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Old 29-11-2013, 12:12   #46
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

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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?
If buying towing insurance, buy only the top one... the lesser seem to be of little value...
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Old 29-11-2013, 12:44   #47
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I had boat US a few years ago only time i have ever need it, only SEATOW was available so I had to pay SEATOW direct, but before I even had the Credit Card bill, I had a check from Boat US reimbursing me for every dime. I have SEATOW now only because they are much more available in my area. I don't think there is much if any difference in cost between the two is there?
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Old 29-11-2013, 20:17   #48
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

We did purchase the Towboat US gold package for unlimited everything. We carry 100 gallons. As far as fuel down the ICW we have enough to motor approximately 12 to 14 days @ 8 hrs/day at approximately 6.5 to 7.5 knots. Or between 800 to 900 miles between fueling. That was based on my old engine but with the new Cummins I'm guessing probably 10 to 15% better than that.

What I was talking about was fuel down after we leave Florida. I hear horror stories farther south and extremely difficult or expensive places to get fuel. Is there a general consensus as to how many miles of motoring in fuel one should have or maybe a rule of thumb?

The autopilot sucks. For the displacement of our boat we need a class B drive as it is over 42000 lbs provisioned. The cost isn't a sale we are waiting for it's the new replacement models coming out this year. Newer model = longer support etc. But Garmin says around Xmas for those. No matter what I know we are looking around 5k for the autopilot.

It would be nice to head offshore for 2 day trips or single over nighters to get the feel of it and ease into it. Just have to plan the best places to do this. I also read a lot over the last few years and long term cruisers of 5 years or more all say the same. Plan your weather. We spoke to 1 couple that had been cruising for over 20 years and never gotten into trouble by always planning their weather and sailing plans diligently. Of course I expect the occasional squall, but nothing is perfect and I think we need a few of those to prepare us for our many miles offshore over the next few years. Especially when we cross the south pacific. Our boys will be jumping off and on as well by flying down when able to and being responsible for my wife our boys or whoever else might be tagging along is extremely important to me. I take their safety as paramount above all else. I take my role very seriously. They all trust in their dad/husband/friend to know what to do and to look after them and make sure I have everything covered. So that is my first priority.

That's another reason I'm thankful there are sites like this and people like yourselves that chime in and offer advice and knowledge to help us newbies along. I always treat others as I want to be treated and we are the type of people that would never leave anyone that was in need of assistance no matter what. Life is faaaar to short for anything else.
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Old 29-11-2013, 20:23   #49
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

Oh I almost forgot can anyone recommend a good decent company for insurance and/or a good surveyor to do an insurance survey for us? This is something elkse my wife and I will not depart without.

TIA
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Old 29-11-2013, 21:05   #50
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Oh I almost forgot can anyone recommend a good decent company for insurance and/or a good surveyor to do an insurance survey for us? This is something elkse my wife and I will not depart without.

TIA
What part of the country are you in again? I know of a very good surveyor in Boston, but not sure if you're near there or not.
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Old 29-11-2013, 21:07   #51
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

We are in Annapolis area for about another 10 days before departing.

Thx
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Old 30-11-2013, 03:24   #52
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

question if i could --
what are you using for communications once outside the usa or offshore?

water -- if offshore where is it coming from on longer voyages or in the islands

fuel - not sure of your capacity or consumption - each person has their preference and we refuse to put cans on our deck - we added a fuel tank and carry cans in our cockpit locker - we carry about 100gal and that lasts a long time - we used very little crossing the atlantic

weather -- bravo on you for listening on wx -- we do not listen to others on when to depart - we do our own planning -- we used chris parker in the caribbean along with gribs and if we had internet (which we did not a lot of times) a couple of other models and made our own decisions -

icw -- there are only 2 of us on board and we have run the icw and autopilot is not worth much - like driving a car on a very long interstate - but we try to avoid the icw as much as possible as you can only get about 50nm or so a day

good luck and again - don't rush getting to that ultimate destination without knowing your boat first -- as i said we had SoulMates 3 years or so and had been out a bit but a 5-6 month cruise through the Bahamas really showed us the things we needed to change or add to the boat before we took off and it was easy to do as you can run back to the usa and get things which may not exist or exist at very expensive rates once outside the usa --

just a thought --
good luck
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Old 30-11-2013, 05:18   #53
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

If you're going to the Bahamas you're going to have to jug fuel so a few jerry jugs will be required. As for expensive yes, but it'll be the only game in town. Also don't remember if you have a watermaker or not. If not get a few water jugs. ICW you'll be fine, lots of good fuel stops.

