You say you don’t have a lot of sailing experience so maybe you need to re-think your boat idea. Here are some considerations about cruising.
I am basing the following data on a friends Pacific circumnavigation
they did in 1998 – 2000 on their Lord Nelson
About 16,000 Nautical Miles all the way around:
– Puerto Vallarata, Mexico
, South Pacific
Islands, New Zealand
to South Pacific
will cover about 2,200 NM / 15 to 24 days non-stop and the Japan
– Vancouver Island will be about 3,900 NM / 26 – 32 days non-stop. That leaves about 10,000 NM on shorter hops. Assuming each shorter hop is about 100 NM you will be underway another 100 days. To summarize under worst case conditions ( i.e. most time underway) you will be moving:
24 -days to S Pacific
32 - days from Japan
100 -days the rest of the time
You are going to be out for 730 days and underway 156 days so what do you do the rest of the 500 or so days you will be cruising?
Your sailboat, particularly with 2-kids and two dogs
, is your home and I would consider the living aspects more important than the sailing characteristics, as long as the boat is safe and seaworthy
I bought our current
cruiser, a Caliber 40, new in 1995 after a 20-year career as a hard core
sailboat and sailboard racer
. I looked for several years at “fast” sailboats such as the J-40 but in the end my wife prevailed and convinced me that the live aboard characteristics were far more important than the ultimate sailing speed.
Comfortable sailing and rock solid hull
and rig were far more important to my wife than 200-mile days or pointing at 42 degrees apparent.
Twenty years and over 15,000 miles of cruising later I am thankful my wife exerted her will. Our boat sails
nicely and is very seakindly. It cannot begin to point like a J-42 nor can it surf like my brothers Tartan 42. But, it has gotten us thru a bit of heavy weather
in good fashion and we feel very safe in secure in all conditions.
The rig is very stout, way too heavy for a fast boat but we know it will never be a problem or point of potential failure. And, most important it is a cutter
rig, which provides a lot of nice upwind options for comfortable sailing. The inner forestay is removable at the base and we sail the boat as a sloop
most of the time.
Our boat does sail very well with a spinnaker
, code 0, big custom main, and three staysails. But, the liveability is what makes us most happy.
Additionally, the boat works perfectly for a cruising couple. There is an enormous amount of storage
and tankage. There was a lot of room for installing big batteries, solar panels
, and watermaker
. The engine
access is pretty good.
If I were in your shoes and looking at your Pacific circumnavigation
I would be thinking hard about weeks at a time on the hook and how does the boat work as a floating home for 4-people and dogs
I have done a lot of boat outfitting over the years. Make your best estimate of cost and if you are an optimist – double it! If you are a realist then add another 50% to the cost. As far as time – make your wildest guess at the time and effort and double it if you are an experienced boat outfitter.
A couple questions:
and handling heavy anchor
gear. You can tell the experienced cruiser from the oversized and dirty anchors (note the plural) on the bow. Can the J-42 carry two really big anchors and two 300' shots of anchor
chain without messing up it's bow angle.
- while underway at sea where do the kids
and dogs sleep? I assume the sail inventory is in the quarterberth because the extra batteries and watermaker
will take up the room in the lazerette.
- How do you put on a bimini
(really essential in the tropics!) with boom end main sheeting?
- Who is going to do the foredeck work and help with the sail handling? The J-42s race
with a crew of 6 or so and your only deck
hands will be? It may be very difficult to manage that inventory of nice racing
sails out in the middle of the Pacific when it is just you and ?
I single hand our Caliber 40 at sea but had been a busy foredeck and spinnaker
guy in hundreds of races for dozens of years. I also spent five years perfecty Miradors rig (spinnaker pole, multiple halyards, customized sheet and halyard
leads, spinnaker turtle, Code 0 launcher, custom staysail tracks, trysail) while single handing all over Puget Sound
. It then took most of our first trip from Seattle to San Diego
to really get comfortable handling the big sails at sea.
My brother and I purchased his Tartan-42 from Pete at Swiftsure and they were the best brokers I’ve ever dealt with.
Brad Baker at Swiftsure designed all seven sails that we have carried on Mirador since 1999. At that time Brad was with North Sails and spent a great deal of time helping us get the sails perfect. Brad is a very experienced long distance sailor and can really help you understand the many questions you have not yet asked.
I love the J-40, 42, 44 and would seriously consider buying
one but I am not sure it is the boat for all of you. I would love to have the boat and would be perfectly willing to sail it almost anywhere in the world, except maybe Japan to Vancouver Island, but for a relatively inexperienced cruiser with a family
- it is a bit like buying
a Porsche GT3 for a family cruise
around North America. It is fast and safe but is it comfortable and will it be fun after the first 5,000 miles?