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Old 11-14-2007, 05:13 PM   #15
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Hi V1Rotate

taking the northern route is indeed the hard way to start ocean sailing. Some of the "disadvantages" are told, like icebergs, cold water and generally colder air temperatures and maybe fog in some areas?

Even 300 nm away from land is enough to get the full impact of a frontal system passing through with winds picking up from the southwest, increasing, followed by a roughening seastate and in the passing cold front the wind veering to the northwest, becoming very strong in ghusts, the waves building up from the northwest too (overlaying the old sea from the southwest - what a mess -) and then finally the winds decreasing again when the frontal system moves on to the east, leaving you with again light winds but with the old nasty swell, making sailing impossible. And maybe the next frontal system is already leaving Newfoundland to meet you two days later...

Or you go this far north, that the system passes you in the south, but then you will face easterly winds and it could be even colder.

Perfect conditions for a sturdy pilothouse-cutter, though.

We had been sailing for about 15 years on the Baltic Sea and the (rougher) North Sea before, but for our first real ocean crossing we were really happy of having the advantage to be able to start in Europe and to do an easy ocean crossing first (via Canaries to the Caribbean) before we had to go back east over the North Atlantic from the US-Virgins via the Azores to Ireland. We were in those times so glad that we did not have to sail one mile further north. And even that was rough enough: Always high seas, a wet deck and winds at 20 to 25kn for more than 15 days. But its was not cold - that helped alot to arrange with the otherwise rough circumstances.

I must say that we did all that on a boat of 32ft, and 5 tonnes of weight.

Conclusion: We like it better to sail a couple hundred miles more than having to deal with way rougher weather- and seaconditions.

And if still favouring the northern route: it's a big relief to the crew if there are 4 or more on board so that everyone gets a good amount of time to recover inbetween the watches.

Ancious to read how you found the northern route, if you decidid this way.



SY Aquaria

If you have the time, you alwas have the right winds.

More on my Centurion 32:
I've Contributed to the Cruisers Wiki: Germany, Background, Cruising/Sailing the German Bight
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:43 PM   #16
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Agreed, an EPIRB and SSB radio are a "must have" on an ocean crossing. A satphone [and an extra hand held GPS] would be good to have as well.

Regarding taking an aircraft VHF. I would use it as an emergency back up. [And to talk to my friends when I get bored.] At my airline, all our planes are equipped with dual HF radios, and dual satellite phones, and 3 VHF radios. We also have navigation capability of GPS and Inertial Navigation Systems, along with VHF and NDB systems as well. And if all else fails, you can always follow someone else....or their contrails!

As for air traffic over the north Atlantic, the highest volume of east bound flights will pass overhead between 0000 to 0600 GMT. Westbound flight traffic volume will be highest between 1000 to 1800 GMT. But there will be traffic at all times of day........ So should you get in trouble, and your SSB fails, and you can't reach anyone on marine VHF, and your sat phone falls overboard, then the aircraft VHF would be a good option to call for help.

An aircraft VHF is indeed line of sight. With jets crossing the atlantic at altitudes of 32000 to 40000 feet above sea level, the line of sight is about 200 nm. You would be able to hear the planes better than they could hear you however. This is because the systems used on commercial and military airraft have high wattage output. Using a hand held aircraft VHF would probably only transmit clearly for 100nm due to it's lower output. You could find a used general aviation VHF [24 volt DC required] which would have better output. All aircraft crossing the ocean monitor "guard" frequency 121.5 which is supposed to be used for emergency or urgent calls. Another frequency monitored is "air to air" 123.45. This is used for general flight information purposes, [not a party line.] If we want to talk with our buddies, we use our company frequency.....which I won't divulge.

And no, I have never heard a boat on an aircraft VHF frequency.

I know of one our retired pilots, Hugo Vahlen, who set a Guiness Book of World Records for crossing the Atlantic in the world's smallest sailboat, [5 feet and 6 inches long..........St John's, Canada to Portsmouth, England.] He took along an aircraft VHF which he did in fact use to communicate with overhead aircraft. Good thing too, as his SSB failed one day out of port.

And for anyone interested, he wrote a book about it called "The Incredible Voyage of 'Father's Day.'" A very good read.

