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Old 08-03-2016, 11:25   #1
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Going up the East coast and avoiding Hurricaines

I plan to cross the Atlantic in 2017 with the ARC. Then I fancy heading north up the east coast of the States. Maybe as far north as Canada!
In the caribbean, sailing after july is a no-no due to the risk of Hurricanes. However on the eastern seaboard of the States, surely the summer is when everyone sails?
So what is the truth about sailing up the eastern seaboard? Do I need to find a hurricane proof marina by July?

Thanks

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Old 08-03-2016, 11:46   #2
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Re: Going up the East coast and avoiding Hurricaines

Actually, Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1....
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:49   #3
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Re: Going up the East coast and avoiding Hurricaines

If you're just planning short hops up the coast, you should be just fine. Pick your weather windows, prepare your boat well and don't get stuck out there, without propulsion, unable to get to port as your weather window closes.

Hurricanes will be forecast, you'll generally have time to prepare. They aren't just going to pop up, one after the other, and surprise the crap out of the whole east coast.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:52   #4
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Re: Going up the East coast and avoiding Hurricaines

Come to Canada, we'd love to have you. It's beautiful in the summer. Come see the Bras D'or Lakes, and the rest of Nova Scotia. Take a quick tour of PEI, and if you're adventurous go to Nfld for a month. It's all great cruising up here, and far less crowded than the USA.

Cheers, and have a nice crossing.
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:02   #5
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Re: Going up the East coast and avoiding Hurricaines

Your insurance company will likely tell you when to be above Florida. Let's say 1 June the start of the season, although 1 May would be my preference. There is a lot to cover and see, and you want to enjoy it. From that point on, you do not need to find a "hurricane-proof marina" (if there is such a thing) until hurricanes arrive. Typically, August and September are the months with the highest statistical shot of damaging hurricanes. And if you are thinking about going as far as Canada, you are going to want to be in New England or Canada by August anyway so you'll have the time to see and do things and return.

As long as you are on your boat, NOAA and the various weather services will give you plenty of warning. Should you leave the boat and return for a vacation in Europe, then you will need to think about a marina during your absence. Many marinas have arrangements with local yards to haul out the boat in case of a storm, so look into this while making your plans. If you remain on the boat the entire time, watch the weather and enjoy the trip. If a hurricane springs up, you'll have lots of notice and can look into putting your boat ashore, in a marina, or up a river/creek, etc.

The further north you are, the less likely the chance of a hurricane as well. And the further north you are, the cooler it will be in July and August. I don't want to give you a false sense of complacency, but this is a manageable hazard as long as you pay attention to the weather and the tropics. And you will need to allow time to return to wherever you plan to jump off, heading back to Europe.
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:11   #6
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Re: Going up the East coast and avoiding Hurricaines

important question -- what is your mast height? if you need to duck in there are places with bridge restrictions - 65' - Once in the cheaspeake and up you are fine with no bridge problems that I can remember - if you leave the Bahamas you can make a great run to the Cheaspeake - 500nm or so - and have a great time going north - we did it twice
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:34   #7
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Re: Going up the East coast and avoiding Hurricaines

I've always been surprised that US and UK Insurers have different Hurricane Seasons, our policy as with most (all?) British ones says North of Florida by 1st July as opposed to the N of Hatteras by 1st June on US policies. That aside, the 3rd party element of a UK policy will remain valid irrespective of where you are, so you are not uninsured.

Our experience has been - maybe we've been lucky? - that you will know of any potential hurricane threats well ahead of their arrival, provided that you keep watch on the forecasts; logging onto the NOAA website soon becomes a daily habit. Once you're on the US east coast you will have ample time to get tucked-up somewhere secure and unlike the eastern Caribbean or the Bahamas, there are ample places that are well inland to tuck-up and so avoid or at least mitigate the issue.

If you're heading for the far north/Canada then once you're beyond Cape Cod, you'll be in more danger from exposure than hurricanes; even in mid summer the water temperature up there makes the North Sea in winter appear balmy; so pack your thermals!
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:36   #8
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Re: Going up the East coast and avoiding Hurricaines

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Originally Posted by svquintana View Post
Come to Canada, we'd love to have you. It's beautiful in the summer. Come see the Bras D'or Lakes, and the rest of Nova Scotia. Take a quick tour of PEI, and if you're adventurous go to Nfld for a month. It's all great cruising up here, and far less crowded than the USA.

