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Old 12-01-2009, 05:38 PM   #15
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The dead calm for hours and sometimes days on end in the doldrums can make many people very cranky.
What is the extent of lack of wind in the doldrums? You told about length of time, but what about wind speed?

I find hard to imagine that the wind is not even enough to slightly move the sails.

The only video I could find about it in youtube has shown a racing yach going pretty fast. Though they told that they only will reach the doldrums.
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Old 12-01-2009, 05:54 PM   #16
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Hello again,

I'm glad that the cruiserlog.com community has been helpful for you. I just edited your last post to remove the link to your commercial website. Please do check back for Private Messages PM's from our members who may be interested in what you are doing.

For anyone who comes along reading this post ...About schooners vs ketches and yawls and sloops--we have a schooner of 54' length on deck. We looked for a ketch and just ended up with a schooner, btw. The schooner and ketch rigs are somewhat similar in terms of split rigs having smaller sail sizes than a single masted rig (sloop) and thus easier to handle the sails short handed (with very few people). The yawl rig has a very small sail aft of the rudder post and really is much like a sloop (or cutter) rigged boat with a tiny little sail hanging off the back. The yawl rig was used most to get around some racing rules and never has really been thought of as a cruising vessel but rather as a racing boat.

The big deal about big sails on 50 ft plus size boats is they are very heavy. Even if your fictional families have nice big winches and gear to work the rig while sailing, when reefing or changing sails the smaller sizes on a split rig become a blessing. Further, split rigs bring the moment down closer to the waterline, thus one would see less heeling for a given wind force.

Good luck with your writing and do please check for PM's here on Cruiserlog in the future.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:24 PM   #17
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What is the extent of lack of wind in the doldrums? You told about length of time, but what about wind speed?

I find hard to imagine that the wind is not even enough to slightly move the sails.

The only video I could find about it in youtube has shown a racing yach going pretty fast. Though they told that they only will reach the doldrums.
Sometimes, none at all. Here's a link to a bunch of our photos, the first ones are of dolphins that came to visit as we sat totally becalmed in the S. China Sea. that album has a link to my log of that passage from Kota Kinabalu to Singapore. Dolphins, Doldrums, and more As you can see, the sea is practically flat, flat calm. At times it was even calmer, and the current pushed us backward. Weather was good, though, and that was a good thing.

When we finally reached Singapore the wind started to pick up. We were sailing at about 5 knots, and our apparent wind was Zero. Our beloved Watermelon really sailed perfectly that day. We HAD to get past the shipping lanes and inside the island, under sail alone, and we were very, very vigilant.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:03 PM   #18
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If I remember correctly, Slocum's Spray was yawl rigged much of his journey.
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:24 AM   #19
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You might want to consider a catamaran, it's quite common for two families to be using cats for cruising since the two separate hulls give privacy to each couple. 45 ft would be enough. You'll be going with the trade winds so it's down wind sailing, cats are pretty bad upwind.

All in all, the choice of yacht will be dependent on the personality of the families. Cats would be the choice of families that aren't traditionalists, like to go a little bit faster, have a bit more money, and possibly dislike the motion of boats that heel too much. Schooners would be more traditionalists. Ketches somewhere in between.

For a 5000 mile trip, I would be surprised if the boat would maintain 150 miles per day (6knots) overall trip average given you're passing through the horse lattitudes without motoring (Horese lattitudes - you know, when the old sailors used to throw their horses overboard due to lack of wind hence lack of water). We sailed 1500miles in a schooner last year 52ft on deck (67 with bow sprit), cutting across the horse lattitudes, we averaged 100 mile days with motoring about 1 day through some of the doldrums. The other day we went for a swim and a kayak. It's incredible how quiet it is in the middle of the pacific in a kayak, I could hear the sound of wind coming off the wings of a bird swooping overhead.
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