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Old 23-01-2014, 08:57   #61
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Location: Mangareva, French Polynesia
Boat: Heritage West Indies 36
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Re: Atlantic Crossing

I've just done a similar route to this. From England i'd leave in the summertime and head vaguely down the Western European coast towards the Med. If he takes his time he'll be somewhere around Southern Portugal / Madeira some time around October or November. Hop over to the canaries around November / December and set sail from there South Westish to approximately 20N30W (or wherever the trades kick in nicely) before turning West and making for the Caribbean for an arrival in early January. Wherever you make landfall in the Caribbean you can then island-hop all the way to the States, rarely out of sight of land and at the perfect time of year (January through to April).

The hardest part of this route is probably the Bay of Biscay, but the distances are small enough that he can wait for a really nice weather window before making the hop. That goes for each of the hops that he'll make. The actual Atlantic crossing from the Canaries to the Caribbean (via the Cape Verde Islands if he wants to break it up a bit) is easy. Most trade-wind sailing is. This timing ensures that things are happening at the safest time of year (no hurricanes, no winter storms) and the trade winds for the crossing will be established in their usual winter position further north than they would be in the summer and stronger and more consistent. He would be one of many boats sailing this route at these times of year. If he's worried about company he could do it as part of the ARC or one of the other cruising rallies. Regarding boat choice, that is a very personal desicion. There are very few boats in the world that wouldn't be perfectly capable of making these passages. Personally i would stay away from the ones that are made of cheese and at least get something with a mast that isn't likely to fall down, with a decent step, a bit of beef to it and some decent-sized standing rigging. Something like a mid-sized Hallberg-Rassy between 30 and 40 feet long. Certainly no bigger.
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Old 23-01-2014, 09:22   #62
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Location: Mangareva, French Polynesia
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Re: Atlantic Crossing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alecadi View Post
It makes sense.
Thank you for the clarification.
What about going east from Marathon, FL to SW France with an Endeavour 35?
When is the best time? What route do you recommend?
Going E is a little more tricky than going W as the trades in the north Atlantic blow from the E or NE. So, you have to be further north and that has risks associated with it. I wouldn't advise doing it between June and October because you'll either be in the middle of the Bermuda-Acores high with no wind or you'll be in a hurricane. I also wouldn't advise doing it in the winter because you will get battered by the low pressure systems stringing their way across the North Atlantic. That leaves spring or autumn to do it in. The window in Spring is longer and you will get a push from the SW every few days from the by-now-weakening lows that will be passing by. I have done it in April from Bermuda to the UK and it was fine. So, you want to leave Florida around April and make your way vaguely NE. The winds in the higher latitudes are more consistent and from the right direction but it is also colder up there and the winds are stronger (by 'higher' i generally mean above about 40N). You might want to stop over in Bermuda depending on the weather forecast and whether you need to fill up on fuel.

From Bermuda (or somewhere near Bermuda) the fastest routes consistently go N or NE until you hit the consistent SWly winds, then turn E until you are NW or even NNW of the Acores. Icebergs can be a hazard even at this time of year if you get pushed far enough N, which sometimes happens if the winds are not cooperative further south. Pop in to the Acores for a refresher and then set sail for wherever it is you want to go in Europe.

As i say though, i was leaving from Bermuda so Bermuda was kind of unavoidable! Many people choose to strop here anyway, but many more do not. Depends on the weather. Boatman's advice might be better since he's done it twice and me only once :-)

This route will take about 2 months (including stops) and get you in to France around June, just before the hurricane season starts.
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Old 23-01-2014, 09:26   #63
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Re: Atlantic Crossing

We will answer with out plans. We'll probably make our first crossing in late spring to early summer of 2017. We will go up the coast from Fort Lauderdale to Beaufort, NC. From there to Bermuda, then to the Azores and then mainland Portugal. We will leave the boat there two years spending about half of our time there during those two years. Then return to the US in the summer of 2019. Now if we wanted to keep it there longer we would.

The boat planned for this is a 130' MY. The crew will be our regular crew for that boat of 7 plus we are both also Captains, although not professional.But we are licensed. One of our captains has 5 crossings US to Europe and 2 crossings Europe to US. Since we will be running nights we will add one additional Captain or Officer, hopefully one who has an extensive knowledge of cruising throughout Europe. We may also add bilingual crew to assist for at least part of the time there. The longest stretch is Bermuda to Azores and while we have a substantial reserve over the fuel needed at 12 knots, we'll at least take the first portion slower to build up an even greater reserve. Going at 8 to 10 knots until we have increased our cushion. Although we don't have the boat we'll use yet, we have run several identical models and the range at 10% reserve is 3000nm@12 knots, 3450@11, 3800@10, 4400@9 and 5000@7 knots. That means at 12 knots we have 30% reserve at 12 knots and 70% at 10 knots. At 7 knots we have double the required capacity.

We would intend to spend a week in Bermuda and two weeks in the Azores on each trip.

We would figure 3 days for Beaufort to Bermuda. 13 days for Bermuda to the Azores and 4 days for Azores to Portugal. So total elapsed days, Beaufort to Portugal, 41 days or basically 6 weeks. A leisurely crossing that could be quicker but weather windows could also delay it.
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