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

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

  1. eyschulman
    Joined: Jul 2011
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    Location: seattle Wa USA

    eyschulman Senior Member

    There is a big difference between trouble finding you and seeking it out especially when the seeker probably has no idea or experience as to where he is going or how to get there. I am pointing out that Dave should try his dream out before he plunges head long into it. Because we are all going to die does not by simple logic give us licence to be foolish and take greater risk. Going to sea with a small boat and little or no experience is pushing the envelope. That was said nicely in reality it is hairbrain.
     
  2. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    Hi fixerdave,
    You seem better grounded (with common sense) Than "the others" keen to do a lap or some such adventure... http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/boat-building/my-little-piece-peace-25962-107.html#post552093 is the most recent image I took of my boat... too bloody expensive in today's economic climate... Go for a drive around all the boats at various marina and 'hard-stand' storage. . . Make an offer, then if he says "YES" back off and say I have got to check with my bank - then do not come back until you have made exhaustive looks everywhere at every boat that may tickle your fancy - The cash price will always go down as the financial crisis is only beginning to get SERIOUS...

    BE prepared to anchor OUTSIDE any marina...
    Have the boat ready (legally) for overseas travel (In Australia that means Australian registered ship and recognised as an Australian vessel by overseas authorities - - registered ships have 64 shares and a globally accepted name, specifications for identification and recognition etc.)...

    30 ft is a bit small but do-able, 40 ft seems a good compromise either mono or cat...

    A mono I would look at heavy, solid and 4knot passage-making - GET IT SURVEYED and checked thoroughly for rot, flaws, damage and good machinery/equipment...
    A cat should be lightweight, similarly well found and capable of about 7knots... Both should be able to stand on their own bottoms...
     
  3. fixerdave
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    fixerdave Junior Member

    I honestly had no idea sailing would be that slow. Seriously, I was figuring at least 7 knots average. That makes over 12 km/h and an 7500km trip (+ lots of tacking I would imagine) for something less, on average, than 30 day transits. Too much over 30 days pretty much kills the idea, right there, even if it was a nice trip (which is not sounding likely). 50 to 60 days on a boat out in the middle of the Pacific, even if I dropped to twice per year, sounds pretty miserable. I figure I could handle 30 days... maybe 40 once in a while when things go a bit wrong, but any more is pushing into survival territory and well past the enjoyable trip stage.

    I suppose I could still hold out hope for a 40' fast cat but that would probably bust any reasonable budget... I suspect the sailing rig for it would be too much, let alone the boat.

    There remains the possibility of moored living here (while working on the boat) with one transit to there and then staying put until I get old and sick, then flying back for the medical. Then again, I'd still have to make a compromise between livable and open-ocean sailable. There's the 2-boat fly-between option, maybe, but that means paying down-time storage at the other end and with double the start-up costs. Probably be cheaper to just ship/duplicate everything I want over there and rent a condo or something. Sigh...

    I still have one question though... moot at this point, but I'm still curious. There have been a few comments about how expensive the trip is. Living expenses and all that. But, assuming a big enough boat to not require high-end camping food, why would it be any more expensive than just living in a port? I mean, living off canned soup (et.all) can't be much more expensive than being able to go to a grocery store every week. Maybe not as tasty, but not excessively expensive. Not being able to go out to dinner might actually end up cheaper. Plus, no moorage. I figured the sailing part would be the cheapest part of the year, so long as I could avoid storm damage. What expenses am I missing?

    David...
     
  4. pdwiley
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    Go & buy Annie Hill's books. A lot of your questions have been answered there, by a person who's done it - including living on a budget and what foods worked.

    30' boat - if you can average 100 nm a day, you're doing well. It has been done and can be done, but not at 7 knots. About half that.

    PDW
     
  5. michael pierzga
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    I sail a fast boat with a big MTU and decent fuel range.

    For ocean passage planning This gives 170 miles per day in trade winds sailing , 150 miles per day coastal. Moderate Upwind conditions and Im down to 100 miles per day.

    When planning for a passage with a cruising 30 footer with limited fuel range.,100 miles per day would be in trade wind conditions.
     
  6. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    Hi fixerdave,
    Have a look at my thread and the 7knots is under power and solo sailing inside the Barrier Reef (mostly) and travelling about 70 N Miles or less as I wanted to look for a clear, sandy bottom anchorage whilst there was plenty of natural light to check that I had good holding and clearance from strange "marina residents" who do not know how much space is needed on a strange anchorage with non cruising boats in the vicinity... Mostly I like to travel DOWNWIND, so otherwise wait for a "window of opportunity", to make life easier - what is the hurry? - - 1600 miles on 800 litres or 2000 plus contingencies with 1200 litres and I can run on coconut oil if needed...

