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Old 14-08-2015, 19:01   #1
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Mobile to cancun

Looking to leave mobile about 3rd week in September going straight across to yucatan, going to cancun. I'm in a 55' neptunus. Any suggestions at all? How fast do I go? Do I plan on fuel burn at 4 gph or set it at 9 kts and take what fuel burn I get? I hold 750 gallons of fuel. Do I go east at all to avoid somwthing Called loop current? Is it safe to travel all night, if not what is the alternative? Any help or suggestions on any part of the trip will help. Ty. Jason.
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Old 15-08-2015, 04:52   #2
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Re: Mobile to cancun

No offense intended, but some pretty basic questions there, what's your experience level?
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Old 15-08-2015, 05:35   #3
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Re: Mobile to cancun

Hi Jason and welcome to the forum.

I do have to say that Belize sailor has a valid point. Before attempting an offshore passage like you propose you should already know your boats fuel consumption and range.

You need to accurately determine the fuel consumption of your boat at various speeds and rpms and from that calculate your safe range, of course allowing for a safe margin. Don't forget that your fuel burn and boat speed can vary a lot in ocean compared to what you might get in calm water.

To answer your questions it is necessary to ask you:

- At 4 gph what is your speed?

- At 9 kts what is your fuel consumption?

- Have you calculated the distance you will travel?

Regarding the loop current, that is quite variable in location and speed in the Gulf of Mexico so best thing to do there is look at one of the online maps that shows the latest data. Generally the loop current on that course will not have a significant impact on your speed over the ground but if you happen to catch a front the combination of wind and current can make it quite bumpy.
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Old 15-08-2015, 05:47   #4
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Re: Mobile to cancun

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jason.
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Old 15-08-2015, 08:14   #5
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Re: Mobile to cancun

hello, not offended at all of the basic question I asked. I have never done anything like this and want to cover all bases. I have owned boat for 3 years. I have put about 300 hours on it. When I bought the boat, we brought it around from jacksonville, Fl. to key west to tampa to destine, then to mobile, then up tom big bee to huntsville, al. I was not captain on the boat, but did drive some and learned from the captain.
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Old 15-08-2015, 08:18   #6
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Re: Mobile to cancun

hello, ty. I do have the speed versus fuel burn already.

6kts - 2 gph
7kts - 4 gph
8kts - 6 gph
9kts - 8 gph
10kts - 14 gph

It holds 750 gallons of fuel. From what I can determine its about 650 NM across to yucatan.

Thank you, jason
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Old 15-08-2015, 08:50   #7
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Re: Mobile to cancun

The last 100 miles or so you're bucking a 2 knot current if you hit it wrong.

I'd take the 6knot speed and leave plenty of reserves.


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Old 15-08-2015, 09:35   #8
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Re: Mobile to cancun

about 650 nm is in the ballpark but add some on both ends for maneuvering, in and out of the marina, etc so I would use 700 for calculations.

Speed vs fuel burn and fuel reserves is a balancing act. 8 kts vs 6 kts gets you there almost a day sooner which gives you more confidence in the weather window you need. Using 700 nm, 8 kts and 6 gph would burn 525 gallons leaving a reserve of 225 gallons. If you start running lower than the calculations you could always slow down to 6 kts and the 2 gph reserve would give you 450 nm on the 225 gallon reserve.

Speaking of weather, Sept is kind of borderline on weather. You could easily see a late hurricane with lower odds of an early season cold front. Either one could ruin your day. I would highly recommend you watch the weather very carefully before departure and do not get locked into the mind set of "I only have these weeks off to make this trip so maybe the weather won't be that bad so I'll go for it". Better to miss the trip and go another time than end up a headline on the local news.
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Old 15-08-2015, 10:13   #9
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Re: Mobile to cancun

Is there any type of device I can buy so that I can have Internet going across?
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Old 15-08-2015, 10:35   #10
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Re: Mobile to cancun

You probably do not have enough fuel to safely take the direct route, but you should be OK if you head over to the tip of Cuba first. You will need to take the latest current forecasts into consideration when you leave, as well as the latest weather forecasts. Be aware that the boat will roll in a cross sea if you take it slow like you are planning to do.

http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/globa...omw129forc.gif

Plan for a 100 hour run. If you don't have an autopilot, you will need at least 3 crew who can drive the boat. Adjust your speed as you approach so that you will arrive in daylight. You can always stop at Isla Mujeres if you are running short of daylight or fuel.

