Author Topic: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!  (Read 3457 times)

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Offline NOMN

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Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« on: April 27, 2013, 10:14:50 PM »
Bad idea?

I'm really compelled to do it.

I have saved up around $7500 working my ass off.

A boat, sorta near me, just popped up WITH a launching trailer for 7500 and looks in really good shape with a full suite of sails.

I've already got 2 GPS units, an EPIRB, a little raft, and tons of food.

Should I do it?!

Is that a safe boat? It looks so tiny cruising, like waves are just going to fill the cockpit constantly:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYRwNnTKsLg
Makar~--~-

Offline Travelnik

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2013, 10:23:16 PM »
I'm sure that the boat could handle it, but can you?

Boats can usually handle more than the people sailing them. Maybe you should start out with some coastal cruising before you make the big Pacific jump. That would give you an idea of what you'll really need as far as stores and equipment.
It will also let you see what improvements you need to do to the boat.

Just my 2?, and probably overpriced at that!  ;)
I'm Dean, and my boat is a 1969 Westerly Nomad. We're in East Texas (Tyler) for now.

Offline Porter Wayfare

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2013, 09:04:25 AM »
Seaworthiness aside, the CD25 and CD25D are two different animals inside.  I was disappointed with the CD25 but liked the 25D quite a bit. 

I agree with the previous comment. There are plenty of opportunities for meaningful challenges without heading straight across the biggest piece of water you can find.  There is no shortage of mistakes to be learned from.

Good luck!
a wooden Wayfarer,  Solje  W1321

I can't watch the sea for a long time or what's happening on land doesn't interest me anymore.  -Monica Vitti

Offline Godot

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2013, 09:56:43 AM »
People have crossed oceans in all sorts of unlikely boats. From what I know of Cape Dory 25s, I'm not aware of any design issues that would prevent it.

But the number one issue of seaworthiness is the skipper. It's my impression that you don't have much sailing experience, so this is something that should be worked on.

Sailing is not a difficult skill to learn; but it takes learning, and learning takes time. You wouldn't throw a sixteen year old kid with a learners permit into a formula one racer and expect good results. It's probably best to slowly build up your skills while learning how your boat behaves.

Suggestion: If the boat looks to be in decent shape and you like it, it is probably a good boat for you to learn on. Sail it for awhile. Start with mild wind and clear days and work through basic skills. Then start slowly increasing the difficulty with navigation, anchor drills, man overboard (hat overboard) drills, heavier weather, docking, busier waters, overnight trips, etc... You will soon find what you like about your boat and what you don't. And perhaps, a little ways down the road, you can take that big trip across the Pacific.

I'm kind of passionate at the moment about learning at a natural pace and not forcing a big trip. Earlier this winter I sold my Seafarer 24, a wonderfully sailing, if cosmetically a bit challenged by the years, boat to a fellow from Miami. He had no experience; but he bused up, in February, shoved a handful of cash in my hands, and took ownership. His plan was to sail the boat to Miami over the winter (he actually thought he could do it in a couple weeks...poor bastage). I was uncomfortable with the deal; but, hey, it's his life. I helped him as I could get the boat ready (including helping him up the mast to re-reeve the main halyard), bent on the sails for him, showed him how to reef, gave him some extra charts (he was planning on printing NOAA charts from the library, I had some old ICW charts I bought from a fellow here on SF that I wasn't currently using), a spare set of wet weather gear, and even my dinghy. Like I said, I was uncomfortable with his ambitious plan and tried my best to increase his odds. Sadly, he shipwrecked halfway down the Chesapeake Bay. As far as I know, my old Seafarer is still washed up on a little island just outside the Little Choptank River. He was rescued by the Coast Guard, so managed to get away with little more than an empty wallet and damaged pride. I'm a little pissed that s/v Godot ended up the way she did. I loved that little boat.

