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Old 26-02-2014, 10:11   #46
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

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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.
EveOkay, if I appear a bit jaded it's because you are not the first aspiring author to come to the forum for information and to get the facts straight, and yet I have yet to see one of these individuals return to express their gratitude, let alone offer a copy of an ebook to those who were so helpful. Thanks for nothing.

My wife is an editor and I know a number of people who work in media. Hiring consultants is part of the business. That said, the last thing I want to do is discourage your creativity.

As has been suggested elsewhere, the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron is a short walk from the train. Most sailors I know are quite keen on females, so I wouldn't let that discourage you. Similarly, in my experience most sailors are keen to share their passion and I hope you willing consider making the trip.

According to their website The RQYS hosts an informal sailing event on Wednesdays intended to promote the sport by getting non-sailors out on the water. Even with limited physical abilities, I am sure you will find a warm and welcoming group. You'll get your info firsthand. Trusting this group to get your facts straight, well.....

Best of luck!

WAGS - Wednesday Afternoon Go Sailing | RQYS
https://www.facebook.com/RQYS.WAGS
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Old 26-02-2014, 10:34   #47
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Post #4 :....."I'm a novelist and I've tried writing about things I knew nothing about. In those cases, either the research killed me or I ended up writing garbage. "

That about sums it up .......
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Old 26-02-2014, 10:55   #48
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

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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.
And yet you say elsewhere "If you're wondering about the legitimacy of my project, I already have an acclaimed editor signed on who says I have a 'billion percent' chance of publishing" and "I already have an editor attached and at least one interested publisher".

Come on, you sure you're not in it for the money? I feel so used. Couple free books for your pals at Cruiser Forum? Is that so much to ask, when you get so much in return?
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Old 26-02-2014, 11:06   #49
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Eve you may have more than what you bargained for.... I hope you can get what you need out so so many responses...

One detail you left out was the era your novel is set on. If its our time, and as you said the boat was willed to them, you have to give us the financial situation of the teens relatives who left them the boat. It could be a super yacht or a nice family sailboat - all of this would determine the appropriate size and type.
Also, as the teens plan the voyage, the South Pacific islands/French Polynesia have to be in their minds, rather than a straight shot to Hawaii and on to Australia.
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Old 26-02-2014, 11:18   #50
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

IMO. 3 people onboard with 1 physically challenged... most likely someone will be sleeping at all times leaving a lone deck ape to handle sails, lines, etc for the helmsman. Doubt I'm the only one here that's been too tired to strip out of clothes after a watch and simply collapsed onto a berth...
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Old 26-02-2014, 11:43   #51
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Reads: Riddle of the Sands, Cruise of the Snark, Sea Wolf... The Complete Yachtsman (Schenk), basic howto sailing book or two... read about BOC challenge.

Movies: Deep Water, Wild Eyes, Shackleton,
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Old 26-02-2014, 11:55   #52
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

It is far more likely that an older boat is small -30 35' and somewhat cramped, particularly with stores and spare sails. It would also be narrow compared with modern boats. Probably wooden with wood masts, Quite likely with old sails liable to tear and some rot giving a weak spot in the hull. There would be limited fuel capacity say 50 l enough for about a day of motoring. Jerrycans might add a bit but clutter the decks making moving around difficult, Like the sidedecks are narrow and you are most likely to have to go forward when the boat is bouncing around eg to change sails.
The equator has little wind ie the doldrums but sudden gusts and rain.
Water would be limited say 80 L but one needs 3 L pp pd without washing. You might collect some in various ways if it rains after the salt runs off.
The ability to sail ie do some tasks with other crew under the direction of a captain is very different from navigating repairing etc, a few teenage prodigies excepted.
It is unlikely there would be power steering because that requires running the motor to charge the batteries etc without a large amount of solar panels which are unlikely unless the boat has been refitted specially for such a trip. There might be wind vane steering specially fitted.
There are round the clock watches say four hours on eight off with 3. These probably involve steering and some sail trim if someone has to leave the cockpit there must be two on deck. Offduty includes cooking.
There would be no steering platform. Probably no wheel rather a tiller.
You would plan on a 100 miles a day.
Hawaii to Australia is an unusual route. The cyclone season is in the summer autumn in each hemisphere and you are crossing.
The route might be Hawaii - Line Islands April -August 1200 miles more actually sailed. Line Islands maybe via Samoa to Fiji 900 -1000, Fiji _New Caledonia 722.
New Caledonia Brisbane 773. Mostly fairly easy sailing wind abeam.
See World cruising routes Jimmy Cornell.
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Old 26-02-2014, 12:08   #53
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

My friend bought that 35' wooden boat in mexico and the ride home with 3 healthy young men was tough...

... I'd expect to inherit the ubiquitous 36' Fiberglass sloop build between 1970-1990 worth less than $30k. Old diesel inboard, 50gal H20 tank, 40gal diesel tank, Older GPS and VHF, maybe radar, yep sort of crowded, sleeping on sail bags,
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Old 26-02-2014, 14:32   #54
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

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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.

Eve,

I think what several people are suggesting (some overtly and some overflowing with sarcasm) is that part of your research should be to live it and I tend to agree. How can you dive into your character's minds and motivations unless you know what they (are supposed to) know. I like the suggestion that you go down and participate in the sailing event.

