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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

I am thinking of buying a 32s5 in the US, sailing the Caribbean and in May with professional help crossing east-west to the mediterranean. Am I mad? Can a boat that is designed for weekend cruising and some racing do this voyage. I know it needs to be reefed early so can this sort of hull be sailed (and hove to in foul weather) 2000 nm? I know a 10m boat is OK for the Atlantic but I am a bit concerned if this sort of hull is suitable or I am crazy.

TIA:eek:
 

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Wow

Thanks for sharing John. Thats a great video. As I'm sure we all know that could have ended up terribly for them. With their will to survive and some luck I'm glad they came out ok. It's always seemingly some small series of events that end up stacking up and causing a catastrophy. In this case engine cowls taking on water and their drougue getting sheared. Deeper though their vessel played a role also

The poster was asking about sailing accross on a 32 foot Beneteau. Well it's been done on less, but personally the boat I'll use for the crossing will be along the lines of the Pardey Cutters, or something steel. I don't value size as much, I would do it on a well founded 26 footer. I think hull shape, design and displacement count for more. You need to be able to batten down the hatches so to speak and at the very least prevent water from being taken aboard. Those big nice cockpit lockers on a Beneteau 32 would sink the boat if you lost one. People circumnavigate for years, even a decade and never get caught in weather like that. So it's a personal choice. If you told me I could only go if I went on a Beneteau first 32 would I go.......maybe, lucky for me that's not the case.
 

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Telstar 28
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I'd point out that Webb Chiles sailed an 18' Drascombe Lugger, an open sailing dinghy, most of the way around the world...but I wouldn't recommend anyone else try doing so.
 

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Hmm.
East-west Caribbean to the Mediterranean - that would be Panama, Pacific, Indian ocean, Red sea and Suez.
I would choose West to east. It is much shorter.

The boat is not designed as ocean cruiser. Can't you buy in Europe? The cost of outfitting for ocean voyage and the repairs after will probably be higher then the purchase price difference.
Did you consider shipping it over?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hmm.
East-west Caribbean to the Mediterranean - that would be Panama, Pacific, Indian ocean, Red sea and Suez.
I would choose West to east. It is much shorter.

The boat is not designed as ocean cruiser. Can't you buy in Europe? The cost of outfitting for ocean voyage and the repairs after will probably be higher then the purchase price difference.
Did you consider shipping it over?
Errrrr! You're right west - east. Sounding around in other forums it seems that quite a lot regular AWB production boats do it. Bought in the Caribbean and sailed back, the longest leg is Bermuda - Azores (10-15 days) and IF the weather isn't too bad it's no big deal. My main concern with the 32s5 is "heaving to" in bad weather, it's a light displacement vessel.

Buying in Europe! Well I could but then I'd need to sail to the Caribbean for the winter, they're cheaper in US and the Euro is very strong.
 

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seanseamour
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Atlantic crossing

