Sail a Small Boat



                        (By the crew of 4-time PacCup competitor, E.T., an Antrim 27)



It’s cool.

You’ve always wanted to sail to Hawaii.

It’s like a continuous downhill ski run for 7 to 10 days.

Your retirement plan is overfunded.

It’s immensely satisfying.



  •             Gotta be 24’ or more; probably 30’ long, or less.
  •             Probably lives on a trailer normally.
  •             Probably will do PacCup with a crew of 2, 3, or 4.
  •             24 to 30 feet isn’t too small to do the trip!  Lots of Moore 24’s have gone.  E.T.,   at 27’10” has gone 4 times.  Bill and Melinda Erkelens were overall winners in 1994 on Moonshine, their Dogpatch 26.


Make a list.  For E.T. 2000 we went through the NOR and the Cat 1 regs, added             other things that we wanted, and developed our boat preparation check-list.  Things you need to consider for your boat:

  • ·       Where and how do you stow gear, food and water?
  • ·       How do you stay dry below – a dodger?  (E.T. photo)
  • ·       Bunks – What do you install (one per crew).  (E.T. photo – extra hanging bunk makes awfully good dry storage for gear and food.)
  • ·       Raft – give enough time for repacking if you borrow one or have one.
  • ·       Sails – can you borrow storm sails?  Do you need another spinnaker?  A shy kite?
  • ·       Rigging check.
  • ·       Electronics and SSB.  Where do you put it?  (E.T. photo.)  Power supply.
  • ·       Crew.  Who should go? 
  • ·       What will you eat?  How will you cook it?  (E.T. photo).
  • ·       Interior/exterior bilge pumps (two required).
  • ·       Bodily functions.  (E.T. photo.)


            It depends on what you have to do to your boat, what you can borrow, what you have to fix, how many are on your crew, and what you’re willing to put up with and do.

The larger every year expenses for E.T. have been:

  • ·       Entry fee
  • ·       Insurance
  • ·       Trailer handling and boat shipment home
  • ·       Raft certification
  • ·       Air fare home
  • ·       Housing in Hawaii
  • ·       Parties, food, bar bill at Kaneohe and out and about expenses on Oahu.
  • ·       Food for the trip

     Expenses that have varied quite a lot include:

  • ·       New sails (And keep in mind, you can sail to Hawaii with old sails, but if you want to compete on the bay after you put two thousand miles on your current spinnaker and main, you probably will want to replace them.)
  • ·       Boat modifications (install toe rails at bow, dodger, generator)
  • ·       Electronics upgrades
  • ·       SSB purchase (Chartered first trip, bought for second trip)


            For E.T., we prepared a budget “guesstimate” list for PacCup 2000.  I developed the budget list from our NOR/Category 1 work list, and added to it all the items that we knew we wanted to have with us, or that we had to spend money on, in addition to the required gear.  We spent more than we budgeted.

            In 2006 we spent about $25,000 all told.