As stated above, Melville and Hemingway didn't hang out at the keyboard making it all up - they went out and lived it and that's why they were able to create quality.
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Old 26-02-2014, 14:43   #55
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

1. Try YouTube instead of or in addition to DVDs.

2. In your book, NEVER, EVER, DON'T, Don't even think about using the word "rope" when you're describing the crew adjusting the sails. Once a rope gets onto a boat it becomes a LINE, and each line has it's own description, i.e., halyard, sheet, vang, etc. I am reading a good novel now, and the author just finished describing the Eagle, and then went on to say: "The captain instructed the crew to adjust the sails for the prevailing, strengthening wwind and they pulled on the ropes."

Yuck, turned me off for the next 50 pages.

Hop your editor knows sailing. It's little things like this can make a BIG difference.

Good luck.
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Old 26-02-2014, 17:29   #56
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

The sails have bolt ropes in them.

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Old 04-03-2014, 18:02   #57
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

At the risk of much criticism, I would suggest: a "Custom built, deep draft, 56 foot pilothouse cutter". It's large, but believable. You leave the designer and builder out of it, so no one can criticize you for inaccurate statements about the layout or performance of the boat. Many boats this size are rigged for shorthanded offshore sailing. The cutter rig (2 sails in front of the mast) allows a flexible sail plan with ease of handling. If the pilothouse had an interior helm, your handicapped captain can spend the majority of their time in the pilothouse (to sleep, eat and drive the boat). Maybe not the best performing boat, but comfortable, solid offshore and relatively easy to sail.
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Old 04-03-2014, 19:16   #58
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

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The sails have bolt ropes in them.

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This is quite true, and if a square rigger, they would be standing on the foot ropes whilst making and striking sail... but they would be "pulling on" neither one to adjust the sails.

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Old 04-03-2014, 20:09   #59
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

Let me try to explain something in terms of visualizing size. We tend to talk of boats in terms of length. Even there the terms are fuzzy. For example we have a boat that is 44' long. But it has a 6' bow sprit, so they are sometimes advertised as 50'. On the other hand, as a traditional boat, she has long over hangs, so is only 37' on the water.

Confusing, no? But the "normal" measure would be 44'.

We also have a 33' boat. On the surface it sounds like the 44'er is a bit bigger than a 33'er. Not so, the 44 is huge in comparison. Why? Because as you increase the length you also increase the bredth and depth. Think this way...a 2" cube is 8 cubic inches. A 3" cube is 27 cubic inches.

Folks who fool with boats kinda "get" all this on a gut level. But for someone new to the discussion it can be a bit of a challenge.

Whether or not your readers "get it" or not I haven't a clue. If you are writing for a " young adult" audience, then I doubt it matters much.

While it may sound a bit silly, give Capt Ron ( the movie) a view. That is a Formosa 51. That might give you some idea of size.

The Wanderer sailboat used in the Captain Ron movie sold
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Old 04-03-2014, 20:18   #60
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Re: seasick novelist has some questions

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I joined the forum recently as a writer who knows very little about sailing, and I'm trying to be precise about details in my first novel, which I'm sending off to publication soon. Please respond if you have a little time and patience for me. Also, please don't feel like you have to answer everything at once; maybe this will be a group effort. Warning: some of these questions will seem naive, if not downright silly, to most of you.

First, a quick prelude: part of my novel, in particular the finale, has been inspired by stories of young people taking solo trips in their own sailboats. In my book, there are three young people on board a large boat (the eldest is 16, the other pair are 14). The younger two are very familiar with their vessel. At the end of the story, they're departing from Hawaii and headed to Australia and New Zealand.Lotsa BS here -cant Imagine who wants to hear this

1) What kind of boat can you envision for these three, in order for them to comfortably make the journey? This question encompasses issues like how large/ long the boat should be, and what type it is. I want these young characters to be actually sailing (that is, working sails on the boat), but the boat would also have to be modern enough, with a motor, to power it. It will most likely be a refurbished yacht, but not quite a super yacht. I don't want it to be over-the-top, but I'd like it to be comfortable and spacious enough for their long journey. Am I making any sense? I'm still trying to get my head around how a boat can be both a sailboat and a motorboat/ cruiser.

2) I have written that the "captain" of the boat, the sole female, is commanding/ steering, etc.. She has a physical impairment and cannot move around easily. What are her duties at the seat of control, as someone who is limited to mostly sitting there? Would she steer from an upper (or lower?) platform that actually has a steering wheel, and does she also monitor the "vital signs" of the boat/ conditions from there with a dashboard/ computer screens?

3) If one of the passengers is on this upper platform with the captain, would the third sailor be on deck maneuvering the sails (and is there a special word for working the sails)? Does the sailing and "motoring" ever happen at the same time?

4) What does the sailor on deck (the first mate?) have to do exactly, in order to manage a large boat, even if the captain is in her upper platform and there is another person on board, and what specific things does he have to be careful/ mindful of?

5) What could the third person do to help out on board, even if he is not much of a sailor like the other two?

6) If these three are sailing from Hawaii to Australia, would they have to stop and refuel/ resupply along the way? Where would this be?

I realize these questions can be dense (in more ways than one), since some contain more than one query. I'll leave it at these for now. Thank you SO much in advance for your input!
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