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Old 28 April 2003, 17:40   #1
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north sea crossing

I have not even finalised the acquisition of my rib yet but my circle of friends and I are already planning to make a crossing from Scheveningen in Holland to Southwold (or somewhere else on the East coast of the UK). We would overnight in East Anglia and then head back the following morning.

I am an experienced yacht navigator with plenty of sea miles, by day and night, but this would be my first longish distance jaunt under power.

I will hopefully have a deep V hulled 4.9m with a 60HP two stroke, GPS, compass, spare tanks, charts, VHF, radio, flares, personal EPIRBs, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, tools, torches etc.

Can anybody offer me their thoughts, tips and ideas of potential pitfalls etc.

Thanks in anticipation.

TH
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Old 28 April 2003, 18:16   #2
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hmmm

http://www.hotribs.com/04features/15...dnightsun1.htm

a lot safer to read about things

IMHO you need a much larger boat & some company
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Old 28 April 2003, 18:45   #3
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MMM,

I think I'd agree with Matiboy about a bigger boat, but I would certainly trade up your EPIRBS for 406 MHZ models and carry an auxillary engine and a long aerial.

Hypothermia could also be an issue so make sure you have plenty of Thermal Protection Aids and carry 10 % more fuel than you think you need in the wordt case scenario.

Doing it in company is a good idea too
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Old 28 April 2003, 18:54   #4
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Very Good advice from Mateboy,

But if your going to do it then I dont see a radar reflector on your list and a get you home long shaft wing engine or a sea anchore or a spare VHF/gps or raft ?

If we assume the boat is up to it and you have all the kit required onboard,then I would ask myself what is the downside,and it is in my oppinion three things.

1 x being thrown out the boat and your on your own in the oggin and cast adrift from your boat and cant get back.


So the best survival suit you can get and a means of communication and waterproof positioning system in your pocket gives you a small chance,if there is a passing ship,as dependant on your hand held vhf range it might not reach a land station.If your going HHeld then a loud speaker output is very helpful.We have a axis 2oo from naviko that is both waterproof and laud. Some pocket flares mayl help in attracting some attention,but better than nothing.A small waterproof gps will be of help in giving your position out hopefully on your HH vhf.

2x All Engines go down well offshore,Deploy your sea anchore from the bow and wait for assistance from a passing vessel.It may be very cold and it may be night time so good lights may be needed and radar reflector, and food and warm clothing.Seperate batteries for your HHeld /gps/lights will be a god send on a rib at night with no power offshore.

3 Get a Ce marked cat B offshore rib,but I dont know of any that
are that size ?

This is bye no means a diffinitive list just a few bits that may be of help.


Good luck
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Old 28 April 2003, 19:01   #5
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TH

That crossing is a bit under 100 nM. On a passage of this length in a small RIB you would be doing well to average 15 knots in reasonable conditions, so count on a minimum time of say seven hours. It could take much longer in poor conditions, although with an exceptionally smooth sea you might be able to blast across in 3 or 4 hours.

Your real key is picking a good weather window. In a boat this size I would not recommend this crossing on anything but a very settled day -- the North Sea can be an ugly place! I would also not be very enthusiastic about doing it solo and would be much happier with another boat in company.

Given decent weather, so long as you are well equipped and tough you're not likely to come to any major harm. It will be hard work though, and I would definitely recommend wearing a dry suit.

Enjoy!

John
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Old 29 April 2003, 03:57   #6
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Would

Agree with JK , will all depend on a smooth weather window which might mean you can maintain speed & get across quicker before trouble brews.

You may be able to get weather info from the various weather stations which are based on floating buoys which can report wind speed / wave heights- do an internet search.

This might give more info cos even if weather maps indicate high pressure & low winds , I bet there will still be plenty of waves / swell around from other systems miles away.

Satellite phone has got to be a must - you could check in periodicly with your progress.

Take along your camera & make sure you get featured in a mag so we can all read about it.
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Old 29 April 2003, 05:50   #7
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Think about going down the coast to Belgium (say Ostend) and crossing to Harwich which is about 77 miles;Harwich will be easier to get into if there is any weather -Southwold could be tricky if things go against you.

Everyone has their own priorities for safety and the comments above are as good an indicator as you will get.

Remember that the North Sea and Thames Estuary are relatively shallow with some nasty results in wind over tide.

I am planning a lunch trip to Ostend in the next couple of weeks - I reckon Force 4 is the maximum I want to see forecast ;the boat might take a lot more but what point slogging away for hours in uncomfortable conditions - at the end of the day its all about a bit of pleasure too
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Old 29 April 2003, 06:14   #8
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This is a serious undertaking in a boat so small.
Recommendations as to what you should carry TH will surely sink your boat if you listened to all the advice.

As JK says, weather is the absolute key!!!

Also I didn't yet see anybody on the East coast oferring to go out half-way or so, and escort this brave gentlemen back to our shores.
I feel certain he would buy you a beer.
Common chaps-who's up for volunteering?
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Old 29 April 2003, 06:22   #9
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Unfamiliar with the type of RIB you are going to have but 8 4.8m boats did circumnavigate Britain a couple of years ago succesfully. However the physical effects of 8-12 hrs in a small open boat must not be underestimated. (I did it in a 9.5m RIB which was tough enough for me thanks ). I would also strongly recommend that you arrange to do this cruise in company with another RIB in order to be able to offer mutual support.

I am not sure whether there is any RIB club in Holland but the Belgium Pneumatic Club is well known and organises cruises in both Belgium, Holland and further afield. If you are interested I can probably dig out contact details.

If you do come over Harwich may be a better bet as Phil says. Southwold is not a place to be in any kind of strong onshore wind. It is a lovely spot though! A further consideration is that there is no petrol available alongside in Southwold and the town is a mile away from the harbour. (For that matter I think the petrol station is on the other side of town so a couple of miles at least.) Also unsure whether any taxis in Southwold.

Harwich area offers marinas at Shotley & Levington with all tide, all weather access. Levington does do petrol in the marina although it is fearsomely expensive at 1.10 A LITRE!

HTH,
Alan
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Old 29 April 2003, 07:03   #10
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Brian ,I volunteer and here's the plan;tait startys out from Holland or Ostend; I finish the fruit de mare and Chablis in Ostend and catch him up half way across.

Guide into Harwich-couple of beers at the chosen marina;job done
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