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Old 05-03-2007, 17:26   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taojones
I believe you transposed 4 and 5 in your response
Quote:
Originally Posted by horseatingweeds
As for 4, realism is too important to me, hence the need for a real boat to base my boat off of.


My point: having the family ending up happy would be unreal, reducing realism.
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Old 05-03-2007, 20:24   #17
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Horse,

If you want to use a real make/model yacht for your story, it's obviously because you intend to include information about that particular boat: her lines, particular design, layout, equipment; the way it behaves in different conditions, or any one of a number of different data. That's what will make the boys' yacht a character in the story, instead of a generic "boat," and will allow you to get into some of the technical minutiae that you want to explore. This is a grand idea: men (and boys) love the names of things.

The overall idea is a good one. But I'll be willing to say that the only way to get the knowledge you desire is first-hand. No one can tell you what a particular boat is like; you must have experienced it yourself. Remember the maxim writers write best about that which they know. Real experiences are necessary, and then the ability to recreate those experieces through the voice of the narrator (like William Wordsworth's definition of poetry: "emotion recollected in tranquility").

That being said, I doubt you'll get much that is useful from a bulletin board forum. The research required to gain the realism you're after will demand that you step aboard a few real boats. Hemmingway couldn't have written Death in the Afternoon without having gone to a few bullfights, and then actually gotten in the ring himself.

Good luck. I'd love to read a story like this. Your spelling errors are not my concern, except to note that writing is a craft, and any writer who wants to be taken seriously, esp. when first impressions are being made, shouldn't be like a painter who spills his buckets while climbing the ladder.

Fair Winds,
Jeff
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Old 06-03-2007, 00:24   #18
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Just for the record,Numb nuts is no relation of mine.Mudnut.
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Old 06-03-2007, 02:53   #19
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Before you worry about a boat, I would think some research on the route would be more helpful, as well as what would be entailed with getting a boat from Michigan to Texas. There are certain financial considerations in getting a boat from your point A to point B that would be beyond the ordinary pair of teenage boys.

I would suggest you read some books on cruising, before trying to incorperate it into a plot. There's much more than just hopping in a boat and taking off, particularly when you're dealing with an inland waterway to begin the voyage.

Realistically, two teenage boys without some form of outside help, would be hard pressed to complete the trip you have in mind. At least if you plan to set it in modern times.

It would seem, you're putting the cart before the horse.
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Old 06-03-2007, 17:45   #20
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The route from Michigan to Texas

I researched this rather a lot when I was landlocked in Minnesota, and still have a couple of the books/charts. ::leans over and pulls out "The Great Circle Cruise" by G. Bickley Remmey, Jr. ISBN 0-9669987-0-7::

Assuming the boys are starting in Lake Michigan, the route is to get to Chicago any way they can, then to the Illinois Waterway via the Chicago River or the Calumet River. This route will not have a specific cost to use, as far as I can tell, unlike going out the east coast way. There is a 19' bridge at mile 302 on the Calumet (a 17' bridge on the Chicago River can be avoided via the Calumet, but no way to avoid the 19',) so your boat must either be shorter than this or the mast must be unstepped; there are many options which will depend on the boat in question.

From that point, there are 9 locks before making the choice at Cairo, Illinois, whether to go up the Ohio River to the TomBigbee Waterway. Going down on the Mississippi avoids more locks, but has much more commercial traffic. The Tenn-Tom is more touristy, and fueling is more convenient, but more crowded.

I've never been on the Illinois or the Ohio, but on the Mississippi it is not reasonably possible to sail as your primary means of locomotion. The current is simply too much even in most of the pools for anything approaching safety. I did drag my boat about 5 miles upstream on an occasion when the motor quit at an inopportune moment, and rather a few times for smaller distances. I would guess the boys' grandfather bought and outfitted a motorboat, rather than a sailboat, as men of that generation were likely to do so, but that's just a personal opinion.
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Old 06-03-2007, 23:14   #21
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CaptainJeff, you’re quit right in all three respects. I only enjoy writing realistic fiction and this is why I am interested in finding an actual boat and more so an actual owner willing and motivated to assist.

