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Thread: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

  1. #1
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    Default Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    As some of you may know from my schooner build thread that I lost my boat, so now I have to start over. For those who are new to my situation here in Nicaragua, lets just say that I was a victim of a series of unfortunate events in which my boat and myself were flotsam in a larger political money grab. In order not to wallow in self pity or spend my time dreaming up diabolical ways to exact horrible vengeance on all those responsible for the past events I am in the process of reaching up and grabbing my bootstraps to pull me back up and look forward to brighter and better future. Needless to say, here I am in that unique position of starting over from scratch, except for all my accumulated experience. After all how many times have we said to our selves, 'if I had to do it all over again I would do it such and such way'. So now I am blessed with the opportunity to take all the 'such and such ways' and all the 'if only I had known that before' and make them a reality. The only problem is I failed to write down, take pictures, or other wise record said moments, so that if the time ever came, I would have a thorough list of every thing to do, so that this time I could do it flawlessly. So this is where all of you guys come in, I'm pretty sure each of you can remember at least one of these 'if only' and maybe two or three of the 'such and such' ideas. So with your help I should be able to map out the perfect schooner for my triumphant return to the sea.

    Here is a little about me. About a thousand years ago, I grew up with boats mostly canoes, and then kayaks and some fishing boats. In my early twenties I started sailing with a windsurfer, (I still think that if someone really wants to understand the dynamic of sailing they should learn to windsurf). This led me to being invited to sail on an actual sailboat, IIRC a freedom 40. I had dreamed of sailing since i was a kid, it was a pivital moment for me, I had found what I was ment to do. Sail. Later a friend with ninty year old wooden sailboat invited me to join his crew for the racing season. I did. Going below in that old sailboat the first time was like intering in to the holy of holies of the temple of the most high paternal and sacred order of the wooden boat. I was converted, I was in love, that was my moment on the road to Tarsas. From then it was wood for me. So more sailing and racing, I was an avid sailor of OPB's(other peoples boats) tons of racing and then cruising came in to my life, when I got my own sailboat, and racing became any time I was sailing in the same direction as another sailboat, whether they knew it or not, then cruising the west coast of north and central America. And some time spent as a charter Captain. along the way my preference went from sloop to ketch to schooner.

    About five years ago, I ran into another sailor who was looking around Nicaragua for rare and exotic hardwoods. He told me about how several years ago he had sailed in to Brazil and while there he bought four pieces of exotic hardwood, a 12"x12"x36", a 12"x24"x24", a 12"x12"x48", a 12"x24"x36". After wrestling these on board he left them on the cabin sole in the saloon and in the berth for the rest of is trip up through south America and the Caribbean, and on to Florida. Where in Miami he put an add in a local musical instrument magazine to sell the wood. He sold it all the first day the magazine was out, for $24,000. I was a little incredulous, after a little math I said 'that's about $117 a board foot!' 'Yeah' he said, 'but wood like this you don't sell by the foot this stuff you sell by the pound and it is heavy!' apparently these several species were very sought after for flute making and other wooden musical instruments. He had done his home work and knew that they were not normally imported. The funny part was that in every country that searched his boat when he checked in, climbed all over the wood looking in the cabinets and asking if he had any thing to declare, apparently assuming the wood was for the boat. And paid it no mind to it at all. Now this sailor looks for special and rare woods as he sails around and sales them when he gets to Miami. Which is about every two years. Even if this sailor's tale is inflated for the purpose of incurring a second round of cold and bubbly, it still got me to thinking, and a little googling I found several accounts of sailors starting to haul freight. A schooner sailed from here with a load of cacao beans to Boston. Some other schooner hauling French wine to the UK and Scandanavia. Another in the Craribbean hauling from Florida to the smaller islands. Another from Hawaii to asorted islands on the way to Karabati, and then back to Hawaii.
    So on the surface there appears to be something here. I next looked on the Internet to see if the navel architects were designing any schooners to carry some freight. And sure enough there were several. Our own Tad Roberts here on the WBF has a really nice looking one, It's a 60'LOD if you haven't been to his websight check it out http://www.tadroberts.ca/services/ne...argoschooner60

    although it is steel construction not wood. Ted Brewer Also has a steel one, that's 53' LOD only his design is a knockabout ergo it has no bow sprit. http://www.tedbrewer.com/sail_steel/albatross.htm

