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Old 25-07-2015, 11:38   #1
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experienced crew needed for trip from St Martin to NE Panama

Hi all,

I have just purchased a 44 ft cat in St Martin and I would like to have it in Panama. My girlfriend and I are picking up the boat at the end of August. The boat might need to upgrades like a water maker but pretty much everything is on board.
There is one thing though, we cannot sail. At all. We are obviously very keen, otherwise we would not have bought her.

We are both 40 and are preferably looking for an experienced couple that can help us. We are both Dutch and do not smoke. We have a dog traveling with us as well.

Your tickets to St Martin and from Panama will be paid for by us, as will all foods on board. So you will basically have a month sailing for free.

Please do PM me if you have an interest.

Thanks,

Chris
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Old 25-07-2015, 11:50   #2
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Re: experienced crew needed for trip from St Martin to NE Panama

Hi 440, welcome to the forum. What are your plans given that September is pretty much the height of hurricane season in that area. Are you planning on island hopping down the islands or a direct route to Panama from St Martin? It might be worthwhile delaying your departure till November and sorting out the boat in St Martin with WM etc during the couple of months while you wait. Good luck!
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Old 25-07-2015, 11:54   #3
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Re: experienced crew needed for trip from St Martin to NE Panama

Hi Monte,

Thanks for your reply.
The plan is to go straight to Panama.

Chris
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Old 25-07-2015, 12:16   #4
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Re: experienced crew needed for trip from St Martin to NE Panama

Quote:
Originally Posted by 440Cat View Post
Hi Monte,

Thanks for your reply.
The plan is to go straight to Panama.

Chris
And you have no sailing experience? Well… first thing is to give Colombia a wide berth, not from any concerns about people but because Cabo de la Vela generally piles up the wind and is a rough ride at any time of year. As an inexperienced couple you will want to minimise that. However, as Monte questions: why are you proposing a more than thousand mile run along the length of the Caribbean Sea in the pinnacle of Hurricane season? Avoiding Cabo de la Vela will put you in the higher latitudes with greater risk of cyclone activity. You may well be risking your lives, especially in the Eastern component of this voyage plan.

If you do decide to go the pay CLOSE attention to the long range tropical forecast and be prepared to alter your plans likely to head South out of the way of any approaching storms.

Why not simply sail around the Eastern Caribbean for awhile to get used to the boat first at least?

Also it seems to me you may be considering that a yacht is going to be like a car: just buy it and drive away. You are most likely going to find out that this is wrong. Likely she will need some form of significant refit and at least one extended shakedown cruise (to check all systems working ok) BEFORE you go on what is, in this season, a perilous Ocean passage. I am a professional captain and I would refuse the work you are proposing in the form it is proposed. It is simply not prudent as described. Take heed!
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Old 25-07-2015, 13:56   #5
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Re: experienced crew needed for trip from St Martin to NE Panama

Thanks for that, MF!
I was doubting to first post a general question about how doable this trips is time of year, but decided against it and posted in the crew section instead.
I am now seriously considering storing the boat until I can at least get her and myself ready in safer weather.
Do you have any recommendation on where best to store the boat?

Cheers,
Chris
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Old 26-07-2015, 09:31   #6
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Re: experienced crew needed for trip from St Martin to NE Panama

Store in Simpsons bay in SM though last year it got hit hard by a late October I think cane. I was tucked away in Grenada. Right now my 52 beneteau is in curacao. You don't have to run to panama the Dutch iABCs haven't had a cane since 1883.
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Old 26-07-2015, 09:54   #7
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Re: experienced crew needed for trip from St Martin to NE Panama

As the man said,,new boat,no experience =
disaster,,two yachts,with experienced crew
were wrecked earlier this year on the road
to Panama.
your boats in sxm. Play in the lagoon for
awhile,take a trip around to Anguilla and
Barts..lots of reefs and choppy sea's BUT
there is plenty of help for advice /assistance
By the time November rolls around,you and
the Cat. Will know each other a little better
and maybe even capable of getting to
Bocas yourselves....
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Old 26-07-2015, 11:58   #8
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Re: experienced crew needed for trip from St Martin to NE Panama

If you want to sail, then sail! I'll gladly teach you aboard the vessel. Carib cruisers know there's rarely hurricanes in the south latitudes, so cruise south then cross to Panama. There's always a weather window if you're willing to wait long enough


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Old 26-07-2015, 14:54   #9
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Re: experienced crew needed for trip from St Martin to NE Panama

If you are not pressed for time you could wait till the start of the season (mid Nov) then island hop north all the way to Jamaica. that gives you the quietest route and time to get some experience before the longer passage. This will be a reach not a run (easier) and only few days. Have you thought about a weeks sailing course? You will learn lots and not risk expensive damage to you nice new boat. You would not think of buying your first car and driving coast to coast on learner plates would you?
Whatever you do DO NOT DO THE STRAIGHT LINE ROUTE the current pushes you south and right into to bad weather zone. I speak from experience having just spent two moths repairing the damage in Aruba when it happened to me... It get really rough due to the current and wing getting squeazed againce the Columbian coast.
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Old 26-07-2015, 18:29   #10
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Re: experienced crew needed for trip from St Martin to NE Panama

Mid Nov would work for me. I'm a licensed USCG Captain and have a lot of experience on Cats, in addition I was a advance sailing instructor at the US Naval Academy. The advice you have received from the other sailors on this blog are right on. Why push the trip during hurricane season. Learn the boat. Find a crew. Then wiegh anchor for Panama.
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Old 26-07-2015, 19:02   #11
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Re: experienced crew needed for trip from St Martin to NE Panama

The route west (really hardly north at all) provides both interesting cruising and a chance to make smaller offshore passages before taking on a larger one (although even these shorter ones - SXM to BVI, Mona Passage from PR to DR, then from Hispaniola to Jamaica, offer plenty of challenges and opportunities for disaster, if unprepared and inexperienced). Also, as suggested above, you may find the boat in need of refitting - and while there's plenty of facilities in SM, this route offers many more along the way, with yards capable of hauling a cat in the VI, PR, DR and in Jamaica.
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Old 25-08-2015, 09:04   #12
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Re: experienced crew needed for trip from St Martin to NE Panama

Thanks all very much for advice and offered help.

I have come across two ASA instructors who are willing to do this trip with me. Whilst underway we will be trained and thought. During this delivery we will obtain multiple ASA qualifications. A very good solution, I reckon!

Again, thanks to all!

Chris
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Old 25-08-2015, 10:09   #13
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Re: experienced crew needed for trip from St Martin to NE Panama

Great result Chris. Update us from Panama.
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Old 25-08-2015, 10:30   #14
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Re: experienced crew needed for trip from St Martin to NE Panama

It's been posted here before that getting work done in Panama is a PIA. This is not the case with many locations on the Carib. If you need a watermaker or other stuff then get it before you leave.

Good Luck
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