Atlantic crossing tips (version 2.0) issued after consultation period


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OK, I admit, I asked for it. When I wrote the top 10 tips for an Atlantic crossing I knew there’d be a bit of interest. That was the point. But I wasn’t quite expecting the barrage of emails and comment I got.

I felt I ought to be covering a few cruising topics here because, well, that’s what most people are interested in. If you were to go by column inches online, you’d think elite racing was the most interesting thing about boating. But the truth is there’s a surfeit because:

a:Internet content is almost entirely supply-driven
b:It’s the status zone of yachting journalism
c:it’s a hell of a lot more fun than getting to grips with three-phase generators or antifouling.

Don’t believe me? Try putting something about that Protocol thing on our forums and you’ll get, like, 400 views. Lob in ‘Is this a revolution in autopilots?’ and you’ll have three or four times that.

Go for touchstone topics like ‘The most seaworthy boats ever’, and it’ll be meltdown – you’d be hard put to top that with photos of Jordan’s breasts or plastic surgery gone wrong.

So the top tips generated an amazing variety of views, all the way from the emollient ‘great reading’ and ‘enjoyed and agreed’ to ‘what planet are you on?’ (I paraphrase as Mungbean is a wordier sort of language.)

There’s no easy way of summarising, so here’san amalgamation of new, improved tips:

? Being badly designed, cheaply built and sailed by fools, production boats are prone to break and their rudders are forever falling off. They should not be sailed across oceans. What you need is a hard-chined, ketch rigged steel boat with wind vane steering.

? Poling out headsails is a dangerous practice. Twin headsails are simple to set up. Anyone flying a spinnaker is a lunatic

? Get a towing generator. No, fit solar panels. Save on the LED lights and buy a diesel genset. Or, better, a petrol generator. Than again maybe just run your engine

? Don’t visit other places on the way, it’s dangerous, you’ll end up having to be rescued and when you get there they will be full of foreigners

? Don’t take new crew. You’ll fight. Did you read that story about those women who murdered the skipper?

? Cross the Atlantic on the rhumb line. Otherwise go south. But if you pay a weather router you don’t have to be the one to decide.

? Don’t say when you’re going to arrive, and to be on the safe side don’t say where either. Then no-one’s going to be disappointed.

If that’s put you off ocean sailing, don’t despair. John Pahl has come up with another 10 tips on his blog, and they’re great – they capture some of the magic and excitement of a crossing.

And I agree with them all. So they must be right.