Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sailing Songs

I've been searching for sailing song and movies a lot lately. There are more songs about sailing out there than I thought previously. Jimmy Buffet seems to come up a lot and I can see why his songs are loved by sailors and sailor wannabes. Without further jiberish here is a list of few sailing songs in alphabetical order, some a few years old and some decades old:

All Saints - Pure Shores
Beach Boys - Sail On Sailor
Bob Dylan - Shelter from the Storm
Chris De Burgh - Sailing Away
Cream - Tales of Brave Ulysses
David Gray - Sail Away
Dire Straits - Single Handed Sailor
The Doors - Land Ho
Edwin - Alive
Ella Fitzgerald - Smooth Sailing
Enya - Sail Away (Orinoco Flow)
Eric Bogle - Safe in the Harbor
Freddy McGregor - Big Ship Sailing
Gordon LightFoot - Ghosts of Cape Horn
Hoist The Colors
Jack Johnson - The Horizon Has Been Defeated
Jimi Hendrix -  Drifting
Jimmy Buffet - Changes in Latitudes
Jimmy Buffet - Son of a Son of a Sailor
KT Tunstall - Silent Sea
Moon Mullican - I'll Sail My Ship Alone
Morcheeba - The Sea
Queen - Sail Away Sweet Sister
RIO - After The Love
Rod Stewart - I am Sailing
Stan Rogers - White Squall
Sting - The Wild Wild Sea
Styx - Come Sail Away
The Doors - Land Ho
Vangelis - 1492 Conquest of Paradise
Van Morrison - Into the Mystic

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Monohull vs Multihull

Based on the research that I've done, this appears to be a debate that has divided the sailing community. I have already made my decision about which kind of boat I want to buy, but i will provide advantages and disadvantages of both. When i say advantages and disadvantages of multihulls vs monohulls, I actually mean advantages and disadvantages of monohulls vs catamarans. The reason I will not be looking at Trimarans is because I have not found any production trimarans that have the volume to live aboard comfortably with enough capacity for supplies required to sail around the world comfortably. Again these are monohulls vs catamarans that are 32 to 50 feet in length which can be sailed single handed or by a couple at most. Specifically monohulls between 32 and 40 feet in length and catamarans 40 to 50 feet in length. Why the difference? Because a monohull in the mid 30s has a larger hull and the volume to handle the supplies and space needed for an ocean crossing. Based on research and sailors I spoke with, most seem to be sailing around the world in monohulls that are in the mid 30s foot length. Catamarans on the other hand that are under 40 feet in length, due to narrow double hulls may not have the volume to handle all the supplies and equipment for an ocean passage without weighing down a lightly built catamaran. Again there may be exceptions but we are looking at the boats that the majority of experienced sailors use when making a passage and sailing the world TODAY.
So lets start with the Catamarans:



Speed - Speed always comes up in my research as one of the advantages of a catamaran over a monohull. Although this is the speed of passage making which appears to be 20% faster than that of a monohull.
Stability - Catamarans have minimum heeling which makes them a very comfortable ride and a stable platform while anchored out. This means that you can serve dinner and drinks on the table and not worry about having a mess on the floor.
Privacy - Although I've been inside monohulls that can provide some privacy between 2 rooms if the boat is big enough, it can't even compare to a catamaran. Catamarans have two hulls separated by a platform in the middle which provides unmatched privacy.
Living Space - A catamaran has more living space compared to a monohull. You can hang out on a large deck or inside the cockpit. You don't have to crawl in through a ladder every time you want to enter the boat. There is a 360 degree view from inside the cockpit and usually lots of ventilation. Catamarans were made for the tropics.
Accessibility - With a catamaran you can have access to some of the most beautiful and secluded shallow waters in the world. You can even beach a catamaran. This is due to the fact that catamarans have mini keels that are 4 feel deep or less. Also, you can have a catamaran without the mini keels and a retractable daggerboard instead. This would give you even closer access to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world which a monohull with its large keel could never get to without the risk of getting stuck.
Safety - Safety is also a heated debate between monohull and catamaran sailors. I think that there are certain advantages a catamaran has when it comes to safety that cannot be ignored. I've read stories of catamarans staying ahead of the storm and essentially outrunning it due to the 20% speed advantage over monohulls. It gave them the extra 2 knots speed required to stay ahead of the incoming storm. Catamarans are built of material that floats so they are virtually unsinkable. Personally I like the idea of a boat that can't sink. It ends up upside down but none the less you still have access to your food and supplies while you await rescue. Catamarans are made of separate watertight compartments which means that if a couple of those compartments were to fill with water you can still sail your cat back to a boat repair yard. Bottom line; a hole in a monohull would sink the boat in a few minutes at most. I hope you can get everything you need in those couple precious minutes to help you survive until rescue arrives.