Be aware that the boat will roll in a cross sea if you take it slow like you are planning to do. You could have a better trip if you refueled at Key West and went more like your normal cruise speed.
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Old 15-08-2015, 11:34   #11
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Re: Mobile to cancun

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post

Regarding the loop current, that is quite variable in location and speed in the Gulf of Mexico so best thing to do there is look at one of the online maps that shows the latest data. Generally the loop current on that course will not have a significant impact on your speed over the ground but if you happen to catch a front the combination of wind and current can make it quite bumpy.
This is absolutely not the case. As of today's forecast the northward loop current speed is 2kn, while the southward current speed is a little less at 1.95kn. The currents are separated by less than 100nm.

If you are traveling at 6kn through the water, speed over the ground could be as low as 4kn or as high as 8kn, this is massive increase in speed just from knowing where to position the boat.

Current and 5 day forcasts are available at WAVCIS Forecasts

As for Internet availability... You can buy or rent sattelite communication equipment. Bandwidth is limited however.
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Old 15-08-2015, 11:42   #12
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Re: Mobile to cancun

Planning is important. Watching weather and waves for several weeks before you go would be very beneficial. Passage weather.com is a good site. There is a site that has real time currents in the Gulf of Mex. that would be very useful on this trip. With the eddys that spin off the main currant a small course change can save a lot of time. I changed computers and I can't seem to find it now, perhaps someone else can share a link.

I just saw post 11. That is a good site and a great example of the good, bad and ugly. If you bear a little E of a straight course and pick up the Southerly currant towards the tip of Cuba then get in tight to the western tip until you are across the straights you will have very little time with a head current. If you leave N.O. and bear West you could go down to just west of the tip of the Yucatan then come around the point with head current for a short time. Plan your trip several ways and pick the way that will give you the best ride and fuel burn/least time. Remember that you will be going SLOW and things will change during your trip. If you have never planned a trip like this it would be helpful to get some instruction or use one of the professional planners that are available.
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Old 15-08-2015, 12:37   #13
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Re: Mobile to cancun

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whynotneptunus View Post
Is there any type of device I can buy so that I can have Internet going across?
Sure, if you have big bucks to spend. I mean really big bucks for a satellite system unless as mentioned, there is a less option available.

If you just need basic email with no attachments you could get by for 1-2 thousand for a Ham radio and Pactor modem if you by used.
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Old 15-08-2015, 13:00   #14
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Re: Mobile to cancun

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This is absolutely not the case. As of today's forecast the northward loop current speed is 2kn, while the southward current speed is a little less at 1.95kn. The currents are separated by less than 100nm.

If you are traveling at 6kn through the water, speed over the ground could be as low as 4kn or as high as 8kn, this is massive increase in speed just from knowing where to position the boat.

Current and 5 day forcasts are available at WAVCIS Forecasts

As for Internet availability... You can buy or rent sattelite communication equipment. Bandwidth is limited however.
You are correct, this is absolutely not the case BUT the key statement is "As of today's forecast".

The currents in the Gulf of Mexico, in my experience are not constant at all in location, direction and speed. I have seen the main current loop around the tip of Cuba and turn east into the Straights of Florida with very little heading north or west into the Gulf. I have seen a large stream head west towards Brownsville and turn east along the Gulf Coast the south along the FL west coast before turning east into the Straights. I have seen it make random eddies around the entire Gulf.

So that is why I recommended the OP check the online forecasts for the current before departing. What you see today or the next five days may be very different in the following week. And as you show in the math, choosing the wrong course can make a +/- 2 kt difference in speed over the ground.

By the way, you can get high speed satellite internet. Just costs high speed money.
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Old 15-08-2015, 16:10   #15
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Re: Mobile to cancun

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whynotneptunus View Post
hello, not offended at all of the basic question I asked. I have never done anything like this and want to cover all bases. I have owned boat for 3 years. I have put about 300 hours on it. When I bought the boat, we brought it around from jacksonville, Fl. to key west to tampa to destine, then to mobile, then up tom big bee to huntsville, al. I was not captain on the boat, but did drive some and learned from the captain.
That's good starting experience. Have you considering taking along more experienced crew?

With all the currents and eddies at play this can be an ugly bit of ocean...especially if high winds set up counter to current. Not only can that make it uncomfortable to dangerous, but as posted, can make a dramatic difference in your fuel consumption.
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