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Old 05-04-2005, 08:42 PM   #1
benscottrobinson
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Default Choice of cruising yacht

My wife and I are heading off on a partial circumnavigation, from the US via Australia, India, the Red Sea and home to the UK.

We are picking up a boat in the US, and are looking specifically at a 40' Bounty II, an early GRP yawl by Rhodes. Can anybody give any info about these yachts in particular, or about this size yacht for two people (both 32 and fit)...?

Also, we would like some advice on navigation systems, especially any advice on a PC based system using GPS and (hopefully) radar? Is this necessary? What are people's favourite units or systems?

Also, we have seen the issues with going through the Red Sea, and as good British types, feel very uncomfortable carrying arms. Can the Southern African route be taken in April/May time? What are the issues going from India to Magagascar and RSA?

Lastly, we have a cat that we'd love to take with us. He is fully marinised and capable of the necessary levels of laziness to spend long periods at sea... however, we are concerned about Quarantine in the different countries. Does anybody have any info on this?

I hope you can help!

Ben
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Old 05-06-2005, 05:56 PM   #2
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Hi Ben,

I don’t know the Bounty (other than the one on which there was a mutiny!!!!!)

However I like the size. My personal opinion would be for a 44-48’ yacht for such a trip. (there are some long hauls without stops for provisions)

Look around for compatible GPS and radars.. ie, Furuno. They tie in together. However look at your local marina, see what is common, talk to professional fisherman, they will tell you what servicing/ spare parts are available in your area. Many manufacturers have CDs with charts; however you also have to carry paper charts in my book. The CDs are great for planning and tracking (via GPS). Also I would suggest the Radar is high on your list.

Forget the Red Sea.. head across the Indian Ocean, then via SA to Cape Town and on to Brazil… I have a rough itinerary for this trip if you are interested.

Talk to Tony or Katherine at www.cruisingconnections.co.za. Who are fantastic people and will help you plan your Indian Ocean and Southern Atlantic voyage. They have second hand charts for all those areas, great weather service, books at reasonable prices for you to plan your cruise, plus a host of other info. Tony will tell you for example when to leave Durban for Cape Town , or the ports in between, his productions ( cheap) tell you how to get in and out of all the ports etc.. You cannot ask for much more..

Oh yes I will help you with the OZ itinerary

Don’t bring your cat.. our kangaroos eat them!!!!!! Don’t carry guns either (my opinion only)

Indian Ocean is best May/ Oct… remainder of the year is cyclone season. If you want to go to India, you are now looking at problems, with your sailing windows.

Get Tony’s books study them and talk to me once you have done more planning

Rumrunner ( Brian)
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Old 05-09-2005, 10:17 PM   #3
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Hi Ben,

I ca'nt help you with the size of yacht one requires, it is all a matter of size vs comfort vs price etc. We are in Durban, South Africa, and can assist you with any info you require on sailing South Africa. Our e mail is tony@cruisingconnections.co.za or kat@cruisingconnections.co.za. Appreciate the comments from rumrunner. However your cat will be fine here.

Best regards, Katherine and Tony
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Old 05-10-2005, 03:25 PM   #4
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Hi Ben, Sounds like you may be in for a wonderful adventure. I'm envious. Australia has some very tough quarantine laws. I suggest you seek advice via the internet from the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service. Check their site www.aqis.gov.au and click on biosecurity, then animal biosecurity. There are steps you can take prior to bringing felix in, that may smooth the way. Best wishes.

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Old 05-11-2005, 12:42 AM   #5
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Hello chaps

Thanks for your advice!

The advice 'head to SA and then across to Brazil' is probably the best set of 'directions' I've ever had... unfortunately job and a wife wanting kiddies at some point is kind of restricting our movements though!

I certainly will check out those sites recommended, although I have another question (if you have the patience!) for Tony and Katherine.

We are (to a certain extent) working to quite a tight schedule. We'd be looking to hit the northern Indian Ocean in January onwards, something that World Cruising Routes suggests is a good time for going round India and getting to the Red Sea. However, we are aware that this is totally the wrong time of the year to head south. What do you do if you want to cut down from India to the African East coast? Where is good to wait?

I hope you can help again

BenanEm (although Horatio will have to sleep on the armchair until we get home)
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Old 05-11-2005, 04:49 PM   #6
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Hi Ben!

