Smallest boat to sail ocean safely?

Discussion in 'Stability' started by ali3, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    I hate these questions that have already been hammered to death but im glad the word "safely" was included so thats a different matter and the answer is easy ---BIG.

    Yes crossing seas is not a test of boat but a test of man no matter how big it is . A navigation bouy is pretty seaworthy if you could live in one for a month or two.

    Unfortunately humans need things like water and quite a lot plus toiletry etc etc

    Oh Im tired with it already. Excuse me.
  2. sailingdaniel
    Joined: Apr 2011
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    sailingdaniel Junior Member


    I think u are pulling someones leg.. anchor in deep sea , gas turbine/battery houseboat etc.

    If u are not , im sorry... Then u cane blame my poor understanding of english :)

    For anyone who is intresded in small boat this is a good link..

    He is now on his way across the bay of biscay and sends out "spot" pos on his way.. click on the link and u see where he is on google map..

    He has been lucky whit the weather so far , but i think his going to get some **** before he makes it to Madeira...

    His boats has always been small.....

    Bris, 6.1×1.72×1.72=18.05

    Amfibie-Bris 4.8×1.6×1.6=12.29

    Paradox 4.2×1.23×1.23=6.35 4.8×1.3×1.3=8.11

    Next boat 5.8×1.4×1.4=11.37
  3. ali3
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    ali3 New Member

    These are all hypothetical questions, I'm obviously going to spend a profuse amount of time planning before I even begin building.

    Second I had no intention of actually taking the boat that far out in the ocean. I knew it would be dangerous. Doesn't hurt to ask though, right? When I said house boat I did not literally mean a house boat. I said the design I drew is a cross between a yacht and a houseboat. I only meant it was more spacious.


    The design of the boat can be changed drastically if it's only going to be battling shallower waters along the coast. So with that in mind, would you say I could cruise safely with a small boat? I live in California, I was thinking about going north towards BC.
  4. FMS
    Joined: Jul 2011
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    FMS Senior Member

    Define "around the ocean"

    If you mean across the ocean or around the globe, with the current state of solar panels and batteries, this is the smallest:
  5. Quatsino Boater
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    Quatsino Boater Junior Member

    Here is something to consider with the fuel. Do you have a dirivers licence and do you drive? Imagine yourself in a car/ truck in a valley and there is a large hill say around 60 feet high. There is a semi trailer tractor rig parked in your lane and you have to gun it to pass him before some one comes over the hill.

    This is what you can experience out in the ocean. you have to efectiviely power up/ throttle up at times so #1 you need reserve HP. So # 2 you will need reserve fuel capacity of 10 to 25 percent. # 3 if you do not have the HP speed to avoid or outrun a storm you have to have a design that can stick it out and take it without you being like an unprotected egg in a wooden box used as a soccer ball!

    Being at high angle are unnatural to the body and can be frightening. Try doing some offshore fishing first. Drift jigging in 6 to 10 foot seas sometimes broadside will take you to 20 degrees or more to the horizon , not to the sea. Throttle maagement is very stressful, after about an hour of it you will soon loose your curiosity and just get tired. Every thought must be on safety and there is very little time to think of anything else.

    But after all this we still are atracted to the sea like a moth to a flame..... Good luck and happy dreams my fellow boater. :)
  6. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    If what you want to do is coastal cruising, then it is an entirely different ball of wax. You don't need nearly the provisions, fuel, room, or seaworthiness of a trans-oceanic boat. Not even in the same general range. Again I would go around 30 foot or so since you get a lot more room for the same money, but your options have opened up considerably. Almost any reasonably well founded 30' sailboat could do this. And any trawler type powerboat in the same size range as well. Other powerboats are trickier, but many would be suitable.
  7. ldigas
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    ldigas Senior Member

    @ali3 - Since discussion has turned in that direction, if you're interested to maybe get a feeling of what it's like to sail across the Atlantic in a 6.5m boat, a fellow countrymen of mine did it in the Mini Transat race. During the crossing he made a series of videos (which have later been turned into a movie) describing his experiences
    is the first one (after that just follow the "Solo" series, numbered in order).

    Unfortunatelly for you (I guess), he speaks croatian, not english, but it should give you a feel of space on such a vessel.

    If you have an hour to spare, take a peek and see if you like'em.
  8. Dirteater
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Dirteater Senior Member

    Hi Ali,

    I have a book for you...
    A book you must read...

    "A Speck on the Sea"
    by William H. Longyard...