    And I just cannot see myself in a boat without a bowsprit. Classic Yacht Design's 44-40 has such sweet lines, and I read some where that one of the owner/builders had left out some cabins or had in some manner rearanged the space for freight. She is 59' 2" LOD http://www.classic-yacht-design.com/...-40/44-40.html

    And my favorite so far is the KastenMarine 66' schooner. One of the really fun things that my family and I did with our boat was the 'Tall Ship Challenge" we loved it the crowd the other ships the events, my favorite was sailing out with about 15 to twenty passengers and having a cannon battle with the other ships that had cannons. We once had a cannon battle with a reenactment group set up on the shore. All the ships with cannons lines up in order of battle (in this case largest to smallest, I was the smallest) and sailed past where the shore battery was set up and we would fire our cannons as we bare on the gun placement, and they in turn were trying to reload fast enough to keep up a return fire as we gave them our broadside. It was so cool. I was thinking that this "Sulawesi Privateer" would be perfect for the Tall Ship races in the EU. and the US. and she more then the others could mount swivel guns on her rail in style. She comes in at 66' LOD http://www.kastenmarine.com/sulawesi_privateer_66.htm

    Prior to arriving here in Nicaragua my wife and I had done some chartering with our boat. We had really enjoyed sharing sailing with others, there were a few knuckleheads, and even one young man I had to but ashore. All in all it seemed like a good to way to supplement our cruising kitty. So part of the rebuild was making two nice staterooms for guest, and a sleeping area for a cook, as I had come to the conclusion that I could not both run the boat and serve the kind, and quality of food I wanted. So I needed a full time chef.
    (My wife cannot work in the galley while underway except in the most gentle of weather.)
    But now I'm wondering if this freight idea might not be a more advantages. Take for example 18year old Flor de Cana rum here can had for about $20 and sells in some Asian countries for over $100. If I sold it there and bought some rare Saki and then sold that when I got to the Med. I think you get the picture. What's wrong with this idea. I realize that if I sailed into a country with ten tons of rum there would be some duty and tariff issues. But what if you kept the amount of each item small enough and mixed the load, some rum, some hardwood, some cacao beans, some coconut oil, so that it didn't look to suspect. Or maybe you hire an agent who will pave the way before you arrive. I am trying to think of the pros and cons of the difference between accessional charters or trading goods from port to port while sailing around the world. This is where I hope we can have a lively decision to help me think this through.
    Areas that I can think of is
    1. Feasibility
    2. Risk/reward
    3. enjoyment (I don't want this to become something that takes the joy out of sailing.
    4. Size of schooner (the ones I've listed above are described as being handled by husband and wife crews.
    5. what freight and to where.
    6. At the tall ship festival in Tacoma WA. In 2005 there were one million one hundred thousand tickets sold at the gate, every available three hour cruise and evening cruise were sold out. Many of the boats had hats, cups, teeshirts, keychains, etc, for sale, the stuff sold like hot cakes, what if the boat had stuff for sale that the ship had brought from around the world. Rum, hand made crafts from the islands, other dodads and geegays, would it make more money then hats and coffee mugs?

    Well if your still reading you've made it to the end. I really appreciate your effort to follow my ramblings. So what do you think. Have I gone round the bend? Where are the pitfalls. Is the high prices of fuel and the consumers desire for carbon free transported goods, going to continue to raise. Is this a passing fad or a real opportunity for the right person. Is freight a better way to augment income then chartering, while sailing around the world? Capt. Zatarra

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Liquor import duties and sales tax are not friendly!
    Xanthorrea

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by purri View Post
    Liquor import duties and sales tax are not friendly!
    So I've heard. Is it time to start rum running up again?

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    I tried to carry baskets from Dominica to Nevis. Baskets.The customs in Nevis did not care about any carricom freedom of trade when it was a white man doing the trading. I did not make a second run.
    I thought it was daft of you to attempt a large boat project in Nicaragua, insofar as i have seen countless folks get jammed up in the third world caribbean.
    Even if you could snap your fingers and have a magic boat, I still think it is daft to try to make an honest living amoung corrupt countries.
    I have also wondered"what would i do if the chit hit the fan and i lost my boat". I would go to the usvi a week after a big hurricane with five grand in my pocket and try to find a westsail with a hole in it.

