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Old 20-03-2014, 11:09   #1
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First time offshore

Hi all,
I have been invited to sail a Hinckley 52 from Virgin Gorda to Newport, RI. with two friends who are both commercial captains and one is a dear friend. Now, although I have sailed and owned sailboats for 15 years, it has nearly all been daysailing and to tell the truth I have never sailed offshore and am more than a little nervous.....should I be???? Once we are underway we have no way of knowing the weather ahead of us except for the VHF. This makes me nervous too!! What kind of weather would be typical for this run the first two weeks of April?? Am I looking at something that is going to be a test of physical endurance? I am 56 and not very athletic but in good health. Any advise and encouragement or otherwise would be much appreciated.
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Old 20-03-2014, 11:33   #2
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Re: First time offshore

Offshore and only VHF?!? In this day and age, not having reliable weather is simply foolhardy, unless you're Boatman! See the Atlantic Delivery topic.
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Old 20-03-2014, 11:40   #3
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Re: First time offshore

Personally I think you 3 guys will have a great time. While I have well over 30,000 miles offshore I have never sailed the route your planning but I'm sure its a reasonable trip. Its really not as exciting as your mind has got it played up, getting good sleep has always been my problem for the first few days but after that I sleep like a baby (wake up every couple of hrs. crying) seriously it will be a great learning experience for you and you might even get bit with the bug. Weather varies even with professional forecasts so you only get to choose the day you leave. Barometer, cloud formations and wind direction give you lots of heads up on weather..just go and have a great time and don't forget to check back in and tell all of us about your first real sailing adventure.
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Old 20-03-2014, 13:25   #4
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Re: First time offshore

Thanks Stu & Rob,
Thanks for your input. Perhaps I am overthinking this (watching too many Deadly catch/Bering sea series). Lets see what others think..
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Old 20-03-2014, 13:31   #5
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Re: First time offshore

I'm thinking that just VHF for weather is a bit foolish.
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Old 20-03-2014, 13:34   #6
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Re: First time offshore

You can pick up a Kaito / Degen 1103 HF radio receiver or similar for about $75 and get offshore weather.

Also . . . will you have an EPIRB or PLB on board? PLBs are only $250 these days.

Have a great trip!
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Old 20-03-2014, 13:35   #7
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Re: First time offshore

if they ask you to bring suspenders , stockings and makeup i would be very afraid!
otherwise it should be a great trip,at the right time of year!
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Old 20-03-2014, 13:38   #8
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Re: First time offshore

There is an EPIRB on board. That radio seems worth the investment (Jeez if I could spend that much on a boat...I think I would have one of these!!!!) ....Thanks for the manly advice Atoll!!
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Old 20-03-2014, 14:16   #9
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Re: First time offshore

Have you asked the same questions of the 2 captains you are planning to go along with? I bet that 52' Hinkley has more than just a VHF.
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Old 20-03-2014, 14:38   #10
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Re: First time offshore

Yes, I have asked that question.....hence my misgivings.
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Old 20-03-2014, 14:41   #11
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Re: First time offshore

Well you are an experienced sailor, if you don't feel comfortable don't go!
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Old 20-03-2014, 14:42   #12
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Re: First time offshore

BTW: Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, irishmike.
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Old 20-03-2014, 15:04   #13
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Re: First time offshore

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cormorant View Post
You can pick up a Kaito / Degen 1103 HF radio receiver or similar for about $75 and get offshore.
Great, inexpensive advice, however, you will also want to have a running laptop onboard, an audio cable from the radio to the laptop, an application to view an save weather faxes, possibly an external antenna, the weather fax transmission schedule, and of course knowledge/experience on how to interpret the information.
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Old 20-03-2014, 15:30   #14
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Re: First time offshore

To be sure some of the faxes are in plain English and need no interpretation.
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Old 20-03-2014, 15:42   #15
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Re: First time offshore

You should have a great trip. Will you be going straight through or stopping in Bermuda?

South of Bermuda should be relatively easy going and a good opportunity to get your sea legs and learn to enjoy the overnight watches. The potentially challenging part will be crossing the Gulf Stream. April and May can bring some pretty unpleasant storms which create very unpleasant conditions in the Stream. If you're stopping in Bermuda, you'll have access to weather info and can pick a good window for your crossing. If you're going straight through with limited weather info, it's more of a crap shoot.
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