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Old 12 October 2014, 03:09   #1
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Advices needed: go or no go?

Hello folks!

Just got my (first) RIB few days ago, and I'd love to sail up to the amazing Kho Phi Phi islands (if weather is excellent).


Unfortuately, my RIB isn't quite big (4.1m, 40HP 2 strokes, 50L tank) and I'm somewhat inexperimented ! I'm mainly hesitating between 3 "roads" :

The shortest



The hesitation



The safest (with fuel refill at Krabi)



Do you recommend such a trip? If yes, which road?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 12 October 2014, 03:57   #2
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You will struggle to get someone to tell you yes for a number of reasons:
46km is a fair treck but not impossible. But the local sea conditions will affect that a lot. Probably not many on here who know what they are.

Your experience... So do you have other boating experience even if not rib. Can you navigate on paper chart with compass etc. Do you have plotter etc on rib.

Contingency plans? You going alone or in company? Have you created a list of thing that could go wrong like dirty fuel killing engine 20km out? Have you got a plan how you get home for each option?

What RIB? Some 4m ribs would handle that better than others.

If the question was simply which route is better the benefits of option 3 don't seem immediately obvious to me?
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Old 12 October 2014, 04:25   #3
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If you're confident on the navigation and have a GPS,charts and can plot a course by hand in emergency take 50l of spare fuel and take the most direct route.

(I say that on the provisio that the weather is excellent, as said in the OP).
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Old 12 October 2014, 04:53   #4
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Originally Posted by ShinyShoe View Post
46km is a fair treck but not impossible. But the local sea conditions will affect that a lot. Probably not many on here who know what they are.
True. I'm assuming the gulf of Thailand isn't bad at all regarding sea conditions, even more regarding the upcoming high season. Of course, I won't sail unless having excellent weather. The second option (my best bet) can be split into 2x25km, the first part can be assumed as being relatively quiet under most conditions, we can even have a stop here. The last 25km part could be done in less than 60mn IMHO, which doesn't sounds to me like a big deal - but I can be wrong.

Quote:
Your experience... So do you have other boating experience even if not rib
Not really I got my license 2 years ago, and I just spend a couple of hours on Mediterranea along the coasts. My common sense told me to ask you questions beforehand

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Can you navigate on paper chart with compass etc. Do you have plotter etc on rib.
Never had to use paper chart or plotter, regarding my boating experience. I sometime use a GPS (either handheld or using the one from my high-end smartphone)

Quote:
Contingency plans? You going alone or in company? Have you created a list of thing that could go wrong like dirty fuel killing engine 20km out? Have you got a plan how you get home for each option?
That's the tricky part : going alone, with friends on boat. The GSM network coverage has no hole from departure to arrival - that's my only plan (along with an handheld VHF).

Quote:
What RIB? Some 4m ribs would handle that better than others.
My (humble) RIB here.

Quote:
If the question was simply which route is better the benefits of option 3 don't seem immediately obvious to me?
I thought the option #3 would have better sea conditions regarding the coasts proximity along the whole trip.
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Old 12 October 2014, 05:12   #5
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Been. Over 20 years since I have been to that part of the world and as I rember it is so buitfull, if you have the time I would take 3 the long way round and take your time stoping on the way you could always returne the more direct route, if my memory serves me right there is plenty of other boat traffic about should you need help too, just take the camera won't you
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Old 12 October 2014, 05:15   #6
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if my memory serves me right there is plenty of other boat traffic about should you need help too
Sure, a lot of so called "speedboats" (full of Korean tourists) would probably help along the direct road.
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Old 12 October 2014, 06:08   #7
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Many years ago when I sailed dinghies I asked an instructor if I should reef that day. His answer has stuck with me and I think is a generally good approach for these sort of decisions. "If you need to ask, you need to reef". If you are unsure of your abilities you need to do something more cautious until you are in a position to tackle this without passing the decision onto others.

I think its within the capabilities of the boat in good weather (and in glassy calm sea conditions the direct route will take about an hour - which is the sort of journey people make in small ribs all the time).

BUT, here are some extra things to think about:

- if the weather changed once you are there [not sure how likely this is there] then could you find yourself stranded or having to take a long route home?
- if you learned in the med how much do you understand tides and currents? (and how strong are they in your new location?)
- how will you navigate that? - from the pics of your rib there is no plotter (not essential) but also no compass.

Its sounds to me like a great aspiration for later in the season, and I'd first want to build some local experience relatively closer to home. After a few 'safer' trips you'll soon be confident enough in your and the boats abilities to do the passage plan and decide for yourself how best to go there etc.

Finally you've already started to think about this which is great but I've never done a trip with a full passage plan (course to steer, notes on wind/tide issues, waypoints in the GPS etc) thats had me thinking "oh this isn't such a good idea" because I've thought through in detail what I am doing, I have alternative plans in my head etc. When I've just popped round that island I've sometimes found myself saying "well that isn't what I was expecting - perhaps this isn't so smart" or "now if the engine dies here I'm in a bit of bother".
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Old 12 October 2014, 09:08   #8
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Many years ago when I sailed dinghies I asked an instructor if I should reef that day. His answer has stuck with me and I think is a generally good approach for these sort of decisions. "If you need to ask, you need to reef". If you are unsure of your abilities you need to do something more cautious until you are in a position to tackle this without passing the decision onto others.
Fair enough.

Quote:
I think its within the capabilities of the boat in good weather (and in glassy calm sea conditions the direct route will take about an hour - which is the sort of journey people make in small ribs all the time).
Exactly my first thoughts : my average journey is around 2h30.

Quote:
- if the weather changed once you are there [not sure how likely this is there] then could you find yourself stranded or having to take a long route home?
- if you learned in the med how much do you understand tides and currents? (and how strong are they in your new location?)
- how will you navigate that? - from the pics of your rib there is no plotter (not essential) but also no compass.
I'm mostly afraid of an engine malfunction. The option #2 sounds to me the best deal in case of abrupt weather change because I won't be more than 30mn away from the coast. Regarding navigation : I just installed a compass, and I'm using my smartphone GPS when needed, loaded with a marine map. Moreover, on good weather conditions, we can navigate at sight when choosing the second option.


Quote:
Its sounds to me like a great aspiration for later in the season, and I'd first want to build some local experience relatively closer to home. After a few 'safer' trips you'll soon be confident enough in your and the boats abilities to do the passage plan and decide for yourself how best to go there etc.
Fair. Many thanks for sharing your valuable advices!
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Old 12 October 2014, 12:07   #9
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My initial thought was along the lines of Poly's: If you need to ask if it's doable, then you probably shouldn't try it.

While the trip is not all that long, you need to think about what happens if all goes pear-shaped: Engine/fuel trouble, mechanical failure with the boat, bad weather, bad visibility, hit something en-route, injury, etc.

I'd say a minimum for an open water crossing would be a good plotter (not a phone) + VHF + flares + paper chart and a good compass in case you lose electrical. And know how to use all that stuff in less than ideal conditions (trying to work a plotter in big seas can be a problem, for instance.)

Most likely the trip will go off with no problems; but you still need to plan in case something does happen. The trip can always be done later, but not if you disappear from lack of preparation.

jky
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Old 12 October 2014, 13:04   #10
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Nice trip but it'd be even nicer if you could get another boat or two along for the journey.
I always think if things do go wrong you've got a bit of extra backup with a few mates!
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