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Old 16-08-2014, 16:37   #1
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Med to Carribean

Hi Guys [and gals?]

Im a new boy to forums but have a 'project' that I feel needs a bit of 'other' input on.
Im looking to take an older Carver 53 Pilothouse [2000] from the med to the caribean and the most logical route seems to be from Gib to Tennerife, Cape Verde then jump to northern south america about Surimane is the shortest hop so would love to hear from anyone who has tried this route [and preferrably succeded] in a power boat.
Obviously this poses quite a few questions that Im looking for some comment on.
1. Is the boat up to it? I think that it is with a few blue water mods, would love to hear from someone on the carver build/design team as to their impressions of their craft- biased or otherwise? Anyone else got one that they have tested a bit more than is expected of these?
With the light trades behind me some time from november to march what am I likely to encounter, any stick boaters done it this time of year? would be nice to hear that you were becalmed most of the way?
2.Motor use? the only way I think that I can make the range [even with a 'few' drums on deck] is to run on 1 motor at about 7 knts which Im picking is about 1400 revs [Im 2000 miles from the boat so cant test the fuel burn down here] looking for a burn of about 2 nm per galon or in european about 2 litres to the nm. [any owners of these that would like to try this and report would be really great] ie 14 litres per hour at 7 kts. The boat is running original cummins 420/450 hp I think 8 litre block motors with around 700 hrs on them, Ive heard that these are arguable about the best motors a boat of this era can have? [dont get too bogged down in an arguement about this!!!!] so hope that the torque of these motors is up to the load of running on 1 motor down at these revs??? any comment?
I would run each motor for about 8 hours then do a high rev run at changeover, is a longer run better, Ive heard that truckers dont like to turn their motors off but preferr to leave them running at stops as 90% of engine wear occurs at startup till working temp is reached so would 12 or 24 hr runs be better for the motors??
Where are you when I need you diesel experts???
Im sure that some of you will have a few other issues with my trip so feel free to chirp up?

Im an old [ish] Kiwi boatie who has spent most of his life close to or on the water and since we are pretty close to the southern ocean have seen a few days of 'moving mountains' in my boating life, when we leave home our nearest shelter, Australia is 1500 miles away so we get to be a little self reliant and prepared so not entirely bunnies on boats but its always sensible to get [and listen to!!] all the info you can before you get your feet wet so would really appreciate any input you all have.

Someone once told me that the only time you should get off your boat is when you have to step up! be it the wharf or the lifeboat! so far, luckily, its only been the wharf?

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Old 17-08-2014, 14:00   #2
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Re: Med to Carribean

Does the boat have any type of stabilizer? If not, I suspect this would be a pretty ugly trip.
Its a slightly shorter distance to Barbados -- just under 3,000 miles.

Paul L
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Old 17-08-2014, 16:04   #3
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Re: Med to Carribean

Didn't You think about going from Cape Verde to Fernando da Noronha?
It is less than 1300 nm, island itself is beatiful and from there You can go north coastal hopping as You wish...


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Old 17-08-2014, 16:31   #4
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Re: Med to Carribean

The route is as you asked but towards the americas this depends on whether you go to Brasil or rather to the West Indies.

Your shortest shot would be Cabo Verde to French Guyana or else to Barbados.

If you want to go to Brasil, then aim for places well East from French Guyana or else be ready to coast later (against predominant wind and current, except you can count on some counter-current close inshore BUT then you will be exposed to plenty of small local fishing boats that do not show any lights at night ...)

This much said, your decision may be more influenced by wx patterns than anything else. I want to say that you may opt for a longer route when this route is more in line with existing winds and currents. And existing winds may vary considerably from what you will read in the annualized statistics (a.k.a. Pilot Charts). Each year is different.

Before you get to the Canaries, you will know what engine regime turns out the desired number of miles per gallon. Many twin screw boats run engines one at a time on very long passages, but others use both engines at slower revs. Slower revs give you the extra range, all other things equal.

In Canaries, you can refuel anywhere, but do pick up a reliable source in Gibraltar - I have seen boats coming with tanks full of shmuck.

In Cabo Verde your best refueling shot may be Mindelho. Be very, very, VERY careful when refueling there. Get plenty of spare filters, get hot swapable (Racor, etc) filters on your engines. Get fuel bladders, if you have any doubt if your tankage is adequate.

If at all possible, think if any sort of sail could be possibly hoisted: this may make your passage shorter, save fuel, stabilize the boat.

All the best!

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Old 17-08-2014, 16:44   #5
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Re: Med to Carribean

We have a pasive stabiliser system to fit, yet to see how this will work but obviously better than nothing. At 7 knots there is not too much strain on them. [till the wind gets up !!]
By my calcs Suriname is about 200nm less than Barbados from Cape Verde
but more importantly gives us the option of a landfall in Brazil if we get pushed south with an even shorter jump distance. Always good to have a plan B even if its one that leaves you a little way from where you want to be!
Would be interesting to hear from a yachtie who has made the trip if I can find one? The best time of the year for them is probably the best for us- wind behind us- even if not the flatest!!
Sounds a bit stupid to a motorboater but am also considering hoisting a tempory 8m aluminium pole from the flybridge to carry a steading sail [jenoa type down to the fordeck] to help the motion and maybe unload the single motor a bit if the wind forcast looks like we can get a week or so of it on the tail. Its a cheap enough rig that if we get some use out of it and it then gets a bit messy we can just drop the whole thing on the deck [or over the side] an go on regardless.
In our part of the world you still see a few of the older round bottom launches hoisting a steading sail to take a bit of the roll out of them.
If you are brave [or silly ] enough to try these sorts of passages you have to be prepared to think out of the square a little! But will obviously give the mast idea a try in some quiet water first and see what sort of bother we get into with it. I dont think that Carver will want any of the pictures for their advertising brochures tho!
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Old 17-08-2014, 17:07   #6
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Re: Med to Carribean

Hi Tomasz,
Hadnt actually looked at going that far south due to the haul back to civilisation as we know it, but looking at the distances that is almost possible on internal tankage with maybe just 1 bladder as reserve so worth considdering? Thanks for the eye opener!!

B : as you can see above Im 1 step ahead with the sail idea, Ive done the odd ocean passage on stick boats that we havent changed tack for 5 or 6 days on end so know that if it goes well it could be well worth the effort to try it, Ive also tried the odd thing that when its gone wrong has been bordering on suicide to try to get back under control so will give it a good try out in civilisation before we leave.
your comments on the diesel are well noted thanks.
Any comment on the more southerly route to Fernando da Noronha?
is diesel cheap in Brasil cause its a fair way back up the coast!!

PS: thanks all for your input, thought I may have been ignored as a bit off the board on this one, Anyone had a Carver in really dirty deep water weather?

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