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Old 29-06-2008, 18:01   #1
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NY to FL - Inside or Outside?

We live in NY, sail around Long Island Sound. We own a house in Palm Coast, FL. We want to get our 28' 1989 Ericson down there. Timeframe= next spring/summer. We plan to use winter for inspection, repair and planning. Our experience is limited to L.I. Sound, mostly fair weather. Never sailed overnight. Not particularly afraid, just cautious. This could be an adventure for us. If we rhumbline, it's about 900? miles. If we follow the coast, it's over 1000. Maybe straight down with a couple of "breaks"? We don't want to dedicate more than 2 weeks to the trip. (We'll need a "granny" sitter.) Any scenario, I'm excited, wife is willing but apprehensive (Read: "I have duct tape."). What I need are opinions, advice, experiences, other options, and concerns about such a trip. That way, I can do some research, and plan accordingly. In the event everyone thinks I'm crazy to do this, then I'm also looking for donations to help pay the cost of getting the boat to Fl! Thanks!!
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Old 29-06-2008, 18:15   #2
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You won't do this trip in 2 weeks. The fact that you would even consider it in that time frame says you are not ready yet.
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Old 29-06-2008, 18:17   #3
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Craig...suggest mostly inside for your passage since heading south does not lend itself to favorable winds or currents. Forget two weeks unless you go outside. 50 miles per day is the most most people average for the full run down the ICW so you will need a month. You cannot travel the ICW at night.
I would suggest trucking the boat if you only have two weeks in your boat.
If you do decide to go inside and take your time...PM me and i will be happy to help as I've made the trip inside and out a bunch of times.
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Old 29-06-2008, 19:19   #4
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Summer doesn't lend itself to heading south. The winds aren't favourable. LI to Palm Coast will take you three to four weeks at the best. If you're really lucky you'll get to Norfolk in a week Then you've got 800 miles of ICW to get to Palm Coast if my memory serves me right. So my guestimate is about 30 days tops if weather is in your favour.
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Old 29-06-2008, 19:58   #5
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I think the prevailing suggestions are about as good as it gets. If you don't have some experience doing outside passages you should not attempt one so long with the prevailing conditions against you. You only have to do the NJ coast outside. That is not a great distance and you can pick your window. Being able to do a couple days outside means a lot of time saved in the southern most legs of the trip. If you go inside north of Cape Hatteras you can then pick the windows and do some sections outside as weather permits or poke along in the ICW. With your boat 50 miles per day is maybe a bit on the long side on the ICW unless you have the day light. You really can't transit the ICW at night.

Sorry two weeks won't even come close. Being in a hurry is the biggest reason not to try something like this. Being in a hurry leads to doing things that don't really work.
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:20   #6
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Paul-
Thank you for the advice. I was surprised to see how quickly answers can be had through this forum. With exception to the first reply, all were helpful. (The first offered no rationale, only opinion. Can't imagine he would've told Tanya Aebi anything different.)
My 2 week estimation was based on the fact I've run 75 miles dawn to dusk so 100 miles in 24 continuous hours should be do-able. 1,000 miles/100 miles per day...
Your reply, and others, indicate that a. I might not be able to maintain a 4 knot average due to weather conditions; b. Nonfavorable winds would require more tacking, thus 1,000 miles could be significantly more; or c. Both a. and b. may apply.
In any case, when is the wind favorable for a trip south?
If they were favorable, would my distance estimates be accurate?
If we accumulate the experience, and had favorable winds, I thought Norfolk would make a good first destination. From there to Jacksonville to pickup the Intracoastal.
I agree that "hurry" is not always the best thing, but I have a year and resources such as this forum to figure my options. If the trip can't be made within my time restraints, so be it. I've had to change plans many times because they couldn't be accomplished in a timely manner. I've had a sailboat long enough to know "you can't always get there from here." Thanks to all for your help.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:40   #7
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LI to Norfolk outside might be doable if you have a good window. Norfolk to Jacksonville (St. Johns River) is another matter, especially in summer with the threat of hurricanes. You'd have to go past Cape Hatteras. You'd be better off going inside (ICW) at Norfolk to Beaufort and then play it by ear whether to go in or out. I'd go in from Norfolk to Charleston and then it's a 30 hour jaunt to Mayport (mouth of St. Johns River). This way you miss all the winding and, in many places, shallow spots of ICW in Georgia From there depending on weather you can go inside to Palm Coast or outside to St. Augustine and then in to Palm Coast. I have gone outside on this stretch and been beaten by boats going inside who caught favourable tides. Of course, outside you just put it on autopilot whereas inside you have to steer and watch the depths. The good thing is once you get to Beaufort you have many options. Often it's quicker to proceed in the ICW rather than wait for good weather to go outside.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:54   #8
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We are in Jacksonville, and always head south nonstop to Miami with a northern storm approaching. It is not easy, and it is not difficult, but it does take stamina.

