Thursday, July 01, 2010

Just the sort of book everyone should read...

If there is one huge misconception in the whole realm of sailboat design, it is that size somehow equals seaworthiness... Just ain't so!

When we lived in France it was no big thing to meet a couple on a quai in a little Muscadet who had just returned from doing an Atlantic Circle or some such voyage and if you questioned them about the suitability of their craft to cross the oceans the reaction you'd most likely get was one of surprise and most likely the phrase "Petit bateau, petits problèmes ".

Big boats by their very nature become problematic. As things get bigger and more elaborate systems come into play, things get complicated and complications are not happy making things at sea.

Of all my favorite boat designs, the CAL 20 has a very special place in my heart. Over the years CAL 20's have made some very impressive voyages, not the least being the 2008 TransPac when the CAL 20 "Black Feathers" became the smallest entry in the history of the race to compete and cross the finish line.

While "Black Feather" was not the first or even second CAL 20 to cross from California to Hawaii it was the first to race. The preparations taken to prepare the CAL 20 for a trans Pacific crossing are of great interest to anyone considering sailing small boats any distance. Actually when I think about it folks with much bigger boats could learn a thing or two about what's important by looking into how the other half lives.

Lucky for us, Robert Crawford has made the process accessible in his book "Black Feathers: A Pocket Racer Sails The Singlehanded TransPac" which really covers it all for anyone considering adapting a pocket cruiser or racer to go far... It really is a must read!