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    ​also, consider that with a cargo boat, you would be tying up in the funkiest ports. Hot, dirty, dangerous. not hanging out in nice sandy beach anchorages with babes on the beach
    edit .... hey I was at that T
    acoma thing in 2005 with my wee ketch.
    Last edited by wizbang 13; 08-11-2014 at 08:35 AM.

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    I'll be watching the responses here re running a vessel as a small cargo business with interest Z, not because I'd be able to do anything about it, but because I think it has great merit for you if it's achievable.

    I really like the vessels that you're looking at, particularly the Shpountz and the Kasten Marine vessels (though wonder how sea kindly the Kasten might be - hard to tell from the profile) and I'm also very heartened to hear that you have a plan for recovery and that it is such an exciting plan.


    Good luck with this Z, like I say I'll be watching with interest and hope that you're able to pursue this successfully.
    Larks

    “It’s impossible”, said pride.
    “It’s risky”, said experience.
    “It’s pointless”, said reason.
    “Give it a try”, whispered the heart.

    LPBC Beneficiary

    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great!"

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    I would go to the usvi a week after a big hurricane with five grand in my pocket and try to find a westsail with a hole in it.
    ..

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Wizbang, daft or not Nicaragua is where I broke down, some things you cannot choose. So I'm playing the cards that life delt me. Unfortunately for me this little fiasco played out only in the marina I was in, all the others in the country it was life as usual. Some times your the rock and sometimes your the window. As to staying in the stinky ports and such. I don't see the need for that, I pictured it more low profile, I think the idea that is developing in my head is to still look and act like a cruiser but collect high value items at their source where they are cheap, and sell them where they are expensive. A couple of cases of rum here, a couple of cases of vanilla in Mexico, Cinnamon in Sri Lanka, silk in Thailand, essential oils from almost every where, black pearls from Tahiti, rugs from Kuwait. Like the sailor who was moving exotic wood, it seems to me that it is best if someone doing this could sail completely under the radar. If that is the case the boat would need some storage space without looking a like a cargo ship, perhaps it should look like a Sail training ship..... But it sounds like you lean way over on the keep taking wanabe sailors out for the wine and fine food route of augmenting the cruising kitty. Also the idea of going in after a hurricane with some cash sounds like it could have some real potential.

    Larks, I'm not sure this is the plan yet! This is about exploring this option to see if it is the plan. Heck maybe I'll get one of these and sail the simple life.

    Super simple no rigging, flat sails, easy single handing, only 2 sheets to the cockpit, what's not to like. Z.

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    4 What it's worth:

    GreenHeart Project: nice idea seems to be stalled - - -
    http://www.greenheartproject.org/en/

    This is the first lesson ye should learn: There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it doesn't behoove any of us to speak evil of the rest of us.
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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    These guys are/were doing it
    http://newdawntraders.wordpress.com/

    and I came very close to sailing on Irene on a cargo carrying trans-atlantic voyage a couple of years back.
    http://cinnabarsolutions.co.uk/Irene/

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Sounds like a good way to risk seizure of your ship.

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Zatarra
    realize that if I sailed into a country with ten tons of rum there would be some duty and tariff issues. But what if you kept the amount of each item small enough and mixed the load, some rum, some hardwood, some cacao beans, some coconut oil, so that it didn't look to suspect.
    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Zatarra
    So I've heard. Is it time to start rum running up again
    After what you just went through battling corruption in a third world country, you are seriously considering a career in smuggling into/out of third world countries? I am no expert on the feasibility of this all. I too have heard stories of cruisers who do quite a little bit of income by trading goods. But I think it best if one did it on the up-and-up.

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    I agree....Sailing under the radar is not very wise. you will eventually get caught. Governments all over are very tight about trade and tariffs. Other lessor marine adventures will receive little attention and can sail under the radar. I suggest you look for an agent with import and export connections. They can get the cargoes, and you can carry them.

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Glad to see you back and with such a positive attitude! I spent the better part of a day last week reading up on your old thread, and felt absolutely gutted.

    There was a couple from Houston that were trying to bring in coffee 10,000 lbs at a time, but lost their boat in a storm. http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/bay_a....html?mode=jqm

    So, there are markets out there, plus with chartering, maybe you could make a go of it. I agree with the above about staying legal. I hope you got your passport issues worked out.

    Good luck!

