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Old 01-07-2012, 00:37   #16
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Re: Our First Cruise ! (Starting Hayes, VA)

Whew, Ricky, ya really oughta listen. Please, for own safety. Take it slow, it's a sailboat.

Some folks have crossed oceans for their first sails. You may not be one of 'em.
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:33   #17
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Re: Our First Cruise ! (Starting Hayes, VA)

You'll get different opinions and so choose that one which seems right to you.

When I first bought my boat, I did nothing for the first few months but sail back and forth between Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight and my slip on the Hamble. It was a good six months before I go the boat out of the Solent. But that is because the boat is far bigger than anything I had sailed before, and plus I was in an area quite different (massive tides) from any I had sailed in before. That is what felt right to me.

But with 5 bareboat charters under your belt, I think you have plenty of experience to do whatever feels right to you. If I had a month in your position I don't think I would spend it sailing back and forth to my slip. The Chesapeake is fairly safe water (be careful with the pilotage, however, but then again you have a shallow draft) -- I don't know why you shouldn't get out there and go as far as you feel comfortable doing.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:34   #18
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Re: Our First Cruise ! (Starting Hayes, VA)

Thanks for all the replies. I thought I would update current status.

I heeded the advice of Astral Blues and others. Spent two weeks in the Chesapeake in June doing as suggested going out, making over night anchors and trips to other marinas. Hired a captain for training on board for 6 days. Got stuck out in one of those lines of thunderstorms...found out about some items that seller "forgot" to fix, etc.

Still lots to learn of course.

For the trip to NY in early Aug the plan is for there to be three of us on board. My wife and I and another owner of an identical PDQ 44 catamaran who has lots of offshore experience. His experience with the nearly identical boat will provide additional training for us and safety for all concerned.

Please keep your thoughts coming...Thanks again...
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:11   #19
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Re: Our First Cruise ! (Starting Hayes, VA)

That sounds great. Glad you shook you boat down some on the Chesapeake. Better to be prudent and safe There is so much to explore here after 10 years sailing on it we still find 10 new places every summer to enjoy

Well its off to NY and the LI Sound then. You will have no problem with that and enjoy it. We are leaving here on the 15th of August and should be at Liberty landy around the 18 and in the Sound on the 19th. If you are up there then maybe we could join up for a glass of wine/ beer and share stories. Keep in touch.

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Old 01-07-2012, 09:47   #20
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Re: Our First Cruise ! (Starting Hayes, VA)

Ricky, I went back and reread my earlier "terse" reply and then actually printed out the whole topic and reread that again. From your last post, it sounds like you've actually done some of the recommended "shakedown" cruises, which you hadn't mentioned before. That's great. Your comment about "things the PO hadn't done" is spot on and was the reason for all the cautionary suggestions. I think a lot of them may have had to do with how you phrased your questions, since in a re-reading, I kinda again got the impression that yours was an open-ended question that could have been answered with a look at a few charts (i.e., what's the options to get from A to B).

A friend is cruising from western Florida to New England. He spent two years (!) getting his boat ready. What broke? Camshaft on his engine and his windlass (of course, he's got a bad back!).

Expect that things will happen.

Your cat might make better speed than some have mentioned here (i.e., 5-6 knots) so now that you know your boat better, can anchor and can fix stuff, sounds like you're ready.

Good luck, fair winds.
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Old 23-08-2012, 11:09   #21
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Re: Our First Cruise ! (Starting Hayes, VA)

Final update. We did it!

Thanks to all of you for the suggestions and comments which helped make this a fun and enjoyable trip. We (my wife and and I and Richard who was much more experienced than us and owns an identical boat as ours) did sail to Nantucket from Hayes and back again. 1000 miles, 25 days total. It took 4 days of constant sailing/motoring to get to Block Island from Hayes. Thunderstorms chased us nearly every evening making us go sometimes opposite of where we wanted to go. Max wind 44 knots. We did 2 hour shifts during the night. We spent several days in Block Island (Boat Basin), Martha's Vineyard (Vineyard Haven Tinsbury warf) before getting to Nantucket. Spent 11 days in Nantucket at the Boat Basin before heading back to Hayes. Another 4 days at sea. I have attached the SPOT updates we sent to family and friends so you can see at a glance some of the way points. As you can see coming back we headed nearly due south because of a nice WSW wind and ended up some 200 miles out at one point. We loved the whole thing. Experiencing night on the ocean, sunrise, sunset the whole rhythm of the day at sea. And goofing off in Block Island, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket was a dream...biking around the whole island of Nantucket. Cool nights warm days. Really that is a nice part of this planet. Of course there were the breakdowns and repairs which always seem to be happening. But now we feel more comfortable with the boat and this whole cruising thing. Next trip we hope to go to the Annapolis boat show in October and then take the boat south to the Bahamas in December for a month there. Stay tuned!
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Old 23-08-2012, 12:57   #22
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Re: Our First Cruise ! (Starting Hayes, VA)

Get two of the largest anchors and as much chain as you can lift aboard..

Then go practice anchoring, hopefully in a 40kts+ blow where the wind clocks 180 TWICE during the night...

BEST OF LUCK
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