Join Date: Jul 2002
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 14
East Coast to Fla to Caribbean - NOW
I''m rushing this a.m. so these are quick but probably not terribly thorough replies to your Q''s:
1. If you''re unfamiliar with recommissioning our boat, this is a great time to learn and will be one add''l benefit of doing what you''re considering. Between the manuals (e.g. recommission the engine, hot water heater, etc.) and the destination boatyard (Deaton''s in Oriental, NC is one excellent one), you''ll find it straightforward.
2. If you plop in February and begin down the ICW, you''ll be asking your bottom paint to stretch for another 18 months or so before decommission in Boston in Fall, 2003. Don''t overlook being able to add a coat for the cost of the paint before leaving.
3. As you noticed, most of the longer runs going down island are in the 1 or 2 overnight category (e.g. Georgetwon, Great Exuma to Provo, T&C; Provo to Luperon, DR; Luperon to Samana or, if the window holds, to Mayaguez, P.R.). You don''t tell us if you''ll be singlehanding (I hope not - easier and much more enjoyable with a good friend as crew) but, if you are, those runs are probably at the limit for you. Re: the return leg, I would not recommend the Bermuda route despite Eric''s comments. You should assume you will lose the pilot - even with crew, that''s a long haul on both sides. Moreover, the frontal wx is still active & iffy that time of year (May) north of Bermuda. I''d suggest you consider long downwind legs going back but while keeping the many large U.S. ports available as your back door, should you need it, and ride the Stream. From the Abacos, you''d have St. Johns R. near Jax, FL; St. Mary''s R. on FL/GA border; Charleston, Port Royal Sound near Hilton Head, and so forth. All easily entered 24/7. Remember: you can still make miles every day inside should the wx be lousy outside, altho'' offshore legs will save you a lot of time.
4. The yard will have a problem providing truck access to your boat, I would guess. Discuss this soon. And yes, trucking companies are who you must contact for the haul; +/- experiences abound re: timing, driver, etc. but most boats suffer no ill effects.
5. If you have refrigeration, you''ll have battery capacity issues to deal with. But for 6 months, is it really worth adding a $1-1.5K sysem that will only partially offset amps consumed? Best bet IMO would be to add a small-frame hicap alternator and external regulator. Talk with Jack Csenge at Jack Rabbit Marine - great little firm and good people.
6. Re: your friend and the SSB, that''s the kind of approach I like to see. Wrap your own hands around the project and you''ll be more comfortable with it. Even so, it won''t be cheap...but invaluable if you work at using it and the install. Ham radios are built to transmit only on the small ham portions of each band but listen on all freqs/bands. Marine SSB radios do the same, just at different segments of each band. You''ll need to find a shop (any ham shop will probably accommodate you) to remove one component in the transmit circuit to make a ham radio an all-band transceiver (talk/listen on any freq). This is a good safety step even if you stick with the radio''s legal freq''s for normal operation.