This is Katherine from Cruising Connections, Durban. Tony is away at present, the suggestion is to leave the Northern Indian Ocean and head south by the end of November, as it is cyclone season from December to April. Most boats heading our way would either come south down the Mozambique channel, or come via Mauritius and Reunion and expect to be in Durban or Richards Bay late November, early December.

Hope this answers your question! If you have any more questions or would like any more information on our part of the world, please do not hesitate to contact me. My email is kat@cruisingconnections.co.za.

Have a great day [:I]

Kat

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Old 05-11-2005, 11:30 PM   #7
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You might take a look at the Furuno/MaxSea connection. Now that Furuno owns MaxSea navigation software, we can link our radar/GPS data directly to our MaxSea program. MaxSea will also allow the C-Map charting data from the Furuno chart plotter to work so we only have to buy one card for both our outside chartplotter and our inside computer. I love the weather GRIB files (free downloads via MaxSea) that I can use to plan trips. I confess I've only been able to use these for crossing the Sea of Cortez and then for SeaVenture's trip north to CA, but I'm doing armchair planning now for our (WE HOPE!) cutting of the lines this fall. SeaVenture is a Hudson Force 50 that we plan/hope to have completely renovated by November, but you all know about the best laid plans... When all is ready, we're heading back to Mexico, then west, west, and west, until we finally make it back to the US East Coast, where our baby sailboats live. I've read all the scary reports, but I still want to spend a few years in the Med., so we're hoping for buddy boats, fair winds, distracted pirates, and, especially, God's mercy and protection as we brave the Red Sea. I'm also relearning some Arabic so I can yell, "Marhaba!" (Hello!) at any approaching boat, ask them how they are, and, if pressed, invite them to "shai ow ahwa?" (tea or coffee?) If any of the "bad" guys have any Bedouin ancestry, that ought to help, as the courtesies are very important to them.

Maybe we'll see some of you out there.

Blessings,

Normandie
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Old 05-12-2005, 04:20 PM   #8
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Ben & Em:

I'd like to make a suggestion on an info source for you, which should prove very valuable given your plans...and it's dirt cheap. Visit www.ssca.org (their Discussion Board is also an excellent source of info for you), go to Store, go to Pubs, and order a CD of the last 8 years of SSCA Bulletins (monthly newsletters submitted by members who are cruising all over the world). I think this costs $20 USD. It can be easily, selectively searched using Adobe Reader and will often offer more current info than other printed sources, plus the ability in some cases to follow up directly with the authors of the articles. This CD is an excellent supplement to guides, which can be quite dated.

A second, excellent general resource is www.noonsite.com and I especially appreciate the fact that their country & port info can be accessed easily, even at sea if you have HF email capability, and by simple/cheap products like Pocketmail. Read about this capability on their website.

There are an infinite selection of electronic charting choices. You really need to start with the higher level issues (budget, subset available for electronics, subset for optional items) and work your way towards that topic with your constraints better identified. E.g. if the budget was tight (and you already have a laptop you can take with you), I'd suggest electronic charting off the PC and installing AIS (which you might want to research a bit; e.g. visit www.nasamarine.com/AIS/AIS.html as one example), which is not AT ALL comparable to radar but can help with at least one of radar's primary functions at sea - collision avoidance. Personally, I would think most world cruisers (which is what you want to be...) would place a SSB transceiver, electronic charting (using one of the cheap, basic programs vs. expensive stuff like MaxSea), and radar near the top of their list of preferred tools; I certainly would. However, budgets can only spring for so much and some of these things - a SSB is perhaps the best example - are not 'plug 'n play' and require mastering some skills in order to serve you well.

Given your timetable, you probably need to consider the Red Sea. As with other troublesome areas around the Globe, you can read almost any type of advice you can imagine on this routing; in general, it would seem you run a more lethal risk if going in that direction vs. the more challenging (re: weather & seas), longer and time consuming choice via SA. IMO you really need to adjust your perspective a bit, relegate the baby planning and job relocation issues to their proper place, and make your routing decisions based on what feels safest and most interesting to you. You will have plenty of time for life's other joys once you arrive back here (the UK), while making this trip is a once-in-a-lifetime event and can also pose substantial risks if undertaken on a crunched sked.