Expensive - Catamarans are expensive sailboats. This could be a reason why the average live aboard will choose a monohull over a catamaran. You can find a true blue ocean going monohull that will take you around the world and provide you with the comfort to live aboard for considerably less money than a catamaran of similar capability. Some will argue that you have more living space on a catamaran and when you factor in all the space in square footage and compare it to a monohull the price difference is small. The point here is that you can find a 32 foot monohull with the safety and storage volume capacity to take you around the world, you cant say the same about a 32 foot catamaran. Therefore since you are looking at a 40 foot plus catamaran for a safe passage and sailing around the world you will be paying considerably more money for it. 
Sailing Upwind - Catamarans cannot point as high as monohulls when sailing upwind. Those extra few degrees can make a big difference. Although, catamarans with daggerboards sailing upwind can get to their destination as fast or even faster than a monohull even when not pointing as high. Having said that overall monohulls point higher and have better performance upwind.
Docking - You are looking to pay more for docking space for a catamaran. Due to a wide beam you may even have trouble finding adequate space in a marina for your catamaran. You will require a larger space which equals more rent money per month. This is where you can utilize the advantage of a catamaran's stability and anchor so you can avoid paying at a marina as much as possible. 
Load Carrying Capacity - This is very important when planning on sailing around the world. When you make a passage you require a lot of supplies. These can weigh down your catamaran and make it very sluggish and take away some of the advantages such as speed. In order to keep the performance advantage of a catamaran you have to utilize modern technology and use light weight equipment.



Affordable - Monohulls are a lot more affordable than catamarans when looking for a monohull that will do the same job as a catamaran: take you on an adventure sailing around the world. The resale value appears to be better for monohulls as well although some notable catamarans have a very good resale value especially in last few years given the rising popularity of catamarans.  
Sailing Upwind - A monohull will point higher upwind and have better overall performance sailing upwind compared to an average catamaran. There may be some exceptions with dagger boards but overall monohulls have a better upwind performance.
Load Carrying Capacity - Given that a monohull has a very heavy keel and is a very heavy boat it has large load carrying capacity due to its strong and rugged construction. Its very heavy compared to a catamaran and therefore heavy supplies will not affect its performance as much because it was already designed to sail as a heavy boat.
Docking and Storage - Monohulls are cheaper to haul out for repairs and maintenance. A slip for a monohull is less expensive as well. Monohulls don't take up as much space as a catamaran because they dont have sa wide of a beam, therefore you have alot more options with a monohull when it comes to storage.
Traditional - Monohull sailboats have always had this romantic aura about them. For centuries there have been tales and legends of adventure at sea all involving monohulls. Some people just want to feel and experience the history behind the traditional monohull. It makes them feel like they are stepping into the shoes of the famous explorers throughout the centuries who set out to explore the oceans around the world. Having said that, catamarans have a centuries long history, especially with the Polynesians who sailed catamarans throughout the Pacific, mostly very small catamarans too long before the Europeans set out to explore the World.


Heavy Keel - Without the keel a monohull would not be able to stay upright. However, with a heavy enough keel to keep it upright come many disadvantages. The boat is built heavier and more rugged to support the keel and heavy rigging and therefore you get a slower boat. I can see the advantages of a heavy boat being more stable in the water but having a sluggish boat is a definite disadvantage. Another big issue is accessibility to some of the most beautiful shallow waters and beaches in the world. If you plan to sail around the world and to visit some of the most beautiful, romantic and secluded islands and atolls then you're going to have a problem with a huge chunk of weight underneath the boat preventing you from entering any of those atolls or approaching those pristine beaches and breathtaking islands.
Speed - Speed may not be a big issue for a live aboard since they are not planning on racing around the world, they just want to enjoy the journey and if it takes a while longer so what. If on the other hand you value your time then a 20% faster passage on a catamaran will give you a few extra days to spend however you please. Also, as I mentioned before , the extra 2 knots can keep you away from a storm.
Safety - I've covered the safety advantages of the catamaran earlier. Here I will just summarize that a hole in a monohull will make it sink in a couple minutes where as a catamaran is virtually unsinkable.
Privacy - There is very little privacy in a monohull and considering that you're going to be stuck with a couple people for many weeks to come, no privacy can be a big issue! The separate accommodations in each hull of a catamaran gives  people a lot more privacy compared to a monohull.  

Now, for the conclusion. I had mentioned at the beginning of this post that I have already made a decision about which kind of sailboat I would like to take sailing around the world. My choice is a Catamaran and it is due to the following reasons: Safety, Privacy, Stability, Living Space and Layout and Accessibility to the most secluded places in the world. I do have to admit that if I do end up changing my mind and going for a monohull it will be strictly due to affordability. If a monohull becomes my only option of sailing around the world due to the high cost of catamarans then I will stick to a monohull.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Toronto International Boat Show

This week I went to the Toronto International Boat show. It was my first time being at one and it was a great experience. I even entered myself in a draw to win a nice boat for "the cottage" which I would probably sell immediately and use that money as a down payment for a sail boat!

