Realistic sailing time to Cartagena from Florida? - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 11-28-2016 Thread Starter
cdy
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Realistic sailing time to Cartagena from Florida?

Given decent weather and no mechanical breakdowns - only stopping to replenish water/fuel or to hide out from bad weather.

We spend a lot of time each year in Medellin and will eventually move back( my wife is Colombian) would like to keep a boat in Santa Marta or Cartagena - we may just end up buying a boat in Colombia due to the issues of importing one, but if I can work out the duty and import issues, wondered how long the journey would take on with a moderately sized cruiser ( a Cal 34 for example).
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post #2 of 5 Old 11-28-2016
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Re: Realistic sailing time to Cartagena from Florida?

I am sincerely not trying to be rude but I always wonder when someone planning a long ocean voyage asks how long or how far. Perhaps I misunderstand but isn't that the most basic navigation calculation? Shouldn't that be a very easy answer to figure out?

Measure the distance, divide by the average boat speed and you get the time.

For a 34' range boat when you average calms and tacking over a long passage figure 4-5 kts or about 100-125 nm/day. Distance from Miami (you don't mention where in Florida so I'll assume Miami) about 1400 nm so 14 days.

I made the trip to Panama on a delivery, nonstop in a 36' boat and it took about 2 weeks. I made the trip for fun on a 34' boat and it took 2 months.
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-29-2016
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Re: Realistic sailing time to Cartagena from Florida?

Figure in current as well. The Pilot Charts are free on line, pick your month and zoom in on the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Here for example, is October:

http://msi.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/St...106/106oct.pdf

And also note the prevailing winds/percentage of the time diagrams.

This is the minimum basic stuff you want to know in planning a voyage. Be conservative, after you factor in likely wind and current, if you think you'll average say five knots, plan on four. Nobody will get bent out of shape if you are early, but they will if you're "overdue".
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post #4 of 5 Old 11-29-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Realistic sailing time to Cartagena from Florida?

I can easily look at a large chart of the Caribbean but not a good indication of current and typical wind direction, this is only to get a rough idea of how long it would take if you pushed hard to Cartagena without any sightseeing in between, not how I would want to do it but time constraints might force me to.

If It is 2 weeks from Miami to Panama - that gives me a good rough estimate - I am a few years form doing it however - and there is a good possibility I would just buy something in the area - Colombia does not have a lot of used sailboats for sale - Panama has more and a pretty close jaunt from Colon to Cartagena through the San Blas. Medellin is a great place to ride a moto but not much of a sailing location ( 5000 feet in the Andes) , the Pacific side is actually closer but very limited facilities and too many Narcos in the isolated areas,
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Re: Realistic sailing time to Cartagena from Florida?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdy View Post
I can easily look at a large chart of the Caribbean but not a good indication of current and typical wind direction, this is only to get a rough idea of how long it would take if you pushed hard to Cartagena without any sightseeing in between, not how I would want to do it but time constraints might force me to.

If It is 2 weeks from Miami to Panama - that gives me a good rough estimate - I am a few years form doing it however - and there is a good possibility I would just buy something in the area - Colombia does not have a lot of used sailboats for sale - Panama has more and a pretty close jaunt from Colon to Cartagena through the San Blas. Medellin is a great place to ride a moto but not much of a sailing location ( 5000 feet in the Andes) , the Pacific side is actually closer but very limited facilities and too many Narcos in the isolated areas,
Hi cdy,

Sounds like the next step for you is to study the very basic weather and current patterns for FL and the Caribbean. They are actually pretty straight forward. From about central FL down the equator you are in the trade winds belt. That means the winds (and current) are from the east to the west. The winds probably 90% of the time or more, the current 99.99% of the time.

Winter the trade winds are stronger and blow more from the NE, summer not as strong and more towards the SE. The current flows from the east just north of the equator then between all the islands and into the Caribbean where it loops up between Mexico and Cuba and turns east where the current is squeezed between FL and Cuba, then between FL and the Bahamas where it is joined by the current coming from the east along the north coast of Hispaniola and Cuba. This current is the Gulf Stream.

So depending on whether you go east or west around Cuba, under normal conditions you will have one section where you will be against the wind or current or both.

If you want to learn more about the winds and currents have a look at the pilot charts. There is a separate chart for each month so you can see the differences in the weather by season. Here's a link to the charts for June, a reasonable time to make this trip. After the winter storms be before hurricane season.

http://msi.nga.mil/MSISiteContent/St...106/106jun.pdf
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