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Heavier displacement = safer in storms?


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Hi all, 

I'm planning on buying a small sailboat early next year with the intention of sailing from the UK to Patagonia in autumn.

I've been comparing boats on sailboatlab and it all seems to suggest that heavier displacement boats such as the Marcon Cutlass and Nicholson 26 are better blue water boats and are less likely to capsize. It actually says that the lighter Vega is more suited to coastal cruising. In terms of displacement, the boats I'm looking at have the Nicholson at the heavy end and the Vega at the light end. From videos I've seen it seems the real danger comes from being hit sideways on by a breaking wave. It seems logical that having more boat under the water would be helpful in this situation as its only the above water part that gets hit by the breaker. Yet the Vega has such a great reputation as a go anywhere cruiser... I understand that heavier boats are more comfortable in heavy seas because they move less and so imagine this would also be true at the extreme end and less movement would equal less capsize and less broken mast?

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It is sad, nay, pathetic, to see the SA nattering nabobs of negativity attempt to quash the adventuring spirit of this young Slocum with their so-called "conventional wisdom."  As the OP has demonstra

I've been following along until now but with the epropulsion and lithium in the bilge turn, I'm out.  You're either a troll or one of those people who ask for advice only to argue about why you s

You guys are getting soft. New guy with zero prior posts starts a thread saying he's boat shopping to sail from the UK to Patagonia. No one thinks this is a troll? 

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I'm sure people with a better technical background like @estarzinger will be around at some point, but in the size range you're discussing, displacement isn't going to make a huge difference in storm survivability.  Maybe in comfort in strong conditions, but a 26' boat isn't very big.  Unless you're willing to go up to something like at least 50' in length, knockdowns are a risk you are going to have to deal with.  A heavier 26' boat may be able to be in slightly bigger conditions than a lighter 26' boat, but in both you won't be able to make progress upwind or on a reach in conditions that bigger boats are still chugging along in, and in an actual storm with 50+ kts of wind and corresponding waves you'll be getting the snot kicked out of you in a nicholson 26 or an albin vega.  Focus on a boat that sails well, and is built strongly, and is well maintained.  Think about what you'll do if a window gets knocked out by a wave.  If you're on a budget, you're probably better to spend your time focusing on the most put together boat of what's actually available in your price range rather than hypotheticals.  If you're not on a budget buy a Boreal 47 and call it good.

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In terms of safety, the only parameter I have seen any evidence for is LWL. Longer waterlines are safer. And that is because if you take any boat, and double it's size, you increase the stability by 16x. 

I guess heavier boats MAY be built stronger. It's easy to get into a pretty dismal spiral with smaller boats: heavier is slower, so you need more fuel, water, food, which is heavier, so......

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22 minutes ago, ysignal said:

Hi all, 

I'm planning on buying a small sailboat early next year with the intention of sailing from the UK to Patagonia in autumn.

I've been comparing boats on sailboatlab and it all seems to suggest that heavier displacement boats such as the Marcon Cutlass and Nicholson 26 are better blue water boats and are less likely to capsize. It actually says that the lighter Vega is more suited to coastal cruising. In terms of displacement, the boats I'm looking at have the Nicholson at the heavy end and the Vega at the light end. From videos I've seen it seems the real danger comes from being hit sideways on by a breaking wave. It seems logical that having more boat under the water would be helpful in this situation as its only the above water part that gets hit by the breaker. Yet the Vega has such a great reputation as a go anywhere cruiser... I understand that heavier boats are more comfortable in heavy seas because they move less and so imagine this would also be true at the extreme end and less movement would equal less capsize and less broken mast?

Have a read of “Damien Autour du Monde” - early (1970s, I think) classic account of a light displacement, fin-keel cold moulded high latitude circumnavigation.  Their takeaway from the epic voyage was that light displacement is better (than the prevailing Joshua-heavy-displacement-thinking of the day)....

Great book.

https://www.amazon.ca/DAMIEN-AUTOUR-MONDE-GÉRARD-JANICHON/dp/291395586X

547FDB55-9CE9-44BA-93D5-707A6E19160D.jpeg

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That Nicholson has an SA/D of 10 and a D/L approaching 600 - both the worst I have ever seen.

That sail area barely qualifies as steadying sails.

Get something bigger & better.

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26 minutes ago, ysignal said:

Hi all, 

I'm planning on buying a small sailboat early next year with the intention of sailing from the UK to Patagonia in autumn.

I've been comparing boats on sailboatlab and it all seems to suggest that heavier displacement boats such as the Marcon Cutlass and Nicholson 26 are better blue water boats and are less likely to capsize. It actually says that the lighter Vega is more suited to coastal cruising. In terms of displacement, the boats I'm looking at have the Nicholson at the heavy end and the Vega at the light end. From videos I've seen it seems the real danger comes from being hit sideways on by a breaking wave. It seems logical that having more boat under the water would be helpful in this situation as its only the above water part that gets hit by the breaker. Yet the Vega has such a great reputation as a go anywhere cruiser... I understand that heavier boats are more comfortable in heavy seas because they move less and so imagine this would also be true at the extreme end and less movement would equal less capsize and less broken mast?

