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Old 06-02-2015, 06:27 AM   #1
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Default planned trip South Africa to NZ

Good morning all, i hope any advice on a trip i am planning,i am planning on sailing up to NZ from SA,and would like any tips or advice to aid in my planning,i plan on doing the trip on a 23ft kelkiewyn,she is rigged with solar pannels and wind generator,and is very seaworthy. my main concern is several people say she is to small for the trip? any views or oppinions welcome.
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:23 AM   #2
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Hey Captainmorgan, how about including what route you intend to take and then others can comment. Although circumnavigations have been done in really small boats, I certainly would look at something a bit larger. You also may have a problem with SAMSA getting clearance for such a small vessel. I do know that a few of the SA built Sadler 26 boats have done such trips quite successfully. Also, is your kelkie GRP or the old ply?
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Old 06-03-2015, 12:50 PM   #3
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hi John thanks for the reply,she is GRP in construction and very solid,as far as a route nothing confirmed as of yet first want to do some research with regards to currents,weather and best time of year etc,hence advise request,i am planning on me and my son doing the trip,so space shouldnt be to much of a issue with just the 2 of us,however 23ft?? is it viable? i have seen some crazy saltys crossing the atlantic in 8ft boats however that isnt for me,i am rigging her as per SAMSA requirements,just wanted some sort of reassurance a 23 could do it?
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Old 06-03-2015, 02:17 PM   #4
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Captainmorgan, okay, in my opinion you could most likely make the trip but, I would not try and put the life of a family member in jeopardy whilst trying to do so. Have you ever crossed an ocean? Sometimes it is pure bliss and sometimes the elements can turn on you and make it pure hell and a fight for survival. Trying in a 23 foot boat, in my opinion, is really pushing your luck. This said, Ant Stewart did a circumnavigation in a 19 foot open boat (no cabin). He did succeed, but nearly lost his life whilst doing so.

You must not rely on others to make a decision for you. Leaving a port in a small boat (or any boat) is something you need to decide yourself - you need the experience and confidence to do it yourself and know that your decision is the correct one. All I can say is that I would not do it in such a small boat. But that is my opinion and others my have far differing opinions.
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:25 PM   #5
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23' is small, but size, from a sailing perspective, is unimportant. From a comfort perspective, it is a little different. If your boat has a good ballast ratio, a low aspect rig, has offshore rated ports and hatch covers, has sufficiently heavy rigging, enough water storage (in separate tanks), enough fuel and food storage (all low enough down to not negatively affect the ballast ratio (and has good sails (including a storm sail), a solid and bombproof deck/hull join and the usual safety gear (including emergency steering) I see no real problem sailing anywhere.
The problems which could be restrictive include storage of anything heavy on deck. Water and fuel is heavy and will affect the stability of your little craft when lashed to the lifelines. Also the integrity of your companionway storm boards is crucial. I don't know the boat, but I would want to make sure the cockpit is self draining (and quick to do so) and there must be a dam at the companionway. ie. the companionway hatch must be raised above the cockpit floor by a good deal.
One problem with small boats is the open cockpit. because of the height of the boom, it is often difficult to install a decent dodger. Shelter is vital when crossing oceans and even a canvas dodger, although it won't take green water, will afford a degree of comfort which is necessary for both night and day.


All oceans can be crossed in any well-found sailboat. 23' is smaller than I would want to sail in, but that is merely a comfort issue for me. I offer only one small piece of further advice. Call a reputable surveyor and have him survey your vessel and then audit it for its suitability as an ocean voyager. If he makes recommendations (and I am sure he will) you will then need to weigh up the considerable costs of preparing the vessel, against the benefits of using that boat for the trip.
Finally, there is always a problem with small boats when it comes to ground tackle. Chain is heavy and it is usually stored in the bow. Cruising needs are best served by extra chain and rope and a choice of anchors. In a big boat this is not a problem. In a small boat you will need to determine what compromises you are prepared to make when it comes to anchor choice and whether or not you will have chain and rope or just chain, and where you will stow the whole mess.
Best wishes.
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Old 06-03-2015, 09:11 PM   #6
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Auzzee, he wants to sail from South Africa to New Zealand, not the other way round.

The Kelkie is a small day sailer and not actually designed for blue water passages, although I am sure it can be beefed-up quite a bit to make it a safer boat.

One of the biggest problems would be for him to get SAMSA approval for departure. There are ways around it for smaller boats, but they tend not to grant departure papers for vessels under 9 metres. This has been agrivated by the loss of the catamaran in the southern Indian Ocean in January with the authorities now playing a far stricter roll in permitting small vessels to depart for overseas voyages.
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:53 AM   #7
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thanks guys for the input,i think i should look at something bigger,if it were just me i might take a chance,but having my son with me is a game changer,can get my hands on a old Cape yacht 30 ft wooden construction,needs some work but maybe i should look at that as a viable option? thanks again for you input and safe sailing to everyone.
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