    Over in the west coast of USA, there seems to be very few sheltering islands...

    I have many sheltering reefs and islands up the coast of Queensland and either sneak up around the tip of Cape York and plenty of rivers to seek shelter along the coast of PNG, or make a dash from Cairns to Samarai and the China Strait (some 480 N Miles), and on to the rest of the Melanesian islands allowing relatively comfortable day tripping all the way around to New Caledonia with a couple of 3 to 5 day passages from there to NZ, Fiji and so on. . .

    Cruising is mostly a journey and opportunity to visit and enjoy the cultural experience... Whilst moving the movement through the water keeps the boat relatively clean and a stiff bristled broom with a wooden handle to gently scrub the bottom when stopped and admire the fish that come to hang around the shadow of your boat... Time is something there is plenty of and a boat that can sit upright on the sand is a significant advantage in much of the pacific Islands as there is shallows behind a fringing reef, - or, - VERY DEEP water...

    A cat of about 40 ft may be secured for around 150 to 200K or less with good sound hulls as a fixer-upper may be found for half that... I motor at about 2500rpm using about 1 litre for 2 miles at 7 knots and cruise ready I top out at about 6.5 tonnes (6500kg) with about 800 litres fuel on board (640kg)... Capacity in fuel is about 1200 litres for better than 2000 N Mile range, - - 500kg or so of trade goods (shirts, towels mosquito nets, and such), - 150kg of fishing gear for trade, - 300 litres of water, - 200kg power tools and equipment, - sundry other stuff as well as 6 months food - Catch fish, replenish water, find/trade for fresh fruit and vegetables - - - so the dry stuff is tea, sugar, powdered milk, milo, instant coffee, flour, breakfast cereals, noodles, rice, sauces, packets of soup, powdered-indian-spices, bottled fruit, bottled pureed fruit, jams, cheese, small tins of baked beans, tapered tins of corned beef, - - tropical seeds fruit and vegetable - - the commercial stuff for use inside that country (3 months to harvest or swap for their ready produce) - I have a 180 litre freezer so in that I carry frozen vegetables for stir fry meals,
     
  7. fixerdave
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    fixerdave Junior Member

    I too live in what many people call a sailing paradise. Lots of islands, marine parks, etc., though probably a tad cooler than more tropical climates. There are a lot of boats around here... Live-aboard at a marina, from what I can tell with my limited research, is comparable to renting a small apartment and way below the cost of a condo (still need to research maintenance and insurance costs though). It gets even cheaper if you can get out of town in the summer, which I can. And yes, I'm considering the possibility of a glut of luxury items like boats going on the market in the not too distant future. So, I'm thinking about it, researching.

    I also have cause to go to Japan regularly - and I might possibly end up living there for several years. It would be a lot easier if I could move back and forth at will. Thus, my original post. I was wondering if it would be possible to compromise the live-aboard local thing with sailing across the Pacific on a regular basis. The answer appears to be a resounding no. Any boat capable of making the trip would cost way too much to live in a marina and needing fuel to make the trip in a reasonable time completely finishes off the notion. Way better off just flying. Oh, and the "hurry" would be for the Pacific crossing and the reason is my sanity. In puttering around the local islands... couldn't agree more. No point rushing at all. But, bobbing around in the middle of the Pacific... not much to see there. 30 days would be pushing it, for me, I think.

    The whole thing would be way easier if the two end points were closer together and/or on a contiguous coast. Problem is, I can't pick them. They are fixed and the world is just a bit too big, still.

    Oh, and just to answer the "hairbrain" part... the Pacific crossings would be in about 8 years from now, after a few years of research, and buying a boat, and fixing it, and living on it and sailing locally for at least 4 years. Yes, I have a lot of hairbrain ideas... but I research them, weeding out the nuttier ones. The Pacific crossing idea appears to be finished. I'm not saying it's impossible, just that it can't meet my personal criteria. Thanks to everyone for their input. It is most appreciated. Still researching that live-aboard local thing though :)

    I might come back and ask more hairbrained questions... like if it's possible to modify the hull of a power cruiser for better slow-speed puttering or even sailing. Yeah, lots of idea. Don't worry, they get filtered, usually :D

    David...
     