All this to say that it is in your best interest to learn slowly and naturally. Some people just point the bow over the horizon and learn as they go. Some get lucky and become excellent sailors. Some are eventually rescued and end up being endlessly ridiculed on the boating forums for taking off without proper preparation. Others are never heard from again. Seamanship takes time and practice (for certain I'm still learning every time I go out, and I suspect most people here are the same way). The ocean is dynamic and powerful. Take the time to learn some skills.
Adam
Bayfield 29 "Seeker"
Middle River, Chesapeake Bay

Offline rorik

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2013, 10:12:28 AM »
........But the number one issue of seaworthiness is the skipper......... it is in your best interest to learn slowly and naturally.......... The ocean is dynamic and powerful.....

....and unforgiving.
Alice has escaped....... on the Bandersnatch....... with.. the Vorpal sword....

Offline NOMN

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2013, 01:55:16 PM »
Okay lol, Ive heard this plenty of times.

"It's up to the skipper!"

Can we get more specific?! Sailing is NOT a bottomless pit of endless knowledge. There are specific things that can be mentioned for a pre-requisite to any bluewater crossing.

Things off the top of my head:

-Equipment like a Full keel, protected rudder, GPS, extra set of sails, food, water, harnesses, dinghy, h20 maker (if you can afford.)
-Basic storm handling knowledge, such as heaving to.
-How to point the boat, then position the sails according to the wind, to get it going in the direction you want to go.
-Reefing.
-Tacking and Jibing.

What am I missing here?!!!!

I don't see what else needs to be learned here.. I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just going to get to the bottom of this.

And, lol, how the f that dude ended up crashed on the shore... how... the f?!?!?!? I mean, seriously, how.. He must of been handicapped.

I've just been reading so much, it all seems so easy, I don't get how people can f up unless a massive storm or wave overtakes them or their navigation or other crucial equipment fails...
« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 02:27:14 PM by NOMN »
Makar~--~-

Offline Tim

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2013, 02:29:18 PM »
Okay, Ive heard this plenty of times.

"It's up to the skipper"

So that means, not to do anything stupid like leave the sails fully up in high winds, learning to point toward waves correctly, heaving to, etc?

I just don't understand how the f that dude ended up crashed on the shore... how... the f?!?!?!?

I've just been reading so much, it all seems so easy, I don't get how people can f up unless a massive storm or wave overtakes them.

You would be surprised how easy it is for things to go bad out there, and how experience to know how to deal with it is what is going to save your ass. I can't reiterate strong enough the advice already given about starting gradually before heading offshore. Most all the ones that get in to trouble are those that went out without enough experience.
"Mariah" Pearson Ariel #331, "Chiquita" CD Typhoon, M/V "Wild Blue" C-Dory 25

"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
W.A. Ward

Offline NOMN

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2013, 02:48:54 PM »
Okay, Ive heard this plenty of times.

"It's up to the skipper"

So that means, not to do anything stupid like leave the sails fully up in high winds, learning to point toward waves correctly, heaving to, etc?

I just don't understand how the f that dude ended up crashed on the shore... how... the f?!?!?!?

I've just been reading so much, it all seems so easy, I don't get how people can f up unless a massive storm or wave overtakes them.

You would be surprised how easy it is for things to go bad out there, and how experience to know how to deal with it is what is going to save your ass. I can't reiterate strong enough the advice already given about starting gradually before heading offshore. Most all the ones that get in to trouble are those that went out without enough experience.

Thanks!! I guess I'm asking more specifically what "Can go wrong out there" in terms of being inexperienced. I'd like to make myself a small checklist, of sailing skills, so when I go I know I'm ready.

Example:

"Heaving to / Laying ahull. Check.
Turning. Check.
Tacking & Jibing. Check.
Close-haul, beam reach, broad reach, running downwind Check."

I just can't imagine what else I need to know/practice before I head out over the big bluewater!!
« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 03:07:18 PM by NOMN »
Makar~--~-

Offline LooseMoose

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2013, 03:06:24 PM »
Basic navigation does come to mind...

Offline Porter Wayfare

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2013, 03:47:13 PM »
Weather?  Waves?  Tides?  Currents?  Personal experience reacting to a serious jam?

You seem focused on the things you can put your hands on, the tiller, the sheets, and yes, that's important, but it's also the easy part.

