Hakken's boat: 'They would have gone through hell' - KMSP-TV

Hakken's boat: 'They would have gone through hell'

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MADEIRA BEACH (FOX 13) -

Could the Hakken family have made it all the way to Cuba?

A grim picture emerges from people we spoke to about the boat they are on, and the conditions they would have face in the Gulf.

The day the family set sail, a small craft advisory was issued. If they survived the storms, it would have been incredibly stressful on the entire family. It would have been incredibly stressful just to raise and lower the heavy canvas sail.

You'll recall, two tall ships, the Nina and the Pinta ran aground Thursday on a sand bar during those storms. And those ships are ten times bigger and heavier and staffed with a full crew.

Martin Town, owner of SailTime Tampa Bay in St. Pete told us, navigating a rough sea in a 1970s watercraft would surely have been brutal for everyone on board.

"The sail is rolled inside the mast," explained Martin, using a 2013 larger sailboat to demonstrate the differences. "On the older boats, you'd have to hoist the sail the old-fashioned way. That can be a helluva tour. That's a lotta work for one person. Correct. And not that experienced of a sailor, he did have some experience."

But even with experience, stormy conditions would have pushed Hakken's skills to the limit.

"He did but if that storm came out of nowhere on him, or he still had his canvas out, that boat would have been heeling over a lot. They will understand the meaning of small craft advisory and they'd want to get the hell off that boat."

Martin said there's also, most likely, no good way to cook food on-board and they're probably using a cooler. There's no room for even a small refrigerator on that kind of vessel and you can forget about any real bathroom facilities either.

"They would have gone through hell," said Town, who's been following the story on FOX13. There were plenty of red flags coming to his mind, as he heard details about their sailboat.

"This is a brand-new Marlow-Hunter2013, 36-foot boat," he explained as we toured a much larger, brand-new craft.

There is an 11-cubic foot difference, which Town said, makes a huge difference when it comes to the Hakken's comfort.

"So everything gets wider, higher, and longer, so you actually do gain a lot each time," Town said.

As for that small craft advisory issued, he said, he would not have let any of his boats get out away from their secure mooring at the docks.

"Everybody on that boat would be absolutely wet. There really isn't the luxury that our boat have down here, so everything in that boat would be wet, which means that they would be fatigued, they would be stressed. I'm sure there would be vomit everywhere."

He estimates, given the size of the Hakken's boat, it could hold up to a week's supply of food and water at best.

"The 25 would be a fraction of this, probably about 30-40 percent of this, so that's kind of small, everything down below is quite small as well," said Town, as he showed-us below deck to a spacious cabin in the new cruiser.

"Would they have all this room to spread out?," we asked. "No," he said. "You're talking about half this space and obviously a lot shorter as well. You'd have a table, perhaps something this big at best."

Late Monday, we also heard back from the publisher of, "The Sword of Truth", which is a series of fantasy novels Joshua Hakken is said to have claimed changed his life.

Investigators in Louisiana said he rambled on to them about the books, and taking some sort of "ultimate journey" and heading to the "Valley of Rahaan."

What all this means, we don't know, but hoped author Terry Goodkind could shed some light on the subject. But his publisher told us, he was not available at this time.

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