They had a lot of sailboats but unfortunately they were all mono-hull boats with only one Gemini 33 catamaran that is definitely not fit for ocean sailing around the world. Lagoon was on the list by they didn't have any catamarans on display, only an information booth. As you can tell I am definitely leaning towards a multi-hull boat (catamaran) for many reasons that I will discuss in the posts to follow.

So all in all the Toronto International Boat show was OK but they could really use some catamarans on display. I actually wanted to leave 15 minutes in because there was only one catamaran on display, the Gemini 33 and it wasn't even a true blue ocean going vessel. Although, Jeanneau and Beneteau had some really nice sailboats on display. Beneteau actually merged with Lagoon I believe and Lagoon is now part of Beneteau.

If you are a fan of the mono-hulls then this show's for you. If you like catamarans more like myself then I would recommend going down to the Miami boat show. The boat show was exciting but the display inside the boats was very unrealistic. Example: Dinner plates and glasses with flower vases made of glass with flowers inside in a mono-hull sail boat that is going to heel on a side launching your plates and glasses across the floor.

I had taken some pictures that I was going to post but unfortunately I deleted them all off the camera thinking that they were transferred to the computer without any problem, sadly they were not! So no pictures this time. I'll find some good pics for the following posts when we compare the advantages and disadvantages of different sailboats.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sail Solo or Sail With Company

Sailing solo around the world sure sounds like the ultimate adventure and it has been done by a few dozen people since Joshua Slocum first did it 1895-1898. The youngest person to sail solo around the world non-stop so far was a 16 year old girl named Jessica Watson. So it appears that it is definitely do-able! But then again who am I to say I didn't even start sailing yet. But if one's dream is to sail the world in their own boat then one should start asking themselves whether they're going to sail alone, with a partner or with a group.Personally, I like company and as much as I like to isolate myself from everything once in a while and meditate on my thoughts, sailing the world alone might be too much. Right? The reason I'm asking is because I can see myself sailing the world alone but everyone that has done it had to overcome tremendous challenges.
The point is that I am learning that sailing is quite a challenge from those that are out there sailing already. The good news is that its making me want to start sailing even sooner because I want to experience that challene for myself.

Realistically most people sail the world with at least one other person. Couples that both enjoy sailing and sail around the world together appear to be the happiest bunch. They make sailing a part of their life. Most of them are live aboard sailors and sail from place to place as a family.I hear a lot of stories of men never taking their sailboats out of the marina due to the fact that their significant other or family does not share the same dreams and goals. This is why it is important to share these goals with those closest to you and find out where they stand.

If you've come across this blog, remember, I am not an expert. I am just an ordinary man with an extraordinary goal. My goal is to sail around the world in my own sail boat. Before that dream becomes a reality I will be taking many baby steps over the many months to come and document all of it here on this blog. If you have a similar goal I'd love to hear about it. If you're an experienced sailor then I would be honored if you had any advice to send my way.

So the question is: Sailing solo or sailing with friends and family? I would love to hear some feedback, especially from experienced sailors... please do enlighten us with your knowledge and experience.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

It starts with a dream to sail around the world

In the beginning there is thought. A thought that triggers a sea of emotion. Ultimately, if that thought is nurtured and allowed to settle in the mind, an artificially created reality starts to form in the mind, a dream if you will. And that is where we stand: A dream to sail to the most beautiful places around the world.

But is a dream really enough to take you where you want to go? The good news is that your mind can't differentiate between your thoughts and reality, so as far as your mind is concerned you're already there. So how does this get me on a sail boat drinking a cold one anchored out in some of the most beautiful waters around the world you ask? It doesn't, but it has the potential to. See the formula some say is simple. Take your dream of sailing around the world, get a burning desire and become so obsessed with it that it forces you into action and then it will only be a matter of time before it becomes a reality.

This is the beginning of my journey. I've become obsessed with my goal of sailing around the world and I've been catapulted into action and I have no control over it. I have decided to create this blog and document my progress from IT Analyst to Sailor. My entire journey from textbook learning to actual sailing lessons and training and eventually purchasing the right sailboat and setting off to sail around the world will be documented. I hope that some of you will find the information that will evolve over the many months very useful and maybe even get motivated and develop a burning desire which will catapult you into action as well.

Now I do have to admit, I have already taken some steps financially toward achieving my goal to sail around the world.  A few months ago I started putting aside 10% of my salary toward the 'sailing adventure fund' which I will not touch for any other purpose besides sailing. Other than that I believe we are at step one: Learning to talk, do and walk like a Skipper which means starting sailing lessons both text book and practical are in due order. But until then keep on fueling the fire of your burning desire!