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Old 10-07-2008, 11:37   #16
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Hey Sassy
I have worked in Aussi befor , but if your Aussie then
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:03   #17
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Hi I am not an Aussi - I am a Brit making her way to Australia
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Old 11-07-2008, 14:17   #18
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Hi, I am a single handed female sailor sailing my own boat - a 26ft catamaran and am on route from England to hopefully get to Australia - .
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Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
!

CF member, MarkJ, and his wife, Nicole, just transited the Canal, and are in the Galapagos now.
Well she ain't married me yet... we are just engaged.... (she doesnt think we will be for long unless I learn to wash socks!)

Hey Sassy

No offence intended here at all but I don't think Panama Canal is for you unless you wish to pay about US$3,000 to be towed through. Then you have a vast ocean before you. The first thousand miles upwind to a pin prick of a bunch of rocks called Galapagos with NO spares, mechanics, chandleries etc to help with breakages. Then the next leg is over 3,000 miles to another dot of a rock called Marquesses again without services for a yacht.

I have strengthened my opinion that 26 feet, cat or mono is too small for this work. One reason is the size of the boat, but the other more important reason is the size of the budget. People buy small boats because they can't afford larger ones. They have limited cruising kittys and a negligible contingency budget.

I heard yesterday of a 28 footer that to get to the Pacific has sailed across the USA Great Lakes and then to be trucked to the west coast. If that is not financially possible I can't see how you can go it as the Horn against the wind is foolish for a 26 and the Cape too just starts a traverse of the Great Southern Ocean.

I'm sorry but world travel by ocean is not for everyone imho.


Sorry I can't be more optimistic.

Our friend Kirk is on a 28 footer and has just failed in his 4th attemp at the Panama Canal. He now has no money, has huge fines to pay and no capital except his boat... which he may lose.

All the best.


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Old 11-07-2008, 14:57   #19
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Hi Sassy,
Can I add my welcome also and best wishes for the trip. Sounds like you've a lot you'll enjoy learning but you've had the courage to get out there and do it and I'm 100% sure UK to Oz in a Heavenly Twin is feasible.
As the others have intimated, going west about is the only way to do it when you're sailing the regular routes - but I'm not sure dipping down to the Horn and taking on prevailing headwinds in a 26 foot cat is sensible.
Is a tow through the Panama Canal absolutely forbidden? Or the loan / hire of a more powerful outboard worth considering? I'm pretty sure as you headed west through the Caribbean you'd link in with other skippers happy to help out for that one obstacle.
Anyway - good luck. As an ex pat Brit with Oz citizenship I've a vested interest in both countries!
Cheers
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Old 11-07-2008, 15:15   #20
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.
Is a tow through the Panama Canal absolutely forbidden?
No, its not forbidden at all. It just costs a lot. If you go less than 8kts you pay US$2,200 plus refundable buffer of $800 plus the tow fee of, one would suggest, $800-$1,000. So about $3,800 which you get back $800.

So its do-able, with money. The next steps are not money dependant... and there may be the difficulty.




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Old 11-07-2008, 15:39   #21
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Hi Sassy, If what Mark says is correct borrow a bigger outboard. There have been many yachts pass through the canal that wouldn't have a hull speed of 8 knots that havn't been towed. If you have sailed from the UK to Spain you must have crossed the Bay of Biscay which is as bad a piece of water when it wants to be as anywhere in the world. I wouldn't let anyone put you off re size of boat or wealth or lack there of. You are doing it, more power to you. Once you have finished visiting the West Island (Aussie) come to the main land and enjoy NZ.
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Old 14-07-2008, 20:55   #22
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Aloha Sassy,
Welcome aboard! You've gotten lots of responses. I have absolutely no experience with what you are attempting but definitely have an opinion about the Red Sea (I wouldn't do it).
I wish you the best.
Kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 14-07-2008, 23:25   #23
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Hi Sassy:

Good luck with your adventure. Sailing downwind is preferable to upwind so I vote the Panama Canal but have no expereince with it. I.m sure there is a way to do it if you can throw enough thought into it. Anyway $3k is still cheaper than sailing around the Horn. $3k might get you a nice 25 horse motor so you can motor at 8 knots. If your outboard bracket can handle the stress. Fair Winds. Please keep us posted on your adventures.
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Old 15-07-2008, 00:21   #24
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I think you analysed the issues very well in you first post sassy and I agree with HUD that E to W is the preferred route for your type of craft.

Put on your hit list for the boat very strong towing points for the hulls, fabricate a custom bridle which will double for towing and heavy weather parachute.. (Search our member maxingout posts here for great ideas on setup) http://www.maxingout.com/

Panama is manageable with patience and some help from an experienced power yacht or fish boat that will give you a tow and maybe one of their crew to help with the lines. Just have the gear ready to be towed at 12 knots in case your Good Samaritan, lags behind.

There are much easier routes to Oz than the direct one Mark has chosen and will provide more downwind conditions for the cat.

Spend this winter studying the weather patterns and places of interest that would take you after Panama up the west coast of Central America and Mexico…for a jump off towards Hawaii.. Note the types of weather systems that bring favourable winds when coasting that differ from any seasonal prevailing.

After Hawaii, you have tons of options. For example the milk run thru the Marshalls and Micronesia. Slanting down whenever it feels good to get into the lee of PNG and the Solomon’s or continuing on to the Philippines and running inside down the lesser known Indonesian waters via Bali to Darwin.

