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Old 02-11-2019, 06:40 AM   #1
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Teaching skipper for Atlantic crossing

So you missed out on the 2004 Norhaven transat? And the 2014? And you donít want to take your boat - but you have the experience and skills and could go if you had the boat? Read on...

We have our new-to-us 50í power cat in the Caribbean and have been planning a transat direct to Azores and then Spain, leaving early to mid May depending on weather. Speed about 5-6kn alternating engines for efficiency, at least until the Azores.

But...we are not experienced blue water people, but want to learn (we purchased a couple of years before we thought we would and we had planned on skilling up before. No time now so weíll learn on the job!).

Thereís various places on the web to advertise for skippers, but firstly weíre not on a sail boat which is the predominant skill set, and secondly we are not interested in a pure delivery. Instead, we want to find someone who wants to lead, and pass on their knowledge. Obviously knowledge of diesels is needed too.

Mods: I couldnít find another appropriate forum, but please move this if itís incorrect.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:48 AM   #2
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Blue water is blue water , you can learn in most any location that has ocean access.

When the breeze picks up head out for a few hours and see what gear will need to be better secured and how the boat handles while on different angles to the wind and waves.

Do this until you feel fine in 35K-40K of breeze and study other boats crossing ideas as to food , navigation and gear.

You may want to check if the transmission can be free wheeled , or needs to be locked .

Sail voyage books and power voyage books are in the library.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:25 AM   #3
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I would be worried if you have to run on one engine at 5-6 kts to have enough fuel to get to the Azores. Sounds like you may be cutting it close and I hope you have good fuel efficiency data on one engine and have also factored in any head winds on your route which will kill efficiency.



The benefits of running on one engine can be significant for a monohull although with a cat the wide assymetrical thrust will cause some loss of efficiency.

Check out the attached graph of fuel efficiency for two trawlers on one engine vs two. Also other data from MV Dreamer indicates little difference between a freewheeling and fixed prop. MV Dreamer is an Alaskan 45 owned by Bob Lowe a former boat yard owner.


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Old 02-11-2019, 07:06 PM   #4
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Blue water is blue water , you can learn in most any location that has ocean access.

When the breeze picks up head out for a few hours and see what gear will need to be better secured and how the boat handles while on different angles to the wind and waves.

Do this until you feel fine in 35K-40K of breeze and study other boats crossing ideas as to food , navigation and gear.

You may want to check if the transmission can be free wheeled , or needs to be locked .

Sail voyage books and power voyage books are in the library.
We'll definitely be having a shakedown cruise before the big(ger) event.

Transmission can be freewheeled (confirmed by engine and transmission manufacturers ) - good pickup.

I've not found many power voyage books for longer distance besides Beebe's. I've watched MV Dirona's videos and read through their blog. Have you any others you'd suggest?
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:16 PM   #5
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I would be worried if you have to run on one engine at 5-6 kts to have enough fuel to get to the Azores. Sounds like you may be cutting it close and I hope you have good fuel efficiency data on one engine and have also factored in any head winds on your route which will kill efficiency.

The benefits of running on one engine can be significant for a monohull although with a cat the wide assymetrical thrust will cause some loss of efficiency.

Check out the attached graph of fuel efficiency for two trawlers on one engine vs two. Also other data from MV Dreamer indicates little difference between a freewheeling and fixed prop. MV Dreamer is an Alaskan 45 owned by Bob Lowe a former boat yard owner.
Thanks David. Good points indeed.

I'm trying to be rather conservative with fuel and distances because so much must remain unpredictable: as you say, the wind, currents and wave action can change things a lot. Pilot charts and routing can help of course.

With the existing bladders full, we can do 2 engines at 7kn with a 20%+ margin. Allowing for the loss of a bladder, could go 6kn on 2 engines with 20% margin. With no bladders and only fixed tankage, we're down to 1 engine at a time and 6.5kn to keep the 20% margin.

I'll study that data thank you. We can freewheel one prop, although I doubt there's too much efficiency difference at the low speeds (higher speeds have definitely shown a difference, I think yachtworld had an older article clearly showing it).
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:21 PM   #6
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This guy might be free...

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But seriously, what engines are in your boat? Is it built for such a long offshore voyage? Does it have redundancies for important equipment like auto pilot, navigation, etc?
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:47 PM   #7
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Sorry if I wasn't clear originally, we are after contacts rather than "don't do it" statements.

Happy to have "have you thought about ..." questions though as they focus the mind from those who already have experience in such undertakings.

Asking "what engines are in the boat" or "is she built for it" won't help anyone - I could answer anything from "they are big and blue", or all sorts of detail of the fuel and other systems. Will either of those statements help you answer the original question - I doubt it. Would they help you decide whether you would make the trip if it was your boat - I hope so... which is exactly why we have answered those type of questions already to our own satisfaction.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:08 PM   #8
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Check out the attached graph of fuel efficiency for two trawlers on one engine vs two. Also other data from MV Dreamer indicates little difference between a freewheeling and fixed prop. MV Dreamer is an Alaskan 45 owned by Bob Lowe a former boat yard owner.
David,
Here's my estimates for our boat - interesting difference between cat and monohull perhaps?
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:09 PM   #9
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Not to argue, but donít you think an interested captain would want to investigate those things? Like, will the boat actually make it across? I sure would, but Iím not your captain, so itís probably irrelevant.

