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Old 09-11-2023, 04:52   #1
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Seeking Advice for Sailing Journey - Sydney to Los Angeles

Hello All,

I trust this message finds you well. I'm turning to this knowledgeable community for advice as I embark on my most ambitious sailing journey yet.

My plan is to sail from Sydney to Los Angeles via the Society Islands and Hawaii aboard a 56-foot monohull sailing yacht for 1981. Admittedly, I'm a very inexperienced sailor, and this marks my first major ocean-crossing expedition. Adding a layer of excitement (or perhaps madness?), I'll be accompanied by another novice sailor on this adventure. Our joint goal is to experience true freedom on the open seas and embrace the challenges that come with it.

I'm eager to tap into your collective wisdom for insights, advice, and tips for two greenhorns venturing into these waters. Whether it's about navigating these specific routes, handling a monohull on such a journey, or general advice for novices tackling long distances—every bit of your expertise is invaluable.

In particular, are there specific challenges or considerations we should be aware of, given our limited experience? Is a duo journey of this scale a bad idea for sailors relatively new to long-distance sailing?

Your input will make a significant impact on our preparations, and we're grateful for any advice you can share. Thank you for taking the time to guide us.

Fair winds and calm seas,

RCZ
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Old 09-11-2023, 06:33   #2
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Re: Seeking Advice for Sailing Journey - Sydney to Los Angeles

Why not get some coastal practice in first - Sydney to Cairns or Hobart and back.
If you haven't got it already the book by Jimmy Cornell - World Cruising Routes is useful and points out what to look out for in the various routes across the Pacific to get to LA via Hawaii. I take it you know that you are headed into the prevailing winds and so could be a pretty uncomfortable trip a lot of the time. Sailing two up is obviously possible, but still a strain, a third person makes the sleeping arrangements much more manageable with less exhaustion all round.
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Old 09-11-2023, 08:28   #3
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Re: Seeking Advice for Sailing Journey - Sydney to Los Angeles

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReeceCz View Post
Hello All,

I trust this message finds you well. I'm turning to this knowledgeable community for advice as I embark on my most ambitious sailing journey yet.

My plan is to sail from Sydney to Los Angeles via the Society Islands and Hawaii aboard a 56-foot monohull sailing yacht for 1981. Admittedly, I'm a very inexperienced sailor, and this marks my first major ocean-crossing expedition. Adding a layer of excitement (or perhaps madness?), I'll be accompanied by another novice sailor on this adventure. Our joint goal is to experience true freedom on the open seas and embrace the challenges that come with it.

I'm eager to tap into your collective wisdom for insights, advice, and tips for two greenhorns venturing into these waters. Whether it's about navigating these specific routes, handling a monohull on such a journey, or general advice for novices tackling long distances—every bit of your expertise is invaluable.

In particular, are there specific challenges or considerations we should be aware of, given our limited experience? Is a duo journey of this scale a bad idea for sailors relatively new to long-distance sailing?

Your input will make a significant impact on our preparations, and we're grateful for any advice you can share. Thank you for taking the time to guide us.

Fair winds and calm seas,

RCZ
please do the following

1. A 56 ft sailboat is very large for 2 people.
1 on watch and 1 sleeping.
I would recommend 3 at min 4 hours on duty and 8 hours off duty.
I would also recommend you get someone with some experience as the third person.
2. The bigger the boat the more that can go wrong.
Spend the money to get a professional to check all the systems, engine, rigging, electrical, rudder, etc.
Make sure you know how to do simple troubleshooting and repairs.
3. Have a backup handheld GPS with a paper sailing chart.
Also have a spare battery for the hand held GPS
I would recommend a Handheld VHF with GPS as the backup.
Something like the Standard Horizon HX890 Handheld VHF with GPS.
4. Do some test sails in bad weather.
I like to go out just after a front has passed.
This way the wind and waves are bad but every hour it will get nicer.
My personal limit for sailing in bad weather is 4 hours.
After 4 hours I am all done in and would need to heave too for some rest.
5. Practice the following
Heaving Too, self steering, reducing sail, sailing downwind, etc.
Very Important learn how to steer your sailboat if your rudder breaks.
Steering with just sails, with a bucket being dragged behind in the water and with an emergency rudder.
6. Pick a sailing route that will not be against the prevailing winds and is not in a major shipping lane.

