Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 17-05-2011, 14:34   #1
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 4
Falmouth, Cornwall to Falmouth, Jamaica - Advice ?

Hi,

A friend and I are planning to sail across the Atlantic this October. The route we will be taking stops at the Canaries to re-stock and wait for the trade winds to carry us across.

The boat we will be using is a 25 ft 4-berth cold-moulded plywood yacht built in 60s - she has completed the trip once in the 80s, and is in good condition - I don't have any more technical details at the moment.

My friend has more sailing experience than I do; I will get as much experience as possible over the summer, and we are planning to go to the Isles of Scilly beforehand to get used to the boat.

I have never done anything like this trip before, so I am looking for general advice as well as specific advice on what type of equipment and supplies we will need.

We are both sensible and know how to handle ourselves on the water, and we won't set sail if either of us has any doubts about it, but we are determined and prepared to do and learn whatever is necessary to get ourselves and the boat fit to undertake the journey, so any information, tips/advice or words of caution you can offer would be much appreciated.

Cheers,

Gus
__________________

__________________
gusblake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-05-2011, 14:57   #2
Registered User
 
swagman's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Winter land based UK New Forest. Summer months away. Making the transition from sail to power this year - scary stuff.
Boat: Super Van Craft 1320 Power Yacht
Posts: 2,175
Images: 10
Send a message via Skype™ to swagman
Re: Falmouth, Cornwall to Falmouth, Jamaica - advice?

Hi Gus,

It sounds like you are taking some big steps, but you'll find plenty of web info on what is needed to kit out a boat for an Atlantic crossing.........just use google.

I've met several people with similar experience levels to yourself and got across OK even tho' most we quite shaken by their experiences, but I'm trusting you'll gain sufficient competence over the time you'll take to travel from the Scillies to Canaries - just don't rush anything.........

In fact, it might be sensible to leave your departure for a year. You could sail south and enjoy 12 months slippping around the Med and really get on top of your sailing skills before taking that big step.

If you're seriously going in a 50 year old wooden boat, then my only suggestion it to get it professionally checked over before you invest in it. Boats deteriorate pretty swiftly if uncared for, and you say its 30 years since it last completed such a passage.....

I wish you well in turning the dream into reality - just be really sure to gain enough knowledge to sail safely.

Cheers

JOHN
__________________

__________________
Don't take life too seriously. No ones going to make it out alive......Go see our blog at http://www.sailblogs.com/member/yachtswagman/
swagman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-05-2011, 15:00   #3
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,203
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate Re: Falmouth, Cornwall to Falmouth, Jamaica - advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gusblake View Post
Hi,

A friend and I are planning to sail across the Atlantic this October. The route we will be taking stops at the Canaries to re-stock and wait for the trade winds to carry us across.

The boat we will be using is a 25 ft 4-berth cold-moulded plywood yacht built in 60s - she has completed the trip once in the 80s, and is in good condition - I don't have any more technical details at the moment.

My friend has more sailing experience than I do; I will get as much experience as possible over the summer, and we are planning to go to the Isles of Scilly beforehand to get used to the boat.

I have never done anything like this trip before, so I am looking for general advice as well as specific advice on what type of equipment and supplies we will need.

We are both sensible and know how to handle ourselves on the water, and we won't set sail if either of us has any doubts about it, but we are determined and prepared to do and learn whatever is necessary to get ourselves and the boat fit to undertake the journey, so any information, tips/advice or words of caution you can offer would be much appreciated.

Cheers,

Gus
Hi Gusblake... Welcome to CF...
Nice adventure you have ahead...
Supplies... hammm.. suggest you wander into Sainsbury's Tesco's etc... they have some nice ranges of pre-cooked food vacumn packed which are fairly good and store really well in the bilges... things like lamb casseroles, bourginouns, bacon/potato fry ups etc around 2quid a pack... 1 pack/person..
start stocking those around August and by the time you sail you'll have enough to last the crossing... also stock up on semi dried fruits and nuts which are really good snacks.. the energy bars are great as well... particularly like the Honey Almond & Oatmeal...
All this stuff I'd not touch till the crossing... its lightweight, very easy to store which you'll need as in a 25ft + 2 peeps your gonna need all the space saving you can find for a crossing that could take you upto 30 days...
From the UK to the Canaries you can stock up as you go on fresh foods for day/weekly needs...
Cuppa Soups are also great... Pot noodles which a lot are addicted to..
Basmati rice... 1 cup rice 2 cups water bring to boil turn of heat leave for 10 mins with lid on and its cooked... cuts down on gas use...
Suggest also some bottles of multi vitamins... cod liver oil capsules... a good first aid kit...
That would keep me happy on a crossing... but others may need more...
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-05-2011, 15:45   #4
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Re: Falmouth, Cornwall to Falmouth, Jamaica - advice?

My advice would be to spend at least a week onboard together (ideally involving at least some travel). Half way down to Spain would be a bad time for each of you to discover that 25 is too small for you both

Having said that, no reason at all why can't be done Just the usual things needed. Food, water, some navigational ability and boat not sinking

And let us know what the boat is - just for nosiness purposes
__________________
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-05-2011, 16:09   #5
Registered User
 
wolfaroo's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: UK South Coast
Boat: Unknown MFV 60ft
Posts: 111
Re: Falmouth, Cornwall to Falmouth, Jamaica - advice?

