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Old 08-02-2013, 02:54   #1
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Need some advice please?

Hi,

This is my first post. I keep researching info on my trip and I keep ending up on here so I thought it would be a good idea to join and start posting. I'm planning on travelling from the UK at the end of the year from here to the Caribbean but I need some advice on a few things. I'm looking at boats at the moment mainly Sadler 32's. Is this Seaworthy? I've heard it's a good design. I plan on sailing across the atlantic from Devon down across the Biscay and out towards the Azores. From the Azores to St Lucia. I see a lot of people seem to go Canaries then Azores to follow the trade winds. Would my route be a bad idea? (I love the Azores having stopped there on my eastward Transatlantic a few years ago. I'm not the most experienced sailor but I'm great with planning and will have emergency equipment such as Sat phone, GPS Epirb, Liferaft etc. I'm planning to spend two years cruising the Caribbean and being as self sufficient as possible (Spearfishing, Seafishing, anchoring in bays instead of paying marina fees etc)

Now my question is.. I'm using a Garmin 62st loaded with Bluecharts for navigation solely plus paper charts for some plotting and marking position from GPS. Is this good enough? I will also have a backup which is Opencpn with CM93 loaded on a laptop (This isn't very detailed for some reason but will just give me an idea to compare both devices if needed)

It's my first post so I better stop here before someone falls asleep haha. Any ideas on route or people with similar experiences please any feedback would be great. I'm all ears.

Thanks

Chris
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:25   #2
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Re: Need some advice please?

Can't help with your specifics (not done the trip you intend), but your thinking sounds well within the ballpark - even if plenty in their for "discussion" on the boat and equipment from folks with varying opinions and experiances. Of course success will be determined on how you use the tools you have as much as simply having them - but no doubt you knew that already .

Anyway, welcome to CF and have a free thread bump - am sure others will be along in due course to chip in with something more useful!
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:35   #3
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Re: Need some advice please?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Chris.
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:39   #4
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Re: Need some advice please?

Cheers dude. I think I'm also asking whether I'm biting off more than I can chew. I'm only day skipper qualified (Tidal). I've done cruising and also completed a Transatlantic I have no doubt about using any type of technology proficiently as I'm a techno geek haha. I know the drill for long passages and know what to expect when the weather shifts. Would people say I've got enough experience to take on this trip? My first mate is a special forces guy with heaps of training and there will be two other deckhands.



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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Can't help with your specifics (not done the trip you intend), but your thinking sounds well within the ballpark - even if plenty in their for "discussion" on the boat and equipment from folks with varying opinions and experiances. Of course success will be determined on how you use the tools you have as much as simply having them - but no doubt you knew that already .

Anyway, welcome to CF and have a free thread bump - am sure others will be along in due course to chip in with something more useful!
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:39   #5
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Re: Need some advice please?

Thanks Buddy

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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Chris.
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:02   #6
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Re: Need some advice please?

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Originally Posted by Chris84 View Post
Cheers dude. I think I'm also asking whether I'm biting off more than I can chew. I'm only day skipper qualified (Tidal). I've done cruising and also completed a Transatlantic I have no doubt about using any type of technology proficiently as I'm a techno geek haha. I know the drill for long passages and know what to expect when the weather shifts. Would people say I've got enough experience to take on this trip? My first mate is a special forces guy with heaps of training and there will be two other deckhands.
A good sign that you are asking yourself whether you are biting off more than you can chew . I would say you are decently placed to learn how to do the trip, even if a lot of that learning will actually be enroute! But nonetheless no substitute for experiance, not only of being on the water but also in setting up the boat / managing her and being the Skipper (the buck stops here!)......boats is easy when all is going well, the tricky bit comes when things not going so well - which is where experiance really helps and can make the difference between success and failure.

In your shoes I would not buy a boat and set off the week after, I would want at least a few decent "shakedown" trips (including with the intended crew - folks living in small places is it's own challenge, largely involving not strangling people!). But I would also not discount the simple day and weekend sailing from home port as well....every trip is an adventure and you will learn every time you set out (and each has the potential to be a disaster!, whether minor or major), a lot of the problems that you will face will involve coasts (rather than wide open stretches of water) so makes sense to use what coast you can lay your hands on to learn from. Boat prep will also be important - very few boats out there that you will buy will be extended delivery trip turnkey ready, let alone for a transat and in any event you need to become familiar with her before setting off as will be you doing the fixing in the middle of the sea not the AA .

Anyway, lots on CF on a similar subject (and folks with similar starting positions as you - or less!)....so well worth a few searches, or simply sitting back for a while and catching the threads as they come past.
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:17   #7
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pirate Re: Need some advice please?

