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Old 31-12-2014, 18:54   #1
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Fort Lauderdale Gulf Crossing

Looking to cross the Gulf Stream a few times this winter for long weekends in Bahamas. Lots of info and discussions but opinions vary and most are based on smaller vessels. I have a 60' 65,000 lb power boat that cruises at 22 knots. How much of a weather window do I really need to be concerned about when deciding to cross?
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Old 31-12-2014, 19:44   #2
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Re: Fort Lauderdale Gulf Crossing

Three hours.
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Old 31-12-2014, 20:38   #3
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Re: Fort Lauderdale Gulf Crossing

Sorry just read my thread again. My question was more around how much I really needed to worry about weather in a 60' boat.


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Old 31-12-2014, 21:16   #4
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Re: Fort Lauderdale Gulf Crossing

Your weather issue concerns should be based on the 1 wave height, 2 wave period (# of seconds between waves) and 3 direction of the waves ( wind direction). Steep waves in the +5 ft range are not fun and neither are 3 ft-ers with less than 4 sec between them on the nose (hobby horsing). A long wave period with large swells are quite nice. That said I have watched tugs north bound in the gulf stream disappear in the swells towing a barge. Not my cup of tea. Sea conditions should be your concern.
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Old 31-12-2014, 21:28   #5
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Re: Fort Lauderdale Gulf Crossing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marquis60 View Post
Sorry just read my thread again. My question was more around how much I really needed to worry about weather in a 60' boat.


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Only you can answer that, but as far as weather is concerned 60' is a tiny boat, and most power boats can't handle near the weather a similar sized sailboat can
Your not meant to have to slug out weather, your boat is designed to stay in closer and have the speed to run from weather.
Your a 22 kt boat in pretty weather, not bad weather. I'd want a 24 hr window, that is extremly easy to get, really I wouldn't go unless the weather is forecast to be good for thetrip back too
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Old 31-12-2014, 21:30   #6
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Re: Fort Lauderdale Gulf Crossing

Its a matter of comfort more than anything. I captain a 125' motor yacht and make that run regularly. I always pick my weather carefully. A lot of stuff can break in a sloppy sea. The boat will make it if it's sound, but the contents and the crew can be worse for wear in sloppy conditions. Over about 3-5' in that size boat can get messy and will force you to slow down. If it's blowing from the north, anything over 10-15 knots will make for a very sloppy Gulf Stream crossing. You will quickly learn what the limits of you and your crew are. The boat can take much,much more.


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Old 31-12-2014, 21:38   #7
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Re: Fort Lauderdale Gulf Crossing

To echo Capt Alex, my Brother had a 45' Sport fisher, we wouldn't go out in over 3' seas, of course the boat could handle it, but if we planed it beat everything up, was hard on the boat and just wasn't fun, if you ran off plane to get a good ride, it took forever to get out, so we would just wait for another day.
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:21   #8
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Re: Fort Lauderdale Gulf Crossing

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Marquis60.
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Old 01-01-2015, 06:31   #9
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Re: Fort Lauderdale Gulf Crossing

Based on your vessel's specs. it won't take you very long to get across. However, I'd want to know at least 12-24hrs in advance what to expect for weather. Avoid Northerly winds, which will buck against the current and can create hazardous sea conditions. Not good especially if you are trying to make Easterly way. Good luck.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:43   #10
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Re: Fort Lauderdale Gulf Crossing

In the winter the winds generally are from the north and this causes the Gulf Stream to produce waves, the more wind the larger the waves.
Then you have to get onto the Banks, so your depth can be an issue, especially going to the Abacos and getting onto the Bahama Banks at West End.
JMHO............
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:17   #11
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Re: Fort Lauderdale Gulf Crossing

I have a 46' Hunter 460. Would you recommend similar limits for wave ht and periodicity? I assume FL to Bahamas is basically an overnight passage?

Thanks!
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:32   #12
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Re: Fort Lauderdale Gulf Crossing

I had a 33.5 Hunter, from Ft.Lauderdale I would steer approx 090 and leave at about 8-9pm, getting to West End at 6-7am. I draw 4.6 and had no problem getting onto the banks there.
But if U draw more U may have to go up to Memory Rock and enter there.
But U must watch the weather and the wind, northerly wind creates "Elephant" size waves.
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:33   #13
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Re: Fort Lauderdale Gulf Crossing

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:35   #14
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Re: Fort Lauderdale Gulf Crossing

Atex, just a suggestion but when U get to Ft.Lauderdale make contact with the Hillsborough Inlet Sailing Club and talk with some of the members there, all good people, and they can give U current info.
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:41   #15
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Re: Fort Lauderdale Gulf Crossing

Atex, another way to go is going to Bimini from Miami. As I recall the heading was 129 from Miami, also an overnight passage. The entrance into Bimini is clearly marked and dept is no problem.
I purchased the "Bahamas" chip for my Gps, this was back in the day.
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