Go Back   Cruiser Log World Cruising & Sailing Forums > Cruising Forums > General Cruising Forum
Cruiser Wiki

Join Cruiser Log Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-26-2008, 12:42 AM   #1
Ensign
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 4
Default

I really want to make contact with those that have crossed oceans...

I have had a fair bit of experience sailing coastally, and am now considering a 800nm offshore passage.

I have never being to a sailing school - unfortunately I don't see how this is worth the cost, and decided the money was better spent buying a boat and gaining experience than going to school -- after all they don't teach you things like boat maintenance, slipping etc all the things we learn through boat ownership. Plus at a cost of $6000aud plus through the local schools to get to yacht master it is never going to happen. I also sailed with a couple of these students and found them to be really impractical and overly academic - but they were only at a competent crew level in fairness.

But now I am faced with the question, even though I have the confidence to tackle this voyage - once the boat is a little more shipshape - do I really know enough?

Do I need to know how to interpret a polar diagram to get by boat there in the fastest time?

Do I really need to understand Celestal navigation? Or is 2 gps's and Dead Reckoning enough?

Do I really need to know how to tie 287 knots with my eyes closed and one arm cut off?

What did you learn crossing an ocean, what do you believe the minimum knowledge level is...

I don't want to be reckless, or overly casual, but think maybe I am overthinking the knowledge needed. A local sailer said just do it and get it out of your system you will be surprised at how boring it is... big non event.

What did you know before you crossed an ocean, what do you think is the minimum knowledge required, what did you learn?

I know this will probably polarise opinions with those who reckon shouldn't do it until I have gone through school for next five years and others that have just jumped in a boat and foolishly or otherwise just headed off and worked it out as they have gone.

Advice from any mentors greatly appreciated.
__________________

__________________
karl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 06:27 PM   #2
Moderator
 
redbopeep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,185
Default

http://bumfuzzle.com/
__________________

__________________
"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

redbopeep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 06:57 PM   #3
Ensign
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 4
Default

What a great blog - thanks for the link
__________________
karl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 07:33 PM   #4
Ensign
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 23
Default

Caveat - I am an instructor. I believe that it helps to learn from the mistakes of others. I think instructors should have made a lot of mistakes.

I have done two passages: Honolulu to British Columbia and Newport, RI to St. Barthes via Bermuda.

The Number One Lesson: Offshore sailing is long periods of tedium punctuated by episodes of terror.

Offshore sailing and coastal cruising are very different experiences.

sh&one&t happens. On the Honolulu trip we decided to power through the Pacific high and hit a small piece of fishing net, destroying our transmission. We were right in the middle - no wind and no means of propulsion.

As to your questions:

A knowledge of polars is not essential, but sailing efficiently is crucial.

Celestial nav can be replaced by GPS, but keep a log and a chart with a track, just in case.

You should know the following knots well:
  1. reef knot
  2. double overhand
  3. clove hitch
  4. bowline (preferably a couple of methods)
  5. round turn and two half hitches
  6. cow hitch
  7. figure 8
  8. double sheet bend
  9. rolling hitch
Know the all the systems on your boat well and be prepared to fix stuff. Make sure everything works and make sure you have spares.

Safety is job one. Is your boat up to the task. PFDs, harnesses, strobes, whistles, tethers and jacklines are a must. Do you have a liferaft?

If you are planning on skippering yourself, take some experienced crew with you.

Enough for now. I am sure you may have more questions.

Jack
__________________
ISPA Yachtmaster Offshore Instructor

CYA Advanced Cruising Instructor

As I sail, I praise God, and care not. (Luke Foxe)


jackdale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 07:50 PM   #5
Ensign
 
Auspicious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 37
Default

Stupid board software won't let me post alternating quotes and responses. Sorry. You'll have to follow the numbers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by karl View Post
1. Do I need to know how to interpret a polar diagram to get by boat there in the fastest time?

2. Do I really need to understand Celestal navigation? Or is 2 gps's and Dead Reckoning enough?

3. Do I really need to know how to tie 287 knots with my eyes closed and one arm cut off?

4. What did you learn crossing an ocean, what do you believe the minimum knowledge level is...
1. It won't hurt and is really easy. Anyone who can't explain it to you in simple terms you can understand doesn't get it themselves.

