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Old 31-08-2014, 19:18   #1
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Looking for a Buddy Boat to Cross from Bay Islands/Rio Dulce to Jamaica/Haiti/DR

Hey everyone.

We are 3 friends in our 20's who own a 1972 Columbia 30. We are currently in Utila, Honduras, but are trying to get to the Eastern Caribbean this winter. We could spend a couple months coastal cruising north to Mexico and then east and down, but for many reasons we are more interested in getting straight to Jamaica and starting our cruising from there. The leg from Utila to Jamaica is around 500 miles, definitely is offshore, and will require some good beating, but the planned departure will be in Dec or Jan to find a clear weather window with the northerlies already set in.

We could consider ourselves intermediate level sailors, we have about 1000 passage miles each on other boats, but have not made a major crossing with our boat yet. We bought the boat in Feb in decent condition but with plenty of issues, and have spent a lot of time since then working her into shape and taking it out for day sails. The boat is sound now. She has a good thick hull, we have completely overhauled the engine and replaced both side stays and the backstay which had cracked fittings, etc. However, as with all old boats with a few previous owners, you never really know what can come loose here or there and cause problems.

To get to the point...Who wants to buddy up and sail from the Bay Islands/Rio Dulce area to Jamaica (or a bit beyond if your intentions lie elsewhere)? We want to make the crossing with another boat to create a mutually supportive situation so we can all be safe! The most I have been offshore is 50 or 60 miles and I would love to have another boat with me the first time I cross the Caribbean.

Anyone planning on heading that way around Dec/Jan?


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Old 07-09-2014, 18:40   #2
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Re: Looking for a Buddy Boat to Cross from Bay Islands/Rio Dulce to Jamaica/Haiti/DR

Sorry not going your way and have never really appreciated the need for a buddy boat when ocean sailing.
However would suggest also adding a replacement forestay which is usually the first to go. Just because the fittings aren't cracked doesn't mean they are seaworthy.
I assume you do have a serviced liferaft and EPIRB.
I do wish you guys the best of luck and Jamaica is a great place especially Port Antonio.

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Old 07-09-2014, 21:55   #3
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Re: Looking for a Buddy Boat to Cross from Bay Islands/Rio Dulce to Jamaica/Haiti/DR

Lots of variable currents between Honduras and Jamaica. They can make a big diff in your passage time. See if you can find up to date data.

Had Chris Parker do a route for me on this run in the other direction years ago...he had us sail way off the rhumb line, but it shaved major time off.
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Old 08-09-2014, 03:51   #4
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Re: Looking for a Buddy Boat to Cross from Bay Islands/Rio Dulce to Jamaica/Haiti/DR

For three people in your 20's 500 nms upwind is nothing. Less than the length of the Sydney Hobart race.

Have fun.
Notes on a Circumnavigation.

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Haiti, Jamaica

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