The best place to try a shot outside will be Charleston to St. Marys River (Cumberland Island and Fernandina Beach) A straight shot that cuts Georgia out of the trip. Forget the exact distance but about a 30+ hour trip. By the time you get to Charleston you should have a good feel for the boat and systems.
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Old 30-11-2013, 07:06   #54
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

BoatUS has an insurance division ( we got our best price from them) also IMSI and progressive do boat insurance. Lots of surveyors near Annapolis. Boat US will give you a list if you ask for it. make sure you get someone certified...otherwise the insurance company may not accept the survey.

If you have no experience on a sail boat your size your rates may be higher until you do. Rates also depend on where you will be sailing and sometimes when as well.
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Old 30-11-2013, 09:20   #55
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

You mention that you carry 100 gallons of fuel. I would not worry about jugs until you are leaving Florida. Jugs always seem to be in the way when docking and wont be needed at first. When you have left Florida, you will be docking much less and anchoring much more, so jugs are not such a PITA. You might consider some 2&1/2 gallon jugs for the time you cant get a taxi back to the boat. It took my wife almost a year to get over a shoulder strain from carrying 5 gallon water jugs in Mexico. I think you will be surprised at how long 100 gallons will last. Good Sailing to you. ______Grant.
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Old 30-11-2013, 09:51   #56
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

For the Bahamas I'd get 6 gal jugs. All the water and fuel will be a stone's throw from your dink. The jugs will be handy not only for diesel but for storing dink gas. Sometimes places will be out of fuel and you might have to wait for the fuel tanker to come in.
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Old 30-11-2013, 11:28   #57
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Pardon my ignorance as I've been to the Bahamas several times, but haven't cruised there yet. Why the need for jugs? I assume there are no Marinas? You have to get fuel from a gas station?
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Old 30-11-2013, 11:29   #58
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Maybe a small point but when going offshore overnight we would always have a snack box in the cockpit, full of peanuts , a snickers or 2, muesli bars etc. handy for crossing from Florida to the Bahamas and saved going down below
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Old 30-11-2013, 11:49   #59
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

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Pardon my ignorance as I've been to the Bahamas several times, but haven't cruised there yet. Why the need for jugs? I assume there are no Marinas? You have to get fuel from a gas station?

Here's an example cruising from Miami to Georgetown. First stop Nassau. There are a couple of Texaco fuel docks in Nassau, dirty wooden piles, no fendering. I get fuel in the marina. The fuel dock in the marina and the Texaco docks are open to the channel and very high, in addition the pumps are high speed for mega yachts. You'd get waked to death on the fuel docks. There is a 6 mph speed limit in Nassau Harbour. I have yet to see it observed. It is not unusual to hear folks complaining of wakes from the high speed inter island ferries. Complaining might make them feel better but it has no effect. So we jug it, even in the marina.

Going down the Exumas chain there's fuel at Sampson Cay and Staniel. Again high docks. Sampson is not too bad but Staniel is poor, wooden piles with tin pieces on them. Also these docks are usually occupied by large vessel. There is no fuel dock per se. The pumps are on the big dock.

I skip Farmers Cay where there might be fuel. Next stop Georgetown. There is a marina there and a fuel dock. The past few seasons no fuel on the dock but I understand they might have it now. Difficult to get in to. The Shell station is the best place for fuel. They have a dink dock so it's easy.

It is much easier to fill up a couple of jugs rather than weighing anchor and going in to a fuel dock. Most folks do this. In places with high docks just lower the jugs into the dink with a line.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:17   #60
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Re: Canadians 1st Offshore Trip Any advice or Tips? Leaving Eastern US Soon!

after crusing the entire caribbean and now in the med we would prefer to jug our diesel even if there are good fuel docks -- at times we have gotten fuel that was not very clean - we have 2 tanks on board - one 36 gal and one 50 gal - so it take a bit to get them filled via cans but everything goes through a filter before going into the tank

we learned the hard way
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