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Old 01-24-2020, 09:16 PM   #1
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90-min film from 1963 by Eric and Susan Hiscock, legendary small boat navigators that was recently posted to Cruisers Forum . My Willard 36 is one of 39 hulls struck in roughly the same period - from 1961 to 1970. At the time, sisterships ventured great distances well before advent of radar, VHF, and Loran.

Simplicity of their 3-year circumnavigation is an interesting counterpoise to recent TF threads on what it takes to be a passagemaker - redundancy, certain boat, lots of money, etc. Not saying this is the right answer, but it is helpful to see what can be done with decent seamanship skills.

Peter

https://youtu.be/g_RHHIV4u1k
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:14 AM   #2
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Very impressive! And they were not spring chickens when they set sail on this adventure.

I have no desire to do anything like this, but like learning about people who go on these extreme (to me) adventures. Thanks for the link!

Edit: OMG it appears they hand steered with a tiller all the way around the world?
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Old 01-25-2020, 12:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
OMG it appears they hand steered with a tiller all the way around the world?
Eric Hiscock was in his late 40's when they left on this trip in the late 1950's. Sailing had not changed in a couple hundred years at this point, tafrail log, lead-line, etc. Paper charts had improved, but not much. When I was delivering along the Pacific Coast in the late 1990's/early 2000's, there were long stretches of the central California coast where charts dated to the late 1800's. Amazingly, when Drake careened his Golden Hind ship in the mid 1500's in what is now Drakes Bay, 30 nms north of the Golden Gate, he didn't know San Francisco Bay existed as he needed to stay well offshore to stay safe in prevailing on-shore winds and seas.

I saw an interview of Lin and Larry Pardey from the mid 1990's. They were younger than the Hiscocks, but met them several times and were heavily influenced by them. Apparently, self-steering windvanes were invented shortly after this voyage, and the very first one was installed on the Hiscock's boat.

Personally, I find stories such as this humbling, and amazed that in a mere 60-years, technology has advanced to where cruising is viable for a huge percentage of people such as myself. But still, I admire the simplicity, self reliance, and independence of folks like the Hiscocks and the Pardeys. And I admire their give-back attitude to further the sport of sailing and cruising. I wonder what they would think of the Patreon generation of novice sailors with plastic smiles and click-bait bathing suits who's claim to fame is video editing.

From my point of view, we carry too much stuff on our boats. So much that the care and feeding of so many systems are a distraction and ultimately become reasons to not leave port. Maybe we have evolved too far.
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Old 01-25-2020, 12:30 PM   #4
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Oh, late 40s certainty isn’t old! I’m a bad age guesser!

Watching the movie when they rigged the two small “wing on wing” sails so the boat would self steer, I noted that he said they would roll 32 DEGREES at times.
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Old 01-25-2020, 02:50 PM   #5
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Thanks for posting the link. Apart from its inherent interest as the chronicle of an epic voyage, it's also something of a time capsule. Fascinating.
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