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  #31  
Old 09-28-2013
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Re: Sailing from California to Florida via the Panama Canal

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Right-t-oh. Off ya go then.



Those that 'a neva been thru know whats going on. I'll stand to the background.


Mark
I was making a bit of a joke. Hence the smily.

I think my question was, that you can ponder from the background, is there something specific to the canal that would make his boat not meet the minimum speed requirement that you mentioned in your post. It wasn't meant to question your experience.

Last edited by AlaskaMC; 09-28-2013 at 01:56 AM.
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Old 09-28-2013
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Re: Sailing from California to Florida via the Panama Canal

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Originally Posted by Minnesail View Post
Wonderful sense of adventure! But...

There is a couple that tried it on a 28-foot Pearson Triton. You should read their blog before you try it:
3knots | Man, Wife and Dog drifting to warmer climates

Or you could just skip straight to where they wrecked their boat:
Staring into oblivion | 3knots
That blog is a testament to just how hard it is to kill yourself sailing.
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  #33  
Old 09-28-2013
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Re: Sailing from California to Florida via the Panama Canal

golfito tim did the trip last year in a 27 catalina he bought in zihuatenejo.
tehuantepec is not always blowing.
folks usually stopin huatulco and when not running folks go. when it is blowing they wait until it is not blowing.
folks make abigger dealk out of this than is usually necessary.

so, if the cocodrilos dont eat you, and if the winds dont kill you you should be ok.
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  #34  
Old 09-28-2013
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Re: Sailing from California to Florida via the Panama Canal

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Originally Posted by AlaskaMC View Post
, is there something specific to the canal that would make his boat not meet the minimum speed requirement that you mentioned in your post.
Yes. (My negativity may have come across a bit strongly. Yes it can be done, but....)

My trip through was 5 years ago and stuff changes, prices go up, plus I went from the Caribbean to Pacific so some things are different (free anchorage on the Pacific side, none (?) on the Caribbean side.

There were two smaller boats trying to get through when we did it. Both had problems.
The Canal authority does seem to have an systemic set against smaller boats. Their fees are higher (double); the speed requirement is enforced where the larger yachts never are forced to prove they can do 8 knots, and few can for that long distance; a bit more stringent in every way.

The two boats:

1) He was border line on the speed and it was recommended that he should be towed at a cost of $3,600. This can only happen by a Canal tug. So he said he would motor. Each time he tried he blew his engine up and they towed him back and charged him another $800 fee (that was the standard transit fee, they never charged him the extra $800 for being small again). When we met him he had been towed back twice = $1,600 and when we were there he failed again = $2,400 and he came back with just one more $800 in his pocket.... He was to go through again a few days after us for his 4th go.... but we never saw him again so whether he got through or not I dont know.
Remember he also had to get his 4 line handlers each time!

2) This was a young Dutch guy and intrepid as all buggery and we received emails from him in later years always in bizarre places, once after he rolled and lost his stick in the southern ocean.
He was a lovely guy and invited us on board for dinner one night and as soon as we got on we saw just how small this boat was. How was he going to sleep 5 people on board? (you have to accomodate you 4 line handlers) Below was a very bachelor salon and galley and Nicolle suddenly wasn't hungry at all Nor was I But we had to eat... it.
When the Admeasurer got on he inspected the galley and said it wasnt fit to cook food for the Advisors (you have to feed the pilots and your 4 line handlers). The Admeasurer returned TWICE before he approved the galley! And charged him and extra $100 fee for each time.
Then the poor bum couldnt get anyone to be a line handler! Not one cruiser would go with him. Who wants to sleep 5 in a bed in the wet season where theres lots of nice boats going (like ours ). So he had to pay some locals to line handle... but they had caught whif of the problems and charged him $100 each. So plus $400!



The only other thing worth mentioning is the distance on one day is about 35nm so the boat needs to be going flat out for quite a long time. Our speed was about 7 knots, far faster that I normally motor. So if they want the smaller boats to be able to do 5 knots I think it will be doing that the whole way. 6 hours at top revs ain't to be sneezed at.

We could have done it with 5: Me, Nicolle, and 3 handlers, plus the advisor, but we thought that feeding, entertaining and administering to them all it would be easier to have Nicolle not being a linie handler but doing all the cooking/household stuff. So we had 6 plus the Advisor. I think that worked well.

So yes, it can be done and I should not sound like it can't. But small boats going through must be aware of the higher transit fee (its double or there abouts) and higher degrees of difficulty at each corner.