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Boy you guys are a wet rag. Unfortunately, they are probably right.
    Chuck Thompson

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    ...and let us not forget Cap Z , Others will be following in your wake.
    I have done a wee bit of smuggling , not contraband mind you , (dope) , but bringing my own artwork to an island by boat and not declaring it for duty is an offence that may not risk jail , but fines and the vessel herself.
    I used to carry thousands of post cards on the boat from the USVI to down island. The stress of being a "smuggler " did not sit well with my bride.
    bruce

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    I have a buddy in St John, has a 90 foot iron staysl schooner ,Silver Cloud. He used to go to Guiana each year for Silver Bali ,(wood), haul in Trinidad on the way back .
    He does not do it anymore . http://www.allatsea.net/a-tall-ship-...h-a-big-heart/. (my wife wrote this article)


    Corruption .
    I do not know about the whole world , but in the Caribbean , foreign investors are only welcome as long as they are loosing money .

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Ok, ok, when I said it was time to start rum running, that was said tongue in check. I have to master this smiley face gizmo althou I was thinking what is the level of commerce that the authorities just don't care becuase your too small! Maybe there is no to small, the revenuer boys will have their slice no mater how small it may be. My experience here in central America is that you can leave with any thing you want, they want to know what you are bringing into the country. Also I should say that I have spent my entire adult life being a super goody twoshoes. No underage drinkin' no dope smokin' nothin' I was the guy that the mothers wanted their daughter to date, except for speedin' ticket, (street rods and 4WD trucks were my weakness, '70 Chevelle Malibu Super Sport, '70 Fomula 400 Firebird, '65 F150 Ford with a police special intercepter engine, and cherried out '55 Ford Bronco) I was squeaky clean. So back to the discussion about schooners we can all rest easy knowing that I will not be turning to a life of crime on the high seas.

    Artif, thank you for the links, the fact that they were able to combine cargo, tall ship shows, and charting, makes what I feel could be well rounded venue without having all the eggs in one basket. That seems to be the smartest approach to this way of thinking.

    George I have seen that website. Good idea, I think, but that is one butt ugly boat. The bastard child of a landing craft and purse seiner.

    Peb, after what I have gone through from my home country and this country, always trying to do everything they tell me to do and then having them change the rules or just tell me that they are not bound by the same set of rules, and I can just go cut bait because they just could not give a sh*t. My opinion of governments in general and the pieces of offal they hire to ruin decent human beings lives, is such that even sitting here trying to articulate my feelings about this is enough to make my hands shake and my jaw clinch, and my blood pressure rise to unhealthy levels, the simple fact of life is there is no JUSTICE, it is simply a case of if your lucky you make it through life without running into a brick walls. (like the guy who rebuilt his 48' sailboat over a course of six years and sailed away about 8 months before all this happened, lucky SOB) Or like me you are in the wrong place at the wrong time and the POS's crush your life's work with a smirk on their face. So I try to stay out of their way, and hope that next time fate let's me be the one who sails away 8 months before the defecation impacts the rotary oscillator. Ok I just erased what I was writing as I was letting my feelings start pouring out of the keyboard and it is not going to add anything to the discussion here. I really am considering this as a legitament life course. Like I said earlier I am trying to consider all the angles to a happy and constructive way of life at sea. I have the means to get a boat that would fit two people and sail off on a circumnavigation, but I feel I would be happier doing something more then just visiting countries while moving around the world to close the circle. So I'm pushing my boundries, I would really like to make what I do have some meaning, I love maritime history and if could sail a ship that brought the past to life and helped preserved some history that would be absolutely fantastic, and if I could do this while showing that sail power is not just a pleasurable past time, but has some economic value that is also less polluting, well that is even more then absolutely fantastic, what ever that is, and if I'm really lucky maybe what I do will impact someones life in a positive way too.

    So back to the discussion...
    A big question in my mind that needs some consideration is what size boat is the right size that when in the off season can still be handled with a husband/wife crew? I singled handed my 56'LOA on many occasions it was doable but not particularly easy, but it was a piece of cake with 2 people. How much bigger can the main sail get before one person cannot haul it up, or swing her around on a jibe? There seems to be a point where a Mom and Pop outfit is just to big for Mom and Pop. Any idea where that might be? I always felt that if my 56' was just 10' bigger it would be a commercial enterprise size to be reckoned with, of course this could be a more sever case of four footites. Capt. Z.

