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Yacht for solo trip to Hawaii?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Blue Ghost, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. Opcn

    Opcn Senior Member

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    That was Donald Crowhurst in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. His suicide had more to do with the mounting pressure from faking months worth of race claims and the mounting pressure of having his logs scrutinized when he made the finish line.

    Lots of solo sailors out there. You see more reports of little boats than big ones because there are more people who can afford little boats. Figure out what you want to do for self steering, then figure out three more ways to do it. small boats and limited fuel means limited amp hours to run an autopilot, so people carry undersized autopilots that burn out if they get hit with a lot of weather helm. A mechanical wind driven system takes a bit more thought and effort but takes no fuel, these can also break, and spare parts can be weeks away. I have heard many miserable stories of people who lost autopilot halfway through long voyages and had to stay at the helm for days on end.

    The 246' Phocea , back when she was Club Mediterrenée, was built as a single handed sailer. That is probably excessive for your wants, but it can be done.
  2. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost Member

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    Interesting. It's been ages since I glanced at the article, but I remember that issue of SAIL speculating about all kinds of things that might have been going on inside his head (it's been thirty years since I read it). I was younger then, and couldn't wrap my head around it, especially since he had, supposedly, been out at sea for months before hand. They talked about him zigzagging off the Argentina coast before he finally decided to end it all. I think I do remember something about the logs. How tragic.

    Phocea was meant for one man to handle? Are you serious?

    But yeah it seems like stuff breaks on sailing yachts. It seems like nearly every uploaded video has an account of someone sewing sails, fixing something related to the engine or the engine itself, or a capstan or cleate breaks off, or the windows are leaky, or something.
  3. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost Member

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    Well, comparatively, I have a little more experience than him. I've been in rough seas and hated it, but managed. I've seen footage of a bunch of Australian teenagers soloing it, and a few of them got caught in storms. Even as a dumb kid I wouldn't do that. But the videos regarding the Hawaiian run seem to show a relatively calm voyage.
  4. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Sure bigger and better but the issue with soloing a larger boat is that the physical requirements needed for some maneuvers are a lot higher and often dangerous. In good weather when everything goes well, it's no problem but when that 2am squall pops up it will be all downhill.

    It s easy to look at successful solo crossings by inexperienced sailors and think "I can do that" but in many cases they had Lady Luck aboard as a first mate

    Going back to the original question, how th boat is set up is more important than actual size. A 40 or 50 rigged for single handling will probably be easier to handle than a 30 footer rigged for a crew. Last year, in the UK Fairlie Yachts build and launched a drop dead gorgeous 50 footer specifically designed for someone who wanted to do a solo circumnavigation.

    That said, I think the level of experience required to safely attempt such a solo crossing means you re probably years from attempting it
  5. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost Member

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    Quite possibly.
  6. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost Member

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    I'm still thinking about this. I may not ever get to do it, but at the same time I would like to try.

    I do believe in the sage advice expressed in this thread that those who have done it had a good amount of Lady Luck on their side. Of that there can be no question.

    All the same, I'm still apprehensive, and admittedly scared not of the voyage, but of accidentally falling overboard.

    Thanks again, everyone.
  7. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    If you go to Hawaii, you can buy a ton of sailboats that are really cheap from people who did the crossing and once they got to Hawaii, never wanted to look at,be on, or see a sailboat ever again.
  8. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    ROFLMAO! I've had a few of those runs on the east coast. Swore I'd never set foot on a boat again. Then, once on land, the itch started again.
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    It's true, there are tons of sailboats there for sale cheap. People/couples think it's a great adventure until they do it and by the time they get there, they never want to step foot on the boat again.
  10. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost Member

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    The thing is I love sailing and exploring. But the more I think this trip, the more it strikes me as a trucking route.

    My other thought was to sail up to Anchorage from San Francisco, "camping" along national park coasts on the way. I don't know why, but that doesn't put the fear of falling overboard (as it probably should regardless) than the idea of sailing to Hawaii, or even further.
  11. Opcn

    Opcn Senior Member

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    As an Anchorage native, I can confidently say that that is not a good idea. With the second strongest tides in the world, and a broad silt bottom that shifts over time it's not for the novice. If you do go to anchorage you will find no marina, no fuel dock (save for the fuel dock for tankers and tugs at the commercial port), no water or holding tank pump out, and a boat launch ramp that is less developed than the launch ramps at at least four freshwater lakes in the area. There are people who do boat out of Anchorage, but not many, and you shouldn't try to be one of them. Homer is great, Kenai, and Whittier are too. Anchorage is a dangerous mudpit.
  12. Kevin

    Kevin YF Moderator

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    Sounds like a way to get a deal... I seriously need to look for one of these "grand adventure turned sour" boats! :D
  13. AlfredZ

    AlfredZ Senior Member

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    Hahahaha! Captain J you got great motivational skills man! :p LOL
  14. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost Member

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    Noted.

    But I have another question for you specifically; in a previous reply you stated that the 246' Phocea was designed to be handled by a single man. I don't mean to doubt your knowledge, but, are you serious? If I could afford her and man her myself, I would, but that thing is a monster. How does a single dude tackle all her rigging and steer a steady course at the same time?

    Does she come with robots or something? :D
  15. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    It was called Club Mediterranee and sailed by the late great Eric Tabarly
  16. AlfredZ

    AlfredZ Senior Member

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    The "Dude", which was a famous sailor, sadly passed away before it was fully completed if my memory is serving me right, and the lady that saved the vessel off the scrap route opted to have a full crew. SY Maltese Falcon is also rigged to be handled by one person from the helm.
  17. Opcn

    Opcn Senior Member

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    http://archives.pireport.org/archive/2012/November/11-19-ft.htm The rigging may have been changed in the Royal Huisman refit, she was a 4 masted schooner so that the individual sails would be small enough for one man to trim.

    I think the idea was to build a giant yacht to benefit from the waterline length and the higher hull speed.

    It would not be wise to singlehand such a large vessel.
  18. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost Member

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    Thanks for the replies, everyone. I'm sorry he passed away before his boat was finished. What an incredible piece of work she is. Wow. A very cool sailing yacht :)
  19. Ward

    Ward Senior Member

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    Not Taberly, it was Alain Colas, but the two of them crossed paths and boats a few times...

    Colas bought Pen Duick IV from Taberly and won the 1972 OSTAR (single-handed trans-Atlantic race) sailing it.

    Club Méditerranée (later Phocea) was built for Colas and he sailed it in the 1976 OSTAR, which Taberly won sailing Pen Duick VI (~76' IOR Maxi).

    Colas was lost at sea during the first Route du Rhum in 1978, Taberly died in an accident at sea in 1988.
  20. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    You have this right, it jolted my memory. Hope I get the facts correct.
    Read this story many years ago. Was both very sad and also a message on how one lie leads to the next and so on, until there is an avalanche of misery.
    From memory, Mr Crowhurst used his last savings to build his own yacht and finally managed to get sponsorship from a newspaper for the exclusive on his story. It was his last "hurrah" in the face of bankruptcy.
    At first all was going great and his messages back to the reading public was creating a big stir and breaking records, then things went bad and he realized it was all over.
    Then, as a last resort, he decided to cut across the Atlantic instead of going Round the Horn. He ended up in Argentina but was so far ahead of time he had to wait it out a bit. Only an accident resulted in the discovery that he had cheated. That was the last anyone heard of him. They found his yacht drifting with his logs on board.
    Like I say, this was a long time ago, so my memory may have left out some of the facts, but the story is as stirring as ever. Would make a good movie script!