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Old 01-08-2011, 15:23   #1
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No Experience, but Need to Make a Voyage - Advice Requested

Greetings Cruisers! My name is David and I am looking for a bit of advice from kindly and experienced sailors.

For various compelling socio-politico-economic reasons, we are making what we see as a necessary sailing voyage of 8500 nautical miles, for the purpose of relocation. Flying is not a viable option at this point. We have only four to five months to prepare, but none of us has sailing experience. We are looking for a boat 33-35' long (hopefully for around USD $10,000), to transport three adults and five young children. Again, we believe this is a necessary voyage, for various serious reasons.

From my preliminary research I believe that we can do this, but recognize that the ocean is a very dangerous place. Some of the possible dangers we may come across are bad weather and pirates.

Has anyone here undertaken a voyage such as this on a comparable sailboat and have any words of wisdom to offer? Or would anyone be so kind as to share advice on the kind of preparations he or she would most insist on before attempting such a voyage?

Advice concerning provisioning, weather, ports of call, defensive firearms/tactics, encounters with customs, etc. would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you very much in advance,

David.


P.S. If you feel that our decision to undertake this voyage is logistically misguided or ill-formed, then by all means explain your reasoning in detail, thanks.
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Old 01-08-2011, 15:47   #2
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Re: No experience, but need to make a voyage, advice requested

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, David.

Have you looked at $10,000 boats?
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Old 01-08-2011, 15:47   #3
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Re: No experience, but need to make a voyage, advice requested

First port of call:

Search function, to be found at top of page!! SImply type in the words your looking for, and related threads will be listed for you

Welcome aboard, I think.
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Old 01-08-2011, 15:48   #4
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Re: No experience, but need to make a voyage, advice requested

A couple of comments; it's often hard to say if someone is trolling when they ask this kind of question and so you don't know whether to take them seriously, but I presume you are serious. $10K isn't much to spend on a boat you intend to entrust so many lives to. Add to that the fact that everyone is inexperienced and you have to ask does what you are suggesting make sense?

You didn't mention where you were starting and where you were ending but 8500 nm you will require at least 3 months on board. 8 people for a weekend on a boat that size would be a challenge never mind 3 months or more. Water usage and food usage will have to be addressed somehow.

Personally I can't help but think you're in over your head.
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Old 01-08-2011, 16:01   #5
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This is very ill advised particularly on a very minimal amount to get a boat and properly provision it. Add to that fact none have experience is just putting everyone's life's in danger. You would be far better off going to one of multiple agencies to find safe relocation. All the best to you.
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Old 01-08-2011, 16:02   #6
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Re: No experience, but need to make a voyage, advice requested

That sounds like a very crowded boat to be able to carry eight people and everything they require for the duration of an 8500-mile voyage, during which time they will have to be entirely self-sufficient. Consider that the average American uses more far more water in a day than most boats that size carry and that this group has never sailed. That's just one "small detail" on the learning curve. Also, imagine putting eight people in something smaller than an efficiency apartment for months.

And, it will be very hard for the people in this group to even know the right questions to ask without them having tasted sailing. Bad weather is a danger, but it can be planned for if you have studied weather and equipped the boat properly -- but that assumes that you know what you don't know yet and will fill in all the gaps in a short time. It's the things you don't know that you don't know that just might do something nasty to you.

Pirates? I think that danger is way over-rated -- unless you include bureaucrats, members of congress, boatyard managers, customs agents, lawyers, and bankers in that category, or unless you deliberately go into pirate waters, or are utterly clueless and lacking in street smarts and like to flash money around in dark alleys late at night after getting drunk in the wrong part of town.

One question is the skill set of the group. Do they know a lot about fixing diesel engines and mechanical systems? Are they really good at improvising? Are they good at various kinds of roughing it? Are they really comfortable with different cultures and languages? Do they have trades and skills that are valued in cruiser anchorages and in different countries where they can barter work for other things they need?

