Originally Posted by mcerdos
Keep an eye on the Gulf Stream
and do not cross with any aspect of a northerly wind
in your size boat. Any aspect of a northerly wind
will push wave heights to 15’.
All good comments in this post, but I'd like to just point out one or two things that I've seen in this thread and elsewhere that I think are worth saying to a 'newbie'.
1) 36 feet is not a small boat - if it is well-built and well-equipped. Boats of much smaller sizes regularly cross oceans, and 30-35' was the old 'normal' back when people were cruising the world without GPS
and all manner of other gizmos we have today. Recently a 16 year-old girl sailed non-stop around the world around the southern ocean in a 34-footer.
2) Before I went cruising I spent a lot of time on cruisersforum, and the net effect was I was way more scared of everything than I needed to be (including the gulf stream
.) Take your time, push yourself just a little bit harder every time you go out, and take a lot of the horror stories and warnings you hear with a pinch of salt
On my way out I was scared of everything. On my way back from my cruise
I crossed the gulf stream solo in a 15kn NE wind on my 33' boat and it was a piece of cake. No monstrous waves in sight. A little bumpy? yes. In any way dangerous? no. It was fun.
Good luck. Take it easy, and one step at a time, and you'll look back and laugh at how terrifying things might have seemed in the beginning.