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Old 09-12-2014, 15:48   #31
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Re: Hunter 356 Bluewater Capable?

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
...

Could they go up the coast? Yes, but most who have tried it in very capable boats won't do it again.
It seems to me you have answered yourself. Off course they should go by the coast and sail only when the conditions are good or do you mean that besides contrary winds the conditions are always bad, even in the summer? That don't seem to make sense.
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Old 09-12-2014, 17:29   #32
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Re: Hunter 356 Bluewater Capable?

I would like to know out of all the people that do the BaHa, how many coastal cruise back up? If it was my choice, taking a 30 something Hunter would not be the way I would beat up the coast. But each to his own.
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Old 09-12-2014, 17:57   #33
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Re: Hunter 356 Bluewater Capable?

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It seems to me you have answered yourself. Off course they should go by the coast and sail only when the conditions are good or do you mean that besides contrary winds the conditions are always bad, even in the summer? That don't seem to make sense.
What do you mean, "of course they should go by the coast". "Of course"? You should sail that coast first, and only then give advice about it. Or at least read Jimmy Cornell. Or ask someone.

I have sailed it, in a Swan 90. It is an inhospitable and difficult place, with stretches of hundreds of miles with no shelter. Nor do you have unlimited time to work with, as much of this route is in the hurricane belt. Very strong prevailing winds and currents against you. Very tough even in a Swan 90. The standard way is to sail out to Hawaii, then North to above the North Pacific High, then East to San Francisco, many thousands of miles of ocean sailing, but much easier and safer than bashing up the coast, especially in a small boat. The alternative is to ship the boat overland -- many do just that rather than battle with that coast.
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Old 09-12-2014, 18:27   #34
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Re: Hunter 356 Bluewater Capable?

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...
I have sailed it, in a Swan 90. It is an inhospitable and difficult place, with stretches of hundreds of miles with no shelter. Nor do you have unlimited time to work with, as much of this route is in the hurricane belt. Very strong prevailing winds and currents against you. Very tough even in a Swan 90. The standard way is to sail out to Hawaii, then North to above the North Pacific High, then East to San Francisco, many thousands of miles of ocean sailing, but much easier and safer than bashing up the coast, especially in a small boat. The alternative is to ship the boat overland -- many do just that rather than battle with that coast.
If there are no ports or shelters and the conditions are as you say I would say you are right and then he should try his cruising offshore legs on some less demanding waters before feel sure to try that one. But first he had to decide on those less demanding offshore experiences if he feels comfortable to do that with the boat he has. Only then it makes sense to spend all the money needed to equip the boat for long range cruising or to decide that he needs a bigger and more seaworthy boat with more tankage.
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Old 09-12-2014, 18:58   #35
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Re: Hunter 356 Bluewater Capable?

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Originally Posted by FightinGravity View Post
My wife and I are planning to leave for a nice bluewater cruise in March from Delaware. We are currently planning to sail from Delaware to San Francisco through Panama but do not want to feel restrained if we decide to hop across the Pacific.

I bought our Hunter 356 as a step between our old Cal 25 and a larger bluewater boat but I am having second thoughts about moving on from the hunter. The boat serves all of our coastal sailing needs and is very comfortable - fun to sail.

So here is the question. Any 356 owners with significant bluewater experience? Any recommended upgrades to take my 356 out for a circumnavigation? Any reasons to move on to a dedicated bluewater boat? Anybody have spares for sale
Well, that's a challenging "nice bluewater cruise". Leaving Delaware in march may be too late? When do you think you will be in Panama to transit the Canal?

I think you will have some questions answered once you make it through the Windward Passage and actually make Panama. I've done it on a 46' cat as crew. Not sure how I'd like doing it on my 36' Hunter, but that's just me.

I left the boat in Cartagena. They went through the Canal, and headed for Hawaii. Turned back twice with damage. Once back to Panama, and to Costa Rica the second time. Both times due to heavy squalls in late spring/early summer.

Surely, it would be cheaper to ship your boat? Of course.... where's the fun in that?

Good luck
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Old 09-12-2014, 19:34   #36
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Re: Hunter 356 Bluewater Capable?

