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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to buy a sailboat that I can tow with my Suburban 2500 and launch from the trailer in Ft. Lauderdale and sail to the Bahamas safely. I'd be going SCUBA diving so easy access to the water would be ideal. Any suggestions?
 

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First off, be aware that crossing the Gulf Stream in the wrong kind of conditions can be serious business. People have died doing this.

Second, there isn't any towable sailboat that is going to be safe crossing the Stream in the wrong kind of conditions. You are going to have to learn to recognize the right conditions, and you are going to have to be willing to wait for those conditions, both going and returning. This means that you CANNOT make a firm plan to cross over on thus-and-such a date, and return X number of days later. You may have to wait up to two weeks for the right conditions to go across, and the same for the return. Can you set aside 6-8 weeks for waiting, crossing over, doing your diving, waiting, and then crossing back? If not, this is not going to work for you.

That said, in the right conditions, most any ballasted sailboat will work. I used to own a San Juan 23 and sailed it across once. You can see the specs for it here: SAN JUAN 23 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com Pretty much any similar boat will work, though once again, let me emphasize ONLY IN THE RIGHT CONDITIONS!

(I'll leave what constitutes the "right conditions" for another thread.)
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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I think that there are quite a few boats that would qualify, in particular if you launch and retrieve with a crane rather than a ramp. As was stated, you need the right conditions to cross, but once those conditions exist any reasonable boat would do.
 

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Catboat Kid
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I would look into the Pacific Seacraft Flicka. She's only 20' long, but heavy and extremely seaworthy for her length. The draft is pretty minimal at around 3' so it shouldn't be too tough to trailer/launch. The catch is that they're aren't a ton of them on the market and they certainly aint cheap...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the responses, keep 'em coming.
I have a flexible schedule, so waiting for the right conditions is not a problem (a necessity I'm sure).
Any details, thresholds for a safe or not-safe crossing?
Who else has done this? Any more tips?
I WILL be doing this eventually, with the right gear and preparation, of course.
Thanks!
 

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I would look into the Pacific Seacraft Flicka. She's only 20' long, but heavy and extremely seaworthy for her length. The draft is pretty minimal at around 3' so it shouldn't be too tough to trailer/launch. The catch is that they're aren't a ton of them on the market and they certainly aint cheap...
There's one for sale here at the marina beautiful boat and most definitely not cheap.
 

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Lots of people make the crossing every year in small boats, such as Catalina 22s and similar boats. They usually leave at night and plan to arrive in daylight. At night, they can see the light from Miami until they're halfway across, and then pick up the light on Bimini. The key is to wait for a weather window, when the wind and sea conditions will be benign for the time it takes to make the crossing, and then get across as quickly as you can. Sail, if you can make good speed under sail. If not, then motor or motor/sail across. IMO, the best small, trailerable, bluewater sailboat is the Flicka, a 20 footer designed to accommodate two adults.

You can probably get good information from other small boat sailors who have made the trip on the trailer sailor forum at this link. The Trailer Sailor
 

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A) I don't like responding to threads like this as they are stupid.
B) threads that could be troll with a poster with a name of 'dangerous' a tempting to do something stupid usually are a troll.
C) the immediate responses are about a boat, Flika, that can't be towed (and is a stupidly overly inflated in price. About the same price as a well found 40 footer)
D) bathtubs have gotten to the Bahamas from Florida.
E) I am outta here...
 

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al brazzi
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Thanks for the responses, keep 'em coming.
I have a flexible schedule, so waiting for the right conditions is not a problem (a necessity I'm sure).
Any details, thresholds for a safe or not-safe crossing?
Who else has done this? Any more tips?
I WILL be doing this eventually, with the right gear and preparation, of course.
Thanks!
Hey Pauley, any relation to Johnny Dangerously, one of my favorite movie characters.
 

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Catboat Kid
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Why do you say a Flicka can't be towed? It's only 5,500 lbs... I have two boats of about that weight and tow them both with my Chevy 2500.
 

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Way to go to treat a new sailor or wannabe new sailor into the world of sailing! ;)

Many ways to get to the Bahamas on trailerable boats and some have suggested many sized boats capable of transiting the Gulfstream...

There are countless windows of sailing 'trains' you could follow to the Bahamas in safety due to the number of vessels crossing. Might look for sailing clubs along the East Coast for details and windows.

Here is some good reading to get an idea of the trip and what you'll need...

Taking A Boat To The Bahamas - BoatUS Magazine

Good luck and have fun.

Some sailing clubs you may want to contact in the Ft. Lauderdale area, there are many others in close proximity to Ft. Lauderdale but this is a good start for info on the crossings.

http://www.gulfstreamsailingclub.org/

http://www.hisc.org/

https://sailingsinglesofsouthflorida.wildapricot.org/
 

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Broad Reachin'
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Lots of boats (sail and power) can make the jump to the Bahamas. Just to be different, I'll through out a few others you might consider:

Telstar trimaran
Corsair 28 catamaran

What's your budget?
 

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Boat Bum
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I see Mac 26s over here regularly. It's just the Bahamas, not like your rounding the Horn or anything.
 

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Old as Dirt!
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I'd like to buy a sailboat that I can tow with my Suburban 2500 and launch from the trailer in Ft. Lauderdale and sail to the Bahamas safely. I'd be going SCUBA diving so easy access to the water would be ideal. Any suggestions?
We have seen both Flicka 20's and Nor'Sea 27's hauled and launched by trailer. Either could easily (albeit slowly) make a passage to Bimini and beyond in the Bahamas when sailed by a competent sailor or (close) couple. Neither are particularly inexpensive but, at least in this case, you get what you pay for. Moreover, we have seen a Flicka in Hawaii that made the trip from SoCal, sailed by an older single lady, and a Nor'Sea 27 with a Connecticut hailing port in Le Marin, Martinique.

FWIW...
 

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Freedom Chip Counter
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Webb Chiles is having a great time in the South Pacific with his Moore 24 "Gannet"! I believe he eventually intends to circumnavigate with it also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Thanks Sailorman for the specific information and BigEasy for the Flicka suggestion, guitarguy and everyone else. This is very helpful.
There is a Cape Dory 22 for sale in my area, does anyone have experience with these?
BTW Pauly Dangerous is my DJ name, I do a reggae show on WFCF every other Sunday. What's a troll? I assure you I am a human.
My budget is cheap, I am a humble carpenter.
 

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Lake Sailor
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Look outside the "Classic Plastic" realm a bit. Lots of newish boats out there that would probably fit the bill too. Speed is not a bad thing, don't necessarily need a "tank". Hell from what some are saying in here, my 235 could do that run.
 

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I'm partial to Westerly's boats, having sailed my father's in the North Sea (UK). He had a Westerly 22, which handled heavy weather well (force 8). It was quite slow, but extremely well built (Lloyds 100A1 certifiable IIRC). They're somewhat old now though. One advantage is their use of bilge keels, which makes trailering and launching easier IMO. They have many ocean crossings, although that does require serious experience and ability to reasonably attempt in any boat, IMO.
 
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