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festivus 08-06-2012 08:53 AM

I am delivering a Beneteau 49 from Halifax, NS to St. Petersburg, Florida and looking at departing end of September or Early October. I understand that it's hurricane season, but will take all precautions in finding and adequate weather windows. I have in the past brought the boat to the BVI via Bermuda, which I can Get to Bermuda comfortably in 5 days though it may be slightly of off track to Florida. I think it would be maybe another 4-5 days to the Bahamas or Florida from their. I am wondering if taking the ocean route might be better as there tends to be more bad weather along the coast and also dealing with the current and wind factors, also let chance of groundings. I am trying to get boat to destination fast and it's not a pleasure trip through the intercoastal that appeals to me. Looking for some feed back, thx for any insight out there.

bvander66 08-06-2012 08:59 AM

Re: Delivery
If going for speed then definately ocean route the best.
Just make sure you have good wx forcasting tools and pick a good window.
If you are doing this short handed, perhaps break it up with a stop in Cape Cod?
How well do you know the boat? Is she in very good repair, that can impact your routing decision as well.
The other factor is your crew, do you have experianced off shore crew, or are they all newbies?

festivus 08-06-2012 09:09 AM

Re: Delivery
This is definitely a speed trip. Boat is in excellent repair and crew is knowledgable and 4-5 crew.

CapnBilll 08-06-2012 09:43 AM

Re: Delivery
The east coast can be ugly that time of year. Plus you would be going against the Gulf stream with frequent northers. I would expect that to be a cold miserable bumpy ride.

The intercoastal is always a possibility, except the mast height on the Benny 49? 64Ft (most bridges I saw on the latest bridge list I downloaded are now 65ft, with 1 56ft, and possibly a few that are still under construction).

The draft at 7 ft should be OK, Barges travel most of the ICW, but I have heard of shallows, and have scraped and run aground with less draft than that in areas that, "in theory", have much more depth.

I wouldn't feel real confident in taking a boat that big across the Ocheechobee right now, I have heard of low water, and not well maintained channels, (maybe a local can give up to date info?).

That leaves the big ocean route. NS to Burmuda then to the keys and around to St peter, leaves a whole lot of wide open vulnerability to storms, but is the least complicated route.

But then you probably knew all this already.

I plan that any wave with an ascociated low will probably develop at any time, giving 3 -5 day window in between the waves. That still leaves you mid- ocean with a storm over the horizon, and rough seas.

How flexible is delivery time? A few weeks can make a big difference, but the winter storms are no picnic either.

ICW may be your best bet, with a few offshore hops to avoid the less well maintained areas. That leaves you with one short circle around the keys that can be planned to coincide in between two tropical waves.

CapnBilll 08-06-2012 09:44 AM

Re: Delivery
Cancel above; the ICW will definately not be the speediest route.

JonEisberg 08-06-2012 10:28 AM

Re: Delivery
Even from as far east as Halifax, heading to Florida via Bermuda makes no sense whatsoever, IMHO... No need to take my word for it, Don Street is the guy to be listening to...

Don Street's Sailing Routes to the Caribbean | Cruising World

Going down the coast is the way to go... Pick a decent window from Cape Sable to Cape Cod, thence to the Chesapeake Entrance. If the weather is favorable for going outside Hatteras, fine, keep going... But I'd suggest going down the ditch to Beaufort/Morehead, it's a nice part of the trip, and would break up such a long delivery nicely...

From there, it's simply a matter of playing the fronts, sometimes ducking back inside to wait out the SW breeze that usually precede the next frontal passage... It really doesn't get much better than sailing south along the East coast in the fall, the sailing conditions can be spectacular, and you have a wide variety of options to keep you moving... Even if you're viewing it primarily as a fast delivery, it's awfully nice to have the option of stopping at so many of the great spots all along the East coast...

Years ago, I did a piece for CW regarding the trip down the ICW, with an eye towards encouraging snowbirds to get off the Ditch, and maximize the amount of the trip done under sail... Some of it is dated by now - no way you want to think about Oregon Inlet today, for example - but it might give you some insight as to which inlets are viable, and a general strategy for sailing south of Hatteras...

An Insider's ICW | Cruising World

festivus 08-06-2012 07:03 PM

Re: Delivery
Looking for fast and easiest route with least amount of complications. It's a paid delivery so there is no pleasure factor involved here. Also, don't want crew hanging out on shore when they could be sailing, and would rather them sailing not motoring whenever possible.

tempest 08-06-2012 08:06 PM

Re: Delivery
Fast and easy is a Jet. ;-)

I'm not sure that I'd plan a trip that had me crossing the gulf stream twice in September and October. A layover waiting out bad weather could cost you any time you saved

Any sail south along the Eastern Seaboard in late September early October will be likely decided by God, not the schedule. Following the coast could give you the option to keep moving inside, should conditions outside become ominous. If the outside remains viable then you're golden. Options..are good. Going all in..can backfire.

I have followed Jon's the past...and made good southing every day..even when all hell was breaking loose on the ocean. jumping in and out when I could.

JonEisberg 08-06-2012 09:46 PM

Re: Delivery

Originally Posted by Tempest (Post 906261)
I'm not sure that I'd plan a trip that had me crossing the gulf steam twice in September and October. A layover waiting out bad weather could cost you any time you saved

You've sure got that right...

Sailing the longer route, twice crossing the Stream, with no bailout options other than Bermuda, I just don't see the point of choosing the riskier route...

If he is determined to stay offshore, perhaps heading for a waypoint 150 miles off Hatteras would be preferable to Bermuda...

Minnewaska 08-07-2012 06:33 AM

Re: Delivery
This is far from a unique trip or time of year. At most, its a couple of weeks before the southerly mass migration of the floating species. Most that I know, if they don't do the ICW, take one offshore passage to a mid-coast destination (VA, NC, SC) and then ride the coast the rest of the way. Pros or not.

Insurance usually keeps most north of NC until Nov 1, but not all.

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