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Old 01-24-2007, 10:27 PM   #1
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Default Single-handed Blue Water Sailing

I just retired and debating a single-hand world cruise. I would like to start my cruise out of ther Great Lakes via the St Lawrence. Please help me with 1)the sanity of my quest, 2)the best size and type of boat to buy, 3)the direction of travel (east to west or west to east), 4)must see places via sailing, 5)danger spots to stay away from, and 6)anyother relevent information you would like to share. Thank you.
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Old 01-25-2007, 12:21 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome to the club!

I envy you. I just hope that in a few years time I will also be saying I have taken early retirement and am about to cast off on a permanent cruise instead off taking short hopps between consultancies as I am now doing.

My answers:

1. Not going would be insane! If you want to do it....do it otherwise you will always regret not giving it a chance.

2. IMHO a boat between 27 and 30 fett in length is best. Bigger than that gets mor expensive and more difficult to handle single handed. Smaller than that is too cramped. My boat is 26 feet and I am very satisfied with her. Would not want anything bigger when sailing on my own.

3. The east - west thing depends on where you intend to sail. If you take the Panama - Torres Strait route then go westwards but if you intend rounding the capes (Cape Horn - Cape of Good Hope - Cape Lewellin) then eastbound is best. Awful weather and very high seasthough!

4. Don't know. I have not been to all places yet but I do recommend Galapalos, Andaman Islands and the Greek & Turkish islands. My favourite place though is Patagonia. The Chilean coast from Puerto Montt southwards is absolutly amazing. Also Norway and the Baltic Sea.

5. Dangerous places? The Southern ocean but also spots known for piracy. In general you are safer at sea than in port where everyone is subject to theft at some time

Hope this helps

Yours aye

Stephen

Yacht NAUSIKAA

4.
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Old 01-25-2007, 01:23 AM   #3
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welcome. In one way I'm a terrible person to recommend places, because I loved all the places we went, the utterly primitive and the busy city sites. However, a great deal of our travel was to the less-traveled spots, and if you haven't found it yet, our sailing logs are at:

www.cruiser.co.za/hostmelon.asp

And I've compiled a bunch of hints for cruisers that I call my Cruiser's Dictionary, which is free. You can just meander through it at:

http://www.cruiser.co.za/faq.asp

or go to the ebook download page, it's available as HTML or PDF: http://www.cruisingconnections.co.za/ebooks.htm

this is a lovely forum for asking questions, and everybody is very friendly because we've all been the ones asking the questions - still do.
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Old 01-25-2007, 02:56 PM   #4
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Recomend that you get a year or 2 experience in the Bahamas and East coast first. It can get quite ruff out there in a small boat. A little easier being on the hook every night.
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Old 01-25-2007, 04:39 PM   #5
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1) Nothing wrong with single handing a world cruise. I do recommend picking up crew or having family join you at times. Let others share in your experience, even if only for a week or two. A crew person, familiar with the area you are in, will add greatly to your cruise.

2) The best size and type is what fits your personal requirements. Stephen list 27 to 30 feet. In a monohull I'd choose 35 feet to 45 feet, I think the minimum size certified for offshore is 35 feet (insurance), not sure though. You can single hand any boat if it's setup properly and no more difficult to sail a 45 footer then a 27 footer if it's rigged properly. A bigger boat means better accomodations and safety.

3) Absolutely go east-west if you have a the ability to choose. It's the prevailing wind patterns for the best latitudes. West-east means high latitutdes, bad weather and few places to stop, all cold.

4) I could fill a hundred pages of great places to see, the next person would list another hundred. Start with Cornells "World Cruising Routes". Pick a basic route; you don't have to keep to it but for planning its a good place to start. Then get guidebooks, or research on the web, for countries along the first part of the journey. You can do the whole route but it will probably change anyway so keep it to the first year of travel. Lonely Planet has excellent land based guides but still good info for the yachtie. The real yactie guide books you can buy once you have firmed up the route and are ready to set off.

5) Keep away places. Certain areas and countries...just common sense here. For places to stay away from, in individual countries, you'll know this from other yachts and the marine nets in the area. Even natives will tell you who not to deal with or unsafe places to go.

6) Go do it! Don't just dream it, make it happen. It's too easy to fall into the comfort of the marina...leave the pier and make the journey happen.
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