The Sean Seamour II events referenced by Jon Pollard below must take into consideration the extraordinary situation I encountered, ST Storm Andrea was not anticipated and the Director of the NHC was squarely faulted and lost his job. This was my third crossing, I am responding in part to relate my first, solo in 1996 in a very similar vessel to the one you are referencing as it was an Oceanis 321. I tell it as it comes, the captain holds the final decision.
For a number of reasons I was two months late in setting off, and already in hurricane season.
I had spent all winter living aboard preparing us for this adventure, I had read up and learned what I could about storm tactics, survival, contingencies, you name it.
I left Annapolis for Cape Cod July 4th as Hurricane Bertha was rolling toward the southern coastline, from that destination I watched her batter through then cross the cape on the 13th , confident she would putter north I set sail the next morning.
Lou Pantaï was not equipped like SSII, VHF and EPIRB were my only com links to the outer world. Some four days out the weather soured, by early morning winds exceeded fifty knots, by midday waves were in the twenty feet, late afternoon I knew alone I cold not helm through the night. My contingency plan was the sea anchor. As I deployed it a wave overwhelmed the autopilot spinning the vessel around, the slack in the drogue line passed it under the rudder entangling it in the prop. Meanwhile here I am dangling on the bow hoping the tether holds while I unsuccessfully attempt to retrieve the sea anchor. Adrenaline is still providing resource but anxiety is beginning to build, I quickly realize I need to extend the anchor line, again I was prepared, but the second mistake was to forget to extend the retrieval line which collapses the parachute, the buoy is now some 150 feet off the bow, irretrievable without propulsion now off line with the drogue line entanglement.
Night befalls, storm increases, my confidence evaporates. There is nothing more I can do but hope. That too evaporates. In the early hours of the morning the winds grow howling through the rig I imagine myself inside a screeching violin. I am still obsessed by my predicament, how to resolve retrieving the drogue I cannot afford to loose, how to retrieve the sea anchor I similarly cannot afford to loose, how to free the prop. By morning the storm is reaching its peak, but that's hindsight, for me the worst is yet to come and I begin to loose reserves of confidence as I attempt to start the engine to keep myself busy. Again hindsight, water has infiltrated through the tank vents.
By late evening I am totally depressed, laying flat on the cabin sole to avoid any more cuts and bruises I despair at the thought of never seeing my children again, the screeching continues, I catch a notebook and start writing three letters, one for each child. Carrols Creek Café had dropped a case of ginger beer in the cockpit as a going away gift, I empty three bottles, push a note in each and seal them. By daybreak nothing has changed, I feel my doom is a question of time, the bottles overboard I hunker back to my cabin sole. The mind is a strange thing as once again I consider pulling the EPIRB, once again I decide not to as somehow it doesn't seem to be the right thing to do. In reality I don't quite understand it, Curly at AYS has insisted I include it in my preparation, bless him for it saved our lives at a critical moment of two and a half years ago.
Later that day my radar detector beeps, I am jolted back to real life, a frantic belief I might survive this, I try and try hailing on the VHF, finally a freighter responds, tells me the depression in passing, so would mine be as I later danced on that cabin sole all the way to Horta, the rest is history.
Lessons learned are all in our artseaprovence blog by the Final Log. Make sure your boat is US made, they are far better built in SC than France, that it is an older version as the more recent the more tolerances seem to have been stretched. Finally, although the hurricane season continues to stretch out earlier the window is April-May, use Herb as a router.
Break a leg, JP


Hi,

I am thinking of buying a 32s5 in the US, sailing the Caribbean and in May with professional help crossing east-west to the mediterranean. Am I mad? Can a boat that is designed for weekend cruising and some racing do this voyage. I know it needs to be reefed early so can this sort of hull be sailed (and hove to in foul weather) 2000 nm? I know a 10m boat is OK for the Atlantic but I am a bit concerned if this sort of hull is suitable or I am crazy.

TIA:eek:
 

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seanseamour
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Atlantic crossing 2

Another option you may wish to contemplate, joining the next ARC. Finally, don't know what your Med cruising objectives are but its a tough sea, more fearsome than the Atlantic, just image a series of teacups with different brews where not uncommon to be sailing in 20kt SE and in 10 minute switch to 40kt NW, and finally mooring space is extremely tight and expensive.
JP

Hi,

I am thinking of buying a 32s5 in the US, sailing the Caribbean and in May with professional help crossing east-west to the mediterranean. Am I mad? Can a boat that is designed for weekend cruising and some racing do this voyage. I know it needs to be reefed early so can this sort of hull be sailed (and hove to in foul weather) 2000 nm? I know a 10m boat is OK for the Atlantic but I am a bit concerned if this sort of hull is suitable or I am crazy.

TIA:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Another option you may wish to contemplate, joining the next ARC. Finally, don't know what your Med cruising objectives are but its a tough sea, more fearsome than the Atlantic, just image a series of teacups with different brews where not uncommon to be sailing in 20kt SE and in 10 minute switch to 40kt NW, and finally mooring space is extremely tight and expensive.
JP
Thanks for the feedback, it's invaluable. I am accustomed to the med, the peculiarity of each locality. Conditions vary greatly, the winds - Maestrale, La Bora, Meltemi are strong and dangerous and it is a treachorous sea. I have skippered and done deliveries, charters and sailed in strong winds and trying conditions but always a within a 1-2 days sail from a safe haven. Many boats are lost here too, on treacherous rocks and in bad conditions. I remember a leeshore off Bonifacio with a ripped genova and an overheating engine making 1 knot against 30-40kts of wind - if the thermosat hadn't.... it was a trial but I learned from it and now I feel more prepared.

