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Old 29-12-2017, 11:38   #1
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Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

Plz, only for those who’ve done it (ie, speaking from actual experience... &#128521 -

What’s the strongest northerly breeze/wind component you’d accept for a crossing from Ft Lauderdale to West End...in say a 43’, 26,000# monohull. (Yep, we all prefer W/SW/S winds...).

Thanks!
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Old 29-12-2017, 11:53   #2
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

Done it in 10-15 knots and 5-6 ft waves a couple of times but we have a 60,000 lb 55 ft boat with an 8 ft keel that is 12 ft long fore and aft.

If the weather is too bad to cross work your way south to Miami or Key Largo. The best crossing I ever had was Marathon to Bimini. Inexperienced cruisers sit in No Name Harbor for days when they could improve the crossing angle to Bimini by working south to Key Largo
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Old 29-12-2017, 12:41   #3
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

Not only the wind but the sea state is a consideration. If it's been blowing a while from the N and then lays down to 10 kts it's still hairy. Have done 10 k N but the sea was fine when we started. Also have never crossed to West End. Always Lauderdale or Miami to North Rock.
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Old 29-12-2017, 12:50   #4
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pirate Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

This is for a week today.. Jan 5th.. if its like this on your date or anything West/S/SE its an easy crossing..
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Old 29-12-2017, 12:52   #5
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Not only the wind but the sea state is a consideration. If it's been blowing a while from the N and then lays down to 10 kts it's still hairy. Have done 10 k N but the sea was fine when we started. Also have never crossed to West End. Always Lauderdale or Miami to North Rock.
Thanks, guess I need to clarify...Sea state, as a result of a northerly breeze, is the root of my question.
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Old 29-12-2017, 13:05   #6
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

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This is for a week today.. Jan 5th.. if its like this on your date or anything West/S/SE its an easy crossing..
Hope it stays that way. I have found forecasts a week ahead to be less than reliable. Usually the next day forecast can be relied upon but even then the fronts come so quickly during winter there's never a sure thing as far as weather goes.

I've found Passage Weather very useful.
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Old 29-12-2017, 13:09   #7
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

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Thanks, guess I need to clarify...Sea state, as a result of a northerly breeze, is the root of my question.
And the answer is how long has it been in the north and how strong was it? Sometimes you have to stick your nose out and turn around if it's not a go.
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Old 29-12-2017, 13:27   #8
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

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Originally Posted by malyea View Post
Plz, only for those who’ve done it (ie, speaking from actual experience... &#128521 -

What’s the strongest northerly breeze/wind component you’d accept for a crossing from Ft Lauderdale to West End...in say a 43’, 26,000# monohull. (Yep, we all prefer W/SW/S winds...).

Thanks!
New breeze at 10-15 from the north. This usually coincides with a passing cold front. I never attempt on an old northerly breeze.

If you catch the westerly component early and get beyond the axis of the Gulf Stream, when the shift moves north, you could take it up to 20 as you are out of the main component when the northerlies hit.
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Old 29-12-2017, 16:18   #9
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

Doing some weather routing for friends waiting to cross right now, original potential window with southerly winds collapsed, but there is a viable window w light to moderate (up to 15 kts) NW winds shaping up for Sat-Sunday, most models are in general agreement, WW3 estimates seas of only about 1m even in the axis of the stream, CAPE index is extremely low.

For me, thats quite acceptable.

Just in time for NYE in Bimini!
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Old 29-12-2017, 16:58   #10
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

Saturday afternoon is looking good to me.

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Old 29-12-2017, 17:23   #11
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

Sitting in West Palm (Lake Worth) waiting for our opportunity to jump to Freeport but certainly not in a hurry to take a risk (cruiser patience). Agree with SailsWithFists...”old” N wind is the current trend until next week. Chris Parker sounded apprehensive in this morning’s report (to me) - calling Saturday a “possibility.” We have a 53 foot full keeled boat and will wait to see an E shift toward SE-SW. Looking forward to hearing from those more experienced cruisers that jump on Saturday!
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Old 29-12-2017, 17:23   #12
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Doing some weather routing for friends waiting to cross right now, original potential window with southerly winds collapsed, but there is a viable window w light to moderate (up to 15 kts) NW winds shaping up for Sat-Sunday, most models are in general agreement, WW3 estimates seas of only about 1m even in the axis of the stream, CAPE index is extremely low.

For me, thats quite acceptable.

Just in time for NYE in Bimini!
Jeez, I hope so.
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Old 29-12-2017, 17:30   #13
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

Yeah, sitting in Vero Beach thinking similar thoughts. Saturday is a bit to quick for us and it don’t look too great anyway. Just getting going on our way South, not interested in upsetting the Admiral right off.

And the GRIB files I’ve been watching aren’t real consistent. Things jumping around a lot every update. Looks like we will sit out the first here. Get a car for some running around on the 2nd. Then maybe run South in hopes of a better window. We’ve a long way to go and time, no sense getting beat up straight away.

Now let’s see if I stick to that or get antsy.
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Old 29-12-2017, 17:33   #14
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

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Jeez, I hope so.
Certainly looks favorable at the moment. If the shift materializes on Saturday then I think its a very viable window. Unlike the previous window, there are no big N winds forecast immediately afterwards. So, if an in route delay occurs, you wont get hammered.

Push to get across the axis while the NW angle holds and then no worries.

Ive made the run from Key Largo to Bimini in similar conditions and it was quite sedate (as you want a GS crossing to be).
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Old 29-12-2017, 17:36   #15
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Re: Gulf Stream Crossing Weather

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Yeah, sitting in Vero Beach thinking similar thoughts. Saturday is a bit to quick for us and it don’t look too great anyway. Just getting going on our way South, not interested in upsetting the Admiral right off.

And the GRIB files I’ve been watching aren’t real consistent. Things jumping around a lot every update. Looks like we will sit out the first here. Get a car for some running around on the 2nd. Then maybe run South in hopes of a better window. We’ve a long way to go and time, no sense getting beat up straight away.

Now let’s see if I stick to that or get antsy.
Earlier this week the models were indeed jumping all over the place, but so far this NW shift has been more consistent and most models agree...whereas before (for the S shift) they did not.

And, Im a lot more confident in a < 24 hour forecast than days out.

Tomorrow will tell...
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