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Old 23-03-2013, 08:00   #91
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pirate Re: Bluewater sailing - how much knowledge & experience is enough?

If you can safely and competently navigate rock/reef strewn coastal regions in most weathers your good enough to go out there..
The sea's are not so short and sharp.. the only down side are the what-ifs... and these grow fewer with miles under your belt..
The middles the easy bit... unfamiliar landfalls and precise navigation are your prime concerns...
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Old 23-03-2013, 08:03   #92
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Re: Bluewater sailing - how much knowledge & experience is enough?

what boaty said--the middle is where ye put the auto pilot on the job and check for leaks and other fun surprises. when ye find em, is just like fixing while at a dock only you are under way instead....plus you have moon and stars and wonders to see and watch....
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Old 23-03-2013, 08:28   #93
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Re: Bluewater sailing - how much knowledge & experience is enough?

To be honest I hope to NEVER have the experience people talk about!!!!!

I hope to be smart enough in my passage planning that I never experience the conditions that everyone worries so much about, and some spend all their boat buying decisions on.

Doesn't mean that I haven't done my reading and have a plan for the reasonable to experience items. But far as the big perfect storm my plan is that I've already taken the reasonable actions, now I'm down below rolled up in a ball, strapped down, and crying for my mommy (and that is where I expect to be when the storm passes)!
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Old 23-03-2013, 09:49   #94
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Re: Bluewater sailing - how much knowledge & experience is enough?

I found flying remarkably simple to learn (landing is the only difficult part), whereas sailing far more complex.

As for supposed "BLUEWATER", i think this is a terrm was created by yachtbrokers and the like, a bunch of nonsense, sailing across an ocean requires less thought than sailing 50nm down a reef strewn coast with a large tidal range and current.

Yes some bad weather experience before you go hopping across an ocean would be a good thing to have as you will most likely come across some roughness, most likely NOT the perfect storm, but chances are F7-9 and 6-8M waves will be encountered, nothing that should be an issue to a 40ft+ well kept boat.

Yes you do need to be prepared to do some sort of adhoc maintenance or jury rig something or other, decent common sense, a reasonable range of spares/tools will get you through 99% of problems.

So far ive only been a little frightened on 2 occasions, one was in an anchorages where i was on the boat myself, i lost the dinghy painter and dived after it, then wind was blowing 25-30kn and the dinghy just ran from me, the waves were 3-5 ft, swimming in this is very tiresome and not easy, i manged to climb into another boats dinghy closer to shore, no one was aboard eventually the life guards on shore saw my dinghy was up and came out and got me , the whole process was about an hour, knowing i could not swim back to my own boat and really struggling to climb aboard the other dinghy ( i could not board the other boat, no sugar scoup or ladders or anything).

The second was when we got knocked down by a waterspout, last i saw was 65kn on the wind gauge before we went over, luckily there was very minor damage and the whole episode was over and done with in under a minute, leaving me very confused.

I was a bit nervous mid atlantic when i saw some breaking waves in the distance which i knew if they hit us the wrong way we would be in trouble.
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Old 23-03-2013, 09:56   #95
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Re: Bluewater sailing - how much knowledge & experience is enough?

Us werm hunters are berry, berry good sock knitters. Wool socks are my specialty! The one thing that reassures me in the middle of the storms, are my father's words for me, "There's the right way, the wrong way, and your way!" no kidding. The other thing he said was "Most boats will take far more abuse than the people riding in them." Which keeps me from soiling myself in a storm.
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Old 24-03-2013, 02:00   #96
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Re: Bluewater sailing - how much knowledge & experience is enough?

I think the main difference between bluewater and coastal sailing is the time between landfalls.

Firstly, despite the most careful planning, this runs the risk of exposing you to weather conditions you would normally avoid like the plague. You need to be able to cope with these conditions - not without fear (that is totally unrealistic), but with a clear head.

Secondly it you need to be capable of handling problems on your own - there is no safety blanket of coastguard or fellow cruisers to lend a hand and no chandlery to access. Level of comfort and skill with self sufficiency/improvisation is a HUGE factor with successful bluewater cruising.