Jack

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Old 05-12-2005, 05:56 PM   #9
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From the way you are talking, Ben, it sounds as if you think that you can accomplish this trip in a year or so. It is going to take a lot longer than that. Cyclone seasons limit you. West Coast US to leaving Australia even speeding through the entire S. Pacific will take a year (Leave California or Mexico in April/May, arrive in Oz December. Cannot leave Oz until the following March/April/May, and crossing the Indian Ocean the following January, December if you rush). You ignore cyclone seasons at your peril.

A cat is impossible in the S. Pacific and Australia/New Zealand. Oz and NZ quarantine for a cat is expensive and difficult.

I don't think you've crossed oceans yet. A PC isn't going to be running during ocean crossings, and you risk its crashing at any time, particularly during the first nasty squall you hit, so you will still (always) need paper charts. A chart plotter is great until you get away from the US, then it starts getting very expensive for the chips. Photocopied charts can be obtained in the US and most of the way around the world, which can keep your costs down significantly. And paper is more reliable.
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Old 06-21-2005, 08:19 PM   #10
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Again, thanks for all the help!

Just to run through some of your points

1. We are looking to take approximately 18 months to travel from Hawaii back to the UK. This is in accordance to the 2 year route suggested in World Cruising Routes, and that we are. I admit that it might not be the most relaxed route, but (I'm sure I'm not alone!) we really do need to be back in the vicinity of the UK for September/October '07. Money comes into it too!

2. I am still totally confused as to the best route to go - the Africa route is preferable - I have always wanted to see Zanzibar and the east coast looks enchanting...not to mention RSA! However time issues do point to the Red Sea being more likely. Also Em does quite fancy a summer cruising through the relative luxury of the Med after a year or so in places where there are few D&G outlets!

However... the whole piracy thing is a BIG issue. Does anyone know of any places where flotillas can get together and go through en masse? I heard from somewhere that Oman was a good kickoff point for these... is it true?

Oh dear, it seems that this decision isn't getting any easier
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Old 06-24-2005, 07:57 PM   #11
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It seems to me you have three serious issues.

1. Time

2. Boat choice

3. Piracy

I'm going through a similar scenario in respect of 3, although I am much older than you and would gladly change places. Nevertheless, having been around for a while, including some years as a yacht broker in the Pacific area, I might make a couple of observations.

Firstly, the fellow who said you are strapped for time is correct. Your schedule, albeit for a partial circumnavigation, is tight.

Secondly, California or Hawaii are NOT ideal places to pick up suitable boats for ocean voyaging (a) because California is a take-off point and therefore ( the offering is largely untried stock cruiser racers, or partially equipped offshore cruisers. You might just be lucky and pick up a suitable boat, but the choice will, by any standard, be limited.

It is possible to find fully found cruising yachts in ports all around the world, for example in places like Hawaii, Fiji, and on the eastern seaboard of Australia - the result of aborted ocean voyaging dreams. There will be the occasional fantastic bargain but often the boat (and its inadequacies) will prove to be part of the problem.

On the other hand, New Zealand is both a starting and ending point of ocean voyaging, and has a very good, reasonably priced, stock of boats suitable to your purpose, and a large cruising oriented supply and equipping infrastructure.

Prices of well found ocean-worthy boats in NZ are still reasonable by world standards.

NZ is also a good place to initiate such a voyage, because you have relatively simple passages which allow time to sort yourself, and the boat, out. There are reasonably easy "first" passages to the islands and even races (effectively rallys) to Fiji or Noumea which many voyagers have found a useful start to a successful circumnavigation or longer cruise.

I have to confess that I am a kiwi, and therefore deeply biased, but I think I'm on pretty sound ground here.

Piracy is something at the forefront of my own cruising ambitions (I'm hoping to get my present boat to the Med), and I have spent a great deal of time looking at the problem (not helped by the fact that I have been pirated previously- though not physically harmed - and a re-enactment has little appeal!)

Despite the promises of a US Navy/USCG led sorting-out of the problems in the southern Red Sea and the Strait of Malacca, it would seem that the Iraq war has put a temporary hold on any meaningful initiative. A Cape of Good Hope rounding would seem to be your best bet, though I am aware that that exacerbates your time problem.

Anyway, good luck in your endeavours.
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Old 07-04-2005, 08:49 PM   #12
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Ben, a couple of follow-ups...