Hmm

seamanship prevents disaster 

A heavy slow boat is not a defense against foul weather 

ocean sailing is all about weather windows

the bigger , longer, faster the boat , the greater the safety margin 

 

contessa , Jeremy Rogers , made some nice oceangoing small craft 

99AFDAFC-759D-496B-A8EB-7A5C54261144.png

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Sailing to Patagonia in autumn, having bought the boat in spring and sailed it all summer. I'm planning on going through the Beagle Canal. I could hang around the Falklands indefinitely if I feel I need more experience at high latitude. But my general plans aren't really the topic of the thread. 

Buying something bigger and better isn't really an option. The Contessa 27 is another boat I'm looking at. Here's the full list of boats I'm thinking are suitable and realistically available to me.

Albin Vega
Contessa 26
Invitica 26
Marcon Cutlass
Nicholson 26 
Halycon 27

 

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16 minutes ago, Israel Hands said:

You guys are getting soft. New guy with zero prior posts starts a thread saying he's boat shopping to sail from the UK to Patagonia. No one thinks this is a troll? 

ain't even worth getting the popcorn in .

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You are new here. Thread derailment is par for the course.

 

Any small boat of that size will be very vulnerable to capsize by breaking waves. The boat doesn't matter as much as the sailor. A good sailor will manage OK (well more likely not to have severe problems). A new sailor is going to be in a world of hurt. Based on your question you may be in the latter category.
 

Learning as much as you can about weather and being a conservative sailor will give you the best chance of staying in one piece. The Falklands do not qualify as a good training ground. Very cold and windy! It would be like practicing in the Shetlands.

43 minutes ago, ysignal said:

From videos I've seen it seems the real danger comes from being hit sideways on by a breaking wave.

yes that's the typical capsize scenario. Or pitchpoling (a big enough wave comes along and you surf down the wave, dig in the bow and the stern comes over the top)

 

People have sailed around Cape Horn in seriously small boats and written books about the experience.  All were relatively heavy boats for their size/era. But that is also a function of living aboard. It's pretty hard to live on a 30' ultralight and have it carry the required food/fuel/water/gear without really affecting performance.

Suggested readings:

Two Against Cape Horn - Hal Roth (in a 35' Spencer)

Cape Horn to Starboard (1986; International Marine Publishers, Camden, Maine). John Kretschmer 32-foot Contessa

My Old Man and the Sea: A Father and Son Sail Around Cape Horn  David Hays; Daniel Hays   25' Vertue

Lin and Larry Parden in Talesin, their 30' engineless cutter. Not sure which of their books they wrote about it.

 

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23 minutes ago, ysignal said:

Sailing to Patagonia in autumn, having bought the boat in spring and sailed it all summer. I'm planning on going through the Beagle Canal. I could hang around the Falklands indefinitely if I feel I need more experience at high latitude. But my general plans aren't really the topic of the thread. 

Okay, Monty. 

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24 minutes ago, ysignal said:

The topic of the thread is actually about whether smaller heavier sailboats handle heavy seas better than smaller light sailboats. Please don't derail it.

You had better head on over to Cruisers Forum if you don't like thread drift or pointed questions...most of the horses in this here stable will shit on ya, step on yer feet, and mebbe kick at ya...

That said, I used to own a Vega and would have taken it anywhere. But not a comfortable ride...

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22 minutes ago, Zonker said:

You are new here. Thread derailment is par for the course.

 

Any small boat of that size will be very vulnerable to capsize by breaking waves. The boat doesn't matter as much as the sailor. A good sailor will manage OK (well more likely not to have severe problems). A new sailor is going to be in a world of hurt. Based on your question you may be in the latter category.
 

Learning as much as you can about weather and being a conservative sailor will give you the best chance of staying in one piece. The Falklands do not qualify as a good training ground. Very cold and windy! It would be like practicing in the Shetlands.

yes that's the typical capsize scenario. Or pitchpoling (a big enough wave comes along and you surf down the wave, dig in the bow and the stern comes over the top)

 

People have sailed around Cape Horn in seriously small boats and written books about the experience.  All were relatively heavy boats for their size/era. But that is also a function of living aboard. It's pretty hard to live on a 30' ultralight and have it carry the required food/fuel/water/gear without really affecting performance.

Suggested readings:

Two Against Cape Horn - Hal Roth (in a 35' Spencer)

Cape Horn to Starboard (1986; International Marine Publishers, Camden, Maine). John Kretschmer 32-foot Contessa

My Old Man and the Sea: A Father and Son Sail Around Cape Horn  David Hays; Daniel Hays   25' Vertue

Lin and Larry Parden in Talesin, their 30' engineless cutter. Not sure which of their books they wrote about it.

 

I guess the Shetlands would be a better training ground then given their closer proximity to me. Once I'm comfortable there I can set off with more confidence. It's interesting that you mention the Vertue as that keeps coming up on the searches I'm doing on sailboatlab.

4 minutes ago, Jim in Halifax said:

 

You had better head on over to Cruisers Forum if you don't like thread drift or pointed questions...most of the horses in this here stable will shit on ya, step on yer feet, and mebbe kick at ya...

That said, I used to own a Vega and would have taken it anywhere. But not a comfortable ride...

That's the impression I have of the Vega. It has circumnavigated the Americas and sailed to Antarctica. I was actually dead set on one until I started searching on sailboatlab and found it rated as more prone to capsize than heavier boats like the Cutlass.

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According to https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/nicholson-26, the Nicholson 26 has a designed displacement of 10,280lb.  That is more than a Contessa 32 (9,500lb), Sadler 32 (9,500 lb), or   a 32' Westerly Fulmar (9,900 lb).

