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Old 19-08-2013, 17:36   #1
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Convoying between Florida and Bahamas

Does anyone know if/how more than one sailboat are/can be organized to make a group passage from Florida to the Bahamas, this November?
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Old 19-08-2013, 17:41   #2
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Re: Convoying between Florida and Bahamas

It is fairly common for boaters to plan crossings together. Meeting at Noname Harbor in Miami to wait for a weather window is one way.
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Old 19-08-2013, 20:25   #3
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Re: Convoying between Florida and Bahamas

Just keep checking different Sailing forumns, I know I see every weekend or so several Sailboats gather either at Tavernier Key and Rodriguez key (North side of both) in prep for crossing. I'm sure some of them peruse the forumns.
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Old 20-08-2013, 05:45   #4
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Re: Convoying between Florida and Bahamas

...and those crossing to West End or Abacos often provision and wait for a window in the Lake Worth anchorages and marinas (higher numbers in January/February, though).
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Old 20-08-2013, 08:12   #5
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Re: Convoying between Florida and Bahamas

twarthen, As Skipmac said, boats gather in No Name Harbor to cross and there is usually a large fleet if the weaather has not been good for a while. In Boot Key Harbor, Marathon City Marina, there is a boat buddy board where folks sign up for Bahamas crossings together. November is some time off so posting closer to that time, here and on other sites will get you more replies. A lot can change on a boat between now and then. Good luck. Chuck
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Old 20-08-2013, 08:28   #6
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Re: Convoying between Florida and Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
It is fairly common for boaters to plan crossings together. Meeting at Noname Harbor in Miami to wait for a weather window is one way.
That's the way it worked out for me, without even trying. Everybody is holed up there waiting for the window, so it just kind of works out on its own that a bunch of people cross together. We all agreed to monitor VHF and help anyone who got in a jam, but really, who wouldn't do that anyway?
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Old 20-10-2013, 11:30   #7
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Re: Convoying between Florida and Bahamas

Hi everyone

We have a 35ft trawler and looking to travel from the Lauderdale area to either Andros or Nassau late Nov or early December. We don't have a speedy boat but would like to travel in a convoy for our first crossing if possible. Any and all suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance
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Old 20-10-2013, 15:12   #8
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Re: Convoying between Florida and Bahamas

If your boat is not sea worthy enough to go alone, or you are not confident enought to go alone, then you probably should not go. Not really safety in numbers althought I have buddy-boated across the Gulf Stream a few of my 56 crossings because somebody asked us.
Usually women get spooked because they are out of sight of land. Never seen the bogey-man out there however....
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Old 20-10-2013, 15:22   #9
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Re: Convoying between Florida and Bahamas

We are leaving Brunswick, Georgia, in a couple of weeks. This will be our second crossing, first one was May 1st this year. Just look for a good window. You won't be alone.

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Old 20-10-2013, 15:52   #10
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Re: Convoying between Florida and Bahamas

Agree with CSY man.

You are essentially on your own or you should be. At the various staging ports all you have to do is get on the vhf and there'll be others thinking of taking the same window. What really matters is how long a window you're comfortable with. Some are happy with a good 8 hours, some wait for a two day window which rarely happens in the fall/winter.

On most of our crossings we have been on our own. I've crossed with buddies a few times but once we're out in the stream we don't usually see them until we get on the Bank. We usually have an informal race to see who managed the stream the best. First one to get to North Rock wins, but there's no prize.

We start in Miami and there's always a crowd waiting so if you really need a buddy you'll find one. The more people you buddy boat with, the more opinions as to when to start. Don't think a committee decision is what you should rely on in crossing to the Bahamas.
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Old 20-10-2013, 15:57   #11
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Re: Convoying between Florida and Bahamas

If you go down to Biscayne bay, Baggs park, (is that No Name harbor or...?) Boats tend to group there and leave on a weather window. You will find though that, once departed, most boats are independent spirits and dont sail near each other.... just keep going at their chosen speed... On a good weather window it's a piece of cake 8 hour + crossing.
You dont want to leave in a NE'ster, when the wind starts to clock south, then briefly west is when to go.
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Old 20-10-2013, 19:33   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
If your boat is not sea worthy enough to go alone, or you are not confident enought to go alone, then you probably should not go. Not really safety in numbers althought I have buddy-boated across the Gulf Stream a few of my 56 crossings because somebody asked us.
Usually women get spooked because they are out of sight of land. Never seen the bogey-man out there however....
Thanks for the note. Yup..the boat is sea worthy and I have done the crossing before with our 30ft Boston Whaler... I have however heard a convoy can be a neat experience...
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Old 21-10-2013, 20:04   #13
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Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
If your boat is not sea worthy enough to go alone, or you are not confident enought to go alone, then you probably should not go. Not really safety in numbers althought I have buddy-boated across the Gulf Stream a few of my 56 crossings because somebody asked us. Usually women get spooked because they are out of sight of land. Never seen the bogey-man out there however....
Appreciate the input. Our boat, Calibre LRC 40, is, we believe, seaworthy for the passage. But this will be our first offshore experience. Our expectation is that this will be a learning and confidence-building experience. We have been conservative in outfitting the boat and acquiring experience on the Chesapeake Bay and are, we believe, ready for this next step.
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Old 21-10-2013, 20:52   #14
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Re: Convoying between Florida and Bahamas

I have never really understood what help people expect from being part of a convoy.

In my experience troubles arise on bouncing seas in rough weather and winds, not on calm sunny days.

Would you leave your reefed in, hove to, boat to dingy over to help another in high seas? Would you come alongside to help, and destroy both your rigging? Would you even give up your hard gained progress toward safety to go help somebody else, risking your own safety in the process.

If you won't, the other convoy captains may make the same decision, or even see helping as impossible.

I prefer to prepare for my needs, and execute my plan. I enjoy the company of those who do the same.
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Old 21-10-2013, 20:58   #15
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We've never convoyed on the water but we have done it in our RV. NEVER AGAIN. Convoy travel means catering to the least capable member of the group. I suppose if if you ARE the least capable then you have nothing to lose.
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