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Old 27-12-2009, 18:36   #1
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FL to NC Offshore in January

Hey All...
I am taking delivery of our 35' Fountain Pajot Tago Catamaran this week. I plan to bring her up from Riviera Beach, FL to to her new home in Washington, NC next week over the New Years weekend leaving on Thursday morning. The plan is to bring her back offshore as far north as the weather will permit. Then North on the ICW, if necessary, to the Pamilico River and on to Washington, NC.

Any thoughts or recommondations on making this passage would be appreciated.

Sea ya,


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Old 27-12-2009, 19:55   #2
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Main suggestion. Even in south FL a cold front can make the Gulf Sream really nasty in Jan. Check the weather very carefully before going outside.

Also, do not get locked into a schedule. Be ready to wait out the weather.

The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
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Old 27-12-2009, 20:30   #3

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I don't know if that's new or used, but considering how the wx can change and what survival time in the water is in January...

Survey and inspect, take an overnight near-shore shakedown cruise, recheck the boat afterwards. Engine, rigging, all through-hulls, power and communications.

I'd stay conservative and try to set up a comm schedule with someone ashore, or at least a float plan filed.

After that, it is a just a matter of checking the weather very carefully, and being prepared to wait--or delay as needed. (That and dressing for it! Sea boots and watch cap may be mandatory.)
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Old 28-12-2009, 04:06   #4
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Looking at, it appears that the next cold front will be passing off the Coast on Friday. If you could leave this Wednesday, you'd be able to take advantage of the high pressure system to your north and motorsail in the Gulf Stream to make some miles on Wednesday and Thursday.

It looks like the winds will be clocking around from the SW to the NW and building on Friday, 20-30 kts NW, and staying in that range through Sunday. Looks like you might want to seek a safe inlet to the ICW before dark on Thursday to avoid bashing into headwinds.

p.s. welcome to Cruisers Forum!
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Old 28-12-2009, 04:35   #5
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I usually go NE from Florida out to 80 deg west and then ride the Gulf Stream straight north to Charleston. However, at this time of the year I would probably stay close in unless I was sure of a 3 day weather window. Even close in to Florida (5 miles) you still get some northerly current.

All the east coast entries are difficult in bad weather from the east so I would be very careful with weather reports. Places like Frying Pan Shoals off Wilmington are very bad in north easterlies so that the ICW from Charleston must be part of the plan and I would go in at Beaufort and not risk Hatteras.

Good luck.

"Remember, experience only means that you screw-up less often."
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Old 28-12-2009, 06:53   #6
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I'll be a contrarion, I would hug the coast (-+20nm), when weather forecast goes
nasty, jump inside. Unless you are going to commit to going all the way to Beaufort,
staying in the stream will take you so far out, that if you come back in the extra
speed you gotten will not make up for the extra miles.

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