Any of those 32-footers will handle heavy weather much much better than a 26-footer.  They are bigger, more modern designs which will sail much faster than the 26-footer, especially when laden down with stores.  That gives you a much better chance of avoiding trouble, and they are bigger and more capable boats which will better survive any trouble.

45 minutes ago, ysignal said:

Buying something bigger and better isn't really an option

That makes no sense to me.  If you are sailing from the UK to Patagonia, you don't just  need funds to buy the boat.  You need lots of funds to equip the boat, to support yourself, to feed yourself and pay a bundle of costs along the way for 6 months to a year.  When the overall budget is added up, the difference in cost between doing it in a Nich26 vs doing it in a Co32 is not a great percentage.

And above all, whether you are doing this in a Vega, Nich26, Co32 or any boat of that sort of size, you are taking a small craft into very treacherous waters where many much bigger vessels have foundered horribly.  That sort of adventure requires a lot of experience and very high levels of seamanship.  If you haven't already found a boat that you can successfully sail in very challenging conditions closer to home (e.g. North Atlantic/North Sea in winter), then I fear that your adventure is a dream based on unfounded optimism.

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The "capsize risk" calculation has only 2 inputs: beam and displacement. That's a very simplified model. I think making a boat buying decision on that basis is flawed.

 

"How is capsize ratio calculated?
 
The capsize screening value for any boat is found by dividing the cube root of the boat's displacement volume into its maximum beam (Bmax). The higher the resulting number is than a value of 2.0, the greater the chance that the boat will be unduly prone to capsize; if it is below 2.0, it should be safe offshore"
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I don't want to waste time buying a boat and kitting it out only to find I could have bought and kitted out a more suitable boat. Hence I'm considering my goals prior to purchase. The price difference between a Vega and something like a Sadler 32 is pretty big.

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4 minutes ago, Zonker said:

The "capsize risk" calculation has only 2 inputs: beam and displacement. That's a very simplified model. I think making a boat buying decision on that basis is flawed.

 

"How is capsize ratio calculated?
 
The capsize screening value for any boat is found by dividing the cube root of the boat's displacement volume into its maximum beam (Bmax). The higher the resulting number is than a value of 2.0, the greater the chance that the boat will be unduly prone to capsize; if it is below 2.0, it should be safe offshore"

Ahh I see. I'll most likely go with the Vega then based on it's reputation. Thanks.

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You should also keep in mind that you'll probably be dead by the time many of those boats get anywhere, let alone half way around the world.

As an aside if you can't afford to buy a CO32 you're not going to be able to fit anything out for that trip. The difference in purchase cost will be a rounding error against the other costs.

Oh, and tits 

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10 minutes ago, European Bloke said:

You should also keep in mind that you'll probably be dead by the time many of those boats get anywhere, let alone half way around the world.

As an aside if you can't afford to buy a CO32 you're not going to be able to fit anything out for that trip. The difference in purchase cost will be a rounding error against the other costs.

Oh, and tits 

I can get a Vega in good condition with a lot of what I need for less than half the price of the cheapest co32 that I can find. Spending less on the boat will mean I have more money to kit it out. I can then save money for the trip as I learn to sail it over summer or for longer if need be. I will be living on the boat so wont have rent to pay. Saving will be much easier once I actually have the boat.

The Vega is proven in a variety of conditions. My question was simply whether there may be a better if less famous option if I was thinking specifically about heavy seas.

Seems another advantage of the Vega is that it's quite an easy choice to defend...

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2 hours ago, ysignal said:

Hi all, 

I'm planning on buying a small sailboat early next year with the intention of sailing from the UK to Patagonia in autumn.

I've been comparing boats on sailboatlab and it all seems to suggest that heavier displacement boats such as the Marcon Cutlass and Nicholson 26 are better blue water boats and are less likely to capsize. It actually says that the lighter Vega is more suited to coastal cruising. In terms of displacement, the boats I'm looking at have the Nicholson at the heavy end and the Vega at the light end. From videos I've seen it seems the real danger comes from being hit sideways on by a breaking wave. It seems logical that having more boat under the water would be helpful in this situation as its only the above water part that gets hit by the breaker. Yet the Vega has such a great reputation as a go anywhere cruiser... I understand that heavier boats are more comfortable in heavy seas because they move less and so imagine this would also be true at the extreme end and less movement would equal less capsize and less broken mast?

This idea that a heavier boat is safer is very common in the anglophone cruisers world but I don't think that there is real evidence to back it up. If I were to take a small boat in big seas, I would make sure that it is bullet proof, watertight and self-righting as you know that sooner or later the boat will be knocked down. As for weight, I would build it (or get it) as light as possible without compromising strength as speed is a real safety asset and make sure that weight is as low as possible.

If you show them this, lot of "old salts" who think that heavier is better will tell you that it is a death trap, but that would be my choice of a small boat for high latitudes :

  • lot of righting moment
  • built like a tank
  • watertight
  • fairly light
  • good shelter for the crew.

dd82bcb00c2af3a9aa88cb5d66e1fd5d.jpg

In your list the Vega is clearly the best...

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Yes, making the boat as bulletproof as possible is wise when it's a small boat. And I agree with Panoramix's thoughts - heavy displacement is a very English/American mind set. I blame Eric Hiscock and then L&L Pardey for their books!

Tania Aebi did a typical trade wind circumnavigation via both canals so not quite as demanding as what ysignal is proposing.


