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Old 27-10-2009, 05:53   #16
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this was something that i did some research on, and concluded it was a bad idea. but, being a newbie, i do trust the experience of sailors over threads floating about on the internet and passages in books. i'm sorry if people felt that i wasted their time by posting this on the board.
Do not trust anything on a forum more than what Jimmy Cornell has written in that book. It's the cruisers bible. Well, their second bible...
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Old 27-10-2009, 06:03   #17
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Amen!! Christian
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Old 27-10-2009, 12:57   #18
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...all winter offshore sailing in your neck of the woods needs to be quite carefully considered.
Note that this does not say that such sailing is always impossible and you will definitely die if you try...

just that it needs to be quite carefully considered!
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Old 27-10-2009, 16:11   #19
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Steve, I live on the other side of the pond so can't advise you on the Eastern Seaboard of the US, but there is no way I would consider sailing in anything towards the Western Approaches at that time of year. It isn't just the weather conditions it is also the temperature, very cold.

My dive buddy serves in the Royal Navy. As part of there work up trials they go looking for storms each winter in.... the North Atlantic.

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Old 27-10-2009, 19:31   #20
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I remember my dad talking about winter in the north atlantic. He did a few trips on destroyers, a cruiser and a couple on submarines during the war. He said that the only enjoyable trips were on the submarines.

I think with a 29 foot boat, late May or early June would be the time to shove off. Thats more or less my game plan. But if you boat is sound, I'd say its doable. Besides. this way you don't have to chip icicles off your nose

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Old 27-10-2009, 22:00   #21
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Hi Steve,
As a fellow American I can say that the Cornell book would discourage you from attempting a passage to Europe in January in the Atlantic.
The "Plimsole Marks" mentioned by so many with such glee might need a little explanation for those not familiar with commercial shipping practices. Waterline - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The point about the "Plimsole lines or marks" is that the lowest one on any commercial ship is the 'WNA', or Winter North Atlantic. The idea is that a ship needs more buoyancy in the North Atlantic in Winter then, well, basically anywhere else as the conditions are likely to be that bad. Commercial boats must carry less cargo across the North Atlantic in winter to maintain the proper height of the water displacement level to achieve the 'WNA' mark. Makes sense if you think about it.
If Lloyds of London, who insures the commercial vessels has this restriction there is a reason for it. It is known to be a nasty area. It would make a great read if you lived to write about it though.
Going from FL to Bahamas, not so much of a challenge given a weather window.
Good luck and have fun.
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Old 27-10-2009, 23:41   #22
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Commercial boats must carry less cargo across the North Atlantic in winter to maintain the proper height of the water displacement level to achieve the 'WNA' mark. Makes sense if you think about it.
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OK, I'm thinking about it!
The sea and temp will give the ship more boyancy so coming from the Panama Canal (Tropical Fresh) would it have to offload cargo before WNA area? Or would the ship just float higher?


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Old 28-10-2009, 03:24   #23
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Mark it will float higher, whether this is enough for the N Atlantic is another question. Salt water is more dence with something like a ratio of 1:1.3 if I remember my diving lessons many years ago.

Of course going the canal ought to encourage all those little beasties to die.

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Old 28-10-2009, 04:20   #24
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Of course going the canal ought to encourage all those little beasties to die.

Pete

We tested that theory! And I dont think it works. We were only in the fresh water for 24 hours. I think most would have survived.
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Old 28-10-2009, 08:46   #25
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good question

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OK, I'm thinking about it!
The sea and temp will give the ship more boyancy so coming from the Panama Canal (Tropical Fresh) would it have to offload cargo before WNA area? Or would the ship just float higher?


Mark

The only thing I am certain of is that salt water has more buoyancy then fresh water. So, as Pete said, the ship would float somewhat higher going from the 'TF' Panama Canal.
This from wikipedia: "Fresh water marks make allowance for the fact that the ship will float deeper in fresh water than salt water. A ship loaded to her Fresh Water mark in fresh water will float at her Summer Mark once she has passed into sea water. Similarly if loaded to her Tropical Fresh water mark she will float at her Tropical Mark once she passes in to sea water."
From this I infer that a ship that is loaded in the Panama Canal would load up only to the 'W' or winter mark for crossing the NA in winter. The additional buoyancy of the salt water should put her at or close to the 'WNA' mark once there.
I am not a merchant mariner although I have some friends who are.
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Old 28-10-2009, 09:13   #26
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MarkJ,

I'm going back a ways to when I was in the merchant navy but in brackish or fresh water (river ports) we always used a hydrometer to get the specific gravity of the water we were in to determine how far down we could go on the marks. Water in these ports is seldom "fresh" so you're not really down to the "F" mark. Usually loading bulk homogeneous cargo. We always loaded as much as allowable.
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Old 28-10-2009, 09:27   #27
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used a hydrometer to get the specific gravity of the water we were in to determine how far down we could go on the marks.
Really! Wow I didnt know it was that important! And then the load is calculated, not some bugger sitting in the dinghy yelling out when the line is reached?

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Old 01-11-2009, 02:01   #28
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Its a bit windy in the Channel and Western Approaches this weekend, well predicted so hopefullu everyone is at home or tied up somewhere safe but a confused sea with wind over tide just rather unpleasant.

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Old 02-11-2009, 16:02   #29
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Yeah just a "little bit windy", and also rain rain rain, ( 8 continous days now)

Just to add my voice, appraching the European and specifically the irish continental shelf and the subsequent approaches to the English channel, is not for the fainthearted. Winter is for lunatics, even summer you get badly smashed about by summer lows, especially the last three years the summers have been appaling withs lots of wind and rain. Its a piece of sea that I put up beside Biscay as needing lots of care. ( and in my experience I always get hammered there in the summer anyway)
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Old 19-11-2009, 04:29   #30
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maybe march?

Hi, I've sailed the south atlantic a couple of times, but now I'm organizing a project, and that includes the north atlantic from Miami to Cape Verde. I know that the north atlantic in winter is not the place where I would want to be, but I can not delay much the project. I can't wait until june or july...
So I would like to get some opinions on crossing in march with a 42' catamaran (very well prepared, but low on water).

Thanks,
T.
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