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If there are no ports or shelters and the conditions are as you say I would say you are right and then he should try his cruising offshore legs on some less demanding waters before feel sure to try that one. But first he had to decide on those less demanding offshore experiences if he feels comfortable to do that with the boat he has. Only then it makes sense to spend all the money needed to equip the boat for long range cruising or to decide that he needs a bigger and more seaworthy boat with more tankage.
There aren't, which is why some one should at least read pilot guides, or other references, before making recommendations like, "Of course you should go up the coast" if one has not been there themselves.

It would be like me making a recommendation for someone to cross the Bay of Biscay in February. In a 34 foot coastal cruiser. I wouldn't know what the heck I was talking about, and I would not embarrass myself by suggesting something I was not familiar with. Gosh, one might as well suggest a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island in winter time.
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Old 09-12-2014, 19:35   #37
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Re: Hunter 356 Bluewater Capable?

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Surely, it would be cheaper to ship your boat? Of course.... where's the fun in that?

Good luck
Ralph
I have a hunch SmackDaddy can provide you with names of plenty of boat shippers.
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Old 09-12-2014, 20:13   #38
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Re: Hunter 356 Bluewater Capable?

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Gosh, one might as well suggest a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island in winter time.
I don't see why that is such a big deal. At present, it has calmed down a bit. Winds are at 21 Knots, and average swell is 21 feet. What's so bad about the west coast of Vancouver?
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Old 09-12-2014, 20:31   #39
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Re: Hunter 356 Bluewater Capable?

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I don't see why that is such a big deal. At present, it has calmed down a bit. Winds are at 21 Knots, and average swell is 21 feet. What's so bad about the west coast of Vancouver?
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Phffft... walk in the park. I see it is calm. Think I should get a MacGregor to do it in? Might be good practise for the Bering Straights.
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Old 09-12-2014, 21:17   #40
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Re: Hunter 356 Bluewater Capable?

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Originally Posted by Exile View Post
I have a hunch SmackDaddy can provide you with names of plenty of boat shippers.
I was being serious. What's the cost to move the boat from Delaware to San Francisco, including Panama Canal transit fees vs shipping? Still, would be a heck of an adventure.

Hey, it's a pretty serious passage on any boat. Once through the Canal, it's about 4500 miles to Hilo, and how far to San Francisco? Leaving in March from Delaware, the race is on against hurricane season. Anyway, I figure anyone that knows what is involved making this "nice bluewater cruise", wouldn't be asking if his boat was up to the task....

Does the "man" behind the curtain pay people to start these Hunter threads? Send some my way.

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Old 10-12-2014, 05:13   #41
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Re: Hunter 356 Bluewater Capable?

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
Phffft... walk in the park. I see it is calm. Think I should get a MacGregor to do it in? Might be good practise for the Bering Straights.
LOLOLOL.

You're killing me

Where's that ROTFLMAO smiley?
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Old 10-12-2014, 05:41   #42
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Re: Hunter 356 Bluewater Capable?

Let's be serious for a minute and try to help the OP.

As you may have gathered from the different comments, getting to San Francisco from the U.S. East Coast is an extremely challenging voyage.

If the main purpose is to get the boat to San Francisco, really, shipping it will be cheaper and vastly easier.

If on the other hand you want a blue water adventure, a trans-Atlantic to Europe will be much easier, and cruising in Europe is vastly more interesting (like, 10,000 times more interesting) than in Northern California.

A high latitude W to E Transat is a pretty big challenge, but it can be done. And despite what some on here will tell you, can surely be done on that boat.

The main challenge will be weather, as you will pass through an area with regular gales. Extremely good weather planning and routing will be essential.

I don't think preparation of the boat need be ridiculously expensive. You shouldn't underestimate it, but you shouldn't be discouraged before you even start thinking about it.

The main things are these:

1. Backup steering. A wind vane with separate rudder is great for this. Besides giving you a backup rudder, it gives you a power-free way to steer. And concerning the primary steering -- drop the rudder out and have an expert go through thee entire steering system with a fine tooth comb.

2. Double, triple check the rig and all rigging. Replace standing rigging if in any doubt. Lots of spares for all kinds of rigging.

3. Sails. Sails should be in good condition -- you will do a fair amount of sailing upwind, and a few thousands mile passage puts a lot of wear and tear on sails. Backups are a good idea.

4. Drag device for storm situation. A Jordan Series Drogue is ideal. You must be sure you have strong enough attachment points for it. With this and proper technique, you should be ok in anything up to a F9 or F10 even in that little boat, and the risk of getting into anything worse than that should be vanishingly small with decent weather planning.