Ports are congested and space in the summer is expensive and arriving late in the evening your lucky to get a spot by the pumps or crammed in at the shallow end.

The idea of sailing 1000's of miles offshore, being so very alone for weeks doesn't worry me . It's sustaining a storm that lasts days, the first time round it must be a terrifying experience as Seamour illustrates so clearly. You think you are going to die. Second time round maybe it's still a trying experience but you know how it feel like when it's all over. I would not have the courage to venture off by myself the first time round wesat to east but with an experienced capt. and a boat in good condition that keeps me relatively dry I would consider it. The shipping cost is $12,000. This money could be spent refitting (a 20 year old boat needs it anyway) and preparation and contributing to delivery costs.

In hard conditions the major issue seems to be water ingress, if you can "batten down" stay below sit it out and if you don't hit anything the boat should float. Which leads to 3 considerations:

1. Avoid afap bad weather. (Herb)

2. In which conditions deploy drogues, cables, sea anchors and when to heave-to? In retrospect on your solo would you have adopted the same strategy again? The 32s5 is a winged keel with a spade rudder a bit like the 321 (but rigged 7/8), did she heave to?

3. Maintain buoyancy. Keep the water out of the boat and the lockers and the men in.


IMHO but I've never done it!
 

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seanseamour
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Atlantic crossing 3

HTML:
In which conditions deploy drogues, cables, sea anchors and when to heave-to? In retrospect on your solo would you have adopted the same strategy again? The 32s5 is a winged keel with a spade rudder a bit like the 321 (but rigged 7/8), did she heave to?
Difficult to heave to with these hull forms and shallow displacement, besides alone I was and continue to lack comfort with such strategy. My preference has always been to run where there is enough sea-space for at least 36 hours with drogue(s), in final resort sea anchor attached on lee side of storm displacement to optimize posture to changing waveform and direction.
Per the 32s5 I find her light and over-rigged for this type of crossing. I consider this generation as coastal racers rather than blue water. I also have a powerful preference for roller furl main : I logged over 10k miles on the 321, mostly solo, and the following vessels 40CC and 44CC about the same, they are dependable adaptable and in the end far more flexible for the type of sailing you are contemplating, both crossing and the med.
Last recommendation and this goes for the entire community, make sure you have a GPIRB and can verify the registration data, if you are inheriting a second hand unit make sure it is properly registered to YOU, since my event NOAA has modified their database management and process but there are still a lot of units out there that might duplicate what happened to me (the Soundings article side piece on what supposedly happened to my GPIRB was an exercise in disinformation, I can say no more for the moment). I would recommend buying a new and keeping the old for redundancy, this will also enable you to register your sail plan. When you get to the med look me up, expat in the Gulf of Saint Tropez seanseamourATgmail.com
All the best, JP
 

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Salut Seanseamour,

That was a quick post by me previously -- I didn't have time for commentary but wanted the o.p. to read your account of what can go wrong on a crossing, weatherwise. I certainly did not mean to impugn you or your boat -- in case it came across that way.
 

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seanseamour
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Hello John,
There was no offense taken, but to undertake this type of adventure requires extraordinary preparation in mind, vessel and reflection. It is said the SSII was well prepared and over-equipped in redundancy, the latter saved the day.
All the best
JP
 

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32s5

realise this post was some months ago, but will post a reply in case it is still needed. I own a 32S5, shoal keel version, in Barbados. We have strong trades here regularly and I have sailed the boat both down- and upwind through the islands. I love the boat, but she is inclined to heel a lot and can become very uncomfortable if on board for days on end. I would not want to sail her across the Caribbean. Also looked at taking her back to New Zealand and realised that charter captains often charge more for boats less than ~40 feet because of the additional inherent danger and discomfort in a smaller boat. Good luck in your choice. Ian
 
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