It sort of sounds that you are new to sailing as you say "learn to sail it over the summer".

If you are, then heading to Patagonia when you have just learned to sail is somewhat akin to a local hiker saying "I'll get in shape over the winter, then head to Nepal for a crack as K2 in the summer climbing season". 

If you're an experienced sailor, then my apologies.  But if not, then frankly you need a bit more experience than a summer sailing.

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I've got no recommendations on boats for the job, it's outside my experience. Probably a slow sailor, I suppose that's ok.

I'd suggest if you want high latitude, you stick around where you already are. Check out the heavy weather sailing videos of this guy, doing stuff in your general area: 

 

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Well I guess this means I'll be able to prepare myself well here. I am new to sailing, however I intend to sail a lot over summer, so while it will only be a summers sailing, if measured in hours it would compare well to people who've been sailing occasionally for years. The route I plan is from UK to the Canaries, then to Uruguay and then Falklands. I could spend time at any of these destinations gaining further experience, may make detours etc. By the time I get the Beagle Canal I'll certainly have more than a summer of experience.

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2 hours ago, ysignal said:

I guess the Shetlands would be a better training ground then given their closer proximity to me. Once I'm comfortable there I can set off with more confidence. It's interesting that you mention the Vertue as that keeps coming up on the searches I'm doing on sailboatlab.

That's the impression I have of the Vega. It has circumnavigated the Americas and sailed to Antarctica. I was actually dead set on one until I started searching on sailboatlab and found it rated as more prone to capsize than heavier boats like the Cutlass.

We saw more Vegas during our circumnavigation than all of the other boats you mentioned combined, which was easy since we saw zero of the others and 4 or 5 Vegas. It would be my choice of a small boat but I would save my pennies and go for something 32 to 35 feet.

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2 minutes ago, Bristol-Cruiser said:

We saw more Vegas during our circumnavigation than all of the other boats you mentioned combined, which was easy since we saw zero of the others and 4 or 5 Vegas. It would be my choice of a small boat but I would save my pennies and go for something 32 to 35 feet.

More Vegas were made than the others combined so that may be why. But I think I'll go for the Vega.

My plan after Patagonia is to explore the Pacific. I'll certainly spend a lot of time in Japan as I lived there for a while and loved it and speak Japanese reasonably. I'll also visit New Zealand and Australia.  I'll certainly take advantage of the high latitude sailing opportunities around Scotland, and now I think of it it makes sense for me to relocate to Scotland next summer. But I'm not going to stick around here once I have the experience to go further. 

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2 hours ago, Zonker said:

The "capsize risk" calculation has only 2 inputs: beam and displacement. That's a very simplified model. I think making a boat buying decision on that basis is flawed.

 

"How is capsize ratio calculated?
 
The capsize screening value for any boat is found by dividing the cube root of the boat's displacement volume into its maximum beam (Bmax). The higher the resulting number is than a value of 2.0, the greater the chance that the boat will be unduly prone to capsize; if it is below 2.0, it should be safe offshore"

I recall an old rule of thumb that it took a wave twice the boats length to be a capsize risk.

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10 minutes ago, ysignal said:

 I'll certainly take advantage of the high latitude sailing opportunities around Scotland, and now I think of it it makes sense for me to relocate to Scotland next summer. But I'm not going to stick around here once I have the experience to go further. 

How about sailing across Biscay a few times in winter?

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3 hours ago, Zonker said:

 

"How is capsize ratio calculated?
 
The capsize screening value for any boat is found by dividing the cube root of the boat's displacement volume into its maximum beam (Bmax). The higher the resulting number is than a value of 2.0, the greater the chance that the boat will be unduly prone to capsize; if it is below 2.0, it should be safe offshore"

Speaking as someone with a bit of mathematical background, I find that particular wording (which appears in a number of places) almost impossible to parse.

The CSF formula is Bmax divided by the cube root of displacement volume,  i.e., bmax / vol^1/3

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1 minute ago, ysignal said:

More Vegas were made than the others combined so that may be why. But I think I'll go for the Vega.

My plan after Patagonia is to explore the Pacific. I'll certainly spend a lot of time in Japan as I lived there for a while and loved it and speak Japanese reasonably. I'll also visit New Zealand and Australia.  I'll certainly take advantage of the high latitude sailing opportunities around Scotland, and now I think of it it makes sense for me to relocate to Scotland next summer. But I'm not going to stick around here once I have the experience to go further. 

Get yourself a copy of Jimmy Cornell's book, World Cruising Routes. Often a straight line is not the best way to get from A to B. Cornell has summarized data from pilot charts (available online) and cruising logs to suggest how best to get from A to B and when to do it - and very importantly when not to. I notice it is now in its eighth edition, a used earlier edition would meet your needs.

https://cornellsailing.com/publications/world-cruising-routes/

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5 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

More like test your survival instinct.

It would depend on the weather though right? I mean one would ordinarily look for weather windows. So if I were successful at that I wouldn't have a hard time. Though if I were successful at that all the time I'd never get any experience in heavy conditions. I'd far rather learn from a knockdown off the coast of Scotland than in the middle of the Pacific.. 

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9 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

I recall an old rule of thumb that it took a wave twice the boats length to be a capsize risk

Lots smaller I'm afraid. According the Wolfson Unit (Univ of Southhampton) that did a study, for a good chance (30% LOA) and near certainty at 60% of LOA. So a 8' wave might while a 16' breaking wave WILL capsize a 26' boat pretty consistently.  

