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Old 06-27-2018, 08:08 PM   #1
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Crossing the Pacific on 47' 1972 power vessel

Hello fellow boaters,
Just quick info post here: MV SeaWitch is currently in Tahiti after successful crossing the Pacific from Mexico the the Marquesas Island, then to Tuamotu Archipelagos and then Papeete. The crossing speed was averaging about 6.5Knts over 2,700NM to Nuku Hiva. it took little less then 17 days to do the crossing then 3 1/2 days to the Tuamotu a quick over-nighter to Tahiti.
During the crossing to the Marquesses I had 1 alternator belt failure about 120NM before Nuku Hiva, that took 15Min to rectify, but needed to shut down the engine.
I'm planning to continue to New Zealand around the end of September which will give me 40-50 days to make the 3,100NM voyage.


I know many people are talking of doing it, but very few actually really go. I did prepare myself and the boat for quite few years, and now I'm proud the say that I did cross the Equator on my own bottom completing the longest leg from around the world trip where you can't stop and refuel.
more information about the boat can be found at www.seawitch.ca
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Old 06-27-2018, 08:23 PM   #2
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A major accomplishment..congrats. I recognize that anchorage in your about photo. Keep us informed of future travels.
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Old 06-27-2018, 08:27 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. SM. Well done!
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Old 06-27-2018, 08:42 PM   #4
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Very nice boat and quite an accomplishment!

Tell us a little about your crew size.
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Old 06-27-2018, 10:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Donsan View Post
Very nice boat and quite an accomplishment!

Tell us a little about your crew size.
Crew consisted of myself and a friend who fished most of the time. It was practically single handed crossing with one more onboard. I did all night shifts. Good to have an extra person on board. Comes handy if something breaks
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Old 06-27-2018, 11:06 PM   #6
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Congratulations and thanks for sharing.

That's a good looking vessel and an interesting website.

Where are the places that should not be missed, and what could we skip, please?

Is there any knowledge or gear you wouldn't do the trip without?

Did you employ a weather router or similar?

Cheers
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Old 06-27-2018, 11:06 PM   #7
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Tanks for sharing your adventure. Wonderful Garden design.
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Old 06-27-2018, 11:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Congratulations and thanks for sharing.

That's a good looking vessel and an interesting website.

Where are the places that should not be missed, and what could we skip, please?

Is there any knowledge or gear you wouldn't do the trip without?

Did you employ a weather router or similar?

Cheers

Do budget time for the Marquesses. I spent only week or so there as my friend was flying back from Tahiti and something came up so he needed to get there fast. He ended up flying back from Fakarava to Tahiti. Do not miss the Tuamotu Archipelago! I spend 5 weeks there, and I could've easy spend another 5 weeks. Do go to the south pass in Fakarava and snorkel in with the in coming tide. Amazing!

make sure you do your fuel budgeting right. There is another powerboat that just showed up in Papeete, but they ran out of fuel couple of hundred miles from the Marquesses. My Flowscan did work well. Go slow in the beginning. See how your fuel consumption goes. I did cary about 110 gal on deck in blue 15 gal containers, but i did not need them.

My tanks hold 1470 US gal, and I used about 910 US gal to cross. My engine ran @ 1050 RPM most of the time and I averaged 6.5-7.0 knts. with about 160NM days. There was current with us that adds 1/4 to 1/2 knt for extended periods of time, but then there is current against some time (rear maybe for total of day or two). The wind is always with you or from your quarter - starboard in the norther hemisphere and port quarter in the south hemisphere.

Have a proper size (sized properly for your vessel) sea anchor in case that you need to do any repairs. The other power boat that ran out of fuel, deployed sea anchor and waited for couple of days to get fuel delivered.

Sat phone or iridium Go. I prefer the sat phone and had 9555 with me. it is more convenient as stand alone in case you need to abandon ship. Email works great with it.



With spares is tricky and boat specific, but definitely, pumps, belts, oil, hydraulic fluid if you have hydraulics.



Autopilots! I have 3. I do NOT want to steer power boat in open ocean, unless I really need to...


Good RADAR and AIS. I had 2 radars with guard zones setup, long and short range. a
Good alarms. I have designed integrated alarm N2K and other inputs system that was instrumental during the passage. It takes inputs from important boat systems and monitors them on single 7" touch screen display. I'm just finishing the pre-production prototypes and I will be commercializing it later this year. I will have it on some of the major boat shows this fall and winter as "introductory show special" (Shameless plug)



Don't rush, wait for weather. I did not use weather router. Once you go, you are committed, so just make sure you know whats coming your way. if its real bad weather, then you might want to try go around it, but did not get to that with us. You need to have some luck too

Don't take any shortcuts. It will come back and bite you.
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Old 06-28-2018, 08:43 AM   #9
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Great achievement. The Seamaster is surely one of the boats I’d choose for such a passage. Sincere congrats on a good plan and , no doubt, some good luck too. Keep us informed on the next leg!
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Old 06-28-2018, 08:59 AM   #10
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Did you add fuel tanks, or did the boat come with so much tankage. Seems like a lot for a 47 footer.
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Old 06-28-2018, 09:03 AM   #11
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Thanks for the link to your website...your vessels journey from neglected to circumnavigating ready is impressive!