Hi Gus... Great adventure

Don't underestimate the sun - you'll probably spend a lot of time in the cockpit on a 25 footer so try to rig some shade, get a good hat, sunnies and take some sunblock

A few books will help you both get some time out from each other when needed - can be very important

In the meantime, PM me if you need any ebooks on navigation/seamanship/weather/provisioning etc, I've got heaps.

Please keep us posted

Cheers,
Neal
__________________
"It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end."
Ursula Le Guin
wolfaroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-05-2011, 16:16   #6
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,203
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate Re: Falmouth, Cornwall to Falmouth, Jamaica - advice?

Free Audio Books - Adventure - Download mp3 and iPod format today!
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-05-2011, 16:29   #7
Registered User
 
wolfaroo's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: UK South Coast
Boat: Unknown MFV 60ft
Posts: 111
Re: Falmouth, Cornwall to Falmouth, Jamaica - advice?

super link, cheers
__________________
"It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end."
Ursula Le Guin
wolfaroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-05-2011, 04:25   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 4
Re: Falmouth, Cornwall to Falmouth, Jamaica - Advice ?

Thanks for all the advice; I will get more details of the boat tomorrow and post them here.

We have arranged for a surveyor to have a look at the boat, and will get him to check out any work we do on it as well.
__________________
gusblake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-05-2011, 05:05   #9
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,743
Re: Falmouth, Cornwall to Falmouth, Jamaica - Advice ?

It's a very small boat for ocean crossings, and you will not be very comfortable, but other than the trip across Biscay to La Coruna it should be an easy downhill run with little risk of bad weather, if you pick the season right.

The boat should be very carefully and thoroughly prepared and you should be absolutely certain that it is in perfect condition, particularly rig, rigging, sails, steering gear, navigation equipment, through-hulls, and other mission-critical items.

You should make a written plan of what needs to be inspected and/or replaced or added, and execute this plan systematically. Once the boat is in the condition you think it needs to be to be ready to go, take the boat out for a week or two in rough conditions to test everything -- a proper shakedown cruise.

Concerning equipment, I would say the following, which is by no means a complete list:

1. Spares for all of the sails. If the existing sails are in good condition, buy new ones and keep the old ones as spares. A spare shroud the length of your longest piece of standing rigging, and StaLok or other terminals needed to use it. Spare ropes of all kinds. Sail repair kit. A bolt cutter for cutting standing rigging in case you get rolled over and dismasted.

2. Special downwind sails of some kind. From the Canaries to the Caribbean is often downwind the whole time, and regular Bermuda rigged yachts don't sail very efficiently downwind. On a boat that size, a regular spinnaker shouldn't be too difficult to use. You can also try twin headsails, like a twizzle rig.

3. Plenty of food and water. You cannot predict how long it will take you, so you need to be prepared for the worst case scenario in terms of length of passage. In a boat that size, it will take a LONG time. Don't rely on a single water tank -- it can get tainted or get drained accidentally. You'll have to be careful not to overload a boat that size, though, so you will have to strike a careful balance. A hand operated watermaker, if you can afford it, like a Pur Survivor, which you have put into use and are certain you are able to operate, can justify somewhat smaller water reserves.

4. Some kind of self-steering device. A windvane with its own rudder is ideal, since it requires no power and provides you with a spare rudder.

5. Redundant navigation devices. A couple of handheld GPS's will do, with plenty of lithium batteries for them. This plus a good set of paper charts is really all you need if you know how to navigate -- I would not consider a fixed chart plotter or radar really necessary, personally.

6. Navigation lights with plenty of spare bulbs, and a reliable electrical power system. You'll be sailing half the time at night, after all. I don't know what kind of electrical equipment you have on board but it must be pretty basic on a boat that size. You will want to have reliable and probably redundant ways to keep it charged. Wind and solar, maybe?

7. Radar reflector on the mast.

8. In-date flares.

9. An EPIRB or PLB. This is expensive but an absolute must IMHO.

10. A fixed VHF radio with DSC with spare antenna in case you get dismasted.

11. Life raft. A pain in the a** to carry on a boat that size, but I wouldn't leave home without it, personally, on a trip like that.

12. Grab bag with the usual list of things to take into the life raft with you (Google it), including hand held VHF with lots of lithium batteries.

13. First aid and trauma kit designed for cases where you may be weeks away from a hospital. Google it. Plenty of spare medicines for anyone who is on any kind of regular medication.

14. Redundant bilge pumps of large capacity, and means of plugging holes in the boat.

15. Means of catching fish. This will be an important supplement to your diet. I doubt you will have much if any refrigeration on board a boat that size.

16. Communications according to your needs and budget. You could rent a satellite phone to use in case of emergencies. You probably don't want to go to the expense and trouble of installing an SSB radio, but -- I would want one on board myself, making a trip like that. A SPOT transmitter can give you a way to broadcast cheaply your position regularly to your family and friends.

