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Old 21-04-2013, 20:16   #1
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Transatlantic Crossing? Florida To EU.

I am in the begining stages of planning a transatlantic crossing. I did a quick search on this forum to see what is out there but didn't find exactly what I was looking for so I am putting my request for advise out there. If you know of a thread out there for me to review please direct me to it, I don't want to recreate a simular thread.

1. I would like to leave in a year or so. Meaning, I am flexible, I want to leave when it is normally the best time of year to go.

2. What is the best route? I was thinking, that going to the Bahama's, Then to Bermuda, then the Asor's, then possibly France. I am open to other ideas.

3. Crew? I have an experienced crew member who has never done an Atlantic crossing. I have never done one ether. We are both very experieced, and have been in 15 ft seas without difficulty but I would like your thoughts on what you would concider minimum crew experience for a crossing.

4. The boat we will be taking is a Oceanis 400, 40 ft Beneteau. I know there are a lot of production boat haters. But this is the boat I have, and want to take. It is very well equiped, new rigging, sails, full encloser . SSB and so on. What do you think?

5. Minimum exquipment list. What do you think is absolutly neasasary and what do you put on the want to have list. I have a long list already but I would like to hear what you think. For example, I hold 150 gallons of water in the boat, would you concider a hand pump watermaker good enough, or invest in a med capasity water maker.

6. Our plan is to sail there, and spend a year to get back to the states, probably comming back through the cairibean in the winter months.

7. How long will the Transatlantic crossing take usally?

Thanks for your input.
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Old 21-04-2013, 21:18   #2
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Re: Transatlantic Crossing? Florida To EU.

I am at the same stage in planning as you, so keep that in mind. However, here are a handful of resources I've found helpful so far...

This book details 100s of routes in the atlantic alone. It does not provide everything you need for planning your route, but is a pretty sound and basic overview of options...
World Cruising Routes: Sixth Edition (World Cruising Routes: Featuring Nearly 1000 Sailing Routes in All Oceans of the World): Jimmy Cornell: 9780071592895: Amazon.com: Books

Best time will be sometime in May or early June, after winter and before hurricane season. Coming back would likely happen in November and far enough south to take advantage of the trades, dropping you in the Caribbean where you could then continue on prevailing winds back up the islands.

There is also the yearly ARC rally to consider:

US to Europe: ARC Europe Itinerary
Europe to US: ARC Itinerary

This guy in the link below details all manner of minutiae regarding the trip: S/V Kestrel - The Plan

My guess is that it would take anywhere from 20-30 days in your boat. Whatever you end up deeming necessary in terms of kit, make sure ya got plenty of charts!
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Old 21-04-2013, 23:18   #3
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Re: Transatlantic Crossing? Florida To EU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post
I am in the begining stages of planning a transatlantic crossing. I did a quick search on this forum to see what is out there but didn't find exactly what I was looking for so I am putting my request for advise out there. If you know of a thread out there for me to review please direct me to it, I don't want to recreate a simular thread.

1. I would like to leave in a year or so. Meaning, I am flexible, I want to leave when it is normally the best time of year to go.

2. What is the best route? I was thinking, that going to the Bahama's, Then to Bermuda, then the Asor's, then possibly France. I am open to other ideas.

3. Crew? I have an experienced crew member who has never done an Atlantic crossing. I have never done one ether. We are both very experieced, and have been in 15 ft seas without difficulty but I would like your thoughts on what you would concider minimum crew experience for a crossing.

4. The boat we will be taking is a Oceanis 400, 40 ft Beneteau. I know there are a lot of production boat haters. But this is the boat I have, and want to take. It is very well equiped, new rigging, sails, full encloser . SSB and so on. What do you think?

5. Minimum exquipment list. What do you think is absolutly neasasary and what do you put on the want to have list. I have a long list already but I would like to hear what you think. For example, I hold 150 gallons of water in the boat, would you concider a hand pump watermaker good enough, or invest in a med capasity water maker.

6. Our plan is to sail there, and spend a year to get back to the states, probably comming back through the cairibean in the winter months.

7. How long will the Transatlantic crossing take usally?

Thanks for your input.
There is a ton of information in the archives. Read up!

As to your boat - a good choice for that crossing - fast, comfortable, better than average ability to windward (which you may need). You've got nothing to worry about there.

As to routing - there are a few choices. Cornell as suggested above is a good start. Some prefer to sail up the U.S. Eastern seaboard and jump off at New York or Boston, bound for Ireland or Falmouth. I guess that's the fastest way, but with the recent disruptions in the jet stream, maybe not the safest. You will want to really figure out the weather, probably picking your route only after you can see what kind of weather pattern seems likely at the time.

As to crew - the more people you have, the easier the watch schedule. People do it solo, of course, but that doesn't sound like much fun to me. I would not want to do it with less than three. As to experience, I would not worry too much if everyone is a decent sailor.

As to water: the more water you have, the more comfortable you will be. A water maker would be a very nice luxury. Others have done crossings like that with just a few Jerry cans of water, but why, if you can afford a watermaker?

