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Old 27-06-2014, 15:06   #1
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Advice For Sailing From Florida To Puerto Rico On A 29' Sailboat.

Looking to find out the best time of year and best route to take from North Florida down to Puerto Rico. I know I can go from the Keys to Cuba, DR, and over to PR or through the Bahamas down. What is the recommended route and time of year? All advice is appreciated!
My boat is a 29' Columbia, diesel Volvo Pinta engine.. I have sailed from Ft Lauderdale to the Abacos so I know how to do that leg. I know others have written in before but looking for fresh advice. Thanks!
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Old 27-06-2014, 15:59   #2
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Re: ADVICE FOR SAILING FROM FLORIDA TO PUERTO RICO ON A 29' SAILBOAT

Chica -

Recommend you pick up a copy of Bruce VanSant's book The Gentleman's Guide To Passages South, aka The Thornless Path. Very worthwhile reading.
Also, there are some guides by Frank Virgintino that may be helpful. I can't remember the titles.
Have a good trip.
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Old 27-06-2014, 16:33   #3
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You should be mindful of the tradewinds. I'm not sure I would intentionally torture myself with an eastern point of sail in the trades - especially on a 29' sailboat. (Obviously I'm talking about a Keys to Cuba to PR route).
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Old 27-06-2014, 19:33   #4
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Re: Advice For Sailing From Florida To Puerto Rico On A 29' Sailboat.

Thanks CaptTL. I looking forward to the Bahamas route since I've crossed over before. I never did get too far passed Green Turtle due to a time restraint. I'm excited to take my 10 year old daughter with me.

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Old 27-06-2014, 19:38   #5
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Re: Advice For Sailing From Florida To Puerto Rico On A 29' Sailboat.

Thanks for the book reference FsMike..I saw that Gentleman's Guide..wasn't sure what kind of book that was .. I will be sure to check it out. THANKS! 👍

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Old 28-06-2014, 14:19   #6
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Re: Advice For Sailing From Florida To Puerto Rico On A 29' Sailboat.

I was wondering about a similiar route. I was thinking of heading out from a bit further west say panama city to as far as maybe new orleans. What do you guys think about new orleans to cozumel to puerto rico? thanks
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Old 28-06-2014, 14:34   #7
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Re: Advice For Sailing From Florida To Puerto Rico On A 29' Sailboat.

I'd suggest taking a look at the Pilot Charts for the month(s) during which you're planning to sail in order to see what wind conditions and prevailing currents you can expect. NOAA has some nice Gulf of Mexico and Gulf Stream current forecasting products, as well.
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Old 28-06-2014, 14:42   #8
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Re: Advice For Sailing From Florida To Puerto Rico On A 29' Sailboat.

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I was wondering about a similiar route. I was thinking of heading out from a bit further west say panama city to as far as maybe new orleans. What do you guys think about new orleans to cozumel to puerto rico? thanks
These are the kind of questions that pilot charts answer. A lot depends on the time of year. Nevertheless, when you get down to the lower lattitudes, the predominate wind direction is easterly - a little to the north in winter months and a little to the south in summer months but predominately east.

Can you imagine the slog you will have going east? And I would not consider under any circumstances going southeast through the Old Bahamas Channel.

Check out this site for weather information. They also have links to pilot charts.
Sailing Weather - Marine Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers - PassageWeather
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Old 28-06-2014, 15:18   #9
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Re: Advice For Sailing From Florida To Puerto Rico On A 29' Sailboat.

capttl is that because of current/shallow reefs? im very inexperienced why wouldt you take the old bahama channel> i was thinking cozumel to the grand cayman islands maybe?
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Old 28-06-2014, 15:29   #10
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Re: Advice For Sailing From Florida To Puerto Rico On A 29' Sailboat.

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capttl is that because of current/shallow reefs? im very inexperienced why wouldt you take the old bahama channel> i was thinking cozumel to the grand cayman islands maybe?
The water within the OBC is deep but the wind is right on the nose and there is a current. Also, there is a lot of traffic, so you should have a good watch using experienced sailors.

Again, the pilot charts will answer your questions. I'm sure there are people that have gone from Cozumel to the Grand Cayman Islands and maybe even on the PR. Perhaps they will contribute and you can get some first hand experience. It is not a point of sail that I would choose.

If you have the time, why not make a voyage out of it and see the Bahamas? You can hop down the islands and then head for PR. Depending on the time of year, you probably would get some northerly winds to help. Of course, this is not the best time of the year to do that trip with hurricane season in full swing.
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Old 28-06-2014, 15:34   #11
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Re: Advice For Sailing From Florida To Puerto Rico On A 29' Sailboat.

currently looking to buy a boat. the end of november will be the time im shooting for if all goes well and i can get some time sailing by then. also ive been watching all kinds of peoples videos about them cruising and spearfishing/ fishing along the way. there is no way these people have all bought licenses in every area/video. you can see them with a few lines out in one country dragging them through international water to another country. whats up with that?
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Old 28-06-2014, 15:35   #12
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Thumbs up Re: Advice For Sailing From Florida To Puerto Rico On A 29' Sailboat.

RE: Gentlemens Guide
It's not so much about the routes, its the technique.
Be sure to get the 10th Edition. Likely the last.
Have a great cruise!
Larry
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Old 28-06-2014, 16:11   #13
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Re: Advice For Sailing From Florida To Puerto Rico On A 29' Sailboat.

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currently looking to buy a boat. the end of november will be the time im shooting for if all goes well and i can get some time sailing by then. also ive been watching all kinds of peoples videos about them cruising and spearfishing/ fishing along the way. there is no way these people have all bought licenses in every area/video. you can see them with a few lines out in one country dragging them through international water to another country. whats up with that?
No one owns international waters so fish away ,but once in a given territory get a permit for that country simple really.
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Old 29-06-2014, 05:57   #14
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Re: Advice For Sailing From Florida To Puerto Rico On A 29' Sailboat.

I just ordered the gentleman's guide. .looks like a great guide.
From what I know. .you wanna make that Bahamas trip Oct or Nov after hurricane season but before the north swells hit.

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Old 29-06-2014, 07:19   #15
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Re: Advice For Sailing From Florida To Puerto Rico On A 29' Sailboat.

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Originally Posted by chicasurfer View Post
I just ordered the gentleman's guide. .looks like a great guide.
From what I know. .you wanna make that Bahamas trip Oct or Nov after hurricane season but before the north swells hit.

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And if you're planning on continuing on to the Caribbean, take note that the "Christmas Winds" typically appear in late December or in January. They can blow for days or even for a week or two at 20-30 knots. Beating into them would be pure torture in a 29' sailboat, or any boat for that matter.
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