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Old 01-24-2011, 09:29 PM   #1
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Hi all I am new to this forum and would like some feedback.

I am planning a trip from Sweden-Norway-Scotland-Iceland-Greenland through the Northwest passage this summer. If any of you have experience high latitude sailing, sailing in ice, required equipment I would like to hear back from you. If you want more detail about the boat, trip etc. check it out and please give me your feedback.




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Old 01-25-2011, 12:38 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Exiles View Post

Hi all I am new to this forum and would like some feedback.

I am planning a trip from Sweden-Norway-Scotland-Iceland-Greenland through the Northwest passage this summer. If any of you have experience high latitude sailing, sailing in ice, required equipment I would like to hear back from you. If you want more detail about the boat, trip etc. check it out and please give me your feedback.




www.belzebub2.com

Thank you!

First, Welcome to Cruiser Log. Normally we would expect newcomers to our forums to introduce themselves in the TAVERN forum, telling us a little about themselves, who they are, where they are, what sort of boat they have (or plan to have). How much cruising they have done.Etc...

However "EXILES" have posted topics in 3 separate forums requesting information and directing readers to their website. In the posts very little information about themselves or their project. In one post a link is provided to a Chinese 'supplier'of 4 and 6 HP diesel outboards - not sure if one of these is meant to be a substitute for their diesel inboard which is rated at 23HP. In another post regarding HD radar a link is provided to the BUY forum in Cruisersforum.com.

Exiles, one can only wish you good luck in your plan to complete a journey through the North West Passage this summer. However, the information provided so far in Cruiser Log reveals very little to give confidence that the boat and its equipment will be up to the task.
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:17 PM   #3
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Back in 1991 we met a German fellow who had completed the Northwest Passage with his wife a year or two earlier, and he gave a slide presentation of their voyage to a gathering of cruisers. He was a German sailor who wrote about his voyages in a German sailing magazine (his first name was Clark, but I don't remember his surname). They did it in a season, but they had the assistance of a Canadian icebreaker to help them when the ice started to close again, and they motored nonstop for several weeks (I believe) to get through before the ice closed again. His article, should you be able to find it, probably was very informative regarding the gear he used, since his slide show was full of such details. He did the passage in a 13 or 14 meter aluminum sloop, built especially for this voyage. Significantly larger than your 31-foot Hallberg-Rassey.

I've done a bit more looking around the internet, and find that traversing the NW Passage is an iffy thing.

From Weather Underground: Northern Passages

Quote:
Finally, in 1905, Roald Amundsen completed the first successful navigation of the Northwest Passage. It took his ship two-and-a-half years to navigate through narrow passages of open water, and his ship spent two cold, dark winters locked in the ice during the feat. More recently, icebreakers and ice-strengthened ships have on occasion battered their way through the ice-blocked route.
I hope you will be prepared to winter over in the ice should the ice close the passage before you have gotten through. Optimism is great, but sometimes you need a lot more than optimism and luck to succeed.

I would expect that the best sources of information about useful gear would come from the solo circumnavigators of the world, such as Dame Ellen MacArthur, who had to dodge icebergs in their approaches to Cape Horn.

I wish you fair winds,

Jeanne
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:20 PM   #4
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As some of the CL regulars here know, we crave the world of high latitude sailing and my husband would love to do both the NW Passage and Cape Horn. So, he constantly sends me little notes about successful voyages.

ANY high latitude sailing undertaken must be carefully prepared for. It is non-trivial and mistakes can be deadly. Equipment and survival gear are utmost importance. So, whoever undertakes such a trip really needs to know what they are doing, for sure. I know of a very experienced crew who attempted the NW Passage in 2005 on the Bowman 57 Cloud Nine. Pack ice turned them back and as I recall, it took an icebreaker to get them and a couple other boats out.

It is true that weather has changed the game immensely in the past decade. Of course things could go right back to the old days of 2 to 3 year passages with yachts locked into the ice during winters and crews having to leave and then "refind" their boat in the spring--hoping that the ice hasn't sunk the boat. Link to article on the fact that NW Passage is open more often than you think.

