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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Ideas and/or guidance
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-20-2013 07:21 PM
strandedsooner
Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrowe View Post
Eric, a few quick thoughts about the San Juans. We chartered for two weeks in June of 2012 out of Bellingham. Overall, it was a terrific experience. Next time we go, we will charter from San Juan Sailing - probably one of their Tartans (they offer a 34, a 35 and a 37). We were in a slip next to their Jeanneau 34 at the Rosario Resort and it was in much nicer condition than the Islander 32 we had chartered from the competition. (I haven't enough posts to include a link; google San Juan Sailing and they will come up.)

If you haven't sailed the San Juans, be prepared for some interesting challenges. The tides and currents are not to be treated lightly - they determine where, when and what direction you can travel. A copy of the "Canadian Current Atlas" of currents and tides for the area is essential, as is the concordance that tells you which chart to consult given the time and date. Ask if copies are on the boat when you arrange you charter. Also necessary are up-to-date charts, in detail, as there are numerous rocks that lurk just under the surface. Although I expect the charter boats have chartplotters, you need paper as a backup. Finally, I found Active Captain, mapping on to the Navimatics U.S. West Charts and Tides app to be really useful.

(To see what the currents can be like, go to YouTube and search for "Sailboat struggling Deception Pass" then watch as the boat goes against the flow, gives up, and sleds back the other way.)

One of the great things about sailing in the San Juans is that you can alternate between harbors and anchoring or mooring. In one week, for example, we moored at Sucia Island, had a slip at Roche Island, anchored in English Bay, rafted to another boat at Jones Island (where raccoons snuck into our boat while we were sleeping!), had a slip at Friday Harbor, and anchored at Inati Cove. I suppose the BVIs are similar; but, for us, it was a novel and very enjoyable experience after sailing day after day from the same slip in Belmont Harbor in Chicago.

You can fly in to Seattle and arrange a bus to Bellingham (or, you can take a short flight into Bellingham from Seattle). Rather than a taxi, we arranged with Evergreen Town Car Service to meet us at the Bellingham airport (that's where the shuttle bus from SEA-TAC stops). They schlepped us over to Fred Meyers grocery to provision, and then down to the marina. Same service on the return leg - and reasonably priced.

Let me know if you want more details - or, post a general request on Sailnet. I think there are a number of folks based in the area.

I definitely realize that boating there is a completely different animal than an inland reservoir or even the BVI or San Diego Bay where we have sailed. I've spent quite a bit of time on Whidbey Island and have also visited the San Juans by ferry. The Deception Pass current is impressive to say the least. That video on youtube is hilarious. We went on a daysail charter from Orcas and got to feel the push of the current. Luckily if we do the trip it will be in tandem with a friend and local sailor on his boat. Thanks for the info
02-20-2013 06:32 PM
sparrowe
Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Quote:
Originally Posted by strandedsooner View Post

I am setting up a bareboat cruise for the BVI in April right now and possibly one in either Florida in June or San Juans in WA for August.

Eric
Eric, a few quick thoughts about the San Juans. We chartered for two weeks in June of 2012 out of Bellingham. Overall, it was a terrific experience. Next time we go, we will charter from San Juan Sailing - probably one of their Tartans (they offer a 34, a 35 and a 37). We were in a slip next to their Jeanneau 34 at the Rosario Resort and it was in much nicer condition than the Islander 32 we had chartered from the competition. (I haven't enough posts to include a link; google San Juan Sailing and they will come up.)

If you haven't sailed the San Juans, be prepared for some interesting challenges. The tides and currents are not to be treated lightly - they determine where, when and what direction you can travel. A copy of the "Canadian Current Atlas" of currents and tides for the area is essential, as is the concordance that tells you which chart to consult given the time and date. Ask if copies are on the boat when you arrange you charter. Also necessary are up-to-date charts, in detail, as there are numerous rocks that lurk just under the surface. Although I expect the charter boats have chartplotters, you need paper as a backup. Finally, I found Active Captain, mapping on to the Navimatics U.S. West Charts and Tides app to be really useful.

(To see what the currents can be like, go to YouTube and search for "Sailboat struggling Deception Pass" then watch as the boat goes against the flow, gives up, and sleds back the other way.)

