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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum
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  #1  
Old 09-17-2007
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sailing across the atlantic

I'm starting to plan my dream come true voyage across the atlantic, although it is still aways off and have read a number of books that give helpful hints. Here are a few still unanswered questions however:

1) Is it best to sail from the us to uk or the other way around

2) If you sail from the US, logisically I guess you need to then sell your boat if you don't have the time to sail it back- or if you sail from east to west how hard would it be to fly over and buy a boat and be ready to voyage across the ocean?

Any helpful hints would be great-

Happy sailing-
Bob
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Old 09-17-2007
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Getting a boat ready for a trans Atlantic passage takes a long time. I think the idea of buying a boat and spending a few weeks and setting off is shear madness.

There is enormous amount of preparation, from meals, to spares, to sail handling, emergency repairs at sea, navigation, weather routing an communications and so forth. And assuming you are up to it as a sailor you should really know your boat and how to fix it... because you won't be getting help or spares out there. And when you loose one system... how does that impact on the passage. How about losing the self steering or auto pilot? Steering for thousands of miles?? How would rig the boat to steer in lieu of self steering? What do you do when you charging system dies and all your electrics are at risk of becoming useless?

I would work on the boat from where you live... sail it with the right crew (a whole other nightmare) and then have a delivery crew return it or have it shipped back... or sell it.

jef
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Old 09-17-2007
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I have never made that trip, but in contemplating a round-trip my impression is that the west-east leg is the more challenging. You essentially have two options: The great circle route (through the more storm-prone north atlantic); or the longer Bermuda-Azores route. On the return, the favored route is to head almost due south from the UK to the Canaries in search of trade winds that give you a down hill run to the Carribean. That trip is considered to be the milk run, provided you go at the right season.

If you would like to sail in company of other boats, you might consider joining up with the ARC: http://www.worldcruising.com/arc/

Also, if you can only go one way, one option is to ship your boat for whichever leg you cannot do. There are a few shipping companies that specialize in moving cruising boats around.
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Old 09-17-2007
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Read Ocean Passages for the World, it's a British Admirality Publication. The Atlantic Crossing Guide is also worth a read, as it describes the different routes in an easily understandable way.
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Old 09-17-2007
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Cornell's World Cruising Routes is another good resource, as is his website, Noonsite.com.
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Old 09-17-2007
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Kestrel-
I'll second Dogs' nomination of Cornells Cruising Routes. It gives you specific cords of departure and waypoints for courses both to and from the UK. And also explains currents and weather to be expected in route.
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If you ever cross come visit me in Portugal...by the way, most people crossing east to west use the "Portuguese trade winds" and sail via Azores..

Good luck
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Old 09-17-2007
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Without discouraging you from your ultimate plan...I respectfully suggest that if you don't know which way to go and you think you can hop aboard and go in a couple of weeks...you have no business making the attempt just yet.

EDIT...ooops...just re-read and saw that the plan is a "ways off". Your posts from 10 months ago indicate you don't have a boat. Suggest you get some experience on some more confined water and then you'll know a lot better what you need and what you need to buy.
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Old 09-17-2007
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If you want to make more than a little money selling it, then buy in the west and sail east. The UK cannot compete with US value for sailboats... never could.

Don't go the other way (east to west)... it takes much longer, and you will lose money hand over fist when you sell it.

Take time to prepare, in the west.
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Old 09-18-2007
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Read the prep from a fellow who just did it.....
http://www.kestrelboat.com/
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