BTW Photos below note: * Plastic on bimini: you must have the Advisor protected from rain.
*You share a lock with a ship. They are in front of you and when the lock openes and they hit the throttle you see the prop wash from close up!
*The Advisor (pilot) is the guy with the life jacket on. Theres lots of people aboard and that huge rope is an absolute. 4 must be hired, your own wont do.
*In the daytime photo the guy at the wheel is a backpacker. We rang a backpackers hostel in Panama city and were deluged! The other handlers are cruisers. The Advisor is in the white shirt.
* Don't go swiming!


Mark
Attached Thumbnails
Sailing from California to Florida via the Panama Canal-central-america-947.jpg   Sailing from California to Florida via the Panama Canal-central-america-999.jpg   Sailing from California to Florida via the Panama Canal-central-america-1003.jpg   Sailing from California to Florida via the Panama Canal-central-america-1054.jpg   Sailing from California to Florida via the Panama Canal-central-america-1071.jpg  

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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 09-28-2013 at 09:27 AM.
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  #35  
Old 09-28-2013
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Re: Sailing from California to Florida via the Panama Canal

as my formosa will never without a raging chubasco hit speeds over 5 kts, i have to pay more for the extra day of canal use. so will he, as i t is more money for the extra day to traverse.
it is spozedly an option for the slow barges like mine and others. check panama canal site.

rates rose this past year for canal use.

my info is purely from research.
if someone knows about this slow boat option please squawk.
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  #36  
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Re: Sailing from California to Florida via the Panama Canal

Mark,

Thanks for the great writeup. I will need to go and read that part of your blog. I skipped ahead to the pirates part! Yikes.

Great pics too. We are planning a trip through there in a few years so the information is really helpful. An east to west route is how we have things planned as of now from reading about the difficulties going the other way out of Panama.

Is that an alligator or croc?
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Re: Sailing from California to Florida via the Panama Canal

It appears to be like you have some boating experience, have you single handed in the evening before? Have you regarded the governmental "issues" in Mexico.
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Re: Sailing from California to Florida via the Panama Canal

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Yes. (My negativity may have come across a bit strongly. Yes it can be done, but....)

My trip through was 5 years ago and stuff changes, prices go up, plus I went from the Caribbean to Pacific so some things are different (free anchorage on the Pacific side, none (?) on the Caribbean side.

There were two smaller boats trying to get through when we did it. Both had problems.
The Canal authority does seem to have an systemic set against smaller boats. Their fees are higher (double); the speed requirement is enforced where the larger yachts never are forced to prove they can do 8 knots, and few can for that long distance; a bit more stringent in every way.

The two boats:

1) He was border line on the speed and it was recommended that he should be towed at a cost of $3,600. This can only happen by a Canal tug. So he said he would motor. Each time he tried he blew his engine up and they towed him back and charged him another $800 fee (that was the standard transit fee, they never charged him the extra $800 for being small again). When we met him he had been towed back twice = $1,600 and when we were there he failed again = $2,400 and he came back with just one more $800 in his pocket.... He was to go through again a few days after us for his 4th go.... but we never saw him again so whether he got through or not I dont know.
Remember he also had to get his 4 line handlers each time!

2) This was a young Dutch guy and intrepid as all buggery and we received emails from him in later year


Mark
So, what does it prove? That the guys weren't prepared for the canal? What it has to do with the size of a boat?

I helped one circumnavigator to sail his boat from NE to St.Martin via Bermuda once. I went to gain an experience from a guy with a lot of blue water miles. On my second day I realized that the guy can not say where the wind blowing from, on my third day I found out that he could not steer by hand.
And, by the way, he sailed Beneteau.
Does this mean that all Beneteau sailors are incompetent?
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Last edited by CrazyRu; 09-28-2013 at 02:39 PM.
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  #39  
Old 09-28-2013
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Re: Sailing from California to Florida via the Panama Canal

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyRu View Post
What it has to do with the size of a boat?
"The Canal authority does seem to have an systemic set against smaller boats. Their fees are higher (double); the speed requirement is enforced"



Mark
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Re: Sailing from California to Florida via the Panama Canal

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
"The Canal authority does seem to have an systemic set against smaller boats. Their fees are higher (double); the speed requirement is enforced"

Mark
show me the "double fee" document
here are the rules
https://www.pancanal.com/common/mari...ENG-201211.pdf

I know owners of three small boats went through the canal within last two years. One was towed by another cruising boat.
It seems like it is you who has a systematic set against smaller boats.
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