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Old 11-06-2011, 08:26   #1
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US East Coast to Caribbean

I have a 20 ft. PSC Flicka, which though small, is a very strong boat. People have crossed oceans in them. I want to sail mine to the Caribbean from the Delaware Bay. I don't know what route to take. Should I sail direct to Bermuda and then south? Should I leave from Cape Lookout in NC and go to Bermuda?
Or should I just sail direct to the BVI from somewhere on the east coast? Will I have to wait until the end of hurricane season? It's generally already very cold in November all along the mid Atlantic states. I'd prefer to be gone by then. Perhaps Beaufort, NC is still warm enough to hang out there while waiting for the right weather? I suppose the ideal way to do it would be to sail to Bermuda in May or June, spend four or five months there and then head south but I don't think I can afford the prices in Bermuda. Will appreciate any thoughts.
nial
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:32   #2
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Re: US east coast to Caribbean

You have two basic choices: first, wait until November (end of hurricane season) and sail offshore to the Caribbean or second, take the thornless path through Florida to the Bahamas to the Turks and Caicos to the DR to Puerto Rico and southward. Of cousre, there are many variations of the routes for either choice but basically it depends upon what you want to see and do along the way.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:39   #3
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Re: US east coast to Caribbean

How much sailing experience do you have? What do you want to see? How much food and water can you carry? With these answers, we might have a beter idea of which route would be favorable.
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Old 11-06-2011, 14:07   #4
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Re: US east coast to Caribbean

No, I don't want to go all the way to Florida and then thru the Bahamas East and South. Coming back that sounds like a nice way to go. I want to do a solo off shore passage before I die even if it kills me.
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Old 11-06-2011, 14:27   #5
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Re: US east coast to Caribbean

Check out this link to the Caribbean 1500. They leave around 7 NOV from Hampton Virginia and either got to the BVI's or the Bahamas...

World Cruising Club --- Home of the Caribbean 1500 Offshore Sailing Rally
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Old 11-06-2011, 14:55   #6
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Re: US east coast to Caribbean

I am a prospective starter with no experience at all of sailing. Can anybody tell me if if better begin with a 28" or a 39"? Size matters for cruising for someone like me with no expertise?What is your advice?
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Old 11-06-2011, 15:05   #7
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Re: US east coast to Caribbean

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Originally Posted by racing8989 View Post
I am a prospective starter with no experience at all of sailing. Can anybody tell me if if better begin with a 28" or a 39"? Size matters for cruising for someone like me with no expertise?What is your advice?
Well, when you get offshore you will find very little difference between a 28 inch boat and a 39 inch boat.
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Old 11-06-2011, 15:15   #8
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Re: US east coast to Caribbean

They may be a strong boat but a few years ago someone went out in a storm and were tossed about a lot.
My suggestion is to take the ICW to Florida and come into the Caribbean AFTER the Hurricane season.




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Old 11-06-2011, 15:19   #9
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Re: US east coast to Caribbean

So the problem is in expenses matters when I arive to land? Parking? Can allmost any sailboat sail costaline across for example the american continent from CAlifornia to Chile? or from Miami through the Golf Coast and so on Brazil and arriving to Argentina. I meant all the time costline? it is more safer? Thanks
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Old 11-06-2011, 17:57   #10
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Re: US east coast to Caribbean

If you can load enough food and water to last you about a month,go out past the gulfstream to longitude 65 and head south til you get to Tortola at latitude 19 and you're there. Your boat has a very short waterline and thus a slow cruising speed. If you can't carry enough water for an extended period of time,you'll need to take another route. Water and food are your limiting factor. Please don't try to get by on too little !
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Old 11-06-2011, 18:02   #11
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Re: US east coast to Caribbean

Hi capitan where are you now? Do you know bargain sailing boat in your area around 4000/7000 US for my accomplishment? thanks for your help
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Old 11-06-2011, 19:45   #12
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Re: US east coast to Caribbean

Hi Nial -
There is a very good flicka listserve. I believe it is a yahoo group (might be a google group). In any event, it will be easy enough to find if you search. Last year a couple of boats sailed to Bermuda from the east coat (and maybe another couple to the maritimes). You might want to check out that list.
Luck,
-M
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:34   #13
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Re: US east coast to Caribbean

Florida is a very bad place to start from to go to the Caribbean. It is something like 600 miles downwind from the Virgins. The current is also against you. I would be surprised if you could carry enough fuel on a sailboat that size to make it in any kind of a reasonable time frame. Better to sail offshore and get there in one shot.

I just did this in a 33 foot boat - and was the smallest boat in the Carib 1500 fleet. Sure, it can be a bit rough, but it was rough for the larger boats too and some of them bailed when we didnt. If I do it again, I might go to Bermuda earlier in the season and then head south from there in November to avoid the colder weather on the US coast - But if you leave from the CHesapeake on a favorable forecast you will be across the Gulf Stream and in warmer water by 24-36 hours after you start so it is doable.

Coming back was an easy downwind sail from st. maarten to the the Abacos - took about a week - and then four days from there to Beaufort. The weather was better and the current is with you and the wind steady and reliable at least until the trade winds die somewhere in the middle of the Bahamas.

you will see that virtually all of the boats in the carib 1500 are big. but we saw quite a few smaller boats - many europeans - down in the islands
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:50   #14
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Re: US east coast to Caribbean

Thanks sck5, have you any idea what it might cost to stay over for 5 months in Bermuda?
I have the time but do I have the money is the question. I wouldn't be surprised if Bermuda is very expensive.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:00   #15
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Re: US east coast to Caribbean

I would go to Beaufort,NC early (a bit warmer), then let the weather dictate the rest, if no developing hurricanes and you get a couple of days of favorable winds (SW normally), jump off. You'll need to have a SSB radio to monitor the weather, if something develops, then stop at Bermuda, otherwise go straight there. should be roughly 1500 miles, you do the math for how long it will take.
Tom
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