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Old 25-02-2014, 06:23   #31
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

I second the recommendation to go look at a few boats. You may not realize exactly how bit a 60-70' sailboat is. A boat that size could be a lot for even 3 experienced adults to handle. 3 teens, one handicapped with limited experience would stretch my credibility.

Also, how rich is the relative that wills them the boat? Do you realize that a relatively new, yacht quality sailboat of 70' could be several million dollars?

Here's a suggestion. Find an experienced sailor to work with on the final section of your book. You of course write the story but have a researcher/consultant proof read for accuracy in the boaty bits.
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Old 25-02-2014, 06:25   #32
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

If the boat is the primary prop in the novel then it seems like much of the detail would be worked out in prior chapters rather than at the end. Maybe that was not important in telling the story and just the final chapter requires introducing some drama in surviveing a storm,etc. The Parday's have some books out on how their small boat copes with survival conditions which is still applicable for a larger boat. Good luck with your novel.
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Old 25-02-2014, 06:33   #33
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

To add two more cents in here - you mentioned that one of the three young sailors was either in a wheel chair or handicapped in some manner and that she would be sailing the boat while the other two did other things. As someone else mentioned here, it is a very, very long sail between Hawaii and Australia/New Zealand and no one person will be at the helm the entire distance. First, boats like this usually have autopilot of some sort (either electronic gps enabled or some sort of mechanical windvane steering). Second, it would be necessary to take turns - or watches - while under way. Read through some off-shore experiences and they will give you a flavor of taking turns on watches while bluewater sailing.

Someone else raised the issue of going below and the difficulties of someone in a wheelchair doing that. Perhaps look up a bosun's chair of some sort. I cannot envision how it would be rigged (because, frankly, I am not that handy) - but it seems to me it would require some sort of a system attached to the mast or boom and then utilizing a winch so that they could raise and lower the wheelchair bound person to and from the cabin.
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Old 25-02-2014, 06:42   #34
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

These types of posts always bother me.

The OP is not here because of a passion for the sport or out of concern for the well being of the community. The OP certainly isn't here to exchange information since all I can see is a one way street.

The OP is here for profit and will vanish as quickly as they came once they have skimmed the information that they should have been paying a consultant for.

As usual, being such a helpful lot, we fall all over ourselves to do someone else's work for them.

Sigh.
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Old 25-02-2014, 06:53   #35
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Good points about upkeep and continuity, as well as these other details that keep my characters' ages in mind. These three were not raised wealthy/ privileged in any conventional sense, but two of them learned sailing at a young age, and they have come into this boat unexpectedly, with a small inheritance attached.
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Old 25-02-2014, 07:09   #36
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

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Originally Posted by EveOkay View Post
Good points about upkeep and continuity, as well as these other details that keep my characters' ages in mind. These three were not raised wealthy/ privileged in any conventional sense, but two of them learned sailing at a young age, and they have come into this boat unexpectedly, with a small inheritance attached.
O.K., so what was the financial position of the testator/bequeather?
Was he a millionaire (rather a multimillionaire) or just some well being person???
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Old 25-02-2014, 07:26   #37
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Eve, don't get discouraged. I'm a novelist (unpublished - I don't want the commitment of a publisher's contract!) and short story writer and I've set stories in places from British Columbia to Africa to the Orkney Isles to Ancient Egypt and it's not difficult to sound convincing as long as you research your subject carefully on that wonderful tool, the internet, and don't overreach yourself. Remember Accordion Crimes by E. Annie Proulx? Well, she never played an accordion in her life ...

But if I were you I'd consider cutting the Gordian Knot. It's really a question of viewpoint in my opinion, and if the nautical part of the narrative were related through the eyes of the non-sailor in the crew your problems would be over. I suspect it would take less effort to rework the novel in this way than to turn yourself into a knowledgeable sailor. Plus you would avoid the risk of boring your readers with all your meticulous nautical research (again, see Accordion Crimes).

I hope these comments are helpful in some way. Good luck with the novel and keep your eyes fixed on the Pulitzer.

GORDON
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Old 25-02-2014, 08:59   #38
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

I'm also a writer/novelist wannabe. I applaud Eve trying to get this right. I have stopped reading novels by popular writers who don't take the time to get it right on the technical details. Tom Clancy(RIP) and Clive Cussler are two of them. It ruins the entire book for me when I read something about sonars or diving or boats that is totally incorrect. My feeling is that if they don't know what they're talking about, I'm not going to waste time reading their fantasies.

