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Old 09-12-2010, 08:58   #1
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OK, So You're Planning a Long Cruise . . .

.........it might be as much as several thousand miles and will take you through trade winds, variables, calms, storms and all the other things the sea can throw at us.

When you are making your plans, what is a reasonable expectation of distance made good per day, averaged over the whole voyage?

(Assume a 38/40 ft boat, well found, not racing type but able to maintain a good speed for a boat of that size, and the engine is little used)
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:55   #2
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I'd be happy with anything over 120/day average... there's some who'll quote hull speeds and other probables but....
Ma Nature could'nt care less about them... she'll do anything she wants and when.. some favourable some not... anything over is a bonus...
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:56   #3
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Really depends. Better to look at the average time it takes a comparable vessel of your class to make the same in roughly the same weather window. You'll see 100 miles a day thrown out, and in general if you can make 3-8 knots on average you'll average somewhere in the 132 miles. But 3 knots in 24 will give 72 miles, and 8 knots in 24 will give you almost 200.

Really hard to predict.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:59   #4
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Up wind or downwind. I am planning on a 4 knot distance made good speed for my possible trip across the Atlantic this May. I have looked at two crossings with boats of the same model and they made the trip faster then that. It all depends on the wind though doesn't it.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:36   #5
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I've always found that 75% of the boat's hull speed is a somewhat conservative estimate for average speed on an offshore trip. That would include some judicious motor-sailing when boatspeed drops below 4 knots. Most times, we'd average 80% of hull speed.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:20   #6
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we found an actual day was about 100-120 miles --and still remain comfortable--we were using a performance cruiser--sounds like your kind of boat? there is a difference between sailing a performance cruiser and a full keel boat as cruisers. mine is full keel, what we used last yr is fin/spade. with the fin/;spade you will have weather helm issues in stormy weather-- doesnt matter what kinda boat she is. the work is harder in performance cruisers. you may decide what is best for you after experiencing more time out in seas. we didnt hurry to get anywhere- we were able to see much and lots and have fun. if you push it too hard,you will make the cruise a chore rather than a fun adventure. go at your own pace. is there a time limit?/ if so--stay home.is when the trouble starts. right on SCHEDULE.
also depends on why you are sailing. is it to GET somewhere? or to be sailing? there is a difference. we had a lot more fun when not trying to GET somewhere. we had most problems when we had a schedule to keep.
island time has meaning for a reason. so does SAILBOAT time. take your time--if extended cruise as a permanent situation--who is in a hurry??: where are you racing to ?/ why ? why not just enjoy the adventure-- the sea gods will bring you entertainment--sometimes is YOU!!!(then is for their own enjoyment, NOT yours....) just a thought. cruising is CRUISING. like the low riders--nothing fast about it. except for sado-masochists.(oops--did i say that out loud???) oh , yes, and those trying to gain speed records for round the world idiocy in one sitting....(uhoh-now i am in trouble!!)
and if ye only got one kt out of your boat at full speed in a storm--is normal--especially into the wind, which is almost always the case in scheduled sailing trips.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:56   #7
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Very true as I was reminded on a recent trip to Turkey... the theoratical 'lazy' 42days I I'd estimated for a trip of just over 3000miles turned into 60... there were only about 16 days of favourable winds... the rest was on the nose in a cat with a couple of 10hp engines...
Schedules are hard to keep... safely..
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Old 09-12-2010, 13:40   #8
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As others have said, it varies widely with the type of boat and with your own sailing style. FWIW, in our previous boat which was a grossly overloaded retired raceboat, 36 ft OAL, 29 ft LWL, our long term average at sea was just under 140 mpd. We were younger then and drove the boat fairly hard on passage.

Nowadays, in a boat that could be described as a performance cruiser, 46 ft OAL and 44 ft LWL, we have had passages that averaged 180 mpd (tradewind conditions) and around 160 mpd in normal passage conditions (mixed bag wind and seas). We don't drive Insatiable II as hard as we might... getting lazy, I guess!

Many cruisers still use the 100 mpd figure that Eric Hiscock planned with all those years ago. More modern boats and the advent of self-steering systems make this number pretty conservative in my eyes, but then you get pleasant surprises!

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Old 09-12-2010, 13:48   #9
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My last boat, 32' LOA we averaged 100-120 nm/day. Last fall going south in the ICW we motored most of the way and averaged 60-80 nm/day, 10-14 hour days.
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Old 09-12-2010, 19:41   #10
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I am going with the 100 to 120 nm per day standard.

In the Spring of 1971, I did back to back voyages from St Thomas to NY. One in a Hinckley Bermuda 40 the other in a 72 foot 1926 racing yawl. Both trips took the same amount of time. Many years later I took a 67 foot performance cruiser and a 45 foot racing machine from Newport to the VI. Same transit time in each, 170 nm per day. Guess which ride was more fun? (Hint: I lost 25 ponds from bailing the 45 footer four times a day. Don't go to sea in a boat with leaky decks and hatches!)

It is the calm weather that causes the problems, not the storms. Being becalmed is like having no money.

Speaking of calms. Met a well known sailing fellow in Antigua who sailed from there to England and back very often. No, not Don Street. Anyway, he says calms are fun. He and the missus kick back, rig the sun shade, swim, eat, read, relax, etc. and call the days of drifting good. Now there is a fellow who has it figured out.
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Old 09-12-2010, 20:07   #11
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I am a firm believer in no bruising trade wind cruising down wind all the way around the world. That's how I like to sail. When I sail down wind, I get 150 miles a day without trying very hard.

When I am not sailing downwind, it's anybody's guess how many miles I will get in a day. I don't push the boat hard to windward, and so I would sail substantially less than 150 miles per day if it was to windward.

How far you go each day depends where you are sailing, the sea state, and the wind patterns in the area.
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Old 09-12-2010, 20:44   #12
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When we sailed from Cabo San Lucas to Hilo, Hawaii, a distance of 2,606 miles, it took us 18 days. When we sailed from Waikiki to Sitka, Alaska, a distance of 2,612 miles, it took us 23 days.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 12-12-2010, 23:26   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhschneider View Post
When we sailed from Cabo San Lucas to Hilo, Hawaii, a distance of 2,606 miles, it took us 18 days. When we sailed from Waikiki to Sitka, Alaska, a distance of 2,612 miles, it took us 23 days.

Fair winds and calm seas.
That extra 6 miles was rough.
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Old 13-12-2010, 05:35   #14
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I have too limited experience on long passages to put my own 2 cents into, but it happened that only few days ago I discussed this matter with my friend which is making his life of long distance deliveries for years. His comments were in short:
What counts is the average distance made good towards Your destination point, not the daily runs through water;
If You are sailing in proper time, with prevailng winds in Your favour, You do proper routeing and you do sail your boat actively, properly powered up to the changing conditions You can expect as much distance made good by average, as calculated on the basis of some 75 % - 80 % of hull speed. If - at the same conditions - You are sailing passively (i.e. undercanvassed for part of the time) because of being shorthanded or because of any other reason, You will get probably distances closer to calculation based on 50 % - 60 % of hull speed. Looking at ARC results for previous years it rather close approximation.
If You need - for some reasons - beat to winward for longer time in relatively acceptable conditions, You need to divide Your estimated distances made good by the factor of two. This last approximation works well for me in Med
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