Hug a palm tree for me...I'll keep the north coast of BC comfortably cool and ready for your enjoyment
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Old 06-28-2018, 09:26 AM   #12
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Awesome! Quite an accomplishment!
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Old 06-28-2018, 09:52 AM   #13
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Nice boat and adventure,kudos!
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Old 06-28-2018, 09:54 AM   #14
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Congrats on the successful crossing.

You mention deploying a sea anchor in case of a repair, but I notice in your website that you have a wing engine. I'm wondering why not use the little engine instead?
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Old 06-28-2018, 01:42 PM   #15
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Congratulations and thank you very much for embarking us into your wonderful ocean adventure.

Also welcome to French overseas territories, France’s most remote islands.

How did you like Marquesas Islands ? Hiva Oa, the second largest, is famous as the final home of French painter Paul Gauguin, I mean he is buried there.

Bon voyage !
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Old 06-28-2018, 02:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Did you add fuel tanks, or did the boat come with so much tankage. Seems like a lot for a 47 footer.
The SeaWitch had a single engine arrangement with CAT C333D (3306) engine. It came from the factory equipped with 5 integral fiberglass tanks.

2X500 US gal diesel port and starboard in the engine room, 2X210 US gal water in the lazarette and 1X470 US gal water under the floor forward.

I did convert the forward tank from water to fuel and that gave me total of 1470 US gal of fuel and 420Gal of water.

Talking about revolutionary thinking of Bill Garden 45 years ago... there were no Nordhavn's then... I dislike the notion that they are the only small power boats that can cross oceans! They are nice boats, no doubt about that, but they were not the first, nor the only ones... Long before them there were others... I dislike their exclusive yahoo group, that no others are blessed to join! There are many great people with great boats and experience there, but why all that exclusivity? How special the founders thought they are???
Forgive me... That's my rant for today.
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Old 06-28-2018, 02:15 PM   #17
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Congrats on the successful crossing.

You mention deploying a sea anchor in case of a repair, but I notice in your website that you have a wing engine. I'm wondering why not use the little engine instead?

Of course I would prefer to use the wing engine, but if the repair involves something in the drive train (remember? - single propeller), then I might have to deploy sea anchor. Sea anchor is also very helpful if all hell breaks loose... Then apparently the best option is to deploy the sea anchor, button up all windows and doors, shut the engine down and go to bed. I say "apparently", as this is not my first hand experience and I hope not to be in conditions where I have to try this approach.


I don't know if I mentioned, but there was another boat from Seattle trying to cross and they ran out of fuel 200NM before the Marquesses. I guess in such case wing engine wouldn't help much....
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Old 06-28-2018, 04:44 PM   #18
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Here is my route so far..
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Old 06-28-2018, 06:09 PM   #19
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No experience with sea anchors. I have been eying this one awhile for a 45 ft. boat to be used at an off shore bank (Cortes). With modest wind/swell, how much do these slow you down? Does the stern swing in to the wind fairly well? How much line would you pay out?
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Old 06-29-2018, 07:34 AM   #20
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Thank to SeaMaster101 for posting about sea anchor, it's also known as a drift anchor or 'ancre flottante' (floating anchor) in French.

My boat came with a large size of 20 feet (6.7 meters) sea anchor from previous owner & 360 feet (120 meters) three-strand nylon line, almost 10 times the boat’s LOA what is a minimum. In bad weather a too short line may interfere with the boat ability to rise up on the wave, a disastrous situation which may cause the sea anchor’s failure.

From my own experience with many boats, it's very efficient if both sea anchor & line are correctly sized also properly installed. However since the forces on the boat could be enormous, be aware that the use of sea anchor might be more complex than it sounds depending on the weather & the size of your sea anchor.

Indeed it’s supposed to slow the drift up to 70/80% by increasing the drag through the water when current and wind move in the same direction which is the optimal situation like mostly - but not always - in the open sea.
It’s another story when current and wind move in opposite direction, e.g. in costal waters the tidal forces are often greater than the wind then in that specific situation a sea anchor may even speed up the boat.

Be sure to be very well practiced in deploying and pulling out. Not easy to deploy in rough waters, a large sized sea anchor is very difficult to pull out of the water, then a second line tied to the top of the sea anchor is an absolute necessity. The bigger sea anchor the better, but the harder to pull out as well.

In times of bad weather sea anchor may love to turn on itself - I mean rotate - which then makes it even harder to pull out. Also this raises question about the right lines to use: three-strand or 12-strand single braid ? Three-strand is lighter and easier to splice but the rotation of the sea anchor may 'untwist' the strands of the line, remember the forces could be enormous. Braided line is very supple, flexible - what is good -, heavy - what is good as well to help keeping the bow into the wind - but also a lot heavier to splice. I don't have the answer to that, Seamaster101 your thoughts ? I always used three-stand lines for sea anchor so far & 12-strand single braid for dock line.

Anyway still from my own experience a sea anchor is one of first indispensable piece of safety equipment aboard small & medium-size boat, at a low price. In most of critical situations a sea anchor strongly help to slow the boat’s speed of drift from her original position, and to keep the bow directed into the wind and sea to prevent huge rolling. It's a life-saving device. No sea-going vessel should be without, but each does his own thing. I never go without one.

A good link to check out. Difference between storm drogues and sea anchors.
https://www.passagemaker.com/technic...nd-sea-anchors
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