Andy Claughton summarized it in the newest edition of Heavy Weather Sailing (Peter Bruce):

image.png.51cc33a79536845cc35c95a9e9a25999.png

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Bristol-Cruiser said:

Get yourself a copy of Jimmy Cornell's book, World Cruising Routes. Often a straight line is not the best way to get from A to B. Cornell has summarized data from pilot charts (available online) and cruising logs to suggest how best to get from A to B and when to do it - and very importantly when not to. I notice it is now in its eighth edition, a used earlier edition would meet your needs.

https://cornellsailing.com/publications/world-cruising-routes/

Ahh I've had this recommended before. I'll certainly get a copy.

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1 minute ago, ysignal said:

It would depend on the weather though right? I mean one would ordinarily look for weather windows. So if I were successful at that I wouldn't have a hard time. Though if I were successful at that all the time I'd never get any experience in heavy conditions. I'd far rather learn from a knockdown off the coast of Scotland than in the middle of the Pacific.. 

October to March is the worst time to cross the bay of Biscay....

The bay of Biscay creates weird waves that are disorganised and steep, not the best place to learn, if I were you I would cross in August then enjoy life in Portugal whil hurricane season come to an end.

Lot of sailing around the UK in all wind conditions while prepping the boat is a better way to get ready. The boat has to be extremely ready, whenever you have a doubt that something might be wrong, you need to put it right!

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7 minutes ago, Bristol-Cruiser said:

Get yourself a copy of Jimmy Cornell's book, World Cruising Routes. Often a straight line is not the best way to get from A to B. Cornell has summarized data from pilot charts (available online) and cruising logs to suggest how best to get from A to B and when to do it - and very importantly when not to. I notice it is now in its eighth edition, a used earlier edition would meet your needs.

https://cornellsailing.com/publications/world-cruising-routes/

Doesn't even need that for what he's doing. The old Pax Britannia Navy rules on how to get to the Horn from home would work, no?

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1 minute ago, Raz'r said:

Doesn't even need that for what he's doing. The old Pax Britannia Navy rules on how to get to the Horn from home would work, no?

Isn't there something in there about doing something somewhere until the butter melts?

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1 minute ago, Panoramix said:

October to March is the worst time to cross the bay of Biscay....

The bay of Biscay creates weird waves that are disorganised and steep, not the best place to learn, if I were you I would cross in August then enjoy life in Portugal whil hurricane season come to an end.

Lot of sailing around the UK in all wind conditions while prepping the boat is a better way to get ready. The boat has to be extremely ready, whenever you have a doubt that something might be wrong, you need to put it right!

To add a bit to that, my boat underwent a pretty massive makeover in the last 2 years - we will be crossing part of the pacific next summer. Anyway, just one in the bay race we found one of the winches acting up, we had a squall come through and the afterguy lifted a stanchion, and today I spent another couple hundred on some used stainless shackles as I've decided how to set up my reefing tack. 

You'll want to likely replace all standing rigging, take the chainplates out, ensure the keel and rudder will stay one, you have good propulsion, etc, etc, etc

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6 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

October to March is the worst time to cross the bay of Biscay....

The bay of Biscay creates weird waves that are disorganised and steep, not the best place to learn, if I were you I would cross in August then enjoy life in Portugal whil hurricane season come to an end.

Lot of sailing around the UK in all wind conditions while prepping the boat is a better way to get ready. The boat has to be extremely ready, whenever you have a doubt that something might be wrong, you need to put it right!

Yeah that makes sense. I'll relocate to Scotland and get all the experience I can while I fix up the boat.

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7 minutes ago, Bristol-Cruiser said:

Isn't there something in there about doing something somewhere until the butter melts?

then due west....  (or turn right)

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39 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

To add a bit to that, my boat underwent a pretty massive makeover in the last 2 years - we will be crossing part of the pacific next summer. Anyway, just one in the bay race we found one of the winches acting up, we had a squall come through and the afterguy lifted a stanchion, and today I spent another couple hundred on some used stainless shackles as I've decided how to set up my reefing tack. 

You'll want to likely replace all standing rigging, take the chainplates out, ensure the keel and rudder will stay one, you have good propulsion, etc, etc, etc

Rigging and chainplates for sure. If he goes for the Vega, keel is encapsulated and rudder is keel-hung. The old Volvo MD6A or MD7 with the Combi drive variable pitch propellor is likely to be the Achilles Heel on that boat,

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2 minutes ago, Zonker said:

You've got some big long term plans and a fairly limited budget I think. Keep in mind sailing isn't free.

I can teach English. Certainly in Japan and I'm considering doing it in Chile for a while. Although the pay isn't good there it seems like an interesting place to explore. I also have some nice investments. Not a huge amount though. What costs am I likely to be overlooking? I mean sailing its self is free. Obviously I need supplies, occasional moorings and maintenance. Those would be the main costs right?

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3 minutes ago, Jim in Halifax said:

Rigging and chainplates for sure. If he goes for the Vega, keel is encapsulated and rudder is keel-hung. The old Volvo MD6A or MD7 with the Combi drive variable pitch propellor is likely to be the Achilles Heel on that boat,

Actually I'm considering looking for one with a duff engine and replacing it with an outboard to give me more storage space and safe money on the purchase.

