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Old 23-07-2011, 14:41   #1
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Minimum Range for Circumnavigation of the Americas

I am wondering what the minimum range on a trawler has to be to circumnavigate the Americas (from FL to Patagonia and north to Alaska).
I am sure some on this forum have done this voyage and I was wondering about the maximum distance between refueling stations/harbors.

Would 500 or 800nm (lets say with 20% reserve) be sufficient?

I am not interested in ocean crossing or making it to the Galapagos or similar far away places at this point.

If the question appears stupid to some, sorry for that. I want to hear from folks who don't think it is beneath them to answer such a newbie question.
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Old 23-07-2011, 15:39   #2
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Re: Minimum range to do circumnavigation of the Americas

I don't think I have ever seen a trawler with that low of a cruise range but i wouldn't try circumnavigating South America with that low of a range. It would put the North West Passage out for sure if you want any reserve. I would want about at least 1500 nautical mile range and then I probably would carry reserve on deck. Don't forget, you will want some fuel for generator burn, heat, hot water, etc. The higher latitudes can get pretty cool even in the summer time.

I think that with 800 you could just do it, but you would have no real reserve and you would be stopping in places you might not want to stop at in order to "try" and get fuel. Some high latitude places don't always have enough fuel for passers through.
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Old 23-07-2011, 18:27   #3
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Re: Minimum Range to do Circumnavigation of the Americas

Thank you very much for the answer.

So, 1200 - 1500nm would be sufficient?

Would the same answer apply if you want to cruise in the Pacific (around Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tonga, American Samoa and French Polynesia)?

I have seen that the Nordhavn 43 and Kadey-Krogen 44 get about 3000nm (at low cruising speeds 7-8 knots). Being able to get away with less range opens the options of some other (cheaper) ocean trawlers or cruising faster (9-10 knots versus 7 knots) with the Nordhavns and K-K's.
There seems to be only 2 major oceangoing trawler builders that advertise those 3000+ nm ranges while most other trawlers may have anywhere from 800 to 2000nm range.
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Old 23-07-2011, 19:12   #4
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Re: Minimum Range to do Circumnavigation of the Americas

check out this thread

Powerboat Circumnavigation Possible ?
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Old 23-07-2011, 20:17   #5
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Re: Minimum Range to do Circumnavigation of the Americas

Have you considered buying and converting an fishing vessel? There are lots for sale that have the range you will need and are more commercially built then most trawlers.
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Old 23-07-2011, 20:24   #6
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Re: Minimum Range to do Circumnavigation of the Americas

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I actually saw the website and will buy the pdf book of part one.
The main difference is that the Admiral does not want to take the chance of open ocean crossing. My plans are to cruise initially in the Caribbean, then do the circumnavigation of the Americas.
At some point we would ship the boat to Europe and cruise there for a couple of months. Then ship it to Australia, check out the Pacific and finally ship it from Sydney back to the US.
I don't like the idea of being in the middle of the Ocean for a couple of weeks (months?) to do an Ocean crossing. Yes, I am chicken.

A fully equipped Nordhaven 43 or Kadey-Krogen 44 will probably run around $800K. Looking at trawlers that have 1200-1500nm range (at 7-8 knots) there are more options available and it should be possible to get a new boat for about $400K.

Is anyone aware of a website that has a compilation of trawlers and their specifications?

Thanks everybody.
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Old 23-07-2011, 20:31   #7
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Re: Minimum Range to do Circumnavigation of the Americas

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Have you considered buying and converting an fishing vessel? There are lots for sale that have the range you will need and are more commercially built then most trawlers.
I have not considered a fishing vessel.
Being a creature of comfort I would rather spend the extra money on a new trawler that is specifically build for a cruising couple.
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Old 23-07-2011, 20:50   #8
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Re: Minimum Range to do Circumnavigation of the Americas

