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Old 04-05-2010, 12:31   #1
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OT - Cruising from Japan Down to Singapore

I am a crew on board a boat and my boss have plans to ship a Bertram 60 footer boat from Florida, USA to Japan. This boat is B.V.I. registered and company owned. We will like to enter via Yokohama, sail around Japan and depart from Okinawa to Taiwan. We are Singaporeans and our ultimate destination is Singapore. We aim to travel maximum of 400 miles each time between ports. Any advice or directions on port / immigration / custom clearance to below few countries will be greatly appreciated.

Tentative transition countries.

Japan - Entry Yokohama, Depart Okinawa
Taiwan - ??? Advice needed
Hongkong - ??? Advice needed
Vietnam - Entry Hanoi, Depart Ho Chi Ming ??? Advice needed
Thailand - ??? Advice needed
Malaysia - This part should be easy
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Old 04-05-2010, 21:59   #2
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The obvious question here is why don't you ship to Singapore?

Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia are fairly straightforward as far as customs / immigration is concerned.

Vietnam - This is going to be your problem - Your 400 mile limit is fuel related? Vietnam is a long coastline - I'd load up with barrels of fuel in HK, perhaps stop in Sanya and refuel, then skip the whole coast of Vietnam if possible. It's possible to get fuel in Na Trang, but I don't know of anywhere else. Maybe other posters with more experience of this country than me could advise.

The other route (which to me would make much more sense) is Taiwan, Philippines, Borneo, Singapore. Easy countries, short distances, flat water much of the way
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Old 05-05-2010, 02:08   #3
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Ken Williams has quite a bit of experience in Japan and is heading to Hongkong and Taiwan at the moment.
You could drop him a line via his Blog at (Home): Passagemaking with a Nordhavn PRIVACY...

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Old 05-05-2010, 02:16   #4
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Welcome to CF thomie….Sounds like a great trip and there are a few options available to you.

I have cruised Japan and those waters a few times and would be happy to give you details, once you can identify a tentative schedule so as to make the most of seasonal weather.

Transiting Japan during the Cherry Blossom season is special (except they bloom earlier in the south) and the inland sea (setonaikai) has some special islands with great cultural museum exhibits.

Taking advantage of transitional periods between the NE to SW Monsoons you might consider following the chain down via the Philippines towards Kota Kinabalu, making a crossing to Singapore from Kuching.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:14   #5
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The obvious question here is why don't you ship to Singapore?
.......
The other route (which to me would make much more sense) is Taiwan, Philippines, Borneo, Singapore. Easy countries, short distances, flat water much of the way
Oh .. it's like the the dream of my boss and my adventure of a life time to cruise down Japan to Singapore, we will be doing a fair bit of fishing =D

We decide on this particular route because Japn, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam is a must go for us. Philippines and Borneo might be shorter but personally i think they are pretty boring and pirates pron.

Any idea why is Vietnam a bad idea? Our range is most likely 800 nm if we go between 10 to 12 knots. We try to keep it at 400 because we like to avg 15 knots and keep it trip to 20 hrs.
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:16   #6
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Ken Williams has quite a bit of experience in Japan and is heading to Hongkong and Taiwan at the moment.
You could drop him a line via his Blog at (Home): Passagemaking with a Nordhavn PRIVACY...

P.
Thanks fishwife, i will visit the blog and seek some advise. Have a good day
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:24   #7
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Welcome to CF thomie….Sounds like a great trip and there are a few options available to you.
I have cruised Japan and those waters a few times and would be happy to give you details, ........
Taking advantage of transitional periods between the NE to SW Monsoons you might consider following the chain down via the Philippines towards Kota Kinabalu, making a crossing to Singapore from Kuching.
I think it be a great trip too and i have to work hard to make it happen =D. The top few priority for this trip is Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong. We will really like to fish those waters.Looking at the way things are now, i suppose this trip will take place somewhere late July. We might go from Japan to Taiwan, berth the boat there for a few weeks, fly back to Singapore... etc. Everything will be easy once the boat reach Japan.

I think we have twin Caterpillar, each 1000+ hp. Our current concern is fuel availability and bad weather. I think our preferred route is typhoon prone
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Old 05-05-2010, 18:54   #8
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Originally Posted by thomie View Post
Oh .. it's like the the dream of my boss and my adventure of a life time to cruise down Japan to Singapore, we will be doing a fair bit of fishing =D

We decide on this particular route because Japn, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam is a must go for us. Philippines and Borneo might be shorter but personally i think they are pretty boring and pirates pron.

Any idea why is Vietnam a bad idea? Our range is most likely 800 nm if we go between 10 to 12 knots. We try to keep it at 400 because we like to avg 15 knots and keep it trip to 20 hrs.
OK, your route is chosen - (but for me the South & Westen Philippines and Borneo is the best cruising area in SE Asia - certainly not boring).