Other equipment: whole books have been written (and which you may want to read ). Don't forget an EPIRB, up to date life raft, well stocked grab bag. SSB radio is nice to have; but a sat phone will do in a pinch. Plenty of spares and tools.

Don't forget to give your rigging, sails, and steering gear the most rigorous going over. This would be a good time for new sails and rigging. You don't want any risk of steering gear failure. Kill two birds (risks) with one stone by installing a wind vane, which gives you a superior additional system of self-steering, and a backup rudder at the same time. Expensive, but sure adds a lot of peace of mind.

Have fun; it will be a great adventure!
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Old 22-04-2013, 08:43   #4
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Re: Transatlantic Crossing? Florida To EU.

Laika and Dockhead, thanks you for your links and advise. This will get me started.

Laika, are you planning the trip in your 27 Vancouver?
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Old 22-04-2013, 13:33   #5
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Re: Transatlantic Crossing? Florida To EU.

I am, though the timing is TDB. Will likely be in '15. Just purchased the Vancouver in the fall of '11 and, as of this spring, have begun to take on the boat project basics: new rigging, new thru-hulls and seacocks, re-bedding all deck hardware, barrier coat bottom, and windvane install (just purchased a Norvane). Boat is in great shape, but 30 years old with little documentation from POs.

I have a couple years of experience living aboard and sailing on the east coast, most notably from NYC to Key West and back with some buddies on a 37' O'Day. The southbound leg of this trip was more about learning what not to do...

Spent last year cruising up and down the mid-atlantic with the Vancouver. Still with a full time job though (remotely based). Apparently I'm still in the 'learning what not to do' camp...

It would great to learn what other resources you come across in your search.

P.S. If a windvane is on your list, a look at the Norvane is worthwhile. I looked long and hard at the Monitor and, especially, the Hydrovane. But the Norvane was also of quality construction and half the price of these. The guy who makes them in CA will take the specs of your boat and suggest the proper model and mounting.
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Old 22-04-2013, 19:15   #6
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Re: Transatlantic Crossing? Florida To EU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laika View Post
I am, though the timing is TDB. Will likely be in '15. Just purchased the Vancouver in the fall of '11 and, as of this spring, have begun to take on the boat project basics: new rigging, new thru-hulls and seacocks, re-bedding all deck hardware, barrier coat bottom, and windvane install (just purchased a Norvane). Boat is in great shape, but 30 years old with little documentation from POs.

I have a couple years of experience living aboard and sailing on the east coast, most notably from NYC to Key West and back with some buddies on a 37' O'Day. The southbound leg of this trip was more about learning what not to do...

Spent last year cruising up and down the mid-atlantic with the Vancouver. Still with a full time job though (remotely based). Apparently I'm still in the 'learning what not to do' camp...

It would great to learn what other resources you come across in your search.

P.S. If a windvane is on your list, a look at the Norvane is worthwhile. I looked long and hard at the Monitor and, especially, the Hydrovane. But the Norvane was also of quality construction and half the price of these. The guy who makes them in CA will take the specs of your boat and suggest the proper model and mounting.
Thanks for the advise, I like you have a lot of experience mostly costal cruising. I have not made up my mind yet as to a windvane or not. My boat has the sugar skoop transome, and I know that I would not want it on my boat for everyday travel, but it would be great for the crossing. I have a back up auto pilot brain and compass that will go, and I am concidering a fuel bladder, so if I have no wind at all, I would be able to cross with the motor.

I ordered the crossing book that you mentioned and also the guide book by the same author.

A couple of things on my list to get are a water maker, a sea anchor, life raft repack, a second epirb, radar, back up supplies. I am sure there are more things to concider but I have a year to get it all sorted out.
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Old 22-04-2013, 21:48   #7
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Re: Transatlantic Crossing? Florida To EU.

Take a look at our web page below, we have the routes there, but the best route we did was from the Lake Worth Inlet to Azores direct, it was many (Like MANY) days faster than going Bahamas Bermuda. Get an SSB!!!!!!! you will be able to listen to Herb on 12359 USB from 19h30Z and listen to the other boats. Go over the highs, under the lows, turn left for more wind, right for less, take the warm eddy's ride that Gulf stream like a freight train.
Pass about 200 miles N of Bermuda, and get to the 38, 39, 40 Lats...
After Azores a good place to stop on the coast is Portimao if you are Med bound.
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Old 23-04-2013, 06:18   #8
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Re: Transatlantic Crossing? Florida To EU.

