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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I chartered a Beneteau 34 Oceanis for a 3 day weekend. We want to anchor overnight about 55 nm from the marina. Is this too ambitious a sail for one day?

My question is, with favorable winds, what sort of speed should we be able to hold? 7 knots?

St. Pete. Vinoy Marina to Anclote Key or Honeymoon Island...
 

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You will need 7-9 hours to reach your destination. Either going or returning will not be in favorable winds. If you like sailing (being on the boat and moving) it should be fun. You have to enjoy cooking, reading, sleeping or doing anything you like during the route.

The most important point to note is that sailing a boat is not difficult when compared to finding the enterance of the bay and to anchor safely, specially if you reach there after dark.

If you are planning "sail only" it is best to assume 5 knots mean speed.
 

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Too ambitious. To make 7 knots you'd need ideal winds, not just favorable, even then each leg' ll be at least an 8 hour day, or longer. Not my idea of vacation, and suppose the ideal15 knots beam breeze forecast for the third day turns into 25 knots on the nose? Could be an ugly experience.
 

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I'd hope that with 15knots+ true and beam reaching you could maintain 7 knots-ish.. but in reality it's going to depend on a host of things - many of which are hard to predict.

Contrary currents, the need to beat, sea conditions can all limit your VMG, sometimes significantly.

When we're 'vacation' cruising 25-30 miles leaves lots of time for R&R or a relaxed departure. However we've done over 100 miles in a day, but that was a pre-dawn to dusk 16-17 hour marathon.
 

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I've chartered from the Vinoy on numerous occasions in the past. Anclote Key (and that area) is to ambitious for a three day weekend in my opinion. Sailing down Tampa bay and then all the way up the coast to Tarpon Springs basically? You didn't say when you were going...if its during the winter you might have northerly winds on your nose the whole up the coast. How did you arrive at 55 NM? If you are sailing the whole way you will likely increase that distance unless the winds cooperate perfectly...unlikely as you will be sailing south down the bay and then north up the coast.

If you were interested in going that far, I would suggest extending your charter...otherwise, the manatee river is a nice anchorage...or some of the marinas from Gulfport on up...

I haven't anchored at Anclote Key...but from a quick look at a chart, it looks pretty shallow...and likely pretty exposed.

Best of luck.
 

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No, absolutely not. From the Vinoy, for relatively inexperienced sailors, I would suggest the following itinerary:
day 1: sail down to the Manatee River and anchor there.
day 2: visit Egmont Key then anchor near Tierra Verde, or maybe Boca Ciega Bay.
day 3: back to the Vinoy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok, more info:

We want to sail all day. We can sit around drinking any time...

55 nm? Just a rough guesstimate. Anyone have any more accurate number? It is 32 miles by land, more or less straight line.

The charts looked good to me depth wise for anchoring...

I have anchored before in the Manatee, by fort DeSoto, I would prefer a sandy beach nearby.

I think, upon advice here and closer examination, that Anclote will be too far for our time frame.

Is there any good place to anchor in Boca Ciega Bay?
 

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Hi Ian,

I don't know where these locations are so cant advise you in sailing terms.... But in general terms its difficult to get going early enough to do 55nms in a day. Fine if you leave at 5am. But if you are chartering can you do this! Is it the first day where they do the Skippers Briefing (takes half a day)?

55 per day is not equated to a daily run of 144 nnms (6 knots) because of the stuff around time (and no one really averages 6 knots unless its a knot up the bum in current). So 55 nms in a day is quite a long way. Not unachievable, but no room for error.

Charter ruels may not let you leave before dawn or drop after dark, or a specified time (4pm in Australia).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you Mark. I did encounter some of what you mentioned. I wanted to leave at 6 am, but have a briefing at 10 am. As a second though, I wanted to get 1/2 way there on the first day, the rest on the 2nd, then on the hook for some swimming, dinner, and drinks, then sail home the 3rd day. I was not confident I could get back on the 3rd day, even leaving at 6 am as the boat needs to be back in the slip fully fueled at 5 pm.
 

