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Old 22-09-2012, 12:16   #1
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Trawler from Maine to Florida

Hello,

I'm starting to plan a trip from midcoast Maine, ending up in Abacos. We've got a 36' trawler, 2 dogs and lots of time.

Does anyone have any experience with this?
Thanks!
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Old 22-09-2012, 14:37   #2
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Re: Trawler from Maine to Florida

I have done that trip a couple of times and I am sure that others on this board have done it dozens.

For charts use Maptech Chartkits for Maine to Norfolk. South to Miami you can get by with one of the ICW strip charts such as Kettlewell's. Then for the Abacos get the Lewis' Explorer chartbooks. Also get a current copy of Skipper Bob's Anchorages along the ICW.

Most trawler cruisers (and most sailboaters too) go down the Main coast (is that downwest ;-)) then through the Annasquam R to Gloucester, Ma, then across Cape Cod Bay, through the Cape Cod canal, west on LI Sound, through NYC and then offshore NJ to Cape May then up the Delaware River, through the C&D canal, down the Chesapeake to Norfolk and then follow the ICW to Lake Worth inlet for your Bahamas crossing to West End, Grand Bahamas. Wow, that's a mouthful.

You can spend months in LI Sound and the Chesapeake. Hey you said you have lots of time. I presume that you know Maine well and don't need to linger there.

You need to leave Maine as early in the year as you are comfortable, say early June and then the weather will be warm for the next 6 months as you head south. Plan to either lay up in a marina, or haul the boat and go home for a while, particularly in Florida, during the months of August, Sept and Oct. Then by November you can cross over to the Bahamas and hang out all winter.

Depths on the ICW are ok for a trawler but you can check with the waterwayguide.com, Claiborne Young's cruisersnet.net and other online cruising resources for latest information.

Have fun!!

David
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Old 22-09-2012, 15:45   #3
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Re: Trawler from Maine to Florida

Thanks David!

Too bad we would be missing the great summer cruising in maine

I wonder if there would be any advantage in shipping our boat south, then meeting her after christmas and cruising back north?

(I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too)

Peter
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Old 22-09-2012, 16:16   #4
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Re: Trawler from Maine to Florida

Am flying up to Boston next week to bring back a small 30' Pursuit sportfisherman from Falmouth back here to Jacksonville Fl for the owner...
He says I can make it in 4 days....... "Can you tell he hasn't a clue" what he's talking about???"
Told him it all depends on the weather.... "Just cuz his boat cruises at 24 kts," I will not do that the entire trip... Plus weather comes into play...
I'm a captain who actually cares about the other boats on the ICW and will NOT go blasting by them....
Told him to expect 7-10 days......
Now for the Abacos... You GOTTA plan on stopping at Nippers at Great Guana Cay on a Sunday..... Pig roast you can't miss
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Old 22-09-2012, 16:49   #5
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Re: Trawler from Maine to Florida

Cruising from Maine to the Bahamas has been taking up most all of my time for the last ten years. We pretty much follow the path that David described as a "mouthful" with some variety in offshore hops; however, we are cockpit potatoes without overnights and often short days. Today was actually our shortest on record. We cruised about 500 yards south this morning! I would suggest a far different plan from leaving Maine as early as possible. We like to spend most of the summer in Maine as then september in the Chesapeake. We are now in Portsmouth, Va and passing into the Great Dismal Swamp tomorrow. We usually spend Thanksgiving & (Christmas in Florida with family before heading to the Bahamas and we are often back to Florida by march or april and northbound to Maine. This year we left Florida in late april and we'll be back in november. During these six months we won't spend more than three days in any one place. (an exception was staying in Myrtle Beach to repair our refrig/freezer for a few weeks) Others have an objective that requires short term cruising to get to a long term destination. 'Many different styles with this life! I am posting in the "powered boats" section, but I spend much time motoring my ketch at near trawler speeds.
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Old 22-09-2012, 19:08   #6
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Re: Trawler from Maine to Florida

Stewart....You make me nervous when you post on a powerboat forum,,,, (long story folks)
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Old 22-09-2012, 19:14   #7
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Re: Trawler from Maine to Florida

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Originally Posted by jaxfishgyd View Post
Stewart....You make me nervous when you post on a powerboat forum,,,, (long story folks)
Charlie, I just turned 6,000 hrs on my Yanmar!
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Old 22-09-2012, 19:23   #8
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Re: Trawler from Maine to Florida

Goodness' sake, don't ship that boat. That's one of the greatest trips you can take on a boat in the world, in my opinion.

Have fun. Take your time. Top areas to spend some time in are Cape Cod/Elizabeth Islands/Eastern Long Island Sound. Also South Carolina and Georgia. Too many people blast past these beautiful stretches.

If you timed the trip to do the Chesapeake in the fall, you could spend a LOT of time there.

Then when you get to the Abacos, you can slide on down to Eleuthera and the Exumas. You might take longer on this than you planned!
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Old 22-09-2012, 19:39   #9
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Re: Trawler from Maine to Florida

Peterasche,
Make a stop in Fernandina Beach, fl (super place) and I'll let you buy me a beer or 6 on your way down
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Old 24-09-2012, 14:00   #10
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Re: Trawler from Maine to Florida

OK, it's now offical... Flying up THIS Thursday to Boston... Owner has given me the advance and a credit card for expenses.. We just had to wait for all the paperwork to come in on the sale of the boat...

He wants me to "get here asap"... Sadly for him, I will not blow by others in any confinded area.....

So if you see a little 30' sportfisherman named "Reel Keeper" heading South........
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Old 24-09-2012, 16:04   #11
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Re: Trawler from Maine to Florida

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Originally Posted by jaxfishgyd View Post
OK, it's now offical... Flying up THIS Thursday to Boston... Owner has given me the advance and a credit card for expenses.. We just had to wait for all the paperwork to come in on the sale of the boat...

He wants me to "get here asap"... Sadly for him, I will not blow by others in any confinded area.....

So if you see a little 30' sportfisherman named "Reel Keeper" heading South........
Captain Charlie, We are crossing the Albemarle tomorrow and with your speed you will likely pass us somewhere between Charleston and Savannah. I'll take two options,- either fly by me on a plane or pull up along side and I'll toss you a beer! I know I owe you one.
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Old 25-09-2012, 13:02   #12
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Re: Trawler from Maine to Florida

It will depend on how much wake the boat ups out on plane.....But in YOUR CASE I will creep by very slowly....Don't want to shake the beer up....
The mate I will have is LEGALLY BLIND.... Ought to make things interesting, Told him he was to check the charts and be my navigator....
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Old 25-09-2012, 15:14   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxfishgyd
It will depend on how much wake the boat ups out on plane.....But in YOUR CASE I will creep by very slowly....Don't want to shake the beer up....
The mate I will have is LEGALLY BLIND.... Ought to make things interesting, Told him he was to check the charts and be my navigator....
Might ought to make him the bartender ;-)
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Old 28-09-2012, 19:48   #14
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Re: Trawler from Maine to Florida

Jaxfishgyd,
If you make the trip from Falmouth ME to Jacksonville in 7 days you will have to have flawless weather and make long runs every day. I calculate the trip at roughly 1200 or 1300 miles, and if you cruise at 24 knots that is about 54 hours of running. At 8 hours per day you are at about 7 days, then you have to add in motoring in and out of channels, into marinas, I can't imagine the trip could take less than 8 days.

There is the probability of weather delays off Maine, off new Jersey, Delaware Bay, Pamlico Sound area etc. And running for eight hours a day in a small Pursuit is pretty tiring. Ten days seems more like a minimum to me.

I just decided to scrub a run from RI to Fl in a 32-foot Pro-Line Express when I realized it could take close to 20 days. I do not like to hammer along in a bouncy, loud small boat more than about 4 or 5 hours a day.

When I thought about living in a space smaller than your average walk in closet for almost three weeks, having to take showers onshore every day, and being penned into a tiny cabin for days in bad weather with my dear wife, my enthusiasm for the trip dissipated.

We will make the ICW run, but it will wait for a larger boat. We may have the Pro-Line trucked to NC and make our way south from there.

Good luck on your run south! Bring warm clothes -- it is getting quite crisp here in New England.

John S.
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Old 29-09-2012, 17:24   #15
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Re: Trawler from Maine to Florida

Left Frday morning.... weather was "OK" till we go to almost Long Island Sound... then we got hammered so had to pull behind Fisher Island for the night...
Today we are at Sandy Point N.J. and weather forecast is 1-2' seas so will make the outside run early...
I can tell you... now after it has happened 3 times now... Saltwater and cell phones dont like each other... Mine died again yesterday...
The boat owner says it's a 5 day trip (BS) I said 8 if everything goes perfectly.... Yesterday was case in point.......
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