern ocean at 30 knots while they sleep. But I also imagine raymarine must sell a lot more units due to price and thus higher number of failures. Raymarine also uses an electric ram for most installs that is normally exposed to elements, and thus higher failure, but much cheaper to purchase and install. But few raymarines are used in southern ocean on an open 40 or 60.
I doublehanded in the Newport-Bermuda Race this year and the Raymarine ram died 300 miles from Bermuda. (Hand steering while racing is difficult with only 2 on board.) Granted it was a 17 year old unit. The Raymarine dealer in Hamilton replaced it with a new one for the return delivery. Five weeks later it died too. Prior to the race we had trouble with the new Raymarine E-120 unit. The local electronic repair shop in Connecticut where we took it for diagnosis said that thankfully he worked on Raymarine products as repairing them provided for a comfortable living. In general I stay away from Raymarine these days.
Maybe the old raymarine were built better. My 10 year old auto helm has 30,000 miles on it and works great. But I'll stay away from the new stuff.
My only question is "Why Not?" He obviously has the funds, and he is obviously in good health, and he purchased a boat that is not only quite comfortable, but very seaworthy. So, Why Not? If I were in his position, I damned sure would do it, but I'm crazy as a $hit house rat, so that may explain it. ;)

All the best,

Gary :cool:
If a man had the funds, and the health (very important), how about being the first man to circumnavigate the planet non-stop, with a all female crew made up of 10 hot women? Looks like a record to me, and one any man could be proud of.
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Eventually it will be a fight for the title of the oldest man to circumnavigate the planet non-stop, with a all female crew made up of 10 hot women... and live. In that race a very fast boat might actually come in handy for a number of important reasons.
Thinking about this further, it probably would not be a pleasure race. Think about it, 10 model material women, and just imagine when they all start fighting with each other, especially when they get the time of the month all in sync. I think I'll just sticking with single handing.
I thought I was reading post from the first attempt concerning the boat failures. Unbelieveable the second attempt had sail failures. Now reading Stanley's blog it says the rudder was found defective. Also says he may build a smaller boat and design based on leasons learned from first build.
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