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Old 19-07-2014, 03:14   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Isle of Arran, UK
Boat: Lagoon 420 - Hull 52
Posts: 249
Figueira Da Foz, Portugal to Isle of Arran, Scotland - July/August 2014 - Lagoon 420


I'm looking for two or three crew to help me sail Octopus, my 2007 Lagoon 420 Hybrid, from Figueira Da Foz, Portugal to Isle of Arran, Scotland in July/August/September 2014.

Dates (TBC)
Dates flexible within following constraints. One week (two weekends) commencing any Thursday/Friday through to following Sunday/Monday, from now until the end of September

Passage Plans
The voyage is expected to take about a week and include at least one overnight stop at either Bayona or La Corunna (to top up with fuel). Ideally I will only be taking one week off work, so I'm hoping the passage can be completed within 9 days (i.e. two weekends). I plan to fly out on a Thursday or Friday evening to Porto or Lisbon (probably Ryanair Liverpool to Porto), expecting to arrive at the boat between 11pm and 1am). Stock up with fresh produce in the morning and set-off at about noon.

From Figueira Da Foz to Bayona/La Corunna is likely to be against the prevailing Northerlies, so is likely to mean motoring against wind, swell and current at about 4 to 5 knots for 160 miles. Once we head North from NW Spain we can expect the winds to be more favourable.

From Bayona or La Corunna, we will head for Wexford, SE Ireland (winds permitting), a distance of about 550 nautical miles at an expected average of 5 knots.

About Octopus
Octopus is a well-proven 42ft (11.6m) catamaran that I have owned since new in 2007. I sailed across the Atlantic to the Caribbean in 2007 with my wife, our six children and two crew. Then spent five idyllic months in the Caribbean before returning across the Atlantic to our home in Scotland. In 2009, we sailed from Scotland to the Algarve in Portugal and in 2010 spent a couple of months in the Med. before sailing back to Figueira Da Foz in Portugal, where she has been used as floating apartment for family holidays ever since.

We have just spent two weeks getting Octopus ready for the trip home, but ran out of time for the passage home owing to a couple of minor problems with the hybrid diesel/electric propulsion system, which have now been resolved. Family and work commitments prevented us staying on to complete the passage. Everything works and the hulls have been cleaned.

Octopus is a very spacious and comfortable catamaran with four separate double cabins and all modern conveniences. Most of the sailing gear is standard factory-fitted gear. Octopus is no greyhound, as she is a heavy boat filled with accumulated family clutter, and weight kills the performance of a catamaran. When planning a voyage we expect to achieve an average speed of 5 knots, but Octopus needs a stiff wind (12 to 25 knots) to sail well. She's not good sailing close to the wind, but sails pretty well at other points of sail.

Myself, possibly plus one or two of my brothers (depending on dates), possibly plus one or two of my older children (depending on dates and inclination), plus two or three volunteers.

Crew Duties
As you would expect, Octopus has an autopilot and chartplotter, so navigation and watch-keeping are simple. Keeping watch usually just means that - keeping an eye out for shipping and watching for a change in the weather. All lines lead to the helm, so raising, adjusting and changing sail can be done safely, without going on the foredeck. The rig is tolerant and forgiving, so we tend to set the sails roughly right for the conditions and leave them. The sails can be tweaked to improve performance, but we don't tend to do this much. You sail a cat by numbers, i.e. wind speed and direction, not by feel (as feel can be deceptive). We reef early and often.

Obviously, any crew would take turns with preparing and cooking meals, washing up and keeping the boat clean and tidy.

About Me
  • 54 year old sedentary male
  • Moderately fit, without having done a day's 'exercise' since leaving school
  • 15,000 sea miles, but wouldn't consider myself an expert sailor (no formal sailing qualifications)
  • Competant at electrics, electronics, navigation, mechanics and practical matters
  • Caring and considerate skipper
  • Socially, a bit on the shy side, but friendly and good humoured

About You
You will be:
  • moderately fit and active (although no hard physical effort required)
  • reasonably practical (no need to be an expert in sailing or anything else)
  • moderately healthy (i.e. not chronically seasick or suffering from a recurrent serious illness)
  • conscientious
  • considerate
  • willing to turn your hand to anything
  • good humoured
  • Male or female (i.e. no preference)
  • English speaking (fluency not required)
  • Non-smoker (ideally)
  • Meat-eating (ideally - otherwise you will have to prepare your own food)

Unless you are reckless, you will want to know the safety equipment Octopus carries. This includes the following:
  • Top quality 10 Person Liferaft (3 years overdue for a service - I don't consider this an issue, but you may)
  • Full set of (in-date) Offshore flares and distress signals
  • 4.2m RIB (preferable to a liferaft in some circumstances)
  • Main DSC VHF Radio
  • AIS & GPS
  • Two portable waterproof VHF handsets
  • Two fully equipped grab-bags
  • Two EPIRBS (batteries overdue for replacement, but should still be good for 87% of rated 48 hour transmission)
  • One new PLB (24 hour transmission)
  • One Satphone
  • Fully equipped first aid bag
  • Five or six adult automatic Personal Floatation Devices (150N), with crutch strap and harness, but you may prefer to bring your own
  • 4 sets of adult waterproofs (foulies), but you may prefer to bring your own

Comfort and Entertainment
  • Plenty of bedding and bed linen available, but you may want to bring your own sleeping bag
  • Towels/flannels available
  • Various books, films (circa 1,000), audiobooks and music
  • Practically anything else you could wish for is available

All food, provisioning and boat costs will be met by me. Flight and travel costs will be met by you unless a decision made by me leaves you out of pocket, in which case I will reimburse you. The voyage will be at your own risk. You will be expected to have taken out appropriate travel insurance that covers you for offshore sailing, but I will not check that you have done so.

For safety reasons the following rules must be followed:
  • Life jacket must be worn and you must be clipped-on at all times on when on-deck
  • At night and in wind speeds above 25 knots, life jacket must be worn and you must be clipped-on when at the helm or in the cockpit
  • The skippers instructions must be followed promptly and cheerfully, even when he's being an arse (which my eldest daughter tells me does happen occasionally)
  • No drugs or alcohol to be consumed when at sea
  • No drugs (other than alcohol) allowed on board

Contact Me
In the first instance, please contact me by PM (Private Message) - click on my name [Octopus] at the start of this post and select the Send Private Message option. Please provide as much relevant information as possible.


Octopus, Lagoon 420 Hybrid (2007), Hull 52
Figueira Da Foz, Portugal
Chris, Beth and Clan
Octopus, Lagoon 420 Hybrid
Isle of Arran, Scotland
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Old 31-08-2014, 09:25   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Isle of Arran, UK
Boat: Lagoon 420 - Hull 52
Posts: 249
Trip Completed

Thanks to all those who expressed an interest in this trip.

We arrived home to the Isle of Arran this morning after a great passage. We had a few problems, but nothing we couldn't solve, and the winds were near perfect for fast passage, apart from the expected Northerlies up the Portuguese coast and six hours of slamming into Northerlies within sight of home last night.

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lagoon, lagoon 420, Portugal, Scotland

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