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Old 10-12-2008, 00:47   #1
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S&S34 Cruising speeds & equipment

Hi there guys, thanks for taking the time to read my post.

I haven't been sailing for very long now, but it appears that one doesn't need to sail for long before the dream of ocean cruising takes hold of one's imagination, and indeed savings plans!

A friend and i plan to purchase a boat for some blue water cruising, including some major ocean crossings. After months of research the S&S34 seems to be the boat we keep coming back to.

To aid in my planning, could you give me an idea of cruising speeds we might expect. Say, for example, in a 15 knot trade wind in August/September from Perth to Cocos Keeling? Even a very rough idea would assist!

Also, if anyone can offer any tips on what equipment i'd need and other things to look out for when shopping for an S&S34 it would certainly be appreciated.

Thanks,

Steve
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Old 10-12-2008, 13:48   #2
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I have done some racing on an S&S 34. Your average speed will depend on many different things, not least the condition of the bottom (scrub regularly) and the condition of the sails (and how well you trim them, of course).

Obviously, most of the time, your speed is going to be limited by your waterline length. While an S&S34 will surf, it will take rather big waves, plenty of canvas and a good helmsman (they are, like most IOR design boats, a handful downwind). Sea conditions will also be a big factor... flat water is a different kettle of lemmings to swell or chop.

Taking a punt, based on my rather limited experience:
Hard on the wind, in 15 knots, you will do well to average 5 knots... less into decent swell / chop. Reaching, 6 maybe 7, again less into chop or swell. Running... 7 or 8 I guess, if you are prepared to fly plenty of sail.

The S&S34 if a great boat...you could certainly do a lot worse.
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Old 11-12-2008, 20:14   #3
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Hi,

I have an S&S designed Tartan 34 which is very similar to the one you're looking at (you might want to check them out for variety sake). I'll just confirm what Weyalan wrote. I tend to average 5-8 knots in 15 wind, depending on sea state, and whether reaching, running or CH'ed.

I find it a pretty decent balance of speed and seaworthyness. It's pretty tight down below, but then it's a sailboat, not a condo.

One bit of advice that I wish I had followed is to look for a model already tricked out with gear and instrumentation. You'll wind up paying pennies on the dollar if the boat already includes GPS, autopilot, radar, liferaft, sea-anchor, etc... It's tempting to gravitate to the cheap listings, but believe me, it's worth the extra few K up front.
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Old 12-12-2008, 16:59   #4
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thanks

Hi, thanks to both of you for your comments.
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Old 12-12-2008, 17:17   #5
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Maybe 130 miles per day in the right condition? 5~5.5 knots.
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Old 12-12-2008, 17:31   #6
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Steve, Your question does really not have an answer here on the board. Boat speed is affected by, actual wind conditions including gusts, set and drift from currents, speed and direct of currents, total weight aboard for supplies, equipment, crew, fuel and water, type and condition of sails, and a whole bunch of other factors. The hull speed, etc. can be calculated but in the end it is a matter of guesstemates and the distance covered can be a week to a month for the same distances. A biggy is the skills of the crew.
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Old 12-12-2008, 18:49   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Pereira View Post
..........
To aid in my planning, could you give me an idea of cruising speeds we might expect. Say, for example, in a 15 knot trade wind in August/September from Perth to Cocos Keeling? Even a very rough idea would assist!
I would plan on 100 miles a day knowing that most likely you will do better. It would be unlikely (IMO) that you will do better than 150 miles a day unless you really hit good weather / conditions and have the boat sailing in the grove.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Pereira View Post
Also, if anyone can offer any tips on what equipment i'd need and other things to look out for when shopping for an S&S34 it would certainly be appreciated........
What you need will be quite different than what you might like or want .

I have a friend who sailed from Perth to the top end and then across to India and down to South Africa in a open deck Wharram Cat (26' IIRC), no engine, no electrics except nav lights, battery and solar panel, single burner metho camping stove, portable water containers, simple food, sextant, watch, charts, portable short wave radio receiver for time signals. Perhaps he didn't need the stove but he liked it.

On the other hand I would want an engine, VHF, SSB, radar, wind vane self steering, hand held GPS, liferaft. These were unnecessary items for my friend and attaining them may have prevented him from undertaking his voyage.

You might want more like refrigeration, water maker, autopilot, chart plotter, multiple charging sources etc. While I would enjoy the benefits of these items, I would not let the lack of them to stop me sailing.

I have noticed that there are two common things that keeps one for going to sea: Lack of supposed necessary equipment and lack on money.

Good luck in your search for a boat and planing your trip.
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