Good on ya, Eve. Keep a thick skin, and get it right before signing your name to it.
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Old 25-02-2014, 09:24   #39
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Eve,

Good luck on your research. You can make the boat any size you want because it is one being freely given to the kids. But unless the kids are either competent or foolish, making the boat way oversized will stretch credibility. Your call.

With your limited background in boating, at least you knew to ask.

I've always tried to answer questions with links to reference material (in addition to my invariable opinions, and they do vary sometimes! ).

Here's an excerpt from the "cost question" concurrent thread:

"Beth Leonard & Evans' website and book are invaluable.

So, too, I recommend Nigel Calder's Cruisers Handbook, with very good material.

Here's another reference I suggest for folks to read who ask your kind of question (click left pane on Journal, a very good appendix is at the back of the blog): ICW and the Bahamas


It seems to me that you have various options or opportunities to learn what you need to know. In addition to this topic, there's books and hands-on. Those references above are good starts, and don't be afraid to ask. If you size the boat in your novel reasonably, then sail handling on a 30-35 foot boat won't be much different on a 40-45 footer, only everything will be much bigger, requiring bigger gear but not necessarily more brute strength, except when things go belly-up (don't know if that's part of your story or if it will be a fair winds trip and you're writing about the interactions of the crew members).

You should be able to get a ride on a 30-34 footer easily - a case of beer would go a long way.

All the best, happy researching.
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Old 25-02-2014, 09:58   #40
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

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Consider going down to the dock and talk to a few sailors. Explain your concept and problem. Bring beer. Ask a skipper the questions you ask here and listen for the answers. Get him to go thru the motions on the boat (at the dock is fine) so you have a better idea of what the tasks are like.
I agree that you should specify a smaller boat that would be more appropriate for the young crew. The handicapped person is definitely an issue as pointed out above.
Better to leave out much of the details if the details would be wrong. I suspect that your book isn't aimed at the sailing crowd, so you should be OK. (I read a sailing story where the author didn't even keep the name of the boat straight during the course of the book; kind of fun in a perverse way...)
Pull up a chart or schematic from the web showing the parts of a sailboat.
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Old 25-02-2014, 18:44   #41
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Oh, wow, thanks guys, I woke up to some wonderful new posts here.

I'd like to quickly reply to Delancey's comment. I am not here for profit; I'm here to learn and try to get things right. I lack the knowledge that you all have in droves. Hiring a consultant makes absolutely no sense for such a thing; this book is a labor of love and thus far an unpaid work of fiction. I'm surrounded by boats and sailors here in Oz, but like my female character, who is not handicapped but chronically ill, it's not easy for me to get out often. If I didn't at least have a passion and fascination for this material, I wouldn't be trying to write about it.

If the book is published and if any of you would like specific acknowledgement for the help you've given me, I'd be happy to print it. In the meantime, thank you SO much to all of you who have offered me such insight and have pointed me in the right direction with books, films, etc. I have already been able to get some crucial facts straight and am clearer about how I'll approach this subject in my overall story.
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Old 25-02-2014, 20:23   #42
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Rent some DVDs about learning to sail. Rent more DVDs about sailing trips. Then go take some sailing lessons and spend a couple of days on the water. Oh, and plan to send your book off "soon" as in next year, after you've done some of that basic research, or else you're really going to be embarrassed by what you write.

If you want to do it right, do your homework and use your own words, not those of others. That's what authoring is about. If it isn't worth doing the homework...only a vanity press will print it, and you'll pay dearly for that. Cheaper to do the homework.
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Old 26-02-2014, 03:05   #43
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Eve, one final suggestion if it's at all helpful. You might glean some nautical terms (especially if you're planning to select an older, classic yacht for your novel) from the short story Gwendolyn in the following collection: ISSUU - Fruits of the forest by Gordon Knight and Frenchie's Curse in this collection: ISSUU - A question of immortality by Gordon Knight.

Best wishes and good luck.

GORDON
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Old 26-02-2014, 04:48   #44
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Fantastic to have these specific literary titles. Thanks a LOT!
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Old 26-02-2014, 09:50   #45
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Geez, EveOkay . . . I wonder how Joseph Conrad, Herman Melville, Jack London, Ernest Hemingway and the inimitable Tristan Jones got their knowledge about boats? It seems tragically absurd that a novelist writes about things of which he/she has no experience. How can the writing ever be engaging when the author is guessing at each step along the way? I suppose its the new norm for Y2K authors who mirror the society in which they live. However, good luck and "good?" writing.
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