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Would you sail from the Keys to Newport News Va in Dec-Jan?

  • Oh Yeah...winter-schminter...

    Votes: 10 43.5%
  • Um...no and you are crazy for thinking it....

    Votes: 13 56.5%
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, I don't think that I have ever posted before, though I read the site religiously. My Wife, Daughter and myself have recently purchased a 42' Colvin steel hull Gaff Rig Ketch to liveaboard. That is the good news. The bad news is that is in the Keys and we have to go sail her up to Newport News in late Dec- Jan time frame. I am in the Navy Riverines and am writing this post from an Iraq airport waiting to come home from a 7 month deployment on the rivers in Iraq. I will only have so much time, and this is the only time that I am alloted to take that much leave to move it. So, there it is. A cold trip up the coast and there is no getting out of it. I am looking at this along the lines of a delivery. Though it is my own delivery...

Though not a total newbie, I am well aware that I don't know everything. So, I am looking for hints, if you would be so kind, from the old salts on the site. I have spent a great deal of time thinking and planning. Studying charts and making lists and pre-underway check sheets for the trip up the east coast. I was trying to find out if there was a forest that I was missing while searching through the trees. The best way to do that is to ask the experts. Any advice you would offer is well received and much appreciated.

Brgds,
Tojaso
 

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Montgomery 17
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Tojaso,

First off, thank you for your service!

Sounds like you have an exciting leave coming up.

If you want some people to come along, you may want give some more information. Things like the condition of the boat, is it ready for this kind of trip? Have you seen it? Do you REALLY know if it is ready?

When you say you know you dont know everything, does this mean you need someone who really knows how to sail or do you just need a couple of hands to help you with the delivery?

Best of luck finding some help!
 

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Telstar 28
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Tojaso-

Did you get the boat surveyed??? How is she equipped??? Also, how much leave time do you have, since sailing on a fixed schedule is generally a good way to get screwed??
 

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The main thing is what is the weather forecasted? And have charts for any ports that you may want to duck into, in order to wait out the weather.

I would plan the trip and strongly take the weather predictions into consideration. It one thing to learn how your boat handles, and another to learn about it in foul weather.
But the main thing is to enjoy your trip north on your new boat.

Was brown water Navy in VN. IUWG-1 1st trip and MinDiv-113 the 2nd trip.
 

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Have actually trucked a few of your boats around.Or should i say realy cool toys:D AlAsade\Heditha
No advice but if you need a deckhand and i am still home will be more than happy to help.Hoping to get back to the litterbox mid-december but drop me a e-mail.Could possibly still be here.

Fair Winds
Mark
 

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moderate?
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Tojaso...welcome to the light. I voted no given the extreme cold, snow and ice at that time of year plus the issues of breakdowns on a new to you boat that you will face in a 1500 mile+ journey.
There have been FOUR sailboats rescued off the coast in the last 10 days and the weather is WAY better now than it will be when you plan to go.
If you DO decide to go for it anyway...I suggest you stay in the ICW all the way to mitigate the weather and give yourself someplace to duck in each nite. You will HAVE to go offshore along the Jersey Coast...but there are 3 usable inlets there before you get to NYC.
I would estimate 45 days for the trip at that time of year.
Good luck in any case and your service is most appreciated.
 

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Tojaso,
Currently off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina it is 49F, and the wind is out of the NNW. In December and January it will likely be a good bit colder. Can you wait until spring? The sun will feel good, and you'll have lots of days with southwesterly winds.

Good luck to you, Cap'n!
 

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Tojaso Welcome, That said, If you are hell bent on doing this then you are NUTS. I have made about 100 deliveries up and down the east coast and I would not. Elephants march at this time of year in gulf stream. Think Nor'easter. You have a rig that does not go to weather all that well. Leave the wife and child behind.
 

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Telstar 28
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Me thinks Cam is confusing Newport News with Newport... :)
 

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Sounds like the reeeeally long route to Newport News.

You might think about the Cape of Good Hope. Either that or transit through the Panama Canal. What I'd do is see which is the more direct route, and take that. The St. Lawrence Seaway is going to be a cold sail as well. Mabye Lake Powell? I don't know. I feel like I"m just guessing now. Hope I've been helpful.

Ain't ya glad you asked?!
 

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Wind and pie move my boat.
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I'm the last person that should be giving this advice as I was in a similiar situation last Oct. - Dec. & it wouldn't have made any difference if the boat had a hole in it the size of a Buick Electra I would have untied the lines & raised the sails . If you do go ahead & attempt the trip my advice would be to leave family home & try to get 2 willing crew guys to help you gut it out & let weather be the critical mass issue for all decisions . Feel free to ask me to help you sail her. I understand . And thank you for your service . You're short timing it there . Keep your head down .
 

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I'm the last person that should be giving this advice as I was in a similiar situation last Oct. - Dec. & it wouldn't have made any difference if the boat had a hole in it the size of a Buick Electra I would have untied the lines & raised the sails . If you do go ahead & attempt the trip my advice would be to leave family home & try to get 2 willing crew guys to help you gut it out & let weather be the critical mass issue for all decisions . Feel free to ask me to help you sail her. I understand . And thank you for your service . You're short timing it there . Keep your head down .
I'd second that advice. I might be able to lend a hand for a couple hundred miles from Georgia to Charleston.
 

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What about the ICW

Does the boat have a good, reliable engine. You might want to try going up the Intra Coastal Waterway. Still cold and windy if a front blows through but will be protected. If you see a good break in the weather you can always go offshore for a bit. Just make sure you have an option to get back inside if the wind pipes up.
 

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Sounds like an ICW trip all the way. Don't forget that the ICW is a daytrip only and the days are very short that time of year.
How long has the boat sat before you bought it? often a boat for sale will have sat for a year or more. That leads to lots of system failures. Especially think about the fuel that has sat in the tank for a while. It will be dirty and once you get going that gunk will get stirred up and into your filters. Have the fuel polished at the least and carry a lot of filters. Do you know how to bleed the fuel system?
This can be done but you are really, really pushing the envelope. What is your plan if the boat does break down and you don't have time to finish the trip? You must be prepared with alternates.

Remember, the most dangerous thing aboard a boat is a schedule.

And, get unlimited towing from Boat US.

Best of luck with whatever you do.
 

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I'd probably go ICW as well. Think of it as a shake down cruise. Something's going to break...always does on an unfamiliar boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I finally made it home.... woohoo...Fellas, Thanks SO much for the great advice. You all are the greatest. I think the ICW is the way to go and shooting out in the event of good weather. I would much prefer to wait till spring, It would make the trip a thousand times more enjoyable, however I will be in training all spring preparing for our next deployment, and I will not get that much time all at once to do the move.

The boat has sat only about 3 months before I bought it. The previous owner lived aboard the boat with his father till he was 18, then went to college. His father passed away 2 years ago and he moved back aboard and lived there till about 3 months before I bought it. I have pictures of the boat underway from July 08. The Isuzu Diesel was rebuilt about a year ago. My wife, while I was deployed, went down and looked at her. Hers being the final "Yes I will live on that" or "no way find another one." Although she is not as nautically inclined as I am, she has a great eye for things that don't look right and she was satisfied that this would be a great home. I know that is different from being seaworthy, but I also know her. If there was anything majorly screwey going on, she would have known. When my leave starts, we will head down there and start the pre-underway checks, make final runs to boaters world and the like to get extra fuel filters and last minute doodads and take her out for a day sail to make sure that everything is going to work before we push off for the trip. That final go-round will be the deciding factor. Again thanks for all the help...
 

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Good luck... and keep us posted.
 
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