So my friends and I (~4 people total) want to take my boat from Boston to Virginia Beach at some point this summer, perhaps July. We'd try to make a three week trip out of it, which would include sailing down there, spending time there, and sailing back. As some of you may know, I have rather limited sailing experience (and my "crew" even less): an 8-day ASA class, a handful of weekends sailing Cape Cod Mercuries in the Charles River, and about 6 day trips around Boston Harbor in my Gulfstar 37. Do you think this is a foolhardy endeavor? We would of course get more practice in my boat before heading off, I'm thinking a circumnavigation of Cape Cod in June, ideally including an overnight passage to Provincetown so we get overnight experience.
I'm wondering your thoughts on the following...
- Should we go at all?
- Should we take the "outside" route to make better time? I'm currently thinking we might stop for one night on the way, which I'm estimating means two 48-hour passages.
- How long would it take to get there? Is my above estimate even close?
- I currently do not have a life raft or EPIRB. How important would you say they are to get? I'd like to get an EPIRB, but I don't think I can afford a life raft.
- I also don't have a dinghy. I should probably really get one of those ASAP, but my finances are stretched thin. How important is this (especially in light of perhaps not having a life raft...)?
- I do not have a trysail or other storm sail (I do have two reefs in my main and a roller furling jib). Do you think I need to get a storm sail?
- Can you recommend good places to stop on the way and good places to go once we're in Virginia Beach? I'm particularly interested in info on marinas in Virginia Beach. We're all 24-26 years old, so we want something of a party when we get there.