Another detail is how much care and supervision the five children will soak up and whether that leaves the three adults enough free time and freedom from distraction to manage the sometimes extremely pressing and urgent demands of the boat and the ocean. It would be different if some of the kids were old enough to take responsibility for jobs on the boat and for helping care for the youngest.
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Old 01-08-2011, 16:17   #7
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Re: No experience, but need to make a voyage, advice requested

i would reconsider. seriously. unless you can get a tv documentary company interested!
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Old 01-08-2011, 16:22   #8
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Re: No experience, but need to make a voyage, advice requested

If you all moved onto a $10K boat today and started working on it to prepare it for such a relocation and studying everything you would need to learn including how to sail, it would be at least a year, thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of study before you would be ready to ask the questions that you are now asking. I'm not being mean. If you only have five months you should look for another plan.
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Old 01-08-2011, 16:38   #9
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Re: No experience, but need to make a voyage, advice requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by David.Freeman View Post

P.S. If you feel that our decision to undertake this voyage is logistically misguided or ill-formed, then by all means explain your reasoning in detail, thanks.
Beacuse your 5 children could be dead.

In detail: Dead. Gone. Kaput.



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Old 01-08-2011, 16:46   #10
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Don't..

Yes, some have cruised for long distances on boats that are small and/or cheap, but most of those have been single handers who have spent many years preparing.

I would expect that three adults and five young children would require a seaworthy boat of at least 40' in length. Have a look at what is available, but do keep in mind that most of those that you see will need substantial repairs/upgrades/and replacements to be suited for a long voyage.

It is not unusual for Cruisers to take two or more years to prepare their boat.

Again, acquiring the necessary skills to undertake this voyage would take time. Most who do so would have quite a few years experience.

Looking at cruising as a dollar per mile cost it must be the most expensive way of traveling available. If you must move within your cost parameters and time frame a cruising yacht is not the way to do it.

So, unfortunately, the short answer is - don't.
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Old 01-08-2011, 16:46   #11
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What kind of event could make an individual think they need to risk their lives relocating in such a manner? Not only do you have food, provisioning and skills to take into consideration what about all the other trappings and belongings of you average persons lives? Don't think a trip like this is feasible nor even remotely logical.
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Old 01-08-2011, 16:55   #12
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Re: No experience, but need to make a voyage, advice requested

Brings to mind the movie, Mosquito Coast.
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Old 01-08-2011, 16:56   #13
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Re: No experience, but need to make a voyage, advice requested

Sincerest thanks to all respondents.
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Old 01-08-2011, 17:06   #14
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Re: No experience, but need to make a voyage, advice requested

Quote:
Originally Posted by vintageray View Post
Brings to mind the movie, Mosquito Coast.
God I love that movie, Harrison Ford's best IMO.
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Old 01-08-2011, 17:10   #15
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If this is life or death, or someone is fleeing, and you don't have a choice, then that's the way it is.
BUT as others have said, this is a very very bad idea.
I've been on the water my whole life, sailed for years, and will never have (all) the answers. But at least I do know the proper questions to ask. You aren't even there yet.
Going 8500 miles in a boat is like going 85000 miles in a van. Just dealing with fresh water alone in your situation in a (too) small $10k vessel is next to undoable. Without proper training, ability to repair, restore, & maintain the systems, train the kids & crew, and the literally hundreds of other needs, you are most likely sealing your own doom.
- If there is no other choice -
Study like your life and your kids' lives depend on it.
Because it does.
Sailing, weather, heavy weather tactics, food prep & storage, and everything else people here advise you too. Spend as many days as you & your wife can sailing ANY kind of sailboat. Get wet, get salty. Train the kids to #$%&* listen, without question or hesitation everytime. Make sure everyone can swim strongly, drill drill drill drill drill. Get your hands on as many tools as you can, you'll need them. Cut out every single #$% damned penny you can starting NOW. Live like you are on a boat right now. Turn off lights, don't shower everyday, eat only what you can keep without refrigeration etc etc etc. The lists are many & long long long.
You are embarking on a very very very dangerous mission.
No one here is going to tell you what you were hoping for, not because they think you are stupid, but because we don't want to see you dead.
Good luck & God speed.
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