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  1. #1

    Default Suitability of small yachts for ocean passages

    Want to start a bit of a discussion on the suitability of small yachts Ė eg. Corribee for ocean passages.

    We all now it can be done- there are a few examples of successful passages.
    I own a Corribee and have completed offshore passages (Channel Islands-Devon etc) in it very successfully so know what I am talking about!

    But a few points about increasing the displacement:

    -reduces freeboard, therefore reduces angle of downflooding

    -most likely raises G, therefore reduces AVS considerably.

    -reduces speed of vessel, increasing passage times, therefore require more stores (increasing displacement more!) Remember Mingming had to turn back last year because she was too slow.

    - Increases the righting moment, therefore all of the rig loads, reducing factors of safety.


    Few other points:
    - small size of vessel means it is practically invisible on radar,
    - insufficient storage space for full safety equipment.


    Donít get me wrong- I fully support the concept of the Jester Challenge etc, and I did consider preparing my Corribee for long passages. But are you not fundamentally trying to do something in a yacht which is completely unsuited to the work. They are seaworthy yes, but not I donít think with an extra 200-400kg of kit onboard.

    I guess I am overall suggesting that in such a small yacht can one, even if the vessel is modified extensively can one take all reasonable precautions to ensure your safely at sea, without having to rely on the emergency services to come and pick you up?

    I think that an extra 6 foot in length makes a considerable difference (remember displacement increases by a cubed function) so much greater internal volume for storage. The extra size enables more stores and shorter passages.

    One last point- all the bunks are too short! I am 6"6.

    What do people reckon?

  2. #2
    Swagman's Avatar
    Swagman is offline Registered User
    Location : Based from the UK, try to get away on a boat for at least two months a year.
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    Default Re: Suitability of small yachts for ocean passages

    IMHO its never the boat but always the sailor who is / is not suitable.

    And if one were to extend your logic the only way to cross the Atlantic would be on an Ocean liner.........so sorry, I don't agree with you basic premise - but do agree if you are 6' 6" you need a bunk at least that long..

    JOHN

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Suitability of small yachts for ocean passages

    There is no doubt that load-carrying capacity is a big issue for small yacht ocean passages. I also agree with most of your comments on the effects of increased displacement. That is why I would never go offshore in a small yacht that cannot be completely sealed. Unsinkability is also a sine qua non, as are predetermined jury rig and jury steering.(These three things give you all you should ever really need of a vessel at sea - the ability to stay on the surface, motive power and directional control). Where the small yacht gains is in the ease of handling under any conditions (particularly if junk rigged).
    Mingming turned back in the Jester Challenge not because she was too slow to cross the Atlantic - but was too slow to be sure of avoiding what was predicted as a severe hurricane season. The next Jester Atlantic Challenge (2010) will probably start earlier in the year to give the smaller/slower yachts a bigger window.

  4. #4
    Guest

    Default Re: Suitability of small yachts for ocean passages

    Rip the sink unit out for a longer berth (or consider a hammock ?).

    Colin

  5. #5
    Jake is offline Registered User
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    Default Re: Suitability of small yachts for ocean passages

    Hi Yachtie8

    Glad to hear you may be tackling some long distance sailing . I agree with JunkMing that the 'corked bottle' is a great way to go. I'm doing much the same with my Corri, sealing her up into watertight buoyancy chambers. At the same time, I'm adding a bit of bottom ballast (attachment to the keel) so I can carry more sail in a moderate breeze to increase journey times.

    John Welsford, a well known designer from New Zealand, has just designed a small junk-rigged long-range cruiser. (See jwboatdesigns@xtra.co.nz and look for 'Swaggie'.)

    He works on the basis that 1 person needs 11lb of consumable stores a day. Into this he factors everything from food and water down to loo roll and toothpaste. If your yacht can't carry that amount of weight without jeporadising it's stability, then you need to think again. By that sum, a month long sail to the Azores should require a 'consumable' loading of 330lbs.