5. Comms. SSB or sat phone, preferably both. For this passage, you MUST have a way of getting weather every day.

6. EPIRB, liferaft, other safety gear.

7. Fuel, water, food. You will have to work out yourself how much you need and how you will store it. A water maker is a fabulous luxury, but not essential.

8. Electrical power. A surprising number of ocean crossings are spoiled because of failure of electrical power supply. You should have two or three ways of keeping your batteries charged. A complete spare alternator is a really good idea, too.

9. Machinery. Make sure the main engine and all the machinery is in perfect condition. I am assuming that your main engine is your only mechanical way to generate electrical power, so it is mission critical, even if you know you won't do any significant motoring on passage (because you can't possibly carry enough fuel to motor any significant mileage).

10. Watertight integrity. Absence of leaks above or below the waterline, good through hulls and hoses. Redundant bilge pumps including a hand operated crash pump. Sturdy wash boards which can be securely locked in place.

11. Spares and tools.

12. Skills and knowledge. Can't give you advice here, because I don't know what your do or don't know. But you will need a certain amount of skill and knowledge in a number of discplines, for this to be safe and fun. None of it is rocket science, just requires some preparation.


There are other details, and I'm sure others will chime in, but that's more or less the basics. If your boat is in good condition to start with, it might not cost more than $30k or so.

The other good thing about doing a Transat to Europe, is that the way back is an easy tradewinds sail to the Caribbean via the Canaries. After having started out with the hard passage, everything else will seem easy.

Concerning the choice of boat: Obviously a light and small boat like yours is not ideal, and people will try to discourage you. A larger and/or stronger boat will obviously be more comfortable, safer, etc. But these days, with good weather information available, few sailors crossing oceans, other than Southern Ocean, North Atlantic out of season, etc., ever see anything above a F8. A F8 is not dangerous in your boat if you have appropriate skills and knowledge and a decent drag device.
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Old 10-12-2014, 05:51   #43
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Re: Hunter 356 Bluewater Capable?

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Originally Posted by Group9 View Post
I stopped in Marathon several years ago, at a marina on my way to the Bahamas, for a couple of weeks and was somewhat amused at the number of people who had been preparing their boats for a trip to the Bahamas for several years, but had never actually gone yet.

One, a Tayana 37, owned by a couple, one of who worked at the local West Marine, and was next to me, looked like it would sink if one more piece of stainless steel hardware, solar panels, electronics, wind generator, or other gear, was bolted to the deck, mast, or stern pulpit. They had been preparing for the Bahamas crossing for two years they said.

On the other side of me was a Morgan Out Island 33 that had been preparing for the crossing for five years.

It's 44 freaking miles across, for God's sake.
+1

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I got my boat in maybe March or Apr of this yr? First sailboat.
In July we went on a mini-cruise as I still work, we left Panama City and went to Tarpon Springs and down the west cost of Fl and came back.
When we got back, several of the people that had owned boats for years were asking all kinds of question on how to do that, that they were getting ready to go.
they haven't moved yet, Geez it's just a two or three day sail, if I can do it, anybody can.

I think for some it's the dream of if I wanted to I can, but they never just go.

I'm thinking Dry Tortugas this yr, if I can do that in two weeks anyway.
Good on you MANG!
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Old 10-12-2014, 05:52   #44
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Re: Hunter 356 Bluewater Capable?

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
There aren't, which is why some one should at least read pilot guides, or other references, before making recommendations like, "Of course you should go up the coast" if one has not been there themselves.

It would be like me making a recommendation for someone to cross the Bay of Biscay in February. In a 34 foot coastal cruiser. I wouldn't know what the heck I was talking about, and I would not embarrass myself by suggesting something I was not familiar with. Gosh, one might as well suggest a circumnavigation of Vancouver Island in winter time.
You have a way of being disagreeable or aggressive when there is no need or justification. The content of my contribution that I thought useful has not to do with sailing those waters but with the knowledge I have with the type of boat the OP is talking about. Most here sail older boats, many bigger boats, few sail modern boats of that size. I sailed many thousands of miles on a boat similar to the one he has, many of them offshore, I know people that had crossed the Atlantic in boats like those and had circumnavigated in them and I know how they were prepared and what is needed to go offshore on one of those.

