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Old 18-05-2014, 03:41   #1
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New York to St. Thomas/BVI

Just in the final stages of purchasing a Beneteau Oceanis 48 and we are considering putting it down south for the winter. Anyone have experience with atlantic sailing from the New York area (Liberty Landing, NJ) to St. Thomas via Bermuda?

When did you leave (october, november)?
How long did it take you?
How many crew did you take?
Any unexpected issues?
Go via Bermuda, or another route?

Thanks in advance,

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Old 18-05-2014, 04:30   #2
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Re: New York to St. Thomas/BVI

Leave in November, after hurricane season, it'll take you about 8 days, go with an experienced crew of four -- we do it with two of us -- go east as fast as you can, stop in Bermuda if the weather deteriorates. Have fun, it's a great sail. If you are experienced offshore go with the Salty Dawg Rally, if you are newbies offshore, go with the 1500. Hannah, s/v Rita T

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Old 18-05-2014, 06:11   #3
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Re: New York to St. Thomas/BVI

Thanks so much. Basically what we were expecting...actually a couple of days shorter.
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Old 18-05-2014, 06:48   #4
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Most people target leaving on Nov 1st or the next weather window after that. Ideally you would be ready to leave any time after the middle of October, if a good window opens up. If stopping in Bermuda, you will need a 4-5 day window. However, they are often a bit shorter than that, so you can expect to get some weather on one end or the other. Most boats arriving in St George's at that time of year will have some repairs to do. Just the nature of the beast. You can often need to wait for around a week for the next window to open up before heading south from Bermuda. If you are hoping to do it in one shot to USVI's, you can expect to get at least gale conditions for part of the trip.

I like the 3 person 3 on/ 6 off rotation. When we have had a fourth, the Captain was left off the rotation, to make repairs, get weather forecasts and be on call for when a second hand was needed on deck.
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Old 18-05-2014, 06:54   #5
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Re: New York to St. Thomas/BVI

Most from NY or New England elect to work their way down to Hampton Roads, VA or Beaufort, NC before heading offshore. The Gulf Stream is narrower there, and you can get across it in 12 hours or so. Jumping off from VA or NC also minimizes your exposure to the inevitable gales that you'll encounter. If you leave from NY you'll likely experience two or even three gales before getting far enough south to be out of their reach.

Cold fronts come off the East Coast every 3-5 days in early November. Wait until one passes, then head out in the light southeasterlies that follow, motor-sailing for a while if necessary until the wind begins to clock in advance of the next approaching front. If you depart Hampton Roads mid-day, you'll be across the Stream SSE of Hatteras by sundown the next day. The next front will pass over you and you can get a nice ride on the NNW to NNE winds that come with it. A very strong front will push you right through the Horse Latitudes to the Tradewinds, so you won't have to motor in calms.

We've been successful sailing pretty close to, or a bit north of the rhumb line. From Hampton Roads to Tortola is about 1380 nm. Heading toward Bermuda before turning south will add about a day to the passage.
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