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Old 24-06-2011, 11:38   #1
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Terminology question

I heard a phrase earlier today in discussion about a 45' catamaran design we're considering and would like your thoughts on interpretation - Just what IS an expedition yacht. . . .

I googled and all the boats are in the 100' + class and above. . .

I"m going to have to explain this to my wife so any light you can shed on it would be appreciated. . . .

Fair winds,

Bill
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Old 24-06-2011, 11:41   #2
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Re: Terminology question

Expedition yachts are little (some not so little) ships. Motor yachts that look tough like tugs.

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Old 24-06-2011, 11:47   #3
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Re: Terminology question

Thanks for the quick reply Rick - I'll just take it to mean that she'll be . . . a bit more capable for extended travel and better appointed than the norm . . .

Nice rendering by the way. . .
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Old 25-06-2011, 06:31   #4
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Re: Terminology question

As Rick said...however in your case I would take it to mean more robust and as you say, capable of more extended trips, possibly to more challenging cruising grounds.
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Old 25-06-2011, 08:26   #5
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Re: Terminology question

It's a very inexact term, obviously, but I find the definition overlaps pretty well with a boat that can make its own water and power for months on end, independent of shore, can carry enough fuel to cross half the Atlantic, is by design or retrofitting stronger than a production yacht, and has enough insulation and heating equipment, ground tackle and self-rescue gear (comms, liferaft, EPIRBs, satphones) to allow the crew a reasonable expectation of survival beyond the reach of most SAR resources and hundreds of miles away from the usual shipping lanes.

This is why a large proportion of "expedition yachts" of the sailing variety are steel or aluminum and are over 40 feet long...it is difficult to stow enough tankage, spares and gear on a boat much smaller, and one might hesitate plowing most (but not all) FG yachts through fields of broken up ice sheet. "High latitude capable" is another way of thinking of it.

Now, some pretty small boats have sailed to Spitsbergen or Antarctica or deep into the Northwest Passage, and might qualify on that basis as "boats that have made expeditions", but there are certain similarities to "expedition yachts" that are easily spotted. One is the ability to self-repair minor to moderate damage. Another is independence from the shore, implying significant water storage, heat production, electricity production, food and fuel stores. This is why many sailboats in high latitudes resemble trawlers with masts...because they are built to survive, not win round the buoys at Antigua Race Week.

Here's some examples of these types:

Peter Smith's alu Kiwi Roa:



Skip Novak's Pelagic and Pelagic Australis:




and the French steel yacht Vagabond:



Hope this helps.
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Old 25-06-2011, 09:35   #6
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Re: Terminology question

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Originally Posted by James S View Post
As Rick said...however in your case I would take it to mean more robust and as you say, capable of more extended trips, possibly to more challenging cruising grounds.
James - thanks so much - We're not planning on navigating the globe. . . yet. . . but will be out for a bit hopping around and the additional equipment will certainly make a difference. . .

Appreciate your input. . .

Bill
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Old 25-06-2011, 09:43   #7
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Re: Terminology question

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
It's a very inexact term, obviously, but I find the definition overlaps pretty well with a boat that can make its own water and power for months on end, independent of shore, can carry enough fuel to cross half the Atlantic, is by design or retrofitting stronger than a production yacht, and has enough insulation and heating equipment, ground tackle and self-rescue gear (comms, liferaft, EPIRBs, satphones) to allow the crew a reasonable expectation of survival beyond the reach of most SAR resources and hundreds of miles away from the usual shipping lanes.

This is why a large proportion of "expedition yachts" of the sailing variety are steel or aluminum and are over 40 feet long...it is difficult to stow enough tankage, spares and gear on a boat much smaller, and one might hesitate plowing most (but not all) FG yachts through fields of broken up ice sheet. "High latitude capable" is another way of thinking of it.

Now, some pretty small boats have sailed to Spitsbergen or Antarctica or deep into the Northwest Passage, and might qualify on that basis as "boats that have made expeditions", but there are certain similarities to "expedition yachts" that are easily spotted. One is the ability to self-repair minor to moderate damage. Another is independence from the shore, implying significant water storage, heat production, electricity production, food and fuel stores. This is why many sailboats in high latitudes resemble trawlers with masts...because they are built to survive, not win round the buoys at Antigua Race Week.

Here's some examples of these types:

Peter Smith's alu Kiwi Roa:



Skip Novak's Pelagic and Pelagic Australis:




and the French steel yacht Vagabond:



Hope this helps.
Oh My - Thanks for the clear understanding - and the great pics. . .

It's our intent to be as independent as possible and be out for . . .extended trips - but we're certainly not that big with an loa of about 14m or just over 45' but we will be moving about quite a bit and don't want to have to island hop or port hop if we don't have to. . . so your explanation is very helpful. . .

The terminology just baffled us a bit. . . thinking the term belonged to a much larger craft. . .

Appreciate the support very much. . .

Bill
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Old 25-06-2011, 11:28   #8
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Re: Terminology question

I saw a photo of the anchorage at Ushuaia (the jumping off port to the Antartic) and it had a very interesting group of boats. I guess you'd put them in the Expedition class of sailing yacht.

