Atlantic crossing from Tortola to Turkey on 46' Cat leaving in May- Routing? - SailNet Community

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Old 03-01-2011
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Atlantic crossing from Tortola to Turkey on 46' Cat leaving in May- Routing?

Any suggestions for routing this passage? I am delivering a 46' cat this May from the BVI to Turkey and am not sure whether to go up to Burmuda and catch the westerlys towards the Azores or just follow the rhumb line and motor as much as I have to. I have 6 weeks to get there and mostly unlimited budget for fuel. Any suggestions/ tips from experienced skippers will help.
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Old 03-01-2011
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The unlimited budget for fuel does you very little good since there are very few places to re-fuel between the BVI and the Azores. You'll want to cut north and catch the westerlies, since doing otherwise will likely leave you without any fuel, since you'll be motoring against the Northeast trade winds. If you don't have a copy of Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes, you really need to get one.

Given the questions you're asking, I have to ask how much sailing experience you have? A 46' catamaran is a lot of boat, and it is pretty easy to get into trouble on one in heavy weather. Do you have an experienced crew for this delivery?
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Old 03-18-2011
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i was looking for advise from someone with experience with both of these routes- not armchair experience from jimmy cornells books. there are plenty of people who go straight from tortola to the azores with positive experiences. a 46 is not a lot of boat as i run a 62' cat presently. dont patronize people whom you have no idea what their experiences are. I have over 50000NM of sailing experience, a USCG masters license, and was sailing before I could walk. Is there anyone who could reply to my query with some real experience?
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Old 03-18-2011
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Oh, i wasnt sure if there was a delta petroleum in the middle of the atlantic- thanks for clarifying that for me.
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Old 03-18-2011
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Is it possible to answer this gentleman's question with some decorum ?
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Old 03-18-2011
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Decorum?

The original post doesn't mention 50,000 miles of experience and misspells Bermuda. How is anyone supposed to know the original poster has ever been more than 5 miles from Tortola or even been out to Catalina? It is almost surprising that with 50,000 miles of sailing experience (twice around the world?) the original poster hasn't done several transatlantic trips already. If he or she already knows that people routinely go the rhumbline route with no problems, why bother to ask?

Rhumbline isn't the route that I'd take. On a 38' monohull, we took a great circle to Ireland to take advantage of the Gulf Stream and the prevailing westerlies. Just because Cornell suggests something doesn't make it invalid. People cross in Catalinas, too, though that's not the boat I'd prefer. On the other hand, I haven't added up all my sea miles, and the only times I've sailed catamarans was off beaches in the Caribbean.
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Old 03-19-2011
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From the OP i see nothing wrong in the First reply he got, some people are just thin skinned.
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Old 03-19-2011
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When we did the rhumb line route the winds were mostly cooperative. However, next year I am taking the Bermuda/northern route because my destination is Cork.

Heading for Gib, and someone else paying for the fuel I would buy lots of yellow cans and consider the rhumb line route.

However, if the winds were not helpful early on I would head north rather than burn fuel.

Good luck and if you take the rhumb line route please PM me and tell me how it was.

Phil

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Old 03-27-2011
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Hi Clayton. I have the same reaction to cut and paste sailors that you do.

Sorry to be late to the party here, but I'm finishing up a delivery and just catching up on the boards since I got a cell signal.

Based on personal experience (as you asked) I generally head North(ish) and keep my options open as long as possible to hit Bermuda or the Azores first. Of course I provision heavily so I can go all the way to the UK if necessary without stopping. Fuel capacity is an issue and I run a rolling threshold for motoring -- early on we sail no matter what and as time progresses and we get further along the minimum boat speed before firing up gets higher and higher.

What usually happens for me is that I decide early on whether to grab the Gulf Stream or go East of the Bahamas. After that, I decide whether to stop in Bermuda, mostly based on fuel burn.

I do carry Cornell's book, but for the Atlantic the routes haven't kept up with the reality of the Gulf Stream running further South than historically and boats that point better.

I know you said you have been running cats for a while, but I'll share one thought anyway. I use a snatch block to pull the sheets inboard to point higher. This is a magic bullet for squeezing 10 or 15 degrees out of the boat.

Have a great trip. Let me know if I can share anything else that may be of assistance to you.
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Old 03-27-2011
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What's a "cut and paste" sailor?

And, Clayton, dude -- chill a little. SD is a good guy and was offering his point of view. There are a lot of people who post here who don't have your vast experience.

As for Cornell, he's far from an "arm chair" kind of guy -- he probably completed his first circumnavigation before you could walk. His books are well regarded, especially for routing information of exactly the type you have asked for here. Have a look at what he recommends. If you're too cheap to buy it, it's in most public libraries.

(Let me guess....the 62 ft cat you're running now is one of those that takes the tourists out for a sunset cruise on the lee side of most Caribbean islands?????)

Last edited by billyruffn; 03-27-2011 at 10:00 PM.
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