Cheers, and have a nice crossing.
Paul.
I'm sold and can't wait to get there.
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Old 08-03-2016, 15:59   #9
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Re: Going up the East coast and avoiding Hurricaines

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important question -- what is your mast height? if you need to duck in there are places with bridge restrictions - 65' - Once in the cheaspeake and up you are fine with no bridge problems that I can remember - if you leave the Bahamas you can make a great run to the Cheaspeake - 500nm or so - and have a great time going north - we did it twice
According to the yacht's specification the air draft is 20m so about 65 foot. Draft is 2.1
I plan to make an accurate measurement this season, rather than rely on the theoretical measurement

With so many places to stop, it looks like it will be difficult to know where to go. I may have to recruit a local guide. I wonder who might be interested.....

Thanks

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Old 08-03-2016, 17:21   #10
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Re: Going up the East coast and avoiding Hurricaines

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I'm sold and can't wait to get there.
And the exchange rate is great for our neighbours
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Old 08-03-2016, 20:10   #11
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Re: Going up the East coast and avoiding Hurricaines

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Originally Posted by Tudorsailor View Post
According to the yacht's specification the air draft is 20m so about 65 foot. Draft is 2.1
Yacht's specification of 20 metres sounds like 66 feet plus 3 feet for the vhf antenna, equals 69 feet. That's a problem, because the standard fixed bridge air draft on the ICW is 65 feet at high tide, and the range of tides varies from 8 through 0 feet up and down the east coast. There are many fixed bridges with 65 feet air draft.
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Old 09-03-2016, 08:06   #12
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Re: Going up the East coast and avoiding Hurricaines

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I'm sold and can't wait to get there.
All are welcome.

If you want any first hand PEI, Nova Scotia, cruising info, or need help while here, write me anytime. My username at gmail.com.

We're stuck on land until we finish the boat, so we're very happy to talk to, and help, cruiser's coming to our area.

Now if you come all the way to PEI, which most don't, we'll make sure you get to see some of our little slice of paradise*.


Cheers.
Paul.

* "Paradise" here is from July first to Sept first, June first to Oct first if you have heat, or just a warm blanket, for cooler evenings.
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Old 09-03-2016, 08:37   #13
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Re: Going up the East coast and avoiding Hurricaines

If you're not already an OCC member, you'll qualify with your Trans Atlantic... You can then use the Port Officer system to gain local information (and some dockage) as you head north. Home

You may want to get out of the Caribbean earlier - to avoid the heat and to enjoy the early summer sailing opportunities in New England (and Canada).

There's OCC cruising events if you're into that sort of thing in the Chesapeake, Southern New England (https://events.r20.constantcontact.c...335o6i8a3a0fac)
and in Maine each year.

Whatever you decide to do, have a great trip across and you're sure to really enjoy the East Coast of the USA - and Canada! Stop worrying about hurricanes - as everyone says, we get plenty of warning...
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Old 09-03-2016, 08:57   #14
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Re: Going up the East coast and avoiding Hurricaines

Having lived in Florida all my life hurricanes are not the worry, weather stations will advise the minute they leave Africa. It's the sudden tropical storms that may be named or unnamed that requires your weather attention. It takes 2 weeks are more generally for a hurricanes to go from Africa to the States if they are the usual slow movers. Should have more then enough time to find safe havens and "hunker down".
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Old 09-03-2016, 09:50   #15
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Re: Going up the East coast and avoiding Hurricaines

Not to minimize the dangers of hurricanes or the insurance issues, there are tens of thousands of boats and boaters that are in Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean year round that manage to survive. I've been living in Florida off and on for 40 years and never experienced a direct hit from a hurricane (knock on wood). Also, being in the NE US is not guarantee of safety from hurricanes. Remember Sandy?

As someone mentioned, hurricanes don't generally drop in unannounced. Worst case scenario you might see just a few days warning but usually you have a week or more notice. Plenty of time to move and/or prepare.

I would certainly recommend caution but with a modicum of care you should be able to cruise this part of the world in reasonable safety.
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