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Old 03-02-2011, 08:38   #1
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Can We Sail from Cape Canaveral to the Virgins in the Next Week or Two (Feb 2011) ?

We are a heavy fullkeeled boat that motors to weather relatively easily. Sailing is further off the wind and we can't carry enough fuel to motor the whole way. First we need to find out why the steering quit on us about 35 miles off shore on Wednesday morning. So the question is can we go north around the Bahamas and then east south east to the Virgins. We have a pretty compelling reason for wanting to be there about Feb. 23 and we have no idea how long the repairs will take since we haven't found the problem yet, we only know its result: no steering. We are of two minds on the boat: I think ten days of hardship is worth the reward of getting there. The other mind suggests that planes go to weather really easily and hotel rooms can be bought. Thoughts?
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:58   #2
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Tanke the boat! Leave NOW!

The weather is PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

North Easterlies 20kts or ENE's
Any wind on the nose is close to Florida and quite light.


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PS Its worth the effort even though I have left the Virgin Islands and am now in St Martin.
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:00   #3
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is it the pilot that quit or the quadrant?? do you have quadrant steering?? check the cable on the quadrant. check the entire quadrant--bits can sometimes break on these older ones... goo dluck. what kind of rudder do you have--is it attached or spade or skeg?? can you steer by using your sails??
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:02   #4
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If you're planning on the Islands anyway... take the boat if it can be properly fixed in the next few days... otherwise take a plane... that can be a rough trip with a 'quick fix'....
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:18   #5
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Mark, if we go we will be in St. Barth's by March 6 for Carnival on March 8. Come on over then. Zee, it is hydraulic steering and the culprit is most likely a bleeding of hydraulic fluids inside one of the chambers, either the Hynautics pump or the drum that controls the autopilot. We have fluid, we have pressure, the pressure gauge on the pressure canister is blown but that wouldn't affect the working of the Hynautics. Boaty, you are right, of course, but I do want to get the boat and the dog there as well. Oh dear, time to act like a grown up. The discussion goes on.
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:48   #6
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Good morning Hannah,

Six weeks ago some friends completed a similar trip. They couldn't carry enough fuel, but wanted to shorten the trip (rather than hopping down the Bahama chain). (Their blog updated last week.)

They departed north of you from the Johns River and followed similar routing you mention. The trip included good and bad things of course.

Adventures of s/v WILD HAIR.

They are very nice people and if they have internet access I feel sure would be happy to answer any questions. This was their first offshore trip of 1200+ miles. They experienced storms, becalmed state, beautiful weather days, etc.

Hope this info might assist you in making your decision. I always feel that the more knowledge the better decision will be made!

Wish you the best in travels and adventures!

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Old 03-02-2011, 10:43   #7
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Don't forget Race/Party week in Sint Maarten the first week of March. expect some big seas as the fronts keep coming this winter but should all go North of you.
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:48   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannah on 'Rita T' View Post
We are a heavy fullkeeled boat that motors to weather relatively easily. Sailing is further off the wind and we can't carry enough fuel to motor the whole way...

...We are of two minds on the boat: I think ten days of hardship is worth the reward of getting there. The other mind suggests that planes go to weather really easily and hotel rooms can be bought. Thoughts?
I'm in the "get it over with" camp.

My preference would be to get across the Gulf Stream in settled weather, then head E or ENE hoping to ride a cold front as far East as possible, expecting to have to motor-sail in light SE breezes after it blows out, and until the next one comes through. Stay north of Lat 26, or even better 27 until you get to 66 W or so, and then turn right and dive for the Trades. If you go south too early, you'll be beating into the wind, waves and current, so get your easting in before working your way south. You might make it in 10 days, but I'd plan on 12 and hope for 9.
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Old 03-02-2011, 18:00   #9
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Hud, great advice, thanks. I am late in replying because I got so caught up in reading the blog Mermaid suggested. We've to Carnival in St. Barth's for more than a decade; I don't think my body could take a second party that week. But you have probably assured I won't see Mark J in St. Barth's.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:07   #10
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Have a look at PassageWeather - Sailing Weather - Marine Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:43   #11
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Boy, I hate to be the odd ball. But if one steering component fails I'd be more inclined to get it fixed then head south hugging the coast for a few days a bit before crossing to make sure all is well. If I've learned one thing about boats it is that if one component of a system made up of several fail, there's a good chance the other components may be next.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:52   #12
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Originally Posted by Hannah on 'Rita T' View Post
Carnival in St. Barth's for more than a decade; I don't think my body could take a second party that week. But you have probably assured I won't see Mark J in St. Barth's.
I'll have to check those dates but I am doing the Hinneken regatta in St Martin (Sea Life has a special secret wing keel I am putting on to trance the opposition in the cruising division)
I don't know if I can actually afford to do St Barts the same month (or the same bloody year!!). But its only 20 miles, clear out -in - out - in......... whats the problem?
LOL

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Old 04-02-2011, 09:24   #13
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You want to fix a broken steering system, and then head way offshore right afterward, without time to make sure it is right, to meet some deadline of getting to the islands by Feb 23rd?

Is that correct? If so, I would find and hire a competent hydraulic specialist to give the system the green light, unless that describes you. Also, it would be a good time to do some drills with your emergency steering plan/tiller.

Personally, I would take the plane, unless you can fix the hydraulic system in time to get a few test sails in first, out in the ocean (not doing laps around a marina).

Chris
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:47   #14
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You want to fix a broken steering system, and then head way offshore right afterward, without time to make sure it is right, to meet some deadline of getting to the islands by Feb 23rd?

Is that correct? If so, I would find and hire a competent hydraulic specialist to give the system the green light, unless that describes you. Also, it would be a good time to do some drills with your emergency steering plan/tiller.

Personally, I would take the plane, unless you can fix the hydraulic system in time to get a few test sails in first, out in the ocean (not doing laps around a marina).

Chris
I agree - make SURE you fix this problem. Then take the boat. The easiest way to die in a boat or a plane is a schedule that must be met.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:09   #15
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can you make an over the transom emergency tiller for this boat??? not mine--yours.....yes--schedules kill ye--literally--and break boat-- please be safe and find a way to fix her and be ok. the hyd doesnt move and is stuck in which position? is there any way to disengage the hydraulic system and go for it. nor create an over the transom emergency tiller, or something... has to be a way to disengage the hydraulics so you can move the rudder........
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