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Old 03-09-2016, 04:47   #1
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Yachting from Miami to Trinidad

Hi everyone.. I hope you are well..
I'm in process of buying a mini yacht - 2 options - 33ft regal twin engine (454) or a Silverton 34 express with same twin engine capacity.
Would like to boat this through the Great Lakes from Canada to Miami, then from port in Miami the intention is to island skip down to Trinidad..
Can anyone advise on the challenges I may face with this type of boat.. It's obviously not a sail boat so refuelling is one of my concerns. Wide beam so I'm hoping would be more stable than a sailboat. Also how well this type of boat should/would hold up to the elements out there??
I've boated all of my life but never out in the open sea with my own vessel.. I've fished a lot out there and though rough at times I realize that weather has a huge part to play so I'm thinking that if I plan well?
Any of you experienced with this that can offer some advice.
Would really appreciate it..

Thanks
M-A
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:00   #2
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Re: Yachting from Miami to Trinidad

Its called the "Thorny Path" for a reason.

I'm no expert on power boats, but I'm pretty sure it would be a pretty rough trip on either of those boats. I'm sitting here in Grenada and there is a 42ft power cat in front of me. He reported that it was a damn rough trip for him and he is beamier than either of the boats you suggested.

Another issue will be fuel cost. Man, I wouldn't want to pay the petrol bill for that trip. The cost of petrol at many of the stops is eye watering. You question reminds me of "Sailing Miss Lonestar". They recently sold the power yatch and switched to a sailboat party due to fuel costs.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvC...84mVohA/videos
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Old 03-09-2016, 06:52   #3
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Re: Yachting from Miami to Trinidad

You can make that trip in a kayak in the right weather. Unfortunately, it would probably take several years waiting for that right weather.

Issues:

1) Weather. IMO, I would not be comfortable in either of the vessels mentioned in any storm cell or winds over 20kts and seas >4ft.

2) Fuel range. For planning purposes, IMO, no passage between fuel stops should use more than 2/3 of the fuel on-board. I don't know those boats, but I'm guessing that would be a huge limiting factor. Trawler speeds save fuel, but also leave you exposed for longer time and possible changes in weather conditions.

3) Availability of fuel. You can't always depend on the next stop having the fuel you need when you want it.
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:13   #4
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Re: Yachting from Miami to Trinidad

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Trinidad View Post
twin engine (454)

These will absolutely melt your credit card!

Wide beam so I'm hoping would be more stable than a sailboat.

Hang a couple thousand pounds of lead underneath to help with your wide beam stability! Your "wide beam" may (will) take a beating in the wrong water..
M-A
Just my 2 cents, FWIW
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:14   #5
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Re: Yachting from Miami to Trinidad

Oh, sorry for my oversight, Welcome to CF!
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:58   #6
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Re: Yachting from Miami to Trinidad

A friend of mine bought a 50' twin-engine yacht, and wanted to move it from Ft Lauderdale, FL to the US Virgin Islands. I worked out a passage plan for him which included stops in marinas with diesel fuel docks. If I recall correctly it would have taken 11 days, and the fuel bill was estimated at around $20,000. This would be about 2/3 of the way from Florida to Trinidad, your destination.

He decided to ship the boat on the deck of a freighter.
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:58   #7
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Re: Yachting from Miami to Trinidad

Be safe, cruise the Bahamas until you hit the lottery it's 3.50 - 4.50 US and up a gallon over there for diesel,
higher for gas, a lot higher. those are both nice ICW boats. I had a 36 Searay Sundancer, it was comfortable but could not afford to go anywhere, went sail and never looked back.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:04   #8
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Re: Yachting from Miami to Trinidad

Check out this website. It's would be the only way I would ever attempt it in a motor boat. The author did in a similar sized trawler and explains a lot about weather and where to stop along the way. It actually only takes you to the east coast of Puerto Rico, but if you make it that far then the rest of the way is easier.

The Thornless Path

His book is the bible for those who make the journey. I must have read it four times along the way. I couldn't imagine not having it while we did the journey in our sailboat.

Just a note: I would only consider doing it in a trawler if ever I considered a motor boat.

Cheers
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:12   #9
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Re: Yachting from Miami to Trinidad

Quote:
Originally Posted by George P View Post

The Thornless Path

Great link, thanks!

Just a note: I would only consider doing it in a trawler if ever I considered a motor boat.