check out this thread
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...aii-20588.html
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Old 09-11-2023, 13:01   #4
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Re: Seeking Advice for Sailing Journey - Sydney to Los Angeles

#1) Predominant wind is on the nose, expect to be seasick at least part of the time and carry more than enough of whatever you use against it. Our preferred one is Stugeron. You will have to source that out of England or Canada.

2) Avoid the hurricane/cyclone seasons.

3) Take enough food for half again as long as you plan to be at sea.

4) Be aware it is possible for a whole lot to go crosswise very fast, and that if both you and your crew are inexperienced, authority and experience when things go difficult will be lacking, unless you take a more experienced crew as skipper. It is a long voyage, and really, it helps to have a knowledgeable skipper. Three is an awkward number, though if anyone is immature, because two will gang up against one. Even a 56 ft. boat is a small place for 3--of course there are smaller--and it is a long journey. [We meta couple with 2 children in Bora Bora who had sailed their 45 footer out from Brisbane, it was a very long trip for them but they had a good time, and the parents were kind of starved for adult company.]

We had some acquaintances on an 86 footer, highly experienced skipper and first mate and one crew, who took the Fiji-HI route, and complained about how wet it was on the wind at 11 knots. They were not sissies, but even that giant, beautiful boat, was wet in those conditions.

5. I agree you need backup electronics and paper charts. Keep the paper dry, because if you need it, you need it dry. Practice reading charts, learn what to avoid. Like seamounts, and near shore, rocks and wrecks, but really, what the shown contours will look like to your eye.

6. Go out in some boisterous weather, and experience sailing in 20-30 kn. on the nose, that is what the SE trades will give you some of the time, but also experience all points of sail, in those conditions, and try out the sail combinations that work best for them.

7. Good luck with it, good luck always helps, and respect the sea. I don't know where you are on the learning curve, forgive me if this is all too basic, but when I read "inexperienced", it is a big warning to me, and I don't know if it means you've done one daysail on a crewed charter or a sailing school jaunt to Lord Howe or what...

Ann
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Old 09-11-2023, 14:23   #5
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Re: Seeking Advice for Sailing Journey - Sydney to Los Angeles

I have done New Zealand (Whangarei) to Canada west coast (Vancouver Island). I had a lot of ocean sailing experience before doing this, a circumnavigation and then some.

Sailed to Rapa Iti in the Austral Islands as first leg, then to Hawaii and then on to British Columbia. I chose this route because it was the least amount of beating to weather. Both Rapa Iti and Hawaii were one tack routes.

Rapa Iti and Hawaii were both hard on the wind but we made good time. Double reefed main all the way. Rapa Iti to Hawaii takes you very close to Tahiti. Hawaii to BC was the slowest passage I had ever done - 21 days.

I agree that a 56 footer is a lot of boat for two people. Having said the I did this with two people on a 44 footer. I had just completed a major refit in New Zealand and was very confident in the boat. For a 56 footer four people would be better. Undertaking a voyage like this is serious business in a very isolated part of the world. There is not much help around. From one day out of New Zealand all the way to Hawaii we did not see another ship or boat. Rapa Iti is a very isolated place with no provisions, repair facilities or supplies available.

This is a voyage for the experienced, not beginners. Besides seamanship and watch keeping, boat maintenance skills are essential. We had zero problems which I credit to the comprehensive refit. Unless you know every system on your boat thoroughly and are very confident that everything works reliably don't do it.
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Old 09-11-2023, 23:52   #6
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Re: Seeking Advice for Sailing Journey - Sydney to Los Angeles

Get trained.
Minimum RYA Yachtmaster - preferably RYA Ocean.
Good schools in Sydney, Melbourne and QLD.

This will ensure that you get both the theory and practical.
Then reinforce the practical until it becomes second nature.
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