I recall running the numbers once with 1800 gal of fuel capacity at 7 knots burning 4.5 gal/hour, I would make it from San Diego to Hawaii and dock with fumes in the tanks. It is about 2600 miles give or take I think. That was the longest passage between fuel stops for diesel. Plan was to add 500 gal in a bladder for insurance and run through that first then on to main tanks. Any slower but with the same fuel burn, add fuel. The boat was a DeFever 54 with twin D330 cats. Fuel consumption was confirmed on passage from Vancouver, Canada to San Diego around 2005. Health stopped us from going... plan was to aim for Australia. Capt Phil
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Old 23-07-2011, 20:56   #9
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Re: Minimum Range to do Circumnavigation of the Americas

Sounds like you need a fuel tank with a boat around it.
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Old 23-07-2011, 21:25   #10
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Re: Minimum Range to do Circumnavigation of the Americas

1200 nm is a reasonably common transit distance to Australian and Pacific Island destinations from N. New Zealand. Makes minimal allowance for alternate ports, alternate uses of fuel, and higher fuel consumption in adverse conditions.

Look at Jimmy Cornell, World Cruising Routes for detailed distance info. You could perhaps do more, safely with 1200-1500 nm if you dropped NZ off the Pacific itinerary. E.g. Brisbane, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga, Rarotonga, Tahiti. Going from Tahiti may be more comfortable, etc (trade winds).

Motor boats are not my thing, but the remote Pacific Ocean is not a place to run out of fuel ...
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Old 23-07-2011, 21:50   #11
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Re: Minimum Range to do Circumnavigation of the Americas

Thanks everybody for the info.
roger.waite: I would love to see the Bay of Island in New Zealand (and of course the rest of NZ). I could start in Sydney, then Tasmania, NZ South Island, circumnavigate NZ then back to Tasmania from the NZ South Island and north to Brisbane/Barrier Reef and then continue on your suggested itinerary.
Crudely measured in Google Earth the distance from Hobart, Tasmania to the South Island is about 850nm which seems to be doable with a 1200nm range trawler and still have 20% reserve.

perschace: As I do not plan to cross the Atlantic or the Pacific I need less than what Nordhavn and K-K offers.
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Old 23-07-2011, 22:47   #12
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Re: Minimum Range to do Circumnavigation of the Americas

Maybe you should consider something like this. It is designed for oceanic crossings and has a "come home" sail rig which can be used to reduce at-sea fuel consumption.

SEAHORSE MARINE&
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Old 23-07-2011, 23:18   #13
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Re: Minimum Range to do Circumnavigation of the Americas

Average current down the west coast of North America is 1 kt, so (coming up with a ludicrous example to make a point):

San Francisco to Cape Flattery, 667.8 nm, at 7 kt per hour for 4.5gal per hour, means making good 6 kt per hour, so 111.3 hours, 500.85 gallons of fuel, not accounting for the effects of wind. That's not nearly as bad as I thought, only 1.3 gallons of fuel per mile over the ground.

At $3 per gallon (over estimating cost, just to get an idea of the totals) that's only $1500 or so, which is still cheaper than airfare + hotel for the 3.5 days. Of course the full amortization would come up with something dramatically higher, but honestly I was thinking motoring was completely insanely expensive, more on the order of $15k for that trip.

Okay, I'll go sit in the corner now with my knee-jerk reaction being bruised and aching.
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Old 23-07-2011, 23:33   #14
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Re: Minimum Range to do Circumnavigation of the Americas

In one boat I owned, a sailboat, I had enough diesel tankage to make the run from Cabo San Lucas to San Diego. 750nm. But I always had to refuel in Turtle Bay, halfway up. It's the headwind and current, not the calculator, that rules the computation.
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Old 24-07-2011, 16:16   #15
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Re: Minimum Range for Circumnavigation of the Americas

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Originally Posted by sgunes View Post
I am wondering what the minimum range on a trawler has to be to circumnavigate the Americas (from FL to Patagonia and north to Alaska).

I have not done this, and really do not know, but for what it is worth (and a bump)...

I think that by far the longest you would have to go without fuel is in South Chile. You might research Chile cruising guides to find out what the longest there is.

I know several people on this forum have cruised Chile, so maybe one of them will chime in.
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