Hi Chris... Welcome to CF...
I'm surprised your CM93 has so little detail... try tweaking the controls at the top for setting amount of info displayed... I've found if I don't tweak it the info in print almost hides the coastline completely..
As to your route... very few folk goe E to W via the Azores.. its a harder ride as the Trades are further S down between the Canaries and Cape Verde's..
As for your capabilities... if you can navigate the coastline and cross the channel from say Plymouth to Brest competently your good enough for a crossing...
Okay theres a lot written about storms and rogue waves etc but you get those inshore as well.. you won't have any real 'hassle' till you get to the other side and have to deal with land again..
I'd recommend paper passage charts that cover UK - N.Spain, N.Spain to Gib, Azores, Madiera, Canaries, N.Atlantic passage chart and a chart of your landfall island choice along with a passage chart for the W.Indies.... anymore you can get over there to suit your particular needs...
As for the route... if your set on the Azores....
Plymouth - La Coruna/Baiona - Lisbon -Azores -Madiera - Canaries - Barbados - Caribbean..
Only crappy one is the Canaries in my view...
But opinions will differ..
Good luck with the trip
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:43   #8
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Re: Need some advice please?

That's sound advice and exactly what I was looking for. Indeed it would be a good idea to know the crew first. Otherwise learn how to use the Garmin man overboard proficiently haha

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
A good sign that you are asking yourself whether you are biting off more than you can chew . I would say you are decently placed to learn how to do the trip, even if a lot of that learning will actually be enroute! But nonetheless no substitute for experiance, not only of being on the water but also in setting up the boat / managing her and being the Skipper (the buck stops here!)......boats is easy when all is going well, the tricky bit comes when things not going so well - which is where experiance really helps and can make the difference between success and failure.

In your shoes I would not buy a boat and set off the week after, I would want at least a few decent "shakedown" trips (including with the intended crew - folks living in small places is it's own challenge, largely involving not strangling people!). But I would also not discount the simple day and weekend sailing from home port as well....every trip is an adventure and you will learn every time you set out (and each has the potential to be a disaster!, whether minor or major), a lot of the problems that you will face will involve coasts (rather than wide open stretches of water) so makes sense to use what coast you can lay your hands on to learn from. Boat prep will also be important - very few boats out there that you will buy will be extended delivery trip turnkey ready, let alone for a transat and in any event you need to become familiar with her before setting off as will be you doing the fixing in the middle of the sea not the AA .

Anyway, lots on CF on a similar subject (and folks with similar starting positions as you - or less!)....so well worth a few searches, or simply sitting back for a while and catching the threads as they come past.
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:51   #9
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Re: Need some advice please?

Thanks for the feedback. I've just toggled the settings but it still seems vague. My comparison is with Garmin Homeport with bluechart's running which is really detailed. It's a shame that it doesn't have an external gps option. I'll see if I can get a screenshot to show you and then take it from there. I agree with the route but was set on the Azores but wouldn't want to compromise with a passage that could be easier further South. I guess i'll take the good old route. Head South till the butter melts then turn right haha. I have to agree too not fond of the canaries their not my cup of tea


Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Hi Chris... Welcome to CF...
I'm surprised your CM93 has so little detail... try tweaking the controls at the top for setting amount of info displayed... I've found if I don't tweak it the info in print almost hides the coastline completely..
As to your route... very few folk goe E to W via the Azores.. its a harder ride as the Trades are further S down between the Canaries and Cape Verde's..
As for your capabilities... if you can navigate the coastline and cross the channel from say Plymouth to Brest competently your good enough for a crossing...
Okay theres a lot written about storms and rogue waves etc but you get those inshore as well.. you won't have any real 'hassle' till you get to the other side and have to deal with land again..
I'd recommend paper passage charts that cover UK - N.Spain, N.Spain to Gib, Azores, Madiera, Canaries, N.Atlantic passage chart and a chart of your landfall island choice along with a passage chart for the W.Indies.... anymore you can get over there to suit your particular needs...
As for the route... if your set on the Azores....
Plymouth - La Coruna/Baiona - Lisbon -Azores -Madiera - Canaries - Barbados - Caribbean..
Only crappy one is the Canaries in my view...
But opinions will differ..
Good luck with the trip
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:31   #10
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Re: Need some advice please?

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I'm surprised your CM93 has so little detail... try tweaking the controls at the top for setting amount of info displayed... I've found if I don't tweak it the info in print almost hides the coastline completely..[/SIZE][/FONT]
Here's a picture so you can see what I mean. The file name is CM93_May2009 if that helps.

Thanks
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:21   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris84 View Post
Here's a picture so you can see what I mean. The file name is CM93_May2009 if that helps.

Thanks
Sheesh.... that was a PITA....
Still getting the hang of this phone.. ... not used the WiFi/Bluetooth link before and gave up... took a picture instead and e-mailed it to myself....
DUHHHH......Caveman brain....