2. You don't have to know CN. It's fun and I found it personally rewarding. That said, it is hard to miss continents. One of the reason's Captain Ron's line "if we get lost we'll just pull in somewheres and ask directions" is so funny is that it has some truth to it. I don't recommend it as a primary navigation approach, but if you have a fixed GPS and a backup handheld GPS with plenty of batteries you should be fine.

3. No. You should be able to tie a bowline and a clove hitch in the dark. You should also be able to tie a reef knot (square knot) and a figure-8. There may come a time when a rolling hitch will be important, like taking the load off a jib sheet so you can clear an override on a winch. A trucker's hitch is very handy for tieing a dinghy down on the foredeck. Once you know it you'll use it a lot.

That's six knots. The clove hitch, reef knot, and figure-8 are so easy they hardly count as knots. That leaves three to learn that you should really know. Practice.

4. Picking the right crew based on personality and standards is more important than anything else. Sailing is easy.

sail fast, dave

S/V Auspicious
__________________
sail fast, dave

S/V Auspicious
Auspicious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 09:31 PM   #6
Rear Admiral
 
imagine2frolic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 396
Default

Welcome,

You better know how to reef effeciently. As far as lessons? How do you know you are doing things proper, and not just floundering around? You could be doing something wrong that will bite you in the back side during a 2am squall with 50 knots of wind in it. Lessons are cheap, very cheap. You don't have to go for a Masters, or anything. Just basic 1 & 2 could make the difference........BEST WISHES in being succesful.....i2f
__________________
imagine2frolic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-26-2008, 09:47 PM   #7
Moderator/Wiki Sysop
 
Istioploos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Home Port: Samos
Vessel Name: S/Y Thetis
Posts: 556
Default

I have never being to a sailing school - unfortunately I don't see how this is worth the cost, and decided the money was better spent buying a boat and gaining experience than going to school -- after all they don't teach you things like boat maintenance, slipping etc all the things we learn through boat ownership. Plus at a cost of $6000aud plus through the local schools to get to yacht master it is never going to happen. I also sailed with a couple of these students and found them to be really impractical and overly academic - but they were only at a competent crew level in fairness

Sailing school as such is not vital but knowledge is, the more you know the better.

Do I need to know how to interpret a polar diagram to get by boat there in the fastest time?

No, but again sailing efficiently is good.

Do I really need to understand Celestal navigation? Or is 2 gps's and Dead Reckoning enough?

Having 2 GPS's are fine and most of the time they get you there. But, all it takes is a lightning strike to burn both of them. I, for one, would not had gone on an ocean passage without knowledge of celestial and having along printed tables, not electronic. That was my backup system. 800 nm is about a week's sailing, too far for comfortable just dead reckoning.

Do I really need to know how to tie 287 knots with my eyes closed and one arm cut off?

No, but you should know the basic knots and tying them in the dark may be needed.

What did you learn crossing an ocean, what do you believe the minimum knowledge level is...

I don't want to be reckless, or overly casual, but think maybe I am overthinking the knowledge needed. A local sailer said just do it and get it out of your system you will be surprised at how boring it is... big non event.


As I already said you cannot know enough or ever have enough experience. And no, I did not find my ocean crossing boring nor a non event. It was a beautiful time full of excitement and wonder. I will gladly jump at any opportunity to repeat it.

What did you know before you crossed an ocean, what do you think is the minimum knowledge required, what did you learn?

I had over 30 year sailing experience, several offshore trips of 300 - 500 nm, and had taken a celestial course. I also had a yachtmaster certificate, but that I took mostly to satisfy my insurance. Yet, taking the yachtmaster course certainly did not harm me and I even learned few new things.

Good luck.
__________________


The World Cruising and Sailing Wiki

Help to build this free, online world Cruising Guide

Built by cruisers, for cruisers.

=Mediterranean,Black Sea,North Atlantic,Caribbean
I've Contributed to the Cruisers Wiki: Mediterranean, Black Sea, Atlantic
Istioploos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2008, 04:21 AM   #8
Admiral
 
Nausikaa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,619
Default

I will just comment on the celestial navigation question.

