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Old 01-10-2009, 05:39   #16
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From general reading (including this site) the "standard solutions" to the basic "how do you sleep?" singlehanding problem seem to be-

(a) Don't worry about it, the chances of hitting anything in the open ocean are minimal/acceptably small, so you can sleep while the boat self-steers.
(b) In short (typically 20 minute) "micronap" bursts, preferably in daylight, while the boat self-steers.
(c) For longer periods, hove-to, preferably in daylight.

(b) and (c) tend to imply that it is necessary to maintain a continuous watch during the night. (They all, of course, assume that one is able to sleep in these situations, if tired enough)

My impression, from the little I've heard, is that, due to likely sea state, currents, the quality and quantity of traffic, and the presence of other fixed or drifting hazards, the use of these "solutions" in the passage between HK and Taiwan is likely to involve more risk than most singlehanders would consider acceptable.

Is that a fair summary?

I'd be interested in any opinions, but especially those based on experience, of these (or similar) waters and/or singlehanded sailing.
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Old 02-10-2009, 03:48   #17
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Ed,

I don't think you could have picked a more challenging passage in this part of the world.
NE monsoon - please don't even think about it in a 26ft yamaha - you will break it.
SW monsoon - do-able early in the season if, and it's a really big IF, you have good weather information on board (rent a sat phone). RTS activity does, as Mark pointed out earlier, continue in China Sea to December and there will most probably be at least one in the area during the course of your trip.

Single handing the China Sea - I've done 20+ crossings and I wouldn't even consider it - far to much going on.

All very negative I know.

A stupid question - have you looked around Taiwan for boats? - there are some very good yards there that have been building boats for the US market for decades (eg Ta Shing)
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:29   #18
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Originally Posted by bewitched View Post
Ed,

I don't think you could have picked a more challenging passage in this part of the world.
NE monsoon - please don't even think about it in a 26ft yamaha - you will break it.
SW monsoon - do-able early in the season if, and it's a really big IF, you have good weather information on board (rent a sat phone). RTS activity does, as Mark pointed out earlier, continue in China Sea to December and there will most probably be at least one in the area during the course of your trip.

Single handing the China Sea - I've done 20+ crossings and I wouldn't even consider it - far to much going on.

All very negative I know.

A stupid question - have you looked around Taiwan for boats? - there are some very good yards there that have been building boats for the US market for decades (eg Ta Shing)
Thanks for your response, which tends to confirm the impression I was forming.

I havn't really looked for boats for sale in Taiwan, but I think the chances of getting one locally that is within my means are very slim. Although Taiwan does make boats, the majority of them are power boats, they concentrate on the upper end of the market, and most of them go for export.

The visible local cruising sailboat population is tiny. The two people I have talked to who have keelboats here both sailed them in, one from Japan, the other from the US West Coast. I suppose those might be alternatives to consider, but the US seems a long way away, and I havn't seen much advertised on the internet originating in Japan.

There was a Wharram (Pahi 26) for sale in the Philippines but it sold before my vacation came around. I guess that would be a challenging, and perhaps impractical, passage too.

Its looking like I have to ship, build, or forget it.

Regds, Ed Lithgow
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Old 15-10-2009, 23:35   #19
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Its been suggested to me that I should look for a delivery skipper, but I suspect that a professional skipper isn't going to be happy on a 25 foot boat for that trip. I could go a bit bigger (if something came up in HK) but with my lack of experience I don't want to commit to something I couldn't afford to lose.

For example, there was a Woods Gypsy for sale in Tonga with a builder/owner/skipper who was willing to deliver anywhere for expenses. A Gypsy looks like it would make a nice liveaboard, but it was 30000 Euros. Thats rather more than I want to spend as a beginner since there's a pretty good chance I'd wreck it in the first month of ownership. If I lived I would then be very pissed off.

Anyway, looks like its sold now. Only a Google cached image left.

There's been a big, apparently abandoned cat in Kaoshiung (Gaoxiong) (near the ferry terminal on the island "Blue Siren :Hiroshima") for 4 or 5 years but I havn't been able to find out anything about it. Enquiries with a Taiwanette translator in tow apparently just got a rather surly "we know nothing" response from the neighbors.


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Old 07-11-2009, 07:28   #20
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hi am new here. would like to join this thread and gain some wisdom. i sailed from new zealand to hong kong two years ago, worked there for some time and am about to sail to japan in spring 2010, preferably starting before mar 1. will likely sail to kaoshiung and keelung first. destination port is akita in nw coast of honshu island. any info regarding prevailing wind strength directions en route would be welcome. also would like the title of a good cruising guide for the trip. am already reading the sail-japan site, but right now my problem is getting there. many thanks.

my boat is a pacific seacraft 37.
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Old 23-04-2010, 17:54   #21
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Hi Ed,
We have just arrived to Taiwan from HK on 31'. We are moored in Shaochuan in Kaohsiung now and likely to stay about a year. Just wanted to let you know that we just made the trip you are planning to do, with little difficulties. We had two days of stronger monsoon so it was a bit bumpy, 3-4m waves, a bit too steep, but only up to 30kn wind (avg around 20kn). There were fishing fleets only cca one day out of HK and then only occasional light in a distance and US marines on the VHF. Few tankers near Kaohsiung of course.
Where are you now with your plans? Drop us an email, we'll be happy to provide you with details.
Good luck
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:20   #22
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hi edithgow, hong kong might be a good place to look for a boat. the several clubs there have pin-up ads and some are cruisers. sellers of cruisers don't fetch good prices in hk, as most sailors do club races there. yzlian
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:46   #23
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In addition to Royal Hong Kong YC, Hebe Have YC, Aberdeen Boat Club, there are also several brokers selling sailing cruising boats.
The Philippines are also worth looking at for a starter boat - Subic Bay, Puerto Galera and Port Carman have plenty of cruising boats.
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Old 25-06-2010, 09:36   #24
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Sorry all, havn't checked back here for some time, since it seemed that my initial sailing-in plan was impractical.

I very much appreciate your recent information.
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Old 26-06-2010, 02:03   #25
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I've been thinking I should maybe try and build something small "to start", maybe an outrigger canoe or similar, then maybe escalate to a small cat.

About a month ago there were vast quantities of bamboo poles, polystyrene buoyancy blocks, rope, wire and heavy nylon monofilament (with oyster shells strung on it) washed up on the local beaches.

This is wreakage from oyster rafts, which I think they just cut lose before the typhoon season gets underway. I'm kidding myself that I must be able to build something (however primitive and short lived) with all that lot. Probably only have to buy material for sails.

However, by the time I'm free (grading end-of-term papers at the moment) it'll probably all have been tidied up and burned. Very frustrating.
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Old 27-06-2010, 02:00   #26
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Build a Wharram Cat ... my father and a friend built two during the school holidays in the Science Lab of King George V School in Honiara, Solomons in 1971 ...
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