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Uneducated Writer - Yacht from Miami to Monaco?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by WriterGuy, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. WriterGuy

    WriterGuy New Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm a young novelist working on my first novel (already got a publisher interested :D), but I've hit a snag in one of the sequences in the story and I was hoping for some help from you guys, who are all obviously a tonne more knowledgable about the yachting world.

    In a part of my story, the hero decides to steal a speedy megayacht to get him from Miami to Monaco. What kind of travel time would this be (is 3 days 'believable'?)? And, I guess, more importantly, is this even possible?

    Any help you guys could offer would really be appreciated.
  2. CODOG

    CODOG Senior Member

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    :) With the greatest respect, even giving your hero enough kudos to start the engines, he would not even get out of the marina.
  3. capitano_65

    capitano_65 Member

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    Suggest better to steal a plane is more credible....
  4. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Very few yachts could do this under a week. And you need a crew, not just a hero.
  5. wscott52

    wscott52 Senior Member

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    Hate to pee on anyone's parade but it's not going to be believable for a number of reasons. The distance is close to 5,000 miles. To do it in 3 days (72 hours) is going to require a speed of about 60 knots. The few yachts with that kind of speed don't have the range. Yachts with the range can't make the speed. You also said "megayacht", as others have noted you don't just jump in one of those and turn the key. You need at least a minimal crew and some serious experience. We're talking really heavy machinery here plus it's in a fluid environment.

    A better bet would be to hijack a private jet with sufficient range.

    Or on the other hand, you can write the way you outlined and rest assured few reading it will know your premise is impossible.
  6. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

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    No, Gentry Eagle, a 114' Vospar Thornycraft is the only boat I can think of that would be capable of the run, she was purpose built by the late Tom Gentry to set the Trans Atlantic record (which she did). She did New York City to England in just over 62 hrs. That is a down wind run though and shorter than Miami to Monaco which will for the most part be a beat into the seas. Even she may not be able to carry the fuel for the run you propose, but, you could throw in a fuel stop adventure in the Canaries or an UnRep.... Figure a large (270 foot/82 meter) megayacht is going to be able to cruise 18kts which turns the 5000nm Miami to Monaco run into a 12 day trip.
  7. Ward

    Ward Senior Member

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    I'm almost as uneducated as the guy asking a question, my experience is mostly sailboats, and everything <40', so I'm wondering:

    - can one person start up a 50 metre yacht?
    - given ideal circumstances (no wind or current, easy dock to get out of), and maybe assuming they leave the docklines behind, could one person take her out?
    - again, given unrealistically good weather and sea conditions, and dangerous use of autopilot, could one person sail across an ocean (to another easy port)?
  8. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Yes, most yacht captains can do this, but sailing such a yacht without watch is not allowed.
  9. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    You could always read these and get an idea of what a fictional super hero can achieve at sea.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clive_Cussler#Dirk_Pitt_adventure_novels
  10. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

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    Can it be done? Yes. Would anyone who was experienced enough to pull it off do it? Only in extreme emergency conditions as an option of last resort. It would also leave you in an illegal situation as soon as you need to sleep since there will be no one on watch.
  11. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    If he stole a jet you could add a whole different dimention to the story and have it almost believable in a James Bond sort of way. One guy alone on a megayacht for a week or 3 might leave readers yawning.
  12. bhbhbh

    bhbhbh New Member

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    since this is a newbie then I'll jump right behind. I am thinking of buying a yacht to cruise from Houston to Florida and on up or down or around. I should be coming into some large bucks, but I am having trouble convincing my wife the actual why's of owning a yacht. Is it the freedom, the rv'ing on water thing as I tell her, the ability to go from city to city without a car and so on. If this is incredibly stupid then have the mods delete it and I'll keep looking since I only joined 5 minutes ago. thanks for your patience.
  13. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    I think this is between you and your wife to decide, but start with getting the large bucks, then charter a yacht and you´ll see if you like it.
  14. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Well put Lars :)
  15. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

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    Yep...even if you decide you like it, you then have to figure out how much you're going to use it. If you aren't going to use it more than about 15 weeks a year, you may still be better off chartering than buying. Remember, it's not just the cost of buying, but also maintaining and crewing if you are looking at something bigger than say, 65'. If you are going to use it as your homestead, then it's worth it to buy.
  16. CODOG

    CODOG Senior Member

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    Assume the hero could indeed power her up, get out the slot and navigate his way toward open waters...how far do you guys think he would get before the theft was noticed and the USCG ran him down ?
  17. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

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    If he had managed to clear the Bahamas before it was noticed, he'd probably make Monaco, at least Gibraltar.
  18. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    First you have to get a better reason for your wife since getting from city to city will take days instead of hours, you won't dock near most cities and will have no way around but cabs once you get there. She also won't be able to do much shopping in the places you visit since space on a boat to store nick-knacks is very limited. Then there's the cost. You could by a reasonable car for what it costs to run a 50' motorboat from Florida to NY.
    You could try the eye candy reasoning since she'll have far more men to look at than you will see decent looking women. Or the lack of cooking since what's generally made for dinner is reservations. You could also go with cleaning since it's usually the men doing it. At all costs avoid discussions about bathrooms. About the only legitimate reasons for buying a boat are for the adventure and the call to the sea that many people have.
    Chartering for a while to get your feet wet (so to speak) is a very good suggestion or buy a smallish boat for day tripping. Then move up if it works out. Remember, boats are confined spaces. If she's not happy you will be miserable. Good luck.
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    About as long as it took for the owner to turn on his computer to see how his boat's doing.
  20. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    I don't understand why so many people think it is so difficult for one person to start the engines, shift control to the wheelhouse and cast off then watch a chart plotter.

    What is difficult to believe is that someone who knows nothing about boats would try and that someone who does know enough would not know that it would be a pointless exercise.

    And I don't think that someone who would steal a large yacht really much cares about the COLREGS or other regulatory aspects of the voyage.