It would obviously be better for me to examine and sail said boat, however, this is not possible for me. I am currently dealing with a bit of an illness that would make such an effort irresponsible and uncomfortable.

It is also obvious that one who has experienced a certain thing would be best qualified to write about it. What I have found though, often people who have done are not that interested in writing about it. I have done a few things in my days. I’ve flown aircraft, skydived for a few summers, blown a lot of stuff up, I’m well trained in hand to hand combat (no tournament crap, real combat), horseback riding, dog training, and a few other thing I’m not thinking of; but for none of these do I have an idea or motivation to write, currently. Not outside my professional paying-the-bills writing anyway.

When it comes to writing a BOOK, motivation and perhaps organization are more needed than such very helpful things as experience and talent.

I’m not expecting to turn out any Hemmingway grade work, just good and interesting work. Actually, this project is more therapeutic than anything. Thus fare, the therapy has been counter productive due to the odd phenomenon of people becoming somewhat offended that I would write a book of fiction….

Also, I’m not looking for information directly from this forum. I am simply looking for a sail boat enthusiast willing to share knowledge and experience with me.

PBzeer,

You are inferring quite a bit. I am assuming finding a boat may take a while so I figured starting early wouldn’t hurt. My first research was in the route and I am certainly not finished. Also, understand that the boys are young and naive. They have a young and naive plan. How far will they get? Will they even get TO the boat? Will they sink it to the bottom of Erie and drowned? Will they get through the locks before anyone is looking for them? Will two kids be allowed through? Won’t the coast guard catch them?

I am currently in the research stage of things. Do you think I would go to the trouble of harassing all you guys if I were unwilling or not planning to do my homework?
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Old 07-03-2007, 09:56   #22
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- As to choice of vessel, I mean no offense to the Fountaine Pajot owner, but if the boat is a central figure in the tale, it must have character. I would suggest something like a Vagabond. I could easily believe that their grandfather could have found one of these almost at the end of its useful life, then lovingly restored it. Other options with genuine appeal: a small pocket cruiser like the Pacific Seacraft Flicka, Hans Christian 33, Baba. If a power vessel is an option, what has more character than a Pilgrim 40?
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TaoJones may have a point. If this is to be a marketable book, you have to deal with a possibly significant group of people who maintain a flawed mental model when it comes to multihulls. They can't see them as boats of character, nor can they perceive wisened old people seeing their value and choosing a cat over a monohull. (no offense to TaoJones and other momomaran owners) However, the Tobagos have been around for ~20 years, and it isn't naive youngsters who buy and refurbish them and keep them high-priced and scarce. It is more than likely somebody's grandfathers who are second or third owners and facing the chore of refurbishing them. There are cats of similar size (eg: Prouts) that have been around more than twice that long, and are prevalent inland, as well.

If you are not worried about losing that portion of the market, are more interested in attracting a younger market, or are more interested in the adventure, a catamaran might do quite nicely. Getting the mast stepped where required on your chosen route is just another adventure, and a writer's challenge. A shallower keel might be an asset, depending on your route.
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Old 07-03-2007, 12:16   #23
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For Sonosailor and Amgine

Sonosailor, no offense taken, as I am not a "monomaran" owner. You will note in my Public Profile that I am actually in Florida to purchase a catamaran in the 35' to 40' range. And I have nothing against your particular breed of cat. But I do have an idea of how to develop character and create drama in what is presumably to be both entertaining and informative, and it is my opinion that a modern catamaran, while a fine vessel for many reasons, will fail the laugh test when someone tries to endow it with "character."

Those of us who have come to choose catamarans for reasons of our own, probably fell in love with sailing and sailboats when our souls were stirred by vessels like clipper ships or America's Cup racers, and I don't mean Dennis Conner's catamaran Stars and Stripes. At least, that's my experience.

To me, if the vessel is to be a central character in his book, as horseatingweeds maintains, it needs to have an aura of romance about it, and a sense that it was "the belle of the ball" in its younger days. But, after a long life on the water, neglectful owners through whose hands she had passed as the years rolled by had allowed her to become beaten-down and tired, and destined for the scrap heap.