Anyway... this is what I get when I zoom in... and it zooms further... I did recomend a paper chart for the 1st island...
Good back up after a long crossing anyway... anything can go wrong with the electronics..
It is sketchy in some places and there are various versions it seems.. the charts I have on my stick for example differ from the ones on my Nimble Nav program... yet they're both CM93... mine seem to flow more and have more detail in certain areas and his Vicky Veruka...
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:35   #12
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Re: Need some advice please?

looks like a lot more detail on yours to mine I guess it's only a backup and doesn't need to be that detailed as I will have to get some paper charts anyway Whereabouts in Portugal are you?
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:18   #13
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Re: Need some advice please?

Can't held with that Nav Program - just been reflecting on my earlier comments.......

.....just to make clear (albeit likely as much to any readers as to OP) that I am not in the camp that says "go now!" (no matter the lack of experiance or chances of success) - but nonetheless am firmly in the camp that says that boats is not rocket science (and it's not 1870 nor even 1970 or 80!!)..........Putting effort and some smarts in is all that is needed (and that usually also involves time) - cash also a big help! (but not as a substitute for the former, safety equipment can be bought off the shelf (and plenty willing to sell it to ya!) but safety itself can't be).

The thing about boats is that 99% of things are possible - the questions are always around whether "you" should or could. with the challenge being to make things more likely to succeed. and not forgetting simply whether doing so would be enjoyable enough (to be worth the effort). And the answers to those are largely down to self, own capabilities and the effort put in, plus your dreams - and sometimes involves taking a WAG! (albeit within reason! - knowing what is within largely reason comes down to experiance, plus a dollop of simply not being an idjut ).

In the case of OP likely the biggest challenge to face will start onshore - in finding the right boat for the intended voyage(s). IMO a Sadler 32 capable (but so are a squillion(ish!) other boats - another couple of feet would be nice though!) but they are getting on a bit now, so the trick will be finding one in decent condition so you don't end up (unexpectedly) buying someone else's problems or (IMO more likely) underestimating in cash and time the work needed - a Surveyor is very useful, but really no substitute for also having own understanding or as much as you can get (at the end of the day you will be writing the cheque for fixes - not the Surveyor!)......and you also have to accept that neither you or a Surveyor has X-ray specs or the power of second sight!
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:47   #14
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Re: Need some advice please?

Thanks for getting back to me. I was thinking along those lines too. The plan is to spend 1-2 years in the Caribbean cruising, exploring, fishing etc. Looking for the unspoilt parts and having some adventure. Then return to the UK. Sell the boat and finish my Commercial Yachtmaster. Then put a large deposit down for a yacht that's capable of chartering or day sailing. I think I'll probably end up in BVI but who knows. This site has been great researching things from people who have experience on such things.

I'm also looking forward to the break TBH.



Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Can't held with that Nav Program - just been reflecting on my earlier comments.......

.....just to make clear (albeit likely as much to any readers as to OP) that I am not in the camp that says "go now!" (no matter the lack of experiance or chances of success) - but nonetheless am firmly in the camp that says that boats is not rocket science (and it's not 1870 nor even 1970 or 80!!)..........Putting effort and some smarts in is all that is needed (and that usually also involves time) - cash also a big help! (but not as a substitute for the former, safety equipment can be bought off the shelf (and plenty willing to sell it to ya!) but safety itself can't be).

The thing about boats is that 99% of things are possible - the questions are always around whether "you" should or could. with the challenge being to make things more likely to succeed. and not forgetting simply whether doing so would be enjoyable enough (to be worth the effort). And the answers to those are largely down to self, own capabilities and the effort put in, plus your dreams - and sometimes involves taking a WAG! (albeit within reason! - knowing what is within largely reason comes down to experiance, plus a dollop of simply not being an idjut ).

In the case of OP likely the biggest challenge to face will start onshore - in finding the right boat for the intended voyage(s). IMO a Sadler 32 capable (but so are a squillion(ish!) other boats - another couple of feet would be nice though!) but they are getting on a bit now, so the trick will be finding one in decent condition so you don't end up (unexpectedly) buying someone else's problems or (IMO more likely) underestimating in cash and time the work needed - a Surveyor is very useful, but really no substitute for also having own understanding or as much as you can get (at the end of the day you will be writing the cheque for fixes - not the Surveyor!)......and you also have to accept that neither you or a Surveyor has X-ray specs or the power of second sight!
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:25   #15
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Re: Need some advice please?

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Originally Posted by Chris84 View Post
The plan is to spend 1-2 years in the Caribbean cruising, exploring, fishing etc. Looking for the unspoilt parts and having some adventure. Then return to the UK. Sell the boat and finish my Commercial Yachtmaster. Then put a large deposit down for a yacht that's capable of chartering or day sailing. I think I'll probably end up in BVI but who knows.
It sounds like a plan . and after a year or so will know (for self) whether the charter thing would be a goer (for you)........or you simply come back with batteries re-charged, at least for another couple of years.

Keep us all posted on how things progress (and even if not! - it all goes into the pot ).
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