One of the great things about sailing in the San Juans is that you can alternate between harbors and anchoring or mooring. In one week, for example, we moored at Sucia Island, had a slip at Roche Island, anchored in English Bay, rafted to another boat at Jones Island (where raccoons snuck into our boat while we were sleeping!), had a slip at Friday Harbor, and anchored at Inati Cove. I suppose the BVIs are similar; but, for us, it was a novel and very enjoyable experience after sailing day after day from the same slip in Belmont Harbor in Chicago.

You can fly in to Seattle and arrange a bus to Bellingham (or, you can take a short flight into Bellingham from Seattle). Rather than a taxi, we arranged with Evergreen Town Car Service to meet us at the Bellingham airport (that's where the shuttle bus from SEA-TAC stops). They schlepped us over to Fred Meyers grocery to provision, and then down to the marina. Same service on the return leg - and reasonably priced.

Let me know if you want more details - or, post a general request on Sailnet. I think there are a number of folks based in the area.
02-20-2013 06:03 PM
kellysails
Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Quote:
Originally Posted by strandedsooner View Post
On another note...Does anyone know anything about MarineMax vacations charters on Tortola? Their Dufour yachts look very nice and I have seen some good online reviews. Curious if anyone knows anything about them or the Dufour grand large yachts they charter.

Thanks again for all the great responses,

Eric
Oddly enough I have never heard of MarineMax charters in the BVI. I have chartered there five times. Are they new? I would have remembered their boat logo's if I had ever seen them before. Very distinctive.

There are a pile of charter companies to choose from, make sure you shop. I love Conch Charters but many folks don't like them because the boats are a tad older. I always bring my own roll of duct tape Good folks own and run the place and their prices can't be beat. Opinions on charter companies are quite varied and vast and there is a surprising level of passion from people for their favorite operations.

Sounds like you have a beginning of a plan, good for you!
02-20-2013 05:50 PM
strandedsooner
Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Well I am very intrigued by the idea of having a boat in Florida that I put on the hard in between cruises. I am also going to explore having a charter boat somewhere in the Carib and try to do a couple multiple week cruises a year. I know the wear and tear factor might be high but it still appeals to me. I could spend longer and longer periods of time cruising and make sure its the right fit and have the boat already in prime cruising grounds. Also would have 4 or so years to save up even more money for a more extended cruise. Then would have a boat I could take to Florida for a refit and then cruise or sell and find a diff boat .

I am setting up a bareboat cruise for the BVI in April right now and possibly one in either Florida in June or San Juans in WA for August. Also going to try to do some overnights on the hook this summer on my boat in Kansas. I've got a little money saved and will definitely be doing something either buying a second boat for FL or a BVI charter boat in the next year.

On another note...Does anyone know anything about MarineMax vacations charters on Tortola? Their Dufour yachts look very nice and I have seen some good online reviews. Curious if anyone knows anything about them or the Dufour grand large yachts they charter.

Thanks again for all the great responses,

Eric
02-18-2013 06:22 PM
ccriders
Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Eric,
From Kansas you should really look at Great Lakes sailing. Travel there will be greatly simpified. I've been supscribing to "Good Old Boat" for a while and they (the editors) are Great Lakes sailors. Their season is just about four months, locales are spectacular, weather pleasantly cool in the summer (they seem to think 85 degrees is a broiler) and sailing grounds unlimited, especially for someone with four full months to sail.

You could then augment your summer sails with a charter in the tropics, and do you have ice boats in Kansas?

I'll bet that if you contacted Karen Larsen and Jerry Powlas at good old boat they would give you a very picture of what to expect.
John
02-18-2013 04:02 PM
downeast450
Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellysails View Post
I prefer sand versus mold between the toes And yet, here I am up in sunny Seattle. A temporary situation which I hope to resolve in the next 3-4 years.
I have heard it rains a lot in Seattle. No mold here. It is too cold for mold! I am the moron who hits himself on the head with a hammer because it feels so good when he stops. Put on the shorts, flipflops and sunscreen and head out into another day of Florida's sun. Glad I did it. Won't make the mistake of having it for a full time diet again. My druthers. I think it came down to missing the variety here in Maine. I know the way to southern beaches when the jones gets too strong. Moes surgery survivor.

Down
02-18-2013 02:21 PM
kellysails
Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Quote:
Originally Posted by downeast450 View Post
I could have offered my house in Naples if I hadn't sold it last spring. I sold the one in Everglades City a couple of years back. I have nothing against SOUTH. Sailing doesn't require south nor is it necessarily enhanced by it. Been there done that. Keep smiling! I will opt to visit from now on.

