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Old 06-03-2012, 00:03   #1
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The Canaries To Australia In A Power Boat?

Ok so I'm new and inexperienced. This will become clear as I explain my, what seems to be, crazy plan.
I am set on buying a Power Boat ("boooo" I hear in the corners).
The boat I have set my heart on is a Beneteau Flyer 10. However, it will drink ALOT! 2 5.7L V8's will chew through the petrol in no time at all. I can't seem to logistically work out whether it is feasible to make my way all the way to Melbourne via the Seuz hopping from one port to the next. Now i would enjoy seeing all the different cultures along the way but wary that at some point or two along the route I may run out of fuel and not make it to another port (even with spare jerry cans etc). Power against strong currents and wind conditions can unpredictably suck the fuel tanks dry, along with my wallet!! With a budget of 15,000 for fuel is this a pipe dream? Does anyone know someone who has attempted this with success, or not?

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Old 06-03-2012, 00:25   #2
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Re: The Canaries To Australia In A Power Boat?

If its petrol and not diesel - lots of problems. What is the nominal cruising range of the Beneteau? Long distances between places once you pass Suez, countries that don't welcome visitors, civil wars, pirates, open sea conditions on a boat which is not an offshore cruiser etc etc. I'd not say it can't be done but it would be both costly and I'd guess pretty stressful and not too much fun.

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Old 06-03-2012, 00:41   #3
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Re: The Canaries To Australia In A Power Boat?

This is not the sort of vessel to make such a long ocean voyage on and if it is petrol then it is a definite no go as the fuel usage will be prohibitive especially if you have in mind running the vessel at planing speeds.

If you are new to boating and this vessel then you should do some shorter local trips to see what your fuel usage is but I really can't see this vessel being able to carry the amount of fuel that you would require to go all the way to Australia even allowing for stopoffs.

i also have many years experience in running large diesel cruisers and outboard sportfishermen so am not just speaing from the perspective of a yachtie.
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:00   #4
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Re: The Canaries To Australia In A Power Boat?

Some good advice already, many thanks.
This is exactly where I was struggling to work out the possibility carrying out the voyage.
I imagine it would be stressful for one as mentioned by SteveT. But I have had 12 years in the British Army under constant stressful situations, so that would definitely stand me in good stead. I also understand that the vessel is not an "offshore" boat and has it's limitations on oceans even sticking close to shore wherever possible.
Ozbullwinkle you make a valid point about the amount of fuel that can be carried and there seems to be a lack of stopovers especially once through the Suez. I considered the idea of fitting another fuel tank in one of the berths but dismissed the idea as it would effect everything from the C of G to weight.
It seems that this voyage would maybe be too much of a challenge. However this is what maketh the man!
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:59   #5
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Re: The Canaries To Australia In A Power Boat?

Of course it can be done, and need not even be stressful - provided you have unlimited time (for picking weather windows) and money (not just for petrol, but for repairs, flights, provisions, etc.).

Did you do the math on the fuel cost? I'm guessing those petrol V8's will burn at least 60 liters/hour each at cruise, which I'm guessing is around 20 knots. So you would need 6 liters per mile, as a rough guess. How far is it from Canaries to Oz? 5000 miles, as rough guess? How much will 30,000 liters of petrol cost?
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Old 06-03-2012, 12:36   #6
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Re: The Canaries To Australia In A Power Boat?


First of all my grandfather always said "if you can dream it, you can do it"

But here is my issues.

1-The boat has a single engine? I would never go to any ocean with at single engine power boat. Being lost out there will not be cool.

2- Gasoline is hard to get in ports around the world. If you find it it will probertly be around 9 USD pr galon.

3- I have passed the Suez many times working as a marine engineer in big cargo ships. When we pass we have armed guards, that are heavy armed for pirate attacts. This is even that we have a 24 foot freeboard. Going there in a plesure yacht is more than stupid.. Sorry

4- Going with a budget of 50.000 i think you will be able to do it.

5- If you want to go far try to take a look on they build kites that would save some fuel. But I would still go south of Africa and make a nice stop in Durban

Good Luck
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Old 06-03-2012, 13:19   #7
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Re: The Canaries To Australia In A Power Boat?

Geography not being my strong suit, but looking at a globe of the world, going from The canaries to Oz by the shortest route takes you down the west coast of Africa to Cape Town (3600 nm?) thence Madagascar and over to Perth (3600 nm?).

This being against the generally prevailing wind and current you'd need to plan on 1 litre per nautical mile on even the most fuel efficient power boat available, plus reserves.

So your boat would need to carry over well over 4000 litres plus reserves. It could be possible to get by with less, but the route would be longer, and many of the stops do not have the reputation of being cruiser friendly.

Yes, around the world trips have been done in powerboats, one in a Nordhavn 40 coming to mind, but this would have been with prevailing wind and current, and at a time when the Suez Canal was considered viable for cruisers.

I'm guessing that the Beneteau Flyer 10 has a fuel capacity of less than 500 litres. The distance you could travel might just be noticeable on a world map.
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Old 06-03-2012, 13:37   #8
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Re: The Canaries To Australia In A Power Boat?