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medical or evac insurance, entry visa fees, covid tests (these days), long distance comms cost (a local SIM in a new country), some means of getting weather forecasts offshore (used SSB/ham radio with a Pactor modem + Sailmail subscription?)

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9 minutes ago, ysignal said:

Actually I'm considering looking for one with a duff engine and replacing it with an outboard to give me more storage space and safe money on the purchase.

An outboard is probably the worst type of engine for a boat that will be used in ocean sailing. On a Vega in any waves, the outboard propellor would be out of the water as much as it was in the water.

If you do get a Vega, join the Vega Association of Great Britain (http://www.albinvega.co.uk/) Lots of experience there. There are a few sailing vlogs by Vega owners too. Worth checking out. One thing you will find is, that while a well-found Vega can cross oceans, it will be a physically demanding boat in open ocean. The old saying is: "A boat can always take more that her people can". I point this out not to discourage you, but as a reality check.

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4 minutes ago, ysignal said:

Actually I'm considering looking for one with a duff engine and replacing it with an outboard to give me more storage space and safe money on the purchase.

Sorry, that's a terrible idea. Diesel engines are highly reliable (if maintained), fuel is available, the propeller stays in the water when the boat is bouncing around in a seaway, they can charge your batteries after 10 days of overcast, etc., etc

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3 hours ago, fufkin said:

Add ‘Maiden Voyage’ to the reading list.
 

The author, Tanya Aebi, circumnavigated on a Contessa 26 as a teenager.

Also add Mischief in Patagonia by Bill Tilman. I am halfway through re-reading it as it happens and though it was written in the 1950s the lessons of a somewhat but not terribly experienced sailor doing exactly what you describe might be worth a look. He was one of a kind, tough as nails having fought in two world wars and climbed half the mountains in the world before other people and still got his ass kicked like the rest of us learning to sail. I had forgotten how fun his writing is. It is on Kindle for less than ten bucks.

BTW, I think your plan is completely bananas and suspect you might be our old friend jack sparrow but best of luck

97F98FD1-1D4E-4767-BD0D-AF5621E6A597.thumb.png.919a3a38cc71e1bfb6e70a61c0b05cc3.png.

 

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1 hour ago, Zonker said:

Lots smaller I'm afraid. According the Wolfson Unit (Univ of Southhampton) that did a study, for a good chance (30% LOA) and near certainty at 60% of LOA. So a 8' wave might while a 16' breaking wave WILL capsize a 26' boat pretty consistently.  

Andy Claughton summarized it in the newest edition of Heavy Weather Sailing (Peter Bruce):

image.png.51cc33a79536845cc35c95a9e9a25999.png

 

 

 

Maybe my "recollection" was for the wave needed to pitchpole a boat?

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I am new to sailing, however I intend to sail a lot over summer, so while it will only be a summers sailing, if measured in hours it would compare well to people who've been sailing occasionally for years. 

You can learn a lot in a summer, but certainly will be lacking in so many areas I don't know where to start so NO, you won't be as experienced as those sailing part time for years.  You need a quality, new, ISAF type liferaft.....  that is $4k+.   You need quality sails, rigging and hardware =  $$$$.    You need onboard weather information/routing or you will regret it.   I suggest shopping for a boat on the continent you want to cruise, not try to cross an ocean in your first few months of sailing.  

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My suggestion.  Buy an airline ticket from a reputable airline.  Fly to wherever you want to go.  Buy sailboat there.  have fun with your boat in coastal waters.  When finished, drop it off at a broker, buy airline ticket, fly home.  

Point, if this is a question you have to ask, the real question you need to be asking, is…”Am I really ready/capable/prepared to tackle an ocean voyage?”  

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2 hours ago, ysignal said:

Yeah that makes sense. I'll relocate to Scotland and get all the experience I can while I fix up the boat.

Folks here love to detail threads :-).  Your original question was “simple” enough, straightforward enough —objectively, about boat design/performance, but has devolved into subjective evaluations along the lines of, “you’re a stark raving mad lunatic.”  Oh well.  Anyway.

Two more useful resources.  Three perhaps.

1) perhaps consider extending your timeline to gain a bit more experience.  Definitely nothing wrong with that.  If you’re truly able to get lots of sailing in, perhaps another year?

2) The book “Winter in Fireland” is a worthwhile read to give you an idea of what sailing down the Atlantic S. American coast to Tierra del Fuego (the “Fireland” in the title) is like. (The first 40 or so pages are useless background info about the author, but the rest of the book gives a good idea of conditions and challenges you might encounter there - challenging. The authors sailed from Cape Town, counterclockwise around the S. Atlantic, and down to T de F (and then up the Chilean canales).  FYI, they sailed a Vancouver 27 (another consideration for boat choice).

3) Roger Taylor’s various books about his voyages in MingMing to Iceland etc. from England.  (I could be mistaken, but I’ve the impression that he’s a contributor here, and anyway has considerable high latitude singlehanded small boat experience, so his books are useful. 
 

How old are you?  Are you in shape?  In good shape?  Have you ever run a half or full marathon?  Backcountry skin toured and slept in a snow cave?  These aren’t required, of course, but are you generally good at suffering?  Maybe take a mountaineering course and spend time in challenging conditions in the alpine to build your mental and physical threshold.  
 

Caveat: I’ve never sailed this route and indeed have little ocean sailing experience and offer this only as common sense sort of advice that I’ve gleaned.