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Not that your plans will in any way go down this route, but I'm trying to recal the fellow that had a boat built for carrying cargo, he had to abandon ship in a storm on his first trip, something about a design change maybe, or picking the wrong design? Maybe it was a Peterson design, anyone recall the story?

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Junkyard Dog View Post
    Glad to see you back and with such a positive attitude! I spent the better part of a day last week reading up on your old thread, and felt absolutely gutted.

    There was a couple from Houston that were trying to bring in coffee 10,000 lbs at a time, but lost their boat in a storm. http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/bay_a....html?mode=jqm



    So, there are markets out there, plus with chartering, maybe you could make a go of it. I agree with the above about staying legal. I hope you got your passport issues worked out.

    Good luck!
    Thanks, Junkyard Dog, for the good wishes and for that article, he explains the importing by sail better then I could. Though I didn't get how he can reconsile what he said earlier with the idea of buying a non sailing boat to replace his lost sailboat, is that not importing by diesel fuel!?!

    I did like the last lines of the article....... "When he speaks about his sunken boat and his first failed voyage, Joe sounds weary but not beaten, because he’s not ready to give up.

    “You just live and learn,” he said. “Hopefully, you live - and you learn.”

    Could not have said it better. Capt. Zatarra
    Z.
    Last edited by Capt Zatarra; 08-11-2014 at 07:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    paul , I forget the name of that boat 1980's, That was just bad seamanship . He hove to in a gulf stream eddy ,rather than run off south, abandoned ship , a real doofus.

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    I am thinking a boat for trading could be a little smaller than one for chartering (with 2 crew and cook).

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Denison View Post
    Not that your plans will in any way go down this route, but I'm trying to recal the fellow that had a boat built for carrying cargo, he had to abandon ship in a storm on his first trip, something about a design change maybe, or picking the wrong design? Maybe it was a Peterson design, anyone recall the story?
    The schooner John F. Leavitt was designed by Pete Culler.There were changes made by the owner and builder.As Wizbang noted her abandonment was a topic of much debate.

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    I think the highest paying and most replenishable cargo is people -- an enterprise you've already tried. And it's one that the governments in the Caribbean are comfortable with.

    But, are you really set up for building another large vessel? I utterly admire your fortitude, and your spirit, but is it a goal that can likely be achieved?

    Is there enough time and money?

    I don't mean to be awkward, but I for one would like to see you successfully sailing in the near future.

    Perhaps it would make sense to make a practical plan for what can be accomplished in the near-future, like a 2-year period, and push to make that happen.

    Dave

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by jak3b View Post
    The schooner John F. Leavitt was designed by Pete Culler.There were changes made by the owner and builder.As Wizbang noted her abandonment was a topic of much debate.
    That's it, thanks.

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    I like this cargo schooner by Buehler: http://www.georgebuehler.com/Melquiades%2050.html .I have read there is a need for carrying needed supplies such as books, medicine, food,and building materials to some the more remote atolls in the Pacific.I dont think it pays much or if anything but it would be a good excuse to make the voyage;-).

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by jak3b View Post
    I like this cargo schooner by Buehler: http://www.georgebuehler.com/Melquiades%2050.html .I have read there is a need for carrying needed supplies such as books, medicine, food,and building materials to some the more remote atolls in the Pacific.I dont think it pays much or if anything but it would be a good excuse to make the voyage;-).
    There is a lot to like on this one. Although I am really interest in having an pilot house. Too many foul weather days at sea, and tropical sun burning me as well. I'm ready for some protection while at the wheel.
    Has any one had any experience sailing something this big with a hard chime like this. How is it different from a round bilge? I've only sailed dingy with hard chines.
    Capt. Z.

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    It's a little bigger than you want, but the price is right. (unless that is a typo)

    http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1911.../United-States
    Last edited by Junkyard Dog; 08-12-2014 at 08:57 AM.

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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    I think the highest paying and most replenishable cargo is people -- an enterprise you've already tried. And it's one that the governments in the Caribbean are comfortable with.
    Maybe, but it won't have the adventure. And one has to worry about guests, bookings, cooking, and be limited where one goes. I don't know if it will work, but the trading/freight idea sounds pretty neat.

    Didn't the book, Wooden Boats, about Gannon and Benjamin, talk about one of their lumber suppliers who basically sailed back and forth from South America to New England bringing back good lumber?

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    My first thought was also the Gannon and Benjamin guys who imported (or are still importing maybe) nice timber especially for boatbuilding. Long lengths of silver bali, angelique and such. Seemed to work well for them, but they do have other revenue streams.

