Yet another "I want to build a boat to cross the Pacific" thread

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by fixerdave, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. fixerdave
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    fixerdave Junior Member

    Yes, another one of these. Yes, from someone that joined 5 minutes ago. And, yes, it is likely a very, very stupid idea. To my credit, I have actually read a few things and I do think I'm a practical kind of guy. But, no, I have no idea what I'm talking about with boat design, nor sailing, nor deep water anything. I have managed to not (yet) drown myself in a kayak if that counts for anything ;)

    So, being efficient (lazy), what I'm looking for is a quick Yes or No. Are the compromises I'm considering reasonable or doomed? I'd like to know this before I go off and do all the things knowledgeable people always recommend, that being the acquisition of more knowledge. I mean, if the basic idea is a non-starting waste of time... it should be pretty obvious to serious boaters. If it's a 'No' then I'll go off and dream up some other crazy idea.

    EDIT: The conclusion, just to not waste people's time reading the whole thread: No. The compromise between live-aboard affordable and repeated Pacific transit capable is not bridgeable, at least for my criteria. Any boat capable would cost too much to live in at a marina, being paid by the foot, and it still wouldn't make the transit fast enough to be tolerable without using fuel as well as wind, which makes it more expensive than airfare anyway. Better to duplicate and fly between or just go there once and be done with it. Not saying it's impossible or even unreasonable for different people, but not for me.

    Now back to the original message...

    The compromises:

    * Solo/couple live-aboard boat for cheap accommodation. Moorage is by the foot, so short would be better. I'm thinking in the 30' range (so far).

    * Able to cross the Pacific, Vancouver to Japan Sea solo, upwards of 4 times per year (twice each way) without being entirely horrible.

    What I've got going for me is:

    * I don't think I'll mind being alone for a month at a shot. Never had the luxury to really test that out though.

    * I'm an electronic (by training) and metalworking/machining (hobby) kind of guy, so doing full-on sailing automation isn't going to be a non-starter.

    * I do woodworking too so cabin mods are planned, though I'd rather not get into too much hull work.

    What I'm thinking is:

    * some kind of hull shape that facilitates living at moorage (short and fat) that still allows tolerable sailing speeds.

    * electric motor powered by a serious battery (maybe electric car lithium or something) with a diesel generator. The idea here being that I can charge the battery at moorage and get maybe a couple hours of puttering out of it before kicking the generator on. Or, if I need power, like right NOW, the motor will give it to me instantly. Also, I could have the reserve flank-speed kind of omf from the battery without having to have too big a generator for the regular/emergency cruising. eg. the generator could be under-powered.

    * cheapest sailing rig I could run, probably just a mainsail and maybe one of them down-wind extras (no... don't know the names yet).

    * some kind of sailing to moorage conversion (pop-up) that gives extra room when moored. This doesn't have to be an instant one-button conversion but rather along the lines of unmounting the boom and flipping up some sides/roof deal. Not thought it through yet, but thinking.

    This is all years in the future, and likely not at all (being honest with myself here). But, as a basic idea, how does it fly? Can a boat be made comfortable enough to live in when moored (and cheap enough when paying by the foot) and yet still seaworthy enough to deepwater sail comfortably? Is the very notion of crossing the Pacific multiple times per year something experienced sailors would dismiss outright? If you were going to do it, what hull shape would you start with? Something purchasable, a good/common old boat style I can start with - something to Google? Any first-blush "I'd go this route" answers? Any recommended blogs of people living like this? Any "don't do this" horror stories I should really hear before planning the rest of my (short if I do this) life?

    Yes, just buying air tickets is a real option I'm considering. Still, I'm thinking...

    David...
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  2. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Hmm... cheap thirty footer...4 transpacific crossings a year ?

    Get counseling and kick the habit.

    " Just say no "
     
  3. fixerdave
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    fixerdave Junior Member

    Is 30' just too small for a reasonable trip or is the very notion of sailing anything (live-aboard practical) across the Pacific regularly the unreasonable part?

    Just curious,

    David...
     
  4. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    You are quite likely to encounter waves as high or higher than the length of your proposed vessel. It sounds like a suicide mission. Cruise ships have a hard time with 30 foot waves.
     