 

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2 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Are you good at suffering?

That is probably the key issue for this planned trip.   Taking an overloaded small boat down to Patagonia will involve a lot of protracted suffering.

The Vancouver 27 is an interesting suggestion, because it was actually designed for offshore use.  The other boats under consideration were designed as coastal cruisers.

But still, getting all the gear and stores into a boat that size is a bit of a squeeze, and probably rules out making headway upwind.

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20 minutes ago, TwoLegged said:

That is probably the key issue for this planned trip.   Taking an overloaded small boat down to Patagonia will involve a lot of protracted suffering.

The Vancouver 27 is an interesting suggestion, because it was actually designed for offshore use.  The other boats under consideration were designed as coastal cruisers.

But still, getting all the gear and stores into a boat that size is a bit of a squeeze, and probably rules out making headway upwind.

Ships in the age of sail couldn’t go upwind…

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44 minutes ago, TwoLegged said:

The Vancouver 27 is an interesting suggestion, because it was actually designed for offshore use.  The other boats under consideration were designed as coastal cruisers.

But still, getting all the gear and stores into a boat that size is a bit of a squeeze, and probably rules out making headway upwind.

The folks on Bosun Bird (“Winter in Fireland” authors I mentioned above; https://www.bosunbird.com ) did everything wrong, against the received wisdom and scolding voices (I’m not saying you’re scolding, but some are :-) ) of the sailing forums, and sailed around the world via the tropics and Cape Town on an Albin Vega 27 (though to be fair there was no Internet when they went, so no sailing forums).  Then, years later (1990s, I think, or early 2000s?), they got the Vancouver 27 and sailed from Cape Town to T de F/Chile (and up to this part of the world, the BC coast, via Japan to Alaska).  Seems to have worked for them (two people), I guess, but indeed probably at a sacrifice of windward performance, alas.  Might be useful for the OP to contact them directly about its suitability?

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21 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

against the received wisdom and scolding voices

Be fair, these posts like this are always a fine line. It is somebody’s dream (or somebody’s sock) and we should all be nice, but if the task were simply to answer the displacement question and be done, what’s the fun in that? When the OP then leans into the choice of outboard gasoline engines, learning en route in the Falklands, and is not aware of the costs of things like liferafts and other necessities I don’t think it’s wrong to at some point in time raise the question: “WTF?” Zonker and others politely answered without snark but there comes a time. It’s not wrong to pull the guy aside and suggest that perhaps there’s a better way and we would hate to see you fucking die out there. 

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17 minutes ago, loneshark64 said:

When the OP a then leans into the choice of gasoline engines

My post was just a bit tongue in cheek (re: scolding forumites).

But Dawntreader has an outboard (diesel removed) and has been through Patagonia.  I don’t know if it was a good decision or if they’re happy with it, but just an FYI food for thought: https://sailingdawntreader.com/tag/dawntreader/

https://sailingdawntreader.com/boat-tour/

And MingMing is engineless... https://www.yachtingmonthly.com/cruising-life/roger-taylor-mingming-impossible-voyage-conquered-arctic-76899

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47 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

It's important to remember that the wonderful Roger Taylor's voyages in MingMing and MingMing II are very different to what the OP is proposing.  Roger sails until he gets to see some very cold place, then he turns around and goes home.  No stopping anywhere.

So yes, MingMing gets hammered by storms etc, but he nearly always has lots of sea room to play with, so he isn't trying to negotiate the nasty hard bits on the edge of the water.  No need for an engine to get out of their way, and minimal electrickery so modest solar is enough.

Plus, his choice of boat is very much the opposite of what the OP proposes: Roger's boats are light craft, mostly filled with buoyancy to make them unsinkable.  They are heavily waterproofed (no sliding hatch or washboard), and they have a massively de-stressed rig with fewer points of crucial failure.   They are a million miles away from the likes of a heavy, highly-stressed Nich26.

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You Tube has claimed another one.  There's no question that a whole lot of boats will make this trip - an Albin Vega would do it without a hiccup.  But the boat has never been the limiting factor here.  Like a lot of non sailors, he thinks that it's all basically an equipment problem. Oh, sure, he'll have to "learn how to sail it", but a certain ratio of hull thickness to ballast to keel design (the longer the better) will make him safe out there.  This is precisely why the Westsail 32 was created, to appeal to exactly these kinds of fears and inadequacies.  "If it's thick enough I can't sink."

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Well I do have some suffering credentials. When I was in Japan I travelled around carrying omikoshi at festivals around the country. I did weekly training for it. During the golden week holiday me and my friends crisscrossed the country sleeping in the car and carried at five different festivals. Festivals i participated in included Tejikara Fire Festival. One lasted twelve hours. It needs endurance. Google "mikoshi kobu"

I share some photos of my experiences here. https://www.instagram.com/tanoshii_matsuri/

 

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18 minutes ago, ysignal said:

Well I do have some suffering credentials. When I was in Japan I travelled around carrying omikoshi at festivals around the country. I did weekly training for it. During the golden week holiday me and my friends crisscrossed the country sleeping in the car and carried at five different festivals. Festivals i participated in included Tejikara Fire Festival. One lasted twelve hours. It needs endurance. Google "mikoshi kobu"

I share some photos of my experiences here. https://www.instagram.com/tanoshii_matsuri/

 

Suffering offshore for weeks with cold boarding seas is nothing like parading around Japan. FFS.