Do you need to know it? No you don't; provided nothiong goes wrong. As one famous navigator of the past commented, "There is nothing as embarassing as running aground and not knowing which continent you have come ashore on."

Yes, it was very much tongue in cheek but the essence of good seamanship is common sense and common sense will tell you that any electrical device can fail for a variety of reasons. You don't have to do it every day but a prudent seaman will be able to go back to basics if needed.

To be fair though, with two GPS receivers, the chances of you being forced to go back to basics is quite low. If I could not handle a sextant, I would take a third GPS along just to reduce the odds even more. Keep one of the GPS:s in a watertight, metal tin isolated from thehull and it should survive a lightening strike being in what, in effect, is a Farraday's cage.

For all of your questions, there is some very good advice above

Good luck with your voyage

// Aye Stephen
__________________
Yacht NAUSIKAA | Call Sign: 2AJH2




WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU DID SOMETHING FOR THE FIRST TIME?

www.nausikaa.org.uk

= Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania
Nausikaa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2008, 10:45 AM   #9
Ensign
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 4
Default

Great comments all thanks !! All well thought out and appreciated.
__________________
karl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2008, 03:11 AM   #10
Ensign
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 10
Default

Hi Karl,

RYA Coastal Skipper training would be useful to you. Training centres in Aus are now doing the RYA courses, so they're internationally accredited and recognised. Probably don't need to do the whole Yachtmaster course yet, but you could dive straight into Day skipper then Coastal.

I did my Comp. Crew certificate with a mob in Melbourne; Yachtmaster training school (www.yachtmaster.com.au) a few weeks ago and I went out with a group doing their Coastal skipper course so I got to listen in to what they were being taught - lucky me! We covered all aspects of navigation, sail trimming, boat manouvering and lots more. The instructor took us through the whole boat from bow to stern and went through all the maintenance, plus got to strip the diesel engine, etc. Things that were really useful were how to moor a boat when you're single handed, in different winds, different places, for example. I think I learnt more in that week than could fit in my head! Some of the guys doing Coastal skipper with me had sailed a long time and they made mistakes and our instructor would show how to do it right. It was interesting to see experienced hands learn alot from the instructor and see the penny drop when something they'd done badly for years suddenly become all good.
__________________
johnyx0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2008, 10:14 AM   #11
Moderator
 
JeanneP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,098
Default

There are other ways to learn besides either taking many courses or going out there and making all the mistakes yourself. *You could apprentice yourself to an experienced and accomplished sailor, for example.

Successful racing skippers know when and how to reef, and how to do it efficiently and safely. *Their sail trimming skills are also worth learning. *And it costs you nothing except a few hours time and effort every so often to go out and crew for the boat. *Crew for enough skippers and you will also learn the right and wrong way to give orders on a boat.

Volunteer to crew for a delivery skipper and you will get some valuable practical blue water experience. *This might cost you to fly out to meet the boat, and fly home again. *You need to check the skipper's references and provide those for him to check out as well. *You might find that terror is not the customary ingredient in blue water sailing, but discomfort occasionally is there. *So is exhaustion and the need to think clearly no matter how wet, cold, and tired you may be.

For ourselves, terror was not an ingredient in our cruising, but experience taught us to always look ahead and play "what if?" with what we saw on our charts. *

Fair winds,

Jeanne
__________________

__________________
In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

SY WATERMELON |
MV WATERMELON (New) | Cruiser's Dictionary, free ebook

= Cruiser's Dictionary, North America,
JeanneP is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Keen To Learn fmhaszard Crew Positions Wanted 1 07-06-2011 01:26 AM
Can/will 'cruisers' Learn ? Silver Raven General Cruising Forum 14 09-28-2010 09:35 PM
How To Learn Anchoring? magwas General Cruising Forum 11 08-10-2010 08:30 AM
Looking To Learn! Chikokishi The Tavern | Welcome Aboard 2 06-07-2009 08:54 AM
New Young Looking To Learn And Sail diegoc137 The Tavern | Welcome Aboard 2 12-09-2008 02:53 PM

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0