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Old 19-11-2009, 05:21   #31
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Recommendation is don't do it. No project is worth your life and sailing the north Atlantic in March in a 42' cat will be extremely risky. March in the North Atlantic you should expect gales and freezing temperatures.
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Old 19-11-2009, 05:25   #32
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Originally Posted by tomicante View Post
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.
Tom,

Here's the North Atlantic Pilot Chart for March. As you can see, in the latitude of Cape Verde and quite a bit northwards, prevailing winds are out of the east most of the time. Most cats don't go to windward very well, especially against big seas and current and wind.

How difficult is that? VERY. Well-found monohulls which find themselves in trouble only a few hundred miles west of the Canaries or Cape Verde have found it absolutely impossible to return upwind.

So, you'd probably have to go to higher latitudes to have any chance at all.

Personally, I wouldn't try it...especially not in a 42' cat. And, as SkipMac says, conditions are likely to be god awful.

Much better to make a NAtl crossing later in the year, then sail on down to Cape Verde from, e.g., Gibraltar or the Canaries.

Bill

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Old 19-11-2009, 06:09   #33
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Thanks guys for your opinions!!!

My problem is that I really can't delay the start. As I am will be the supporting ship for the first woman to swim accross the atlantic ocean, and we have to start the swim from Cape Verde in april (the latest)... So I have to sail the boat there in march...
We allready have done the swimming trainig twice (from Cape Verde to Trinidad), and april-may are the best, because we have the less wind, which is good for the swimming.

I also was thinking of installing extra fuel tanks, and try to motorsail as south as possible, doing shorter legs (Florida-Bermudas-Azores-Canary) waiting for good (or better) weather forecast in each stop.
Any opinion on that?
Thanks in advance!
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Old 19-11-2009, 06:45   #34
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Don't do it.

Find another alternative: Another support ship? Transporting the boat to Azores/Europe/NAfrica/Canaries on a ship?
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Old 19-11-2009, 06:50   #35
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To Tomicante:

Hi, I was in Las Palmas last year when another attempt was prepared - was it your team? I believe that attempt was successful. If so, we have met before!

If you are going for the challenge again I might be able to support you to some extent. Depends on what team you already have behind you.

Anyway, mine, and I believe many other's opinion is that for this project the boat should be sailed to the East side the season before the attempt, then kept here until the trial.

The risk is high and (out of season) I would take it only in a shipshape, big boat, that can take any weather. This includes strong crew with considerable seagoing experience. It is a risky escapade anyway, so you cannot afford any boat/crew related issues.

I will post you a private msg with some advice so you can reach me via e-mail. Or just post here as I follow most weather related threads regularly.

Cheers,
barnie
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Old 19-11-2009, 06:54   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomicante View Post
Thanks guys for your opinions!!!

My problem is that I really can't delay the start. As I am will be the supporting ship for the first woman to swim accross the atlantic ocean, and we have to start the swim from Cape Verde in april (the latest)... So I have to sail the boat there in march...
We allready have done the swimming trainig twice (from Cape Verde to Trinidad), and april-may are the best, because we have the less wind, which is good for the swimming.

I also was thinking of installing extra fuel tanks, and try to motorsail as south as possible, doing shorter legs (Florida-Bermudas-Azores-Canary) waiting for good (or better) weather forecast in each stop.
Any opinion on that?
Thanks in advance!
In high risk activities like climbing, flying, diving and yes, sailing, becoming too task or goal oriented and the resulting neglect of safety issues is one of the biggest causes of accidents. In your case the "need" to cross the Atlantic on a schedule I think is a classic example.

Motoring across might be possible. If you try to cross between the easterly and westerly winds, that is through the Atlantic high you will likely see a higher percentage of calm weather. But to motor all the way would require several hundred gallons of diesel weighing 3-4,000 lbs. On a cat that is a hell of a load and a lot of drums or bladders rolling around. Would hate to be on that boat in a bad blow.

Some things just aren't safe or practical, no matter how much you want them to be.
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Old 19-11-2009, 07:08   #37
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N. Atl. in early spring.....

tomicante,
I agree with the others....Miami to Cape Verde, in March, sailing a cat is just a bad idea.....


But, I DO have some real world experiences to share with you....
Back in the 1970's, one of my parent's many voyages was sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to Falmouth, England (via Bermuda and Azores), leaving Ft. Lauderdale April 2nd......
(I quite happily stayed in Ft. Lauderdale!!! and I met them over there and spent the next few summers cruising Europe/Med, before sailing with them from the Canaries to Barbados, in warm weather!!!!)

It was COLD and ROUGH their entire crossing.....
They wore multiple layers of clothing (wool, etc.) under their foulies, and never saw winds less than 25 kts., and mostly 35+ kts.....with seas of better than 15' most of the way.....and many times larger.....
There were many gales that kept the winds and seas frothing about....
And they were going the right way, following favorable winds, NOT trying to beat into the easterly trades......and they sailed a very well founded offshore monohull.....
They lost the engine (broken rod and piston) just one day out of Bermuda, and they went on to sail the rest of 3000+ miles without engine, including tacking up the river into Falmouth.....

They are/were experienced offshore sailors, but if my Dad was still around, he'd admit that April was just too early.....and they should've left 4 - 6 weeks later....

Hearing their stories and reading their logs, I cannot imagine anyone chossing to sail a cat INTO the prevailing trades......nor someone trying a northward route (following the westerlies), in March????

To each his own, but I've sailed 10,000's of miles offshore, many N. Atl. crossings, etc. and I wouldn't do your proposed passage if you paid me....

Just my thoughts...
Fair winds...

John
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Old 25-11-2009, 04:52   #38
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Been a bit of a rough old night, fence panels down at home just hope the yacht is okay. In fact it has been blowing like this for a fortnight now and there is more to come

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