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Yeah, even the "fully fueled" could take the best part of an hour and then a bit of safety time you'd probably feel comfotable getting back at 3:30pm. It does make it difficult to do a long run home.

I always think the first and last days of a vacation are wasted, and in your 3 day cruise you get both.

Find a way to enjoy it :D thats what its all about :)
 

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My guess is you could likely get all the way to the Bahamas, before you got caught!

Keep in mind you have a top speed of about 8 MPH. 50 miles is going to be a long hull. (so to speak)

If you don't sail a lot it is really hard to comprehend how slow they go. I think we use knots, just to try to fool ourselves into believing that we are going faster than we are!
 

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A good alternate might be the Clearwater City Marina. It is a good daysail from the Vinoy Basin and just across the street from Clearwater Beach. You would also have two routes including the intracoastal waterway is the winds are not favorable or out Pass-A-Grille and back in a Clearwater Inlet if winds are not out of the north.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A good alternate might be the Clearwater City Marina. It is a good daysail from the Vinoy Basin and just across the street from Clearwater Beach. You would also have two routes including the intracoastal waterway is the winds are not favorable or out Pass-A-Grille and back in a Clearwater Inlet if winds are not out of the north.
Of course, it is only 10 nm or so more to Anclote from Clearwater....
 

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Have you sailed in this area before? Or chartered with this company before? You mention that you've already anchored in the Manatee river at Desoto Point, so I'm guessing you have. I think that with a briefing at 10 on the first day, having to have the boat back fully fueled by 5 on the third day, that you should set your sights on a much closer destination. If you are set on Anclote Key, then you should charter longer...have you discussed your destination with the charter company? They may have thoughts on how doable it is in three days...keep in mind, the charter company probably has rules about not sailing at night...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Have you sailed in this area before? Or chartered with this company before? You mention that you've already anchored in the Manatee river at Desoto Point, so I'm guessing you have. I think that with a briefing at 10 on the first day, having to have the boat back fully fueled by 5 on the third day, that you should set your sights on a much closer destination. If you are set on Anclote Key, then you should charter longer...have you discussed your destination with the charter company? They may have thoughts on how doable it is in three days...keep in mind, the charter company probably has rules about not sailing at night...
I have sailed Tampa Bay before, I have chartered with this company before.

My original question was if it was likely to be too far for a 3 day cruise. The consensus seems to be yes.
 

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ian -- i do not know the area but can give you what we plan. we sail a 40' jeanneau and all planning is done at 5k. if we do better great we get in early and enjoy an early sundowner. on long days we also haul the hook at first light to make sure we get in in daylight. we never enter ports at night.

we have been full time cruisers going on 8 years now and this planning has never failed for us. just look at how sunrise and sunset and add a bit for each and you get your available light.

is 55nm to far? i really do not think so.

we averaged about 50nm on the icw - under engine - but delays for bridges, boats ect. in the med now we are doing between 40 and 75nm in a day depending on where we want to stop for the night.

you may well get some good long sailing if that is what you want.

by the way not sure what you are using as a planner but we use opencpn that you can download for free and get the noaa charts for free and you can plan a bit better perhaps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Are you able to spend the night before aboard the boat? If so, could you do the briefing the night before? That would enable you to get an earlier start the next day...
I tried that. They have the boat chartered the day before so it won't be ready until 10 am. Otherwise, I would have done that and left at 6am fully confident that I could make my destination with 12.5 hours available.
 

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50nm is possible but usually not on a regular basis. Some days I can make more than that but some days less. If you have current, it plays a big part. If planning to sail, I'd say it's usually not possible. The old saying that, "A schedule is the most dangerous thing on a sailboat," is very true. Trying to squeeze a trip into a tight schedule is an almost sure way to get in trouble and to turn a fun time into a disaster.
 
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