Originally Posted by Ativa
My boat has taken MUCH longer than expected to get finished for this cruising season.
I would like to know the opinion of the board as to when it is too late to head
off to the Carrib, onto Aruba
and then over to Guatemala
for Hurricane season.
The boat is a Gemini
Cat 30 feet completely retrofitted with all of the latest techy gadgets, new sails
I am also looking to make contact with some long term cruisers in the Tampa /St Petes area to assists with my sail plan
. . . but a lot more information is necessary to make a meaningful recommendation to you.
- Are you planning a leisurely, meandering cruise
down through the islands with no real target date for getting south of the hurricane belt?
- Or, do you plan to head for Aruba and not stop anywhere along the way?
- Do you carry insurance
, or are you self-insured?
- If you get caught out in bad weather
, are you confident that that is the vessel you want to be aboard when it catches you?
Assuming that you don't intend to just race
to Aruba - which you could easily reach before hurricane season - but would like to cruise
a bit as you make your way down there, you can do that. You just can't do a lot of it, or as much as you might like.
And if it were me, and I had made it to Aruba safely, I wouldn't come back up into harm's way by continuing on to Guatemala before the end of hurricane season. If you want to go to Central America
, I would suggest you sit out hurricane season in Panama
If you do carry insurance
, your policy probably states that by some date certain (typically, June 1st) you must have the boat north of Cape Hatteras or south of a given line of lattitude. And if you're insured, does your insurance company know you intend to take the vessel that far outside of US waters, and have you gotten the additional coverage they will require to do so?
If you are self-insured, you're free to go where and when you want, but you should plan to be south of the hurricane belt well before you probably "need" to. Itineraries and sailing are pretty casual acquaintances, generally, since s**t happens, and the best laid plans can blow up in your face. If you suffer some major breaddown before you get far enough south, your vessel could be a sitting duck if the wait for repairs
is inordinately long.
It sounds like your vessel has just come through some extensive refitting. If so, how confident are you that everything is shipshape and won't require additional "tweaking" before you're really ready to go?
And finally, while the small Gemini is an acceptable boat for coastal cruising, and island-hopping, it wouldn't be my first choice for a blue-water passage
. If you are confident that it will satisfy your sailing needs safely, and can stand up to harsh conditions if you should get caught out, then don't let the calendar stop you. At least, not quite yet.