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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to go, and sailing will be my means, with a jump start drive across the US. I will begin in Bend Oregon this August, camp across the US, and arrive in Florida before the year is over. In Florida I will purchase a boat, spend all the time necessary to make her seaworthy, and then cruise!

With this post I'm hoping to receive advice/suggestions on the best time of year to leave florida and the best direction to head? My guess is to head south and enjoy the islands for a while and eventually make my way to panama?

Your advice/opinions are appreciated!
 

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Where do you want to go? I plan on sailing from Canada and spending time in the Caribbean and then heading for the Azores and onto the Mediterranean.
 

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Head south from florida....after November 1st.
Head north from florida after June 1st.
The idea is to be below about 12 degrees or less by 7/1 or be in the Chesapeake or further north till 11/1 to avoid hurricane season in the tropics.
Depending on your skills, boat and experience....you can island hop down through the bahamas (read the book...A Gentleman's Guide to Passages South)....or you can head directly out into the trades to 60 degrees longitude then turn south.
You might also visit noonsite.com for different country requirements and fees and Panama Canal issues/costs.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Head south from florida....after November 1st.
Head north from florida after June 1st.
The idea is to be below about 12 degrees or less by 7/1 or be in the Chesapeake or further north till 11/1 to avoid hurricane season in the tropics.
Depending on your skills, boat and experience....you can island hop down through the bahamas (read the book...A Gentleman's Guide to Passages South)....or you can head directly out into the trades to 60 degrees longitude then turn south.
You might also visit noonsite.com for different country requirements and fees and Panama Canal issues/costs.
Would it be a good idea to be working on a docked boat in Florida during hurricane season/summertime?
 

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Would it be a good idea to be working on a docked boat in Florida during hurricane season/summertime?
By June 1, the humidity/temp is oppressive, so plan accordingly. Have A/C to escape to. Do your work in the early morning.

Keep a listen for the hurricane warnings and have a plan for evac, both for the boat and for you.

Northeast Florida, around jacksonville & St Augustine haven't had a hurricane hit in...ever?...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
what's the best north american area/marina to start cruising from?

considering i want to buy and equip the boat in a marina before setting sail. so cost and availability of boats/equipment is a huge factor. I'm not in any hurry to sail around the world, just want to begin cruising in the next 1-2 years. I figured florida would be a good/inexpensive jumping off point, then i could head for the bahamas/carribean and finish equipping the boat. Maybe i should be thinking about the california baja though? suggestions....
 

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Florida would be a good place to find a fixer-upper. You would be able to leave it in florida while working on it, but as others have said, you need a good hurricane plan. We are planning on working our way down to South America.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Florida would be a good place to find a fixer-upper. You would be able to leave it in florida while working on it, but as others have said, you need a good hurricane plan. We are planning on working our way down to South America.
Is there time to move a sailboat before a hurricane? or does a good plan involve the most protected slip you can find for the boat and getting yourself out the way?
 

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Have you considered looking in the northeast? Boats in Florida spend 24/7/365 in very hostile conditions. Boats in northeast get a rest from November to March or so. Surveying a boat on the hard is less expensive than for one in the water and you probably won't find as much faded and oxidized gel coat as in the south, not mention less corrosion, less deterioration of canvas, just abunch of stuff, plus you get to look at the mast and rid at ground level. Then when spring rolls around you will have much more comfortable weather to work on the boat, spend summer commissioning and cruising around and then heading south late October/early November.
The only down side to this scheme is that you don't get to sail the boat until you have invested $ + TLC into it, so you would have to know a lot about the model you select or find one down south available for a test sail.
When I was looking here in South Texas I saw a lot of very tired and abused boats at prices pretty equivalent to northeast prices.
Free advice, what good is that?
John
 
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