Vietnam is a beautiful country, visiting it by boat will be a wonderful experience one day, but the country still has a bit of political development to go through before it reaches this stage. Things are developing fast.

But right now, Vietnam is in the 'do-able, but a lot of hassle' category.

I hope you're not under the impression that you can check in at Haiphong and then potter down the coast and check out of HCMC. That's not how it works - more a case of enter Vietnam, 24-36 hours of complete and utter hassle, shedding $$$ for no apparent reason and then leave with filthy fuel back to international waters.

Others may have had better experiences, but this is mine.
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Old 05-05-2010, 21:30   #9
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pirate Tension in the SCS

Be aware that most of the off shore islands in the SCS, i.e the Spratlys are disputed re soveriegnty. Vietnam, China and the Philippines all lay claim to them and this could makes for an interesting passage thro' the area. Vietnam is a no-no for the cruising public at present with boats being hassled by officialdom at every level, even those that are seeking shelter from bad weather. Unless you are part of a major racing event i.e organised by the RHKYC / Da Nang Yacht Club you are likely to be imprisoned and fined with your vessel subject to confiscation. It has happened before, even to a vessel that was supposedly cleared for a stop in transit! The best bet is Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Phillipines / Palawan, KK then across to Singapore.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:58   #10
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OK, your route is chosen - (but for me the South & Westen Philippines and Borneo is the best cruising area in SE Asia - certainly not boring).
.....
Others may have had better experiences, but this is mine.
So far what i gather from others seem also to indicate that Vietnam is not worth the trouble and far too risky? Hopefully i can find someone whom had good experience there. Have you done S & W Phil or Borneo. Any tips or nice route / ports to recommend ?
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:02   #11
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Be aware that most of the off shore islands in the ...... The best bet is Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Phillipines / Palawan, KK then across to Singapore.
Thanks Marknewman, everyone seems to be having doubts about Vietnam. This is bad. What is a good route from Hong Kong to Singapore with around 400 nm range, share some experience with me please.
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Old 06-05-2010, 19:40   #12
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pirate HK to Singapore

First consider your weather. This will be in the Typhoon season so the fore cast is the most important consideration. That said HK to San Fernando (485 nm) in the Philippines is the first port of call for check in, you need extra fuel. Then it is a matter of dropping down south to Puerto Galera via either Subic or Manila Bay for fuel. After that out to the west and down south to Port Princessa (east side of Palawan) then on to Kota Kinabulu (Malaysia). More fuel will be needed at every port (you need to carry enough for 800nm I would suggest, as you have no wind power) then east to Singapore avoiding the Islands to the north of the rhumb line, as they have been known to have some aggressive fisherman (a.k.a pirates) operating in the area. Since the Tsunami of 2004 most of the priacy has stopped in the Malacca Straits as they came in the main from Aceh province, and were wiped out. Also the Malaysian's have now got a functioning Coastguard which works closely with the Singapore authorities.

You do need to study a good pilot book for this trip. I suggest you get an Imray Pilot as this is most widely used by sailors in the area cruising these waters. Good Luck.
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Old 06-05-2010, 20:56   #13
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Have you done S & W Phil or Borneo. Any tips or nice route / ports to recommend ?
Marknewmans advice is pretty much the way I'd go.

Subic Bay is easy fuel and good western provisioning, but checking in and out is complete rip off. Last time I went it cost USD250 per person as opposed to USD50 total in Puerto Gallera just down the coast (and PG is way nicer). Maybe things have changed, but I doubt it

Nice ports on the way: There are loads. The bigger ones where you can pick up fuel are: Puerto Gallera, Coron, Borocay, Cebu, El Nido, Puerto Princessa in Philippines. Kudat, Kota Kinabalu, Labuan (not very nice but duty free), Miri and Kutching in Sabah and Sarawak.

It's also worth a trip down the East of Sabah. Has places like this:


and this is not one of those Thai "this is what it was like 20 years ago" photos.
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Old 06-05-2010, 22:23   #14
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The fly in your ointment is that you want to go to HK, which for a boat like yours and the weather conditions you will face getting out of there, is not a good nautical decision.

Whatever route and decisions you make, plan on a relatively loose schedule based on weather and hops from safe havens to safe havens if the weather does not work out.

The easy part is shipping the boat to Japan, …. then it starts to get complicated
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Old 19-04-2015, 14:38   #15
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Re: OT - Cruising from Japan Down to Singapore

Kinda late but i like to thank everyone for their advice.

My boss manage to tour Japan > Taiwan > Hongkong and shipped back to Sin due to safety issues along Phil and Viet.

It was a great experience and expensive one, I heard the total trip cost ard 300k SGD for fuel and berthing + misc cost. At Yokohama, it cost 600usd to patch up a torn cover for the tender. A new cover only cost 350usd
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