Cruising in a Hunter? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 30 Old 07-25-2012 Thread Starter
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Cruising in a Hunter?

Hi Everyone,

I would like a second opinion and any advice I can get. Here is the situation:

I have a 1984 Hunter 31 in Bremerton, WA and I am planning a trip through the Panama Canal and up to Charleston, SC. I have been advised to just truck it rather than sailing by a couple of members here. I'm wondering if that is a unanimous feeling, and what the problems would be, so that if possible I can take precautions, and make the trip safely.

My plan is to leave in early to mid September, and sail out of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and well away from the coast of Washington and Oregon to avoid the lee shore. Then turning back to the east and re-supplying in San Francisco Bay, most likely Emoryville, since it is a nice relatively straight shot in from the ocean, and I have friends in the east bay. Then heading out and south to repeat the process in San Diego where I will begin port hopping, staying at sea for no more than 2 to 4 days in near coastal water. passing through the Panama canal and Island hopping the eastern Caribbean up to the Dominican Republic where I'll take some time off and enjoy the beach followed by a longer hop to the florida keys, then more short sails up the atlantic coast.

I understand the difficulty of beating to weather in my boat, and I realize some of that will be essential, especially on the atlantic side, but the Pacific side should (according to Coast Pilot) be relatively calm (another difficulty I am foreseeing as a scheduling issue) I would be interested in what the group thinks my problems will be, and whether they can be overcome, and if so, how? I am particularly interested in issues that might tend to compromise safety.

Thank you all for your wisdom!
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post #2 of 30 Old 07-25-2012
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Re: Cruising in a Hunter?

big difference in "cruising in a hunter" and doing this.....it will not be a cruise, it will try you in ways you can not imagine.

you will need a qualified crew for the offshore portions, or take your chances on being run down.

The boat needs to be really well found, the pacific is not the place to discover that your pumps are erratic, or that hatches need resealing. Cold is a chore, wet is a chore....cold and wet is hell.

The boat will need to be qualified as ocean ready...rigging, mast, hull, spares, tankage, windows, etc, etc, - seaworthy??

Safety gear, and your willingness to get it done. Your insurance company may have the final say, if you owe money on the boat

Solo? Not the trip I would want to do as a first one, but then you can always run to shore...

All the best
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Last edited by kd3pc; 07-25-2012 at 04:25 PM.
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post #3 of 30 Old 07-26-2012
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Re: Cruising in a Hunter?

Kd3 has some good advice. That is a long trip and not an easy one. I would do it with my Bristol if I had to but would imagine that it would not be whole lot of fun - and that is with a 20 ton boat that is very solidly-built and well-equipped. I think I would go for the trucking route instead. Might even be cheaper when you consider the cost of getting your boat ready and the cost of the trip including fixing the stuff that breaks on the way. If you want to do some bluewater (or semi-bluewater) exploring there are lots of opportunities once you are on the east coast.

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #4 of 30 Old 07-26-2012
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Re: Cruising in a Hunter?

DAT NOT CRUISING MON!

That is a nasty delivery with lots of windward work unless you get really lucky.

Truck it - it will almost certainly be cheaper in the long run.
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post #5 of 30 Old 07-26-2012
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Re: Cruising in a Hunter?

I am moving this to General Discussion where it is more appropriate.

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post #6 of 30 Old 07-26-2012
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Re: Cruising in a Hunter?

Read the first part of this blog:

Sequitur

They skipped the canal.


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post #7 of 30 Old 07-26-2012
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Re: Cruising in a Hunter?

As others have mentioned, the uphill slog from the canal to the Eastern Caribbean would be brutal in such a boat...

Truck it to the east coast, and go from there instead... Or, as a less costly alternative, sail down to San Diego, and truck it to Texas or wherever, and go from there...
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post #8 of 30 Old 07-26-2012
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Re: Cruising in a Hunter?

NO no no, truck the boat to Duluth Minnesota, launch, then either float down the Mississippi or take the Erie canal then onto Charleston, SC. Less brutal than the Pacific to Panama then across the Gulf. Either way one can get some open water sailing in yet still duck into a harbor when the weather turns nasty.
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post #9 of 30 Old 07-26-2012
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Re: Cruising in a Hunter?

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Originally Posted by Captainmeme View Post
NO no no, truck the boat to Duluth Minnesota, launch, then either float down the Mississippi or take the Erie canal then onto Charleston, SC. Less brutal than the Pacific to Panama then across the Gulf. Either way one can get some open water sailing in yet still duck into a harbor when the weather turns nasty.
I'd considered that as well, but such a plan doesn't work very well with a September departure... Not to mention, that option is gonna involve a LOT of motoring, although via the Erie canal, considerably less...

Sounds like he wants to get to the Eastern Caribbean, and Duluth is still a LONG way from there.. His original plan doesn't work very well with the seasons, either - he'd likely be clearing the canal into the winter trades, and only reaching the Lesser Antilles not all that long before the onset of hurricane season... If he wants to do the Caribbean and be back in Charleston within the same year, a departure from the Gulf or East coast would appear to be the only way to do it...
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post #10 of 30 Old 07-26-2012
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Re: Cruising in a Hunter?

Recently shipped Tayana Vancouver 42 from Texas to Olympia for $7200. Your boat would be a lot less than that because I don't think you will even be oversized. You might even get away with not having to use a semi, but a F350 or the like. Dont know.

I would not do that run in that boat. I had a very good friend that did hard calculations on his very serious cruiser (44 foot X... I can't remember now the make but a Tayana/Valiant type boat), to go from Vancouver BC to Ft Lauderdale. He came to the realization that it became cheaper to ship the boat at least for part of it. He figured the diesel, slippage, Panama fees, food, time, crew, and most importantly a realistic calculation on all the crap he would break.... it became cheaper to ship the boat. He sailed it to San DIego and shipped from there IIRC.

If it were me, I would ship the boat to Pensacola. From there, the runs around at least to the keys is pretty easy and fun. I have done it, incidentally. Use your time off to enjoy the trip. Lots of cool places there along the way. Stop in the Bahamas then make your run north.

THe exception to this advice is if you want to se all these islands and make a big adventure out of it. Still would not want to do it in that boat, but hey, its your decision.

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