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Old 24-03-2014, 09:56   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Hawaii
Boat: 1978 Cal 39 MKII Tall Mast
Posts: 65
Hawaii to Tahiti in a Cal 39

I have been getting ready for a blue water cruise for about a year now and am just about ready! One year of outfitting the boat, sailing 2-7 days per week, a few shake-down cruises including a two-week trip between Oahu and The Big Island and devouring every sailing book/article/forum post I can get my hands on is just the start, but I want to actually go for it!

So I've created a web-page,, dedicated to the planning stages of sailing to Tahiti and would love some advice. What am I forgetting? Are there any faults in my logic? Do I really need an expensive life-raft? Is my route, departure dates and time-tables feasible?

It is a work in progress, but I'd love to clean it up into a working document that others can use for their own trip, even if the destination is different.

Thanks all.
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Old 24-03-2014, 13:08   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 7,113
Re: Hawaii to Tahiti in a Cal 39

Even carrying a life raft is elective. For us the decision was about spending time in case of emergency to make the primary vessel okay again, because of unreliability of life rafts in those days, sparseness of rescue services, and a presentation by a seller of life rafts who demonstrated their failure modes. We carry a big dinghy, easily inflated, and no life raft.

There are people who will tell you that that is madness. Perhaps it is, but perhaps it is merely idiosyncratic. Just saying.

If you are brave enough to face getting into a liferaft, then do NOT buy one that is too big. Liferaft design is based partly on the ballast your body provides, and one that is oversized is far more likely to capsize, throwing you in the water, and you'll have to try and get back iin. Everything in it should be securely tied down. If I were going to have one, I'd have to do a lot of research. Articles where they have been tested in swimming pools, so that the authors have had to try and get in them, and can compare and contrast them may be helpful.

Can't help you on the expense issue. How would you feel stepping into a bottom of the line item? Sure is a lot of money for a possibly one use item!

I hope you end up pleased with your choices.

Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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cal, hawaii, tahiti

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