I don't know how many yachts attempted and completed the NW Passage in 2010. In 2009, 9 yachts were known to attempt the NW passage and all 9 made it through in the one season. NW Passage history Link

Small boats do attempt and complete the NW Passage. In 2009, the small 30 ft wooden boat Precipice, a Bristol Channel Cutter (Lyle Hess Design) completed the Passage with a family of four. Link to press We actually have been in contact with the owners since we are incredibly interested in their high latitude sailing and ice experiences with a wood hull. They did not have waterline sheathing but did recommend it. They also did not have an ice cage around the prop but did recommend it as well. They saw both these useful things aboard other boats in Greenland.

In 2006 the Polish yacht Stary LINKcompleted the NW passage and I think the boat was quite small. Sorry I don't recall its size but thought it was a small boat. As I recall, one of the successes of Stary was that the crew had their inflatable (with suitably large engine) tow a parasailer (high in the air) so they could view the ice packs and pick their way through the ice. This was very innovative use of technology and a young, resourceful crew.

Again, lots of boats are attempting the NW Passage these days. Yes. Little boats too. However, preparation and sailing experience are key to success. Though Hubby dreams of such a passage, we are in no way prepared to do such a trip and have a laundry list of experience and equipment that we feel one would need in order to mitigate risk and assure a successful passage.

Fair winds,
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exiles View Post

I am planning a trip from Sweden-Norway-Scotland-Iceland-Greenland through the Northwest passage this summer. If any of you have experience high latitude sailing, sailing in ice, required equipment I would like to hear back from you. If you want more detail about the boat, trip etc. check it out and please give me your feedback. [/size][/font]
I have a lot of experience in navigating in high latitudes - although it goes back many years and was not in yachts but in high powered ships. I am also familiar with Monsunen. Monsunen is a highly regarded construction but is she up to the North-West Passage? I think not unless you are very fortunate indeed.

Amundsen, the first man to sail through the North-West Passage did it just over 100 years ago: just about the time of Norway's independence from Sweden. His ship, the GJØA, lies at the Norwegian Maritime Museum at Bygdøy which is just a short ferry ride from central Oslo. Also there is the FRAM, the Colin Archer designed ship for Fridjof Nansen. My advice to you is to drive up the E6 from Malmö and take a look at these vessels. Their scantlings may give you an indication of what is required to manage the North-Wesat Passage. Have also a thought for the fate of the Frankelin expedition. Remember also Robert McLure's ship, H.M.S.INVESTIGATOR which was trapped in the ice for three years but despite this he became the first man to pass through the North-West Passage but he is not credited for this as he undertook part of the passage by sledge.

My advice to you is do not undertake this project lightly. The fact that you are asking the questions you ask indicates to me that you have not thoroughly researched your enterprise.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JeanneP View Post

Back in 1991 we met a German fellow who had completed the Northwest Passage with his wife a year or two earlier, and he gave a slide presentation of their voyage to a gathering of cruisers.**He was a German sailor who wrote about his voyages in a German sailing magazine (his first name was Clark, but I don't remember his surname).**They did it in a season, but they had the assistance of a Canadian icebreaker to help them when the ice started to close again, and they motored nonstop for several weeks (I believe) to get through before the ice closed again.**His article, should you be able to find it, probably was very informative regarding the gear he used, since his slide show was full of such details.**He did the passage in a 13 or 14 meter aluminum sloop, built especially for this voyage. Significantly larger than your 31-foot Hallberg-Rassey.

...

I wish you fair winds,

Jeanne
You met Clark Stede and Michelle Poncini . Between 1990 and 1992 they sailed around the Americas and made the NorthWest-Passage on their yacht “Asma”, a custom built aluminium yacht of 13m length. As it is 20 years ago, before the age of blogging, there is not much to find on the net about this voyage, except *this *.**They indeed motored a lot to make the Northwest-passage in the (more or less, but short) ice-free season.

And if any yachts at all trying the Northwest-passage, it is indeed the bigger yachts built out of steel or aluminium and the sturdy wooden constructions (like the famous boats in the old times, mentioned by Stephen).*

But I am seriously in doubt that fibreglass boats of whatever size are made for icy waters:

-*** even when taking the global warming into account, there won’t be a guarantee for an ice free**Northwest-Passage in 2011.

-*** As summers are short, the time of ice free waters will be short and the chance to meet ice are high considering the relatively low speed of the Hallberg-Rassy Monsoon.

-*** There is no doubt about the seaworthiness of the Monsoon – many ocean passages and *Kurt Björklunds* three-and-a half circumnavigation on his yacht "Golden Lady" are impressive, but only in ice free waters.

