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Old 06-12-2017, 16:00   #1
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Help..Am I being foolish? Hawaii to Florida

I have been offered to crew on a 36' Hunter from Hawaii to Florida via Panama canal over Christmas, etc. The capt. seems experienced and is doing it to ferry the boat for the owner. I do not know him well but he sent me his sailing resume. IT will be only him and me. I have some sailing experience in smaller 32' boats in coastal waters only. I really want to go to gain experience but don't want to die. Am I taking a big chance with this boat, route and time of year? Thanks
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Old 06-12-2017, 16:16   #2
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Re: Help..Am I being foolish? Hawaii to Florida

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I have been offered to crew on a 36' Hunter from Hawaii to Florida via Panama canal over Christmas, etc. The capt. seems experienced and is doing it to ferry the boat for the owner. I do not know him well but he sent me his sailing resume. IT will be only him and me. I have some sailing experience in smaller 32' boats in coastal waters only. I really want to go to gain experience but don't want to die. Am I taking a big chance with this boat, route and time of year? Thanks
Over Christmas? Might want to add in New Years and Easter to that time frame! It is a long trip, even without possible delays due to equipment failures and delays at the canal.

And yes, winter travel between Hawaii and the mainland can encounter harsh conditions. I will not comment on your decision, for it is highly personal, but I would seek some references as to the skipper's past performances. This would include talking to other folks who have crewed for him. That's a long time to be cooped up with a stranger, and no chance to bail out until the canal is reached.

Jim
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Old 06-12-2017, 16:29   #3
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Re: Help..Am I being foolish? Hawaii to Florida

Wow, that long I was thinking about 2 months
A month to get to the canal and another month to get to Florida. I guess I am way off
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Old 06-12-2017, 16:36   #4
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Re: Help..Am I being foolish? Hawaii to Florida

With only a crew of two, you'll end up exhausted and traveled without sufficient lookout.
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Old 06-12-2017, 17:33   #5
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Re: Help..Am I being foolish? Hawaii to Florida

The first thought that came to me when I read this was Darwin Award! Sorry but it it was it is, my 2 cents is that if you have to ask the answer is no for so many reasons I wont bother getting into.
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Old 06-12-2017, 17:37   #6
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Re: Help..Am I being foolish? Hawaii to Florida

I have decided that I probably won't go at this point but please humor me and give me a few of the big reasons why I made a good decision
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Old 06-12-2017, 18:15   #7
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Re: Help..Am I being foolish? Hawaii to Florida

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I have decided that I probably won't go at this point but please humor me and give me a few of the big reasons why I made a good decision
Four questions (big reasons) that only you can resolve.

What do you know about the condition of the boat?
What do you know about the skippers experience and personality?
Are you familiar with the likely sea/wind conditions over the route in the period in question?
Since you will be double handed, are you competent to continue alone if the skipper is sick/injured?
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Old 06-12-2017, 18:20   #8
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Re: Help..Am I being foolish? Hawaii to Florida

Only two on board is not enough for such a long passage. Minimum is three.
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Old 06-12-2017, 18:25   #9
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Re: Help..Am I being foolish? Hawaii to Florida

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Only two on board is not enough for such a long passage. Minimum is three.
Tell that to all the RTW single handers
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Old 06-12-2017, 18:28   #10
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Re: Help..Am I being foolish? Hawaii to Florida

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Only two on board is not enough for such a long passage. Minimum is three.
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With only a crew of two, you'll end up exhausted and traveled without sufficient lookout.
However, many have made this journey, in both directions, both single and double handed, without incident.
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Old 06-12-2017, 18:38   #11
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Re: Help..Am I being foolish? Hawaii to Florida

Well, there is a difference of opinion here, and mine is that two up is fine, watch on watch, if your watch schedule is such that each of you can get enough sleep. For Jim and me, that has meant 6 on, 6 off, very loosely during daylight hours, and very seriously during the dark. You have to protect each others sleep. Three allows you to do 3 or 4 hr. watches, which it is true that some prefer; however, many ocean passages have shown our watch schedule works well for two.

For the OP: there is a recent thread for newbie crew, you might want to do a CF Custom Google search (under the search button menu) for some thoughts. I think one thing you want to know is watch schedules, but also whether or not this guy is a good cook or plans on you doing the cooking, you want to know if he is a good mechanic, or jury rig artist, you want someone who is comfortable doing MacGuyvering. So much can go wrong on an older, neglected boat on a long passage... It is way different if the boat has been busy and kept up well.

I don't think Jim meant literally till Easter, but that it is quite a long passage to do with a total stranger, who may or may not treat you well. Ask yourself how you would handle it if the guy freaks out? Would you be able to take over as skipper? Do keep a journal of the trip.

I second Stu M's advice.
A.
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Old 06-12-2017, 19:25   #12
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Re: Help..Am I being foolish? Hawaii to Florida

I can crew it myself if something happens to the capt. at least to the mainland. I have a personal GPS and there is another one on the boat. I don't think I will be going as I said before mainly due to not knowing the capt. and it is a long way with only 2.
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Old 06-12-2017, 19:56   #13
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Re: Help..Am I being foolish? Hawaii to Florida

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I can crew it myself if something happens to the capt. at least to the mainland. I have a personal GPS and there is another one on the boat. I don't think I will be going as I said before mainly due to not knowing the capt. and it is a long way with only 2.
A wise decision IMO.

Adding to what Ann said above, we've done a hell of a lot of ocean miles two up, and so far not come to grief as a result. But, our miles were in the form of leisurely cruising, not a delivery where speed of passage is directly related to the skippers income. IMO, this is a big difference... we wait for good weather, a delivery skipper heads out to sea (ask Boatman61!). If we are fatigued when we make landfall, we rest up for a while before proceeding... and so on.

There are plenty of opportunities for sailing on other folks' boats, so missing out on this one isn't the end of the world. Going on it might be!

Keep looking and you will find other gigs.

Jim
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Old 06-12-2017, 20:00   #14
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Re: Help..Am I being foolish? Hawaii to Florida

How long did the captain say it would take? What's the route the captain is planning? What's the condition and equipment on the boat? Do you know anyone who knows this captain? I'm usually up for an adventure, but I think a polite "no" would be a wise move this time on the face of it, given all you've said so far.
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Old 06-12-2017, 20:08   #15
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Re: Help..Am I being foolish? Hawaii to Florida

Sailing with a crew of two is no problem, I'd prefer a crew of one but you can't always go solo. A third crew member would make an additional hand available without waking the guy most recently off watch but not that big a thing.

In the middle of winter the high moves north so it is possible to sail under it but fear that much of the sailing would be to weather both in the Pacific and Carribean. Know one guy who did Hilo to San Diego in January and had a very pleasant and quick sail so it can be done. Would plan on at least 3 months for the passage and take plenty of fuel.
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