    Another poster on this forum (see Blueboatman post to junk-rigged Corribee owners) sailed his junk-rigged Corribee right across the pond and then spent three years cruising the eastern seaboard of the USA.

    Small boats are slower, as you say, due to waterline length, but they have a lot of other factors going for them. Knowing their boats are small, the skippers take extra care, and exercise good seamanship (as JunkMing did) to minimise unnecessary exposure to danger.

    Hope your preparations come on well. As for being 6'6'' - not the end of the world. I'm average height, but I built my main hatch up and topped it off with a viewing dome. The galley is being shifted forward to give easier access to the port berth, and there a few other 'space making' designs going in. Little boats are quite easy to modify!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Suitability of small yachts for ocean passages

    [ QUOTE ]
    John Welsford, a well known designer from New Zealand, has just designed a small junk-rigged long-range cruiser

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Mmmm, Sundowner. Just been talking to Fyneboats about the possibility of a partial kit (bulkheads, frames, transom, major internal panels), already had a quote for the plans from John, but I doubt it will come to fruition in time for JAC08, maybe if the gods smile I can do JAC10 in one [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    In the mean time I've been looking at Hurley 22's, Sadler 25's and Cobra 750's. The only one that comes in near a mortal budget is a Hurley tough, the others will cost nearly 10K a pop for a decent boat before you start to get it ready to go [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
    June too soon, July stand by, August it must, September? I can never remember... But I bet it's gonna be nasty [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Suitability of small yachts for ocean passages

    My recollection is that a couple of people have done west-east transatlantic crossings in sub 6 foot boats (can't find a website with details though). Where do you get a six foot six bunk in that? Obviously heroic, stupid, foolhardy madness but it does put suitability of 6metres+ boats into perspective. And given that sub 10 foot has been done a few times it isn't just a fluke.

    If you want unsinkable makes me wonder if the best boats for a JC are multihulls which are already divided into at least two separate watertight compartments and have good load carrying ability. Fire rarely gets a mention as a hazard when sailing and it is probably not at the top of the list of likely events but not many unsinkable boats would survive it if it takes hold. Whereas on a catamaran without a connecting superstructure chances are you can save one hull. Not sure what would happen on a tri.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Suitability of small yachts for ocean passages

    Here is a list of all the documented coean passages in small craft - I think that Hugo Vihlen has the record for the smallest craft to sail the Atlantic, with his 5' 4" LOA 'Fathers Day' in 1993 - he was at sea for 105 days......
    Tom McNally also crossed in 1993 with Vera Hugh, but she was half an inch longer than Hugo's vessel.....

    http://www.microcruising.com/famoussmallboats.htm
    Here is a useful guide to Barbados - http://doyleguides.com/barbados.html

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Suitability of small yachts for ocean passages

    Thanks for the link, a site with an excellent compilation of small boat achievements. Tom Mcnally has also done Portugal to the Canaries in Vera Hugh 2 only 3' 11''long!!! Makes a 6 metres+ boat for JC 08 look like overkill.
    Just read the account of Ant Steward's circumnavigation in an open 19 footer, an awesome achievement in a most unsuitable boat. The smallest boat to circumnavigate, Acrohc Australis, was only 12 feet and self built by Serge Testa. Both Steward and Testa have had fires at sea so perhaps it is more common than I thought.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Suitability of small yachts for ocean passages

    "In the mean time I've been looking at Hurley 22's, Sadler 25's and Cobra 750's. The only one that comes in near a mortal budget"
    Bonjour
    A well maintained Muscadet is 8Keuro (eurosexptics may translate in old pence).
    http://www.apmuscadet.com/index.php?page=news
    It's a fabulous design and was elected (you know this strange democratic stuff!) boat of the century by a magasin.
    Eric [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
    Pourquoi faire simple quand on peut faire complique ?

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