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Old 19-12-2014, 20:01   #1
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East pacific fuel stop

If one leaves under power from western US coast, where would you be able to get fuel? About how many gallons to get from coast to nearest island to refuel? I don't know consumption rate yet. We are seeking for a vessel to be donated that will be used in South Pacific. We are helping islanders provide assistance to fellow islanders. Would a 50 foot vessel be able to carry enough fuel to get from west coast to first fueling SW?
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Old 19-12-2014, 20:48   #2
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Re: East pacific fuel stop

It would if it was a sailboat.
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Old 19-12-2014, 20:48   #3
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Re: East pacific fuel stop

Would help a lot if you say where specifically you want to go.. Tahiti?? Hawaii?? South pacific?? anyway, it's more or less 3000 miles from west conus to south pacific.. you need a huge trawler, a nice motorsail or a sailboat...
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Old 20-12-2014, 01:21   #4
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Re: East pacific fuel stop

You need about 2300 mile range, 2500 to be safe. If the boat doesn't have enough internal tankage, you can carry bladders and drums of fuel.top

Unless you want to go to the eastern South Pacific, you are probably better off making Hawaii your first stop. Otherwise you will need more like 3000 mile range.

A 50 ft boat should have the capacity to carry enough fuel to get you there.
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Old 20-12-2014, 05:20   #5
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Re: East pacific fuel stop

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Lori.
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Old 20-12-2014, 10:21   #6
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Re: East pacific fuel stop

Boats are powered to Hawaii and back to the mainland occasionally. Owners add temporary fuel storage like bladders or lashed fuel drums to extend range. Heading East, once past Hawaii distances between possible fuel stops is less. You'd want to be sure that any planned fuel stops have enough fuel to meet your needs and pre-position fuel if necessary.
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Old 21-12-2014, 00:18   #7
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Re: East pacific fuel stop



Hi Lori, Funny you should ask. I just spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to get a 47’ power catamaran from Florida or the Caribbean to Hawaii. First of all don’t even consider a single-engine boat unless it carries a lot of fuel. I’ll tell you why later. The shortest distance from the US West Coast to Hawaii is from Monterey, CA to Hilo, HI. That’s 2,020 nautical miles. The boat I’m looking at will go not quite half of that on internal tanks alone. I will need a 400 gallon fuel bladder (or two 200 gallon ones to spread out the load better). I would also carry 50 to 100 gallons of emergency fuel in plastic containers. I’m also discussing with some of my kite-surfing buddies about attaching a kite to the foredeck since after the first 2-3 days off of the west coast it’s typically down-wind all the way to Hawaii. This could add a couple of knots to the speed and further reduce fuel consumption.




The shortest distance from anyplace between Alaska and the tip of South America to anyplace in the central or south Pacific (Easter Island) is over 1,800 nautical miles. Panama to Hawaii is almost 5,000 nm.


One or two engines? Here’s why you want a really slow boat with two really efficient engines. Typically you will get the maximum range by running on one engine at a time. This may not be true of all boats but it is for many. I can send you a video of this for the same boat I might be buying. They are built in South Africa and are motored to Florida, the Caribbean and everywhere in the World that they are sold.

Another reason for efficiency is fuel is expensive once you’re in the central and south Pacific and away from the coasts of North and South America.

I know of one guy, a former colleague, who has done Hawaii to the US mainland with 36-50 foot power boats using this technique. He did extensive testing in Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii with a UH professor of hydrodynamics before he attempted the first crossing. It seems the drag created by the rudder offset to counteract the asymmetric thrust of the single prop on one side only cost Ĺ to 3/4 of knot of boat speed but just about doubled the range.




The second reason for two engines is redundancy; two of anything is almost always better that one. If one breaks down or if you hit something that wipes out one prop and shaft it probably won’t take out the other one, especially if it’s not running and it’s a large catamaran with twenty feet between the engines. My friend even dove over the side half way and swapped the prop from one side to the other. That way only one prop and shaft was exposed to damage at a time and it equalized the run times on the engines.




There is a book “Voyaging Under Power” which I haven’t read yet but might be of value. If you will send me your email address in your response perhaps we can help each other out. Jack



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Old 21-12-2014, 07:19   #8
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Re: East pacific fuel stop

Thanks for each of your expertise!!! Your in put is invaluable. I'd welcome any more advise or knowledge anyone has!
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Old 21-12-2014, 09:44   #9
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Re: East pacific fuel stop

Lori, Contact me at jmsnorthwest@gmail.com
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Old 21-12-2014, 10:00   #10
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Re: East pacific fuel stop

If you head East after passing Hawaii, like you said, won't you just head back to Hawaii or the west coast?
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Old 21-12-2014, 11:04   #11
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Re: East pacific fuel stop

Lori, One other thought...The south and east Pacific has plenty of fuel stops within 1,000nm or less but not if you want to go a 15 or 20 knots. Price is another matter. If you're happy with 10 knots or less you can make most of them on internal fuel with careful planning and maybe 100 gals. of emergency fuel with the type of boat I'm considering (1.5gals per hr. per engine).
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Old 21-12-2014, 12:09   #12
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Re: East pacific fuel stop

Motoring across the Pacific is going to require thousands of gallons of fuel and will cost you tens of thousands of dollars. If you want to help Pacific Islanders, perhaps a more cost-effective solution would be to donate that money directly to local agencies on the islands you wish to assist.
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Old 21-12-2014, 13:48   #13
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Re: East pacific fuel stop

I meant to describe a vessel departing US west coast and heading SW. Thereafter the vessel will be used by our island friends to assist their neighboring islands. A cargo vessel with sails would be great.
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Old 21-12-2014, 14:19   #14
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Re: East pacific fuel stop

Solar panels and electric drive..and a kite.
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