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Old 12-22-2012
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Motoring from BVI to Florida

I am in the process of purchasing a 37' powercat in BVI and need to get it to Florida. Any suggestions? It has twin diesels with a cruising speed of 9 knots 900 mile range and top speed if needed of 18kts. It is equipped with the usual nav aids and it will get a thorough check before departing. I have a flexible time frame. I own a 40' sailing cat and have done quite a bit of coastal cruising two up, though not in this area. Any input would be helpfull. Bowriver.
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Old 12-22-2012
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Re: Motoring from BVI to Florida

Bowriver, While I have never made the trip, I have done some planning in reverse as I have a 43' cutter in North Carolina that I am planning on gunkholing down through the islands from Florida to the BVI's in 2013. If you have Skype on your computer, I would be more than willing to talk with you. My Skype name is georgetspettigue. I have a monthly share of a Beneteau 41 based in Tortola and have sailed the BVI / USVI / Puerto Rico waters for the last 15 years. I plan to be aboard the second week in January and would be happy to get together with you if you are still going to be there.
My phone number here in the states is 307-two five six-6650 and I would be happy to talk that way as well. Good luck. gts1544 - George
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Old 12-22-2012
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Re: Motoring from BVI to Florida

Thats a good easy trip.

BVIs either direct to the Bahamas, or Turks and Caicos first to refuel, but Bahamas was 760 nms if memory serves me. Then to Florida.
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Old 12-22-2012
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Re: Motoring from BVI to Florida

I have made the trip from the VI to Lauderdale numerous times, under power and sail. Fastest, most convenient and easiest is to go north of Puerto Rico, DR and Cuba, through the Old Bahama Channel and ride the stream north to your destination. All currents are behind you, as is the wind, until you turn north after the Old Bahama Channel, but the Bahamas make a pretty good breakwater as they are then east of you.
Fuel stops are San Juan (much cheaper food than anywhere in the VI and don't miss the fort!), Samana, DR, (especially if you want to visit one of the most beautiful spots in the Caribbean), Puerto Plata DR and Great Inagua, Bahamas, also a fun stop. We had to stay on the Bahamain side of the Old Bahama Channel to avoid complications w/ Cuban officials, but that may no longer be a problem.
The only danger is Cay Sal bank and with GPS you should have no trouble.
Fuel is also available in Marathon in the Keys, but you should not need it with your range.
Do bring at least a case of primary fuel filters for each engine (or more; you'll use them some day) (and change them frequently!) and a few secondaries as you'll be stirring up a tank that's been in the Caribbean and is how old?
Should be a breeze unless you hit a norther as you go north in the stream, which you should really plan NOT to do.
Have fun!

Last edited by capta; 12-22-2012 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 12-22-2012
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Re: Motoring from BVI to Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
Do bring at least a case of primary fuel filters for each engine (or more; you'll use them some day) (and change them frequently!)

Have fun!
What??? Have you got shares in NAPA?

Change them once every 150 or 300 hours or whatever the book says, and have a spare or two but a case?
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Re: Motoring from BVI to Florida

If you stop for fuel in the Bahamas do they require that you get a cruising permit?
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Old 12-26-2012
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Re: Motoring from BVI to Florida

Capta, thank you for your imput. The boat I am looking at is US registered do you know where i can find info on paperwork involved and where I would have to check in and out along the way. I am hoping to day hop up to Miami
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Old 12-27-2012
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Re: Motoring from BVI to Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
What??? Have you got shares in NAPA?

Change them once every 150 or 300 hours or whatever the book says, and have a spare or two but a case?
Obviously, you have never taken a motor boat to sea that's been in the third world for some time. I talk from experience, not as a stockholder in a filter company. Try having to change primaries every couple of hours on both engines, not 150 hours. In this case it's definitely better safe than sorry!
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Old 12-27-2012
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Re: Motoring from BVI to Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
I have made the trip from the VI to Lauderdale numerous times, under power and sail. Fastest, most convenient and easiest is to go north of Puerto Rico, DR and Cuba, through the Old Bahama Channel and ride the stream north to your destination. All currents are behind you, as is the wind, until you turn north after the Old Bahama Channel, but the Bahamas make a pretty good breakwater as they are then east of you.
Fuel stops are San Juan (much cheaper food than anywhere in the VI and don't miss the fort!), Samana, DR, (especially if you want to visit one of the most beautiful spots in the Caribbean), Puerto Plata DR and Great Inagua, Bahamas, also a fun stop. We had to stay on the Bahamain side of the Old Bahama Channel to avoid complications w/ Cuban officials, but that may no longer be a problem.
The only danger is Cay Sal bank and with GPS you should have no trouble.
Fuel is also available in Marathon in the Keys, but you should not need it with your range.
Do bring at least a case of primary fuel filters for each engine (or more; you'll use them some day) (and change them frequently!) and a few secondaries as you'll be stirring up a tank that's been in the Caribbean and is how old?
Should be a breeze unless you hit a norther as you go north in the stream, which you should really plan NOT to do.
Have fun!
I haven't done the entire trip, but most of what Capta says is consistent with all the research I've done on the optional routes. I would add the following --You can do PR direct to the north coast of DR. We stopped at Ocean World (see Marina ). It's between Puerto Plata (an industrial port) and Luperon (a place many cruisers go to live on social security checks while moss grows on their boats). The marina has customs and immigration people there should you choose to stop. If not, I think it's possible to refuel without officially checking in. Lots of sport fishing boats stop there for fuel, which is generally a good indicator that the fuel is of good quality.

After that, I have no first hand knowledge, but one of the things you need to consider in route selection is that there are few, if any, places to stop in the Old Bahama Channel vs. many if you choose to go up through the Bahamas (where you will need a cruising permit even to fuel up). In a sailboat the OBC is probably a good option, but in a power boat it might be more risky as you have no place to go, but Cuba, if you have a problem with the engines.

Good luck.

Last edited by billyruffn; 12-27-2012 at 01:42 PM.
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