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Old 07-09-2011, 12:56   #1
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Challenge: Is it Possible to Sail on the Main Only ?

Okay I don't know anything besides what I've read about sailing but im about to buy a 25' hunter with no motor one main sail and that's it I think...and I need to know if its possible to sail her with just the main sail to marathon vaca key fl from ft pierce fl. Aboug 250 land miles. Im prity desperate to get a boat and im no stranger to the sea. I have about 6 years commercial fishing exp but running an engine is different then hoisting a sail but I figure if it can be done ....I can do it....any help would be great
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Old 07-09-2011, 13:12   #2
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Re: is it possible?

if you are not in a rush to get there... sure. personally, i would want to be b 100% confident in the rigging and sail condition before embarking on a 250 mile trip with 1 sail and ANY problem is a major problem.

and spend the few hundred (BoatUS.com: BoatUS Homepage) for the tow insurance.

gl
-steve
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Old 07-09-2011, 13:16   #3
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Lol see I didn't even think about checking that. Im in no hurry to get there just on a tight budget.
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Old 07-09-2011, 13:19   #4
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Re: is it possible?

i have made it home with only a jib or only a main after cloth / ribbing problems with one of the other. sorta tuff to default to the 'other sail' when there is no other sail.

know what i mean?

might give extra thought on how you provision for the trip as it will more difficult to make good / consistent speed with only the main.
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Old 07-09-2011, 13:22   #5
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pirate Re: is it possible?

Some boats don't sail at all well with just the main... instead of $'s on tow boat us use the money to get a coupla second hand jibs... a 1 & 3 maybe...
Personaly I'd rather just have the jib..
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Old 07-09-2011, 13:37   #6
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Re: is it possible?

Anything is possible. Is it a wise idea ? Is it safe ? .. no. 250 miles is a long distance. In an emergency people may be able to make it, maybe in 2 weeks ? The Hunter 250 is not an offshore boat, there will be winds and currents that will require you maneuver around things. You better invest at least in a large paddlewheel, because you will need it. You can probably do about 3 mph towards your destination, you can do maybe 20 miles a day. With mainsail alone you will not be able to use the ICW so you have to go out and in, so you will be limited on the channels.
If you are lucky and always have Westerlies, it will be a rough trip but you can make some progress. You will definitely need a VHF.
The soundest advise I can give is ... Try to buy/rent/loan a 10HP outboard.
I think it would be irresponsible to say that you can do it.
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Old 07-09-2011, 13:41   #7
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Re: is it possible?

How are you going to get out the inlet? I don't know if I would do that and go against the current without some sort of motor and spare sails.

At the very least get a towboat membership and try to find a buddy boat..
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Old 07-09-2011, 13:55   #8
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Re: is it possible?

Please consider the gulf stream....it runs south to north, often at over 3 knots. You will be fighting it practically the entire way. If you do elect to sail down the coast, make sure you are less than about 1 mile offshore....the closer, the better. If you do not respect it, you will sail all day and be further from your destination than when you started.

Ditto what has already been said about a motor.....
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Old 07-09-2011, 13:57   #9
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I will probably buy a small out board for the trip and if I can swing it a jib. I just wanted to know if it is possible if its my last resort. As far as being iresonsible for saying I could do it I only ment to state my determination to do it if need be. But thank you for the tips im obviously going to need em
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Old 07-09-2011, 14:29   #10
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Re: is it possible?

If you have a buddy that sails, you might ask him/her to go with you.
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Old 07-09-2011, 15:15   #11
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Re: is it possible?

In THEORY it is possible. The theory is that you ride the tide out the Ft Pierce inlet, head south no more than 1 mile offshore and ride the sea breeze south. I have spent a lot of time at that distance and can assure you that from Miami to West Palm, the Gulf Stream current is less than 1 Kt at that distance offshore. IF the winds stay pure east,then you could make it there....

Okay now reality. From Ft Pierce the next inlet you would probably use is Lake Worth (West Palm Bch) - easy pickens- if the tide is right... and if there are no ships out/in bound. South of Lake Worth the next one is Boynton (not usable for sailboats) then Boca (not doable without a motor), Hillsboro (I think dicey without a motor), then Ft Lauderdale- (another easy one...if the wind & tide is right and if no ships operating). Suffice to stay, without the motor you are almost 100% committed to staying outside non-stop. So picking a weather window will be critical.

Next I would look at the historical winds- they may not cooperate in directions or strength. Without a jib you could be forced to tackout further than 1 mile thereby increasing the Gulf Stream's impact on VMG.

The best advice I have seen is getting a kicker, or if there is an inboard there are some good mechanics who will work at a reasonable price. Short of that get a crew with very good skills and BIG "ballast."

Bill
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Old 07-09-2011, 15:42   #12
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Re: is it possible?

Quote:
Originally Posted by coyfish9906 View Post
Okay I don't know anything besides what I've read about sailing but im about to buy a 25' hunter with no motor one main sail and that's it I think...and I need to know if its possible to sail her with just the main sail to marathon vaca key fl from ft pierce fl. Aboug 250 land miles. Im prity desperate to get a boat and im no stranger to the sea. I have about 6 years commercial fishing exp but running an engine is different then hoisting a sail but I figure if it can be done ....I can do it....any help would be great
Did you get my message about the bristol 22 ? DVC
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Old 07-09-2011, 15:52   #13
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Re: is it possible?

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Some boats don't sail at all well with just the main... instead of $'s on tow boat us use the money to get a coupla second hand jibs... a 1 & 3 maybe...
Personaly I'd rather just have the jib..

I wouldn't leave the dock without towing insurance. But then I wouldn't try that trip with no sailing experience and a badly under-equipped boat.

You are missing the one thing you have experience with -- a motor. It all sounds very foolish to me.
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Old 07-09-2011, 15:58   #14
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Originally Posted by Matt sachs
If you have a buddy that sails, you might ask him/her to go with you.
I do but they are out on the west coast. Im a prity intelligent guy with a good understanding of basic seamanship. Been out in some really nasty sea so im quick and level headed in a pinch. Hopefuly ill be okay. Lol but it is a boat so....Murphys law comes to mind....
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Old 07-09-2011, 16:01   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicalescape
Did you get my message about the bristol 22 ? DVC
No. I didn't but if its better then what im about to take on pleass let me know..lol
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