Getting Ready to Cross Oceans | Sailing Blog - Technical Hints and Tips - Sailing Television

Getting Ready to Cross Oceans

We are getting Distant Shores II ready for her first Transatlantic Passage coming up this fall!

The French Canals trip was wonderful and the previous 2 summers exploring Scandinavia, Scotland etc were excellent as well. But now we are looking to get back to the warm weather! So the next couple of months will involve heading south to Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco, Madeira and the Canary Islands. And will involve getting ready for an Atlantic crossing.

Although we have done this route before (crossing from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean in Distant Shores Season 5 and Cruising with the Shards), we haven’t done any long passages with the new Southerly 49. The longest to date on Distant Shores II is 220 miles, and this passage will be roughly 3000!
Passage Plan
We will leave the Canary Islands in late November to avoid hurricane season in the Caribbean. Arriving in the Caribbean before Christmas. Definitely do not plan a specific arrival date. We made this mistake last time and couldn’t enjoy the last few days of light wind sailing since we were trying to meet a deadline. And if you have additional crew onboard, try to plan their return flights and schedule to allow a flexible arrival date.

Downwind Sailing
Of course the boat must be ready for anything for an ocean crossing. But the likelihood is that there will be many miles of running downwind. We have a downwind pole and will carefully go over this before to make sure all is in order. I am adding a foreguy for the pole and will cover this in a future blog. We will also look over the rig carefully for chafe. We haven’t sailed much downwind with the 49 yet. Sure we have sailed 10-15 hours at a shot but this upcoming passage might involve 10-15 days on one tack - and in breezy conditions!! Chafe can definitely add up! Looking over your boat you must plan for many many hours of sailing on the same point of sail.
DSII downwind
Spare Parts
Purchase all the spare parts you need well in advance. Travelling around Europe the past 2 seasons we haven’t been as self-sufficient as we normally are. We could order pieces and get them in a few days. I will be planning a much more extensive spares list. Engine parts, electrical spares, rigging and sail repair. We had all this on our previous boats but must rebuild the spares lockers for the new boat.

We had a watermaker on the Southerly 42 and quite liked having the freedom of (virtually) unlimited water. We still carried lots of spare water in case of a breakdown, but definitely enjoyed many nice showers ... we will be investigating adding a desalinator this fall.
DSI comms CU
On both previous boats we had an SSB radio. We haven’t added one on Distant Shores II ... yet. And we must look into a satellite phone. It might be time to add that as well. Although I am sure there is still a place on a modern sailboat for the SSB radio. Here’s a link on communications I did in 2010...

More to come in the next weeks... exciting!!

ps. Please forward this blog link to anyone you know who might be interested or planning a trans-ocean passage! Welcome onboard!
blog comments powered by Disqus