  5. frank smith
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    frank smith Senior Member

    It cant be done, just ask this man.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. eyschulman
    Joined: Jul 2011
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    eyschulman Senior Member

    If I am not expected to pay for rescue efforts I see nothing wrong with people doing what I consider foolish. Yes many people do actually make it across. To me it's like scalling mountains. The mountains are there so some people have the need to go to the top and danger is part of the encouragement. Some people who cross oceans have a background and knowlege others get the idea out of ignorance the sea cares not who it swollows.
     
  7. frank smith
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    frank smith Senior Member

    Blah, Blah, Blah , . I sit on the mountain top and see all .

    Now boys , give us a break , and answer the question .

    The Tahiti ketch is 30 ft. A slow boat to China, but a boat none the less .

    Merry Christmas,

    J
     
  8. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Dave, Dave, Dave,

    Who are you going to talk into going with you?

    The odds are sooooooooo stacked against you it's nutty!

    Of course it's doable but the learning curve is so steep with this approach that it becomes very unlikely you'd survive.

    Get a hold of a copy of the paperback DOVE.

    Keep the dream alive, learn a bit more, and then decide.

    Merry Christmas you crazy Canuck!
     
  9. fixerdave
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    fixerdave Junior Member

    Well, this being revised plan-Q or so, it's likely to get revised yet again. While I'm generally inclined to doing some silly things just because I can, the notion of essentially commuting across the Pacific is not one of them. It would be basically 1/3 of a year at sea (4 trips at a month each - best guess) and I'd rather they not be an endurance test.

    I mean, being stuck on a boat for a month is one thing. I think I could handle the monotony part. Dealing with watches, maybe working out an automated sail and alarm system so I could sleep, okay. Running from the occasional storm might be fun. But, white-knuckling on a regular basis... not too interested. I mean, sure, I love a good adrenalin rush and sometimes push myself pretty hard, but not for weeks on end, over and over again. I didn't realise how rough it would be. So, looks like it's on to plan-R/S/T. I'll figure something out.

    Thanks everyone for the input. I haven't entirely dismissed the notion of live-aboard, but it looks like it will be on one side or the other (maybe both but with 2 boats?). Still thinking it through,

    David...
     
  10. frank smith
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    frank smith Senior Member

  11. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    Yes......Each trip will require 50-80 days at sea. Despite it's name the North Pacific is not a benign place, and for parts of the year it is untenable.....one trip (one way) in a small boat is possible per year. A Japanese fellow in a 24' plastic production boat stopped overnight in our bay last summer......He was inspired by Keichi Horie who in 1964 sailed from Osaka to San Francisco in 94 days in a 19' plywood boat he built himself.
     
  12. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    a 30 footer is perfectly fine for ocean cruising. Go read the books by Lin and Larry Pardee, the new book by Wendy Hinman, and about the Atom voyages (on-line), these are not "do or die" trips. More room is always nice, but costs of owning and maintaining go up very quickly as it gets larger. You must plan more carefully, and expect small accommodations.

    You need to learn about the difference between an ocean cruiser and a coastal cuiser, most smaller boats are not design for open ocean cruising. So read up and shop carefully.

    also, the crossing from Japan to the Pacific northwest is typically a 45 day or longer passage, so doing that 4 times a year seems a bit too aggressive to me. Once a year round trip would be more reasonable. But if you think of this as a way of traveling, it is far cheaper to fly commercial, and it saves you 45 days of living expenses on each trip.
     
  13. eyschulman
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    eyschulman Senior Member

    I suggest you go out in some big seas and decide what you want to do after that.You may love it or you may decide you don't ever want to be there again. I am not talking about 12-20 footers,I mean big stuff. Most boaters even those who have crossed oceans can be real macho mainly becase they have not been there. On a CG rescue mission I had the experience of 60 footers in a nasty North Atlantic hurricain and I much prefer to never be there again. Any one who makes light of the power of the Sea is a fool.
     
  14. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    Figure 30 days of solid prep work on the hard for each trip. That would be about 4200-4500 NM with probably four stops at an average of 3.5 NM/hr, plus three days at each stop. So about 125 days devoted to each trip. So it would take you about 500 days out of the year to do it four times.
     

  15. frank smith
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    frank smith Senior Member

    89,000 people die each night while asleep. Do you think they were fools for going to bed.

    J
     
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