Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-06-2009, 18:06   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3
Miami > Bimini on 18' Laguna?

Hello, I live in Miami and am wondering if it would be possible to sail my 18ft laguna windrose sailboat to Bimini. I would wait till hurricane season is over and make sure weather permits to make the 50 mile treck. Is this something a small sail like mine could handle, or should I not even try a treck like that? Any advice would be great. Thanks
__________________

__________________
ferrarsf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2009, 18:57   #2
Registered User
 
Strygaldwir's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Deale, Maryland
Boat: SeaView - Privilege 37
Posts: 1,020
Images: 5
If you have to ask, you shouldn't do it.

Sailing that far in craft that small, across the gulf stream to do so reasonably would require you to be an expert in the navigation of your craft. You'd have far more knowledge of your vessel and your abilities than anyone here!

Captain Bligh navigated an open boat more than 4,000 miles in open ocean. If you have his capability, you certainly wouldn't be asking anyone here.
__________________

__________________
Strygaldwir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2009, 19:12   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
Wirthout knowing more the answer is clearly no. Wanting is not the same as being able. On the perfect day you might get there and then there would be getting back. Dumb luck twice in a row is not something you just say go for it.
__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2009, 19:47   #4
Registered User
 
svcattales's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Apollo Beach, Fl
Boat: Privilege 37
Posts: 533
Images: 10
Ferrar, The Gulf Stream deserves lots of respect and crossing it can be a real challenge for any size sailing vessel.

I have crossed it several times (37' mono and 37' cat) and have always had to wait between one to six weeks to get a good weather window to cross. Even some good weather forecasts turned out to be 3-5 ft seas on the bow after hitting the stream. You would have to plan for the same wait at Bimini waiting for weather to cross back.

Another consideration is the strength of the current which can range between 2-4 kts. If you can't make an average of at least 5kts, your drift correction into the current would be huge which will decrease your VMG (velocity made good). Also, the prevailing winds in winter out out of the east and I have always had to motor or motor-sail acrossed. Do you have a strong motor that won't cavitate in a large sea? If you wait for a southerly or westerly, it means that a cold front is close and you may not have the time to cross.

People have crossed oceans in smaller boats than yours, but to do it safely would require extensive preparation, planning and lots of time to wait for the right weather. Think about this very carefully before you attempt to do it.
__________________
Greg, SV Cat Tales
svcattales is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2009, 21:29   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Having crossed the Gulfstream in good and bad weather, I now wait for a good weather window which as mentioned can take up to 3 weeks. Winds from west through south for sailboats and west thru east for power boats and seas under 3 feet are the best possible. I have even crossed a couple of times in flat calm seas, now that was nice.
But the current in the Gulfstream is not a steady state thing, it increases from minimal near the coast of Florida and the Bahamas Banks up to maximum near the half way point in the crossing. So I use course corrections to track south of the rhumb line early then start turning back eastward/westward to maintain a course/heading perpendicular to the axis by mid stream. I hold that and accept any northward drift until near the Banks then turn as appropriate north/south to get to my destination. This is known as a "minimum time crossing" and the idea is to get across and out of the effects of the Gulfstream as quickly as possible. Based on 6 kts SOG that means accepting about 15-20 nm of drift northward. Some of that can be offset by starting south of your opposite side target and also by getting some southing in before entering the stream.
Higher speed boats can cross with proportionately lower drift loss. If you try to hold the rhumb line during the whole crossing - which I tried during some of my early crossings - you end up in the middle of the stream point almost south and making only 2 knots SOG or less. Going nowhere fast (almost standing still) in the middle of the Gulfstream is not my idea of fun so I accept the drift and then head back to my destination when I am close to shore.
As to size of the boat I have crossed in 30footer to 60 footers and I have seen speedboats (under 20 feet) zip across when the sea state is nice and calm. At 20 kts it is just over 2 hours to cross so your exposure is quite small. It is only the wind/waves that are limiting.
__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2009, 12:26   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 80
50 miles each way in 18 foot sailboat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ferrarsf View Post
Hello, I live in Miami and am wondering if it would be possible to sail my 18ft laguna windrose sailboat to Bimini. I would wait till hurricane season is over and make sure weather permits to make the 50 mile treck. Is this something a small sail like mine could handle, or should I not even try a treck like that? Any advice would be great. Thanks
I'm apparently in the same category as yourself ! I have big dreams and a small boat!

I know that a guy actually survived his trek from California to Hawaii about 20 years ago in his Catalina 18 and continues to be a boater today.

I met a man about three years ago who survived his own trek from CA to Hawaii in his Potter 19. That guy didn't even have electronics on board!