If winds, and current were favorable then 100 miles a day would make an agreeable average. I did San Francisco to Cabo averaging that speed in a 30ft. Columbia. That year there was unusual weather, and most wind came from the south against the current.

Ship the boat by truck halfway, or so, and you will still get the oppurtunity to get outside, and the ICW. Jacksonville makes a nice 7 day trip on the ICW at a leisurely pace for you. BEST WISHES in coming up with a doable plan....HAVE FUN!!!!!!
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:44   #9
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Others have summed up most everything already. I wanted to add: Don't forget to factor current into the plan.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:57   #10
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In the ICW I just get up and go. Even after all these years I have not been able to figure the currents out. I've read the various guides that tell you where the current changes etc. but it never has worked out that way. It always amazes me that with the current against me I finally get past an inlet and think that I will then have a favourable current but it's against me again!! On the odd time I've been lucky and got a good current all day but those days are few and far between and it's just luck.
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:03   #11
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Maptech has a wonderful TIDE & CURRENT refernce on their charts. Also The Captain has a good set of tables for both.
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Old 03-07-2008, 14:01   #12
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"Never sailed overnight."
Craigo, you might want to do some local crusing, or perhaps leave in advance of the ALIR race this summer (last weekend in July usually) and watch them go by, while doing the same trip.
If there are just two of you and you will be out for five to ten days--you're going to be fatigued. You'll need to split into watches, and in order to stay fresh, you each need one six hour "big sleep" daily. But, that leaves one other on watch for six hours solo--which can be exhausting or impossible. Each boat makes their own compromises about how to deal with that, but if you've only daysailed, a week of being out without relief can be a perspective changer. Especially if you hit bad wx and find out neither of you can handle long watches, or get any sleep, as a result.

You might also consider breaking the trip into two or three legs, having the boat hauled or docked at a slip in between each, so you have several smaller trips and don't have to rush yourselves as much. And get some time to see what's in between here and there.<G>

By the way, LI is roughly 100 miles long...and the ALIR boats in that size class routinely take the better part of three days (and two nights) to make a "fast" finish. Often longer, pushing into the 4th day. (Mainly because of light winds in the Sound.)

A couple of good runs outside, a 3-4 day trip around the island, a run down to Atlantic City, all would be good practices.
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Old 04-07-2008, 19:23   #13
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Once again, another bunch of good suggestions. I hadn't thought of splitting the delivery - truck half, sail half. And it becomes obvious that going outside may be quicker, but the opportunity to enjoy the ICW shouldn't be wasted.
As for experience, I'll have to look into the ALIR. It sounds interesting.
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Old 04-07-2008, 21:29   #14
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Craigo, there are always boats looking for crew for the ALIR, at all levels. You can check out their web site at Around Long Island Regatta 2008 to try getting a ride. Crew should be prepared for anything from 100F 100h drifting on the inside to 45f with storm conditions on the outside--it varies, and the wx is often unsettled and unpredictable at that time of year.
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Old 04-07-2008, 22:43   #15
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My 2 cents. If all you want to do is get the boat there, then have it trucked down. You obviously have no idea what you're missing although it is a very easy trip. If you did, you would plan a wonderful cruise down the ICW. There's just waaaaay to much to see and do along the way. But this may not appeal to you. If it does, then plan many breaks, take your time, ship the wife home as needed and enjoy the trip. You won't regret it. But again, if all you want to do is get the boat there, have it trucked down. Then you won't have any worries about time and negotiating the waterway etc.
For what it's worth, if you wait until the fall, you'll have plenty of company as the migration of cruisers heading south begins and that makes the trip even more fun.
You're not crazy to do this. But you may miss quite an experience if you don't do it.

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