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Old 28-11-2013, 22:42   #31
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

I wouldn't choose to go anywhere without auto helm and preferably wind vane as well. Especially as it is just you and your wife. Hand steering is fun for a couple of hours but most of the time auto helm is your best friend.

Paper charts are a good idea too.

Do either of you suffer seasickness? If your wife has never even sailed how would you know? Take sturgeron and some other pills too.

One concern is do you know how to trim the sails for a balanced boat. I have seen people sailing with so much weather helm they snapped their rudder off. Also with almost zero experience how will you handle emergencies, big winds, swell, current when you get caught out in tough conditions.

Sounds like you are pretty smart so you will most likely survive and even thrive but going it alone with (almost) no practical sailing experience feels a bit like poor planning perhaps.
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Old 28-11-2013, 23:23   #32
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

I used to do celestial but no more. I would not bother with it unless it is a personal interest - pretty cool but not practical.
Looks like you have good redundancy with GPS, but I would keep the paper charts up to date with a position every hour. That way if all things go pear-shaped you are dead-reckoning just from the last fix, and with a good compass, awareness of current and leeway it is amazing how accurate dead reckoning can be.
Good luck. Sounds like a great adventure.
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Old 29-11-2013, 06:06   #33
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All good advice on weather windows, battery charging....but why the hurry, shooting South will skip lots of nice places to visit. Experience will come, but off-sailing is tiring. I think you have prepped the boat well. Chance of getting lost is minimal. I wouldn't make a job out of getting South. Mix up off-shore, marinas and anchoring in the ICW. There are some nice sites to see.
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Old 29-11-2013, 06:09   #34
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

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All good advice on weather windows, battery charging....but why the hurry, shooting South will skip lots of nice places to visit. Experience will come, but off-sailing is tiring. I think you have prepped the boat well. Chance of getting lost is minimal. I wouldn't make a job out of getting South. Mix up off-shore, marinas and anchoring in the ICW. There are some nice sites to see.
C O L D !!
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Old 29-11-2013, 06:14   #35
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All that prep, you bought a sweeter or two...once you get to North Carolina weather shouldn't be to cold. I agree...cold weather window either sit tight or run... But we aren't talking weeks of cold.
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Old 29-11-2013, 06:42   #36
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

Greggener, don't know where you are but-
0800 weather Wilmington, NC. 35 degrees! Check it out. And sometimes travelling this time of the year it doesn't warm up till you get to Central FL.
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Old 29-11-2013, 06:43   #37
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

I completely concur with Giant.
Frankly: if I were you, I would motor and sail down the intercoastal as much as possible, to thoroughly test all my new equipment, myself and wife. That is, so far as your mast height and draft allows.
This is what we will do when we (finally) cut out from Titusville, and by the time we get to Fort Lauderdale/Miami we will have pretty much learned our new ropes and equipment.
It is no fun finding these things out at night, in a heavy sea, miles from nowhere.
Failing this, get two extra experienced crew, particularly since you are sans autopilot.
Incidentally, the intercoastal can be very rough at times, and at others you will have the sail of your life, with 25 knots on the beam and a one foot sea. You will also be able to find parts for repair, marinas and help.
There will be plenty of time for “sailing” when you become more experienced, and familiar with your gear, and you will enjoy it more.
Many a new adventure has been spoiled, or completely cancelled, because the first experience at sea has been horrific. After all your hard work and expense, it would be a great pity if you joined this group. Believe me, we nearly did, but that was 45 years ago, and we’ve learned a bit since then.
By the way, I wrote this for Scoobert right at the start of his post, but I never sent it—there didn’t seem to be much point.
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Old 29-11-2013, 07:15   #38
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So, prep for all type of temp. I not saying stay where it is cold. I am saying don't hurry, enjoy the trip and a cool night on the hook in SC is nice. Make the trip the fun.
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Old 29-11-2013, 07:28   #39
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

CONGRADULATIONS -- you made the biggest leap - cutting the dock lines

you are exactly where we were 6 years ago --

my only thoughts would be more batteries -- and more solar

also when you get to fla jump over the bahamas and cruise there for a season - then you will know what your boat needs
that is what we did and boy was it worth - we found out a lot about we needed to change, upgrade or did not need - not to mention the working as a team on all aspects of cruising for a long period of time - not just a couple of weeks on a charter

good luck and WELCOME TO THE CRUISING FAMILY
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Old 29-11-2013, 07:30   #40
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