+1 Agreed!
Cheers!
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:28   #10
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Re: Yachting from Miami to Trinidad

Sorry to be blunt but those are the wrong boats! OK if you stay in the ICW.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:35   #11
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Re: Yachting from Miami to Trinidad

This may be the wrong site to talk to power boaters but here is another sailor's two bits. Fuel is expensive but I assume you know that. A trip like yours must be planned around refueling stops. As for the specific boats you mention I don't know if they are blue water boats but I do know Miami to Trinidad is not a good idea for the inexperienced. If the boat choice is not budget dictated you might consider going larger.
You might also consider cruising Miami, the Keys, Cuba and the Bahamas for a year or so while you acquire more open water experience and learn from other motor cruisers. Other options include hiring an experienced captain for the Miami-Trinidad run or shipping your boat by freighter and flying. Whatever you decide the best of luck to you.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:40   #12
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Re: Yachting from Miami to Trinidad

I'd suggest that you fly down to the Caribbean and find a boat similar to what you are thinking about (if you can), and take it out for a short trip from one island to another. It might cost you a few thousand, but it will be much cheaper than buying the wrong boat.
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Old 03-09-2016, 10:28   #13
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Re: Yachting from Miami to Trinidad

I live aboard and cruise a 70j Hatteras MY with stabilizers and am currently based out of Miami. I spend most of my cruising days in the Bahamas, Keys and Cuba. There are many day s I have sat at anchorage or marina before crossing the the gulfstream in either direction, and have had some very rough seas even in the Bahamas
--My boat is an "80 and is built like a tank, way too much fibreglass
It can take much more than the occupants. I'm am taking the boat to the Virgin Islands in November. I'm not looking forward to most of the legs after leaving the Turks and Caico. I have made this trip before in a 55" sport fisherman and it was rough even waiting many days for good weather windows.
-- That said I would not attempt the trip in the boats you are looking at. First, the fuel issue-gas is vastly more expensive than diesel, much more difficult to find and gives you less range. Second, the boats you are talking about are not considered reasonable for blue water cruising-they are not made for the rigors and bashing into waves that will bury your bow deeply in even moderate conditions. Mine will be buried deeply regularly and will likely find a new leak point forward before I get to the Virgin islands.
-- I would look at a diesel powered boat that is larger and considered a decent blue water cruiser such as a Grand Banks. If not power then look at some good blue water sail boats. Another option is to cruise the Bahamas and Keys for a while. Sell you gas powered boat in SE Florida then find a nice diesel powered boat in St. Thomas or elsewhere n the Caribbean. Once there cruising is much easier with short legs and many optons.
FWIW My two cents. Good luck to you.
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Old 03-09-2016, 12:56   #14
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Re: Yachting from Miami to Trinidad

Some good advice here, best heed it. I'm wondering where you got the idea that a mono-hull power yacht is more stable than a mono-hull sailboat. A sailboat with a 40-50% ballast to weight ratio is the epitome of stability. Don't confuse healing as a sign of instability. Just because on a mono-hull sail boat you have to contend with angles of heels on all points of sail except perhaps DDW does not equate to a perilous situation.

Now having said all that I have been a sailor for fifty years but at my age I am buying a power cat with fuel sipping engines that will jog along at 9-10k and go 3+ nautical miles on a gallon of diesel and go 1,000KM on internal tanks. It will remain in the BVI/USVI/DR/PR area for at least a year. No long-range cruising in areas where I have not experience.

If you are looking for stability a self-righting, ballasted mono-hull sailboat is number 1.
Uncomfortable in a blow for sure but stable and as safe as it gets in the open ocean.
Number 2 would be my power cat with a 24' beam. I had a long discussion with the surveyor on sailing cat vs power cat stability. Guess what? The power cat wins due to no sails and much lower center of impact (effort) from windage. Sailing cats (owned one of those too) are great right up to the point when you come down into a trough and bury a hull with a full main and you can't release the sheet fast enough. If you're going to sail a cat in a blow, open the jammer and leave the sheet in the self-tailer so you can through it off quickly, or wear a machete. Last on the stability hit parade would be the boats you are contemplating. Good luck. Be safe. Get the book "Voyaging under Power". Amazon $5.
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Old 03-09-2016, 13:00   #15
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Re: Yachting from Miami to Trinidad

There's nothing any better south of the Bahamas anyway. Save your fuel cost! My buddy has a 51 foot power boat with dual diesels. a few years back he was bragging his yearly fuel bill was $23k. he's a weekender but liveaboarder.
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