I think if you recognise these two requirements and think you can cope, then you are likely ready to give it a go! Once you have learned how to swim, at some stage you just need to jump in the deep end to see if you can handle not being able to touch bottom. Actual swimming ability doesn't guarantee success .
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Old 24-03-2013, 02:18   #97
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Re: Bluewater sailing - how much knowledge & experience is enough?

I think worthy Lass hit it right on the head:

I would only add that the consequences of problems offshore are more akin to chronic problems rather than acute ones;

- while you will eventually get worse weather conditions offshore than by sailing judiciously inshore, they're less likely to involve dangerous breaking waves than the same weather inshore, and are very unlikely to involve hitting anything;

- things wear out, maybe even break offshore, but you have time to improvise;

- if you have interpersonal issues, they will fester offshore, but usually only flare up on (or after) arrival

- if you have the typical seasickness propensity, you will probably feel OK after two or three days.
Whereas one-day jaunts inshore generally do not provide any lasting acclimatisation. Sleeping in rolly conditions (even at anchor) is one way to shorten this for many, but it's a knack you may have to acquire!
You'll certainly have to stow the boat very carefully to avoid the dreaded 'rolling jar' syndrome.

- Cooking offshore requires a strong stomach unless it is to be a grim test of character and endurance ... which it used to share with navigation, but the latter task is generally delegated to technology now, so it's only cooking. Eating well is essential to enjoyment, good health and (relative) freedom from seasickness.
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Old 24-03-2013, 04:32   #98
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I would agree with Andrew. Bad weather inshore is far more difficult to handle, you may have extensive tides, shipping in close proximity , steep waves due to shallow water, lee shores, significant amounts of dangerous obstructions and the presence of land.


Ocean sailing is actually easier. Up here in the higher latitudes coastal sailing is the one that's needs lots of experience as opposed to a trade winds ocean crossing. Its one of the reasons you can't get any substantial ticket just by crossing oceans.

In my experience , sailors that have spent significant time in Northern European coastal waters , like around the UK , Ireland, North Atlantic Europe and the North Sea develop better coping skills, experience a very wide variety of conditions and become better sailors then tootling around the Med or a milk run ocean crossing.

Simply because you go outside the sight of land for a few weeks does not in fact contribute much experience. I've seen quite a few examples that successfully crossed the Atlantic from the Canaries that would just be a statistic if they tried say the NW coasts of Ireland or the N coast of Scotland and ran into the inevitable bad weather that occurs there.


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Old 24-03-2013, 07:23   #99
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Re: Bluewater sailing - how much knowledge & experience is enough?

I have experienced far more frequent and fierce bad weather during coastwise passages, than any of my ocean crossings. I once saw a sign posted in a Durbeck factory. "A real sailor knows the ocean is not the enemy, it is the damn hard stuff around it!"
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Old 24-03-2013, 08:10   #100
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Re: Bluewater sailing - how much knowledge & experience is enough?

The best introductory course in bluewater sailing is to be found in coastal sailing in old fixer upper boats. You will get lots of practice jury rigging and improvising stuff while still being within easy rescue range when you wuss out. A couple years of that will teach you what you need to keep stuff working and what to do when you dont have that. Meanwhile you can still practice your ocean navigation skills. Basically though...

1. Make sure you can trust your boat to get you safely to port.

2. Once you are out of sight of land, trust your boat. Dont give up while the boat is still the safest way home.

3. The SSB is not a magic box and you cant just key the mic 3 times and chant "theres no place like home" and wake up in kansas. At sea rescues are dangerous for both rescuer and rescued.
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Old 25-03-2013, 03:32   #101
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Re: Bluewater sailing - how much knowledge & experience is enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensuf View Post
The second was when we got knocked down by a waterspout, last i saw was 65kn on the wind gauge before we went over, luckily there was very minor damage and the whole episode was over and done with in under a minute, leaving me very confused.
Not to get off topic, but could you go into further detail on what happened? Did you capsize?
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Old 25-03-2013, 03:59   #102
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Re: Bluewater sailing - how much knowledge & experience is enough?

I belive you are ready when you don't argue with your wife about the roaps any more hehe.
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