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So, prep for all type of temp. I not saying stay where it is cold. I am saying don't hurry, enjoy the trip and a cool night on the hook in SC is nice. Make the trip the fun.
It's still miserable. Getting out of a warm bunk, dressing quickly, put the kettle on for a hot cup of tea. Start the engine, crawl up the wet deck to weigh anchor and then start motoring into the biting wind. Hard to enjoy. Some folks might like this but I can understand the urgency of getting south. Guess I'm a wimp (what I used to call my Michigan cruising buddies who all had full enclosures). I have a full enclosure now.
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Old 29-11-2013, 07:50   #41
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

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Many a new adventure has been spoiled, or completely cancelled, because the first experience at sea has been horrific. After all your hard work and expense, it would be a great pity if you joined this group.
Excellent point. The marinas from Boston to Aruba are filled with divorced men who terrified their wives during the first 30 days of cruising. Sure, you want to get to warm water and weather ASAP, but don't make it an episode of "Survivor".
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Old 29-11-2013, 10:38   #42
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

We will put a new autopilot in when we get to Florida. As far as seasickness goes we have both spent considerable time on the water over the last 20 years. Also been caught in some pretty rough weather, once in seas that were 10 - 15 feet with boats being towed in and the Coast Guard having to make a few rescues. I thought it was exhilarating and my son and I were yahooo'n as we were deliberately tacking so we could ride the waves to bury the bow. Was a scene out of Forest Gump only difference between myself and Lieutenant Dan is that I wasn't at the top of the mast. So seasickness isn't a concern. I have raced everything from motocross, snowmobiles, crotch rockets etc, adrenaline is your friend. This is an adventure we have been researching and working on for 8 years now, took us 1 1/2 years and 25000 miles of traveling just to find the boat we wanted.

My wife is as much or more gung-ho than I'am. She wants to get this tub moving and experience the world. But then again my wife has items like the Baja 1000 on her bucket list and this is something else we want to accomplish together. I'm pretty fortunate that way. My wife is a prairie farm girl used to shovellin the you know what, runnin the tractor and drivin the 18 wheeler type of gal. We are both adventurous and want to experience life from something other than the couch.

We have 3 sets of new offshore foul weather gear, 5 offshore class 5 life vests, one new Viking 6 person offshore life raft and the list goes on. We are going to spend a lot of time learning more about navigation as we go and I didn't mention we have also taken a few courses through the Edmonton Power & Sail Squadron. We are currently taking courses on weather, navigation etc while we work.

I agree the ICW will be a good place for the 1st shakedown cruise as pretty much every system on the boat is new. Wish we had time to remodel the interior and repaint the top decks but I guess they will have to wait.

Any thoughts on the extra fuel to carry? I have lots of other questions but will ask as required for the trip. We will also keep in touch via internet while underway as much as possible.

Thanks
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Old 29-11-2013, 10:44   #43
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

Don't know the size of your fuel tank but would be surprised if you needed extra jugs for ICW and hops outside to FL. Fuel is readily available and TowBoatUS will bring you out a jug if you really need it.
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Old 29-11-2013, 10:53   #44
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

If possible for your boat i would go inside until Morehead city this time of year. If not, plan a lot of extra time for the Norfolk to Morehead run... the GulfStream slows you down a lot from Hatteras to Morehead.... and running closer to land still requires you to go offshore a long way to round some shoal areas. My plan figured I would leave Norfolk area in early afternoon... turns out I should have just left early am!
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Old 29-11-2013, 11:09   #45
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

I'm trying to remember.... someone probably has already suggested the towing insurance/coverage, which is relatively cheap via Boat US? The extra crew wouldn't be so much needed for the ICW but would seem like a wonderful, superb idea for going outside once past Hatteras. And if you're still waiting for the dream autopilot to come on sale, it would seem you could buy/rent/borrow a (working!) used autopilot cheap enough. The ICW guides should show the longest stretches between fuel spots. The decreasing daylight for this late in the migration season has already been mentioned; it might also mean more limited hours/availability for some services, especially before reaching warmer spots. Does anyone know how true this might be?
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