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Originally Posted by sy_gilana View Post
Take a look at our web page below, we have the routes there, but the best route we did was from the Lake Worth Inlet to Azores direct, it was many (Like MANY) days faster than going Bahamas Bermuda. Get an SSB!!!!!!! you will be able to listen to Herb on 12359 USB from 19h30Z and listen to the other boats. Go over the highs, under the lows, turn left for more wind, right for less, take the warm eddy's ride that Gulf stream like a freight train.
Pass about 200 miles N of Bermuda, and get to the 38, 39, 40 Lats...
After Azores a good place to stop on the coast is Portimao if you are Med bound.
Thanks for that advise, I already have the SSB, so I will listen in.
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Old 23-04-2013, 06:39   #9
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Re: Transatlantic Crossing? Florida To EU.

i've had two friends do transat's in the past ten years.

one couple - he an experience sailor, she with little experience, sailed a germania 40 and then spent the next seven years in the med. flew home every winter for xmas. he then sold the boat in turkey, something he has regretted ever since.

other couple - both experienced sailors, on a voyager 38, spent the next four years in the med. they returned last year.

both took the exact same route across; florida - bermuda - azores - lisbon.
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Old 23-04-2013, 10:09   #10
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Re: Transatlantic Crossing? Florida To EU.

To SV Gilina, is spent the best part of this morning looking at your web page, and I got to say WOW. I love all of it. I could have spent the whole day reading and dreaming.

GREAT JOB!!!!!

How long do you plan to continue? I would love to meet you both, you are an inspiration.
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Old 23-04-2013, 15:35   #11
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Re: Transatlantic Crossing? Florida To EU.

1- May is historically the best time for an East-about crossing, I did this in 2004 4up, three days out of the Chesapeake we had 68knts but running before made 190 miles our best noon to noon run, it took 19 days to reach the Azores, so take a good book, plenty of whales and dolphins in mega pods, we followed the Gulf Stream not venturing too far north, storms or to far south, calms. Don't get hung up on provisions, I've still got tins of soup nine years on. Water o.k. But again you won't be becalmed for weeks at that latitude so again don't go mad, I took 3 gallons per man per week in addition to the full tank, but with the liquid content of tinned foods there isn't going to be a problem. We washed pots in sea water in a bucket on deck, it was just nicer to do it that way. Force 12 for one night (glad it was dark) one week later force 8 for about 12 hours each that was all the 'bad' weather we had, motored for 72 hours approaching the Azores, flat calm, worst noon to noon run 83 miles, motoring up the big lazy swell. Don't be put off by armchair sailors go do it. To say it is a magical experience detracts somewhat from the affair. The Azores are fantastic, don't forget to leave your mark on the harbour wall. Oh and if you like a tipple, be careful on your first night in the famous Sailors Bar in Horta, you will get leglass, everyone does don't worry. Provisioning here is as good as it gets anywhere. It then took us 13 days to reach the North East coast of England, logged 4005 miles, do it again, yes, gadgets, don't make them an excuse not to go, once your out there sail be your senses forget forecasts etc. you stuck in it anyway, just enjoy. I prepared for one week, memories will last a lifetime......
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Old 23-04-2013, 20:03   #12
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Re: Transatlantic Crossing? Florida To EU.

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Originally Posted by Bellamica View Post
1- May is historically the best time for an East-about crossing, I did this in 2004 4up, three days out of the Chesapeake we had 68knts but running before made 190 miles our best noon to noon run, it took 19 days to reach the Azores, so take a good book, plenty of whales and dolphins in mega pods, we followed the Gulf Stream not venturing too far north, storms or to far south, calms. Don't get hung up on provisions, I've still got tins of soup nine years on. Water o.k. But again you won't be becalmed for weeks at that latitude so again don't go mad, I took 3 gallons per man per week in addition to the full tank, but with the liquid content of tinned foods there isn't going to be a problem. We washed pots in sea water in a bucket on deck, it was just nicer to do it that way. Force 12 for one night (glad it was dark) one week later force 8 for about 12 hours each that was all the 'bad' weather we had, motored for 72 hours approaching the Azores, flat calm, worst noon to noon run 83 miles, motoring up the big lazy swell. Don't be put off by armchair sailors go do it. To say it is a magical experience detracts somewhat from the affair. The Azores are fantastic, don't forget to leave your mark on the harbour wall. Oh and if you like a tipple, be careful on your first night in the famous Sailors Bar in Horta, you will get leglass, everyone does don't worry. Provisioning here is as good as it gets anywhere. It then took us 13 days to reach the North East coast of England, logged 4005 miles, do it again, yes, gadgets, don't make them an excuse not to go, once your out there sail be your senses forget forecasts etc. you stuck in it anyway, just enjoy. I prepared for one week, memories will last a lifetime......
Bellamica, very cool, I have a feeling I may be over thinking the whole trip. I still plan to be very prepared but, I know may people let getting ready, get in there way of ever realizing there dreams.
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Old 27-04-2013, 04:51   #13
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Re: Transatlantic Crossing? Florida To EU.

That is exactly my point, once you learn this you can start to enjoy your cruising, that's not to say that safety and precautions at sea are to be disregarded just tempered. Happy sailing

ATBellamica
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Old 27-04-2013, 05:43   #14
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Re: Transatlantic Crossing? Florida To EU.

@sy_gilana, wow! I enjoyed looking at your LINK! Good Stuff! Makes me want to cut my mooring lines and head out TODAY!

@Rocketman...my brother, you have everything it takes to do this crossing in spades! I wish ya well, and will be looking forward to reading about your adventure. Be sure to bring plenty of cigars and rum. You look so dapper at the helm of your Oceanis
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