Northwest passage

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by BATAAN, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Here's a vessel that just came through the NW passage and arrived in WA state a couple weeks ago. They are bound south and through the Panama canal and back to UK to complete a circumnavigation of North America.
    Design question is: What features and design approach would others take if wanting to do this difficult trip?
    This boat is steel, with a gaff rig including topsail, and headsails on furlers. The captain said his satellite provided ice-cover reports were the most important part of getting through in only 90 days.
     

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  2. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    Better protection for the crew sailing the boat.....not even a soft dodger...that's hardcore man........
     
  3. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    They said the weather was mostly mild with very long days of course, and their Yanmar topsail was the most important part of the sail inventory as they found motorsailing to cover the most ground and this is not a trip to dawdle on. The worst weather was the North Atlantic around Greenland, which he said was not unexpected.
    He and his fiancee did a former trip in a 65' steel modern ex-racing sloop through canal, down the east coast of SA, around the horn and back to UK. They tried the NW passage trip a couple years ago in that boat but were pounded to exhaustion in Greenlandic seas so gave it up and bought the present smaller gaff rigged boat, and successfully this time went through. When they get back to UK they will have circumnavigated both N and S America.
    I am green with envy, or seasickness, I'm not sure which.
    Boat was built on Malta to very high standard, smooth round plating job, sort of Alden 1935 lines or early S&S.
     
  4. yipster
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    yipster designer

    once read multi chine's with an overlap to be welded inside and out give better protection in arctic conditions
    not this boat tho and did not evne know that passage was made by this size boats at all
    personally i'm not so crazy about temperatures below zero but what a passage way to go
     
  5. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    The boat looks completly unsuitable.... nice tall bulwarks to hold tons of frozen ballast....I dont see a robust powerful RIB to evacuate the crew.....

    I believe the only reason that daredevils attempt mis guided voyages is because they have a MAGIC red button on the GMDSS gear that will bring a Canadian rescue crew to come and get them when things get grim.

    I wonder why the Canadian authorities even permit these types to navigate the NW Passage.
     
  6. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    On the contrary, it was a well-researched trip by experienced voyagers who carefully planned for contingencies, like spending a winter frozen in, checked in constantly on SSB with an arctic ham radio guy who does this service for the several yachts that transit each year, used every modern satellite aid for predicting ice cover to get through the heaviest stretches, knew the ice conditions would be favorable due to climate changes and generally pulled off a real feat.
    They seem to manage with an Avon small raft without an outboard.
    Gales and freezing spray to fill the bulwarks with ice and capsize the vessel are rare in summer conditions and this was their second attempt, so they knew what they were in for.
    The capt said it was quite humbling to see graves on Beechey Island that have been there since Franklin said services over them.
     
  7. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    First European ship to navigate NW passage.
    First non-European ship to do same.
    It might be interesting to start a design thread here and see what people would think important for such a specialized voyage, and why, and see what boat results, even if only on email paper.
     

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  8. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    I remember Willy de Roos said the same thing about his singlehanded passage in 1977....lots of powering through pack ice in flat calm.......

    http://archives.cbc.ca/sports/exploits/clips/13665/
     
  9. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    It's called freedom of navigation (we're hanging on to it by our teeth).....once you clear into Canadian Waters you are free to sail when and where you like (within the limits of your visit).......for a sailor to be advocating closed passages seems pretty odd.....
     
  10. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

  11. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    WOW! Actually makes sense. Sail fast when you can, could be rowed or paddled easily, pull up on the ice when threatened, sleep on the trampoline or a tent ashore...
    So cool, thanks.
     
  12. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Sure, its a free world....Perform your endevour without GMDSS gear onboard so that you can call for rescue when you screw up and I will shake your hand.
     
  13. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    Find a book called Arctic Passages by John Bockstoce.......he did it over a number of years in a traditional Umiak (Walrus hide over a wooden frame) with outboard power........this is the versatility needed, the ability to haul the boat ashore (where it becomes a living shelter) or over ice that has closed a passage....
     
  14. FMS
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    FMS Senior Member

    Boat owners pay our fair share of taxes, more than many people. Should we expect everyone else not to carry a cell phone and not to call 911 when they do something stupid?
     

  15. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

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