    Man some of these boats you are posting are BIG! My idea of a husband/wife boat is about 32 feet, but maybe that's just me.

    I also have heard of the "sustainable" label being used to market products imported under sail. If you made sure it was sustainable in the way it was produced, and talked up transporting them using wind power you might get the big markup needed, and a reliable customer base as well.

    Sounds like fun.

    Do be careful not to get on the wrong side of jailhouse doors again. It would be worth dealing with paperwork and fees to keep your boat out of trouble I think.

    Glad you are looking on the bright side!

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    Maybe, but it won't have the adventure. And one has to worry about guests, bookings, cooking, and be limited where one goes. I don't know if it will work, but the trading/freight idea sounds pretty neat.

    Didn't the book, Wooden Boats, about Gannon and Benjamin, talk about one of their lumber suppliers who basically sailed back and forth from South America to New England bringing back good lumber?
    For me one of the toughest parts of cruising with paying clients on board, was THEIR time schedule. We were cruising from port A to port B, and sometimes the weather did not act according to plan, and we would be running a day or two behind schedule. In such a case I would ask the client if they would like to extend their time on the water at no additional cost, of course. Most were more then happy too. But some like a professor from UCLA had to get back because the semester was starting. In which case I had to start up the diesel and I cringed as $5 an hour went out the exhaust pipe. I think that moving freight with a flexible timetable and passengers that understand you arrive when the wind let's you arrive, would be really nice. Capt. Z.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post
    My first thought was also the Gannon and Benjamin guys who imported (or are still importing maybe) nice timber especially for boatbuilding. Long lengths of silver bali, angelique and such. Seemed to work well for them, but they do have other revenue streams.

    Man some of these boats you are posting are BIG! My idea of a husband/wife boat is about 32 feet, but maybe that's just me.

    I also have heard of the "sustainable" label being used to market products imported under sail. If you made sure it was sustainable in the way it was produced, and talked up transporting them using wind power you might get the big markup needed, and a reliable customer base as well.

    Sounds like fun.

    Do be careful not to get on the wrong side of jailhouse doors again. It would be worth dealing with paperwork and fees to keep your boat out of trouble I think.

    Glad you are looking on the bright side!
    Big is such a relative term. What I have noticed over the years is that the size boat that couples need is based on two things.
    1. How long are they going to be on the boat, for the weekend, for the summer, for a two year cruise. All of these situations the couple has a house some where to keep their stuff in. They know that they are eventually coming back to that house so they can do without some things while sailing. On the other hand, are the people who live on their boat full-time, every thing they own is on the boat. There are the Dock Queens, who have dock boxes, storage units, an extra car filled with stuff in the parking lot. These people are in a category all their own, and not really pertinent to what I'm talking about. But the "cruising full-time, no home port, the 'where should we go now' cruising couple, have to carry every thing they need.

    2. Within the cruising community the size of the boats get divided based on the couples hobby/craft/job, let's call it skill set. And some of these skill sets, like my wife's, who is a seamstress and a massage therapist, need room for a sewing station on the boat, and storage space for the massage table. If your going to take your Lady out on the high seas and never come back you better make sure she has what she needs and room to have it in! I, on the other hand, am a metalsmith and woodworker, I decided to sell my metal fab equipment, mig welder, plasma arc cutter, etc. when we took off, I thought that what would I do with metal fab equipment on a wooden boat. Boy what a mistake. The lost opportunities for some extra work on other boats. In short I need room for tools and a little work space. All of this translates to mean ,we need a little more space then the cruising couple who are writers or photographers.

    Now throw in some room for freight and maybe four passengers and a cook, and your LOD starts to grow. My problem is finding that perfect size, big enough to work, small enough to be handled by two in a pinch. Capt. Z.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Big is easy to sail provided it's not rigged and sailed as a race boat. Most cruising boats are derived from race boats, and in many cases are retired race boats. That's a function of mass marketing and glossy sailing magazines. In that format 32 feet is probably about right. If you keep things simple and break up the sail area, it's a different story. Electric winches and lines lead to the cockpit can be good too. Then 50 to 60 feet is manageable,and a bigger heavier boat has a much gentler motion. Less tiring, and things happen at a slower pace.

