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Old 10-02-2013
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Sailing from Grenada

I'm thinking of buying a boat that is currently in Grenada. I would eventually like to get it the Chesapeake Bay area, but have only a little sailing experience. Does anyone have any advice, or suggestions about the best course, and or strategy for doing this? Most of my recent sailing experience has been on Lake Erie. Can anyone comment on how dangerous it would be to sail from Grenada up the East Coast, as compared to Lake Erie sailing?
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Old 10-02-2013
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Re: Sailing from Grenada

Must be one heck of a deal to go get it and deal with the costs of bringing it back.

If it was me, I would hire Capt Aarron (or another experienced captain) and use it as an learning experience. At least up to the ICW.

Why go to get a boat there when there are so many great deals on the east coast right now?
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Old 10-02-2013
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Re: Sailing from Grenada

I wouldnt hire a Captain. You will learn nothing.

Grenada to Chesapeake is one of the great learning passages that I can imagine.

I did it (in parts) last year and ended up in New York.

Take April, May and June off work.
Get to Grenada and expect a few weeks paperwork BS and use that time to cruise the island up to Cariacou. The gap between the islands is your first open water passage and its about 20 nms. Perfect! Nice beam reach.
Then when you have done the paper stuff keep going island to island, skipping a few like the Dominican Republic. Do some hops overnight. Stop in St Barths and St Martin then the BVI's.
Then you will have had the experience to jump to Georgetown Bahamas, a 4 day easy passage with the wind up your butt. Then cruise up to Marsh Harbour, Abacos, Bahamas and jump off on your first real ocean passage to Norfolk Virginia going outside Cape Hatteras. Keep your ear on the weather and have Beaufort North Carolina as a stop if Hatteras blows up from the north. Otherwise slide right around it and get drunk in Norfolk before you find your final destination in the Chesepeake.

At the end of that you will have done about 2,000nms, stopped in 10 countries and you wont be calling yourself a flat water sailor! You'll be a true blue water boy! You will have had the finest 3 month holiday the world can give! But best of all you will have done it YOURSELF!


Mark
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Old 10-02-2013
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Re: Sailing from Grenada

My thoughts were coming from the phrase "but have only a little sailing experience." and as I don't know what that may mean, it could mean he has sailed a dingy a few times on a weekend or been out with friends and not really ran the boat. The reality behind that quote would have a huge bearing on the answer.

Your suggestion sounds MUCH more enjoyable in the end but if he has never ran a keel boat on his own that would be quite the first sail. If on the other hand it means that he has been running his Cat 25 on the lake for the last year then I think you are absolutely right.
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Old 10-02-2013
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Re: Sailing from Grenada

Sounds like an awesome trip. What kind of a boat is it? Anybody else going with you?
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Re: Sailing from Grenada

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaMC View Post
My thoughts were coming from the phrase "but have only a little sailing experience." and as I don't know what that may mean, it could mean he has sailed a dingy a few times on a weekend or been out with friends and not really ran the boat. The reality behind that quote would have a huge bearing on the answer.

Your suggestion sounds MUCH more enjoyable in the end but if he has never ran a keel boat on his own that would be quite the first sail. If on the other hand it means that he has been running his Cat 25 on the lake for the last year then I think you are absolutely right.
Yeah, I don't think I'd be so quick to route a newbie on his first-ever sailing trip out around Hatteras, for example, without even having a clue as to what sort of boat we're talking about, among other things :-)

Then again, I'm one of those 'captains' from whom nothing could be learned, so... :-)
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Old 10-02-2013
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Re: Sailing from Grenada

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Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
I wouldnt hire a Captain. You will learn nothing.

Grenada to Chesapeake is one of the great learning passages that I can imagine.

I did it (in parts) last year and ended up in New York.