My contribution had to do with that knowledge that I though useful to someone that is thinking to make the same on a similar boat and my advise was to do first some small offshore passages before attempting a big one and in the process to evaluate if he fell confidence on the boat and in himself to do that or if he feels the need of a bigger boat. also with the way he should equip his boat if he decides to sail extensively offshore on it.

It was you that said that voyage going north could be made by the coast, even if not an easy one for most. I obviously do not know that coast nor my advise had to do with that, except in what concerns not to make it to Hawaii without previous offshore considerable experience.
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Old 10-12-2014, 06:45   #45
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Re: Hunter 356 Bluewater Capable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Let's be serious for a minute and try to help the OP.

As you may have gathered from the different comments, getting to San Francisco from the U.S. East Coast is an extremely challenging voyage.

If the main purpose is to get the boat to San Francisco, really, shipping it will be cheaper and vastly easier.

If on the other hand you want a blue water adventure, a trans-Atlantic to Europe will be much easier, and cruising in Europe is vastly more interesting (like, 10,000 times more interesting) than in Northern California.

A high latitude W to E Transat is a pretty big challenge, but it can be done. And despite what some on here will tell you, can surely be done on that boat.

The main challenge will be weather, as you will pass through an area with regular gales. Extremely good weather planning and routing will be essential.

I don't think preparation of the boat need be ridiculously expensive. You shouldn't underestimate it, but you shouldn't be discouraged before you even start thinking about it.

The main things are these:

1. Backup steering. A wind vane with separate rudder is great for this. Besides giving you a backup rudder, it gives you a power-free way to steer. And concerning the primary steering -- drop the rudder out and have an expert go through thee entire steering system with a fine tooth comb.

2. Double, triple check the rig and all rigging. Replace standing rigging if in any doubt. Lots of spares for all kinds of rigging.

3. Sails. Sails should be in good condition -- you will do a fair amount of sailing upwind, and a few thousands mile passage puts a lot of wear and tear on sails. Backups are a good idea.

4. Drag device for storm situation. A Jordan Series Drogue is ideal. You must be sure you have strong enough attachment points for it. With this and proper technique, you should be ok in anything up to a F9 or F10 even in that little boat, and the risk of getting into anything worse than that should be vanishingly small with decent weather planning.

5. Comms. SSB or sat phone, preferably both. For this passage, you MUST have a way of getting weather every day.

6. EPIRB, liferaft, other safety gear.

7. Fuel, water, food. You will have to work out yourself how much you need and how you will store it. A water maker is a fabulous luxury, but not essential.

8. Electrical power. A surprising number of ocean crossings are spoiled because of failure of electrical power supply. You should have two or three ways of keeping your batteries charged. A complete spare alternator is a really good idea, too.

9. Machinery. Make sure the main engine and all the machinery is in perfect condition. I am assuming that your main engine is your only mechanical way to generate electrical power, so it is mission critical, even if you know you won't do any significant motoring on passage (because you can't possibly carry enough fuel to motor any significant mileage).

10. Watertight integrity. Absence of leaks above or below the waterline, good through hulls and hoses. Redundant bilge pumps including a hand operated crash pump. Sturdy wash boards which can be securely locked in place.

11. Spares and tools.

12. Skills and knowledge. Can't give you advice here, because I don't know what your do or don't know. But you will need a certain amount of skill and knowledge in a number of discplines, for this to be safe and fun. None of it is rocket science, just requires some preparation.


There are other details, and I'm sure others will chime in, but that's more or less the basics. If your boat is in good condition to start with, it might not cost more than $30k or so.

The other good thing about doing a Transat to Europe, is that the way back is an easy tradewinds sail to the Caribbean via the Canaries. After having started out with the hard passage, everything else will seem easy.

Concerning the choice of boat: Obviously a light and small boat like yours is not ideal, and people will try to discourage you. A larger and/or stronger boat will obviously be more comfortable, safer, etc. But these days, with good weather information available, few sailors crossing oceans, other than Southern Ocean, North Atlantic out of season, etc., ever see anything above a F8. A F8 is not dangerous in your boat if you have appropriate skills and knowledge and a decent drag device.
Dockhead, IMHO, you have nailed the essence and essential points of preparation for ocean crossings in one post.

I endorse and second the Atlantic circle route suggestion as this is what we did, 2010 - 2012 and it was pure magic. Make sure you jump over to fjords of Norway on the way around. I think about that two year trip every day while I am sitting here in the office. In many ways I wish it had never ended.
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