I found for you a whole blog full of photos!
Magnus Patagonian blogg: The final stretch

As Alchemy says they are good for the Antarctic and NW Passage, playing loop-the-loop of Greenland and Iceland etc.

But if you are not going to those extreme climates then it would proably be better to save money and get more livability.

I don't think a valid expedition yacht is going to be cheap - even an older one.

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Old 25-06-2011, 13:32   #9
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Re: Terminology question

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
can carry enough fuel to cross half the Atlantic, .
Now, what good is this?
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Old 25-06-2011, 15:35   #10
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Re: Terminology question

True - half way across and running out of fuel is NOT a good thing. . .
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Old 26-06-2011, 09:21   #11
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Re: Terminology question

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Originally Posted by BillKov View Post
Oh My - Thanks for the clear understanding - and the great pics. . .

It's our intent to be as independent as possible and be out for . . .extended trips - but we're certainly not that big with an loa of about 14m or just over 45' but we will be moving about quite a bit and don't want to have to island hop or port hop if we don't have to. . . so your explanation is very helpful. . .

The terminology just baffled us a bit. . . thinking the term belonged to a much larger craft. . .

Appreciate the support very much. . .

Bill
You may be interesting in my "fitting out" blog, as we are equipping for "shore independence", but probably no farther north than 55 N or so, meaning "heaters yes", but "Northwest Passage, not so much".

On that blog, you will find links to other blogs with similar theories and practices, along with manufacturers of less "WM" gear and to blogs of strangers and acquaintances already underway.

Fair winds.
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Old 26-06-2011, 09:43   #12
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Re: Terminology question

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Now, what good is this?
Because what you don't burn in the Polar High calms will go to heat the boat.

Most cruisers at the 40 foot level and the "Bendytoy" type carry between 35 and 60 gallons of diesel, because they are rarely more than the 150-300 NM range from a diesel pump this gives them. Of course, many coastal/weekender cruisers will have difficulty burning one tank a season...I know I have trouble running 11 gallons in an Atomic 4.

By contrast, I am extending my fuel capacity to 140 gallons in three tanks: two 50 gallon keel tanks and a third, 40 gallon, post-filter-system "day" tank under the new engine, which itself will likely provide a range of approximately 1,100 NM (or halfway across the Atlantic going from St. John's to Bristol!) at a conservative 4.5-5 knots speed.

This reasoning is two-fold. On a trip from Panama to the Marquesas (just over 3,000 NM), it is typical to encounter a lot of calm air in the ITCZ. It is also desirable, once the diesel is on, to charge/make water/etc. esp. if a longish motor run is anticipated. So the extra capacity is desirable. Secondly, I would likely refuel in Venezuela, which diesel is 3 cents/litre at Caracas, and I would carry 12 x 5 gallon diesel cans on deck, perhaps half of which I would use during the nearly obligatory motoring phase of the negotiation of the Panama Canal.

So if I leave with 30 gallons on deck and 140 in the tanks for a three- to four-week trip to the Marquesas, I don't think this is overkill, but is actually appropriate for the sort of "expedition" we are contemplating, where reliable and/or reasonably priced diesel may not be available or, if available, will be at widely separated spots. The logic is partly absolute, as plenty of motoring may be required to offset other consumption, and partly economic, just as it is for any ship.

This is part of the equation that differentiates "cruiser" from "expedition", where, as is implied, the "expedition" boat has to be prepared to carry everything needed from "internal stores". It's a different type of cruising, but in reality, it's more like the Smeaton and Hiscock type of the '50s and '60s, when outside of Europe and the States, few if any facilities existed for the cruiser, because few if any cruisers went where they did.
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Old 26-06-2011, 09:44   #13
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Re: Terminology question

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True - half way across and running out of fuel is NOT a good thing. . .
Did I mention I have a sailboat? I expect to use it as such most of the time, and in fact dislike motoring (I don't even own a car!), but if I have to motor, I want enough range to justify buying the new engine in the first place.
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Old 26-06-2011, 10:06   #14
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Re: Terminology question

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
You may be interesting in my "fitting out" blog, as we are equipping for "shore independence", but probably no farther north than 55 N or so, meaning "heaters yes", but "Northwest Passage, not so much".

On that blog, you will find links to other blogs with similar theories and practices, along with manufacturers of less "WM" gear and to blogs of strangers and acquaintances already underway.

Fair winds.
Thanks so much - will spend some good time on your links. . .

. . . and following seas. . .

B
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Old 26-06-2011, 10:14   #15
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Re: Terminology question

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Did I mention I have a sailboat? I expect to use it as such most of the time, and in fact dislike motoring (I don't even own a car!), but if I have to motor, I want enough range to justify buying the new engine in the first place.
Granted - Our cat will be a sailboat as well with two YM 29hp diesels and two 60 g fuel tanks but they are necessary to run up every now and then to recharge and to maneuver in port, right?
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