I guess I understand not wanting to get into all those details here on the open forum, but I was simply interested in what kind of boat you have.

I was not telling you not to do it. Sorry for the confusion, and good luck on the adventure.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:11 PM   #10
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Whoops, graph now has a legend (as if you couldn't work it out yourselves)...
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:54 PM   #11
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Not to argue, but donít you think an interested captain would want to investigate those things? Like, will the boat actually make it across? I sure would, but Iím not your captain, so itís probably irrelevant.

I guess I understand not wanting to get into all those details here on the open forum, but I was simply interested in what kind of boat you have.

I was not telling you not to do it. Sorry for the confusion, and good luck on the adventure.
Thanks for replying - definitely expect a potential captain would want to know lots of things. Things like the boat has already crossed the Atlantic before.

I've already contacted a number of mechanics and skippers on other forums and boards, and discussions are progressing. But it was clear that there are few who do trawler (I'll define as slower) power boats compared with sailing vessels or fast power boats. By asking on this list I was hoping to elicit interest from an "old" (relative ) "sea dog" (we'd be extremely happy with a woman BTW). If you look hot in speedos you can get lost though (I'm told I need to retract the statement but I'm standing fir...).

I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in being very happy to talk about our boat (girl/lady/lass) . There's quite a bit of info at our (quiet-for-now) blog - bluenomads.blog.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:02 AM   #12
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"I've not found many power voyage books for longer distance besides Beebe's."

Sail or power the tasks are almost identical , watch standing ,food , fuel storm techniques ,parts and emergency gear.

The difference is engine management , and for that you will need crew training , or a set of Murphy switch gauges.

The big hassle is the fact that all multihulls are weight sensitive , and overloading is unsafe.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:40 AM   #13
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David,
Here's my estimates for our boat - interesting difference between cat and monohull perhaps?
I wouldn't be making assumptions by using NMPG as weather can easily alter that significantly. I would suggest GPH, gallons per hour as a more realistic method allied with a conservative number of operating hours, looks to me like a fuel bladder may be desirable.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:18 PM   #14
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I wouldn't be making assumptions by using NMPG as weather can easily alter that significantly. I would suggest GPH, gallons per hour as a more realistic method allied with a conservative number of operating hours, looks to me like a fuel bladder may be desirable.
Yep, more than desirable . Necessary unless one bets on slow one-engine travelling in calm weather across half the mid-north Atlantic in May-June... I'm not taking that bet!
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:08 PM   #15
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If you can`t find a "Teaching Skipper", how about a mentor with the same depth of knowledge? To advise beforehand,come on board and check systems,sail with you a day or two to fine tune watch arrangements, etc, and be available throughout, on HF or Sat Phone or other means of communication for whenever you need it, perhaps with daily reporting or contact skeds.
I think some of the rtw solo sailors had support along those lines, like Kay Cottee, and others.
Recently I was asked by a US friend to find repair help for a solo sailor friend limping toward Hobart after a knockdown in the Southern Ocean,no working electronics so communicating via satellite phone. RYCT was the obvious choice, his wife made the arrangements,including flying to Tassie to help. A land based resource like a mentor could work if the primary search fails.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:19 PM   #16
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If he has the time, and he wants to do a run I have the perfect guy for you. I have forwarded the information.
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Old 02-13-2019, 12:22 AM   #17
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If you can`t find a "Teaching Skipper", how about a mentor with the same depth of knowledge? To advise beforehand,come on board and check systems,sail with you a day or two to fine tune watch arrangements, etc, and be available throughout, on HF or Sat Phone or other means of communication for whenever you need it, perhaps with daily reporting or contact skeds.
I think some of the rtw solo sailors had support along those lines, like Kay Cottee, and others.
Recently I was asked by a US friend to find repair help for a solo sailor friend limping toward Hobart after a knockdown in the Southern Ocean,no working electronics so communicating via satellite phone. RYCT was the obvious choice, his wife made the arrangements,including flying to Tassie to help. A land based resource like a mentor could work if the primary search fails.
Top thinking Bruce!
We are planning a 2-3 day cobweb-clearing run around the place anyway, and this would be a great time to have a mentor aboard. They could then see the boat and systems themselves (for later reference if we needed help), and point important things out ("dat sharp bit is da 'bow'. It go first..." ).

I'll put the call out for thoughts on that to the St Martin boating group.

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Old 02-13-2019, 06:20 AM   #18
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"sail with you a day or two to fine tune watch arrangements,"

We have done passages and have found with 3 crew 3 on 6 off is easy to live with.

If there are 4 crew its still 3 on 6 off , one crew stands down , either day off or scrub king and small task completion.

Even in OK weather an electric sheet bunk warmer is very handy as no off time is waisted warming a cold bunk.


Not many crew can cook.
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:00 AM   #19
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I have read too many stories about people planning to take long trips on a boat, Rv, or whatever, and end up getting cancer, or some other ailment and never make the trip. We are not getting any younger. Keep doing your due diligence, and follow your dreams.
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:57 AM   #20
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Teaching skipper for Atlantic crossing

I have been watching this family sailing all around the world with just about zero experience starting out. The dad is a self-described ďdumb oilfield guyĒ from Dallas Tx (think he owned an oilfield company so heís obviously not dumb). He is an interesting, can-do type of dude.

They have a big catamaran sailboat, but other than fuel I suppose the risks are about the same?

They recently sailed across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.

https://youtu.be/wDktQ3V0Vvs
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