17. Storm sails and a drogue of some kind -- best of all, a Jordan series drogue, with strong fixing points on your boat.

18. Lots of books and other things to read. You will be out there a LONG time.


I didn't write anything about your propulsion gear, and I'm not sure you even have any. Propulsion gear is not very important for a passage like that -- you will use it mostly just for getting into and out of port. But if you have any propulsion gear, you would of course want to have it serviced, and have spares on board, tools, impellers, oil, filters, spare fuel, etc., just as a matter of course, not because it is really mission critical.


One more suggestion: Make friends with Boatman61. He has made a few trips like that on small boats, and is very generous with his vast knowledge.
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-05-2011, 05:24   #10
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,203
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate Re: Falmouth, Cornwall to Falmouth, Jamaica - Advice ?

Guys...
Instead of jumping straight in for a 25ftr... take a look at this 1st before you decide... 5ft longer and will be roomier and carry more water and stores...
You don't seem worried by wood so this could be just the ticket..
Good luck
Phil
Ron Holland 1/2 Tonner Boats for sale UK, Ron Holland Used boat sales, Ron Holland Sailing Yachts For Sale RON HOLLAND HALF TONNER - Apollo Duck
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2011, 11:41   #11
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 13
Re: Falmouth, Cornwall to Falmouth, Jamaica - Advice ?

Hi guys,

I'm Johnny, the guy sailing with Gus, cheers for all your advice so far its been very useful!

I was wondering what you guys think of electrical systems for boats? The boat we are looking at doesn't have one, is it okay to take normal battery's for things like GPS/radios of should we really be looking at sorting out a proper battery or even generator set up? If so what king would be best for a 27ft boat doing a long journey like that?
I we wen't for the non-electrical system option whay sort of GPS/Radio set up would be best/ how many batterys/what sort should we take?
In this scenario we would probably take tilley lamps/electric torches for light is this sufficient?
Oh yeah and do we need a mast light? If so what kind is best?

Sorry I know there is a lot there but if you could offer further advice then that would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers again,

Johnny.
__________________
Johnny Mercer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-05-2011, 11:44   #12
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 13
Re: Falmouth, Cornwall to Falmouth, Jamaica - Advice ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Guys...
Instead of jumping straight in for a 25ftr... take a look at this 1st before you decide... 5ft longer and will be roomier and carry more water and stores...
You don't seem worried by wood so this could be just the ticket..
Good luck
Phil
Ron Holland 1/2 Tonner Boats for sale UK, Ron Holland Used boat sales, Ron Holland Sailing Yachts For Sale RON HOLLAND HALF TONNER - Apollo Duck
That boat looked like a right bargain by the way shame it got sold! The boat market is a good time for buyers isn't it?! If you here of anymore going that might be appropriate please let us know.
__________________
Johnny Mercer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-05-2011, 01:57   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: North East England
Boat: Boat free at present
Posts: 29
Re: Falmouth, Cornwall to Falmouth, Jamaica - Advice ?

I think you definitely need an electrical charging system, and preferably two batteries if you are reliant on electrical power in any way.

If you minimize power use you should be able to work with either a couple of fixed solar cells (mounted over the cockpit they provide some shade too), or some flexible panels you just string up in the sun during the day.

No one has mentioned books:

1) You should read Alistair Buchan's "Sailing at Atlantic Circuit" which talks about a single handed circuit in fiber glass boat even smaller than yours.
2) The "Cost Conscious Cruiser" and indeed most of the other books by Lin and Larry Pardey who have done many Ocean passages in small wooden boats.
__________________
John Tait
Sailing Boat Free at present
jitait is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-05-2011, 02:50   #14
Moderator
 
Pete7's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Solent, England
Boat: Moody 31
Posts: 8,551
Images: 14
Re: Falmouth, Cornwall to Falmouth, Jamaica - Advice ?

Guys, some good advice above. Might be also worth reading how ocean rowers prep for there trips as they have similar needs with space and weight etc. Some of the techniques they have developed are quite clever.

Woodvale Challenge

Pete
__________________
Moody 31 - April Lass
Pete7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-05-2011, 10:19   #15
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 13
Re: Falmouth, Cornwall to Falmouth, Jamaica - Advice ?

Thanks for all the advice, please keep it coming!

I was wondering if anyone can recommend good charts to get/where to get them for such a trip.

An any harness advice? i.e. where should they be fastened, what type of rope?

Cheers
__________________

__________________
Johnny Mercer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Jamaica, jamaica

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Newbie & Falmouth Gypsy MkII Owner jbhouston Meets & Greets 6 12-06-2013 14:01
Crew Wanted: Lagos PT to Falmouth, UK academylin Crew Archives 1 24-03-2011 15:14
Sailing from Nicaragua to Jamaica - Advice?! Croc Bones Atlantic & the Caribbean 3 01-02-2011 13:35
Hi from Cornwall UK BruceC Meets & Greets 14 12-11-2009 16:51
Hi from soggy Falmouth UK Michaila Meets & Greets 2 14-07-2007 22:07



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 22:22.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.