The knowledgeable and wise grandfather is the one to see that she could be what she once was, though others think him a fool for investing his time and treasure in the effort. Through the long restoration process, it is the grandfather's personality with which the vessel becomes imbued, and his grandsons learn the value of dedication to a solitary task. And thus, they share an appreciation for the "new" vessel that no one else can adequately comprehend. To me, that rules out a modern catamaran.

Amgine, I believe the erstwhile writer has ruled out the river route, as he stated in post #7, "I want my readers, after reading my book, to feel like they have actually been through the St. Lawrence Seaway."

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Old 07-03-2007, 14:38   #24
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It would seem that with what would have to be limited financial resources available to a couple of teenagers, the St Lawerence route would be mandatory, as well as going offshore the whole trip. And that doesn't even take into account how they would provision in the first place. Unless Grandpa left em a chunk o' change.
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Old 07-03-2007, 16:03   #25
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Sonosailer and taojones, thank you for your information, very good points. You too PBzeer.

My first inclination was to create a boat character very similar to what taojones so eloquently described, just an old boat for an old man to visit his beloved sea.

However, this is leaving me with a fairly generic plot. My current thinking in planning the plot is that the grandfather rebuilds the ship with one or more partners in some sort of venture.

A couple fellows get together and rebuild a good economic boat with the intention of pleasure sailing, and perhaps one or two charter trips each season. Not anything profitable over all but something that gets them away from the wife’s home improvement ideas.

They build it and apparently make a few successful trips here and there, upgrading the boat with any revenue (“we won’t be around long enough to worry about profit”)….

Later, health declines, age catches up, ect.

This leaves me with some plot twist ideas. Perhaps the grandfather and his partner(s) where up to a little more than charter trips? Perhaps they were doing more than fishing? What will the boys find as they struggle to learn and maintain this ship on their ridiculous journey?

PBzeer, yes the boys will have very limited finances. With regard to provision, “We’ll just raid the pantry, all that food will last us for weeks. And wish all the fish we’ll catch, we won’t know what to do with all our food”. I figure after emptying they bank accounts, they will have $700 between the two of them. They will also find the once immaculately maintained ship having been neglected and abused for the past year or so. Barely enough diesel in the tank to get the engine started without slurping that last gritty bit, so they have to buy some. They’ll also make a stop for some other needs.
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Old 07-03-2007, 19:31   #26
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Ok a few ideas.

Quote:
the grandfather rebuilds the ship with one or more partners in some sort of venture.
The grandfather restores a fero-cement boat built around 1975.
Unbeknownst to him, Jimmy Hoffa's body was melted down with the lead to form the keel.
Quote:
This leaves me with some plot twist ideas. Perhaps the grandfather and his partner(s) where up to a little more than charter trips? Perhaps they were doing more than fishing?
The grandfather and his buddies sold pot and illegal drugs to youths in small communities as they sailed along the coast of Lake Huron.
Quote:
What will the boys find as they struggle to learn and maintain this ship on their ridiculous journey?
They will have to deal with the ghost of Jimmy Hoffa.

Hoffa's body was thought to have been buried in Bay City.
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Old 08-03-2007, 07:43   #27
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Maybe you should put 'em in Maine or up the Chesapeake, to make it more workable. Also, you may wish to read Farley Mowatt's book "The Boat Who Wouldn't Float". Those guys were older, but boy, weren't they young at heart!! It is difficult to believe that the book is fact, not fiction.
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Old 08-03-2007, 11:26   #28
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By Farley Mowat?
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Old 08-03-2007, 11:36   #29
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Heh...

Well, the St. Lawrence isn't a likely route, and will require a fair amount of filling out forms, presenting identification and money... I was trying to think as a teenager of how to avoid getting caught so of course I went with the river route. C'est la guerre et l'écriture.
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Old 08-03-2007, 11:46   #30
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By Farley Mowat?

horseatingweeds, I don't know if your post indicates an unfamiliarity with Farley Mowat, expresses amusement with the man's name, or corrects sonosailor's spelling, so I include the following link for your edification:

Farley Mowat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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