There are a lot of good suggestions here. Personally the best so far is to make sure you have AIS and put transponders in all your life jackets. If you don't want to buy 4, then go with 2 and make it mandatory that those two must be worn when on watch.
There is a difference in sailing a catamaran
vs mono on long ocean passages. Overloading a catamaran
creates a self fulfilling prophecy. It will take longer, you will go slower, and it will be more uncomfortable. As an example, this is what we did.
5 crew, 1 liter of emergency water
pp/p day for 15 days. That's a lot of bottled water
. But I have a water maker that is all electro-mechanical so the only possible component that could fail was the high pressure pump
. My main water tank holds 300 gallons at 8.3 pounds per or 2500 pounds. We essentially kept the tank near emply for the crossing. Every day we would make water, shower
, cook, clean, etc and end up on 1/8th of a tank. As we got within 10 days of landfall, we also started to use the emergency
- we can hold a max of 250 gallons at 7 pounds or 1750 pounds. We left with around 200 which was a mistake as we ended up with quite a bit left. I should have made it 150 gallons, of which 40 was in jerry cans located in the anchor locker
. It's a downwind run with reliable wind.
Center your weight. It was common for me to have my spares and tools stored in the stern and my extra sailing hardware
in the bows. We moved everything that wasn't bolted down to the middle of the boat
. If it would have been practical I would have moved my tender
to the forward of the boat also. Anything to allow your stern to catch the waves and surf as long as possible.
Biggest mistake was getting excited about flying the spinnaker
, not training
my crew well enough, it back winding onto a spreader and tearing pretty majorly. On the third day! Second biggest mistake, spending the next 8 days in fairly light winds and not thinking we could repair it. As the wind died more and more, we removed it from the sock and used two whole rolls of duct tape to patch it up. It looked like the laces of a football. Guesses for how long it would last ranged from one minute to days, it lasted 3 critical low wind days. Our passage took 17 days to Antigua
. As an FYI, I didn't really think cats sailed wing on wing very well, but they actually do - as long as there's wind.
We used an Iridium Go with Predict Wind and it was great. I don't think a weather router would have helped us much as the wind was steady across too large of an area to try and sail a better route
. No antenna
BTW and we always had good signal.
Crew was rationed two beers or two glasses of wine per day - unless we caught a fish
. Then everyone could have one extra beer
. We did catch quite a few fish
, around 10, and ran out of beer 4 days out. Moral went way down. With 5 of us, fatigue wasn't a problem nor over indulgence. The weather was very mild to the point of boring but if it was the opposite, abstinence would have been in order. We brought way to much food
, like twice as much as needed but the fish dinners certainly made a difference. We had provisioned with an unlimited budget
so it was like eating at a Michelin star restaurant breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. We had very few snack foods as the plan was to eat normally. FYI - we ran out of coffee - bad situation.
I'm planning on returning to the Med in April or May of next year and the plans are coming together very well so far. I've already removed 2000 additional pounds of gear
and hope to still remove another 1000. It's a much easier plan as we will go to Bermuda
so the longest section is about 1900 nm. If my forecast
is favorable when leaving we will decrease our diesel
more, probably 150 gallons total.
Good luck and have a great crossing.