Damon Ried of Fremont, CA asks:
have been fascinated traveling ATW vicariously aboard the
It has been a real eye opener and informative. It does not seem
practical/possible that two people could sail around the world safely. I
always see articles and advertisements in PassageMaker Magazine suggesting
a mom and pop team but I don't see how they could adequately cover the
Dan Streech responds:
Thank you for your interesting and somewhat perceptive question. We at PAE do not recommend long open ocean passages with just two people aboard. While there are many "Mom and Pop" teams making long (and slow) ocean passages on small sailboats, it is not typical aboard our Nordhavns.
Most insurance policies limit non-stop passages on a power boat to a duration of 72 hours if there are only two people aboard. Longer passages require at least 3 people aboard.
All of the Nordhavn models even up the N62 can be "operated" by two people, so what we see in practice is that boats cruising along the coast such as the West coast between Alaska and Panama or the East coast between Florida and Maine can hop between ports in durations of under 72 hours with two people aboard. This is actually quite common. When those same boats need to make a longer non-stop passage (say a passage to Hawaii or a non-stop run from Seattle to Dana Point), then temporary crew is brought aboard. Family, friends or Nordhavn aficionados are always only too happy to jump on board for the adventure.
When two people are running the boat on overnight passages, we recommend that the "off watch" individual stay in the pilot house and sleep in the pilot berth in close proximity to the on watch person in case help is needed. Typically "3 on, 3 off" watches are stood from dusk to dawn. With proper planning and preparation, one need not leave the safety of the pilot house at night; with the use of the excellent modern electronics, one can stay properly informed of position, traffic and weather.
A nighttime passage in the wonderful warm and safe cocoon of a Nordhavn pilot house surrounded by information is a far cry from the dangerous days of sitting in the cold, wet, slippery open cockpit of a sailboat wondering where you were.
and don't forget a thermos of coffee. Coffee never tastes
better than at 3:00AM when your boat is running great and
all is well with your little world.
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