Its easy to dream, as you & I both do, but unless you're prepared to die.... it doesn't sound like a safe idea for you to try that on a small boat and probably without the needed expertise. But I can relate to your thinking!
__________________
BigDreams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2009, 12:49   #7
Eternal Member
 
imagine2frolic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Las Brisas Panama AGAIN!
Boat: Simpson, Catamaran, 46ft. IMAGINE
Posts: 4,508
Images: 123
If you have the sailing skills, and your boat is prepared? Right now is the proper time to go. The weather windows are large this time of year, and often. We use to cross with DR, and nothing else years ago. As advised you can work the current to your favor by starting out lower than Miami. Angelfish Creek I believe is one good spot.

webbchiles

Do some reading by this man, and you will see almost anything can be sailed almost anywhere, but the skipper needs to be capable. Don't ever let anyone squash your dreams, but don't be foolish also. BEST WISHES in your decisions......i2f
__________________
SAILING is not always a slick magazine cover!
BORROWED..No single one of is as smart as all of us!
http://sailingwithcancer.blogspot.com/
imagine2frolic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2009, 13:56   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,342
I dont know your boat, but if is an enclosed boat and you and the boat are prepared, why not? People have sailed around the world in 20 footers! The key is if you and your boat are ready...
__________________
Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2009, 17:04   #9
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,573
Images: 240
For those wondering, the Laguna Windrose 18 has a 70 inch beam, 151 square feet of sail area, 1500 lbs. Displacement, and draft of approximately 4' (CB Down).
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Laguna Windrose 18.jpg
Views:	1664
Size:	484.2 KB
ID:	8498  
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2009, 17:35   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,342
If you are not an experienced sailor and your boat is basically a daysailor type, it's probably a voyage fraught with trouble. There really isnt much at Bimini anyway... the keys would be just as good I would think.
__________________
Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2009, 17:48   #11
cruiser

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Tampa to New York
Boat: Morgan 33 OutIsland, Magic and 33' offshore scott design "Cutting Edge"
Posts: 1,594
I've crossed numerous times in a 23 footer with a 9.9hp. I like bimini. The sepona wreck just south is a great day excursion. Plenty of good reefs on the north side. Don't take the warnings about the gulfstream lightly.
__________________
forsailbyowner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2009, 17:55   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
The experience needed has to do more with common sense and the ability to wait for proper weather conditions than anything else. I have seen sailors in 50ft or bigger boats kill themselves or wreck their boats while folks in 20 footers plug along safe and sound. It is not the size of your equipment that counts it is how you use it.
Definitely plan your crossing by knowing what you can reasonably expect your speed over the ground is in calm water and 15 knot breezes. Then calculate the hours needed for a 50nm sail. Multipy those hours by 2.5 to get your northward drift due to the current. Pick a point south of Miami equal to that drift distance and then measure the distance to your Bahamas Banks destination. Divide that new distance by your normal speed over the ground to get your estimated time for the crossing. Then look for a good weather window with a day or two extra time added to your crossing time. If your crossing time exceeds the hours of daylight then you will have to start out before sun rise and planning to arrive on the Banks by 4-5PM (at least 2-3 hours before sunset. Slow boat tend to leave Miami at sunset to arrive at the Banks by midday or early afternoon. You will need good VHF radio equipment and navigation lights on the boat along with a couple of good GPS units and batteries.
But it might be easier to just install a outboard motor bracket on your stern and hang a 15 hp to 18 hp outboard there so you can make like a power boat to do the crossing. Trailerable sailboats are normally swing keel/centerboard and round bottom so you should be able to power up to 8 to 10 kts with an outboard and do the crossing in 5 to 6 hours providing you have reasonably flat seas. When you get to the outher side then you can resume sailing.
__________________
osirissail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2009, 18:18   #13
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
Quote:
If you try to hold the rhumb line during the whole crossing - which I tried during some of my early crossings - you end up in the middle of the stream point almost south and making only 2 knots SOG or less.
Thus the lesson in set and drift. The Gulf Stream is the perfect case where failure to compute set and drift could leave you in a very bad condition. The only thing to counteract the gulf stream is time. No boat moves across and fails to drift north. That would include any large ship you care to name. They go faster but they still drift. Knots X Time = Distance.

Going slow across the Gulf Stream can mean you drift more than you cross. This is where an auto pilot set to a way point will fail. You end up almost across going against the current. It works if your speed is more than the current but it takes longer than it should to cross. Should you fail to go as fast as the current - you won't ever get there. If you compute set and drift a slow boat can hit the way point by aiming south of the target. The autopilot can never do that for you. This is when the GPS can hurt you too. It can tell the story of why you didn't make but it can't read a current.
__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2009, 18:28   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 80
The laguna 18 is very similar and nearly identical to my Catalina Capri 18 except ours has a fixed wing keel. The manufacturer advises motors of only 4hp or 5hp on it. I've seen online posts where people have experimented and found even a 6hp to be too much in power (backwash coming in) and too much weight. I tend to think the suggestion of placing an 18hp on the transom to be a bit risky
__________________
BigDreams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2009, 18:31   #15
Ram
Registered User
 
Ram's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2005
Location: Cruising Greece
Boat: Cat in the med & Trawler in Florida
Posts: 2,298
Images: 27
June is likly the best month to cross as there are many calm days to go, but remember you may have to wait a week or so to get back,if you decide to go- Good Luck
__________________

__________________
Ram is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Bimini Islands, miami

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bimini Cost? Boomp Construction, Maintenance & Refit 26 25-02-2016 20:14
Bimini Fling ? AngerMgmt Cruising News & Events 20 11-06-2010 11:59
New to Boating: Miami to Bimini LouMAR Meets & Greets 39 05-11-2008 19:15
Sea Anchor - 18' Para Tech - $650 cisnecito Classifieds Archive 11 01-09-2008 04:49
Bimini Material Pelagic Construction, Maintenance & Refit 7 11-02-2008 08:13



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:20.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.