Sailing in a small boat question

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In the log of 20th September, 2005, Pete answered the question

Is it hard to sail in a small boat?

Let me answer your question this way….it is hard to sail long distances on a small boat.

Small boats cannot sail as fast as big boats so if you have to go a long way it takes a lot longer and this is where the problems such as storage space come in.

Sailing from England to Australia we think will take about four months so we need to carry enough food for this time but what if something goes wrong, what if the mast breaks and we can’t use our big sails anymore, it will then take a lot longer so we need to carry more food. What if the saltwater gets into the food storage areas and spoils some of the food. For these sorts of reasons we are carrying enough food for six months. The problem with a small boat is where do you put it all.

As well as food we need space for all our clothes, all the spare parts we need for the engine and other machinery. We need to carry lots of medical supplies in case an accident happens or one of us gets sick. We also have to carry lots of things to make the boat work. We have about 13 sails on board and all the ropes and things you need to keep the boat sailing well. So you can imagine how much room we have left to live in……not much.

The other thing with a small boat is that out in the middle of the ocean you get very big waves and very strong winds. The big waves throw a small boat around a lot and at times make things such as cooking something to eat, impossible. That is why we have lots of grab rails and handles to hang on to, because at any time you can be thrown across the boat by a wave and you need to be able to grab something quickly to stop you being hurt. In front of the stove we have a harness where you can strap yourself in and not be thrown while cooking dinner.

For most of the time though the weather is fine and there are no big waves or strong winds to worry about, that is when we can be out on deck enjoying the sun and the fresh air and the wonderful sailing and in these conditions it doesn’t matter how big your boat is it all feels the same…….absolute bliss.

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