  8. masalai
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: cruising, Australia

    masalai masalai

    Hi fixerdave,
    Have a look around there are heaps of cheap boats in Australia and NZ http://www.boatsales.com.au/boats-for-sale/sail/ Manie B, also on this forum has been looking around Aus and NZ and may have some links if you send hin a PM (personal message by clicking on his name in a post he made)...

    Cheers
    -masalai-
     
  9. JRD
    Joined: May 2010
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    Location: New Zealand

    JRD Senior Member

    Hi Dave,

    Welcome to the forum, and be very careful, boats can be rather addictive. You buy one and suddenly you cant give it up. Even if you dont ever sail to Japan, well the thing is, you dont actually need a reason to have a boat, and you sure dont need a reason to go sailing....... every chance you get.

    Cheers
    Jeff
     
  10. fixerdave
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    fixerdave Junior Member

    Ummm, I think the idea of buying a cheap boat in Australia and then flying down with the expectation of sailing it back to the west coast of Canada... without ever having sailed anything before. Well, that's hairbrained :p I'm pretty sure about that :D

    Maybe when I get to Japan, and after having a few solid years of sailing experience... maybe. Hopefully for the people in question, the same boats won't still be for sale by then. For now, I'll just keep asking dumb questions... I'm not even at the "look at boats" stage. Buying is still still likely a couple of years out there, if I go that route, and it's going to have to be very local, at least for the first boat.

    David...
     
  11. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    To find good boats that fell on bad times ,you have to stay in touch with shipyards.

    A decent boat gets hauled out with a blown engine or a broken mast, the owner runs out of money , fails to pay the bills, the port police lock it down and now the shipyard is stuck with an eyesore.
    Take a one hundrd thousand dollar boat, haul it out of the water, burn it in the sun for 5 years , then add the storage cost owed to the shipyard and you now have a boat that yacht brokers cant sell.

    I regularly see these boats given away for peanuts if the new owner gets them off the property within 30 days.
     
  12. bntii
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Location: MD

    bntii Senior Member

    Yep- some maintain boats on each side of the "commute" and live on them when to or fro..

    Re-finding boats: many chopped up or sold off for pennies these days.
    If you were on the east coast, I could set you up.

    Where's your Christmas spirit though??

    We all could have used another thread where some determined fool argues for weeks about how he is going to be the first person to cross the north pacific on a inflatable rubber ducky with a lawn umbrella for shelter and a kite sail made out of recycled woman's underwear.

    sfools.jpg

    Where's your humanity?
    Don't you see we need this sort of thing?
     
  13. Wavewacker
    Joined: Aug 2010
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    Location: Springfield, Mo.

    Wavewacker Senior Member

    I suggest you read Micro Cruising in the Bahamas, by Matt Layden, designer of those micro cruisers. I know you're considering a boat twice as big but that certainly isn't much of an advantage with all of the aspects faced. 40' and much larger yachts have been run down by ships; debris is beginning to wash ashore from Japan, so who knows if a house will be cresting the next wave. All kinds of trash out there that can sink you. You'd think that as big as oceans are you'd never see anything else out there, not true at all. Your concern should not be so much about eating for weeks, but the physical endurance, staying awake and alert with cat naps, being injured, being able to repair your boat and all of the equipment on it.

    Things have changed, hearing of someone with little experience doing a similar voyage in the past is not the reality of today.

    Fly over, from the money saved you can probably build a shanty boat or buy one to live on over there, when you're done sell it or sink it and fly back. If you must go out there, at least take a cruise first. Maybe hitch a ride with someone experienced contributing financially. Otherwise, sail 15 miles out there for a couple seasons staying out a few weeks, without experience...... I'd say that's a death wish.
     
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  14. fixerdave
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    fixerdave Junior Member

    Yes, we'll see how the markets are in a couple of years... my current life dictates I wait until then before actually buying. Right now, I'm just trying to figure out the 'what' part.

    Oh, and as my initial searches turned up no end of the rubber ducky threads, I figured you guys weren't feeling any shortages. Thanks for not placing me firmly in that category. Besides, I'm more of a Cuban-style converted '57 Chevy kind of guy :D

    But... hold on there. I'm sure I'll have lots entertaining ideas to bug you with. I'm seriously considering a power cruiser as I expect they're heading for a double-whammy on the prices. Of course, I still want to sail it. Tell me more about that " recycled woman's underwear" kite-sail thing :p

    David...
     

  15. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    A short fat boat on the 30 foot range will have about 4kt average speed. It will also have an uncomfortable sea motion, with fast jerky movement. That average speed is following the trade routes which will be about 7-8,000 miles-almost three months. The return trade route takes you really North, but through variable winds, unless you follow the monsoon.
     
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