Dockhead and My Zerlina many thanks for your replies,

The fuel rate is a tough one to crack unless i take the boat out for a good few test runs. This will be the only true way to find out.
With regards to My Zerlina, 1) I totally agree with you, which is why I selected a Duel Volvo Penta set-up. They have a proven track record for reliabilty.
2) Gasoline (Petrol) refuels would be the limiting factor. Still trying to figure out how this can be overcome. However $9 a gallon is not a bad price at all considering the price of UK fuel. (Us Brits have gotten used to over inflated prices for around 2 decades now )
3) You are still statistically more likely to fall off your boat and die than be attacked by pirates in any waters. I didn't shy away from talking to Afghans when in Afghanistan just because there were terrorists amidst the population......
4) The costings sounds about right looking at the figures again.
5) Going via the West coast of Africa would be very difficult. It would cripple the fuel costings due to the winds and current being against me.
Think thats it. But I agree that there is alot to consider and I do take all advice on even though it may not seem like it!
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Old 06-03-2012, 13:43   #9
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Re: The Canaries To Australia In A Power Boat?

If you got a diesel you could do it no probs, med/suez, hug the coast along to india, along to thaliand, down through indonesia and png, You would need to hug the coast something terrible or fit much larger fuel tanks, probably about a 300 mile range max on those kind of boats (with a diesel) lots less on petrol. I'd certainly be looking at a diesel and very deep pockets.

You are talking about 12,000 miles maybe 2.5 mpg on the diesel version, say 4800 gallons, 21,800 litres, going to be expensive!

600 hrs run time on the engine at say 20 knots not to bad actually.

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Old 06-03-2012, 13:55   #10
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Re: The Canaries To Australia In A Power Boat?

Most fisherman out there in the 3rd world are using little boats with petrol outboards, typically a Yamaha 15. If there are fishermen, you will get your fuel. So the question is "where are there no fishermen on your route???"

We have petrol outboards on our boat and have never had problems getting fuel. Sometimes we have to get creative, lug jerry cans, buy the fuel in used 1 gallon water bottles, use a motorbike to cart the jerry cans, etc etc. Nothing too daunting for an ex soldier.
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Old 06-03-2012, 14:03   #11
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Re: The Canaries To Australia In A Power Boat?

Stevensuf, I like your optimism! I estimated 25000 litres if I took it a little bit easier than max chatt all the time. So I am preferring your figure!
The tanks don't hold much at all 500 litres full. This would make any slight error very costly and potentially leaving me stranded. I am yet to decide whether I should opt for the Diesel or Petrol variant but day by day as I re-calculate the diesel seems to have more going for it....

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, endless pockets I do not have, but I want to make sure that I have enough to make the voyage one to remember! One in comfort where I can not only enjoy the sea but the ports, marina's and city's too!

I considered engine run times and figure that as long as I can keep the engines in tip top with spares aboard I shouldn't have any problems - touch wood!

Keep the advice coming gents, and ladies, there is a wealth of information to be tapped from you all yet!
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Old 06-03-2012, 14:16   #12
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Re: The Canaries To Australia In A Power Boat?

Many thanks Boracay and Jimbo,

Thanks for the link and the advice. In a Power boat I had already dismissed the West Africa due to the reason you mentioned. It would be virtually impossible to traverse the dangerous waters without a deeper more stable vessel against constant wind and current. And once again the fuel problem arises but moreso via West Africa.

Jimbo you catch my drift entirely! I doubt that I would ever be truly stuck without a source of fuel. (Won't stop me from carrying 200 Litres in Jerry Cans though!)
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Old 06-03-2012, 14:26   #13
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Re: The Canaries To Australia In A Power Boat?

I don't think the Beneteau is the boat to try to make that trip with. That is a 33' planing hull that carries about 160 gallons of fuel (600 liters). While my boat is a good bit bigger, 58' and about 53 tons loaded, I carry almost 1800 gals. At 8 knots, that is good for about 2500 miles. We can extend the range by going slower, i.e. over 4k milles at 6 knots. But with the Beneteau, that does not work. You can slow down, but with the boat off plane and the engines lugging, you are not going to get signifcantly improved distance. Unless I am mistaken in my calculation, the base Flyer 10 with twin Volvo diesels has a range of about 200 miles. At that size, 33', you are going to be kimited in carrying extra fuel due to the weight, at 8.15lbs/gal, another 150 gallons, or 200 miles, is over 1,000 lbs, not insignifacant on a boat that size. And all that is before we even get to the discomfort of trying to run a small planing hull as a displacement hull in any kind of seas.

The trip sounds great, just need a different boat to do it in.
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Old 06-03-2012, 14:28   #14
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Re: The Canaries To Australia In A Power Boat?

Thought you were locked into petrol speedboat and vessel filled with extra petrol not in dedicated tanks is not the safest.

Now you are talking diesel will at least be safer and should improve range which will be your biggest issue. Need to get that sorted absolutely. Vessel is a definitely a coastal posers cruiser not an offshore vessel. Perhaps a planning hull fishing vessel would be a better choice if you are not locked in to a vessel.

Do your homework.

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Old 06-03-2012, 14:30   #15
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Re: The Canaries To Australia In A Power Boat?

I think the Somali pirates would find your vessel a useful adjunct to their fleet. Check the NATO naval force website and the International Sailing Federation website, both are quite adamant that pleasure craft not to through the Red Sea. I have done the checking recently because I am going the other way from Oz (via South Africa). You would have the advantage that you could go faster than a sailboat if chased, but have the disadvantage that you would have to stay close to the Arabian shore to pick up fuel. I think it is a terrible idea.

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