First, I think Baggy makes a good point about shopping for a boat in Oz or NZ. I would suspect your dilemma is that this takes time and money that you may feel you´d rather dedicate to the boat purchase, and it´s true that financially it may prove to be a wash (not save you money) and cost you some time. OTOH you´d be buying in the depth of winter and save yourselves a lot of time. I would disagree with Baggy re: SoCal being a poor shopping place. Southern California is indeed a place where many cruising adventures end, tho´ many boats are being brought back from Central America´s cruising grounds and so may require modifying (e.g. they will have solar whereas you might want wind co-generation).

Re: piracy, I was just over that topic with folks that came thru that area several years ago. The point made by that Aussie skipper was that you can see a direct correlation between the last ports visited before the yachts are intercepted by the pirates and the likelihood of being intercepted. Again, if you review the routes chosen in the SSCA CD I mentioned above and pumped the grapevine a bit, my impression is that you´d find the threat was largely avoidable. I would NOT count on the U.S. Armed Forces to be a source of comfort or a resource in this regard.

What´s the status of your current plans? Still reading these and still planning the trip? To where, from where?

Jack
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Old 07-07-2005, 09:50 AM   #13
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Working from the "get a boat in NZ" idea, here are some thoughts:

Lots of people come to NZ for the cyclone season so they are there by November. A fair proportion of these people decide that they don't want to go back to the US to windward or that they are ready to stop so the boats come on the market. Try Opua, Whangarei and Auckland.

Now you are in NZ with a boat here's the alternative route (particularly if you are in a hurry): NZ to Hobart in late January - you'll probably enter Australia at Coffs Harbour or somewhere and then south to Hobart. Then around the bottom of Tasmania and off to Fremantle in late February or March. Then take the advice of others about heading across to Durban or wherever.

Whilst the doomsayers will say that this is a rough weather route, early in the year you can get some great weather across the Great Australian Bight.

Another source of routing information is http://pollux.nss.nima.mil/pubs/pubs_j_apc_list.html

And go onto the web and buy a second hand copy of the Admiralty publication Ocean Passages for the World. The older the better as far as sailing routes are concerned.

Hope that that's food for thought. As someone else said, tell us where your thinking is up to.

Mike
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Old 07-12-2005, 09:38 PM   #14
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Hello chaps (and chapesses!)

Well, again, thanks for all your input.

To fill you in - we are now owners of a solid and recently rerigged/resailed Bounty II yawl ( http://astro.temple.edu/~bstavis/pr/bountyII.htm ) in Hawaii, and are in the process of forking out for a partial refit to get her ocean worthy.

An issue for a boat relocating to Europe (which the UK is, despite the strenuous attempts of the Daily Mail) is that it has to comply with a pile of new regulations. Many grumble, I look at them and see common sense - I have seen a gas explosion on a pleasure cruiser in the UK, and it makes last week's bombs look like fire crackers.

So we are pre-preparing her for those regulations, and in the process hopefully getting a yacht with significantly more robust systems than seems to be the norm in the US.

Then we are going over again in Feb for a shake-down cruise and bug fix, picking up some rather serious crew, and headin' south come the 1st of April.

As far as the cruise goes, the combination of short time, and insurance hassles (see another thread) means we will have to do it like this.

1. A long off-shore passage with burly, experienced crew (you should see her) to get us to chosen 'cruising areas'.

2. Drop off the crew, and partake in some relaxed onshore/island cruising in designated areas (S Pacific, Seyshells, East/South Africa, the Med definitely and Sri Lanka, Magagascar, Ghana if possible)

3. Pick up crew again, and set off for another long offshore job to get us to the next place.

You may say this is no way to do it properly , but with the issues with insurance and time, it offers a good compromise - relaxed cruising for two, and some hard offshore work for a month or so at a time to get us there.

We would love to go to NZ - we are contemplating emigrating there at some point to give Scott-Robinson junior the chance to get a good education (in rugby and sailing, natch) - but instead we are looking to fly (criminal!!!) back to Oz and NZ from RSA and do a tour of friends...

Oh, and baggy, I'm not talking to you, your sportsmen are too good. Seriously though, if you give a monkeys about rugby, you should be proud indeed - that was a royal thumping you gave to a pretty good (if badly managed) Lions side.

B
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