    Certainly one of the best books I've ever read and Loved! :eek:
    I believe it will sum up quite a lot of what our friends here are saying.
    I won't go on about it, les to say.. I know it will only inspire you. :D
    but with the experience of history on your side.


  9. Wavewacker
    Joined: Aug 2010
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    Wavewacker Senior Member

    The OP might goggle "Cruising the Bahamas" and get to Matt Laden's site with Little Cruiser, less than 16' crusing over 10,000 miles. There is a list of famous small boats with incredible voyages in history. From that site I also found a man named Servin not sure that's spelled correctly, anyway he must be the the guru of open water cruising in a small boat, it was basically a sharpie built like a tank.

    As other have said this is not something to try unless you are an expert and the boat is prepared properly. For example, inside the cabin you need plenty of handholds. The inside of some cheap molded boat will generally not have these features, it may have sharper corners on cabinets, steps and folding tables that can swing out if rolled. I've been looking for some time at these special cruisers and they are not the small boat at the end of the pier. No, I have no expierence off shore, but I have been out there and it is an awsome power and I have sence enough to stay out of it until I'm ready in a properly prepared craft. Just IMHO...
  10. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    I would like to relate a personal experience of a 36' fiberglass sailboat outfitted and dreamed over in Sacramento CA.
    This couple had read all the books, bought the right equipment according to the magazines, put it all on a 36' f/g Taiwan built pretty nice little marconi ketch.
    Sacramento is far from the ocean, so they did not have the opportunity to get "experience".
    Finally the great day arrived, their aged parents and grown children bade them farewell, and off they went.
    All went well as they navigated the river and delta waters and through Carquinez Strait, then they looked out on San Pablo Bay, and it looked as big as an ocean to them.
    The wind was very light but they set all sail and switched off the motor, and stopped paying attention to the navigation.
    Toasting the success of their dream finally coming to reality they did not notice the very strong ebb tide sweeping them broadside down on the channel day marker (large vertical steel piling).
    Sipping the sweet champagne was interrupted when the boat slammed broadside into the marker, staying pinned by the current and grinding awhile before pivoting away and being swept on, pulling the mizzen mast down, crushing in the fiberglass so far it threw the wooden cabinetry of three compartments across the hull.
    The boat did not sink as the damage was above the waterline, and I did the wood work repairs after the F/G guys got done with their two weeks of work.
    The boat was put up for sale immediately afterward.
    True story.
    I have several more, but this is enough.
    No wait, one more.
    In Sausalito CA, next to the Golden Gate and the exit to the Pacific Ocean, one day appeared a strange sort of raft/craft, seemingly made of shipping pallets and plastic pipe, with a cute little shanty on it right out of Huckleberry Finn, electric motors, solar panels, wind generators and a strange sailing rig.
    The fellow aboard had conceived and built it far inland, had never been to sea, but was utterly confident in his ability to master any "storm".
    One mild afternoon, it was only blowing NW 20-25kts, and as the tide was ebbing up against it right strong, he decided he was leaving and heading to the "South Seas" and was swept out the Gate into the killer shoal known locally as the Potato Patch.
    Several hours later the CG towed in half of his broken derelict to the Army Corps wrecking yard after removing the terrified shivering feces-covered fellow who finally met the 'real ocean'.
    The moral of all this long-winded flatulence is get experience before you make decisions about what sort of boat you want for a coffin.
  11. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    It would be hard to argue against John Guzzwells Trekka as a very small, capable and safe (nothing is really safe out there) ocean cruiser for 1-2 people without falling into the ridiculous stunt type boat with 2 sucsessful circumnavigations to her credit. Of course she would be less safe once you burden her with all the stuff you "must have" to leave port these days, she just doesnt have the displacement to tolerate it.
  12. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Attached Files:

  13. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Not only did he do a very workmanlike circumnavigation with Trekka in the 50s but the couple that bought her also did a no drama circumnavigation double handed, boy that must have been tight quarters,its funny how on forums people always push heavy displacement boats that can carry a load and yet the alternative is to not carry such a load.
  14. BATAAN
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    BATAAN Senior Member

    Small light displacement boats work fine, until weather or gear failure delays a long passage and the limited food/water run out. Meticulous planning and preparation are the only sure (almost) cure.

  15. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Last year a Franco italian guy managed to circumnavigate non stop in the southern ocean in a Mini, including a dismasting and jury rigging between NZ and Cape Horn and continuing on unaided, didnt run out of food and in fact was eating pretty good and turned in very good daily runs even jury rigged, that would do much larger cruisers proud. This was however an exeptional an exceptional sailor,but he did carry 9 months worth of food.
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