Down
I prefer sand versus mold between the toes And yet, here I am up in sunny Seattle. A temporary situation which I hope to resolve in the next 3-4 years.
02-16-2013 04:29 PM
Silvio
Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Eric,
Here's my $0.02 worth coming from the husband of a physician who knows how you medical types have difficulty unplugging for any significant amount of time (have you actually tried leaving your practice for 4 months at a stretch?) 8-) Just knowing my wife and her fellow docs that love sailing and how they all tend to drift back to patients, patient care, skills that they worry are getting rusty, CME, whatever, something ALWAYS seem to pull their thoughts from cruising to medicine after a week or three. Ever been in an anchorage with more than one doc sitting in the cockpit after dinner? Guarantee that talk will find its way to medicine! 8-)

Your a doc. Either buy a boat and park it on the coast where you want to sail to and from, what CruisingDad suggests is very sound advice, or move to a coast. Yes cost of living goes up near the coast but so does income. A good, solid, coastal cruiser does not have to cost an arm and leg, you can get a nice family boat for under $100k ready to go. St. Pete and the entire Gulf Coast of Florida is reasonably priced for storage and offers great sailing. January/February in the panhandle is cold but you can easily head south to the keys and the Bahamas. Last summer I took a leisurely two weeks to go from St. Pete around the keys and over to Bimini, lots of fun!

So, if we were hanging out at the dock having this discussion I would offer you this advice. 1) if you can't move to a coast, keep a boat someplace you want to sail in the U.S where you are familiar with laws and customs and that part of the equation is easy to work through. 2) Choose a "boat home" someplace easy to commute to and from. (St. Pete fits the bill nicely with TPA close by) since you will likely have the long weekend when you will want to go sail occasionally. 3) I would avoid the charter idea as it would be running a business, hard on our boat, and charter companies may not take you on with your schedule requirements. 4) Have fun and enjoy sailing with your family! Nothing better in my book than time onboard with our kids. 5) Wherever you keep your boat does not have to be a lifelong commitment. You can do a year in Florida, a year on the Chesapeake, a year in the BVIs, etc. It's a boat, move it around and put some water under its keel!

Best wishes and et us know what you decide to do. We have many medical friends that are as addicted to sailing as us, it is doable.
02-16-2013 03:53 PM
Cruisingdad
Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Quote:
Originally Posted by strandedsooner View Post
Cruisingdad,

Do you have any suggestions as far as marinas for storage in the St. Pete area? I saw on another thread several complements for the Indiantown Marina that is inland a bit from Pt. St. Lucie. The rates are at least half of those I saw posted for a couple places in the caribbean. Florida is likely the most logical choice starting out the more I think about it. I do have what is another somewhat silly question. Are the water temps in south florida/bahamas in January/Feb ok to swim in? My boys are 7 and 4 currently and like the boating more for the swimming/exploring than the sailing. Having good swimming opportunities would make my life much easier. I am getting pretty excited thinking about all of this. Thanks again for all the advice

Eric
Eric,

I am typing this from the Harborage Marina in St Pete right now. We found this an awesome place and really good people. Salt Creek is right beside it and they will put your boat on the hard for when you are gone. St Pete is a wonderful place and one of the best we have found as cruisers to date. You also have Tampa Interntaional airport that is about 20 minutes away and you should be able to get flights easily and cheaper than distant locations.

There is also the city marina here and St Pete Yacht Club, but one has a high admission price and the other is not nearly as nice as the Harborage.

If you have any other questions, just let me know. I am happy to help.

Take care,

Brian
02-16-2013 02:21 PM
downeast450
Re: Ideas and/or guidance

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellysails View Post
I vote SOUTH! Go to the warmth. Avoid snow, driving cold rain, and endless dark days at all costs. This is a no brainier. AS much as I respect Downeast450's opinions, I would just leave this one on his doorstep with a "not interested" sign.
I could have offered my house in Naples if I hadn't sold it last spring. I sold the one in Everglades City a couple of years back. I have nothing against SOUTH. Sailing doesn't require south nor is it necessarily enhanced by it. Been there done that. Keep smiling! I will opt to visit from now on.

Down
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