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Old 11-15-2007, 05:24 PM   #17
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Yes. It is true. I agree with Steave. 1-2 years not enough...

My name is Aron Meder. I am sailing around the World alone with a 19ft sailing boat (CARINA)

My website: www.meder.hu

First port was: Koper, Slovenia (2006.szept.24)

Now I am in Fiji... I will be here 6month

Good Luck,

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Old 11-15-2007, 07:18 PM   #18
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wow thats absoulutely incredible. you have to do it. you just have to.
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Old 11-16-2007, 05:40 AM   #19
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All this chat about starting off ocean sailing with a toughish passage makes me wonder why you do not buy the boat you want in Europe> Then once you've finished with the Med, sail her home the easier downhill way, when you've more experience?

I'm not one of those who think anyone should put off going sailing and like ot think I fit in the 'jump in the deep end' bracket. But I'd hate for you to make the investment, take a bashing on the way over, and end up wanting to try and sell a US reg boat in europe and return home to give up the dream. Lots do.

Many eu charter firms sell off yachts of the size you've indicated. And having it at least eu registered initially will make it easier for you to extend your stay in some european countries........

Is this not worth consideration?

Boring blog at http://www.yotblog.com/swagman
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Old 11-16-2007, 02:51 PM   #20
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Aron.......that sounds like another Webb Chiles adventure
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Old 11-28-2007, 05:11 PM   #21
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That would indeed be the easy way. Buy the boat in Europe. We thought about that.


Then we lose the ocean crossing challenge and adventure.

Also, with the US dollar's value going down the toilet, buying a boat in Euros would be an expensive proposition for us Yanks.

I've been told that if I buy a boat here in the states, and sell it in Europe a year or two later, I might come out ahead on the deal. Not looking to profit, but breaking even would be nice.

Just got back from flying to Barcelona. What a beatiful place! That city appears to have some excellent marina facilities. And excellent food and wine! Looking forward to flying there again in December.

On the flight back, I had to divert to the Azores due to a passenger medical emergency. We landed at Lajes. They have good medical facilities there. Wish I could have stayed for a few days instead of a few hours.

The Azores looked beautiful! Like a mix between Hawaii and Ireland. Calm seas and a nice breeze. Temperature about 17 C. [I am sure it is not always that way.] Should make for a nice stop during a trans-Atlantic crossing.

Continuing our flight from Lajes to the US, we flew a track running great circle to the New York City area....about 38 to 41 degrees north latitude. The weather was pretty good enroute. A few widely scattered thunderstorms and partly cloudy skies. Also enjoyed a 4 hour long sunset since we were flying westbound. Would have been a fine boating day!
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Old 11-29-2007, 04:06 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by V1Rotate View Post
I've been told that if I buy a boat here in the states, and sell it in Europe a year or two later, I might come out ahead on the deal. Not looking to profit, but breaking even would be nice.
The question of importing a boat into Europe from the US will need a close investigation into Import Duty to be paid - which may mean that breaking even would be a stroke of very good luck.

(Disregarding the cost of getting the boat to Europe in the first place and the high cost of keeping a boat in most places in European nowadays)


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Old 11-29-2007, 12:26 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by MMNETSEA View Post
The question of importing a boat into Europe from the US will need a close investigation into Import Duty to be paid - which may mean that breaking even would be a stroke of very good luck.

(Disregarding the cost of getting the boat to Europe in the first place and the high cost of keeping a boat in most places in European nowadays)


Not only a question about duty to be paid, it might even be CE certification required depending of year.

Another thing is Europeans are not to fond of the US 110 Volt systems.

One solution might be to buy an 'abandoned' European boat down in the Caribbean and sail it 'home' and sell. There are quite some that gives up and sell cheap down there!
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Old 12-17-2007, 01:22 PM   #24
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IŽm in a simliar situation. I also work as an airline pilot based out of Barcelona and managed to get a couple of months off starting in a week. Plan is to buy a boat in the States and bring back to Barcelona this winter/spring and live on her. IŽve been sailing for a while with one previous Atlantic crossing. In a few years take "some " time off and circumnavigate. IŽve found a boat that IŽll take a look at in Jan, weŽll see.

Good thought with VHF. Think IŽll copy that one!

Good luck!


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