    However, Capt Z, I reckon you need to very carefully work out what your competitive advantage is over a guy with a truck, or a guy with local contacts at source or at the user end of the supply chain, or a guy who knows the shipping business. If you can't identify that advantage then all you have is a romantic dream, which will inevitably become a nightmare. What is it that is compelling about your business model, not to you, but to your supplier or customer?

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Tom Colvin may still be active and this is a question that is right up his alley.

    http://www.thomasecolvin.com

    DESIGNS:
    http://www.thomasecolvin.com/designs.htm



    Shoal draft, centerboard freight schooners:
    The smallest of this family is 50’ and the largest is 77’. At 60’, with the centerboard up, in light conditions, these vessels draw 3’3” of water. They are narrow, being around 13’ 6” of beam. Some are three-masted, but most are two-masted. These are very, very swift sailers and excellent sea boats. They are used mostly for package freight; however, one was designed for lumber carrying as the owner had a portable bandsaw mill aboard that he could set up on shore. In the 60’ and above size, headroom is easily obtained. With this shoal draft, they do inherit a very large centerboard, always made of wood, which dictates the interior arrangements that can be possible. These vessels are usually built of steel construction; however, the one shown in the photo (LUCAYA) is aluminum. The 58' and 60' designs are stock plans.












    Last edited by George Ray; 08-12-2014 at 10:32 PM.
    This is the first lesson ye should learn: There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, it doesn't behoove any of us to speak evil of the rest of us.
    E. Cayce

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Is a Cargo Schooner right for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Big is easy to sail provided it's not rigged and sailed as a race boat. Most cruising boats are derived from race boats, and in many cases are retired race boats. That's a function of mass marketing and glossy sailing magazines. In that format 32 feet is probably about right. If you keep things simple and break up the sail area, it's a different story. Electric winches and lines lead to the cockpit can be good too. Then 50 to 60 feet is manageable,and a bigger heavier boat has a much gentler motion. Less tiring, and things happen at a slower pace.

    .
    However, Capt Z, I reckon you need to very carefully work out what your competitive advantage is over a guy with a truck, or a guy with local contacts at source or at the user end of the supply chain, or a guy who knows the shipping business. If you can't identify that advantage then all you have is a romantic dream, which will inevitably become a nightmare. What is it that is compelling about your business model, not to you, but to your supplier or customer?
    Phil I couldn't agree with you more. On both your points. While cruising in Mexico several years ago, we were surrounded by light weight race boats, much to their chagrin, we constantly arrived at the anchorage first, even though we were always the last to leave the anchorage at the start. I never understood why some one would choose a boat designed to race upwind, to go cruising downwind! I am a big fan of a broken up sail plan for manageability and lines to the cockpit, but we part ways at electric winches, I just don't trust them to always work when I need them too, but mostly I cannot afford them. Or maybe I should say that I feel the money could be better spent on something else.

    As to your second point, again I think your right, and it is why I posted this thread in the first place.(that is, to get advise from people who are smarter then me) It is really easy for me to get caught up in the romance of the idea and be swept along. In fact this idea started out completely different then what it has become, when my wife and I were cruising, just about everywhere we went there was some sort of local high quality food product that was really rare else where in the world, but was cheap and plentiful locally, things like agave, vanilla, cacao, dulce, coconut oil, rum, tropical fruits, nuts, we thought that if we could buy a couple years worth of each product where it was local, and then as we sailed around the world we would still have it to use in places where it was not available, to create a really high quality and gastronomically exciting menu for our passengers, and it would give us an edge up on the competition. And then we thought we should put a little more away so we can give it as gifts to those special people who we meet that deserve a little thank you gift. And that thought lead to, 'what if we were to stock up more then we needed, where it was cheap and sold the excess where it was expensive?' my original thought was... if I could make enough to cover the cost of filling my 200 gallon fuel tanks, I would be so happy, and it would take such a stress off our budget. And that lead us to thinking 'well we would need a schooner that had some cargo capacity, so that we could stock up on these items when they present themselves'. The idea never was to create a business and get rich, it was to augment our sailing kitty, to cover the cost of haulouts and bottom paint, and new sails when the old ones wear out. But in reading your post, you made me realize that if I use money from another revenue source to pay for my boat it is a lifestyle, if I want the boat to pay for itself, it is a business. And you reminded me that big or small to be successful, a business, needs a plan. Thank you for your insightful post. Capt. Zatarra

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