Originally Posted by SeaQwest
Thanks for the valuable input. We are newbies to sailing, so are somewhat timid about undertaking what I am guessing would be a 4 or 5 day sojourn in, for us, unchartered waters. But, as some have mentioned, this is the reason for which the boat was made. Plus, it would provide us an immediate learning experience. If she were a power boat, we wouldn't hesitate to make the trip.
Of course there is something to be said about having it in our "backyard" in 4 or 5 hours. Does anyone have a feel for which way would be less expensive?
Your thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thanks again.
For the sake of the exercise, I have run out the distance from Batten Island in Jax to Redfish Cove in Cape Coral, assuming you are able to take the St. Lucie, Lake, Caloosahatchie River Route. That's about 350 nautical miles. Assuming you were powering and taking an inside route, you'd be able to manage roughly 50 miles a day safely, hence you'd need 7 days of running time. Taking into account weather etc. I'm guessing it would actually take you 9 days. Assuming you average 4-5 knots, you'd need roughly 80 hours of running time and assuming a fuel burn on that size boat of roughly .6 GPH about 48 gallons of fuel at roughly $4.00 per gallon, so about $192 for fuel. Assuming a 35' yacht spending 5 out of 9 nights in a transient marina at $3.00/ft (guestimate), you'd be looking at roughly $525 for mooring. Assuming a crew of 2, I'm guessing roughly $50 per day for food and beverage but of course they'd be eating whether they were aboard or not so provisions costs might be irrelevant. If not, however, you'd be looking at another $450 in provisions. So, with the foregoing you're looking at roughly $1,167 for the trip. Add in incidentals and you're probably closer to $1,500.
If your mast is taller than 49', the foregoing route wouldn't work so you'd increase the distance by roughly 40% but you'd be able to sail much more so your fuel costs wouldn't increase by much and you'd get much more experience.
In either case, you can effect some savings on the foregoing by joining BoatUS (which you would be wise to do in any case) and using the marina facilities that cooperate with them and, of course, by by-passing marina's entirely save for fuel.
By comparison, I suspect hauling the yacht will cost you something in the range of $3,000 for the haul-out, pulling the mast and prepping the yacht for transit, the actual shipping, relaunching the yacht and re-stepping the mast. That would likely take just as long time wise--maybe longer--and you'd learn nothing and have no adventure to remember.
It is not a difficult trip and I suspect you can find one or two guy's with a bit of experience that would help for various legs. (Of course, you could shorten the trip by taking the off-shore route, at least to Cape Canaveral which has an easy inlet, if not to St. Lucie.)