-*** Gel-coat**simply is not made for continuous chafe. Under more or less constant contact with ice it wears away and the fibreglass structure is exposed to water (and ice). Metal boats just loose their paint coat and maybe get a dent, but the structure is not affected.

-*** And should the yacht be trapped in ice, how does a Monsoon cope with ice pressure?*

Another aspect comes to my mind: heating. Insulation has been added, but what about**a heater/oven**that can be used for a long continuous time and at sea, even when heeling? Friends without any heating on board**only tried to sail from Denmark via Scotland, Shetland- and Faroe Island to Iceland in summer but the nights were incredibly cold, and this was only on 65° N. They changed plans, went straight south and again warmed up on the Azores…

I would not be brave enough to do this trip but keep us informed about your courageous plans!

Uwe

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Old 01-28-2011, 06:00 PM   #7
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Thanks, Uwe! That's them. Clark's slide show was excellent. Didn't make me want to try the NW Passage, but I found it fascinating. Now, I also recommend "The Totorore Voyage" by Gerry Clarke for another facet of cold weather sailing, in the Antarctic. Or read CL member FRANK 's contributions to the Cruising Wiki.
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:28 AM   #8
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Cruiserlog member Frank who has contributed to the cruisers wiki on Chile has done extensive high latitude sailing in his 39' Westerly Sealord. A fin-keeled fiberglass vessel. Link to boat description. Frank has shared a lot of photos and experiences. Check Chile out here on the cruisers wiki
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:09 AM   #9
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If one is curious about great ideas - as I am - then if one has a shufty at the OP's website, then one may find it difficult to find evidence of self sufficiency in the planning or in the boat itself.

HR Monsun 31 Data.jpg

For example the fuel and water tank capacities

Diesel 120 litres (32 US gallons)

Water 160 Litres (43 US gallons)

The web site explains that much more fuel is required But because if sufficient additional fuel is carried in Jerry Cans, this would amount to another ton by weight - so the decision is to take no extra fuel. The shortest passage in the NWP is no less than 900nm. One gets an impression that there is an assumption that the boat will achieve the shortest route by sailing day and night, despite wind strength and direction, despite pack ice and other very large lumps, despite islands - with minimal use of the 36 year old diesel engine (that won't start without being heated up)

When it comes to water - no info on where water will come from except for the 160 litres in the boat's water tank. Of course water kept in Jerry Cans has to be insulated from the cold. Water from sea and pack ice is salty - while iceberg water is fresh water - there are difficulties in converting this ice into water.

The site shows images of insulation cladding that has been added to the hull - understand this is 20 mm foam, which may help keeping the outside cold from coming inside. No mention of how the inside of the boat is to be heated - eg a diesel-heater (but suppose this would need fuel)

One thing that stands out in successful expeditions of this nature is the paramount need for total self sufficiency. I still wish these two adventurers good luck, however the North West Passage may not forgive bad planning and insufficient quantities of the items that are absolute necessities.
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:46 PM   #10
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I rather suspect that our new member, Exiles, primarily posted here to provide a link to his website/blog about his trip. I don't know that he really wants a lot of "input" from us. MMNETSEA, you've highlighted very important issues/shortcomings of information about our member Exiles will use this particular vessel to achieve his goals. Indeed it takes alot of water and fuel to manage to move through the NWP and counting on sailing isn't a good idea. I linked to SV Precipice above and suggest that anyone considering high latitude sailing on a small vessel read that family's blog and website. They deal with all the issues that are brought up here. I especially appreciate the discussions of wind--well, lack of it or too much of it at any given time.

I do hope Exiles comes back and tells us more about how he will be dealing with fuel/heat/propulsion/melting ice for water, etc.

Fair winds,
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Old 02-11-2011, 03:27 PM   #11
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Thank you for your feedback!

We have a team of experienced polar explorers that are advising our trip. We are looking into a new engine and bigger storage but we will have a 10hp diesel outboard to back up our engine just in case. We are also looking into heaters at the moment forced air. We are not worried about fresh water its everywhere and we will have plenty of warmed storage space. Several fiberglass boats have made it through and we are in touch with their owners as well.

Yes this is a difficult trip! and there are alot of naysayers but it is our dream and we are trying to achieve it with the means at our disposal. Again smaller less prepared boats have made it and we are taking any precautions possible to protect ourselves and not burden the Canadian coast guard.

I apologize if you believe I am using your website as advertisement.

Best

Nicolas
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