Still good luck.
a wooden Wayfarer,  Solje  W1321

I can't watch the sea for a long time or what's happening on land doesn't interest me anymore.  -Monica Vitti

Offline Godot

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2013, 04:30:41 PM »
Mechanics, electrics, food preparation, rest management, rules of the road, communications, sail repair, first aid, anchoring, docking, nutrition, at least a few knots, passage planning, weather forecasting, etc...

Like I said before, NOTHING about sailing is difficult. Nothing about driving is difficult either; but you don't send a kid on a learners permit onto the race course. Nothing about flying is difficult; but you don't put a guy with a student pilot certificate in an F16. Really, anyone can build a boat; but a steam bent wood planked schooner is probably not the best first project. Everything about sailing can be learned without too much difficulty; but reading about it in a book isn't going to be enough. Start slow and work up. Book knowledge really needs to become second nature.

A lot of people who probably wouldn't qualify for Mensa cross oceans. Some even learn on the way. But your continued survival is best assured by taking a graduated approach. Buy the boat. Spend some time sailing it. I'm guessing that you will begin to understand the skills you need to pick up on your own pretty quickly without having to ask us here. Slowly increase the degree of difficulty, pushing a little beyond your comfort zone each time you go out. Nobody here will be able to tell you when you are ready to cross oceans. Most of us haven't done that ourselves. But I think you will quickly figure out how much there is to learn once you start sailing. heck, there is no way to know if you will even like sailing without actually doing it. Some people who enjoy sailing can't stand going offshore. There are a lot of boats abandoned out there where dreams met reality.

As to how the new owner of my Seafarer could run ashore, the simple answer is he got himself in to conditions he wasn't prepared to handle.  It is extremely arrogant to assume it couldn't happen to you. Skilled sailors shipwreck every year.  It's one thing to read about what to do, it is quite another to go out there and actually do it. Really. I know that the new owner was out in some wind, probably mid to upper twenties, which can be a handful, especially for an inexperienced sailor, in a small boat. He was likely overpowered, and having a bear of a time controlling the boat. Reefing is not easy when the boat is bouncing around all over the place and you not only have to think about the steps involved in pulling in the reef, you also have to think about every movement so as not to fall overboard or otherwise injure yourself, especially when single handed. It isn't automatic. He was likely exhausted, scared, and confused. Believe me,  it takes more than reading how to do it in a book. You actually have to go out and do it, over and over again, before it becomes second nature.

For what it is worth, when I first bought the Seafarer I got myself in over my head. Way too much wind (gusting into the thirties). The boat wasn't configured properly. I couldn't make distance to weather. I tried and failed to beat into a sheltered cove. The waves were to high and steep to use the outboard, which almost got torn off the stern when I tried. I tried putting up the jib (too much power), taking down the jib (unbalanced boat). I almost got washed off the foredeck. My anchor broke free and tried to poke a hole in the bow. Water was crashing over me every few minutes and I was getting cold and making bad decisions. I was ready to give up on sailing altogether that day. I ended up finding a fairly shallow, but very exposed, part of the bay where I managed to anchor and crawl below for much needed rest. Over the next couple years I kept increasing my seamanship, and outfitting the boat, to the point where the conditions that did their best to kill me that day became conditions that would qualify as exciting, exhausting, and uncomfortable, but not exceptionally dangerous. It took time, though.
Adam
Bayfield 29 "Seeker"
Middle River, Chesapeake Bay

Offline Frank

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2013, 04:43:32 PM »
well put!
Frank Ontario Canada

Offline rorik

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2013, 05:43:05 PM »
How easy is it to screw up - fatally - without being "handicapped"?
As easy as spilling a cup of coffee at your kitchen table.....