Best of luck with your voyage and keep us informed….Nick
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Old 15-07-2008, 00:43   #25
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It may not be PC to say so, but for a solo female sailor I wouldnt reccommend going through the largely Islamic areas of the Suez canal/ Red sea. Unless you can find a male crew to accompany you. But that would certainly be the shortest route.

IMHO the Panama canal/Pacific ocean would be a safer route for a solo woman.

Best of luck with it!
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Old 15-07-2008, 11:34   #26
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We have had some reports on this thread that you need to maintain at least 8 knots to go through the Panama Canal. I don't think that is correct. Read the rules for yourself here http://www.pancanal.com/common/marit...rms/f-4352.pdf
As this is on the official web page I assume that this document describes what applies now.....

Here is the relevant paragraph.
"
4352 (OPT)
Rev. 4-2008
AUTORIDAD DEL CANAL DE PANAMÁ
PROCEDURES FOR SECURING A HANDLINE TRANSIT
OF THE PANAMA CANAL

......

d. Speed: The ACP has determined that the minimum full ahead speed required for vessels in order to complete transit in standard times is 8 knots. The Panama Canal Authority shall deny transit if a handline vessel cannot maintain a minimum speed of 5 knots. However, a vessel may be towed through the Canal by another handline vessel if it can tow her at 5 or more knots, or make arrangements to be towed, at their own expense, by a Panama Canal Authority launch. Sailboats cannot transit the Canal under sail. They must transit with motor propulsion. If the vessel is equipped with an outboard motor as its primary propulsion, it must have a means of reversing the engine. The operator must be able to control the outboard motor from the cockpit, or else, the vessel may need a Port Captain’s inspection. Make sure to tell the Canal Inspector the correct top speed that your vessel can sustain. There can be hazardous currents associated with the transit, and it is important that your vessel be able to maintain a safe speed at all times. If, at the beginning of the transit, the craft cannot maintain a safe speed, as reported to the Canal Inspector, the craft will be turned around and returned to the starting point. If this occurs, an aborted transit charge will be billed to the craft and any other related charges. Sailboats and other slow vessels, normally will transit in two days.
......
"
So minimum speed is 5 knots and you can arrange for a fellow yachtie to tow you as long as long as the tow maintains 5 knots.

I have been through twice on a 26 footer using a 4 hp outboarder!
A bit of a squeeze, but everything went OK. This was back in 82 and 88 though.

Sassy, you should be alright as long as your outboarder is in good condition and the bottom of your cat is clean!!
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Old 15-07-2008, 12:11   #27
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[QUOTE=MarkJ;181556]Then you have a vast ocean before you. The first thousand miles upwind to a pin prick of a bunch of rocks called Galapagos with NO spares, mechanics, chandleries etc to help with breakages. Then the next leg is over 3,000 miles to another dot of a rock called Marquesses again without services for a yacht.[/COLOR]
[COLOR=black]I have strengthened my opinion that 26 feet, cat or mono is too small for this work.I'm sorry but world travel by ocean is not for everyone imho.

This is utter nonsense. Countless small boats have done milk run circumnavigations.
A friend of mine circumnavigated in a 23 foot engineless kittywake and had a blast.
Having a small boat is not always a reflection of finances; it is often a realistic appraisal of what strength is needed to handle the size of sails and ground tackle.
I find this size ideal for a woman especially in storm conditions; I wouldn't want to struggle with a larger boat singlehanded.
It is the quality of construction that determines a vessel's capabilities offshore; not its size.
Frankly, in my opinion, I wouldn't consider a boat built for chartering in the Caribbean suitable for offshore work and would much prefer my own pocket cruiser which was designed for the North Sea.
The heavenly twins is a very fancy quality boat and has quite a loyal following. I have seen two of them; both had just crossed the Atlantic.
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Old 15-07-2008, 12:26   #28
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A decade or more ago, when the most popular cat for world cruising was the Prout Snowgoose, The Heavenly Twins also featured at quite a high level in most circumnavigations by one class.

I am not sure that fitting a larger motor will achieve anything more than a higher fuel consumption. as their hull shape is not the most speedy, and design is more appropriate to two small inboards (1GMs or equivalent).

An alternative route is always down to Brazil, across to Cape, and then go far enough south to pick up the trades followed by a long slog over the southern ocean. Not the warmest route!
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Old 16-07-2008, 04:43   #29
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Hull speed

When I first purchased my heavenly twins I was advised that a bigger engine would not make any difference to my hull speed so have not bought a bigger engine as a consequence of that information.

I crossed the Bay of Biscay from Falmouth and headed for Vigo Northern Spain in October of last year. I waited for the right weather ie Northerlies to push me across the Bay and headed off with 140 litres of fuel (just in case there was not much wind!) but I fully expected lots of wind in October - I had no wind at all for 5 days except a couple of hours wind on the nose - I had to drift for 2 days (in the right direction!) so that I would have enough fuel to get into a port - I changed my destination and went la coruna.

I have every confidence in taking my boat across the Atlantic - she is a very sturdy and well built boat and many have crossed the Atlantic and some have circumnavigated - but I would not take her into stormy waters deliberately.

Thank you everyone for your information on the Panama Canal - I am considering having her trailered or lifted onto a ship for the transit and will have a look at the inland waterway in the states.
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Old 16-07-2008, 07:09   #30
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I am amazed that a boat haulage company has not opened an office at Panama and become well known. Costs would certainly be compatible with the passage, without the drama of failed transits.

If that is your solution in the end, please let us know all the details.

Best of luck for the trip, I will be heading that way myself in a few years time.

Have you decided on a destination in Aus?
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