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Old 30-08-2015, 15:18   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: East Coast
Boat: Morgan 461
Posts: 32

In May we bought our replacement boat; a Morgan 461 sloop, drawing 7 ft and weighing in at appx 40,000 lbs. Most of our projects are getting close to the finished state and we hope to head out for a shake down and then head South by the end of October.

Our current status is:

Solar panels (4) on hand, waiting for return of Bimini next week

Hydraulic steering pump and ram were sent for repair, but both got the death sentence, so working out which replacements to buy

Complete 110 and 12 volt rewiring 85% done

Electric windlass retrofitted for key fob operation

New 85 lb Mantus anchor sitting on dock, waiting on the half barrel of chain and shackle

Sherrin will start sewing new stack Pak as soon as Erika passes

Leak in aft A/C unit is repaired

New lights installed (entire boat is LED )

AIS Transceiver ordered

New day tank is tacked together and sitting on its shelf for the dry fit

Two electric heads installed, still need to plumb holding tank on forward head

Dinghy leaks repaired and motor serviced

Generator 90% reinstalled then will test for current output

Seventeen fans installed

Water maker (Cruise R O 20) not yet revived, but should be fine with a little TLC

Fifteen twelve volt outlets wired in for charging iPads, etc

Microwave installed

Lines led to cockpit, not started but have winch and hardware on hand

Soft spot repairs not yet started

All the ‘pretty’ stuff, painting hull and deck, new cushions, etc not yet started, probably a next year project

Fuel polishing system, parts either ordered or on hand

Our plans are only high level at this point, still need to work out details, which is why I am posting this; I need help deciding which path to take through the Bahamas to the Caribbean. I have searched and found many helpful posts in the archives, but not much that covers my option ‘A’ plan.

We are in St Pete, FL and will keep working on boat till the Annapolis boat show (we will drive up) then return to finish the boat. We hope to shake down along the West coast of FL, putting in each night till we reach Key West, then head down island via the Bahamas to The Windward passage and along South side of DR and Puerto Rico to Virgins. Much the way ‘A Thinking Mans Guide To Voyaging South’ suggests.

We would like to anchor most nights, although the occasional overnight does not concern us; we sailed from New York to the Med last year and love offshore work, but sailing against wind and current is not appealing. On the one hand sailing down Nicolas / Santaren / Old Bahama channel would be direct and probably quicker. Looks like there might be a possibility to anchor at Anguila Cay, weather permitting, and again on the banks south of Wolf Rocks in 25 to 30 feet (W P, of course) then on to Ragged Island and then to Great Inagua. After that, south through the Windward Passage and we could then relax and take our time going the rest of the way. I have only looked at the Explorer charts for a half hour and don't know if these stops are feasible or not (still have a lot of research to do, just not a lot of time yet). Don't know where I would clear in if we take this route, either.

Our other possibility is to spend a few months and cruise the Bahamas arriving at the same destination, would probably skip T & C and head straight to Great Inagua. If we do cruise the Bahamas it seems we would need to sail North to Ft Lauderdale then across to Chub Cay to check in then the Northwest Channel to the East side of Andros? Looks kind of tricky leaving through The Tongue Of The Ocean?

Any thoughts would be appreciated. A few other things; I don't like to sail in ‘skinny’ water (we draw 7 ft) and I like about 10 feet under the keel and although I really want to sail to Cuba, I won't till our government completely blesses it.

Hope some of you with experience in these waters can provide some guidance. Thanks!

Jim and Sherrin now aboard Persistent Lady II Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
Jim & Sherrin, formerly on Persistent Lady, soon to be on P. L. II
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Old 30-08-2015, 16:46   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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I had one of the best sails ever, leaving Marothon in the am. Sailing inside the reef till late pm then heading offshore for gun cay , arrived in the am, had to slow a bit for the sun to come up a bit, anchor just inside gun, leave o dark thirty for chub and check in

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Old 02-09-2015, 19:38   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Hypoluxo, FL
Boat: 2007 Beneteau 393 Cyclades
Posts: 276
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We leave out of Miami/Biscayne or Key Largo and aim for Bimini. It's an easy sail across. We usually do it at night since it's sometimes calmer with fewer storms at night. However, when you're crossing watch for freighters and other huge ships. They are prevalent out there and they won't turn just because you're in their path!
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