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Old 27-08-2013, 17:41   #1
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safest route to Panama from Jacksonville

We want to make as short as possible trip from Jacksonville Fl. to Panama.

We can go at anytime (the right time). She's a 56' Huckins Linwood in excellent shape mechanically and all systems are new. Powered by two Cummins 6CTA8.3-M3 with 400 hours on them.

500 gals tanks.

Owner reports cruising at 1800 rpm for a speed of 17 knots with fuel consumption of 22 gallons per hour. We will carry more fuel for the passages.

We will use an experienced delivery skipper, but really want to understand the route and conditions well.


What's the best source for pre-trip educational material?
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Old 27-08-2013, 20:41   #2
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Wow, thats gonna be an ugly fuel bill. Have you done the math versus yacht transport?

Most obvious route is Bahamas, Windward Passage, Jamaica, San Andreas, Bocas del Toro, Colon (assuming you're going to the Canal). Ive run all of this route except the Jamaica - San Andreas leg (did Jamaica - Bay Islands instead...and then years later around to San Andreas). But all under sail...burnt less underway between FL and Honduras than you will in 2 hours...ouch.

The Bahamas - Jamaica and Jamaica - San Andreas legs are going to present fuel capacity issues for you.

Windward Passage can get pretty sporty, call your weather window carefully. Lots of commercial traffic here, and FL Straits, and approaches to Panama Canal...AIS and RADAR good to have in these areas.

Typically little or no wind after you get S of about 11N...good for a power vessel.

Running a straight line course between Bocas and Colon should put you in a favorable current...I learned this running it the opposite direction...not good.

You will want to keep an eye on the extent of the area of rough seas off of Colombia...this can expand over to the San Andreas area at times.

Some interesting and variable current patterns after you leave Jamaica, I suggest pro routing for that leg. I used Chris Parker for our Jamaica - Bay Islands leg...saved us a ton of time versus the rhumb line course.

If you can find a copy "Gentlemans Guide to Windward" that may provide some useful route ideas for you...although written mostly for sailing vessels it is relevant for power too.

Get a copy of the "Rains Guide". It will be useful to you for planning the W Carib parts. Get Eric Bauhaus' guide for Panama.
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Old 28-08-2013, 05:41   #3
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Re: safest route to Panama from Jacksonville

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, davidhenesy.
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Old 28-08-2013, 05:52   #4
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Re: safest route to Panama from Jacksonville

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidhenesy View Post

We can go at anytime (the right time). She's a 56' Huckins Linwood in excellent shape mechanically and all systems are new. Powered by two Cummins 6CTA8.3-M3 with 400 hours on them.

Owner reports cruising at 1800 rpm for a speed of 17 knots with fuel consumption of 22 gallons per hour. We will carry more fuel for the passages.

Is that the 430 BHP/450 MHP model Cummins? If so, I have performance curves...

Which in turn suggests 8 GPH (each) nominal at 1800 RPMs... and I'd be surprised if that gets you 17 kts. OTOH, if there are FloScans installed and that what it gets, then good.

From the same curve, 22 GPH would be about 2100 RPMs (interpolated), and I'd suspect that might come closer to ~15-17 kts in that boat...

Just guessing, though...

-Chris
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