Last summer I mistook one buoy for another. They were both red, both the same size, both on the same side of the larger passage - but - each one marked a smaller passage. I wanted the first of the two passages, not the second one. By the time I realized my mistake, it cost me 3 hours in travel time, against a 10 knot and building wind and a 3 knot current, to get back to the first buoy. And then continue to my destination.
That was during the day, in bright sunshine - in my home waters.
I was preoccupied looking at the chart making plans for the following day.... and just completely messed up.
Thankfully all it cost me was time and pride.
Now picture yourself after 3 weeks of interrupted sleep (no, you can't just get 8 hours because you have an AIS alarm), an odd eating schedule, possible seasickness, stress.... How hard would it be to mistake one buoy or light for another in a strange port? With fog, or even just rain? Or at night?
The comments about it being all about the skipper are because anybody can buy parts. It's using the parts without killing yourself that's the tricky part.



Alice has escaped....... on the Bandersnatch....... with.. the Vorpal sword....

Offline Travelnik

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2013, 06:08:04 PM »
Everyone says that it's up to the skipper because we don't know you.

You asked if the boat could do it; I said yes.

I'm not the kind of person to tell people that they can't do something. I still do a lot of crazy/stupid stuff, and I'm not a kid anymore. I also would never take an EPIRB with me because I won't have someone else risk their life trying to bail my butt out of a stupid situation that I get myself into.

I would take my 22' Nomad across, but I still have a way to go before she or I am ready. As far as emergency equipment, I think a watermaker (the cheaper hand pump kind), or some kind of solar still would be highly important to me. You can live longer without food than you can without water.

The Bumfuzzles sailed around the world after taking a basic 8 hour sailing course, just because they thought it sounded like fun. They diid spend a few months cruising around the Bahamas first to get the feel of the boat before heading through the Panama Canal and across the Pacific.

If this is what you want to do, and you are ready for it, then get a boat and do it. I would still recommend a shake-down cruise first, but it's all up to you.

If you do it, please post your experiences and pictures for the rest of us!

I'm Dean, and my boat is a 1969 Westerly Nomad. We're in East Texas (Tyler) for now.

Offline Captain Smollett

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2013, 07:10:31 PM »
You are getting some EXCELLENT advice in this thread (and the other).

Nearly everyone here has some experience sailing on an ocean at least a little bit.  If you are hearing certain points repeated, there's a VERY good reason for that.

No one here is a "naysayer" who will try to talk you out of achieving your dreams.  Indeed, it's quite the opposite...advice based on a likely path to success.

With that in mind, when Adam "Godot" tells you to learn slowly, and build an experience base over time, he is giving you the path most likely to succeed.  On the sea, "experience" counts much more than "knowledge."

And here's why.

You wrote:

Quote

I'd like to make myself a small checklist, of sailing skills, so when I go I know I'm ready.

Example:

"Heaving to / Laying ahull. Check.
Turning. Check.
Tacking & Jibing. Check.
Close-haul, beam reach, broad reach, running downwind Check."

I just can't imagine what else I need to know/practice before I head out over the big bluewater!!


which tells me that you don't even know what questions to ask (yet).  You can't imagine what you need to know?

Quote

What am I missing here?!!!!


A lot.  I don't mean that as an insult, but in the hopes that you slow down and listen to those with EXPERIENCE, big or small.

Quote

I don't see what else needs to be learned here.. I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just going to get to the bottom of this.


A lot.  I will give you a few links in a moment that might be food for thought for you.

Quote

And, lol, how the f that dude ended up crashed on the shore... how... the f?!?!?!? I mean, seriously, how.. He must of been handicapped.


No sir.  The sea does not care how much you think you know.  Poop can hit the fan at any second.  That's where "experience" comes in ... you HAVE to react to things as second nature as Adam and others have described.

As others have offered examples, I'll give one of my own.  I once spent 9 hours aground because I misread a tide chart....I read "Low Tide, 0600" when the 0600 line went with HIGH tide.

We ALL make mistakes.  Some of us are lucky enough to survive them and learn from them.  The sea does not care one way or another if we get that opportunity.

Quote


I've just been reading so much, it all seems so easy, I don't get how people can f up unless a massive storm or wave overtakes them or their navigation or other crucial equipment fails...


Sailing on the ocean is not "easy."  The basic mechanics of sailing are not hard.  Tacking, gybing, etc...that is the easy part, unless you are exhausted, cold, hungry and terrified.