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15 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

Suffering offshore for weeks with cold boarding seas is nothing like parading around Japan. FFS.

I was reacting to the posts about whether I can handle suffering.

Quote

How old are you?  Are you in shape?  In good shape?  Have you ever run a half or full marathon?  Backcountry skin toured and slept in a snow cave?  These aren’t required, of course, but are you generally good at suffering?  Maybe take a mountaineering course and spend time in challenging conditions in the alpine to build your mental and physical threshold.  

Quote

That is probably the key issue for this planned trip.   Taking an overloaded small boat down to Patagonia will involve a lot of protracted suffering.

https://www.japan-talk.com/jt/new/mikoshi

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9 hours ago, ysignal said:

 Saving will be much easier once I actually have the boat.

Yeah.... nah....

Boats cost money to keep. Perhaps $1k per meter per year if you don't use it much and it starts out in great shape. More like double that or more if you are living on it and travelling.

It's a 'joke' that cruising is fixing your boat in exotic places - but only a joke in so far as everyone who has done it knows it's absolutely true.

I've never been vary far off shore - a few hundred miles maybe, so running for shelter is an option - but I've had many occasions where I would have liked to be on a bigger boat. Preferably one with wings at 30 000 ft if I'd had the choice.

I like light and fast rather than heavy. But for a small boat, once you put food and water for a long trip in it, light and fast becomes heavy slow and fragile. For a trip like you are planning, I'd want every metre of waterline I could get. You are talking a multi year plan anyway - there would be a lot of benefit in working for another year to save more money. And get some experience on deliveries etc at the same time.

FWIW I've been sailing since I was 10, including some coastal / offshore racing and living aboard my own boat for 6 months crusing. I wouldn't be brave enough to do what you are planning on anything smaller than ~45 ft with 3 capable crew. My experience is that life gets a lot easier with more hands, conversely it's a lot more stresful when you are the only one on board able to do much.

So good on you for having dreams.

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12 minutes ago, Fleetwood said:

They ain't going to Patagonia tho'!

If you get a well-found boat with the hull, rigging, sails, engine and systems in good condition and take it easy - potter from one anchorage to another - you may well get away with no extensive (expensive) maintenance for several years. If you take it into nasty parts of the world on extensive passages and don't have good mechanical, electrical and sailmaking skills, well that's another matter....

My point was that once I have the boat I'll be living aboard, wont have to pay rent and so will have more to invest in the boat. The post I was responding to was saying that just keeping the boat would cost 1k and would cost 2k per meter per year if I were living on it and travelling. Clearly untrue. There should be separate forums for people doing or planning on doing real sailing.

 

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8 hours ago, Zonker said:

Lots smaller I'm afraid. According the Wolfson Unit (Univ of Southhampton) that did a study, for a good chance (30% LOA) and near certainty at 60% of LOA. So a 8' wave might while a 16' breaking wave WILL capsize a 26' boat pretty consistently.  

Andy Claughton summarized it in the newest edition of Heavy Weather Sailing (Peter Bruce):

image.png.51cc33a79536845cc35c95a9e9a25999.png

 

 

 

Wasn't that comment just about the variations to what he called the fin keel parent model. Changing beam displacement keel area etc?

 

There have been designs that were historically immune to capsize.    Claughton didn't test anything that was considered specifically resistant to capsize. He limited his tests to more modern standard yachting hullforms.

There's a lot of work relative to this for commercial fishing vessels, including one good Canadian study. They looked at lots of factors all relevant to leisure boats too.

From the paper that was published by Claughton the following observation is interesting:

claughton full keel Capture.JPG

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I read something a while back that said that the righting moment thing was due to racing rules at the time. The author thought that this set boat design back by a decade and was responsible for the 1979 Fastnet disaster. I'll try to find it.

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42 minutes ago, ysignal said:

There should be separate forums for people doing or planning on doing real sailing.

Hahahaha.  You clearly have no idea how many highly-experienced sailors are active here.

If you were trying to sound like a troll, then good news: you succeeded.

If not, you have made a very big mistake.

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34 minutes ago, ysignal said:

I read something a while back that said that the righting moment thing was due to racing rules at the time. The author thought that this set boat design back by a decade and was responsible for the 1979 Fastnet disaster. I'll try to find it.

Yes, the IOR rule penalised low CoG, so many designers kept CoG high and relied on railmeat (aka crew) as ballast.   That really applied only in the IOR days of the 1970s and 1980s, and not all IOR boats cut this corner.  But none of the suggestions in this thread are impacted by this.

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9 hours ago, Raz'r said:

Sorry, that's a terrible idea. Diesel engines are highly reliable (if maintained), fuel is available, the propeller stays in the water when the boat is bouncing around in a seaway, they can charge your batteries after 10 days of overcast, etc., etc

Not too sure about this...

The diesel engine is heavy, so that reduces his payload, it also implies that the boat will stinks (at least smell a bit...) of diesel, as it is a small boat, plus he will never carry that much fuel on board so he won't be able to rely on it to go through calms or charge his batteries!

So the inconvenience of an outboard that can only work in calm water might be worth it!

Everyone's got different priorities but if I were to live on a small boat where everything is never more than a few metres away from you, I would not want to share my house with a diesel engine! It isn't like a diesel engine of a 35 footer that is well separated from the rest of the boat! If he is a good DIYer a UMA style conversion (at the beginning when they were skint) could even make sense.

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