Take April, May and June off work.
Get to Grenada and expect a few weeks paperwork BS and use that time to cruise the island up to Cariacou. The gap between the islands is your first open water passage and its about 20 nms. Perfect! Nice beam reach.
Then when you have done the paper stuff keep going island to island, skipping a few like the Dominican Republic. Do some hops overnight. Stop in St Barths and St Martin then the BVI's.
Then you will have had the experience to jump to Georgetown Bahamas, a 4 day easy passage with the wind up your butt. Then cruise up to Marsh Harbour, Abacos, Bahamas and jump off on your first real ocean passage to Norfolk Virginia going outside Cape Hatteras. Keep your ear on the weather and have Beaufort North Carolina as a stop if Hatteras blows up from the north. Otherwise slide right around it and get drunk in Norfolk before you find your final destination in the Chesepeake.

At the end of that you will have done about 2,000nms, stopped in 10 countries and you wont be calling yourself a flat water sailor! You'll be a true blue water boy! You will have had the finest 3 month holiday the world can give! But best of all you will have done it YOURSELF!


Mark
Thats all well and good assuming the boat is up to the task. Expecting to make that sort of passage without much sailing experience is one thing but not knowing the boat and being able to effect repairs along the way is entirely another.

Do you have any experience with boat systems(electrical, rigging, plumbing, etc)? And anyone with even just a little cruising experience will tell you that you will have equipment failures.

Anyone can sail. It is the repair and maintenance skills that make a blue water sailor.
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Old 10-02-2013
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Re: Sailing from Grenada

It really would depend on what sort of boat you are buying and the time of the year you intend to travel. If you intend to be in the states before hurricane season, you will need to be there before mid-June (even better mid-May). Traveling north through the Antilles on that schedule, you will be sailing in primarily NE winds, meaning many of your channel crossings will be hard to weather with a generally westerly set to the current between islands. After St. Martin, you will be off the wind, reaching or running most of the way to the states, depending whether you follow the islands west or sail outside around the T&C's and Bahamas. Either way is pretty much a cake walk until you reach the Gulfstream.
I guess the amount of time you have available to make the trip will determine your route.
Christmas winds in the Windward and Leeward Islands are some pretty heavy weather sailing (up to 35 knots of wind; though mostly 20 to 25 every day), a great education on the relatively short inter island hops, but grueling at times.
There are excellent guides available for the area, so navigation skills and a lot of sailing experience aren't really necessary; we see bareboaters with no experience at all survive a week, even during Christmas winds, without losing the boat or injuring/killing people.
I wouldn't hire a captain for the inter island stuff, but perhaps if you need to non-stop from St. Thomas to Chesapeake you might consider it?
For a "lightly experienced" sailor, as you imply you are, I would definitely suggest you have a very good, high quality chart plotter aboard, mounted near the wheel, with at least a 5" screen. It will save you nearly as much money as it cost, in Rolaids.
Also check out boats in the lagoon in St. Martin; there are quite a few there that are for sale very inexpensively, and not because there is a problem with the boat. Many who set off cruising find that they, their spouses or whatever, just didn't like it or were incapable of living w/o all the mod-cons or in such a small space.
Good luck and I hope to see you here in Grenada soon..
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Old 10-02-2013
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Re: Sailing from Grenada

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. View Post
Thats all well and good assuming the boat is up to the task. Expecting to make that sort of passage without much sailing experience is one thing but not knowing the boat and being able to effect repairs along the way is entirely another.

Do you have any experience with boat systems(electrical, rigging, plumbing, etc)?

Anyone can sail. It is the repair and maintenance skills that make a blue water sailor.
Tim,
Few of the sails between Grenada and Puerto Rico or the VI are longer than 8 hours and almost every island here has excellent services available to repair almost anything that might break or go wrong. That's only a matter of money. By the time he's ready to do the longer hop to the states, he should have completed his shakedown, and be OK, wouldn't you think?
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Old 10-02-2013
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Re: Sailing from Grenada

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
Tim,
Few of the sails between Grenada and Puerto Rico or the VI are longer than 8 hours and almost every island here has excellent services available to repair almost anything that might break or go wrong. That's only a matter of money. By the time he's ready to do the longer hop to the states, he should have completed his shakedown, and be OK, wouldn't you think?
Possible but with his little sailing experience and such short window of sailing before getting out in the GS I thought it would be prudent of me to mention it.

And the Windwards are no cake walk for a beginner on a new boat. 20-25 is fun for an experienced sailor but terrifying for a beginner. Not to mention the currents and sea state between islands.
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