Join Date: Sep 2006
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Thank you all for your replies, I very much appreciate the advice.
First in response to the "go south first, then east" idea by sailingdog. I believe it's just about as far from any point on the east coast to bermuda, with Cape Hatteras still being about 550nm and Martha's Vinyard being about 570nm.
In response to sailingfool and mention of the Catalina 36 story on equipped.com, I'd already read this and taken it to heart... but taking the problems with the boat one at a time, I'm not worried. I would bring full replacements for everything in the wheel steering assembly and an adequate tiller; my O'day has never leaked a drop; and I would have all the rigging professionally inspected and would only sail if the rigging was given a clean bill of health.
In general, I disagree that O'days (at least those from the early 80's) are made with the quality attributed to Hunters & Catalinas. I understand that an O'day 34 once won the Marion to Bermuda race in it's class.
I wholeheartedly agree with some shorter singlehanded trips first... I would be taking a singlehanded run up to northern Maine as a shakedown cruise before Bermuda... not way off shore, but definitely out of sight of land.
While the bermuda trip would be way out away from any port, I would at any point in the trip have enough fuel on board to make it either on to bermuda or back to the east coast motoring... this gives me a lot more confidence.
Thanks for all your opinions.