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Old 08-18-2009, 09:08 PM   #1
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I got a gig crewing a boat from Oahu sailing West, embarking early-mid September. The boat is a 47 foot 1965 Kitch with patched sails. Im worried about hurricanes as there seem to be quite a bit stirring up this time of year in both the Pacific and Indian Ocean. The captain is a nice guy, and I think hes made the journey once before. I do not know if he has an e perb aboard. If you were in my position would you feel this is a safe trip? What other questions would you ask the questions besides his experience and the make and model of his boat. Should I be worried that the boat was built in the 60s or do Ketch's have a good reputation for durability?

Thanks,

D
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:14 AM   #2
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D,

Unfortunately, not enough information is provided to advise you as to what specific questions to ask.

But it would be useful to know what experience you have in terms of offshore sailing?

Is the "captain" the owner or is he making the delivery of this ketch for someone else?

Possibly only one piece of advice would be to sit down with the skipper and go over your concerns regarding the condition of the boat, the planned route and timing of the passage, what navigation and communication equipment is on board. And how will emergencies be dealt with.

---------------

The season for Typhoons runs from late May through till December. Therefore the route from Hawaii to the Philippines should be one that avoids the general path that these storms take; at the same time using the prevailing winds, sailing rather than motoring.

Here is a passage that takes one below the Typhoon latitudes - see Waypoints 1>to>7,

The other direct great circle passage Waypoints 8>to>7 would mean that at some point the serious effects of a Typhoon could be encountered :-

HI_to_Phils.jpg

HI_to_Phils__WPs.jpg

The winds forecast for the passage WP 1>>7

Hawaii to WP 2 - 13 kts @ 045

Waypoint 2 >> WP 3 - 10 kts @ 180

Waypoint 3 >> WP 4 - 5.3 kts @ 90

Waypoint 4 >> WP 5 - 8kts @ 135

Waypoint 5 >> WP 6 - 8kts @ 180

Waypoint 6 >> WP 7 - 8.5 kts @ 225

The Great Circle direct route is some 480 NM shorter than the safer passage

Richard
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:04 AM   #3
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D,

I'm quite sure the boat has an e-perb on board but you should consider getting a personal one as well. As for the age of the boat, I just sailed 6000 miles on a boat built in 1928. The more important question is how has the boat been kept up. And most sails on most boats have some patches. One answer to your question is, if you're unsure, dont go! But based on your questions, I don't think you have the experience you need to do this trip. However, the only way to become a sailor is to go to sea. If you do the trip you will gain much valuable experience and have many tales to tell when you return. I would ask the captain what route he plans on taking and why, then decide if you want to go or not.

Good Luck,

Sailorman14
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
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Possibly only one piece of advice would be to sit down with the skipper and go over your concerns regarding the condition of the boat, the planned route and timing of the passage, what navigation and communication equipment is on board. And how will emergencies be dealt with.
I agree with Richard that you should voice your concerns by discussing this with the skipper.

The folks who tend to be most able to contribute to and enjoy a trip like this are :

1. people who really know what they're doing...for example, someone with enough prior ocean sailing experience that they can tell by looking at boat/rig/equipment what's what and after talking with the Skipper they'll know if they want to be aboard for the journey);

2. adventuresome people who don't know a thing about oceans and sailing but who are quick to learn, sharp, and not fearful and are capable of sizing up personalities and people quickly.

In the first case, you'd know if you wanted to be on the boat;

In the second case, you'd know if you trusted the skipper and could sit down and have that talk with him so you can get on to having a great trip;

From your post, it is fairly clear that you do not have enough experience to make an informed decision here. Perhaps, you've bluffed your way into this trip (many people do that! so please excuse me if this didn't happen in your case...) and are fearful of asking too many clearly newbie/clueless questions of the skipper and tip your hand? You're also careful (that's a good survival thing!) so you're posting here to try and figure out how safe you might be. Ah, so you're not a "fly by the seat of the pants and have it fun" type of person.

If I've got things right, you are not yet confident that the situation is OK and haven't/won't address things directly with the skipper and I'd think you are likely much better of not doing this trip but rather educating yourself on sailing, passage making, etc, and find a well-referenced skipper (perhaps thru a friend?) for a trip that you might be able to join.

If you want to stick with this passage, sitting down with the skipper and going over what your concerns are is the best thing to do. You'll learn what you need to know and can either not go OR have a great trip.

Fair winds,
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:28 PM   #5
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Sails and patches. *To me that doesn't sound right. *so. *How old are the sails? *Does he have a spare mainsail? *A spare jib? *DOES HE HAVE STORM SAILS?

How old is the rigging? *In other words, when was it all replaced. *What is his procedure for checking the rigging before heading offshore? *Does he go aloft to check rigging for broken wires, corrosion, suspicious couplings?

Life raft? *Life jackets? *How many? *Should you bring your own?

Man overboard procedures and gear - a whistle? *a personal strobe? *What?

Radio? *HF (High Frequency); VHF

Navigation? *GPS? *Paper charts? *What else. *How many/what kind of backups?

Remember, no AAA in the middle of an ocean. *No cell phone reception.

How many on the boat, and how many know how to navigate?

Lots, lots, lots of questions, and I've only scratched the surface.

*
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:13 PM   #6
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Lots, lots, lots of questions, and I've only scratched the surface.

*
Patched sails are likely no big deal--but poor quality repairs and old sails in need of replacement ARE a big deal. And, if you've seen patched sails and you can't tell the difference...that's a problem.

This is why this fellow would very likely be better off finding another trip with another boat through someone he knows and trusts. I don't think he'd really be able to assess the answers to all the questions anyway Jeanne.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:42 PM   #7
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Thanks all for the info. Before I signed up for the trip I let the captain know I have minimum experienced, limited to short near-shore trips. The knowledge many of you have imparted on this thread is some of the most valuable I've received.

Best,

D
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