Other stuff can be MUCH harder than even the basics.

I suggest you watch a few offshore sailing videos..."With Jean Du Sud Around the World" and the movie that chronicled Jesse Martin's solo circumnavigation (and in parts shows him TERRIFIED) and a few others.  These show a few things you might need to deal with beyond getting the boat to go in the direction you want to go.

Some of these things have been discussed here before.  There are no "pat answers," we cannot give a pat list to tell when you are ready.

Here's a previous discussion:

How much experience is enough?

and within that discussion....a "Checklist" of sorts that shows some...only some...of the kinds of things you might consider for 'being ready.'  None of this has anything to do with how to trim the sheets.

Have you done this?

That list is not meant as a checklist to show when you are ready to head offshore....but if you answer "no" to too many of those, you might SERIOUSLY think about whether you have enough experience.

« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 09:33:06 PM by Captain Smollett »
S/V Gaelic Sea
Alberg 30
North Carolina

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.  -Mark Twain

Offline Travelnik

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2013, 09:36:59 PM »
The post may be a bit moot now anyway, since he's posting on CF looking for a delivery skipper to sail his 32' boat from Panama to Washington.

 ???
I'm Dean, and my boat is a 1969 Westerly Nomad. We're in East Texas (Tyler) for now.

Offline Captain Smollett

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2013, 09:22:40 AM »
The post may be a bit moot now anyway, since he's posting on CF looking for a delivery skipper to sail his 32' boat from Panama to Washington.

 ???

An interesting development.  But, presumably everything in this thread regarding learning would still apply once he takes ownership and begins HIS sailing "career."

In other words, buying a boat, having it delivered or shipped home and hopping aboard to sail across the Pacific is not the 'best' plan.  I'd consider the good advice given by Godot and others (which I pretty much just amplified) to apply once he takes possession of ANY boat.

My two cents....
S/V Gaelic Sea
Alberg 30
North Carolina

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.  -Mark Twain

Offline NOMN

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2013, 10:11:05 AM »
You guys just saved my life.

Thanks, sorry I'm inexperienced.  :)

Wow, that totally makes sense. I get it. Storms can be nasty with high winds and punishing waves with fumbling hands I presume..

Okay, so I think I'm gonna save up some more dough and buy a heavy displacement boat [hence the Wet Snail]. I find she's hypothetically more forgiving for a beginner.

I definitely will be posting up a blog with tonnes of photos for you guys, you have given me MORE than help!

And I'm getting a skipper to sail the boat up here from Panama, then I'll begin becoming a liveaboard and learning, in a few months if I feel I'm ready I'll be taking her to Marquesas/Hawaii/NZ/Australia, etc, and begin my cruising career!

I want to go RIGHT NOW, but I have to be smart! I can't rush this.. you're all correct; I'm completely at "unconscious incompetence", I have no idea what I don't know, and it would be a bother to "find out" 1500 miles from the closest landmass.
Makar~--~-

Offline NOMN

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2013, 10:26:54 AM »
Hey does anyone know where I can get really good charts, is there some kind of gigantic huge book I could buy!??
Makar~--~-

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Cape Dory 25, crossing the pacific!?!!
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2013, 11:04:38 AM »
Charts for where?? There are many sources, depending on WHERE you want the charts for. All US Charts are available for free down load from NOAA here--

http://www.noaa.gov/charts.html

Charts for other places , like the Bahamas or Caribbean are available other places, but not free.

There are also things like Pilot charts which show average and and  storm "guesses" for the entire world, month by month.

Plus open ocean charts, which just have lat-long lines, you label and plot position. Useable on any ocean, but you have to know where you are before using them, either with GPS or Celestial Navigation. And if you plan to cross oceans, I would strongly suggest you  get a sextant, and learn celestial.

But as to a Gigantic huge book? Nope. And on a small boat you wouldn't have room for them all anyway. When I was cruising-Gulf coast, Bahamas, Keys, east coast of US, I shipped charts back as I moved out of an areas, and had more shipped to me because they just are too big to keep all of them aboard.
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera