Originally Posted by txh2oskier
Thanks for your responses. The boat is a Hunter
460 with myself and my girlfriend as the only crew. We don't have a great amount of experience and no blue water sailing
experience at all. I am researching pilot charts now.
Any other comments or suggestions?
With a mast
height of I=55.33' plus freeboard, and a draught of 6.5' careful planning if you were to consider doing the ICW is required. Lots of bridges and in some places possibly shallow depths.
Since you have limited experience, I'd suggest you get as much exposure to different conditions and handling your boat as possible before sailing the kinds of passages considered in this thread.
The Gulf of Mexico
can be down right dangerous. My last experience sailing between Grand Cayman to Galveston in 2012 was to say the least 'no fun'. Also encountered a storm in 2005 off Yucatan.
Once you've got enough confidence in your sailing skills and boat, consider sailing between Galveston and Port Arthur to the ICW. Depending on your research
, and 'The Cap'n' web site is a good source for that, take the ICW when depths and bridge heights are right and for so far as you can go. Then, return to the Gulf sailing reasonably close to the coast. If you haven't seen much of Florida
, there are entrances from the Gulf along the way. If depths and bridge heights are good, you can continue in the ICW westward. A good place to re-enter the Gulf is Pensacola
. Conditions should be favourable to fetch St. Petersburg which is worth a visit. Then a stop in the Dry Tortugas
for rest before continuing southward is possible.